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ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 03:37 AM   #1
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ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Okay, here goes. First, I agree going "semi" at 49 and
being fully retired at 53 does not make me all that unique.
However, I take umbrage when SOME challenge my
assertion that you can retire even while ignoring
any real planning, SWR, The DJIA, HSAs, LTC, any
structured savings, LBYM, etc. Not only did I do that, but
my (joint with former spouse) net worth got over
500K only once in my life, and I immediately split that with my ex. in the divorce. Then I retired completely. It was not even that hard to do.

How can this be you ask? I will try to be brief. First,
liquidate virtually all non-income producing assets.
If you have land, sell it. Newer vehicles become older
vehicles (or no vehicles). Other toys disappear or downsize. The house gets sold, etc. You sell, sell sell
and cut, cut , cut. Hunt and fish. Having a working spouse helps, but
in my case my net worth was actually going up when I
was single and is stable now (stable is okay with me).
If all else fails, find something to produce income
(yes, the dreaded part-time work). Or, if you have the guts and are older, you could borrow to bridge the gap to SS or pension. This would take some number crunching but I could do it easily now (age 60).

So, in my case, no structured savings plan at all. No inheritance, no pension, no windfalls, no stocks.
My ex,. got the house, the Cadiillac, and the
only retirement related account. I took all the debts.
That was 1998 and I retired immediately. Haven't worked a lick since then and
am in excellent shape to continue.

Every word of this is true. I hope it will inspire some
who were like me (late starters).
For the remainder, that's the real deal. No theory.
Just the facts.................

I also want to give credit to BlackHills Bob, who posted the link to the book on "Possum Living". No one seemed
too interested other than your faithful correspondent. An extreme example
of retiring on virtually nothing.
Nevertheless, more proof it can be done.

JG




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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 03:56 AM   #2
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

In the land of the spreadsheet/retirement calculator - the no. 2 pencil is king.

DCA over a long period of time, live below yours means, and control spending.

Retired 1993 - 300k in financial assets plus 50k duplex with 6k/yr rental. Age 49. ( over simplification but total net worth is fairly accurate).

Hindsight - the biggest barrier is mental.

1.1 mil 2004.

DUh! - if you don't see it, you don't see it.
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 04:04 AM   #3
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

[quote=unclemick2

DUh! - if you don't see it, you don't see it.
[/quote]


In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 06:08 AM   #4
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

I give you guys a lot of credit, but I'm thinking the most important ingredient here was not brains but balls. *
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 06:29 AM   #5
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Ive run the numbers and if I were to downsize the house and cut back on a few frills I still would need $1800 a month after tax to get by. I would prefer $3000 a month so at least the wife is going to have to put a few more years in.

If I use the 4% rule I figure I need somewhere between 550K to 1 mil invested to get that income range. And I would also have to be debt free.

Im not counting anything from Social Security so I could probably adjust these numbers some and Im figuring in health insurance.

I don't plan on working much longer. I'd be out now but Ive got two kids in college that's eating into the budget so I'll probably work a few more month's. The wife would be eligible for a reduced pension in 5 yrs or full in 8. She is 44 so she could retire at 49 or 52 depending on how she feels. She would get either 25% or 75% of her salary depending on when she went so the 3 extra years would be helpful but probably not needed.

If it were up to me Id sell the house and downsize and be out tommorow. The wife currently likes her job so I figure it's up to her if she wants to stay here and continue to work. A friend of mine just sold a one bedroom clubhouse on the river for 25K. I could have lived there in a heartbeat, not the wife though. My current house is worth probably 250k and its paid for so there is some flexibility. We could move into a nice enough home for around 150k and still keep the wife happy so we still have options.

We have around 400k invested now if we count her cash value of her pension, and the house is paid for. I am sure we could make it now but the wife wants a little higher standard of living than I require.

It is nice to know that its possible though.

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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 11:18 AM   #6
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Quote:
I give you guys a lot of credit, but I'm thinking the most important ingredient here was not brains but balls.

Rok
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

I've posted this before, but again I know of 100s of people who live on next to nothing from just my small hometown. *That much is obvious by looking at their houses and cars parked outside, and by them answering the door if you knocked on it at 2pm on a thursday. *So I think what you're doing is pretty typical actually.

The planners who save enough to live very comfortably without worry are your exceptions.

You must have really hated working......
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 12:28 PM   #8
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

I think you are right Azanon. Of men aged 55 to 64, 67% work. This means 33% are not working. It would be interesting to know their circumstances.

Growing up we knew a lot of people that sorta farmed, sorta did odd jobs, and there was lots of bartering among people (a cord of wood for a half a pig, or whatever). I wonder how much of this still goes on. You don't really see it in the city.
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

When you look at U.S. census statistics about median income etc. you see that vast numbers of Americans live on very little. *So, clearly it can be done, though it may not be pretty.

It's ironic that many former over-achievers seeking ER want nothing more than freedom, *and will gladly accept a "median" *life style to get it.
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

I accepted a "below median" to get it.

JG
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 03:05 PM   #11
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Quote:
It's ironic that many former over-achievers seeking ER want nothing more than freedom, *and will gladly accept a "median" *life style to get it.
Pretty much an indictment of the 21st Century American Workplace.

