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Old 06-16-2015, 05:43 PM   #61
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but since we lived on just 20% or so of the net
That is a good example of freedom is low overhead, or in your case at least low overhead relative to your household income.
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:11 PM   #62
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if you already have enough saved, and you really want to retiree .............. then the answer to the original question is that you just do it
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:59 AM   #63
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This is completely in line with our approach/thoughts. Our combined income our last decade in the work force was closer to seven figures than six, but since we lived on just 20% or so of the net, with the other 80% being directed into savings/investments, it was not the hugh stumbling block some might think when making the decision to FIRE. We never lived a closer-to-seven-figure-than-six lifestyle, so there were no lifestyle adjustments when we pulled the plug. Hence, at the end of the day the size of the paychecks simply wasn't relevant, other than getting us to FIRE much more quickly than we might have otherwise. That we continue to appreciate!
I understand your point and agree to a degree. In our case we saved a lot during our last 10 years as well. Maybe around 80%. But this was represented by equity based incentive comp/low cost employee loans. Since this aspect of my comp was around 2/3 of total comp, it wasn't much of a challenge to save for retirement. During the last 10 years of working my employers stock increased about 5-6 times. So although we certainly LBYM'd for this period, we generally spent the cash component of my comp.

In our case, spending in retirement was more a function of how much we ended up with, rather than a bottom up expense plan(although I certainly had that as well). Retirement happened when I simply really didn't enjoy the work any more. As I mentioned before, this took about 3 years to effect. Good thing because just after retirement in 2006 we got the financial crises. In the end things worked out fine but resources were certainly reduced from the peak. Our spending in retirement has been more than when we were working but generally only represents pension and divs. I know this is not a common position to be in and how how lucky we are (as is the OP).

So my advice to OP would be stick it out as long as you can(within reason) because being quite young, your optimal spending level in retirement could be quite different than you might think at this point. A flexible retirement spending plan is desirable, and working longer (within reason) can enhance this flexibility.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:17 AM   #64
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This is completely in line with our approach/thoughts. Our combined income our last decade in the work force was closer to seven figures than six, but since we lived on just 20% or so of the net, with the other 80% being directed into savings/investments, it was not the hugh stumbling block some might think when making the decision to FIRE. We never lived a closer-to-seven-figure-than-six lifestyle, so there were no lifestyle adjustments when we pulled the plug. Hence, at the end of the day the size of the paychecks simply wasn't relevant, other than getting us to FIRE much more quickly than we might have otherwise. That we continue to appreciate!
That was DH's and my story, but a lot closer to six figures than seven! When we married, I was 50 and still working; DH was 65 so he retired and started collecting SS. We'd moved for my career, to a LCOL area, and he was in advertising- not a great place to job-hunt at age 65.

We saved most of his SS and a healthy % of my income, with good employer matching contributions. I had planned to work till age 65 but walked out at age 61 last year when I couldn't stand the political BS. According to some pretty reasonable projections, we'd have had over $1 million more if I'd worked 4 more years but I'm pretty sure that all of it would have gone to my heirs. DH and I just don't spend it that fast.

For us, a high-paying job was just a ticket to earlier freedom.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:58 PM   #65
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DW and I were making more than ever in the final years. The key was to focus on 2 things:
1) How many years do we have left to live?
and
2) Can we manage to maintain our lifestyle?

Initially I had to manage the portfolio by investing in momentum stocks. This took a lot of time and I got quite good at it. (This was in 2002, just after the 2000 meltdown.)

Then my broker retired and I decided it would be too hard to break in another broker. So I abandoned momentum investing in favour of value investing using a discount brokerage. That lasted for another four years and then it was on to dividend investing. We still held some old momentum stocks and were very happy when Apple introduced its dividend! We had held it since 2001 as a momentum stock.

Then we decided to buy a snowbird place and our annual costs declined by 40% by spending 6 months there (in PV). Now we can ease off and enjoy life.

(And to bring it back to topic, we were only spending 30% of what we were earning when we retired. Leaving was hard but the answer to question 1) dictated doing it when we did.)
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Old 06-18-2015, 03:28 PM   #66
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I haven't read this entire thread but when you watch good friends die before the age of 50 of cancer and heart disease, what money means changes... or it did for me anyway.

My attitude toward work and money has changed a lot since joining this forum and my approach right now is that I am going to retire this year (at age 54) and do everything I can to make our money last.

