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Old 06-15-2015, 09:16 AM   #21
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I don't think I ever coasted "financially". To be honest, the last 10+ years that I worked, I intentionally "dialed" up my spending a lot but I was still able to save more than ever. However, I did start coasting with my level of work by cutting down to 40 hour work weeks the last two+ years to ease into retirement.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:02 PM   #22
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Stuff Happens.....

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So you all trust firecalc during accumulation and drawdown phases, but not to "coast?"

The way i calculate it, i want to get to 50% of target, then stop saving.......
I have high level of confidence in firecalc's predictions as long as my input is correct. My biggest concern until very near ER was unexpected events that would blow my savings / yearly expense input assumptions out of the water. Have had too many friends (and family actually) where such events have occurred and dramatically changed their future financial situation. I don't consider those types of events remote issues and therefore chose to continue savings a reasonable amount throughout most of my career to provide a larger buffer to cover such events. Just a couple examples: (1) wife gets long term, terminal illness which requires extensive medical expenses for her remaining life of many years (2) one child diagnosed with mental illness that will mean they will forever be under the parents care (3) horrible truck accident where bread winner becomes wheel chair bound for life (4) wife gets diagnoised with stage 4 cancer and requires extensive (expensive) medical treatments ..... just a couple examples of what has happened to good people I know. None actually happened directly to me but some were situations where I might have felt compelled to help out financially.

Again - life is for living so I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't coast, just that you be aware of possible consequences and happy with your decisions.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:32 PM   #23
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Around age 55 DW and I felt marginally FI. Her job was very stressful with a long commute. We agreed that she would retire, take care of all the household stuff, and I would work a few more years. With the reduction in income the coasting came naturally. From years of 30-40% savings rate down to a 401k contribution 0f 10% to get a max match. All other available cash went to savings accounts for early retirement years. Currently our savings rate is less than 20% with retirement in less than 250 days .
Slightly coasting in more than just the financial end.
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When to coast?
Old 06-15-2015, 07:26 PM   #24
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When to coast?

With the OP, i was hoping to get some numeric responses.

The way i'm slicing and dicing is i want to reach 50% of target egg, which is also 75% of the minimum egg i would okay with. Then payoff mortgage or just downsize and eliminate mortgage ( would take About a year). Then i plan for 10 years of work as much I need to do whatever. I figure in these ten years i'll get some decent travel in, really improve overall health and activity, and then re-assess the egg around the ten year mark. Maybe do another ten if things are kosher. Who knows where I might end up.

During this time, i'm 100% stocks, heavy in small, mid, foreign.


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Old 06-15-2015, 08:10 PM   #25
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I'm 37, planning to stop saving heavily at 40 and let compounding do the work while I either dial back work or dial up spending or both...
Dial back work can be called "coasting", but dial up spending is "speeding".

And once you are used to spend more, can you retire on schedule according to the original plan, if your lifestyle is now higher?
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When to coast?
Old 06-15-2015, 08:28 PM   #26
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When to coast?

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Dial back work can be called "coasting", but dial up spending is "speeding".



And once you are used to spend more, can you retire on schedule according to the original plan, if your lifestyle is now higher?

It's not speeding if you lbym'd hard early on, saved a lot, and then want to relax. Then it's called consumption smoothing. Most people blow their cash in their 20/30's. I'm just planning to spend some of what i make as i enter 40's / 50's. We are dinks, high earners, healthy, and have 700k NW. I don't think upping our spending to 50k a year is outrageous.


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Old 06-15-2015, 08:48 PM   #27
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And once you are used to spend more, can you retire on schedule according to the original plan, if your lifestyle is now higher?
It can be done. However, there are probably some things that a rapidly increasing salary/income can't solve.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:57 PM   #28
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... I don't think upping our spending to 50k a year is outrageous...
Upping to 50K a year total?

My, my. You cannot talk about coasting yet my friend, meaning shifting to Neutral. You have been stuck in Park.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:21 PM   #29
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Upping to 50K a year total?

My, my. You cannot talk about coasting yet my friend, meaning shifting to Neutral. You have been stuck in Park.
+1 on the above comment. Back when I was 40 (~ 2010), I was spending ~3 times that amount (including all taxes) and still saving a significant amount of my income. I did have 3 kids and eventual college expenses so not exactly same situation but it gives you some idea of one person's situation vs yours. By the way, my net worth also increased by a factor of 3 between when I was 40 and 50 so those were important saving years for me.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:25 PM   #30
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By the way, my net worth also increased by a factor of 3 between when I was 40 and 50 so those were important saving years for me.

Would you have been ok with a increase of a factor of two instead of three to work only minimally those ten years and get things off the bucket list early?


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Old 06-15-2015, 09:47 PM   #31
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Sorry if my joke was taken as disparaging. What I meant was that of course you should live a little.

I don't think one should have his mind set too hard on ER and forget about living a little for today. I am sure there are people who are extremely frugal, and who do not feel that they need anything else. Happiness is a state of mind. But once you entertain the thought that perhaps you are missing something, then splurge once in a while so that you do not feel deprived. You will be fine.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:55 PM   #32
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Would you have been ok with a increase of a factor of two instead of three to work only minimally those ten years and get things off the bucket list early?


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That would not have worked for me and my family. But everyone is different so my situation may not be reflective of yours.

