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Old 07-13-2014, 09:32 PM   #41
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Thank you for all the responses.

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7/2016 I will be cruising the Galapagos and than on to Machu Picchu.
Awesome!!

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it is about 10 to 0 on the wishing one left earlier vs wishing I stayed there longer.
The more I look at things, the more I see that same attitude. I talk to other 'live' people here too.

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Retirement day felt to me like skydiving
Awesome quote. I can see it will be the same for me.

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I hope with time I'll get less nervous.
That's where I am at too.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #42
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At least for me, it was just the uncertainty of it all that scared me so much. Well, that plus knowing that I probably would never find a job like the one I had again at my age.

This is what makes me really nervous. My spouse could easily find a good job again if needed I think, but it probably would be minimum wage city for me if we ended up retiring too early and needed to work later.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:10 AM   #43
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This is what makes me really nervous. My spouse could easily find a good job again if needed I think, but it probably would be minimum wage city for me if we ended up retiring too early and needed to work later.
That's where I'm at, too. There are so few high paying jobs in my field, and so many bright young scientists eager for them. I doubt I could even get a minimum wage job without lying, due to being overqualified.

But, I am very certain after five years of retirement that I will never have to work again. I have income streams from a number of different sources, and so by now I am actually as confident (or more confident?) of my income now than I was when I was working.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:29 AM   #44
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But, I am very certain after five years of retirement that I will never have to work again. I have income streams from a number of different sources, and so by now I am actually as confident (or more confident?) of my income now than I was when I was working.

That's gotta be a wonderful feeling. I noticed your other thread on the additional Social Security benefit you were able to get. Very cool. Congrats!
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:48 AM   #45
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Senator

I'm the same as you as well. Constantly reading the reports about how/how not to retire, running various scenarios to see if the money will last till I'm 100, 110 120 (pretty sure I don't want to be this old unless I'm a cyborg). Most except for low return/high variability MC simulations show we are good. But it's tough to transition to no paycheck and paying for everything (like HC) when you haven't done it before. My logical side says if there is a worse case scenario like 1929 again we are still going to be better off than 90% of the people who aren't as frugal/savers as we are...but it doesn't make it less anxious.

That said I am probably going to work about 1 more year I think since we have some renovations this year and I need to get my knee scoped and I might as well do those things while I have an income stream. Then we will see. As may have said there is a point where we all need to decide if working is worth it (it isn't for me) and if we want to have some time where we can enjoy our retirement while we are young enough and healthy enough to do so.

Best case scenario for me...work for 1 year or so and get laid off with an ok package (my company never does good ones) which would help cover another 6 months to a year...but they seem to like me too much here in spite of my attempts to be as difficult as possible
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:54 AM   #46
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Which brings me to my next point, none of the retirement calculators appear to factor in that for the first 10-20 years of retirement you will be more active and spend much more, in the later years you can still enjoy retirement but probably spend less.
i-orp.com has a "Reality Retirement Planning" option that uses the higher spending early, less spending later approach described by Ty Bernicke.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:02 PM   #47
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We finally settled on:

Minimum 95% success rate in firecalc
Enough slack in our spending plans so we could turtle up if needed
70% of what gov says we'll get for social security
6 figure vacation fund (outside of retirement savings) that could also be used to smooth out early bad market years

We're quitting at the end of this year ages 46/43, I'm both excited and terrified.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:40 PM   #48
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i-orp.com has a "Reality Retirement Planning" option that uses the higher spending early, less spending later approach described by Ty Bernicke.
firecalc also has a bernicke option as an alternative to flat spending.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:16 PM   #49
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Minimum 95% success rate in firecalc
Firecalc is one where you have to figure out your tax expenditures yourself. Do not forget about tax expenses.

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i-orp.com has a "Reality Retirement Planning" option that uses the higher spending early, less spending later approach described by Ty Bernicke.
Most planners you can introduce an extra expense, like $20K for the few 15 years for travel or anything else. Even FireCalc.


All great responses. As I get closer, I am saving and monitoring my budget. I only spend ~20% of what I make, so I can sock away quite a bit. Once I get another year from here, I will probably have a lot more confidence.

It is just incredibly different and exciting to think about. Something I have been planning on for ~40 years...
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:21 PM   #50
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I've been a chronic OMY-er and I must admit that my risk aversion is part of the problem.

