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Survey finds $880,000 is magic number
Old 04-11-2015, 05:05 PM   #1
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Survey finds $880,000 is magic number

Just read a Vanguard article consisting of an interview with Wes Moss, a financial advisor: The Secrets of Happy Retirees Revealed.

He's written a book on the topic, based on a survey of 1,350 retirees. Sounds like it's worth a read. Per Moss:

Quote:
"Once families reach a certain level of savings, the amount of monetary increase needed to reach higher levels of happiness slows down. For example, in order to reach a financial level where more money doesn't really buy any more happiness, families need to reach approximately $880,000 in stocks, bonds, or cash assets, such as CDs, according to my data."
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:15 PM   #2
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having 880k in nyc is very different from 880k in houston.

i live in queens , not even manhattan and i would not even have considered retiring if all i had was 880k.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:22 PM   #3
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No offense, but I'm not going to base anything in my life off of a survey of what makes others happy.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:24 PM   #4
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My data—which I had analyzed by the Georgia Institute of Technology's math department—clearly shows ….
I would not be surprised if a summer undergraduate intern in the GIT math department simply entered the data from the surveys into a spreadsheet. The analysis could be as simple as "Yep, 1350 people out of 10,001 responded."

Sorry to be cynical, but I have been around math departments.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:26 PM   #5
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In the quest to help others, anyone out there with more and looking to get the assets down to exactly &880K for optimal happiness, I volunteer to take some of the extra off your hands.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:27 PM   #6
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No offense, but I'm not going to base anything in my life off of a survey of what makes others happy.
True. Everyone's situation is different. But I think it's still interesting to get a sense of what's worked for others.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:29 PM   #7
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First think came to mind is $880k is about the price of an ok starter home in the Bay area, never mind enough to retire in high housing cost areas.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:30 PM   #8
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our medical insurance and long term care policy is costing us 17k first year in retirement.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:34 PM   #9
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Good article. Note also the emphasis on having some sort of core activities, like fitness, or heavy hobby involvement, etc.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:38 PM   #10
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These are retirees they talk about, not early retirees. So, they have SS if not pension. And then, the $880K is just investable assets, not including their home, which they most likely own already.

I have quite a bit more than $880K, but can see how a retiree with SS can live happily with that amount. My mother's investable assets are much less than that. She's not complaining.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:43 PM   #11
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I thought that was interesting too, Focus.

Another fascinating observation from the article is
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Mr. Moss: I consider a core pursuit a hobby on steroids, something you absolutely love and don't want to live without.
Core pursuits are different for everyone. They can be travel, which is a big one; physical activities such as golf, exercising, hiking; volunteering; visiting family and grandchildren; Civil War reenacting; Scottish dancing; you name it.
When I analyzed the results, it turned out that people in the happiest group had an average of almost four core pursuits. People who were in the least happy group reported an average of fewer than two core pursuits.
If you're in your forties or fifties, just remember that the happiest retirees are really busy, that they have all these important things they want to pursue.
Honestly, I don't know if I have ANY core pursuits. I love going to the gym and lifting weights, but if I couldn't do that then I'd probably go for walks or something. I love video games, but if I couldn't do that then there are plenty of other ways to happily spend one's couch potato time (read, or surf the net, or watch TV, or study Mexican Spanish, for example). And FOUR core pursuits that one wouldn't want to even LIVE without? I am the happiest person that I know, and I don't even have any. I'm just not suicidal, sorry.

Also I find the statement that "the happiest retirees are really busy", is rather puzzling and I don't agree with it either. To me, the happiest retirees are the ones who are at peace and content with life. You know, happy.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:53 PM   #12
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How many posts do you need on this forum to count as a core pursuit?
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:54 PM   #13
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These are retirees they talk about, not early retirees. So, they have SS if not pension. And then, the $880K is just investable assets, not including their home, which they most likely own already.

I have quite a bit more than $880K, but can see how a retiree with SS can live happily with that amount. My mother's investable assets are much less than that. She's not complaining.
No one in my family's history has ever had even 1/3 of that in investable assets and they've gotten by just fine.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:56 PM   #14
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Hmm, the amount of money that makes the average retiree is not the only thing one could argue with in Mr. Moss's interview.

He doesn't say who the 1,350 retirees are that he surveyed--random or his clients? Since one source (http://www.fool.com/retirement/gener...irement-s.aspx-- the chart is based on Federal Reserve data) says the average per person savings for people 55 to 64 is $103K and for 65 to 74 is $148K, that $880K (which is for a family per the story, so $440K each?) probably would make those people extremely happy.

(But really, thanks for posting this link, Focus--it was a good read and reassuring to me. Now to go out and pursue my core pursuits!)
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:56 PM   #15
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I thought that was interesting too, Focus.

Another fascinating observation from the article is Honestly, I don't know if I have ANY core pursuits. I love going to the gym and lifting weights, but if I couldn't do that then I'd probably go for walks or something. I love video games, but if I couldn't do that then there are plenty of other ways to happily spend one's couch potato time (read, or surf the net, or watch TV, or study Mexican Spanish, for example). And FOUR core pursuits that one wouldn't want to even LIVE without? I am the happiest person that I know, and I don't even have any. I'm just not suicidal, sorry.

Also I find the statement that "the happiest retirees are really busy", is rather puzzling and I don't agree with it either. To me, the happiest retirees are the ones who are at peace and content with life. You know, happy.
With almost 30,000 posts, and an admin, I can see 1 core pursuit you didn't mention, and many of us are very pleased to benefit from that core pursuit.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:57 PM   #16
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"The last thing you want to do in your first year of retirement is to have to put a new roof on the house, replace the heating and air-conditioning system, or buy a new car."

All of which we have been doing...the car is next

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Old 04-11-2015, 05:59 PM   #17
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How many posts do you need on this forum to count as a core pursuit?
I would guess once you pass 29,000 posts, the forum becomes a core pursuit.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:05 PM   #18
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How many posts do you need on this forum to count as a core pursuit?
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With almost 30,000 posts, and an admin, I can see 1 core pursuit you didn't mention, and many of us are very pleased to benefit from that core pursuit.
Thank you. But hey, if you think I can't live without the ER Forum to help fill up my couch potato time along with video games, think again! If the ER Forum vanished, then I'd just do something else. No big deal.

Do you realize that I haven't watched a movie on my television since I retired? Not even one. I could explore becoming a movie buff.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:10 PM   #19
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I would guess once you pass 29,000 posts, the forum becomes a core pursuit.
I could post 30,001 comments pertaining to various news stories, the ones at the bottom of the stories, online.

Total so far: 4. Content so far: all of them have been along the lines of "That poor person!"

I could post more extensive and possibly deeper thoughts if I tried a little. I have a lot to say about nearly everything, not just ER.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:23 PM   #20
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Do you realize that I haven't watched a movie on my television since I retired? Not even one. I could explore becoming a movie buff.

I'm the opposite, that's increasing due to my new friend the Roku (learned of them right here).

I recently rewatched for the n-th time The Hustler, after posting here about the novel in the "What have you read..." thread. Great movie, but set in Pittsburgh, not Chicago as in the book. In the book, you learn the real name of Minnesota Fats, too!

Books and film: excellent core pursuits with newfound time.
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