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View Poll Results: Years of expenses saved when you pulled the trigger
10 - 15 4 5.26%
15 - 25 14 18.42%
25 - 35 31 40.79%
35 - 45 17 22.37%
45 - ... 10 13.16%
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Poll: Years of Savings before you Pulled the Trigger
Old 01-24-2014, 01:16 PM   #1
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Poll: Years of Savings before you Pulled the Trigger

I working towards hitting my number vs. working towards joining "the class of 20xx".

I am curious to understand how may years of savings people had before they pulled the trigger.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:26 PM   #2
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I'm not sure I understand what "years of savings" means. I think most of us think of our investments in terms of "years of annual expenses". If you were to measure years of savings, I would think the early years of your career represented a much smaller portion of your savings than the later part of your career where you're hopefully earning more and putting away more for retirement planning.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:27 PM   #3
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Hi - I see you are new. Welcome to the forum. Your question is mathematically the same as asking what WR's are which is a topic of much discussion on these boards. You can do a search to see what people think about SWRs (Safe Withdrawal Rates).

Asking this question so broadly may not help you very much since it will depend on:
- age at retirement
- pension eligibility
- whether the pension is COLA'd or not
- estimates for SSI
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:29 PM   #4
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I think the OP is asking how many years of expenses your portfolio covered in nominal terms at retirement. ie: 33 years = 3.0% WR, 25 years = 4.0% WR, etc
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:40 PM   #5
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Mileage varies for net worth, amount saved, etc. based on many individual factors.

My trigger number is based on determining the yearly income I need to cover my expenses for a specific number of years, at a specific withdrawal rate vs. Firecalc success rates.

Knowing withdrawal rates are also variable based individual circumstances, I attempted to create a poll to compare my plan with others.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:04 PM   #6
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My portfolio will cover ~25 years (nominal) basic expenses. The rest will come from SS and a small pension.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:26 PM   #7
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Unfortunately you'd have to know what secure income sources each pollee had to get meaningful results. There are FIRE, SIRE and everything in between members here. Someone with Soc Sec, a pension, an annuity and subsidized retiree health care might save very little in 'years of expenses' while someone with none of the above would presumably have a high number...
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Live And Learn View Post
I think the OP is asking how many years of expenses your portfolio covered in nominal terms at retirement. ie: 33 years = 3.0% WR, 25 years = 4.0% WR, etc
I am assuming something similar to you "how many years of expenses your portfolio covered in nominal terms at retirement. ie: 33 years = 3.0% WR, 25 years = 4.0% WR, etc" but after you account for income from other sources such as SS or pensions, which is maybe what you meant anyway.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:55 PM   #9
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Lean younger years I'd save maybe only $5 k and later good years over $50k per year. I see no correlation between the number of years saving. It's all based on how much total net worth you have both saved and invested with higher returns. Someone can accomplish far more in ten years than others can in 40 years so this broadly based question isn't going to prove anything.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:01 PM   #10
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I assumed the question asked about how many years I had been saving money for retirement before pulling the trigger. It never occurred to me that it might refer to how many years worth of expenses I had before I retired. Since there seems to be some confusion, I presume that the poll will not produce valid answers.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:24 PM   #11
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1) The headline above the poll reads: "Years of expenses saved when you pulled the trigger".

2) Then, the OP asked "I am curious to understand how many years of savings people had before they pulled the trigger."

My WR is 3.5%, so that's 29 years of expenses I have accumulated.

And the years it took me to save that up, oh, from my early 20s till the mid-50, so that's about 30 years.

So, either way one takes the meaning, the answer is still the same, although I think the OP meant #1.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
1) The headline above the poll reads: "Years of expenses saved when you pulled the trigger".

2) Then, the OP asked "I am curious to understand how many years of savings people had before they pulled the trigger."

My WR is 3.5%, so that's 29 years of expenses I have accumulated.

And the years it took me to save that up, oh, from my early 20s till the mid-50, so that's about 30 years.

So, either way one takes the meaning, the answer is still the same, although I think the OP meant #1.
ditto for me !
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #13
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Oh, it's complicated........

I didn't have a set income I wanted in retirement. It was more a case of looking at my stash and then figuring out what income I could draw from it. In fact, it was a little more perverse than that, because I ended up drawing even less in the hope that I'd be able to increase my WR 5 or 10 years down the line. I voted 35-45 as I had 41x my annual draw when I started and 37x my actual expenses (I have a small amount of part-time income).

With the current portfolio value, these figures are now 47x annual draw and 43x annual expenses. Please don't be too impressed though, as I probably have a smaller stash than almost all the other retirees here. I live on a low income or, as some might say, I live like a college student

When SS begins (or draws close), the party will really get started
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:32 PM   #14
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I may be an anomaly to this forum. I don't think in terms of safe withdrawal rate. I think in terms of fixed income at retirement. I want 5K a month from all my available sources before I pull the trigger and walk away from gainful employment. That number will be generated by a pension for myself and a pension for my wife. Probably 2K for me and 3K for her because she has been working at this longer than I have.

Once we get to our 60's then Social security will kick in and that should help if we are having trouble with supporting our lifestyle. Also we plan on leaving the 401's, 403, and years worth of expense cash alone for emergencies only. If the pension calculators at Hewitt are correct, I have 6 more years to go. Trying to soak up what info I can from this forum in the meantime.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:06 PM   #15
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Having issues with site and not able to vote (?). I had 36X of current expenses saved before I pulled the trigger. I do plan the increase annual expenses when the DW retires so this may go down pending portfolio performance going forward.
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Poll: Years of Savings before you Pulled the Trigger
Old 01-30-2014, 08:19 PM   #16
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Poll: Years of Savings before you Pulled the Trigger

S/he is asking how many years it took to build your nest egg. In other words, you started saving in 1982 and pulled the plug in 2011...it took you 29 years.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2035 View Post
S/he is asking how many years it took to build your nest egg. In other words, you started saving in 1982 and pulled the plug in 2011...it took you 29 years.
But the title to the actual poll reads, "Years of expenses saved when you pulled the trigger."
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:38 PM   #18
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I answered "Years of expenses saved", but I haven't FIRE'd yet.

I've been working for 24 years, not including part time jobs while in school. At this point, I've accumulated 33 years of my Midwest expense budget. However, I recently moved to a higher cost of living and living it up a little before deciding what to do next.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:04 PM   #19
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I think the answer can vary greatly. As others have pointed out, it depends on other sources of income like SS and pensions. For someone who worked in the public sector or a private company that had a good pension plan, their answer would be a lot lower than someone who doesn't have a pension plan. Also, while most people have SS, benefits vary greatly depending on how much and how long you contributed, whether you're married and how much and how long your spouse contributed, etc.

For us it was about 27 times living expenses (including our mortgage payment) and about 30 times excluding our mortgage and our mortgage payment which puts our WR between 3 and 4%.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:52 PM   #20
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I had about 25-30 years of projected expenses saved before FIRE'ing. Worked 22 years to get there.
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