If I say my "basic buy pleasant" expenses with taxes and health care is a 1, FireCalc gives me a steady SWR of approximately a 2 and a 2.6 initial withrawal for Bernicke. ORP gives me a 2.4 for steady and a 3.1 initial withdrawl using "Reality." Using the Merriman variable approach, I could take a variable initial withdrawl of 2.6.

Excess is available for extras like fancy vacations, gifts, paying for grandkids college, etc. The basic expenses covers an occasion week by a lake. If things ever got tight financially, we could cut our expenses almost in half.
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Old 07-14-2014, 02:40 PM   #51
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It's the oddest thing. All calculators say I'm way over 100%, and I've lost track of how many I've run. I'm even deep, deep into Otar's "Green Zone". Yet, here I am typing this from home because I got up this morning and said I just can't go in to work. On one hand, only have about 6 months to go, don't work Mondays (today would have been the last exception), and have every other Friday off. Even more, the work itself has become easier than ever the last few months. With all that, it's not enough, my emotional investment is just gone.

So why am I insisting on staying another 6 months? I think it's that intangible psychological aspect regarding security that's different for each one of us. Some people might say, "you're crazy to be this burned out, have made it financially, and yet still force yourself to work another 6 months." But I don't think it's that easy for any one person. Midpack's point states this perfectly to me:

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+1. I needed more than a 100% success rate to have the "confidence to retire." But there is no right answer, each of us has to make the call for ourselves. And some have contingency plans, going back to work or some other income source, while others have to rely on their nest egg alone.
Exactly, and even with 100% success, I have all sorts of contingency plans.

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...

When I retired at age 58 I believed the value of the next few years of retirement was far greater than the value of adding to my nest egg by continuing to work. Nine years into retirement I'm even more convinced of that belief. That was reinforced over the 4th of July weekend when my best friend growing up died of a heart attack at age 67. He was still working...
Yea, all online health calculators state I'll live to be about 95. They don't account for my luck, however, and with that included I'll kick the bucket the weekend before I quit working....
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:03 PM   #52
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FIRECalc is a fun program to play with, when you tweak different parameters to see the effects. Recently, when I spent the time to figure out our SS future payouts, I had even more "knobs" to tweak. Here are my results for your entertainment.

First, I entered in my stash, set the porfolio to 50% total stock, 50% long interest. Then, using the "Investigate" tab, asked FIRECalc to look for max spending for a 30 year period. Answer: X dollars/yr.

Then, entered in my wife's SS at 62. Re-investigated. Answer: 1.15X.

Next, added my SS at 70. Answer: 1.35X.

Switched "Portfolio Option" to "Mixed", and used more value stocks. Answer: 1.50X.

Switched spending model to Bernicke's. Answer: 2.19X.

But what we are spending in the last 12 months is only 0.85X. And yes, that even included recent big home repair expenses that should not happen every year.

So, what is our margin? Is it (2.19/0.85-1)X100 = 158% or just (1/0.85-1)X100 = 18%?

Or is it somewhere in between above two numbers? Remember that one of us might croak, and the corresponding SS goes away. If both croak, then it no longer matters.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:34 PM   #53
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It's the oddest thing. All calculators say I'm way over 100%, and I've lost track of how many I've run. I'm even deep, deep into Otar's "Green Zone". Yet, here I am typing this from home because I got up this morning and said I just can't go in to work. On one hand, only have about 6 months to go, don't work Mondays (today would have been the last exception), and have every other Friday off. Even more, the work itself has become easier than ever the last few months. With all that, it's not enough, my emotional investment is just gone.
While it looks like you have a very strong outlook, with your pension and SS providing a majority of your expenses, I would caution you to look at what discounting you're assuming with your rental properties. Are you assuming a net 95% occupancy, with no/minimal allowances for capital improvements, and/or tenant legal issues? Is your property concentrated to 1 or 2 buildings in the same area?

With such a large % of your portfolio tied up into real estate, it's certainly reasonable to have a healthy discount applied to it.

Having said that, given the relative numbers involved, it looks like you'll be able to have a large travel/fun budget, since your IRA withdrawal, SS and pension should be able to provide all of your necessities, with all cash flow from rental properties giving you your fun budget.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:11 PM   #54
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So why am I insisting on staying another 6 months? I think it's that intangible psychological aspect regarding security that's different for each one of us.
How sure will you be after 6 more months?
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:24 PM   #55
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I "plan" on working 6 more months also. I've been counting down for 24 months.

