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Old 08-15-2010, 09:33 AM   #21
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I get it. But actually, it would be a lot more reassuring if there were more posts from folks 20-30 years out, who could add some perspective to the $ aspect of retirement. There have been a few, but they are very rare. Although, those folks lived through some good times investment wise, I'd be surprised if we see that ahead of us. Witha ll due respect, the folks that post in response to those who are reluctant to take the step saying 'I retired 6 years/months ago and it's wonderful, you'll love it' aren't that convincing IMO...
I do understand where you are coming from but can only observe there are no guarantees in life, especially when you are asking to see examples of portfolio survivability/happiness three to four decades in the future.

Once again, everyone is not cut out for early retirement. It might be in your best interest to put thoughts of pulling the plug on the back burner, at least for the time being. No reason to wallow in uncertainty and indecision when the safest, sleep-well-at-night option is a simple "keep doing what I'm doing".

I suspect peace of mind is one of the prime reasons most of us seek/sought to FIRE - no reason to contemplate retiring early if you don't think it will do the same for you.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:09 AM   #22
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My post was somewhat rambling and unclear. But not worried about what I'd do all do. It's that I can't convince myself that we're 'pretty sure we have enough money' 30-45 years from now. That's why the frequent comments in other strings here from (mostly) relatively recent retirees are puzzling to me. Of course it's peachy at first...
Retiring early without a strong cola pension is a bit like a married person considering an affair. The downside isn't subtle at all, so the up-side had better be pretty appealing or why not forget it?

Ha
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:41 AM   #23
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I get it. But actually, it would be a lot more reassuring if there were more posts from folks 20-30 years out, who could add some perspective to the $ aspect of retirement.
But their experience would be totally irrelevant to your situation because people who retired 20-30 years ago enjoyed one of the strongest secular bull markets in history during the early years of their retirement.

No one knows the future. Retirement requires a leap of faith and if you are not ready to leap, step away from the ledge. No one is trying to push you over the edge.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:13 PM   #24
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Big losses in the market leading to an overall shortage of cash and/or health care costs spiraling completely out of control.
I'm 56, DW is 54. We're about 40X (where FI is arguably 25-33X) now. If I was 5 years older, I'd consider SS and Medicare close enough, at 56 it looks a long way off. We have no pension or retiree health care of any kind..
Midpack,
You and I are the same age. The 10 years to SS is a lot easier on the minds-eye than 30 anyway.
I do have a pension (non-cola) and it definitely gave me the cajones to pull the plug. I can see not having it would have made my decision a much harder one to make.
Just take your time and jump when ready
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:34 PM   #25
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From my experience most of the people that are retired 30 years and more are women . The average age of widowhood is 52 and just from this board we have quite a few examples . That fact alone if I was a guy would make me run to retirement .
YES! It's bleak for guys! Life just isn't fair!

Being a guy in addition to not trusting that I have enough of the longevity genes that some of my aunts and uncles have, I worry quite a bit about working to my 60s, and then having to retire because of an illness, then to go home to wait to die. Have seen plenty of that too.

Now, back to expenses in your late retirement years, I have posted before about my mother who lives alone as a widow. She owns a modern and comfortable 1,700 sqft home, and a decent car. She pays for all her food bills, utilities and supplemental Medicare on an income of perhaps $25K. I know because I prepare her taxes.

Her expenses are higher than the income, because she has her own stash to spend down. Hence, I do not know exactly how much her cost of living is, but I doubt that it is even an additional $10K. She doesn't really need anything, and I have learned that she even tried to keep up with one of my sisters-in-law jewelry purchases.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:53 PM   #26
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This thread got me thinking about:
If we as a group (retirement minded people) had not saved or earned a pension to retire, we would have ended up working until 65 with SS the only thing in our future. We may have been eating Alpo at some point. So the thought occurred, why do we worry so much about anything over 20/30 years. We would have been dumpster divers and Alpo eaters anyway at some point. I figure if it gets that bad I'll probably have dementia or something and want even care.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:32 PM   #27
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Heck, if one has dementia, one might think Alpo tastes good.

Wait a minute! Does anyone here know if Alpo tastes good even if one does not have dementia?
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:20 PM   #28
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Heck, if one has dementia, one might think Alpo tastes good.

