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Old 04-14-2015, 04:48 PM   #61
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In my experience, until you hit 50MM, the magic number for most people is about twice what you have.
This sounds familiar--DW was frustrated at the string of "5 more years" until we can retire. After 4 years in a row of that, she was shocked to hear: Probably 2017. Additional margins of error, Wade Pfau, etc.

Told her that if she'd promise to die before 90, we could have quit by now.

OH and to answer the question by OP--our "magic number" is, depending upon the year, about 10 times our present gross income.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:54 PM   #62
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Our magic number is for DW and I to die no later than 85 years of age. She gave it some thought and asked me if I could go earlier so she could stay later. Can I run this scenario in Firecalc?
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:22 PM   #63
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Surely you can. FIRECalc has provisions for that.

Let's say you are spending $30K/year for toys and plan to leave this world at 85, under the tab "Other Income/Spending" you can enter "Off chart spending reduction" of $30K the year you get to 85.

FIRECalc will then tell your DW how much she has left for herself.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:33 PM   #64
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Surely you can. FIRECalc has provisions for that.

Let's say you are spending $30K/year for toys and plan to leave this world at 85, under the tab "Other Income/Spending" you can enter "Off chart spending reduction" of $30K the year you get to 85.

FIRECalc will then tell your DW how much she has left for herself.
Thanks, I'll give it a try!
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:49 PM   #65
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So my magic number was an odd one. To semi-retire I had one number which based solely on dividends from my non-retirement money, I wanted to make minimum wage .. its an odd number to look at but something made it easier in my head..ie if I never get out of bed today, I'll still make more than the person working at McDonalds and that's just from taking the dividend..ie don't have sell anything and don't have to touch my 401k or IRA. I have $1.2M invested and my boyfriend still works (he is the opposite of me financially, so needs to catch up especially with SS since we likely won't ever marry). To fully retire, I told him 5 years ( I just retired in Feb), that would give my nest egg time to grow to my minimum $1.6M comfort level but like everyone else I'd prefer to be at $2.1M as then I wouldn't have to nag him about staying in budget.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #66
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My magic number was the monthly income amount I could live with and still enjoy my life. Also, making sure my contract still paid retiree medical. As soon as I hit that, I retired. Luckily it's a COLA'd pension and figuring 30 years out, it will have been over a few million in worth. Of course, that is not cash in hand but it's money in the bank every month.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #67
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$2.5M, though I expect that point to be where I completely don't stress about my work, rather than not working at all, but we'll see...
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:17 PM   #68
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^ agreed - when we get to 2.5M in cash/investments/k money, the chute may get a tug


problem is, I'm not sure how close I am to the number - I guess I need to spend some time in excel


(hey my wife just got an inheritance and I'm not sure exactly how much she got, it's still getting settled)
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:59 PM   #69
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My number is "8", as in number of years until I can retire with a full pension . Until then I could retire, but only with a number that probably isn't enough (I'm only at 500k).

When 2023 hits I may have enough, but then I will get a $40k+/year pension and go from not enough to way more than I need. What's the opposite of a cliff? Breaking through the wall?
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Old 04-16-2015, 07:28 PM   #70
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My magic number was the monthly income amount I could live with and still enjoy my life. Also, making sure my contract still paid retiree medical. As soon as I hit that, I retired. Luckily it's a COLA'd pension and figuring 30 years out, it will have been over a few million in worth. Of course, that is not cash in hand but it's money in the bank every month.

That is the way I did it and it certainly is a lot easier method to come up with the number. I beat a few of my friends to retirement but they will make it in 2-3 years and none of them will have a $1000 in the bank. But it wont matter because their pension is all they need and they will be just fine.


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Old 04-16-2015, 10:48 PM   #71
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Rather than calculating an absolute dollar value, I think there's a better way to determine when you can retire. I will retire when my average yearly passive income (averaged over the past 5 years) > yearly expenses + 25%.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:23 PM   #72
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It's getting a little fuzzy now . This has been asked before, so this time I went back and pulled some old spreadsheets. It looks like my original target was 1.5m and to have zero debt, when I was in my early 50's. At the time when I hit that number, I was getting much bigger raises and making more money than I ever thought I would. Anyway, I needed to stay with mega corp until I was 55, to get full retirement benefits. I ended up working about 7 or 8 more years after I hit my original target. I wish I had those years back (along with the extra money of course)
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:50 PM   #73
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my target number is 4.5m, current nw is hovering around 4.1 or 4.2m.
our situation is slightly unique, i have no pension or heathcare when i pull the plug, which should be within the next year if the stars align, & it looks like they will.
1.1m in 401k & ira's, the rest is tied up in numerous rental properties.
we plan to live mostly on the rental income & my wife's small ss income (she is older than me) until i can start taking distributions from the 401k & ira.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:24 AM   #74
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That is the way I did it and it certainly is a lot easier method to come up with the number. I beat a few of my friends to retirement but they will make it in 2-3 years and none of them will have a $1000 in the bank. But it wont matter because their pension is all they need and they will be just fine.
They must be all government workers, right?
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:42 AM   #75
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They must be all government workers, right?

Yes, in education. You contribute 14.5% and school matches 14.5%. After 30 years your take home pay matches your work take home pay, so minimal retirement savings in theory is needed (no social security). However the key is working for a higher paying district as two teachers both working 30 years could range from a pension near $30k to close to 100k.


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Old 04-28-2015, 06:21 AM   #76
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I have several "magic" numbers for my wife and I:
50: the age we want to be retired no later than (both currently 48 and on track).
0: the amount of debt we want to have (currently 0 and no new debt will be created).
33: the multiplication factor of our investable assets (taxable and deferred) to our projected retirement expenses (currently at 26 with 2 years to go, no pension or SS included).
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:43 AM   #77
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33x annual expenses, to keep WR under 3%.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:10 PM   #78
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My safe number was 1.4 mil when I first seriously thought about retirement a couple of years ago (age 49), which included a padding of approx. 33% loss if we had another 50% S&P 500 drop (using a 60/40 port). In other words my worst-case number was to have enough to be able to drop to around 1 mil with approx. $36k per year expenses.

Now I'm retired at 51, am way over safe number and haven't even started WDs yet, might not be until sometime next year since we're living off of severance, savings and wife's PT work for now.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:00 PM   #79
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My number was 600K in my retirement accounts, plus a non-cola'd pension. I will have SS starting at some point down the line, I'm not sure when that will be. I'm not eligible for 2.5 years at the earliest.

I took my first WD this year of 3.88%. My retirement accounts have increased to 683K.

I think it's interesting to hear everyone talk about their millions in the bank, and I wonder if these are the same folks who claim to be in the 10 or 15% tax bracket?
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:09 PM   #80
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I think it's interesting to hear everyone talk about their millions in the bank, and I wonder if these are the same folks who claim to be in the 10 or 15% tax bracket?
Actually it is quite possible to have millions in the bank and be in the 10 or 15% tax bracket. Keep in mind what is taxed. It's not your assets, it is your income! Just because you have millions doesn't mean that you are incurring large cap gains or even significant dividend income. Plus, if you have significant itemized deductions that income can come down even more.
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