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Old 05-27-2010, 10:59 PM   #21
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Great to hear! I love hearing about successful retirements. Here's to many more years in retirement.
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Old 05-28-2010, 06:43 AM   #22
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Congratulations on the 5-year Anniversary and thanks for sharing your experiences here.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:39 AM   #23
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Contgrats REWahoo!

Quote:
The first was convincing ourselves we could loosen up our spending a bit - we (OK, I) squeezed every nickel, especially the first year. Two years after retiring and living entirely off our savings and investments, our portfolio had grown by 12%. That's when I thought we were bulletproof bought the car and the motor home. Then the market started heading south.

This led to our second major adjustment - cutting our spending back to a level even lower than our first year of retirement. Fortunately the market turned around and we were able to stop the beans&rice diet after a year or so and return to a spending level I hope we can sustain for the long run.
I'm still in penny pinching mode, but I'm only freaking out over every other expense now. I'm 1.5 year into ER and it's getting better each day now that I'm more relaxed about my ER situation.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:53 AM   #24
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So what do you do all day, young fella?
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:11 AM   #25
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Has it really been that long? Time is weird. I still remember you as REWannabe.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:19 PM   #26
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Congratulations! So, if you could hit the rewind button ( I guess most of us ER types know what that is...) are there any significant ER related changes?
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:13 PM   #27
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Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary!

I'm just hitting my 4th month of retirement and loving the "I don't have to go to work tomorrow" feeling.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:33 PM   #28
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So, if you could hit the rewind button ( I guess most of us ER types know what that is...) are there any significant ER related changes?
Yes. I would have started saving and investing for retirement long before age 31 so that I could have reached FIRE earlier than age 58.

Looking back, there was nothing that would have prevented me from retiring at age 52 or even earlier other than my late start. I was in my mid 40's before I really got serious and began to understand that not only was ER possible, FI was the ultimate stress reliever.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:15 PM   #29
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Yes. I would have started saving and investing for retirement long before age 31 so that I could have reached FIRE earlier than age 58.

Looking back, there was nothing that would have prevented me from retiring at age 52 or even earlier other than my late start. I was in my mid 40's before I really got serious and began to understand that not only was ER possible, FI was the ultimate stress reliever.
+10 ^10 FI really is the ultimate stress reliever...
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:46 AM   #30
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Congratulations on the first of many fives!

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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Yes. I would have started saving and investing for retirement long before age 31 so that I could have reached FIRE earlier than age 58.
Looking back, there was nothing that would have prevented me from retiring at age 52 or even earlier other than my late start. I was in my mid 40's before I really got serious and began to understand that not only was ER possible, FI was the ultimate stress reliever.
Well, with another 5-10 years of practice you can only get better...
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:22 AM   #31
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Congratulations and thank you for all the information you share it has been very helpful!
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:07 AM   #32
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Congratulations REWahoo! I'm hitting three years on Tuesday and have had a similar experience. I've held off on SS but will start in January. By the way, I have a 2007 Honda Pilot and love it! Keep all those critters at bay!
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:23 AM   #33
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Wishing you many more years of bliss. It's good to hear that those who escaped the rat race are upbeat and have no regrets.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:39 AM   #34
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Congratulations. Well done. Is the 84.8% reasonably consistant with your original plan and now taking SS?
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:09 AM   #35
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Congratulations. Well done. Is the 84.8% reasonably consistant with your original plan and now taking SS?
I had been debating when to take SS, thinking I might wait until FRA (66). When our portfolio dropped by more than 30% in late 2008 I decided to begin taking benefits early. Although I had a cash "bucket" to sustain our spending for 2-3 years, the strain of withdrawing 100% of our living expenses from our diminished portfolio was keeping me up at night. The first SS check came in February of 2009, just as the market was about to hit bottom - at least I hope that was the bottom.

As to the 84.8% question, when I retired I had no projected portfolio value at any future point, only the data from FIRECalc and similar sources that the historical odds of portfolio survival were strongly in my favor. Time will tell...
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:46 AM   #36
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REWahoo, sounds like you are handling ER quite nicely. I know just what you are talking about watching that portfolio go downhill in 2008 to early 2009. I keep track of our 2003 starting point retirement portfolio and we're down about 4% from the inflation adjusted 2003 value. At one time in 2007 we were up 20% from that value. So I've vowed to move towards a more conservative portfolio if we get towards that 20% situation again.

Congratulations on your 5yr ER mark.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:14 AM   #37
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Congrats on 5 good years. They say that, if the first few years go well financially, the probability of long term success is much improved. Having survived 2008/9 it seems you are in good shape.

I'm three months in. So far I'm on budget >
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:56 AM   #38
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Congratulations.

I'm approaching my 2 year retire-a-versary (July 1). The biggest (and best) surprise is that we haven't had to dip into our retirement savings. I had planned a monthly withdrawal of almost $3000/month, but so far we have lived comfortably on SS, pension, and book royalties. It's been a combination of higher royalties than expected and lower expenses.

The next biggest surprise is that my time isn't as free and flexible as I expected. It's my own doing, because I have committed to Honey-Do's, family activities, and volunteer work, but I was hoping I'd be able to take off on a 3-hour bike ride any time the thought crossed my mind. Didn't happen. I don't want to change this "problem," because I'm comitted to certain personal and family goals, but it is a mild surprise.

Actually, all is going well.
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