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Old 02-03-2013, 06:25 PM   #41
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I support this idea.
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post

Since the OP is often a new member, I wonder if it would be helpful to include some guidelines and a disclaimer in the FAQ section. What do the mods think?
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I think these "what would you do?" threads would be more useful if they began with a qualification, such as "please provide the rationale for your answer" or "please share the data to support your recommendation". Otherwise it is a confusing mix of advice and anecdote, often based on circumstances, preferences and concerns that the OP may not share.

Since the OP is often a new member, I wonder if it would be helpful to include some guidelines and a disclaimer in the FAQ section. What do the mods think?

As always, free advice on the Internet is worth what you pay for it and should be aken with an educated grain of salt.
The community rules are already pretty clear. http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ork&page=rules

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Do your own due diligence!

People who are professionals in a variety of fields post on this forum and share their general knowledge. Many of them are brilliant. Some are doofi.

Information obtained from professionals (or from anyone for that matter) who are participants in this forum should be not be relied on when making important life decisions. Their posts are not intended to be professional advice. Their posts may not be accurate, applicable or complete for your own unique situation.
Knowing how to ask a question is just as important as being able to sift through the responses to find the nuggets. I think forum members do a good job of helping people find the right questions and then offer gems, along with the other stuff.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:24 AM   #43
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Agreed. I will try to expand a bit on my answers in the future, providing some additional context since I may be an outlier in this forum.
Should be helpful for all concerned. BTW, how much more does a non-equity portfolio require? Since most of us aren't taking that approach, we don't really know. I estimated 140-160% compared to a 75:25 AA, but if the current low interest/bond yield environment persists (see Japan), I would think the premium would be even greater than the estimate I came up with using FIRECALC and past market history. But you'd have to have better estimates than most of us...thanks.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:32 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I think these "what would you do?" threads would be more useful if they began with a qualification, such as "please provide the rationale for your answer" or "please share the data to support your recommendation". Otherwise it is a confusing mix of advice and anecdote, often based on circumstances, preferences and concerns that the OP may not share.

Since the OP is often a new member, I wonder if it would be helpful to include some guidelines and a disclaimer in the FAQ section. What do the mods think?

As always, free advice on the Internet is worth what you pay for it and should be aken with an educated grain of salt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Knowing how to ask a question is just as important as being able to sift through the responses to find the nuggets. I think forum members do a good job of helping people find the right questions and then offer gems, along with the other stuff.
I always thought it might be very helpful if members were asked to simply provide their (target or actual) AA (ie, equity:bonds:cash) and whether they're (mostly) FIRE or SIRE, or maybe % FIRE as part of their signature (example below). Many of us have published this info time and time again (often in great detail), but newbies aren't likely to know. That way readers could easily distinguish between applicable posts (and therefore answers) and other. Of course I realize making this happen is probably remote at best. I won't hold my breath...
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:30 AM   #45
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there is something very important missing from this discussion i think ,unless i missed it..

the biggest question is what rate is obgyn looking to draw ?

that is the determining factor.
Exactly. I am at less than 2% WR, and firecalc shows 100% success from 0% to 100% stock allocation. This is without using pension/SS.

A 100% success @ 40% allocation reduces SWR to 3.62%, 95% success it's 3.85% SWR. YMMV, it really depends on what you need.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:49 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I think these "what would you do?" threads would be more useful if they began with a qualification, such as "please provide the rationale for your answer" or "please share the data to support your recommendation". Otherwise it is a confusing mix of advice and anecdote, often based on circumstances, preferences and concerns that the OP may not share.

Since the OP is often a new member, I wonder if it would be helpful to include some guidelines and a disclaimer in the FAQ section. What do the mods think?
I'm not a mod of course, so JMHO: I think something along this line is a good idea. In some other forums I frequent, they have a "How to get your questions answered." style FAQ entry, and there is a link to it in the 'Welcome' message when they sign up. It covers things like Meadbh mentioned, plus using a suitable title (not "Help!", but maybe "Rent/Buy Home Decision?")

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Knowing how to ask a question is just as important as being able to sift through the responses to find the nuggets. I think forum members do a good job of helping people find the right questions and then offer gems, along with the other stuff.
Very true, but a newbie may not know how to phrase the question. They may be unaware of the significance of a COLA vs non-COLA pension for example. Often, they get 10 responses before anyone asks. I think some guidelines like that would be helpful.

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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I always thought it might be very helpful if members were asked to simply provide their (target or actual) AA (ie, equity:bonds:cash) and whether they're (mostly) FIRE or SIRE, or maybe % FIRE as part of their signature (example below). Many of us have published this info time and time again (often in great detail), but newbies aren't likely to know. That way readers could easily distinguish between applicable posts (and therefore answers) and other. Of course I realize making this happen is probably remote at best. I won't hold my breath...
I think that's a pretty good idea. I've avoided a sig since I sort of dislike throwing something up there every time, regardless of its relevance, and taking up vertical space (not a comment against those who use them, just my personal preference). But that info would provide a good reference. Kind of like the location in the sidebar - when talking about weather/seasonal related things, kind of nice to glance and know the general whereabouts of the poster.