Worst case scenario, I tap my contacts and go back to work, probably part time to bridge the gap. I have an in-demand skill and a lot of contacts so not worried about finding something if I had to... knock on wood.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:31 AM   #67
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We're similar ages and situation in which we make good money. We live frugally -- we're minimalists by heart, and 75% of our expenses are covered by dividends generated from after-tax investment accounts. Technically, after accounting for passive income, we need less than 5% of our gross work income to cover remaining living expenses, so it would be relatively easy to retire right now.

I've come to the simple conclusion that I'll continue to work, as long as I find it stimulating, and if I don't, then I will leave. I don't believe that you should choose early retirement for the sake of early retirement or stay working because you can get more money (once you cross over the FI point). You should leave when there is something better to do with your time.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:34 AM   #68
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I've come to the simple conclusion that I'll continue to work, as long as I find it stimulating, and if I don't, then I will leave. I don't believe that you should choose early retirement for the sake of early retirement or stay working because you can get more money (once you cross over the FI point). You should leave when there is something better to do with your time.
Agreed - but this is a ER forum. The mantra is to leave work and start enjoying life once FI is reached as life is too short and there's always something better to do than working.
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Old 06-21-2015, 02:45 PM   #69
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It is amazing how those of us retired wonder what it was about work that had us fooled!

We thought we liked the challenge, only to discover that that was a myth.
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Old 06-21-2015, 03:03 PM   #70
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It is amazing how those of us retired wonder what it was about work that had us fooled!

We thought we liked the challenge, only to discover that that was a myth.
Whoa! Ixnay on the ythmay talk.

No need to depress our still-at-w*rk members...
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:42 AM   #71
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Now my challenges take a lot more thinking before I take them on. Mainly how can I get this done with the minimum effort!
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:54 PM   #72
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If you enjoy what you do, there is no need to retire - unless you want to do something else. Many folks want to travel more, but feel that they can't because of w*rk responsibilities. If this is actually true, then restructuring your w*rk life is in order so that you can travel more without quitting. This may mean you train a 2nd in command, delegate more, etc.... Some high-earners won't let go of the control that an overfull w*rk plate represents. Unfortunately, letting go will happen - the question is whether that will occur voluntarily (on your own terms) or involuntarily (health).
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:57 PM   #73
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The only thing that holds us back from travelling more is our 17 yo cat who acts like a kitten. His brother died 2 years ago under suspicious circumstances. But enjoying what you do is all relative!

I used to enjoy building stuff like an addition to our house. Or solving a complex business problem that eluded others. Now I find that stuff too much like w*rk. Sure it was satisfying but that too is elusive. Soon you need another fix and on it goes.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:41 AM   #74
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The only thing that holds us back from travelling more is our 17 yo cat who acts like a kitten. His brother died 2 years ago under suspicious circumstances. But enjoying what you do is all relative!

I used to enjoy building stuff like an addition to our house. Or solving a complex business problem that eluded others. Now I find that stuff too much like w*rk. Sure it was satisfying but that too is elusive. Soon you need another fix and on it goes.
Agree that what you enjoy can change over time. The secret I think is to ensure you enjoy something and do a lot of that. I don't like doing anything that feels like work now. Even volunteering sometimes feels like work.
I did enjoy working when I was in my 40's but once I hit my 50's and became FI things changed. I changed not them.
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:48 AM   #75
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Even volunteering sometimes feels like work.
Yes every volunteer organization seems to need and extreme makeover. As a result, I tend to keep my involvement to a minimum, mostly money.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:57 AM   #76
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I was in a public service career that paid well for me - I was finally a manager and upped my income by $20k by taking the position. I should say - as a librarian, it was good pay and great pay when compared to other city jobs. I had saved in my 457 but decided to buy some "air time" (time I did not actually work) of 4 years and then 2008 happened and what I had remaining was pretty much gone. So I worked 3 more years to bank some cash in that account and to achieve my highest rate of pay. I only needed one year of that pay to have my pension amount to calculate. I could have stayed, I could have stayed and been promoted to the City Librarian position BUT the politics wore me out, having a nasty, back stabbing manager wore me out and I ended up hating my day to day. My mom had died 6 months prior and I just decided - THAT's IT! I'm a person with diabetes and I just looked at my life and said, ok, this is enough money for me. (Luckily I have paid medical for life or I could not have done it). NEVER regretted my decision to retire at 54
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:15 PM   #77
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I don't believe that you should choose early retirement for the sake of early retirement


that's what it's all about (not the hokey pokey)
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