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Old 09-16-2008, 03:00 PM   #101
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The biggest problem with all the doomsday talk is that if enough people believe it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as people decide to pull all their money from banks and brokerages, ratchet discretionary spending down to near zero and sell all their stocks.
You mean like yesterday?
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:12 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
Walt, there are other jobs out there that are more dangerous and with worse hours.
Many of these jobs have no pension and don't even pay as well as law enforcement.

When people are hurt on most jobs the best they can expect is SS disability.

Most of the retired cops I know are not only collecting SS but also 3/4 tax free pensions.

So yeah, I'd love to have the cola pension.

When I came to the fork in the road I ended up in the car biz.. Not dangerous (most of the time). But I can guarantee I put in 20 hours a week more than you did and did it for 35 years not 20 or 25. When I left I didn't even get a hand shake.
COLA'd pension, Thrift Savings Plan, & early retirement for law enforcement (combined with job security & decent pay) are one of the primary reasons I chose to stay in Fed Law Enforcement for 25 years. Had those things not been there I likely would have taken a different path.

Not a taxpayer subsidy as some like to characterize it - part of my compensation package - same as if I was working for a large corporation with a good compensation package.

I made my choices - you made yours.

(BTW - if you want law enforcement at bargain-basement prices, go to Mexico )
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:24 PM   #103
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Perhaps I am confusing the issue....

500,000 seems to be a common denominator with the lead element of ER in the past. I am not saying ER is not desirable or possible. I guess it depends on the desired standard of living.

I have been on this board for over a year and there are people who retire with a bare minimum because they are dissatisfied with work (life). You hear about people retiring to early in the news or on bare bones budgets so I would suppose that there are some on this board who are contemplating a bare bones retirement on this board. I can assure you not everyone is as rich as they state on this board.

We can debate all we want but I expect there are people retiring with substantially less than 500,000 but who don't fess up. My exact point is “the bare bones retirement could very well turn into poverty at the back end”.

Turn the numbers any way you want. I plan to ER but I won’t sacrifice my future or my standard of life because work is an evil word. I think I have a valid point so I don’t see why the push back. I am not challenging the ER lifestyle.
I think you are confusing the issue. You started out challenging the premise of a 4% safe withdrawal rate (or any other rate it seems since you have not suggested a different rate). Then you challenge the notion that a 50+ year retirement can be fairly safely provided for with a portfolio of adequate size.

Now you have backed down to challenging those that are just plain old undercapitalized and seeking to ER without a portfolio that is close to big enough to survive during a retirement of many decades. I don't see hardly any folks on here seeking to retire in their late 30's or early 40's with "only" $500,000. Not saying it can't be done, as the perpetual traveler lifestyle could be fairly easily supported by this size portfolio, particularly for a single person.

So you are really saying "make sure your nest egg is of a sufficient size to support your desired income" it seems.

The "typical" 30's or early 40's ER on here seems to be either a small business owner, a young professional, and/or a recipient of large stock options. Common among most is typically keeping spending to a minimum, thereby allowing significant savings to occur (particularly the young professional-type). Most have carefully considered their future goals, budgets, and portfolio sufficiently well to know how and when to pull the plug. It may not all work out in the end, but their is something unquantifiable yet very desirable about being able to enjoy freedom for a few decades while you're still "young". Maybe they want to travel the world. Maybe they want to spend more time with their wife and their young kids. Maybe they are devoted to a hobby that they have neglected over the years.

Canadian Grunt, you still haven't really admitted that ER-ing in your late 30's or early 40's could work out ok in most cases with a sufficiently well capitalized portfolio. Do you think this is true or not? These days it isn't that uncommon to have a family earning over $200,000 if both spouses are professionals and they both work. Save a good chunk of this from age 25 when you finish grad/professional school until you ER in your late 30's or early 40's and you're going to have a multi-million dollar portfolio. If you are used to living on $40000-$60000 per year, this size of portfolio should prove adequately capitalized to support someone for a 50+ year retirement period.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:24 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Texarkandy View Post
COLA'd pension, Thrift Savings Plan, & early retirement for law enforcement (combined with job security & decent pay) are one of the primary reasons I chose to stay in Fed Law Enforcement for 25 years. Had those things not been there I likely would have taken a different path.

Not a taxpayer subsidy as some like to characterize it - part of my compensation package - same as if I was working for a large corporation with a good compensation package.

I made my choices - you made yours.
Perhaps. But when people were making career choices 10, 20 or 30 years ago, I suspect the perceived value of the job security and DB pension plan that comes with many public jobs was MUCH lower than it is today, so the decisions that made sense then might not make as much sense today. Today, job security, retiree medical and pensions are the holy grails of employee compensation packages.

Personally, you can bet that if I could turn the clock back a decade or two, I'd choose the somewhat lower pay that comes with the job security and the benefits without blinking. But today, being almost 43 that's not as feasible because of length-of-service requirements for pensions, retiree medical and the like -- especially since so many new hires are being pushed into dramatically inferior benefits packages compared to those hired long ago.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:26 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
Walt, there are other jobs out there that are more dangerous and with worse hours.
Many of these jobs have no pension and don't even pay as well as law enforcement.

When people are hurt on most jobs the best they can expect is SS disability.

Most of the retired cops I know are not only collecting SS but also 3/4 tax free pensions.

So yeah, I'd love to have the cola pension.

When I came to the fork in the road I ended up in the car biz.. Not dangerous (most of the time). But I can guarantee I put in 20 hours a week more than you did and did it for 35 years not 20 or 25. When I left I didn't even get a hand shake.

Different jobs have different compensation packages. Pensions are usually part of the compensation for jobs where the employer wants a stable workforce.

Doesn't bother me at all that I receive a guaranteed pension for life, I earned it. I hear statements such as yours every once in a while and just refer them to the recruiting office; funny, never heard of anyone joining up though. There is a reason for that.

I can guarantee you I worked longer, harder, more miserable and dangerous hours than you could ever imagine, and all for low pay comparatively speaking, when you factor in the life and limb factor.

I spent 21 years in the Infantry and didn't know anyone who joined for the pension although I knew plenty who stayed the last few years for it. I could have made more money in another job but then I wouldn’t have been doing what I was geared for.

Others join the police, fire department, government, teaching, etc….but nobody thinks about the pensions too much when they become employees. These are just benefits in the distant future. People join for the job and earn the benefits over a 20+ year career. By the way, they are not free. People pay into them.

And I didn't get a bonus for a mission well done, except a few free beers over a brief back and from pers relied on my int.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:28 PM   #106
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Tex, no doubt, that exactly what I said.

I was just responding to Walt who was telling us how tough his job was. Couldn't talk to his wife because he was to exhausted to speak when he got home from work.

You gotta be kidding me, most cops I know never pulled their guns.
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