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Old 09-22-2008, 02:14 PM   #21
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I assume your numbers include your mortgage. Your retirement date essentially depends on the standard of lifestyle you want. If you retire at 57 and sell your house and move into a less expensive house without a mortgage would you be able to live at the standard you want?
The numbers assume no mortgage. I plan to sell the house I live in now, move somewhere less expensive, and pay in full for my next house. The numbers above are for the "heat & eat" plan, with most of projected Social Security income left out of the equation to provide an ample cushion for the niceties of life. So yes, unless I have made a drastically wrong assumption or misplaced a decimal point somewhere, this should allow an acceptable living standard, except in the case of an "all bets are off" event.

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Run the numbers, you should be fine at either age with some living adjustments. I would keep some money in the bank for emergencies so it might not be wise to deplete savings all the way.

I've run them on FIRECalc and an online Monte Carlo simulator. Have folks here used another method to get some additional reassurance? I'm a bit of a Nervous Nellie about this as you have probably guessed by now.

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I intend to use 85 for my age limit as I have a pension.

I have used 100 for life expectancy because I come from a long-lived family. Both parents and my mother's two sisters are still living in their mid-80's, and maternal grandmother lived to 84. For me anyway, using a life expectancy in the mid 80's is cutting it way too close for comfort. I'd rather be provided for until 100 and only live to be 90 or 95, than the other way around. Of course, if I did plan only to the mid-80's, maybe I'd worry myself into an early grave with concerns about what to do if I outlive my money. Problem solved!

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Itís a good bet your expenses will be covered by your pension, SS, and Medicare afterward no matter what the stability of the financial world. If the government collapses then all bets are off but so would be any benefits from working longer
Please explain more about how you see this. I keep hearing statements (on the news etc) like "if we don't do something, Social Security will be in the red by 2040", or "in 20XX the commitments of Medicare will exceed the entire projected tax revenue of the country", or "by 20XX there will be only two people paying into Social Security for each retiree drawing benefits". I assume the longer I live, the less likely SS, Medicare and so on, will provide as much as they do now.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:53 PM   #22
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I am making an assumption that from 85 onward your entertainment costs would be minimal but health costs may eat up your pension and then some. Medicare and Medicaid should cover you for health issues.

Your pension, SS, and house equity after 85 should cover your basic wants and plenty more.

My grandfather is 90 and still lives in a house by himself. His needs are minimal...a newspaper, crossword puzzle, TV, a place to walk, food, a few other small things, but he has no desire for anything expensive at this point of life. He has no wish to redecorate, drive anywhere...etc.

At old age the only issues that become predominant are food, medical care, shelter, and comfort.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:30 PM   #23
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I am making an assumption that from 85 onward your entertainment costs would be minimal but health costs may eat up your pension and then some. Medicare and Medicaid should cover you for health issues.
Medicaid? Not unless you are impoverished, virtually all assets included. Still plenty of out-of-pocket expense even at that point, alas.
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When is it safe to retire?
Old 09-22-2008, 03:50 PM   #24
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When is it safe to retire?

Retirement, like life, is never completely safe. All we can do is do a reasonable balance of risk against our perceived value of retirement. There are many ways to do this.

One popular on the forum is to live or <3% of assets with COLA'd pensions and/or annuities so that FIRECalc shows a 100% SWR.

Another is to go out real early expecting to live on market gains that allow a 10% SWR over the course of their life expectancy.

It really becomes a personal decision. How lucky do you feel? How disappointed will you become watching your assets melt away so that you have to cut back your lifestyle?
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:54 PM   #25
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Retirement, like life, is never completely safe. All we can do is do a reasonable balance of risk against our perceived value of retirement. There are many ways to do this.

One popular on the forum is to live or <3% of assets with COLA'd pensions and/or annuities so that FIRECalc shows a 100% SWR.

Another is to go out real early expecting to live on market gains that allow a 10% SWR over the course of their life expectancy.
Another may be to take up skydiving and start smoking and drinking very heavily in order to reduce the chance of outliving your money...
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:28 PM   #26
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Another may be to take up skydiving and start smoking and drinking very heavily in order to reduce the chance of outliving your money...
My plan exactly and, if I do outlive my money, I am going to confess to an unsolved Federal crime and spend my last days behind bars with 3 meals/day, free medical and a cot.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:02 PM   #27
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Hmmm - the left handed version of Bernstein's 80%:

I had this fairly detailed plan to retire early August 2006 at 63. I was canned/layed off Jan 1993 at 49.

Early in the stretch my mind shifted from unemployed to ER. Mastering the quasi formal science of 'cheap bastard' also springs to mind. And I semi seriously came up with a new plan and adjusted it in the stretch.

heh heh heh - handgrenade wise if you are close(from playing with calculators) the rest is sort of a belly button thing. BTW - I spent 19 yrs near Mt Saint Helens plus Y camp, several Boy Scouts and picknicking with family - left the State in Christmas 69. . Plan hard but stay loose. .
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:31 PM   #28
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You are correct that my pension is my biggest retirement asset. The pension system is AFAIK operated by the City, and I don't know what happens if it goes bust, whether it is covered by PBCG or not. That's one reason I wanted to leave SS out of the equation. I want to be pretty conservative in my assumptions but I thought it safe to assume that at least one out of the two (pension & SS) will perform as advertised, and plan to have enough to get by with just one of my main income sources.
Many cities are facing difficulties to pay for pensions. It's hoped that your city has sufficient funds for its pension and has the ability, if needed, to raise property taxes without any major opposition from property owners. Good luck.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:43 PM   #29
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My plan exactly and, if I do outlive my money, I am going to confess to an unsolved Federal crime and spend my last days behind bars with 3 meals/day, free medical and a cot.
Oh, now THERE's an ambition. I think I'd rather show up at a Mission or homeless shelter than do that.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:43 PM   #30
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Another may be to take up skydiving and start smoking and drinking very heavily in order to reduce the chance of outliving your money...
That's funny.
Here is another one: become a monk and live a peaceful life.
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