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Old 06-15-2011, 08:12 PM   #101
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Yup. It was a nice town to grow up in, but I don't miss it as an adult.

Nowhere to work and bar hopping is the main adult activity. I couldn't believe it when they invented a "serial killer" because they couldn't face the fact that drunk people keep falling into the river and drowning.

It wouldn't be a bad place to retire, though (although the property taxes are brutal).


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You grew up in Lax? I went to school at the U there and lived there until 1993...........
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:56 PM   #102
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I'm saving around 20-25% of gross income. Geez, I feel like maybe I spend too much money after seeing what percentages people are saving!!
I agree. 20-25% is a healthy savings rate and well above the average for the country, but amongst your peers on this board, it is decidedly unexceptional
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:11 AM   #103
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I must say that this question may leave out some things for some that might "right size" what appears to be just a moderate savings rate to one more on par with come of the big savers on this board ---
For instance, in my case I said I save about 27% (20% of gross to 401k -- 6% to SS -- and 1% to FERS pension) But from what I understand the Government pays 11.7% towards the FERS Pension (which makes sense as 0.8% would not produce much of a pension) and of course the employer contribution towards SS is another 6.2% so if I add in those numbers then 44.9% of my gross pay is applied towards one form or another of my retirement.

Course I only plan in all my calculations on see half of what SS they say I will get....
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:22 AM   #104
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I must say that this question may leave out some things for some that might "right size" what appears to be just a moderate savings rate to one more on par with come of the big savers on this board ....
U R forgetting that for a lot of the "big savers", the "extras" (not normally counted) should also be added to their stated savings rate.

While I/DW saved 33% of our combined gross salary (the maximum rate, for a decade + before retirement), we never considered any "mandatory contributions" - nor employer matches, including those to our respective 401(k).

If we were to add those items to our personal contributions, it would have inflated it to an unreasonable level. Heck, if you are still wor*ing, you don't have to contribute anything to a 401(k), IRA, or other plan. You are "automatically saving" for retirement just in SS contributions (along with your employer SS match) alone.

I could take the same idea further, and look at what I/DW will be receiving monthly in SS at our respective FRA ages (in a bit over two years from now), multiply by 12 (annual SS income), and then multiply the result by 25 (the inverse of a 4% withdrawal against a "gross amount", which you could add to your retirement "pot"). While I could, I don't. That's just more "funny math", and a "feel good factor", but you can do it - if you wish .
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:49 AM   #105
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I hear you Rescueme --- Guess I was more pointing towards the FERS pension amount that the Gov. kicks in 11.7% for ---- while most folks do get the SS match ..."most" folks now-a-days do not have a pension provided by employer in addition to SS.... the significance of that pension in retirement for me is about 33%+ of what my overall retirment income looks to be.
Kinda like a military member saying that all they are putting towards retirement is XX% into TSP, when, in fact, if they plan to stay in for twenty years then a major source of their retirement income will be from a pension that for you or I to replicate in the private sector would require perhaps a 10-30% income contribution, so if all they can contribute is, say, 20% towards TSP then they should not feel too bad as their entire retirement income will not be sourced from those savings.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:25 AM   #106
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I assume my social security benefit will be zero and do not count it in my savings rate. I'll be financially ready to retire long before I am eligibile for social security, and it's extremely unlikely what exists when I am eligibile will be worthwhile.

I do count a significant employer match on my 401k, because I considered it as part of my compensation package when taking the job.

I did not count equity being put in my home. The cost of capital is present as long as I live here. Whether it is money I pay towards interest, or opportunity cost for my own wealth, the difference is minor.
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Old 06-16-2011, 10:48 AM   #107
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I assume my social security benefit will be zero and do not count it in my savings rate. I'll be financially ready to retire long before I am eligibile for social security, and it's extremely unlikely what exists when I am eligibile will be worthwhile.
Status: FIREd with a little less than 10 years until I turn 62...I will have zero earned income from age 48 to age 62 to dilute whatever benefit comes my way. So far the dilution is minor, according to my last 4 SS statements.
Same here for not counting on SS at the level printed on my last statement, but I do not assume my SS will be zero. It will be something, but it is a variable that I have no control over (not a political statement).
I do have control over my post FIRE savings rate. I max that out as I am able after COL expenses are paid.
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:36 AM   #108
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We maximize the legal limit for 401k and IRAs and employees add another 8% ($.50 for every dollar) for me and 6% ($.50 on the dollar) for DH. I have 26 years to retire (aiming for 60) and DH is 40 years old and might work until 65. We enjoy our jobs and don't see the rush to retire early. We enjoy our free time traveling to different places and seeing family as well.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:31 PM   #109
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Counting 401k match as both income and savings:

Retirement Savings: ~20% gross

Controllable Net Worth Increase (Retirement, Paying down loans, taxable savings for emergency fund): ~33-37% gross

I'm satisfied with it.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:19 AM   #110
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I just did the calculations and I was surprised to find that DW and I are socking away about 48% of our net income. That's about 38% in monthly savings which are taken directly from the checking account, and 10% in other miscellaneous savings which I've added up since the start of the year.

Impressive as it sounds. that 48% has only just compensated for various portfolio losses this year, due to /a/ 3-4% drop in the indices where I'm invested and /b/ another 3-4% increase in the value of the Euro. Every time I read that the Greek or Irish or Portuguese situation is going to cause the Euro to collapse, I click the little accompanying chart and find out that, compared to the USD or GBP, it's up yet again.

(Of course, if I compare to 12 months ago as opposed to 6, I'm nicely up. Anyone can find an unrepresentative part of a graph and zoom in on it. But of course, the most recent period tends to be the one we focus on.)

An additional 9% is going to pay for the kids in college; in theory that will start to become available in a year or two, so 50% should be achievable soon. That said, DW is an easy touch and I suspect that some chunk of that money will continue to keep DS and DD off the streets - employment prospects for graduates in the UK and the rest of Europe are not looking great right now.

The best thing about doing this calculation is that it has provided me with a rough and ready check on our outgoings, which I had previously been overestimating (basically, by not including the 10% of ad hoc savings). In fact by putting that new, lower number into FIREcalc... I can almost pull the trigger tomorrow. The worry for me is how much we will have to support our kids. They are good students on solid courses, but they don't seem to have much understanding of how many hundreds of applications you need to make just to get an interview these days, and as I mentioned above, the "cold shower" approach will likely not work because DW is (from my perspective) too much of a mother hen to them.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:06 PM   #111
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25-30% gross (Roth IRA + 457b), not including my defined benefits plan

Reading the rest of the responses has been very inspiring/motivating! Should be done paying off the house in ~7 years, and will push up savings to 60-70% at that time. Currently 27YO, so hopefully still on track for DH to retire at 40 and for me to retire at 50.
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