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Old 03-08-2014, 11:34 PM   #401
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Filed 2013 taxes yesterday and took quite a hit due to ST capital gains and dividends.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:41 AM   #402
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Back over $2M Net Worth this month, not including house purchased for cash last year!
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:29 PM   #403
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Can you expand on the differences btwn ESPlanner and other calculators, and why they're more conservative? I use Fido's RIP and FIRECalc primarily, and am interested in the basis of the differences you describe.
Sure. Besides FRIP and FC, I used IORP, Financial Engines (free from Vanguard), Flexible Retirement Planner, and verified my calculations with a VG FP. I came up with my own method for factoring in the limitation that some calculators don't include investment fees (i.e.,FRIP vs. FC) while others don't include tax estimates (i.e., FC vs. FRIP). The method isn't perfect, but it does the job for me. Besides, I'm a lot lazier than most on this board.

You're right, some calculators are more conservative than others, but I've found most fall within a 10-20% range of one another. I waffled on buying ESPlanner because of a lot of criticism I read on the BH forum, and I'm really glad I ignored them. Yes it cost me $200 (for the pro edition), and no I personally don't need all of it's capabilities (though I very much appreciate the ones it does have), but it did validate (in a big way) the information from all the other calculators.

ESPlanner vefified my suspicions I'm probably being too financially conservative, but I'm a big sleep at night kind of person so that's okay with me.
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Old 03-22-2014, 09:01 AM   #404
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Just paid off our house this month. I realize many advise against paying off the mortgage, but we have continued to save heavily for retirement. It feels good to be debt free. We purchased our house in the low $500's 10 years ago, and I'd say it dropped to the low to mid $400's now with the housing crash. Still pretty proud considering I am 40 and DW is 47. Really don't foresee up-sizing from here.

It sucks that our property taxes are still $800 a month. That alone is more than a lot of people pay for rent.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:57 AM   #405
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Just opened Vanguard account and transferring high exp tIRA!
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:07 PM   #406
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I just got my first pension check this weekend.

This month we cut our recurring business and personal expenses by $2.5K a year. Over a potential 50 year retirement that could mean ~$125K less in total retirement funding needed.

We ditched most of the cable TV bill and renegotiated the Internet rate, canceled monthly credit monitoring, started getting free music and videos from Freegal through the library, canceled the Netflix DVDs by mail no one was watching, bought our own Internet modem, found it cheaper to buy dog food online, bought a rice cooker that steams veggies and meat at the same time it cooks the rice, replaced the washer with a lower energy and water usage model and a bunch of other little changes that all added up.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:11 PM   #407
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Hit a nice round figure milestone on NW... and dropped another day off the "Days Left" app - 79 working days left!

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:03 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
This month we cut our recurring business and personal expenses by $2.5K a year. Over a potential 50 year retirement that could mean ~$125K less in total retirement funding needed.

We ditched most of the cable TV bill and renegotiated the Internet rate, canceled monthly credit monitoring, started getting free music and videos from Freegal through the library, canceled the Netflix DVDs by mail no one was watching, bought our own Internet modem, found it cheaper to buy dog food online, bought a rice cooker that steams veggies and meat at the same time it cooks the rice, replaced the washer with a lower energy and water usage model and a bunch of other little changes that all added up.
We did almost all of the exact same things as you when we retired a couple of years ago. It's amazing what you can find once you sit down and really start paying attention.

Here's a few more things we did, in addition to what you've already listed: moved our housecleaning service out by one week, moved our haircuts out by one week, dropped our pest control service, dropped all life insurance, stopped buying $12 a lb Starbucks coffee beans and found a just-as-good, less expensive alternative, stopped buying convenience and fast food on a regular basis (no longer too tired to cook), and started researching the many free things to do in and around our area. Some of these savings were used to lower our overall spend rate, some went to increase other 'fun' funds we wanted to beef up.

We hit another round number as well this past week, not including our home, which we don't include in our portfolio value since we have no current plans to relocate.
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:32 PM   #409
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I am early in the FIRE preparation cycle. DW and myself have done a bunch of things this month. Found this site, introduced ourselves a couple of days ago. Put together our first detailed look at our expenses and were pleasantly surprised how we have been able to LBYM and save. Used firecalc to see where we are at and again were pleasantly surprised by a 100% success rate with the data listed. That was without including SS or Liquidating some physical assets we really don't care about that will further pad our nest egg. Next steps will be reducing expenses using strategies similar to those listed by daylatedollarshort and RetiredAndFree. Realistically we might be able to FIRE now but are not quite ready yet. Guessing class of 2016 or 2017. Wow, just started seriously thinking about FIRE a couple of months ago. Knowing that we can do it soon is such a comfort.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:00 PM   #410
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I am early in the FIRE preparation cycle. DW and myself have done a bunch of things this month. Found this site, introduced ourselves a couple of days ago. Put together our first detailed look at our expenses and were pleasantly surprised how we have been able to LBYM and save. Used firecalc to see where we are at and again were pleasantly surprised by a 100% success rate with the data listed. That was without including SS or Liquidating some physical assets we really don't care about that will further pad our nest egg. Next steps will be reducing expenses using strategies similar to those listed by daylatedollarshort and RetiredAndFree. Realistically we might be able to FIRE now but are not quite ready yet. Guessing class of 2016 or 2017. Wow, just started seriously thinking about FIRE a couple of months ago. Knowing that we can do it soon is such a comfort.
A big plus with cutting expenses is it may mean less retirement account drawdowns needed or longer periods of being able to live on after tax money, which can mean a low taxable income resulting in very low or zero state and federal income taxes, and maybe even refundable tax credits. Even in California. We've cut tens of thousands off our annual expenses as well as our taxes, and still live in the same house, and actually have nicer cars (just more reliable and better MPG ones).

