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Old 06-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #41
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Does that actually mean that if you wanted to use all of your vacation time that on the .9 week vacation you'd need to come into the office for 53 3/4 minutes one of the days? Only in the government...
No -- it's 3.9 weeks. The fractional part is 9/10 of a week, not 9/10 of an hour (which would be 54 minutes). Nine-tenths of a week is 36 hours or 4.5 work days.

Consider that 0.1 weeks is just a half-day. So if you have 3.9 weeks, you have three weeks, four full days and one half-day. The half-day can be useful if you need to run errands for a couple hours during the day, or if you want to get a jump-start on Friday afternoon traffic for a weekend getaway.

We can take our PTO in half-day increments, but in reality I've pretty much never taken a half-day off. With 26 paid days off per year (five weeks and one day as a "floating holiday" to allow for employee-selected religious observances and such), I haven't needed to.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-18-2009, 06:14 PM   #42
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Thanks for the red pencil answer.

I actually used to be really good at basic math, before ER. I think my brain turning into one of those Hulu cottage cheese-like mushes, just ready to be scooped up with a melon baller. Maybe I should do something more challenging than hanging around here with y'all.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:43 PM   #43
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I have mixed feelings about this. In one sense I'm worried about future inflation and its impact on my assets. To a lesser extent I'm worried about future taxation levels.

But on the other side, my biggest impediment to ER is health care. It seems to me there's a reasonable chance that I will see positive change there.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, I don't see how anyone could be 'less worried about future taxation levels' while at the same time 'expecting a reasonable chance of a positive change in health care.' I assume you're anticipating some sort of universal health care - I would expect that to increase costs and therefore taxes.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:47 PM   #44
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding, I don't see how anyone could be 'less worried about future taxation levels' while at the same time 'expecting a reasonable chance of a positive change in health care.' I assume you're anticipating some sort of universal health care - I would expect that to increase costs and therefore taxes.
The $64 question is: How will universal health care be funded? Who will bear the brunt of the costs?

I know there was a "Medicare for All" plan floated last year whereby most of the funding was raised by a new payroll tax of something like 4.5% on both employee and employer. There were a few inconsequential taxes on large stock trades that buy and holders would barely feel.

Under such a plan, my goodness, what an incentive to FIRE if it's mostly paid by earned income! Those who FIREd with no earned income would pay almost nothing for health insurance.

If it uses a different funding mechanism, the rules could change. In any event, more details would start getting a little too political for this particular forum.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 06-18-2009, 07:49 PM   #45
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Under such a plan, my goodness, what an incentive to FIRE if it's mostly paid by earned income! Those who FIREd with no earned income would pay almost nothing for health insurance.
What a plan!

I am about to say I would vote for that, when I remember that my neighbors know we have ER'ed. I hate to think of the gauntlet we will face when leaving the home.

We may have to pretend that we are still working and paying income taxes like they do.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:59 PM   #46
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding, I don't see how anyone could be 'less worried about future taxation levels' while at the same time 'expecting a reasonable chance of a positive change in health care.' I assume you're anticipating some sort of universal health care - I would expect that to increase costs and therefore taxes.

There are lots of ways health care could change. For example - regulations on private health insurers, such as requiring guaranteed issue on a national level with rates linked to that insurers group rates, would help some ER people immensely without costing the treasury a thin dime.


Also, you're quoting me out of context about taxation. I listed is as a worry. Its just not as great a worry as inflation.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:01 AM   #47
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The $64 question is: How will universal health care be funded? Who will bear the brunt of the costs?

I know there was a "Medicare for All" plan floated last year whereby most of the funding was raised by a new payroll tax of something like 4.5% on both employee and employer. There were a few inconsequential taxes on large stock trades that buy and holders would barely feel.

Under such a plan, my goodness, what an incentive to FIRE if it's mostly paid by earned income! Those who FIREd with no earned income would pay almost nothing for health insurance.

If it uses a different funding mechanism, the rules could change. In any event, more details would start getting a little too political for this particular forum.
Funding universal health care through employee and employer alone seems less likely. And incidently, that will raise the cost of goods and services provided by employers - they are not just going to eat the additional taxes.

