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Old 01-14-2004, 07:00 AM   #1
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Bored bored bored bored bored...

I wonder if anyone else is in my shoes and can give advice.

I am on track to retire around 2020. I've researched my options. I've made my plan and have implemented everything I can. I've got nearly everything automated, from my paycheck auto-deposited, to my 401(k) contribution automatically withheld, to my mortgage being automatically paid, automatic savings set up for my kids college funds and our rainy day fund at ING Direct, an Excel spreadsheet to monitor everything, assumptions made and documented, contingency plans in place, my will, durable health care, POA, etc. made up, and am working on a letter of instruction that is about half finished. Etc., etc., etc.

As most of you have noticed, it's January 2004, so now all I have to do is "turn the crank" for the next 16 years.

I'm bored with finances.

Suggestions / comments?

malakito.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 07:10 AM   #2
 
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Hi,

If your bored with finances and you are finished and all you have to do "is turn the crank", then go fishing or whatever you like to do in your spare time.

When you retire in 2020, hopefully you will have lots of interests to keep you occupied. If you don't have any interests and love working, I would suggest not retiring.

I am a little confused in what your asking
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 07:29 AM   #3
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

cut-throat,

I guess the question is this:

Is there anyone else out there in my shoes? Is anyone else out there a "Young Dreamer" who has done all they can to retire early but now just has to wait for that exponential curve to actually happen?

and, if you're out there, then what did you do? What next?

Most everyone I read about is either:

a) already retired,
b) not retired but close enough (2-3 years away),
c) not retired, far away, and still learning, doing, planning, changing things to get there faster.

I fit in none of these categories, so most of what I read now doesn't apply to me. It would be helpful if there was somewhere or someone out there who was in the same boat.

malakito.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 07:38 AM   #4
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Have you worked out your investment strategy? As financial products mature, their costs come down (usually) and the variety increases. This needs constant monitoring and refining... unless you are a Vanguard fan
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End your boredom before someone does it for you!
Old 01-14-2004, 08:51 AM   #5
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End your boredom before someone does it for you!

Well, you're on autopilot now, which means that your long periods of boredom are sure to be interrupted by a Murphy's Law crisis any moment now. Imagine if you'd posted this in late 1999 or even on Labor Day 2001. A year from now you may look back on this boring period with wistful longing.

If you're seeking fiscal entertainment, you could try FinancialEngines.com. Evaluating assumptions, choosing numbers, and entering data could take as long as 10 man-hours. The Monte-Carlo analysis might lead you to change your planning. For cold splashes of reality, you could try Bud Hebeler's "Analyze Now!" website (http://www.analyzenow.com/) or Bill Bernstein's four-part article "The Retirement Calculator From Hell" (http://www.efficientfrontier.com/ef/998/hell.htm).

If you're looking for financial excitement, put $5000 in a margin account and read "How I Trade For A Living" by Gary Smith. Consider the money a low-budget midlife crisis.

I'm 43 and I was in your shoes 15 years ago, knowing the exact date of my retirement but not able to control much in between. In retrospect it was the beginning of a very creative time when I had to set my own standards and determine my own fate instead of merely doing what I was told or following the career track. If you're overworked & burned out, perhaps you're ready to campaign for a better workload or at least a raise. If you still have time of your own, maybe you could go back to college or to study for a financial certification. Or take up a hobby like surfing, a better exercise program, outdoor activities, or volunteer work. I did all of the above and usually had my carefully-laid plans disrupted by a series of surprises. I may not have been particularly happy through all of it, but I certainly wasn't bored!

Another good solution to "I'm bored" is Po Bronson's book "What Should I DO With My Life?" It doesn't pretend to have answers but there's plenty to chew on. http://www.pobronson.com/
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 09:41 AM   #6
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

I was in a similar position. I knew what needed to be done and went on auto-pilot for over a decade. Now I'm less than a year away. One thing I'd suggest: don't watch it too closely. Focus on other things. The old adage, "a watched kettle never boils" is true. I went off auto-pilot a few months ago and started focusing on the countdown. I had to do it because I was getting close, but time really crawls when you watch it.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 10:24 AM   #7
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

In a perfect world, you will remain bored until you notice that your investments have done better than expected and that 2020 date can be pulled up.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 10:33 AM   #8
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Hey Makakito !

