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Old 10-21-2014, 08:39 AM   #61
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In hindsight, I guess I didn't ask the question in a way everyone understood. For those that "got it", congrats on your reading comprehension skills. So let me try this differently - Maybe a safe number (or Coasting number, which I agree could be a better term) should be in the format of number@age. Also, to clarify - this number was a number in which you are "over the hump", and you know that even if life turns sideways on you, you'll have a little something, you will not starve. You might live in a tent hunting and fishing till the day you die, but you will always have a nice tent, a nice pole, and ammunition. You have your basic needs met for life, not your "lifestyle choices". For those that said multiple millions for this number, I pray my question was unclear for you, otherwise I will pray for you, and I'm an atheist. :-)
Dallas;It seems as though you are looking for confirmation that your $500,000 at this point in your journey is a good indicator that you be fine regardless of what happens. I don't think most folks think that they are at the "we'll be fine regardless stage" that early in the wealth accumulation stage. I think you received several answers of around 1M that you are choosing to interpret as still not answering your original question. But in fact to those folks 1m is way too little to retire on, but a good indicator that you will get there. I would concur with that 1M. When we reached 1M we felt we would be OK regardless. We knew we could withstand job loss/recession/depression/illness and come out the other end of that dark tunnel, not financially ruined. I would not have felt secure with only 500,000.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:42 AM   #62
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Oh and being snarky about reading comprehension of forum members won't win you any great favor.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:44 AM   #63
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Maybe 1 million at 50 of investable assets. But living in nice tent is is restrictive (my wife hates tents). It may be more fun to go to work then deal with her while living in a tent.

While 3 million (mentioned by several people) gives one freedom of living half a year here, half a year there. Freedom to eat good quality food. Freedom to spend 2 months in Amsterdam or Lisbon. Freedom to enjoy 30 dollar bottle of wine.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:57 AM   #64
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Oh and being snarky about reading comprehension of forum members won't win you any great favor.
Ya, so I was saying congrats because they comprehended my poorly stated question, meant as a compliment to them and self-deprecating my writing skills.

edit: FWIW - reading comprehension is one of the skills I look for, most employees sorely lack this. I find it ridiculous when degreed workers neither read nor follow a instruction manual. I think it's a valuable skill. Especially when reading a lot of things that are now so-so translations from Germany, India, China. You really have to pay attention.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:01 AM   #65
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Maybe a safe number (or Coasting number, which I agree could be a better term) should be in the format of number@age.
That still depends way too much on your living expenses, and consequently on the country and area you live in.

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I think you received several answers of around 1M that you are choosing to interpret as still not answering your original question. But in fact to those folks 1m is way too little to retire on, but a good indicator that you will get there. I would concur with that 1M. When we reached 1M we felt we would be OK regardless. We knew we could withstand job loss/recession/depression/illness and come out the other end of that dark tunnel, not financially ruined. I would not have felt secure with only 500,000.
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Oh and being snarky about reading comprehension of forum members won't win you any great favor.
+2
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:29 AM   #66
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There is research to suggest that 500k is the number needed to retire happy.

So, it seems like as good a number as any to call a "safe" number.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:34 AM   #67
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Ya, so I was saying congrats because they comprehended my poorly stated question, meant as a compliment to them and self-deprecating my writing skills.

edit: FWIW - reading comprehension is one of the skills I look for, most employees sorely lack this. I find it ridiculous when degreed workers neither read nor follow a instruction manual. I think it's a valuable skill. Especially when reading a lot of things that are now so-so translations from Germany, India, China. You really have to pay attention.
BTW with 1 million you could probably live in quite nice tent .

http://www.tregib.co.uk/images/wfy%20int%201.jpg
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:39 AM   #68
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As I mentioned, as people get older and accumulate more and advance their lifestyle, they are accustomed to more luxuries that are now taken for granted. Yes, the hedonic threadmill is real. And people often forget what the basic necessities are. It is a lot less than what they are consuming now.