But isn't it the same issue as the future of Social Security? Fewer workers funding more retirees and non-working others leads to insolvency. At some point, the workers will revolt if they are made to pay for all the shortcomings in entitlements we can't really afford. If we're going to continue with Social Security (and I'm sure we will) and Medicare and add Universal Health Care - the only fair approach is that everyone pays in one way or another. Higher taxes for those working and lesser benefits for those who are not. The $ have to add up, that aspect is often left out of the debate, we can't just run endless deficits/debt. There are some who argue foreign countries have just about lost their appetite to buy our debt, given what's happened in the economy I would not doubt it. Tough topic, if it were easy it would have been addressed long ago.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:07 PM   #48
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Higher taxes for those working and lesser benefits for those who are not. The $ have to add up, that aspect is often left out of the debate, we can't just run endless deficits/debt.
Ding ding ding...

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Old 06-28-2009, 09:09 PM   #49
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Under such a plan, my goodness, what an incentive to FIRE if it's mostly paid by earned income! Those who FIREd with no earned income would pay almost nothing for health insurance.
Move to Canada?
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:25 PM   #50
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Back to FIRE slipping away for our younger members... Just curious why many seem to assume that the current calamity will continue unabated for 25-30 years until they're ready to retire, yet there is no talk of eventual recovery and even a big old bull market several times during this same time period. Seems unlikely that good times won't mix in with the bad over such a long time.

So one strategy for the younger FIRE dreamer is to know how and when to take some of your chips off the table. Have a 13% stock year? Maybe take half of it and put it into cash equivalents or maybe short term bonds. Repeat opportunistically, until you accumulate maybe 10 years worth of expenses in sure-thing investments. Don't get stuck on 80:20 or some other appropriately "aggressive" AA.

It may be slip sliding away at the moment (nice buying opportunity), but I find it hard to believe that some good times won't happen. Against the odds.
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:05 PM   #51
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Back to FIRE slipping away for our younger members... Just curious why many seem to assume that the current calamity will continue unabated for 25-30 years until they're ready to retire, yet there is no talk of eventual recovery and even a big old bull market several times during this same time period. Seems unlikely that good times won't mix in with the bad over such a long time.

I for one said I was optimistic. It is a great buying opportunity, and I think we will (eventually) look back on 2008-2009 as one of the better buying opportunities of our investing lifetimes. It may take many more years of sideways and choppy markets, maybe even some more down markets. But long term I'm putting my chips on us seeing some mean-regressing going on.


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I'm still in the under 30 crowd. I definitely don't feel like ER is slipping away. If anything, these times are a really great buying opportunity for me to load up the portfolio. The net worth is probably back to an all time high after slipping for a few quarters. The portfolio value is close to an all time high.
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Old 06-29-2009, 12:36 PM   #52
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Back to FIRE slipping away for our younger members... Just curious why many seem to assume that the current calamity will continue unabated for 25-30 years until they're ready to retire, yet there is no talk of eventual recovery and even a big old bull market several times during this same time period. Seems unlikely that good times won't mix in with the bad over such a long time.
I for one find it preferable to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I use very conservative assumptions about the next 20 years -- assuming weak economies, weak markets and above average inflation. If I can create a current investment strategy which will survive such assumptions 90% of the time or more, I'll feel confident in my financial plan.

I'd much rather be "surprised" on the upside than on the downside.
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RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:00 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Back to FIRE slipping away for our younger members... Just curious why many seem to assume that the current calamity will continue unabated for 25-30 years until they're ready to retire, yet there is no talk of eventual recovery and even a big old bull market several times during this same time period. Seems unlikely that good times won't mix in with the bad over such a long time.

So one strategy for the younger FIRE dreamer is to know how and when to take some of your chips off the table. Have a 13% stock year? Maybe take half of it and put it into cash equivalents or maybe short term bonds. Repeat opportunistically, until you accumulate maybe 10 years worth of expenses in sure-thing investments. Don't get stuck on 80:20 or some other appropriately "aggressive" AA.

It may be slip sliding away at the moment (nice buying opportunity), but I find it hard to believe that some good times won't happen. Against the odds.
I have noticed a lot of "retirement is doomed" articles in the press lately.

