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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?
Old 04-13-2005, 01:00 PM   #61
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?

Ah, thank you, my searches on "the norwegian widow next door" and "your money or your norwegian widow" were coming up empty on Amazon books

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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?
Old 04-13-2005, 03:34 PM   #62
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?

just hope that some day it will be enough....

I, too, get a little concerned at times thinking I may have to work forever but then I come and read this board and and the Simple living network and become encouraged. We have the LBYM lifestyle down and have made some real estate investments that should help, nothing huge, but will help. When I hear people say they have 1.6m, paid for house and no kids and are wondering if they can retire, my eyes glaze over and I start to drool. :P We will never have that and I know our version of early retirement will include some type of very PT work. Some will insist that that is NOT retirement and they are right, but it's close enough for us. I think a lot depends on how bad you want it what YOU are willing to accept.

You can do it, Girl!


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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?
Old 04-13-2005, 04:02 PM   #63
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?


I agree with Martha's comments 100%. Don't underestimate the power of compound interest. You should try spreadsheeting some savings flows at even modest interest rates. You will be amazed at how your stash will grow in just a few years. At 37 you are way ahead of the game! It can be done.

"Remember, if you come this way, don't take no shortcuts and hurry along as fast as you can." (Virginia Reed, Age 12, Donner Party Survivor, 1847)
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?
Old 04-13-2005, 04:31 PM   #64
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?

Assume there is no need for me to rehash. I try not to,
but don't always succeed.

I advocate the "NIKE" approach to ER, i.e. "Just do it!"
This makes me kind of an "army of one" on this site, but is totally
in sync with my entire life. I've been going against
the tide for 6 decades now.

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Re:  Worry constructively.
Old 04-13-2005, 05:33 PM   #65
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Re:  Worry constructively.

Last night one of our accountant friends told us that ER just isn't possible for regular folks anymore. My DBF would like to go see a financial planner (fee only, of course) to find out *if there's any hope....anyone have a similar situation or any encouraging thoughts?? Adventuregirl
Did this accountant "friend" happen to be ER'd? Otherwise how the heck would they know anything about ER possibilities?!?

Just like stockbrokers who don't own yachts, I'm extremely suspicious about financial people who can't figure out how to become financially independent.

I went through a two-year search for a financial planner who could verify my math and shoulder some of my ER angst. It was a bust. Most of the advisors aren't interested in calculating very detailed scenarios. (One of them listened to my parameters over the phone and said "Why not just hold your withdrawal rate under 4% and stop worrying about it?") While you may not have a pension, they'd rather run cookie-cutter scenarios like "70% of your pre-retirement income" and "assume your investments grow at 8%". Others want you to buy their specific financial products while claiming that their share of the 12(b)-1 fees means that they're "fee based".

Here's a couple suggestions:
- Put together a detailed budget of your annual expenses. Take your time on this and be brutally conservative (especially on healthcare). Use the SS website's calculator to get an accurate estimate of your benefits if you ER instead of working to age 62. Look at paying off the mortgage (or not) or rental costs. Other threads here project the costs of new roofs, rising property taxes, replacement appliances/cars, a kid's wedding, a fantasy vacation, etc.
- Once you have that budget, run it through FIRECalc and see how big a portfolio you'd need to achieve an 80% success ratio. Or, to be even more conservative, multiply your annual expenses by 25 to determine your required portfolio size for a 4% withdrawal rate. Anything under a $40K annual budget is a six-figure portfolio.
- Figure out how much (and for how long) you'd have to invest at a 6-7% annual return to achieve the size of that portfolio. Think about part-time work, high-deductible medical insurance, PT lifestyle, cutting back on other expenses, whatever.

If you're still concerned, check your math with the Financial Engines website (it'll cost far less than a financial advisor and it doesn't have sales pressure).

If you must go the human route, try AXA. They have some of the most robust simulation software in the business (although it's arguably no better than Financial Engines). Find the nearest rep and tell them what you want, but be upfront about the possibility of not going through with the whole thing.

They'll give you a free hour's consultation to try to change your mind. Along with an interview on risk profiles, objectives, etc. they'll give you a form requesting a humongous data package. Just the process of finding & organizing all of that data will cause you to check your FIRE assumptions and start making your own calculations. Then, before you go back to the AXA rep's office, you can run your numbers one more time through FIRECalc & Financial Engines before deciding if you want to pay these people.

The $2500 didn't seem worth it. Especially after spending a few months here!

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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?
Old 04-13-2005, 06:16 PM   #66
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?


Your reply to Adventuregirl is a damn fine post. My compliments.

Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?
Old 04-13-2005, 07:00 PM   #67
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?

I still believe anything is possible * but need some help encouraging him.... Last night one of our accountant friends told us that ER just isn't possible for regular folks anymore
Would you consider real estate?
Do you have any savings?
Realistically, when do you want to be ER?
Members of the board have done very well using real estate. Do a forum search and check out earlier posts, Granted its not for everyone but it is an assured way to own something that in 15-25 years would make you completely FI.
1.Convert Euro assets to US$ now or not?<br />2.Tax haven work, anyone ventured?<br />3.ER income from Real-Estate or Equities?<br />4.ER to Canada or US?<br />5.Lifesavings secure in Funds after Worldcon/Enrot/Equitable Life?<br />6.House price correction risk as rates go up?<br />7.Prop arbitrage i.e. CA &gt; 20% IL&lt;8%?
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?
Old 04-14-2005, 08:51 AM   #68
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Re: Any middle class ER wannabe's?

Thanks everyone for all the great posts! As always I can count on the folks on this board to be encouraging and informative! I feel inspired again...

Nords I'm going to work on your suggestions and see how we come out . I've never done that kind of analysis before so it may be a struggle at first, but I'm sure it gets easier once you know how! Thanks!!! 8)


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