Edit: Upon further reflection, I guess the result of factor of 2 vs 3 would have been a few additional years of work to get the savings I wanted to be safe in retirement. So it all would have worked out ok one way or another. I just retired earlier (at 55) this way.
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:02 AM   #33
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I think of it more like gliding. Coasting will decay eventually. A glider can soar a lot higher, stay aloft indefenately with a just little guidance and wind
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:31 AM   #34
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I've been toying a bit with the idea of coasting, on the 401k front at least, but can't bring myself to do it. I've gotten too accustomed to the tax break, I guess. Right now, every dollar I put into the 401k only costs about 67 cents, because of the tax break (25% federal, ~8% state/local). Of course, that means I'll be paying regular income tax rates when I withdraw it, rather than long term capital gains rates, but that's still a ways off for me.

If I scaled back on the 401k though, I'd probably take that money and do after-tax investing. So, I guess it's really not coasting. Just investing, but paying more taxes up-front in the process.

I might be willing to try coasting if I was planning on still w*rking for a good long time. But, I'm at the point where I want to just get to my target goal as quickly as possible, and then I'll look into phasing out w*rk.
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:18 AM   #35
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I'm sort of in a "coasting mode" right now.

35 years old, around 750k$ saved up and haven't worked in 7 months or so. Looking around for starting to do new things here and there, maybe a full-time job. But not in a rush. My expense level excluding long distance travel is somewhere around 30k$ currently (which I can easily drop to 25k$).

Chances are also high I either won't go back to work, or work on a project basis irregularly. I'll probably do a small consulting job for 5k this year for example. A few hours a week.

Certainly expect I won't reach my former rather high savings rate. In any case, I wouldn't work primarily anymore to achieve high savings rates, that part is getting lower priority now. And while I can always force myself to increase spending, I'm pretty happy where I am.

On the other hand, who knows .. I'm basically using this time to reflect alot (besides relaxing) and trying to re-imagine myself. At 35 there are still quite a few roads and adventures to be explored (also at 40, 45, even 50?) so nothing is excluded.

Even a stressful job for a year or two if some of the experience is worth it. Was just looking at a job for the European Investment Bank for example, just out of curiosity.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:32 AM   #36
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I'm sort of in a "coasting mode" right now.

35 years old, around 750k$ saved up and haven't worked in 7 months or so. Looking around for starting to do new things here and there, maybe a full-time job. But not in a rush. My expense level excluding long distance travel is somewhere around 30k$ currently (which I can easily drop to 25k$).

Chances are also high I either won't go back to work, or work on a project basis irregularly. I'll probably do a small consulting job for 5k this year for example. A few hours a week.

Certainly expect I won't reach my former rather high savings rate. In any case, I wouldn't work primarily anymore to achieve high savings rates, that part is getting lower priority now. And while I can always force myself to increase spending, I'm pretty happy where I am.

On the other hand, who knows .. I'm basically using this time to reflect alot (besides relaxing) and trying to re-imagine myself. At 35 there are still quite a few roads and adventures to be explored (also at 40, 45, even 50?) so nothing is excluded.

Even a stressful job for a year or two if some of the experience is worth it. Was just looking at a job for the European Investment Bank for example, just out of curiosity.
I think you and I are thinking alike. "Let's see what the world has that is interesting, work or otherwise."





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Old 06-24-2015, 02:16 PM   #37
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We aren't coasting, really, but we did start saving less. I am 46, DH is 41. Five years ago, my very conservative projections showed that we would overshoot our target $ at our planned retirement date (when I am 57), by a lot, if we kept saving as much as we were.

We thought about balance, and about what was important to us, and we ended up buying a cabin in the mountains 2 hours from where we live. We have enjoyed in on countless weekends since then, and I don't regret the extra mortgage/expenses one bit.

We still save quite a bit (max our 401(k)s and Roths, and a little extra in taxable), but as a percentage of income, it's lower. My thoughts might have been different if I felt that the retirement date could be earlier, but I'm "handcuffed" to my retirement health benefits.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:40 AM   #38
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33 years old here; off to a good start, but nowhere near FI (or even 50% of that).

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Simply put, I want to achieve FI ASAP with as few uncontrollable variables as possible. Once I'm there, I will evaluate reducing savings, loosening purse strings, etc. but I have no intention of coasting into that point.
I'm with Nash here, for the following reasons:
- I have a pretty decent job, but it's in a declining industry. Since I have no idea how many more rounds of layoffs I will survive, I'm saving aggressively while I can.
- I want to spend a lot more in retirement than I do now. Every dollar I save today will buy more of the good life 20 years from now.

Once I will reach bare-bones FI (meaning investment income covers then-current expenses at a WD of maybe 3.5%), I will re-evaluate my situation. If I still like my job, I'll continue working full time, while reducing the savings rate somewhat and starting to treat DW & me to some of the things we are currently denying ourselves. If I don't like my job, but it's bearable, I'll look for a different one or cut back to part time. And if I hate it and can't find a better gig, I'll find a way to retire on what I have already saved.

For me, the most precious aspect of FI is security, and options.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:09 PM   #39
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Come to think about it, I did coast for about 9 years, from 2003 to 2012, when I worked only sporadic part-time, and my wife then quit. That period covered my children college years, so we could not have saved very much at all. My book keeping was very loose in that time, so I did not have accurate records.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:42 PM   #40
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Coasting sounds like a great idea if you're at or near FI. My only concern would be to build up a contingency fund in addition to being FI.
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