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Old 10-14-2009, 06:41 PM   #61
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Ok. I had to go dig this thread up. 300k for the 2nd time.
3rd time's a charm?
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:59 PM   #62
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Can you explain this to a newbe?
Maurice, one thing people don't often explain is that the 4% rate (some people say 4.5%, it's debateable) is the INITIAL withdrawal rate that SHOULD cause you to not run out of money during a 30+ year retirement.

In other words, if you have $1M in the bank, and take out $40k the FIRST year, then adjust for inflation each year, you should not run out of money.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:04 PM   #63
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Congrats to the OP on the $300k achievement. When you get "up there", something really interesting starts happening....

When you have small dollar amounts, your contributions are what makes your account grow.

However, when you have large amounts, it's the GROWTH within the account that really makes it go.

For example, if you have $50k, and invest $10k/year and earn 10%, you're additions are double your earnings.

however, if you have $1M and invest $10k/year and earn 10%, your earnings of $100k/year totally dwarf your additions.

It's the simple law of compounding, but it really amazes you when you get a large balance. We're at about $900k, and when the S&P has a good week, it's not uncommon for us to see $30k growth IN ONE WEEK.

Granted that won't continue week in and week out...but it really is amazing when there's a quick runup.

Dave
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:16 PM   #64
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Glad to see a lot of people starting to recover. My wife and I are highly risk averse, so we bailed on the stock funds in our 401(k)s in the spring of 2008, with a short spell over the summer of 2008 with stock funds in our taxable.

The good news is our 401(k)s have gone from $550K a year ago to $680K now. Contributions and company match accounted for $45K, with investment gains accounting for the other $85K. My wife and I are trying to play catch up in our 401(k)s before we retire in 3-5 years.

The bad news (I guess) is that we did this with all of our 401(k) investments in a couple of bond funds, an income fund, and a stable value fund. We just can't seem to commit any investments to stock funds (markets are still at least 25% away from when we sold off most of the stocks).
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #65
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Congrats to OP, gotta love a milestone!

I think our first big milestone was a positive net worth, as my wife came out of law school owing 65k.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:43 PM   #66
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Congrats to the OP on the $300k achievement. When you get "up there", something really interesting starts happening....

When you have small dollar amounts, your contributions are what makes your account grow.

However, when you have large amounts, it's the GROWTH within the account that really makes it go.

For example, if you have $50k, and invest $10k/year and earn 10%, you're additions are double your earnings.

however, if you have $1M and invest $10k/year and earn 10%, your earnings of $100k/year totally dwarf your additions.

It's the simple law of compounding, but it really amazes you when you get a large balance. We're at about $900k, and when the S&P has a good week, it's not uncommon for us to see $30k growth IN ONE WEEK.

Granted that won't continue week in and week out...but it really is amazing when there's a quick runup.

Dave

And, as the city of Leipzig, Germany has recently discovered, the power of compound interest over time is your enemy when you owe....

Historical Debts: Pre-War Bonds May Cripple Leipzig Budget - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:21 PM   #67
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...and they say money doesn't buy happiness.
I'd rather be unhappy and rich than unhappy and poor. And don't tell me about being happy and poor. I have seen poor. I have seen happy. I have not seen them together.

Found on the Web:

“Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping.” - Bo Derek

“Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.” - Helen Gurley Brown

“What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money.” - Henny Youngman

“Money can't buy friends but it can get you a better class of enemy” - Spike Milligan
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:17 PM   #68
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I'd rather be unhappy and rich than unhappy and poor.
Agreed.

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And don't tell me about being happy and poor. I have seen poor. I have seen happy. I have not seen them together.
You can't have looked very hard.
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:45 PM   #69
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Or could it be that I did not recognize happiness when I saw it?

Oh boy! I might have opened a can of worms here. How does one define poverty? What is happiness? Is there an absolute definition or is everything relative?

I will say that very few people in the US are truly poor, compared to residents of 3rd world countries. And about happiness, wouldn't you say a prisoner in the gulag is happy when granted a beating reprieve from his sadistic guards? I knew I was happy when I passed that "monumental" kidney stone.

On the observation of happiness and money, or rather lack of the latter, I recently stumbled across some pretty sad blogs.

