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View Poll Results: Over the course of my retirement, I expect my income to come from
over 50% SIRE - Soc Sec, pensions, annuities, inheritance 101 39.00%
over 50% FIRE - portfolio, business/rental income, sale of property, PT work, etc. 158 61.00%
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Poll: SIRE vs FIRE at ER.org
Old 10-19-2018, 09:28 AM   #1
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Poll: SIRE vs FIRE at ER.org

It's been a long time, so another poll to see how this audience breaks down. IIRC the last poll showed mostly SIREs outnumbered mostly FIREs. For the purposes of this poll:
  • SIRE income sources - Soc Security (or other country equiv), pensions, annuities, inheritance
  • FIRE income sources - personal nest egg/portfolio, RMDs, business/rental income, sale of property (e.g. real estate investment property), part time work.
The reason I'm curious is it's a (significant) factor in how each of us answers each other, and that's usually not known to the reader. For example, someone with 'passive' income exceeding their spending needs might have a very different risk tolerance with their personal investments than someone else relying mostly on their portfolio withdrawals to support their spending for 30 years or more.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:31 AM   #2
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Is there a SFIRE category? I have income from most of those sources, except the part time w*rk.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:33 AM   #3
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Approx. 50% SIRE/FIRE. We look forward to SS, have a pension and a nest egg. If we take <3% of nest egg and SS/pension monthly we're good!
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:41 AM   #4
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What if one took ones pension as a lump sum and invested that?
Does subsidized health insurance (either government or former employer) move one to SIRE?
I started receiving survivor benefits this month so I guess I'm now firmly in SIRE zone. DW is still helping out 6 years gone.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:44 AM   #5
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Is there a SFIRE category? I have income from most of those sources, except the part time w*rk.
Over 50% was the question. If over 50% of your spending/desired spending is met by SS, pensions, annuity, etc., then you pick the first choice.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySucks View Post
What if one took ones pension as a lump sum and invested that?
Does subsidized health insurance (either government or former employer) move one to SIRE?
I started receiving survivor benefits this month so I guess I'm now firmly in SIRE zone. DW is still helping out 6 years gone.
Seems like lump sum would put you in the second category. Seems like inheritance would too if you received it as a lump sum rather than a trust.

It has to do with guaranteed annual income streams as opposed to withdrawing from a portfolio that you yourself (or your personal FA) have to invest and manage and try not to run out of money.
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Old 10-19-2018, 09:53 AM   #7
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Over 50% FIRE. 40/60 A A which may rise to 50/50 or 60/40 as I age.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySucks View Post
What if one took ones pension as a lump sum and invested that?
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Seems like lump sum would put you in the second category. Seems like inheritance would too if you received it as a lump sum rather than a trust.
+1.

Point taken re: inheritance. I put it in SIRE because it could be considered a windfall of sorts (NOT that the others are windfalls). I was trying to delineate between income that's essentially passive vs personally managed, but that's not black and white either.

And we're talking about more or less than 50% here, an axe not a scalpel? All we can do is best guess.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:03 AM   #9
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Over the course of retirement, we should be a little over 50% from pensions and SS, so that's how I answered. But it really depends on how long we live. Currently, we are less than 50% with two small, his-and-her pensions. When SS starts, that goes up dramatically, but then declines over time as one pension is non-COLA, the other is partial-COLA. Both pensions are single-life, so if one of us dies early, the survivor will rely more on the portfolio. We structured our retirement to be around 50/50, so I guess that's what the numbers indicate.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rianne View Post
Approx. 50% SIRE/FIRE. We look forward to SS, have a pension and a nest egg. If we take <3% of nest egg and SS/pension monthly we're good!
This, depending on when we stop. Original plan was roughly 50/50, but now that we'll work a little more, probably slant much more towards FIRE.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:12 AM   #11
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I plan to retire at 60, and from then until 70 I fit in the FIRE category. From 70 on, SS will kick me into SIRE. Since I plan on living past 80, I went with SIRE in the poll.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:16 AM   #12
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Hmmm.... I received an inheritance in the form of a beneficiary IRA. And I did not cash it all out because of the tax consequences... instead I am stretching it. But it is definitely on the "nest egg" side of things - along with my personally saved IRAs, roths, etc. I'm drawing more from the inherited IRA now - because of the RMDS and because I can't touch my personal IRAs penalty free yet. It is not the majority of my savings - but it's not inconsequential and allowed me to pull in my retirement by a few years.

How would it be different if I'd withdrawn the money, paid taxes on it, and bought rental property?

And if you really want to get in the weeds... the inheritance helped fund us paying off our house and building our granny flat.... because it freed up earned money for those purposes.... But that was all pre-retirement. Do I count the granny flat rental income as inheritance?

Regardless - I'm on the FIRE side of things... But if you want to split hairs on whether the inheritance allowed us to reach FIRE - sure it did.

But the percentage of annual spend will probably flip when I start collecting SS.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:17 AM   #13
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Looking at it again - if one purchases annuities with ones earned money - isn't that just another investment. (Vs an annuity purchased by an employer.)

I'm cranky this morning.... I have a cold and am getting grumpy over this poll. My apologies.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:18 AM   #14
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100% FIRE until age 67. Then I plan to annuitize part of my portfolio to supplement SS and cover most of my expenses with SIRE income sources.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:24 AM   #15
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Right now i am Sire. When I hit 70 and start RMD's , I'll be Fire. So can't really answer the survey accurately as the answer will change over time.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:27 AM   #16
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Axe not a scalpel huh?

You know this group better than that; first thing we all did was say Oooo! Goody, Goody, another poll where I have to use math! Then we pulled out our scalpels calculators

I know your OP said “income” but, it didn’t say “desired income.” IOW, if one’s guaranteed income sources (when all on line) will produce >50% of desired income, then I think the answer you want is SIRE (with the portfolio making up the rest). But, what if one’s portfolio could produce more income? Does that make the person a FIRE? Hey, I’m doing my best to make this complicated!

Anyway, I looked at it two ways: (1) income source based on desired income and, (2) NPV of Portfolio vs NPV of Guaranteed Income Streams.

1. Income Based: We’re definitely SIRE (2 pensions + 2 SS)
2. NPV Based: We’re definitely FIRE; NPV of Portfolio is > NPV of Guaranteed Income Streams.

I voted SIRE because I think that’s what you’re looking for.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:39 AM   #17
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25% Portfolio 401k
43% FERS Pension
12% Military Reserves Pension
20% Social Security (discounted by 50%)

I guess that is SIRE ---
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:44 AM   #18
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It’s FIRE here.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySucks View Post
What if one took ones pension as a lump sum and invested that?
Does subsidized health insurance (either government or former employer) move one to SIRE?
I started receiving survivor benefits this month so I guess I'm now firmly in SIRE zone. DW is still helping out 6 years gone.
This is kind of where we are. Our pensions are comfortable enough to allow us to invest 50% of them. So we are using SIRE to get more FIRE!!!
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:04 AM   #20
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Now and prior to age 65/67 100% FIRE
65+ 90%-100% SIRE (But could be all FIRE if needed)
Overall income sources are greater than 50% FIRE (I think?)
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