Well, I'm not sure I'm in the same position as you, but I suppose I'm close. I'm 33 (for a few more months) and I'm not really sure how much longer I'm gonna work. Like I'm sure you have done, I have looked at all kinds of different situations, budgets, etc. I know where I am now, where I want to be in the future, what I have to do to get there, etc. Like someone else said in this thread though, who knows what will happen ? I could be FI in about 2 years, but that is a skin of the teeth situation, I need about 4 or 5 more years of work to be comfortable FI/RE. Of course, this could turn into 10-15 years depending on the many things that could happen, right ?

So anyway, what do I do in the meantime ? Like Cut-Throat said, pretty much whatever I enjoy, and whatever I plan on doing after I am retired. For you it may be fishing, basketweaving, collecting bobbleheads, whatever puts a smile on your face. I like traveling, hiking, camping, motorcycles, etc. Have a good time now, knowing you've done everything in your power to control your future.

Good luck, and enjoy !

Panhead
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 10:35 AM   #9
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Uh, I meant "Malakito" not "Makakito" Sorry !
Can you tell I'm in between jobs at the moment
and getting a little too relaxed !

Heh Heh !

Panhead
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Old 01-14-2004, 10:43 AM   #10
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

malakito,

The first principle of retiring early is to live below your means (LBYM) and that has two aspects: 1) optimizing your costs of living and 2) maximizing your earnings (means). If you have 16 years remaining, you have plenty of room to optimize that second point. I'm not sure what you have assumed in terms of your earnings over the next 16 years, but if you were able to gain 3 or 4 or 5 or . . . significant raises/promotions over that time period you would be able either to accelerate your plan or increase your safe withdrawal rate in retirement. There's nothing wrong with trying to be successeful at your career while you have one.

Also, none of us knows everything about investing or about optimising our spending to insure highest personal reward. And even if we did know it all today, things change every day. New investment vehicles, revisions of tax laws, etc. come up all the time. Plus our interests change. If you think there's nothing more to do, I suspect you haven't really examined the possibilities as thoroughly as some others have.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 11:30 AM   #11
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Very genuine thanks to all who replied.

Cut-Throat, a little more background for you, since you've been so gracious in your replies. About four years ago I was bored so I decided my hobby would be "personal finances" -- a great idea because it was something I was interested in, something that was free to do and in fact has paid me money, something that would fill up my time. Four years later, I'm done and now I guess I do need to go fishing or whatever.

TheFIREman, I am a Vanguard fan. The weighted average expense ratio for my portfolio is about 14 basis points and I have a plan in progress to get that down to about 11 basis points.

Nords, thanks for the commiserating and your story and your suggestions...they are all really helpful. I won't trade on margin, thanks, I'm sort of a buy-and-hold Vanguard boring type.

PanHead, thanks for the kind words. I'm guessing you're single or don't have kids, is that right?

salaryguru, I am trying to be successful in my career and am LBYM. I save about 1/3 of my gross income. My assumptions are that my salary will go up 2% per year. You're right, if any of my assumptions turn out to be incorrrect, that will change my FIRE date.

Thanks again all,

malakito.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 11:38 AM   #12
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

16 years is a LONG time away. I have no idea what your circumstances are, but with 16 years to play with, I'd be willing to bet if you keep your eye on the ball, you could (if you wanted to) cut that 16 years at least by 1/3, maybe more...

Look for ways to save money, at look for ways to earn more money...don't put things on autopilot.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 02:11 PM   #13
 
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Sixteen years is NOT a long time. I guarantee that
16 years will be gone before you (or any of us)
knows what hit 'em. If I live 16 years, I will be 75.
But................I'm not counting on it, even though my parents are alive and in their mid 80s. Anyway, "bored
bored bored bored" etc. , I can stand anything but boredom. Fortunately, it's seldom a problem for me.
Mostly my problem is squeezing everything into the
(unknown) time I have left.

John Galt
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-14-2004, 08:02 PM   #14
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Yup, I'm single and I don't have any kids. I also have extremely low infrastructure costs. I'm not sure of your situation (married, with/without kids, etc). Either way, the way to enjoy the journey to FIRE should be the same: take care of what you can, save what can, make what you can, manage your investments as best as you can, then.... GO HAVE FUN !!! The thing I find the most interesting about FI/RE is that it takes time to get there, and during that time, all of our priorities, desires, etc, change. I'm not sure anyone can plan successfully 16 years in advance. You do what you think is right at the time, go away, and re-visit your plan every year or so to make sure it still fits your current situation. If I get married, that will surely throw a huge wrench in my plan ! Of course, I'm trying to learn from the posts John Galt puts up with respect to marriage and FI ! :

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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-15-2004, 03:06 AM   #15
 
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Hello Panhead! Good to see someone is paying
attention .