For instance:

retire-and-be-happy: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

and

Ageing in the rich world: The end of retirement | The Economist

And finally

A survey of ageing populations: : A slow-burning fuse | The Economist

The first is more of a retirement is boring article so keep on working, the latter two are about the changing world demographics and cost of entitlement programs into the future.

Despite all that I think if you LBYM and plan, FIRE will remain possible for Young Dreamers.

DD
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:11 PM   #54
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I for one find it preferable to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. ...I'd much rather be "surprised" on the upside than on the downside.
Well, yeah, but not at the expense of decimating your lifestyle from age 25 to whenever you FIRE "just in case" the worst scenario unfolds.

Anticipating a consistent, unabating, agonizing bear market for 25-30 years until you die is one way to plan if you are rich and/or spartan, I guess. It's a matter of probabilities and balance, you pick your comfort zone.
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:53 PM   #55
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Well, yeah, but not at the expense of decimating your lifestyle from age 25 to whenever you FIRE "just in case" the worst scenario unfolds.

Anticipating a consistent, unabating, agonizing bear market for 25-30 years until you die is one way to plan if you are rich and/or spartan, I guess. It's a matter of probabilities and balance, you pick your comfort zone.
I don't mean "expecting the worst" in terms of being way overweight on doomsday bets.

I'm talking about simply erring on the side of conservatism in terms of expected real ROI of a fairly conservative AA (maybe 60/40), maybe a real return of 1-2% below historical averages. If I can save enough such that I can still make FIRE work out by age 55-60 despite the gloomy assumptions, I'll likely be in good shape. And I don't have to live a "spartan" existence to get there.

Going back to a difference thread about "prudence," it seems some people are confusing caution with paranoia.
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RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:16 PM   #56
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One's caution is another one's paranoia.

I am very cautious about the future. From where I sit I have a hard time imagining the big old bull returning anytime soon. Sure, I have an imperfect point of view. But so far, as an investor, I have only experienced 1 bull market and 2 of the nastiest bear markets in recent history. And as a young worker, I have only experienced a highly volatile job market fraught with incessant threats of layoff and ever shrinking benefits. Now there are talks about increasing my taxes and taking away one of my last tax-free benefit, i.e. health insurance. So you can't blame me for not wearing my rose-colored glasses and being cautious about the future.
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:36 PM   #57
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Hey, I'm optimistic. I continue to sock away as much as I can in my TSP. Still working on my gov't pension, hoping it will be there when I retire. Hope SS will be there in some form, even if beer and pizza money.

I will evaluate my employment status if taxes continue to increase and benefits are made available to everyone. There will be a break even point for me, when I can't stand working and seeing others slack and get bennies. I'm jealous like that. I always want in on the action and want my piece of pie!
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:56 AM   #58
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Working till you drop is a heck of a lot better than playing crappy golf at the country club, eating chicken salad sandwiches for lunch, and complaining about your gall bladder
Yep, those grapes are pretty sour!
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:12 AM   #59
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Two years ago:

Good J*b - interesting, challenging, good variety, travel
Good security until an ER option at 55 with medical
Future Military pension at 60
Comfortable 401K - enough to bridge until pension
Goal to ER in 2012

Now:

Company bought out - uncertain future after closing, traveling much more
ER at 55 unknown
Questions of the impact of debt on government pensions.
Shrinking 401K


Now I'm reevaluating how much longer I will have to work - 2017? Anyone one else adjusting their view of the future?
In 1982 (at 34 years of age), I had the same view, and the same situation. In that year, 50% of our section was laid off (I survived ).

At the time, I thought (like many in the workforce today) that there was no future, and I wasen't even thinking about retirement. At the time, I was planning to retire at the then FRA age of 65 (now it's 66, for me).

What actually happened? It woke me up (actually scared the he** out of me) where I "changed my ways" when it came to investing and managing debt.

The result? Retired at age 59 (a bit late for some on this board ), but before my original forecast date.

BTW, the company I retied from a bit over two years ago will be shut down (e.g. bought out - relocated) by the end of this year. At least my decision to retire was my decision, not theirs ...

Just to say, good luck in your current situation and be aware that we've "been there - done that", before...
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