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The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-03-2006, 10:35 AM   #1
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The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

I think these pictures are worth far more than a thousand words in the eternal debate on whether or not it's FIRE time:
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-03-2006, 11:06 AM   #2
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

It is hard to know if you ever have enough given there are so many uncertainties. Kipliber has an interesting article on estimating the amount that you will need for retirement. It says that only 17% of non-governemnt retirees will receive pensions but shows an example of estimating the amount of nest egg that you will need that includes a pension income.*


How Much is Enough?

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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-03-2006, 11:40 AM   #3
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

More bad news for defined pension plans:

Global Action on Aging
"...found that 1 in 10 defined pension plans has now been frozen."

SHRMOnline
"...out of 627 defined benefit plan sponsors, 113 had at least one frozen or terminated plan or had announced plans to freeze or terminate a plan as of April 2006, compared with 71 in 2004."

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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-03-2006, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

But the point is that if you keep adjusting your expectations upward when you get more money, you will never feel that you have enough.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 08:09 AM   #5
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Nords has hit it right on the head for me.* If I run FIRECalc (the most conservative of the calculators I've found), I can withdraw almost as much as my current "take home" with a 95% success prediction.* When I start thinking about medical insurance I pause.* That would drive my cost of living up about $15,000 per year.* With that, I'd be squeezed up against my "minimal" cost of living target.* All discretionary activities would have to be "free."

Waiting two years covers the medical gap.

Right now my plan is to take extra time off over my "earned" vacation time with unpaid time off.* *Unfortunately, DW is still "trapped" getting her parents stuff in order.* She's stressed beyond belief and we can't get away for a weekend without an emergency phone call.* I am embarrassed to admit I have 9 days of accumulated vacation time.

My retirement funding is a split between personal savings and SS -- no significant pension due to job changes and company shutdowns.* There isn't much of a margin for error if the stock market tanks which also invades my psyche.

I have been trained from birth to work.* No one ever talked about retirement.* You did that when your health failed or the mill shutdown.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

If you want to retire because there are some things you want to spend a lot more time on, or you have something else you really want to do, that can settle the "now or later" debate.

If you really have no idea what you'll do with yourself once you retire, it's easy to keep working, it's easy to keep accumulating because there is a lot of security in accumulating, in a regular paycheck, in all those benefits.

Audrey
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
If you want to retire because there are some things you want to spend a lot more time on, or you have something else you really want to do, that can settle the "now or later" debate.

If you really have no idea what you'll do with yourself once you retire, it's easy to keep working, it's easy to keep accumulating because there is a lot of security in accumulating, in a regular paycheck, in all those benefits.

Audrey
So true. DW and I would be safely above the poverty level for a family of four even after the heath care. We have, unfortunately, found ourselves tied to the area due to her parents conditions. I have pointed out to her that my parents had the decency of dying before they became an issue. She doesn't appreciate that very much. What I would like to do involves extended traveling and that won't work until the parent / in law situation stabilizes.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 12:17 PM   #8
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Great cartoon and sums up the dilemma many of us face.

In calculating "do I have enough" I have to check what SS I should expect to receive and I'd just like confirmation of what DW will expect. I downloaded the estimator from the SS website and if I stopped work at 52 (6 months time) I should get SS of about $2K/mo at 66 and 2 months. DW is entitled to $750/mo based on her earnings history. We are the same age but will she get $750/mo or $1K/mo?

The SS website appears to indicate the higher figure. If that is the case then combined SS of $3K/mo is better than I had been planning on. Can anyone confirm this?
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 12:23 PM   #9
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Quote:
Can anyone confirm this?
your DW should get the greater of her own ss, or 50% of yours.* that said, i'd suggest you consider that you're looking at numbers 14 years out ... and given the state of the ss system, there just might be a few changes before they send you your first checks.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 12:32 PM   #10
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

D,

Thanks for the quick reply, much appreciated. I share your concerns about SS benefits but have faith that they will not totally erode in my lifetime, but I still have other sources of income to compensate (hopefully).

When calculating sources of income - company pension, SS, nest egg returns, everything is subject to estimates and doubt, but at some point I am going to need the confidence that enough of my irons in the fire will get hot enough to keep us warm during our retirement years
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 01:46 PM   #11
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan
Great cartoon and sums up the dilemma many of us face.