In my case, I think I'm really just waiting for the 20% correction to occur so I can say "WHEW - its a good thing I'm still working. I'll just wait for the market to come back up to where it was before and THEN I'll retire".

With FIRECalc I'm still at 100% even after a 20% correction. cFIRESim gives me 93% after a 20% correction.

My rationale for waiting is flawed, but I can't seem to help myself .... what I really need is a lay off so that its "out of my hands"
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:32 PM   #56
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Maybe you need to help them, by creating some reasons for them to fire you, so that you can FIRE.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:33 PM   #57
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Wow, you sound like me! I met with my Fidelity Retirement planner last Friday. Like you I upped my expenses and downplayed my income to make myself fail. Nope. He just smiled and said.....you are fine...just enjoy your life! I'm 59. So I'll quit at 62. Play more tennis, golf, and my guitars.
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:21 AM   #58
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Firecalc is one where you have to figure out your tax expenditures yourself. Do not forget about tax expenses.......
One of the biggest surprises of retirement is much lower taxes since we are currently living off taxable accounts. If I didn't do capital gain harvesting or Roth conversions my federal tax rate would be 0%. Overestimating taxes in retirement, particularly early in retirement is a common issue. You can get a reasonable idea of your taxes in retirement by taking last year's tax return, stripping out your work earnings and making other appropriate adjustments.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:24 AM   #59
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Senator, I completely understand. I am in your similar position. I analyze and plan. Then repeat x1000. I recheck...daily! Seriously

Every CALCULATOR says 100% with 2x current spending level, no SS, below average returns. Yet, my BRAIN says 90%. It is the UKNOWN that we fear. Especially if you are younger like us. Longer time horizon = greater risk.

But, I also believe in us. Meaning, if things go south, we can adjust our spending to account for unforeseen events. After all, we made it this far!

But, leaving a very high paying job to ER feels like the first time I went skydiving. . . exhilarating but scary as hell!
Long time reader of ER forums - first post here, but this is the thread that finally pulled me in. Between OP's (Senator) original question and Travelwanted's follow-up response, you've characterized my questions almost exactly. At this point, the various publicly-available tools and self-built spreadsheets tell me I'm good-to-go now...but that doesn't fully quell my fears about the "what-if" possibilities. So I continue to plan, save and obsess.

One thing that wasn't mentioned in this thread is the release of tension experienced when all the tools are telling me that I've crossed the finish line (and I start to believe them). Here's an example: I work for a Large Tech Co. that, just recently announced an optional program which would allow employees to "press the eject button" early, with a decent degree of financial compensation. Previously, events such as this would have caused me a certain amount of anxiety, due to my trying to read tea leaves behind the event (i.e. What if they don't get enough "volunteers"? Am I next?). This time, I was comfortable enough to schedule a private chat with my management chain, and started to explore details of said offer. Long story short, the balance of power has slightly shifted, and I think I've come out of said meeting with a promotion! Don't get me wrong - I love what I do and find it incredibly interesting...which is why I stay. But the freedom of knowing that I'm either very close or already there is a calming influence that is removing the stress from work situations fairly effectively. I know that, if the B.S. meter exceeds a certain level, I can just walk. Or, so the tools tell me.

Which is why I am here. Bogleheads helped to get me to where I am, now I'm looking forward to the next step. I'm trying to understand what variables and factors exist for others that may impact my planning. You know, something lurking that I may not have accounted for. And this thread was a powerful magnet. Thanks, OP.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:49 AM   #60
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I was lucky. I got pushed out and I was ready for it. Not sure how long I would have worked. I think I would have fallen victim to the OMY syndrome.

My attitude changed after early retirement. I came to the realization that I was on the 'back 40' so to speak. And of those remaining years, how many of them would be in good health so that we could really make a dent in our bucket list.

So, our lives changed after early retirement, as did our priorities-financial and otherwise. Some of the change is good, some neutral. But we are making the very best of it and doing what we want to do. Gaining a few years of 'doing what we wanted to do' far exceeded the cost of going back to work for a few more years. The surprise...our health/well being and our finances have improved since retirement.
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