A lot of the cuts we made were not things that really impacted our lifestyle, like raising our insurance deductibles and ditching an old energy hog plasma TV for a newer, energy efficient model and finding out the library has free passes to plays, museums and many of the local tourist attractions. We weren't as frugal as we thought we were before we started seriously considering ER, so we had a lot of unnecessary expenses to cut. So far about 100+ different expense reductions from $10 a year to a few thousand each really added up.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:30 AM   #411
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A big plus with cutting expenses is it may mean less retirement account drawdowns needed or longer periods of being able to live on after tax money, which can mean a low taxable income resulting in very low or zero state and federal income taxes, and maybe even refundable tax credits. Even in California. We've cut tens of thousands off our annual expenses as well as our taxes, and still live in the same house, and actually have nicer cars (just more reliable and better MPG ones).

A lot of the cuts we made were not things that really impacted our lifestyle, like raising our insurance deductibles and ditching an old energy hog plasma TV for a newer, energy efficient model and finding out the library has free passes to plays, museums and many of the local tourist attractions. We weren't as frugal as we thought we were before we started seriously considering ER, so we had a lot of unnecessary expenses to cut. So far about 100+ different expense reductions from $10 a year to a few thousand each really added up.
+1
And the "found" savings continue even three years later, primarily because we have the time to notice rate increases and look for ways to lessen the impact. At this point, most of the savings are used to bump up other discretionary accounts within the budget, as we have no real need to spend less on an annual basis.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:50 AM   #412
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+1
And the "found" savings continue even three years later, primarily because we have the time to notice rate increases and look for ways to lessen the impact. At this point, most of the savings are used to bump up other discretionary accounts within the budget, as we have no real need to spend less on an annual basis.
Yes, I am still amazed at how we keep finding expenses to cut. This week I finished putting foaming soap pumps on every sink that use 75% less soap than regular pumps and they work great. To fill them I either find some kind of marked down organic soap at the local outlet store or buy a 32 oz bottle of glycerine soap in bulk size at Amazon for $10 which lasts for months and months. It is so much cheaper and better for the environment than buying and throwing out disposable liquid soap containers with the pumps attached, but I just never knew there was a better way until I had more time to read sustainable living books.

I still have a very long list of action items for this year but it takes some time to implement them all. There are lots of cool gadgets on Amazon with very high ROIs - stuff we usually don't find in the local stores because they make more money on customers coming back to replace disposable items. Maybe the soap dispensers only save ~$200 a year, but 100 little ideas like that over a 50 year retirement add up to $1M less in expenses to either save or use for more fun or significant expenses like travel or charitable donations.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:21 AM   #413
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This month DW & I hit 1.3 Mill on investments.In july I turn 55 with 2 pensions waiting.We crunched the numbers and will work a couple more years,however a 3 week trip to Europe last fall has now spoiled us and put our mindset in FIRE mode
Mike
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Finally made it.
Old 04-16-2014, 03:46 PM   #414
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Finally made it.

Portfolio finally hit above the 1,000,000 today. A milestone for the day!
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:49 PM   #415
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Portfolio finally hit above the 1,000,000 today. A milestone for the day!
Indeed, congrats!
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Old 04-16-2014, 03:56 PM   #416
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Portfolio finally hit above the 1,000,000 today. A milestone for the day!
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:24 PM   #417
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In the last six weeks, I have sold a vacation home, paid off a home equity loan (for the vacation home), paid off the mortgage on my primary residence and paid off a car loan on my wife's nearly new automobile. Totally debt free for the first time in over 40 years. Feels great!! Still about three years from what I hope will be a very comfortable retirement, but could probably go now if I had to and was wiling to settle for a little less in living standard. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel !!!
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:38 AM   #418
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Portfolio finally hit above the 1,000,000 today. A milestone for the day!
Congratulations! That is my next milestone as well, hoping to hit it next year...
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:56 AM   #419
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Net worth finally crested $2M today. My wife and I are both age 49, so feel good about hitting a major milestone earlier rather than later. We'll keep working several more years then take advantage of semi-retirement by age 55. Definitely a sense of satisfaction getting to this point!
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:17 AM   #420
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Urghh.... I've been hovering around the 730 - 740K mark for a while now. I'm in the withdrawal phase, which of course isn't helping (~2.1% of current port value). I just want to get to 750K so I can feel like I've achieved a milestone! I think it will be quite a while (if ever) before I get to $1M, as I'm not adding to the portfolio any longer.

On the other hand, I'm about to make a 3rd cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal, and may venture out this afternoon after a few more hours spent in front of the computer in my pajamas

Beside, reaching milestones is for goal-oriented people
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