In calculating "do I have enough" I have to check what SS I should expect to receive and I'd just like confirmation of what DW will expect. I downloaded the estimator from the SS website and if I stopped work at 52 (6 months time) I should get SS of about $2K/mo at 66 and 2 months. DW is entitled to $750/mo based on her earnings history. We are the same age but will she get $750/mo or $1K/mo?

The SS website appears to indicate the higher figure. If that is the case then combined SS of $3K/mo is better than I had been planning on. Can anyone confirm this?
Another scenario to consider is having your wife start drawing at 62, then switch to the higher spousal benefit when you file for your benefits at full retirement age. She won't collect the full $1K/mo when she switches to spousal benefit, but you may find this works better for you depending on life expectancies and assumed returns on your investments.

Also, at your age, the various studies I've reviewed indicate you may take a 10-15% haircut on your benefits due to Social Security "fixes".
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 01:49 PM   #12
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

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faith that they will not totally erode in my lifetime
i sure wouldn't count on 100%!* either directly or indirectly, it would likely be wise to employ a healthy "discount".
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 02:53 PM   #13
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

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Originally Posted by tiredofwork
Also, at your age, the various studies I've reviewed indicate you may take a 10-15% haircut on your benefits due to Social Security "fixes".
I think may be I would be better advised to not count DW's SS at all which should cover the government cutting benefits by up to 30%, and if they don't then I'll have a nice bonus.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 03:08 PM   #14
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

i wouldnt worry about ss running out of money.being federal it can be funded at anytime by the sale of bonds...]
i dont believe retirees will have any taxes increased ,the baby boomer group is 1/3 the entire voting population.i cant imagine any politacal group telling them they are cutting their ss or raising their tax brackets.

i do think working america will get hammered,i see social security taxes being raised big time,i see medicare taxes becoming rediculious ,maybe some increases in sales tax etc.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 03:17 PM   #15
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Quote:
i cant imagine any politacal group telling them they are cutting their ss or raising their tax brackets.
i would expect at a minimum that "cost of living" increases will be modified, and that s.s. will be fully taxed.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 03:39 PM   #16
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107
i wouldnt worry about ss running out of money.being federal it can be funded at anytime by the sale of bonds...]
i dont believe retirees will have any taxes increased ,the baby boomer group is 1/3 the entire voting population.i cant imagine any politacal group telling them they are cutting their ss or raising their tax brackets.

i do think working america will get hammered,i see social security taxes being raised big time,i see medicare taxes becoming rediculious ,maybe some increases in sales tax etc.
I disagree. As the top of the boomer wave progresses through retirement, I expect several things to happen including any or all of a second income level for taxation of 100% of SS, means testing of Medicare, loss of pension breaks in States that keep senior citizen taxes low, loss of property tax breaks in some states, loss of senior discounts, partitioning of health insurance costs into risk groups, loss of Roth gains exemption for seniors above a certain income, diet colas for SS and cola-ed pensions, etc. The government will try to hold on to as much of the tax base as possible. So far I haven't seen this large number of boomers as contiguous or united. In essence I won't be surprised to see the government try to equalize the disposable income of all lower and middle class Americans. If you saved and your neighbor of the same age didn't, expect to share.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

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If you saved and your neighbor of the same age didn't, expect to share.
i expect so.
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 04:53 PM   #18
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

just the opposite seems to be happening.each year the tax brackets are extended upward increasing the 15% and 25% tax brackets higher and higher by about 3,000 bucks.its been doing so for quite a long time now.at this rate you can earn 100,000 bucks or so and still be in the 15 % bracket in a bunch more years
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 05:03 PM   #19
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107
just the opposite seems to be happening.each year the tax brackets are extended upward increasing the 15% and 25% tax brackets higher and higher by about 3,000 bucks.its been doing so for quite a long time now.at this rate you can earn 100,000 bucks or so and still be in the 15 % bracket in a bunch more years
.... but you may still have someone prepared, and with ability, to come along like a Margaret Thatcher and deliver strong medicine such as a nationwide sales tax of 17.5% where there was none before .....
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates
Old 09-04-2006, 06:13 PM   #20
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Re: The "Do I Have Enough?" and "Should I Quit Now?" debates

Quote:
at this rate you can earn 100,000 bucks or so and still be in the 15 % bracket in a bunch more years
... at which time that will be worth how much?
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