Wait a minute! Does anyone here know if Alpo tastes good even if one does not have dementia?
You know at the Alpo point of life you could always comment a small time, no harm to anyone crime.
End up in jail and get 3 hots and a cot.
Sounds like a plan to me
Never spent a single night in jail but if I get hungry enough it might work out.
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:55 PM   #29
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Alpo is tolerable, but I say go for something more substantial, like Beneful. Stay away from Fancy Feast cat food though. At those prices, might as well pay for human food!

I'm probably putting too much thought into this, but our local SPCA gets so much dog and cat food donated to them, that they often have to give or even throw a lot of it away. So, if you're too destitute in those later years, might be something to think about!
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:56 PM   #30
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I'm 56, DW is 54. We're about 40X (where FI is argubly 25-33X) now. If I was 5 years older, I'd consider SS and Medicare close enough, at 56 it looks a long way off. We have no pension or retiree health care of any kind.
I would say at some point along the way that you consider a SPIA. I would not do it now due to your age and interest rates. However, because you seem confident in the next 20 to 25 yrs, maybe sometime in your 60's purchase your long term security blanket.
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:59 PM   #31
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Alpo is tolerable, but I say go for something more substantial, like Beneful. Stay away from Fancy Feast cat food though. At those prices, might as well pay for human food!

I'm probably putting too much thought into this, but our local SPCA gets so much dog and cat food donated to them, that they often have to give or even throw a lot of it away. So, if you're too destitute in those later years, might be something to think about!
That sounds good. I could volunteer to help out with the animals and get free food.
Beats the hell out of jail.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:40 PM   #32
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You know at the Alpo point of life you could always commit a small time, no harm to anyone crime.
End up in jail and get 3 hots and a cot.
Sounds like a plan to me
Never spent a single night in jail but if I get hungry enough it might work out.
Steve
I might think about that, but only if I can get my own cell.

I can't stand being proposed to by a cell mate.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #33
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I might think about that, but only if I can get my own cell.

I can't stand being proposed to by a cell mate.
You won't have to worry about any proposals - it'll be a common law marriage.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:13 PM   #34
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You won't have to worry about any proposals - it'll be a common law marriage.
Consumated by morning you think?
I may need to rethink this plan a little.
The take care of animals and free alpo is beginning to sound better all the time.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:54 PM   #35
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Alpo is tolerable, but I say go for something more substantial, like Beneful. Stay away from Fancy Feast cat food though. At those prices, might as well pay for human food! !
Yeah, that Beneful smells pretty darn good! Heated up over rice I'm sure it would be both tastier and more nutritious than a lot of what I ate in college.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:34 AM   #36
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Midpack,

I am in the exact same situation as you but a couple years younger. I have a good salary, stable w*rk... but have grown to dislike my j*b and feel it is time to go.


What I read in your post... financial jitters. I suspect if the economy was doing better, your concern would subside. The market indirection and all of the fear mongering going on in the media is disconcerting.

My major concern is maintaining our standard of living. Stepping away from my current earning power will take some confidence. The other positive aspects of w*rk are not a factor to me... the negative outweighs it. Plus, it is time to turn the page. Thankfully, I can do that.

My target FIRE date is next year. I am hoping the economy looks better by then. It will make taking the first step much easier... even though I know that long-term risk is still there.

It may look different to me next year...

But, when I take stock in our situation. We are in great financial shape with no debt, health insurance, own our home, good health...

Yet, there is still uncertainty.

Here we sit today... bounced a bit off the market bottom of the biggest fear since 1929. Could it get worse... yes... is it likely to do so...IMO - probably not... or at least not a lot worse.

I figure if I got DW and I through that situation ok... I can manage ER.

One of my most important tasks is managing risk related to our assets. I have enough fixed assets to cover current expenses till we are both 70. Of course, we intend to spend more than our current yearly expenses. That doesn't include our pension (at 55) and DW SS at 62. If I include those, we way above that amount. However, we intend to spend at a higher level to do some traveling and other activities.


The other important financial task will be managing a budget. Since we have earned way more than we spend... we have never tracked the spending very closely. However, we are careful with our money.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:34 AM   #37
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Being in an entirely different situation (and mindset) that Midpack, my advice and perspective are probably not applicable...
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