-ERD50


Hmmm, any chance we could add that to the sidebar like location? Then it usually would not take up any room at all.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:54 AM   #47
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I'm not a mod of course, so JMHO: I think something along this line is a good idea. In some other forums I frequent, they have a "How to get your questions answered." style FAQ entry, and there is a link to it in the 'Welcome' message when they sign up. It covers things like Meadbh mentioned, plus using a suitable title (not "Help!", but maybe "Rent/Buy Home Decision?")



Very true, but a newbie may not know how to phrase the question. They may be unaware of the significance of a COLA vs non-COLA pension for example. Often, they get 10 responses before anyone asks. I think some guidelines like that would be helpful.



I think that's a pretty good idea. I've avoided a sig since I sort of dislike throwing something up there every time, regardless of its relevance, and taking up vertical space (not a comment against those who use them, just my personal preference). But that info would provide a good reference. Kind of like the location in the sidebar - when talking about weather/seasonal related things, kind of nice to glance and know the general whereabouts of the poster.

-ERD50


Hmmm, any chance we could add that to the sidebar like location? Then it usually would not take up any room at all.
The bogleheads forum has a guide for asking portfolio questions. Maybe posters could use this as a template until/unless ER-org develops one of our own.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:22 AM   #48
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To answer the OP's original question, my asset allocation is 70% bonds, including a TIPS fund/30% stocks + REITS. Theoretically, the 30% is supposed to be evenly split, but based on the historical data I was able to find while thinking about my AA, it doesn't make much difference to the end result unless one of the components goes below 5% of the total portfolio. All of this money is in tax-advantaged accounts, more in tax-deferred than in Roth. I will use it to supplement a partially-COLA'd defined benefit pension and, when I become eligible, Social Security.

I chose this AA to keep portfolio volatility at a level I can tolerate, and I think it is well toward the conservative end of the AA spectrum. I think I came at the question from the other end than many do. Rather than assuming a safe withdrawal rate, I chose a level of volatility I can cope with; from that, decide on the proportion of stocks and bonds; from that, estimate a likely portfolio return based on the historic data; from that, and from my actual expenses, calculate the amount of savings needed to generate the income I'll need to supplement my pension for whatever duration of retirement I assume (I went up to age 100). When I have that much saved, I can retire. I didn't want my retirement success to depend upon having an AA high enough in stocks that it would keep me awake at night--and the frequently-mentioned 4% WR would do that, especially since I plan to retire before age 60, so I may well be retired longer than the 30 years assumed by that 4%.

There is an old thread called Asset Allocation Tutorial. As a newbie to managing my own investments, I found it very helpful towork through the exercises in this thread and got lots of helpful answers to my questions. Hey mods, what about making that thread a sticky in this forum?
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:02 AM   #49
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I changed my signature as suggested. Feedback would be appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I always thought it might be very helpful if members were asked to simply provide their (target or actual) AA (ie, equity:bonds:cash) and whether they're (mostly) FIRE or SIRE, or maybe % FIRE as part of their signature (example below). Many of us have published this info time and time again (often in great detail), but newbies aren't likely to know. That way readers could easily distinguish between applicable posts (and therefore answers) and other. Of course I realize making this happen is probably remote at best. I won't hold my breath...
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:18 AM   #50
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I changed my signature as suggested. Feedback would be appreciated.
Very informative, Oby.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:57 AM   #51
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One thing I've learned from this forum is that there are many variables in retirement planning. A person really needs to sit down and establish priorities, take a look at their whole financial picture and establish a plan. Particular elements can be debated at great length. Asset allocation, when to take SS, annuities and estate considerations all come to mind. There is no one size fits all solution. And don't forget good fortune (luck) also plays a role.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:24 AM   #52
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And don't forget good fortune (luck) also plays a role.
Just to point out: (I agree with everything you said but... ) Fortune is a two-way street. And may (most likely) have the most important (if not THE only) role. What is it said about making the gods laugh?

(YOLO)
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:49 AM   #53
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What is it said about making the gods laugh?
I don't know about laughing (I'll have to look that one up) but, paraphrasing Stephen Hawking, Not only do the gods play dice with the universe, they sometimes confuse us by throwing them where they can't be seen.

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Old 02-06-2013, 09:52 AM   #54
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There are many versions with the (supposedly from) Woody Allen quote being the most commonly used:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”

Yes, Hawking, as usual, is spot on.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #55
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Likewise with God/gods playing dice with the universe, beginning with Einstein's (again, paraphrased):

God does not play dice with the universe.

thru Pratchett & Gaiman's:

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

Hawking also concluded (on another occasion):

So God does play dice with the universe. All the evidence points to him being an inveterate gambler, who throws the dice on every possible occasion.

...and many many more.

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