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The toll so far - 3 extra years of work.
Old 10-09-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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The toll so far - 3 extra years of work.

When I wrote my "Hi, I am" post just 2 long, long, long months ago, my portfolio was down just a little - maybe 2% or so. I had been closing in on FIRE, which could have been a few months away. Now my portfolio is down much more: 15% or so. Of course, most of you share this pain, or worse.

I just ran some numbers to calculate how long I would have to work to make up for this drop. I don't mean saving enough to compensate (that's almost impossible at this point in my life), but a combination of savings, better pension numbers and a few less years of withdrawal. It came to 3 years of extra work (and rising) to maintain the same spending levels.

I do have substantial cash-equivalent savings that could sustain me for a decade or two. In 3 years the markets may substantially recover, but of course we could be in for a longer, harder road too.

It's futile to think about what might have been, but I do feel a bit of irony that I had recently moved from an almost absurdly defensive position (due to pre-tenure uncertainties) to a much more balanced position, right on the eve of this brutal market. My rationale for doing so was the newly-enhanced security of my job. Now the latter is quite welcome.

I had the ability to take risk, I had the willingness to do so, but I lacked the obvious need to do so. I don't suppose the third is a deal-breaker, and one could argue that I wasn't in a position to withstand 30-40 years of inflation without being in the game. But my old ways had worked for me. Alas, they would have continued to work very well for me for an extra 6-12 months!

I could still retire early, but a few more years seems in the cards at the moment. I had been struggling to come to this conclusion anyway, and so maybe this difficult period will make that choice a bit easier. It did seem a bit absurd to toss aside the privileges of tenure so soon after winning that battle. And who knows, everything could turn around soon, too!

Cheers.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:03 PM   #2
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And here comes the last hour of trading. Bend over.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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And here comes the last hour of trading. Bend over.
Good call. The Dow had been benignly down all day and it has now plunged 280 points...
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:07 PM   #4
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Good call. The Dow had been benignly down all day and it has now plunged 280 points...
It's about as good a call as proclaiming that the sun will set in the west tonight.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:11 PM   #5
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It's about as good a call as proclaiming that the sun will set in the west tonight.
Yep... The DOW is now back to July 2003 levels... Sorry Grep, it looks like you (and I) just delayed ER by a few more months today...
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:25 PM   #6
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Fall of 2008, when every day feels like capitulation day!
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:30 PM   #7
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It's about as good a call as proclaiming that the sun will set in the west tonight.
Well, we can keep that from happening. Sell puts on the sun setting in the west and it'll surely set in the east. You're the all-powerful Ziggy after all.
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:32 PM   #8
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Well, we can keep that from happening. Sell puts on the sun setting in the west and it'll surely set in the east. You're the all-powerful Ziggy after all.
Good point. And stop calling me Shirley.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:19 PM   #9
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... Make that 4 years.
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