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View Poll Results: Why did you decide to retire when you did?
FIRECalc said I was barely able 3 4.55%
I was way better than FIRECalc. 16 24.24%
I had a SWR of 4% or better (no FIRECalc in the decision) 5 7.58%
I went with Bernicke. 0 0%
I went with Guyton. 0 0%
Physical health forced it and I have to make do. 3 4.55%
I just had enough of work and I'll make do financially. 29 43.94%
Something else -- please specify. 10 15.15%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 08:50 AM   #1
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Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Here's another 2B poll. Once again, it is only for those fully retired and not supported by working spouses or depending on income from "labor."

I want to see what rationale people used to "pull the trigger."
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Having enough money was important....obviously. But, I think the reason many people get out early is to improve their life/get out of a toxic environment. I was so sick of the mind numbing conference calls, the politics, business travel etc that I started thinking of jumping and that led me to this site. If I was having fun making alot of money....I would have kept doing it - - moneys good but being happy is better!
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

I don't think these choices get at the heart of the question. Financial independence does not always trigger retirment. Some people work for other reasons. Even the financial part of the question is more complex than a single simulation by a single program.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:04 AM   #4
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I don't think these choices get at the heart of the question. Financial independence does not always trigger retirment. Some people work for other reasons. Even the financial part of the question is more complex than a single simulation by a single program.
But being Financially Independant and not retiring is not retiring early. And one cannot retire without 30-year+ sustained income stream.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
Originally Posted by perinova
But being Financially Independant and not retiring is not reting early. And one cannot retire without 30-year+ sustained income stream.
That's the point exactly. If you love what you do and are making $500K/yr with $80MM in the bank you are not retired.

Some people lose a job and decide that's enough. Some people or a family member develop a health issue and they "retire" to take care of them or themselves. Some will just go into meltdown and they just know they can't go back. These situations are forced upon us to some extent but in these cases the die is cast without a predetermined decision that they are financially secure.

There are other financial calculators but I put in the ones that have been discussed here. I left an out with my last choice.

The bottom line is I want to see how much of early retirement is "calculated" to be secure and by how much versus how much just happened.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:14 AM   #6
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

The reason for my timing also isn't on the list.

MegaCorp was busy down sizing and outsourcing for several years and provided a relatively attractive severance package for the victims, at least the long seniority victims. At first, it was easy to get on the RIF list, but I wasn't ready. Later, when I was ready, I couldn't get on the list. Finally, I got on the list and was booted with severance and retirement packages. MegaCorp is OK with me!

Admittedly, it did get a little nerve wracking at the end. There was no way to officially volunteer for the list, you just had to subtly let the right people know that if you could be substituted on the list for someone who really needed to stay, that it was OK with you. But I didn't want to be obnoxious about it because if I wound up staying longer, I still wanted good assignment, raises, etc. I was free to retire at any time, but it would have irked me to leave without a RIF package as many of my peers had gotten it. It was a bit of a tap dance.

All is well that ends well, I suppose. When we drive past MegaCorp from time to time, I give a little salute. This is a huge relief to DW who told me that if I had left under bitter conditions, she's sure it would have soured my retirement for years.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
Originally Posted by perinova
But being Financially Independant and not retiring is not reting early. And one cannot retire without 30-year+ sustained income stream.
Retiring at 50 when they had financial ability to retire at 35 is still retiring early. We have a number of posters on this board who could retire now but have chosen not to. We have several who could have retired earlier than they did. We have had posters who retired with sufficient funds but returned to work because they did not know how to enjoy it. There are many aspects to retirement beyond just being able to finance it. For many of us, dealing with these other aspects comes naturally. For many others it does not. But ignoring the range of life changes beyond merely financial changes that come from retiring is probably a mistake.

Even if you have determined that financial issues are the last remaining issue for you, I would still advise that you look at more than just FIRECalc simulations.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:29 AM   #8
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
The reason for my timing also isn't on the list.

MegaCorp was busy down sizing and outsourcing for several years and provided a relatively attractive severance package for the victims, at least the long seniority victims. At first, it was easy to get on the RIF list, but I wasn't ready. Later, when I was ready, I couldn't get on the list. Finally, I got on the list and was booted with severance and retirement packages. MegaCorp is OK with me!

Admittedly, it did get a little nerve wracking at the end. There was no way to officially volunteer for the list, you just had to subtly let the right people know that if you could be substituted on the list for someone who really needed to stay, that it was OK with you. But I didn't want to be obnoxious about it because if I wound up staying longer, I still wanted good assignment, raises, etc. I was free to retire at any time, but it would have irked me to leave without a RIF package as many of my peers had gotten it. It was a bit of a tap dance.

All is well that ends well, I suppose. When we drive past MegaCorp from time to time, I give a little salute. This is a huge relief to DW who told me that if I had left under bitter conditions, she's sure it would have soured my retirement for years.
But you are if for no other reason that "other."

At first you weren't psychologically ready when the shock came. Then you looked at the numbers and decided you could (what method did you use?). Or you "cracked up" and just had to get out because of the stress and figured out after the fact how you could get by financially. Been there, done that and have the T-shirt. In my case I didn't feel financially comfortable, never felt "retired" and went back to work as soon a decent position opened up.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:40 AM   #9
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Here's a few different reasons why DW and I are calling it quits next month.

1) I've had enough of work.
2) DW never wanted to work and only went back a few years ago to get the medical bennies which she did. We pay 10% of cost.
3) Grand Kids are in Fla. and that's where were going.
4) My boss decided to call it quits after 52 years in business and it just worked out with our plans. As they say everything in life is timing...
5) Firecalc said have a nice life.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:56 AM   #10
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

In my case, I had completed as 5-year contract as CEO and decided to give it a try. Another CEO assignment would have taken 9-12 months to get going and been another 3-5 years commitment.

