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View Poll Results: The FIREcalc success rate of my actual/planned FIRE financial plan is:
100% 55 45.08%
95% - 99% 48 39.34%
90% - 94% 8 6.56%
85% - 89% 3 2.46%
80% - 84% 5 4.10%
75% - 80% 0 0%
70% - 74% 0 0%
< 70% 3 2.46%
Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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What's your FIREcalc success rate?
Old 07-06-2007, 04:42 PM   #1
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What's your FIREcalc success rate?

If you've already reached FIRE, what did FIREcalc say about the success rate of your plan?

Or if you haven't FIREd yet, to what FIREcalc success rate is your plan targeted?

Edited to add: Forgot to mention that my current FIRE target hits a 93% success rate on FIREcalc.
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:07 PM   #2
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My original FIREcalc success rate was 100% but that was using what I considered to be "average" needs and with 25% of my yearly $$$'s assigned to variable unforseen expenses ....but then I re-ran the program lowering my allocation to equities and increasing the amount that I could use each year and I got a 95% result.....so my vote was 95%.
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Old 07-06-2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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I've run numerous scenarios. Success rate for the current plan is 100%. I am retiring at year's end. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:31 PM   #4
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If my plans would stop changing....

And if my goals would stop changing....

And if my dreams would stop changing....

Maybe I could tell you!

And I used to only accept 100. Now I'm going with 89 point something.

I'm retiring anyway. Working the plan after the fact.

FireCalc is mostly supporting every changed plan, goal and dream, so I'm thinking I must have rigged it that way.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:15 PM   #5
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Retired last year at 48. Never tried FireCalc, but I am living comfortably on 72t
withdrawals (funded by dividends) plus dividends on my after-tax pile, totaling
about 3% of my nearly 100% stock allocation.

I do not use Firecalc because I plan to live on dividends, not on a fixed initial
amount plus inflation adjustments. Since my "budget" is at least 50-60% travel
and entertainment, it would be easy to adjust down if needed. However, I think
the chance of the stocks I rely on lowering their dividends (PG, JNJ, KIM,
VNO, WRE, etc) is slim.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:17 PM   #6
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My current plan (ER in 5 years) will be about 3% withdrawal rate, before SS starts a few years later. When SS kicks in, even less.

That's why I bought an iPhone.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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Despite a success rate of 100% indicated by FIRE, I have not ERed. I am waiting for 4 years until my youngest daughter enters college.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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I started out at 90% but then read Bernstein's five-part "Calculator from Hell" series and stopped worrying about it.

Since then it's risen to 100%.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:33 PM   #9
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My SWR is 3.4%. Where did I read that anything over 80% is sufficient (suggestion being that there is an ~20% chance of total meltdown ie Germany in 30's UK in 40's, Japan in 90's)
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:49 AM   #10
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80% is fine if you dont think we'll see something like the great depression or the stagflation 64-75 period ever strike again.
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
80% is fine if you dont think we'll see something like the great depression or the stagflation 64-75 period ever strike again.
Plus, FIRECalc is only a basic projection... 80% can turn to 100% if one does common sense adjustments (like reduce spending) if prolonged problems occur. The key to this is whether or not one has a bare-bones retirement income planned or plenty of discretionary spending allocated. Discretionary spending can be a buffer that allows for adjustments without putting one in a bad way (i.e., compromising your basic day-to-day needs)
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Plus, FIRECalc is only a basic projection... 80% can turn to 100% if one does common sense adjustments (like reduce spending) if prolonged problems occur. The key to this is whether or not one has a bare-bones retirement income planned or plenty of discretionary spending allocated. Discretionary spending can be a buffer that allows for adjustments without putting one in a bad way (i.e., compromising your basic day-to-day needs)
Yep. Me too. My spending varied widely the last 13 years. Right now 100% FireCalc but I'm switching to 5% of portfolio(variable) because I think the variation can be managed.

We'll see.

heh heh heh
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:17 AM   #13
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a 100% success rate pays 100% of my budget for the lifestyle i had while working plus an additional 12.5% for travel i didn't do while working. two years into it & i've yet to spend all of that additional 12.5%.

a 90% success rate brings travel up to about 25% of current budget.

changing lifestyle into a vagabond's life of travel mostly, at least early-on, to developing countries? priceless & percentage worry free.

i'm voting 90% which should produce a more than adequate budget for the next few years of domestic living/travel but then 110% in about 3 to 5 years when i expect to start travel overseas, even if firecalc says that only lets me withdraw $0.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
My SWR is 3.4%. Where did I read that anything over 80% is sufficient (suggestion being that there is an ~20% chance of total meltdown ie Germany in 30's UK in 40's, Japan in 90's)
That would be the "Calculator From Hell" reference in the post immediately prior to yours...

Here, maybe it's been too long since I linked these. A couple of them summarize earlier articles but the context is better when they're read sequentially:
The Retirement Calculator From Hell - Part I
The Retirement Calculator From Hell - Part II
The Retirement Calculator from Hell, Part III, including the quote "Thus, any estimate of long-term financial success greater than about 80% is meaningless."
Retirement Calculator from Hell, Part IV
The Retirement Calculator from Hell, Part V
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:50 PM   #15
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Thanks Nords. I knew I'd read the article in the past so I didn't follow the link.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:33 PM   #16
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FIREcalc shows 100% for me but I'm waiting a couple of years to RE with Health Bennies. However, seeing that 100% figure helps the days at work go by easier.

The Megacorp I work for is changing hands again soon with another merger so there is a lot of concern again around the coffee pot, and the pub on a Friday afternoon. Most folks in their 50's and even 60's are simply nowhere near ready to RE and are amazed that I plan to RE at 55 and have been preparing and planning for this in some detail this last few years.
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:55 AM   #17
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Thanks for the link to those articles, Nords. I recall reading something like that a few years back but I had forgotten the details.

It's interesting that such a high percentage of folks who responded to the poll implemented or are planning to implement a theoretical 100% success rate plan (and yeah, I know it's just theoretical). I wonder how much of that is due to specific targeting using one of these calculators versus just saving/investing and then finding out down the road that you've got more than you need for a theoretical 100% success rate.

My plans may change in the future, but I figure anything over 90% works for me, with some cushion built into the annual income, of course.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:10 AM   #18
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It's too bad FIRECalc does not report success rate greater than 100%. But if it did, there would be people shooting for that too.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:51 AM   #19
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It sort of does...if you're at 100% you can have it look for a higher withdrawal rate to suit the overage.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:55 AM   #20
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It sort of does...if you're at 100% you can have it look for a higher withdrawal rate to suit the overage.
You mean "lower" withdrawal rate? Something like: I got 100% success rate at 4%, 3.5%, 2%, and also 1%, right?
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