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Old 07-12-2018, 01:26 PM   #21
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You could but there isn't much margin for adverse events... I think you would be better with a career change or perhaps part-time employment.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:29 PM   #22
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That's the ticket--a sabbatical!

I think what you're all witnessing here is a midlife crisis. I'm glad that I'm not in to motorcycles and fast cars .
Or fast women.

Lot of good advice here. You’re in good shape but too early to fully retire. Think this through and you’ll figure out the best path to take. Once I had enough money to not really stress about losing my job, the job became more tolerable. You’d be surprised what employers will put up with. I rode the edge of doing what I was willing to do while maintaining my professionalism. It was a better balance for my last 5 years or so before I went part time.
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Old 07-12-2018, 01:57 PM   #23
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Honestly, when it comes to investing, I have proven to be a horrible stock picker. I tend to panic sell (2007, I'm looking at you) and then sit out too long. A while ago I resolved to just fund invest and not pay too much attention to the noise. Outside of 1 year of expenses in savings, I pretty much dump pre and post tax money in to Vanguard Wellington, Wellesly, and Fidelity Contrafund.

Warren Buffet has plenty of ideas ( and quotes )

not all of them will work for you , but the ones ( from nearly 1000 ) that suit you best might help

like rule 1 . NEVER LOSE MONEY ( not buying a stock can still be a long term win , but that can also mean take the investment cash off the table , while you are in healthy profit )

https://www.suredividend.com/warren-buffett-quotes/ ( only 107 of them here )

also DON'T think share price rise/fall think long term income ( because that is what you will need most )

i was not interested in the markets before 2010 , but i had a windfall ( two estates i never expected to see a penny from ) and decided to make a try at a fully funded retirement by 2020 .. life has since had some unexpected twists but i still would like to see in the plan works after the extra distractions .

there is probably a crash coming ( there are plenty of opinions when )

if you have researched and studied, the next crash can give you a handy stepping stone ... my portfolio looks good because i was buying in 2011 and 2012 ( but the nest egg still has to survive a REAL crash maybe 3 if i live long enough )

also important is to not lose a lot of sleep over your investment decisions

make decisions you can live with first .

if it is any consolation i have only picked one 'good thing stock ' out of over 300 bought since early 2011 and the is MQG ( MQBKY in the US )

i hought it heavily as a 'growth stock hoping it work double in share price by now ( currently up 350% ) i have taken a fair bit of profit out of this ( sold about 70% on the original holding but it is still my second largest holding just under 5% by $value )

the rest of my successes were ( mostly ) boring little small caps that paid dividends .. and then some analyst writes a good report are off they go ... so i rescue the investment cash and let the profits run ( and invest the cash in a different boring little dividend payer )

good luck your task doesn't look easy .... but do you like a challenge
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:02 PM   #24
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I dabble with a small percentage of my investments in individual stocks. i have done well with it overall, more winners than losers and it is fun to some extent. Like the OP i think i do not have the patience to spend the effort using anything more than a few percent of my assets in this way.

For what its worth, among my other investments in taxable, I have been in the Fidelity Contrafund for 28 years. Starting with an initial investment of 12K, it grew, after 25 yrs, with no effort at all on my part, with reinvestment of dividends and cap gains, to just over 150K. Not bad, and it now forms a small but not insignificant part of income generation for my so far 2 1/2 yrs of ER. So it may be just fine going forward for the OP as well. YMMV
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:11 AM   #25
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Hi Dtail, yes, I Firecalc'd it, and concur that it is risky at 80% success rate. So it sounds like I need to lower the expenses or keep working and saving.

I have budgeted $5400 year to fund big ticket items and car replacements. Cars are ~5 years old and I expect 5 more years out of them, roof is 10, and AC is new. Furnace would probably need replaced in 5 years. So there is time for that "bucket" to fill up.

