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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-15-2005, 04:51 PM   #101
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

I like travel, but I also like home. Something I plan to do a lot more of is low key outdoors stuff here in WA.

I think I will buy some kind of small, cheap camper so I can cook my fish without camping in a tent and escape from the rain. Washington is a really a nice place to experience the outdoors.

Ha
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-15-2005, 05:13 PM   #102
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by xprinter
My spouse wants to stay on a her company till 55 (4 more years) to get full pension. Her pension will be about 2600 per month or about 400k. My family business (printing company) is barely hanging on. I hope to work another 8 years till 59. We save in excess of 30% of our gross income. We currently have about 500k in retirement accounts and feel we need to aggresively save for the rest of our working careers to have enough to retire. We owe about 130k on house with no other debts. We would love to travel more but I don't think we can afford to. Am I wrong?
Well, I worked until 60 and reluctantly retired then. But, here two years later, I am very glad I did it, as I have good health. For certain, one of you ought to get a pension, at least, but that doesn't mean that you can't do other stuff if you wish. See C-t's reply, where he advises about the deathbed scene. You're certainly saving enough, IMHO. If it was me, with 500k in accounts, I think I would stay the four years, and jump. Also, what's the state of your medical insurance? Is DW's retirement going to provide that aspect?

BTW: If you don't like traveling, then don't. ER means freedom to do what YOU want to do. Ahem, that would be you and DW, of course!
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-15-2005, 05:38 PM   #103
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Now that I'm approaching the ripe old age of 35, I'm really, really, really itching to do something (or a series of somethings) that will give me some memories that I'll never forget.* Yet my self-imposed frugality won't let go.* I can afford a lavish trip to an exotic location, but I'm not sure that will really give me much in the way of fulfillment vis-a-vis the cost.
Come to Hawaii for a week or two. Surf your butt off on the south shore.

If you don't surf (yet) then I'll give you a free lesson... that way you'll have an enjoyable time and you'll feel like you got a great deal.

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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-15-2005, 07:28 PM   #104
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

Eagle as of now Dw has continued medical coverage till medicare and I am on her policy. We pay about 200 per month. I do not know how we could retire in 4 years though unless we moved to a small home. We currently have only about 200k in home equity. In 4 years it will be higher. Most of our money is in 401k's so we cannot withdrawl till 59.5. What do you think?
Kz my best friend lives near SF in Los Altos. I have been out there at least a dozen times in the past 10 years. I know that area almost as well as Maryland where we live. The climate on the Peninsula is the best. Wonderful restarunts and plenty of outdoor activities.
HaHa WA state is beautiful also. Although the climate is not as good as CA. My brother-in-law lives in Bellingham and I have visited him a few times.
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-15-2005, 09:06 PM   #105
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by Eagle43
LBYM. After you LBYM, all bets are off. Save 10-15%, then do what you want! Just yesterday I was 40. 22 years ago, that is! Poof! The best years are gone, languishing in a cubicle somewhere.

If you don't know how to spend it, your kids/grandkids, or Uncle Sam will. And all of them will be soooooo grateful that you denied yourself! Right
Saving 10-15% a year isn't going to get you to ER, and will probably barely even cover retirement. I do, however, agree with the idea of not wasting any more time in a cubicle.

As for others spending MY money, you hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what they would do, without a single thought as to what I sacrificed to accumulate it.
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-15-2005, 09:08 PM   #106
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by xprinter
Most of our money is in 401k's so we cannot withdrawl till 59.5. What do you think?
72(t) withdrawals

Taking out 3%, plus your wife's pension, would give you about $45k/yr. The real question is...is that enough for the standard of living you want? How much do you spend now?
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Re: but...but...you can have it all!
Old 06-15-2005, 09:10 PM   #107
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Re: but...but...you can have it all!