So it was try it now or wait for another 4-6 years. I did a rudimentary spreadsheet showing 5% returns on assets and 2% inflation. It showed we were good to 85. I felt that was good enough and decided to spend my efforts to increase the 5%. Also looked at creative ways to reduce spending without giving up lifestyle.

After 4 years, we are approaching 4% SWR so should be OK.

Got over the need for the buzz in about 4 months.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 11:58 AM   #11
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
But you are if for no other reason that "other."
OK. My reason is "other." That's reasonable
Quote:

At first you weren't psychologically ready when the shock came.
No, absolutely not. They started layoffs and that was no shock at all. Pretty much expected. When I finally got on the list, years later, it was no shock, other than the good news that I'd been finally made it.
Quote:
Then you looked at the numbers and decided you could (what method did you use?).
Actually, I had looked at the numbers before hinting that I wanted to be on the list, not after I finally made it and got RIF'd.
Quote:
Or you "cracked up" and just had to get out because of the stress and figured out after the fact how you could get by financially.
Ahhh.....no. Boy I sure didn't come across clearly or you just skimmed my post. Work was fine. I accumulated enough dough to RE but was not really chomping at the bit to leave. Being able to get a nice severance package, however, made RE look very, very good. And it has been very, very good.

Bottom line, MegaCorp down sizing and paying out severance packages with benefit extensions was the main determining factor in my RE decision and the date was predominantly determined by them.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 12:06 PM   #12
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
OK. My reason is "other." That's reasonable No, absolutely not.

Actually, I had looked at the numbers before hinting that I wanted to be on the list, not after I finally made it and got RIF'd.


Ahhh.....no. Boy I sure didn't come across clearly or you just skimmed my post. Work was fine. I accumulated enough dough to RE but was not really chomping at the bit to leave. Being able to get a nice severance package, however, made RE look very, very good. And it has been very, very good.

Bottom line, MegaCorp down sizing and paying out severance packages with benefit extensions was the main determining factor in my RE decision and the date was predominantly determined by them.
I read your post but expanded the answer for others although it wasn't clear exactly where you were in the mix. Bottom line, it sounds like you evaluated your finances with the serverance as an added bonus and you were FI (what method did you use?). Then, you choose to RE.

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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 12:20 PM   #13
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
you evaluated your finances with the serverance as an added bonus and you were FI (what method did you use?).
I was using my own method, based on historical returns and inflation, and had decided that the SWR I was comfortable with was 3%. Later, when I discovered Firecalc, I included it in my evaluation with happy results showing my own method to be conservative.

Actually, reaching FI did not determine when I RE'd. If so, I would have already been gone when the RIF's and severance packages started. I didn't mind my job, at times even enjoyed it, and stayed after FI. But the severance package was too much to overlook and made RE look too attractive to stay any longer.

Four months into this, it was a good decision. RE is really, really good stuff. Even better than a good career, at least for me.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 01:03 PM   #14
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

I retired early (57) because:

1) I got tired of the MegaCorp grind and the business travel
2) Had some health problems that made me realize I wasn't getting any younger and a person can only live once.
3) Finances were not an issue - could have retired earlier.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 02:26 PM   #15
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

I guess I fit into 'other' as well.

Like Youbet, I used my own calculations to determine I was ready. I also used fireCalc to confirm that and read up on other investment ideas so I can make knowledgable decisions.

I was burning out at my career, but after retiring I have found I enjoy my hobbies much more than working, so I have not returned to any job as of yet (part time at a bookstore still sounds tempting though). So burnout was not the primary consideration but it is a factor.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 03:06 PM   #16
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

I am afraid my poll is being misunderstood. The "I just had enough of work and I'll make do financially" (next to last) was meant to be you just got angry, frustrated and left before calculating how you'd do before you quit/retired. It's more a spur of the moment and not a "I got tired of work did the numbers and I can go so I did." That would be one of the first responses. You decided you had had enough and when the numbers felt right you left.

Feel free to change your answers if that's the case.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 03:40 PM   #17
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

I was financially independent well before I quit work. I didn't know about FIRECALC at the time, and in fact did not have access to any of the calculators or trinity studies, etc. I think I just used the 5% rule of thumb that I vaguely had an idea was used by endowments, etc.

But I still stuck around a few years to "feather the nest" - and "just be sure". By the time I quit, I was way tired of working and knew that I had a lot better things to do with my life.

It was really only about the time I retired that I found the better tools for predicting safe withdrawals such as the Trinity Study. I actually only found FIRECALC at the beginning of this year - 6 years too late! But it turned out that with all my conservative "padding" I well past any danger of having retired with insufficient funds.

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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 04:01 PM   #18
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Quote:
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I was financially independent well before I quit work.
Ditto. FI at 37. RE at 40. FIRECalc was just a sanity check.
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 04:10 PM   #19
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

I went with "something else". I had never heard of FIRE
nor SWR. I did not hate
my work (I owned the company). I was 49 and had a lot of adventures on my to-do list. I assumed that the way I was headed
I would never get to most of them, so I quit to give myself time to do
"other stuff". Figured I could work out the finances "on the fly"
and I did.

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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired
Old 10-29-2006, 05:39 PM   #20
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Re: Why Did You Retire? -- Poll only for those currently, fully retired

Stress at work was seriously affecting my health.

There was an early out offer, and tracking my expenses convinced me I could live on 1/3 of my salary.

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