Mikey
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 04:41 PM   #12
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Also, if your wife works JG, how could your household not possibly be more normal than it already is? Of course its not hard to make ends meet when someone is working!
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 04:45 PM   #13
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Mikey has a point. But it's way more than that IMHO.
OTOH, a big part of my decision to escape was a
feeling that government (all levels) was determined to
crush my entreprenurial instincts. Honestly though, I am
not sure this would not also have been true in earlier times as well (you pick it..........100 years ago? 200?). Perhaps I wouldn't have fit in anywhere, at any time? Not sure. The point is that I HAD to ER, without
a plan and without my spouse. It's irony of the highest
order that one of the biggest far-reaching
decisions I ever made was so easy to make. This proves that
when you really know it's right, it's useless to resist.

JG
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 04:56 PM   #14
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Thanks to JG for the possum living plug.
I thought Dolly's story was great.
As my management proceeded to take me further and further into the depths of hell, I dreamed of escaping to a simple life. While traveling, I would see run down places and quip to the wife, now that is cheap livin. At some point we acutally found a little farm house in a spectacular location which looked livable. It was cheap enough to pay cash for and looked like a good cabin candidate. When I found this site and ymoyl I did the calculations and found out that I could live without working if I controlled spending. I guess the biggest barrier is to have the dw be ok with a shack vs a mansion. Our simple life is even more casual than Dollys. I am still intrigued by the still section of possum living. We are thinking of gardening, but as long as canned goods are available at the store 3 for buck, it does not make a lot of sense.
I can't properly describe the feeling of having all the stress in my life vanish. The freedom to have control of every minute of your life is worth giving up the latest new toys. We still have friends who throw $10,000 out for the latest toy. Out here that would take 100% of a years take home pay. So my friends come out on vacation and build and buy and fly around at the speed of light to cram as much spending and activity that they can into their allotted few days of freedom. I just sit back and say, are you having fun yet. One friend is coming out in may to four wheel 12 hours a day for six days. I may join him, but I will wait till they have 30 or 40 hours under their belt to slow them down some.
I prefer my simple life and spending the weeks slowly putzing with my projects done on the cheap.
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 06:15 PM   #15
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Second glass of wine warning here.

JG makes some good points and is honest about a working spouce. I believe JG has demonstrated that he has always had the retire early temperment - he ran several businesses. That takes a risk taking temperment or shall I say a fearlessness.

However, if this was a board about weight loss and JG wrote: losing weight isn't that difficult - look I did it by eating less and exercising. Would everyone agree?
Losing weight for the obease is about:
- changing life long practices
- changing life long beliefs
- learning/knowlege
- determination
- support
- self evaluation as to why they became obease
- other things I don't know about

Yes you can run the numbers to prove that it doen't take a great deal of money to retire. However, at a certian point the lack of funds makes supporting the not working lifestyle a job in itself (if you do not enjoy what it takes). Also there is the question of the quality of the retirement.
Did the person in Possum Living travel the world? I quickly scaned the page - wasn't she 19? Would anyone of us say it is a good trade off to retire at 19 and not experience the world?

I believe we all make our own prisons. Some make a prision out of living like a possum; others by working in a job they hate for the money or security.

For myself, I am just too comfortable. The work is too easy, the money too good (and yes I am a girly man) - the opposite of most that post here. But my fear is that at some point in my life I will look back and regreat not taking the leap.

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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 06:28 PM   #16
 
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Quote:
...a big part of my decision to escape was a
feeling that government (all levels) was determined to
crush my entreprenurial instincts. Honestly though, I am
not sure this would not also have been true in earlier times as well (you pick it..........100 years ago? 200?). ...
JG
Back 200 years ago, your business could have employed 12-year old children to work 12-hour days.
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 09:27 PM   #17
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Can a "Manly Grl" jump in on this thread?

Despite the wine Dex had some good points in comparing purse-tightening with weight loss.

Some of us are just naturally skinny, (or frugal) so a no-frills lifestyle comes more easily.

The need to buy the newest gadgets and toys in a desperate search to find happiness in a stressed out life is not unlike eating obsessively because it numbs the unhappiness for a few minutes or hours.

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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 09:57 PM   #18
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

Quote:

Also there is the question of the quality of the retirement.
To argue that someone isn't happy, especially when they claim they are, is absurd. It happens frequently on this board.

If you need to spend 6 weeks in the Swiss Alps every year, go for it. Others find happiness elsewhere.
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-30-2005, 10:46 PM   #19
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

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*But my fear is that at some point in my life I will look back and regreat not taking the leap.
I doubt it. If you get seriously unhappy, and that unhappiness is due to your work, you will fix it, change jobs, or quit. It is often forgotten around here that there are many causes for unhappiness besides work.

Mikey
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)
Old 03-31-2005, 02:59 AM   #20
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Re: ER girlie men? (No booty just brains)

For dex and mikey............

Re. "looking back with regret", you also might be dead.
Then the "looking back" problem will go away.

For parnass..........

You mean that I wasn't supposed to have 12 year olds working 12 hour days?

JG
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