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Old 03-21-2012, 02:07 PM   #21
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I let job quality make my decision for me. I hit FI in 2004 at 46, but work (programming) was very smooth and easy at that time, so I continued to work to build up a buffer. 2 years later, the work environment suddenly went way downhill, so I was able to retire with significantly more than I thought was needed.

I could not really have planned this in advance - 2 extra years in my final environment would have been toxic.
This is exactly the "freedom" we've been bantering in a few posts recently...being FI allows you the option to leave whenever you like. Well done!
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:09 PM   #22
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Funny, this is almost exactly what have done for my ER budget. I have budgeted for a 10% extra margin of safety on our core expenses. Then assumed all child related expenses continue indefinitely.
One of the things we did was set a number, then added $100k to it. Why? We think that during the year we FIRE, we'll want to buy a new car, put hardwood floors in the bedroom, re-stain our privacy fence, take an extra-special vacation, and have a huge party.

I told DW that if we save that extra $100k, we can do all those things and still have "our number" left over.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #23
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I think this is a very personal decision and we will each take a slightly different approach.

I stopped working in 2005 at the age of 50 and I am very glad that I did. I had various contingency funds and cushions set aside and I still had some lingering doubts. I finally realized that for me the true buffer was my entire portfolio. If things work out I will leave behind about the same amount that I went into retirement with. If things don't work out as planned it will be less but, most likely far from zero. So the folks in my will are really going to be the ones that will be impacted. I wish them the best of luck, that's about all I had when I started.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:37 PM   #24
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If things work out I will leave behind about the same amount that I went into retirement with. If things don't work out as planned it will be less but, most likely far from zero.
Is this "not spending enough" problem something you could work on and improve?
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:58 PM   #25
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Is this "not spending enough" problem something you could work on and improve?
What would I spend it on?

I have a new car and the Doctor says walk you need the exercise.

I stopped smoking and drinking.

The list of things I am not supposed to eat is longer than the list of things I can eat.

Before you know it I will be like Diogenes and toss away my cup.

I guess I already have enough, no need to buy more until I finish this batch.
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:07 PM   #26
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That forecasted surplus is doing a good job of buying you a worry free retirement then.......

But "poorgeezer?" How about "securegeezer?"

BTW, welcome to the board!
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:02 AM   #27
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I agree with this. And this is why I plan to continue to w*rk a few hours a weeks after I FIRE this year (my own buffers then will be to maintain a SWR < 4, keep my savings in CDs and bonds, and w*rk a few part time hours).
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Right now "one more year" still makes a significant difference, but at some point we'll have a larger portfolio with fewer years to make it last and more money -- then "one more year" will make relatively little difference
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