According to SS.gov, full retirement at 67 would be $3000, but I would expect that to go down if I have a lot of $0 years in between.
One other source of income could be if you currently live in a HCOL area and have built up good equity with your paid off house. If you are willing to move to a MCOL or LCOL area, you can sell the house and after buying in the new area, you can bank the differential into more portfolio investment potential.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:58 AM   #26
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To be safe at that age I think you would have to be spending only $30-35K/yr. And also, you do not have enough in non-retirement accounts to get you to the penalty-free age.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:04 AM   #27
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One other source of income could be if you currently live in a HCOL area and have built up good equity with your paid off house. If you are willing to move to a MCOL or LCOL area, you can sell the house and after buying in the new area, you can bank the differential into more portfolio investment potential.
Thanks Dtail, good thoughts. I'm currently in a MCOL area, with higher property taxes (compared to the region) to fund good schools. I moved around a lot as a child, and longed for stability and roots. I want to make sure my children get that, so I wouldn't consider a move until they're done with secondary.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:20 AM   #28
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Thanks everyone for the valuable input! If I may summarize what I view the consensus to be:

- Retirement now without compromises in budget would be risky and not allow for margin of error.

- Really focus on increasing the after tax "bridge" to 59.5, so I wouldn't have to 72t the pre-tax funds.

- Include SS in my calculations (I haven't been doing that), and also evaluate how not working for 35 years would affect the benefit.

- I am in a good position to take my time seeking a new j*b if the current one disappears. Good "FU" fund, as it were.

- I could keep on keeping on, keep saving, investing, and looking for ways to reduce expenses. Be better prepared for FIRE when youngest son graduates high school. *This is probably how I will proceed, other things equal.*

- I could consider a well-thought out career change to a field that would provide me more personal engagement and enjoyment. I could afford a substantial sacrifice in salary.

- During this contemplative process, I've been able to establish some personal "red lines" in areas that I am not willing to compromise in order to retire early: children's stability, and wife's stress level (I don't want her to change her part time job - she enjoys it so much and contributes to the family in many other ways).
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:40 AM   #29
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I could keep on keeping on, keep saving, investing, and looking for ways to reduce expenses. Be better prepared for FIRE when youngest son graduates high school. *This is probably how I will proceed, other things equal.*
absolutely on this .

i for one am an example of unexpected twists and turns .

have the back up plan as ready as it can be .

the rest will have to be decided by what suits you ( and your family ) best

best stay working on your FIRE plan refinement and extra knowledge should improve it , as you learn

good luck
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:47 AM   #30
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I agree that that sounds like cutting it a bit close, considering 1) ACA may go away and 2) lots of people are of the mind that a recession is right around the corner, suggesting it's not too unlikely that you'd end up in one of those 20% of failing scenarios.

But that said can I just comment, at kids' age of 10 and 13 you have house paid off, cars paid off, 0 debt, and college all saved for? Bravo!
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:40 AM   #31
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I agree that that sounds like cutting it a bit close, considering 1) ACA may go away and 2) lots of people are of the mind that a recession is right around the corner, suggesting it's not too unlikely that you'd end up in one of those 20% of failing scenarios.

But that said can I just comment, at kids' age of 10 and 13 you have house paid off, cars paid off, 0 debt, and college all saved for? Bravo!
Thanks mrWinter. I've actually gotten a bit browbeaten by family and friends for aggressively paying off the house and paying cash for my cars, as opposed to piling more in to investments.

But I've been able to increase my after tax savings rate to 40-50% since paying it off two years ago.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:20 PM   #32
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44 years old, married, two children aged 10 and 13.
House has been paid off for a few years.
No debt. Cars paid off.
401k, Roth, and Rollover IRA ~ $700K
After tax investments/liquidity (not including home equity) ~ $300K

College savings in 529 ~$100K, enough for a state education for both kids.

Expenses ~ $48K, including taxes, insurance, and some cushion. I have priced in an Obamacare silver plan and $4,000 in reserve for medical expenses. We already are pretty frugal, so I don't know that I could squeeze more out of the budget.