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Originally Posted by tozz
Jay,

For me, travel, by definition, is "exotic." It needn't be expensive. I'm a bit astounded by the $$ amounts I see quoted for vacations here. In fact, I find "lavish" and "exotic" almost mutually exclusive, with lavishness merely insulating you from the real-life exotic nature of your destination. Most of Europe is currently pricey, but given, oh, $1700 or so, and you could design a very nice trip to any number of exotic destinations: Morocco, Argentina, Myanmar (Burma), Hungary, Central America.... Go for it!

tozz
I wholeheartedly agree. Back in the early-90s, I took a trip to Japan, Korea, China and Hong Kong. I spent a grand total of $6,000 over six months. It was an amazing trip, and I'd do it again if the opportunity cost wasn't so high. Perhaps once I figure out what I want to do other than "work for the man," I'll take a few months off to travel.
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-15-2005, 11:04 PM   #108
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Saving 10-15% a year isn't going to get you to ER, and will probably barely even cover retirement.* I do, however, agree with the idea of not wasting any more time in a cubicle.
Part of that depends on what you mean by ER.* *If late 50s is early enough to be ER, sure it could under certain circumstances.* Being a fed employee, i'll be eligible for full retirement at 58 where i get full pension + SS Suppliment (until i get real SS at 62).* *My wife will get SS as well.* According to quicken, i'll have it made easy.* *

>* Might wanna check out one of the main articles at REHP on the topic "it doesnt take as much as you think".* *If one can get their mortgage paid off on top of 15% started early enough (in their 20s).... one should be able to retire plenty early.

>* The other key is investing appropriately.* Putting that 15% of gross in a CD or a money market account wont cut it.* *It's takes tax-sheltered equity instruments to pull off ample compounded growth.
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-16-2005, 11:15 AM   #109
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by Caroline
Does this sound familiar?* Absolutely.

If I read your post correctly, Jay, you're tired of working for someone else, have considered travel or some other "memory-building" activities, would REALLY rather explore the possibility of going into business for yourself in some way, but don't want to invade your hard-earned capital to take a risk on something that might not fly.

My thought is:* "If not now, then when?"

For myself, I can remember sitting in a conference room at my old job, looking out at the California hills as the meeting leader droned on about issues I cared nothing about. I wished I were ANYWHERE but in that room.*

That was 15 years ago.*

"Golden handcuffs" and fear of change kept me tied to the software industry 'till now.* At 48 years old I've got a modest but growing nest egg, but my distaste for this industry and my work has grown even faster.* I will vest in my pension next year and quit the job afterwards.* But I can't help but think that if I'd left 15 years ago I'd have had a much richer life and become an expert in something I loved instead of something I loathed.

I've done a lot of very rewarding traveling to balance this lifestyle, and I'll be getting out earlier than most, but if I had it to do over again...* *let's just say this post, below, really hit me hard:

I think you've got the right idea -- do some serious analysis to ease your fear of risk.* "The Millionaire Mind" is a great book for this -- the guy has conducted exhaustive research with successful entrepreneurs to learn their methods, their risk-mitigation behaviors, etc.*

He also makes the excellent point that many business-owners see their BUSINESSES themselves as lowering risk -- the risk of working for an employer who can let you go at a moment's notice.* My employer is currently going through the THIRD round of layoffs in as many years, and truly EXCELLENT people are being shown the door with six week's severance.* The reliability of your paycheck is an illusion, no matter how good a worker you are.*

If you haven't already found anything by Barbara Sher I recommend her as well.* She's got a lot of really wonderful advice on finding the work you love without breaking the bank.*

Others on this board are better with the numbers, but I'm betting that your $300K, left to grow over the next few decades, would be enough to retire on by itself. Perhaps you could create a plan that required $X to launch, put your $300K someplace safe, and work at your job until you made the $X you needed to move out on your own.**

Whatever you choose, the very best of luck to you!
Caroline


*
Part of my discontent stems from not wanting to ask myself the question when I'm 50 or 60 years old -- "What if I had...."* This may sound a bit arrogant/naive, but after 9 years in the legal profession, I'm tired of "paying my dues".* I've calculated that over that period of time, I've made my various legal employers approximately $2.8 million in pure profit.* I think it's high time some of that money starts to flow into my pocket.

