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Old 10-21-2014, 10:58 AM   #81
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My safe word is "zebra".

Oh... you said safe number. Guess those reading skills aren't up to par. LOL.

I think the point about whether the funds are in tax deferred accounts, or available immediately are valid. At 37 the majority of my money was in my 401k.... not really touchable without penalty and taxes.... which make it worth a lot less at that age.

For me, my "it will be fine no matter what" point came at about $800k and very small mortgage on a house that had significant equity (due to a crazy housing market, not because it's a mansion.). Knowing we could cash out the home equity and move to a lower COL area - we'd be ok. And that was with 2 minor age kids. It wasn't enough to *choose* to quit my job - because I didn't want to move and wanted more pad in my budget.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:13 AM   #82
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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.
Oh I'm not slighted because I understood your original question. The issue I have is with you feeling the need to school those who did not understand your intent by telling them that their reading comprehension skills were lacking.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:51 AM   #83
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My safe number was $2MM in investable assets. I've heard it defined as the number where one could tell people (the boss) to "scr*w you" if one wanted and not worry about how it might affect one's security.

I figured at that number, even with a long retirement, I could live in reasonable comfort. It was a number that was important to me in my career--a real motivator.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:40 PM   #84
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I think the point about whether the funds are in tax deferred accounts, or available immediately are valid. At 37 the majority of my money was in my 401k.... not really touchable without penalty and taxes.... which make it worth a lot less at that age.
I agree. In my earlier post, I mentioned $300k as my magic number, the value of the company stock in my 401k/ESOP which enabled me to leave my company in 2008 and ER. Moving that money from a tax-deferred account to my taxable account (with a relatively small tax+penalty bite) basically shifted my taxable/tax-deferred ratio from 1:2 to 2:1, making ER possible.

A key part of my ER plan while retiring at 45 nearly 6 years ago was to split it into 2 parts. The first part was getting from age 45 to age ~60 using only my taxable account money. That's the more challenging part but it is still not very difficult so far. The next part, starting from age ~60, will include what I call my "reinforcements" which are (1) unfettered access to my Rollover IRA, (2) my frozen company pension, and (3) Social Security. These 3 items, when added to the already sufficient taxable account money, will make it even easier (read: lower SWR) to cover my expenses.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:44 PM   #85
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I didn't think in terms of a "safe number" while working because I was young enough to continue working until I had enough saved. One way or another, I knew I was going to be OK. By the time I reached my early 40's, I had enough for a bare minimum standard of living and was in good health, so had plenty of time to work and increase my nest egg.

As it happened, I was laid off at the age of 45 and didn't anticipate that I wouldn't feel like going back to work. I had enough to live a modest (some would call it a college student) lifestyle with what was then a 2.5% WR. A few years later, I am still withdrawing the same dollar amount, but it now represents ~2% of the current portfolio value. I suppose that the first time I thought about a "safe" number was around the time I stopped working. My portfolio, though modest in size, is enough for me to know that one way or another, I'm going to be OK.

Oh yes - the number. Well, before the recent correction, it was standing at 760K. If we have a few more up days in the market, I might venture to take another look at the current balance
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:49 PM   #86
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My "safe" number was $1.5 M. At that point, even if my number went down by 20%, then I'd still have $1.2 M and using a 3% WR could withdraw $3k per month.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:25 PM   #87
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My safe number was 1.25 million, 1/2 of my FIRE goal of $2.5 million.

We hit that earlier this year, and it did make me feel like I had a lot more personal freedom. As long as I have some kind of full time job (even minimum wage), my assets will continue to grow, and we'll be ok. We'd have to make a lot of cut backs, but I feel less trapped in my job.

Hubby doesn't feel safe though, so he's still stressing.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:41 PM   #88
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With $500,000 FIRECalc gives you 100% success if you retire today and live off $17,000 and adjust for inflation thereafter.

If you leave the money alone for 13,years and retire at 50 you can start at $31,000 income with 100% success.


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Old 10-21-2014, 02:44 PM   #89
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With $500,000 FIRECalc gives you 100% success if you retire today and live off $17,000 and adjust for inflation thereafter.

If you leave the money alone for 13,years and retire at 50 you can start at $31,000 income with 100% success.


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That second number suggests only a 5.5% return from the first. I would have expected a little higher....


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Old 10-21-2014, 02:50 PM   #90
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It makes a difference in what part of the country you live in. For me that number would be fine. For someone on the east coast it is probably not enough.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:07 PM   #91
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I never had a "things will be safe" asset number in our planning, so I somewhat ignored the OP's premise and stated our total liquid assets necessary to live the way we want forever. That seems pretty safe to me.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:08 PM   #92
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I'm handcuffed by age.
I feel 1.2million as my signature states, but I have rental income.


My plan has always been to shoot the gap with rental income. Yeah its work, but its easy work and with no job I will have the time. (I make the time with the job now so whats the diff?)

3 paid off properties should provide just enough money for me to look poor to the government and hopefully open up oppurtuniites for the kids in terms of tuition assistance.

I'll ride the rental income wave as long as the properties are maintainable... something tells me by about 60 I might get sick of them...perhaps by 70.
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:40 PM   #93
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Once I hit 1M I started to feel like I would at least be ok. But knowing the majority of my NW would be subject to tax I didn't feel FI. Next I had the equivalent of over 1M after taxes I felt even better. Next step will be getting the AA I would prefer after I retire soon and have access to my retirement accounts. So with 85% still in equities I still don't feel "safe". But I'm getting close.
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:00 PM   #94
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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. :-)

Ok, ok. It's $2M + equity at age 53 for me & DW, give or take $0.5M. "Safe" in this context to me is a very subjective term, hence the "give or take $0.5M."
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:13 PM   #95
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2M for DW and myself. In fact, we just reached it. So I' about ready to tell my boss off.

Current Assets: 250k/401k
Beany Baby Collection (tags still on) Estimated value 1.75M
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:30 PM   #96
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Might want to play around with the FIRECalc assumptions. The $31,000 is expressed in present day spending power (will be $45,000 in 13 years).

I ran it with default settings (75% stocks).



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Old 10-21-2014, 04:34 PM   #97
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2M for DW and myself. In fact, we just reached it. So I' about ready to tell my boss off.

:-)

Youtube it!


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Old 10-21-2014, 05:31 PM   #98
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That's very different from how I think about it. I have (presumably) time to let it grow. I can have a mid life crisis, lose/quit my job, just do enough to make ends meet and that egg will likely grow, and when I need it will be enough to get by. My safe number isn't my "retire now" number, it's my "I can lose most of my earning power, and still be ok long term". Or another way I look at it is, I can reinvent myself by switching careers just because I feel like it and make almost nothing, and still be ok.
Hmm, its a complex number to calculate, so I pretty much go with my minimal FIRE number of 1.5 million, which is way beyond actuarial escape velocity...
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:42 PM   #99
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It's a tough question, as "safety" is such a personal thing. I felt like we secured our basic needs "forever" with a paid-for home and our first million. That was when we lived in a low to average COL area. But in order to secure a great quality of life for our future, we need considerably more.
That was when we felt more secure as well. I have to say that "safe" or "goal" numbers keep moving.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:13 PM   #100
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Though I said 3.7 million....

I also know one could live quite well with great medical care, safety and quality of life somewhere in small town Czech Republic with 1 million total NW and SS waiting when you get to 62.

But as I said that will lack freedom of saying now I want to live Italy or Colorado. Maybe that freedom is not worth effort
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