Wife earns ~$8K a year. I could easily pick up some extra work if I had to, but don't really want to.

So, if I get the heave ho, could I FIRE?
I wouldn't do it.

With possibly a 50-year retirement facing me, and two young children, I wouldn't attempt to retire with your current portfolio and current expenses.

It might not be what you want to hear, but if it were me I'd be planning for my next job now.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:26 PM   #33
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According to SS.gov, full retirement at 67 would be $3000, but I would expect that to go down if I have a lot of $0 years in between.
If you don't continue working, it would likely go down a lot. The numbers you get a SSA.gov assume you'll continue to receive your current income until your FRA (whatever age that is at that time).
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:27 PM   #34
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Re the not wanting to work, that was perhaps glib, but I am getting sick of what I have been doing for the past 20 years.
Completely understandable. Time to find something you would enjoy doing for the next 20 years or so.

Either that or have your wife find something she would enjoy doing for 20 years or so.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:07 PM   #35
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Completely understandable. Time to find something you would enjoy doing for the next 20 years or so.

Either that or have your wife find something she would enjoy doing for 20 years or so.
Absolutely. You've hit the wall a little early. When I was about 20 years into my career my company was bought out for the third time. Massive reorg and all the BS. For the only time in my career I networked (not a thing back in the day) and kissed butt to pull down a better job. These are the defining moments that create success.

I realize that good fortune and well timed moves have no place around here but it had a significant impact on our success. We started out having nothing and only one way to go. To paraphrase Jimmy Buffet, DW and I are the people your parents warned you about. But I digress.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:19 PM   #36
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If you don't continue working, it would likely go down a lot. The numbers you get a SSA.gov assume you'll continue to receive your current income until your FRA (whatever age that is at that time).
joeaa - Just to be clear, I did provide, in my above post, the proper way to get OP's correct SS estimate that would only include his current accrued benefit - ie no future earnings.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:35 PM   #37
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joeaa - Just to be clear, I did provide, in my above post, the proper way to get OP's correct SS estimate that would only include his current accrued benefit - ie no future earnings.
Yup, snipped from an earlier post...


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The way to get a good SS estimate is to use the "Retirement Estimator" available at the Social Security web site.
I try to access the calculator while logged in to my.ssa and I get a "Forbidden Unfortunately, you do not have access to this service. Please check your url for errors and try again." message. Anyone else encounter that?
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:55 PM   #38
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I usually do it while not logged into my personal SSA account.

The Retirement Estimator does not require an SSA account.


https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html

This is the URL I just successfully used to take me to the page to enter my personal info and then run the Estimator.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:36 PM   #39
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I'm also 44 but have half of your assets. Married no kids. Once we hit our magic number which is 4% WR, we are out. I am not falling into that "one more year" or "just to be sure" trap. Screw that. If you're flexible during your retirement, you can easily mitigate anything that comes your way.
We only have one life, so if you overwork and miss several years of potential joy, there is no going back. Those years are gone.
At your age, you can always try it for a few years and see if your assets hold up and if you like it. If not, you can always go back a working year or two to replenish. Hell, you can even start a new totally different career that you actually might enjoy. Just delivering pizza or starting a blog could make a huge difference.
There are literary hundreds of strategies to make your money last lot longer than you think. Flexibility is the key.

We're all different but If I had your assets, I would be gooone.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:31 AM   #40
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I usually do it while not logged into my personal SSA account.

The Retirement Estimator does not require an SSA account.


https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/estimator.html

This is the URL I just successfully used to take me to the page to enter my personal info and then run the Estimator.
Thank you, I was able to get it to work after logging out and going incognito. There must have been a cookie screwing me up.


Anyway, with
$0 contributions from now until 62 - $1600/mo
$0 from now until 65 - $1969
$0 from now until 67 - $2272

The benefit at age 67 is about $800 less per month than if I keep on working at the same income level.
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