I was surfing the Web for blogs of RV'ers, and happened to run across a couple in California who were RV'er wannabes. They had an old RV which they hoped to use for full-time travel. They had a rented warehouse full of old surplus electronic parts, from which they made a living by selling on eBay. They slowly ran out of money, then tried to save on living expenses by living in the warehouse. It worked until someone turned them in for violating the city ordinance. Their RV was too old to be allowed in an RV park that they liked. Another park that would accept them had scary residents that they would not want to be near. They now had to find a place to live, and the extra expenses were just killing them. Their only recreation activity was to take the RV out for short jaunts, but they soon could not afford to put gas in it. The RV then developed mechanical problems that were too costly to repair.

It was very sad to read their blogs to see them slipping into destitution. They never asked for any handout or welfare, and tried the best they could to stay afloat. Their blog eventually stopped about 2 years ago, which corresponded to the start of this Great Recession.

I had to conclude with an understatement: These people were not happy.
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"I lost the nest-egg"
Old 10-19-2009, 10:38 AM   #70
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"I lost the nest-egg"

I remember that movie.
Quote:
You can't even SAY the word "egg" any more. When you go into the woods, you see a bird's round stick. For breakfast, you have THING'S with ham.
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:47 PM   #71
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Saw $500k a couple of times, but savings and the recent run up have taken me past my previous high and just over $600k. I'm taking gains from my after tax accounts to pay down the mortgage and hope to be ERed in 4 years when it is paid off. My annual income will be $15k from rent, plus $30k from investments.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:27 PM   #72
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I remember that movie.
The blog of the RV'er wannabes I described was not at all comical like the movie you quoted. Yes, I saw that movie. Though I doubt any of us here would be so unfortunate to have such an air-headed wife as the movie character, a watcher of that comedy would be reminded that his "nest egg" must be pampered with utmost care.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:10 PM   #73
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Bumping this thread 1 year later. I enjoyed seeing the progress of folks over the last few years.

How is everyone doing now with their milestones? We're at an all time high 350+.

It's hard finding a yield on cash, though. I don't trust increasing my bond exposure.

JD
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:45 PM   #74
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Congrats John.

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We just passed 300k in retirement savings for the 1st time. That's a 50% increase in 2 years since we got our act together. Aren't there boards wonderful?

Hoping to retire in 12 more years.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:56 PM   #75
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Thanks for bumping this up and giving an update. I liked reading the thread and following along.

Just this week actually I was looking at my investment statement and thinking about my progress. It feels good to see my progress but gosh it was a rough time back then.
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Volitility
Old 10-05-2010, 11:52 PM   #76
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Volitility

My experience has been that living through an episode of volitility makes each of the next ones a little less stressful. I didn't say any of them were pleasant. Glad to see that you are still saving and working towards FIRE.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:27 AM   #77
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My experience has been that living through an episode of volitility makes each of the next ones a little less stressful. I didn't say any of them were pleasant. Glad to see that you are still saving and working towards FIRE.
Hear hear to that one. This last down market has sure made me glad I had bonds as well as equities. I was at a point a year or so ago when I realized that even though I didn't like the way my portfolio had gone down, I'd be able to stomach it if it went down quite a bit further. Well, it did, and now it's back up close to the highest point it's ever been.

Living through volatility definitely strengthens the constitution.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:16 AM   #78
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Bumping this thread 1 year later. I enjoyed seeing the progress of folks over the last few years.

How is everyone doing now with their milestones? We're at an all time high 350+.

It's hard finding a yield on cash, though. I don't trust increasing my bond exposure.

JD
Last time I posted on this thread was exactly two years ago. At the time my net worth was down over $200K. After two years, I'm glad to report my net worth has gone up $200K, so I'm back to my net worth level from two years ago.

Hopefully, the Great Recession is over and we'll have many more upticks than downticks over the next few years.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:35 AM   #79
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How is everyone doing now with their milestones?
Hit an all time high yesterday, but anyone who is in the accumulation stage and 100% stocks is probably in a similar boat.

More notably, my FI stash exceeds 3 years expenses. Hope to hit 4 years expenses by Christmas or so, and 25 years of expenses sometime in the next few years.

2Cor521
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:41 AM   #80
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I posted to this thread a year ago and the major change in my situation is that back then my mortgage balance was $200k, today it's $135k. My after tax savings haven't increased much because every time I see a 5% gain I cash it in and pay down the mortgage. It's conservative, but a great way to discipline oneself into selling on the way up.
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