I recently listened to The Millionaire Mind audio book while commuting to work, and found much of the first few disks to be boring and repetitive.* However, the last few were quite informative, so if the author had condensed the book a bit more, I would have been eternally grateful.* I agree that operating your own business can minimize risk instead of exacerbating it.* Rather than having one source of income (i.e. your paycheck), you have hundreds of sources of income (i.e. clients), with the loss of one or a few having little or no significant impact on your bottom line.* I'll try to find some stuff by Barbara Sher.

In regards to my savings, $300k+ is a nice little cushion, and based upon my calculations, would probably provide for a nice retirement in and of itself.* If my girlfriend and I get married, our combined savings would be more than enough.

The solution to my dilemma probably is to do some heavy-duty reading (without external interruptions), talking with people, etc...* Trying to figure things out absent the necessary data simply creates a vicious cycle of hand-wringing... :P
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-16-2005, 11:19 AM   #110
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Come to Hawaii for a week or two.* Surf your butt off on the south shore.

If you don't surf (yet) then I'll give you a free lesson... that way you'll have an enjoyable time and you'll feel like you got a great deal.

Would love to...but the girlfriend would kill me if I didn't bring her with me...
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-16-2005, 11:29 AM   #111
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by azanon
Part of that depends on what you mean by ER.* *If late 50s is early enough to be ER, sure it could under certain circumstances.
Late-50s isn't early enough for me. Actually, let me clarify my statement. Becoming financially-independent in my late-50s isn't early enough.

Quote:
Might wanna check out one of the main articles at REHP on the topic "it doesnt take as much as you think".* *If one can get their mortgage paid off on top of 15% started early enough (in their 20s).... one should be able to retire plenty early.
I've seen it, but I didn't really start to save money until my late-20s, and a couple of years into it, the market tanked. My investments have been pulling out ever since.

Quote:
The other key is investing appropriately.* Putting that 15% of gross in a CD or a money market account wont cut it.* *It's takes tax-sheltered equity instruments to pull off ample compounded growth.
Got that covered. Over the last few years I've built a portfolio of diversified individual stocks, mutual funds, and short-term investment vehicles.

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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-16-2005, 05:18 PM   #112
 
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
I'll chime in a little late in the discussion.* For the past several years, I haven't been doing much in the way of "living for today".* I've been relatively frugal in terms of spending money (e.g., no new car, no big house, no wife, no kids, etc...).* Presently, I've managed to recover a good chunk of the money I lost during the dot-com crash, have finally paid off approximately $75k in student loans, and amassed $300k+ in savings.

Now that I'm approaching the ripe old age of 35, I'm really, really, really itching to do something (or a series of somethings) that will give me some memories that I'll never forget.* Yet my self-imposed frugality won't let go.* I can afford a lavish trip to an exotic location, but I'm not sure that will really give me much in the way of fulfillment vis-a-vis the cost.

I'd much rather take a few months off to free my mind from its shackles of working for someone else.* Many of my family members, friends and even colleagues have remarked that I have an inventive mind, both in terms of literal "inventions," and also business ideas.* Yet the fear of being without a steady paycheck so is overwhelming.

Any of this sound familiar?
You're pretty much where I'll be in 6 years.* Right now I'm a 29 year old single lawyer with no kids and no desire for them, looking at having a net worth of about $250-275K by the time I'm 35.*

Somebody else here said that you should be able to retire right now, but I, like you, would be hesitant to check out without a bit more of a cushion.* Everyone is different, but I think that when in doubt, it's better to play it safe.* Be prudent, wait a while longer.* Maybe go of counsel or steal some clients to open up your own shop.* In short, some kind of transition job might be just right for you.
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-16-2005, 06:22 PM   #113
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

My dad's death a month ago, at age 72, crystallized something I had been thinking about since my mom died at age 68: in all likelyhood, I'm not going to to reach a ripe old age. If I do, I'll likely be crippled with the same diseases that plagued and eventually killed my parents. In our family, it's heart disease and stroke. Luckily I never smoked. I do take good care of myself, but then, so did my dad.