John Galt
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-15-2004, 03:36 AM   #16
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

I satisfy my "gambling" instinct by "actively" managing a portion of my assets. *At least this past year, I have beat the odds and made "above market" returns at it. *But most people would do best to get their assets into diversified, low cost investments and essentially leave them on autopilot, except for rebalancing about once per year.

Managing finances after marriage is simple. *Just marry someone who is rich.
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Old 01-15-2004, 05:33 AM   #17
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Ted
Somewhere I seen it called "core and explore" - core is index funds for selected asset classes rebalanced at regular intervals plus individually selected enhancements attempting to 'juice' the overall portfolio.

My name is balanced index(Vg Lifestrategy is not totally pure) plus 'hobby stocks' although gambling is good word to capture the sense of risk.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-15-2004, 07:54 AM   #18
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Malakito,

I think we wear similar shoes. I'm 36 and plan on ER/FI by 50. Agreed, when it's on autopilot and the numbers work, it's boring, or maybe it's just not exciting. That's a good thing in my book. I've been living within my means since I left college. My wife also sees the value of ER/FI and we have been enjoying living within our means. Once I got a good handle on how I could use my 401k, IRA, and brokerage accounts to invest to accomplish my FI goals, looking at the finances got boring quick. I used to check the finances frequently, but realized that it was a waste of time and I began to fill my time with other interests. Occasionally, I re-run the current numbers, but try to keep it to once or twice a year. I've been doing this more frequently lately because we are moving into a larger home and this requires some tweaking of the financial picture.

You asked for some comments/suggestions. In my opinion, ideally, thoughts about finances should occupy a very small part of your FI time. Try thinking about the FI lifestyle instead of finances that get you to the holy grail of FI.

1. You have some time before ER. Do a little soul searching and consider if you are going to be happy with your ER budget. I did this about 5 years ago and realized that my original FI goal was comfortable, but probably too low. Try and be honest with yourself. It's probably easier to save more now than to try and do with less than you truly want later - I'm guessing, of course.

2. Make a list of interesting things you want to see or do before you croak. This kind of goes with #1. Here are a couple off of my list; seeing the serpent at the equinox at the Chichen Itza Mayan site (Yucatan peninsula, Mexico), OBSERVE the running of the bulls, and participate in an Amish barn raising.

3. Take 10 minutes every day and think about what you will be doing on this date 17 years from now. For instance, January 15th, 2021 - wash sand out my suitcase since I didn't wash the sand out of my swimsuit in Hawaii last week. Or, think about calling chiropractor because I just shoveled the driveway after the big snow - why, I don't know, I have no where to go and should have just shoveled the sidewalk so that the neighbor kids can walk to school...

4. Don't make a game out of playing with stocks, futures, etc. Find another itch and scratch it. Doing this only makes you want to see the ticker everyday at 4:00PM. You are planning your ER and are on track from what you said and bored with finances that are working. Why pick the scab?

Kind Regards,

Chris

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Old 01-27-2004, 10:27 AM   #19
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Yes, I'm in your shoes. I have done everthing possible as far as 401(k), IRA, will, & health directive, but I view my present state of boredom as a good thing. I want it to be boring and predicatable so that I can retire on time.

Other than financial matters, have you thought about where you will live when you retire? I'm thinking Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Costa Rica as they are cheaper than the U.S. The only down side's that you can't take your Medicare with you, but the plus side's that with $500K - $750K in the bank (in present day dollars), you'll be the equaivalent of a multi-millionaire in the U.S.
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Got retiree health care through your company? What if the company goes bankrupt? Retire and go RVing full time? RVs are not structurally sound. You'll die in a fiery crash. Retire and live overseas? What if you die? Aren't you worried about your body? No, I don't think I will be able to seeing how I am dead.
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...
Old 01-27-2004, 01:39 PM   #20
 
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Re: Bored bored bored bored bored...

Hello and welcome Buns of veal. Stick with this site.
You seldom get a bum steer.

We looked at a whole range of "offshore" locations.
Many had appeal, but at my age and with our various
"entanglements" we finally decided to stay inside
"the friendly confines". No regrets!

John Galt

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