I have often half-jokingly talked about living in an RV, boondocking in the state of New Mexico and living like many RV bloggers I have read. It does sound like fun living, and healthy too, no matter what one's net worth is. Surely, you can do that with $500K, and that's a lot more than what some of these people have. I have yet to try that for a few months, to really experience it (sans DW as she would not join me ). And the comfort is way better than what a tent provides.

I think the stash for basic survival probably goes down to near zero for countries with a more generous welfare policy. They probably cringe at the thought of saving up $500K just for basic survival.

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BTW with 1 million you could probably live in quite nice tent .

http://www.tregib.co.uk/images/wfy%20int%201.jpg
Sure, it's roomier than my motorhome, but where's the running water? Where's the toilet?
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:45 AM   #69
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Oh, an important thing about living in an RV out on state land in New Mexico is that it is only for people who no longer work or want to work. There's no job. But of course it is also hard to find a job near places you can pitch a tent.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:48 AM   #70
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I don't see why a generic safe number in itself is meaningful without knowing age, expenses, family size, cost of living, other income streams, etc.

There is a huge difference between having $500K at 30, living in New York, no pension and very little SS credits built up with 2 kids to put through college yet or having $500K at age 55 with no kids, two pensions and two maximum SS benefits in the near future, living in Arkansas and 25 years less of lifespan to fund than a 30 year old.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:51 AM   #71
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R - 25, L - 19, R - 32

Not much in it though.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:56 AM   #72
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What's your address?

PS. I have a small fire safe to keep important documents in. The combination is posted right on the door.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:58 AM   #73
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I calculate my safe number as being a portfolio where a 2% yield covers essential living expenses over and above SS.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:08 AM   #74
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Maybe critical mass is what your after?
The concept of critical mass
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:13 AM   #75
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R - 25, L - 19, R - 32

Not much in it though.
Best answer so far.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:30 AM   #76
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Asteroid impact, ebola, zombie uprising. There is no safe number.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:35 AM   #77
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Asteroid impact, ebola, zombie uprising. There is no safe number.

+1
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:36 AM   #78
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Ya, so I was saying congrats because they comprehended my poorly stated question, meant as a compliment to them and self-deprecating my writing skills.

edit: FWIW - reading comprehension is one of the skills I look for, most employees sorely lack this. I find it ridiculous when degreed workers neither read nor follow a instruction manual. I think it's a valuable skill. Especially when reading a lot of things that are now so-so translations from Germany, India, China. You really have to pay attention.
Yes you were complementing those who understood your question, and implying that those who did not understand did not possess the skill you feel is so important.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:43 AM   #79
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Yes you were complementing those who understood your question, and implying that those who did not understand did not possess the skill you feel is so important.
It's unfortunate you feel slighted, but you have no right to state what my internal intent or meaning was. I'm far from perfect, and will continue to be. Let's move on.
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:44 AM   #80
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Asteroid impact, ebola, zombie uprising. There is no safe number.
Excuse me!

In another thread, the topic of "worst case scenarios" was brought up, but I did not elaborate, so might as well do it here.

It is impossible to prepare for global worst cases. We would all go to h*ll together, so there's company. What I worry about is if I go hungry, while my neighbors are still eating steaks. I want to be sure that while they are drinking Dom Perignon, I can at least have a Bud every so often. That is different than stock piling ammos for zombie elimination, bunkers for asteroid protection, etc...

What humans perceive as physical hardship or pleasure is relative. In the old days when even royalties suffered from the heat, we did not have A/C failure listed as a major catastrophe. Now, an iPhone running out of power is considered an emergency.

Back to RV boondocking under the clear blue sky of New Mexico: no peer pressure for materialistic things, no shopping malls, no movie theaters , no restaurants, no anything. That's where one can find solace, when one's means becomes limited. Or maybe for multimillionaires too!
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