My husband and I are both well on our way to retirement in 5 years. He'll be 55 years old, I'll be 52. DH expects he will work half time after retirement for a couple years. We have all debts/mortgage paid off, cola'd pensions lined up, $500,000 currently invested, plus we have investments in real estate other than our house. We can make do nicely on the equivalent of $50,000 per annum after the kids leave home. (We don't make much more than that now.)

Maybe it doesn't sound like we have a lot of leeway for travel, but we do take a major trip every two years. We started this about 5 years ago, shortly before my mom died (in fact, my first trip to Europe was with her--I'm really glad we went together.) We travel on the cheap, something I'm an expert at. We've been all over Mexico (cheap, if you know where to go) and to Central Europe (super cheap!).

I figure we should travel now while we're both employed. If we find we need more money for retirement, we could both work another year. After retirement, if we find out we don't have enough money to travel, we are out of luck, unless one of us wants to go back to work (and I guarantee that'll never happen).

I'm planning to take two months off next summer and study Spanish in Mexico with my kids. I always wanted to live abroad, but instead I spent 22 years with my nose to the grindstone, afraid to trade security for a life of adventure. Now I think it's important to go. Worth all that money for a few memories? Definitely. What if DH and I have to work an extra year? It still beats working to 65.

I too know too many people in my place of employment my age or a little older who died before retirement. Two of them literally at their desks. If I croak in my cubicle, at least no one will say "Too bad! She always wanted to travel!"
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-16-2005, 06:56 PM   #114
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

* *Got a message yesterday that shocked me ...* DH and I took a tour of Japan in September. Got word yesterday that one of the folks in our group had died. Fellow was late 40s or early 50s (not sure) ... he and his wife had already seen a good bit of the world, and were looking forward to the next adventure. (they stayed in Japan for a bit after the tour ended)* So at least from that standpoint, sounds he had a full life .....
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-16-2005, 09:00 PM   #115
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Balance is the Key Word in Life!

Enjoy a couple Martini's - But don't drink the Whole Bottle of Gin!

Save for an Early Retirement - But don't be a miser!

Live Very well - But always below your means!

Live with a lot of Assets - But always try to die Broke!
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-17-2005, 01:24 PM   #116
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by SLC Tortfeasor
You're pretty much where I'll be in 6 years.* Right now I'm a 29 year old single lawyer with no kids and no desire for them, looking at having a net worth of about $250-275K by the time I'm 35.*

Somebody else here said that you should be able to retire right now, but I, like you, would be hesitant to check out without a bit more of a cushion.* Everyone is different, but I think that when in doubt, it's better to play it safe.* Be prudent, wait a while longer.* Maybe go of counsel or steal some clients to open up your own shop.* In short, some kind of transition job might be just right for you.
You ought to be able to do that without breaking much of a sweat. I don't plan on pulling the plug on work for many years to come, but I would like the financial freedom to practice the kind of law *I* want to practice, rather than "doorway law" (translation: whatever walks in the door). The law provides an endless amount of intellectual stimulation, but you'll never get much of that if you're always focused on making enough money to keep the doors open, food on your table and clothes on your back.
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-17-2005, 01:36 PM   #117
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
The law provides an endless amount of intellectual stimulation, but you'll never get much of that if you're always focused on making enough money to keep the doors open, food on your table and clothes on your back.
... the Lexus in the Garage... the LandRover in the driveway... the lunches at Ruth's Chris... the vacation home...
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-17-2005, 02:43 PM   #118
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

you forgot Rollex on the wrist
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-17-2005, 03:05 PM   #119
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

Thats funny. I have a rolex and i'm not even sure where it is. I dont think i've worn it in the last 5 years. Shoot, hope it wasnt in a box of stuff I threw out...
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today
Old 06-17-2005, 03:30 PM   #120
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Re: Balance between ER and living for today

I have a rolex but I prefer my $20 casio.
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