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Your biggest hurdle?
Old 12-31-2011, 10:39 PM   #1
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Your biggest hurdle?

What do you feel your biggest hurdle is to ER? For me, it's education. We want to send our daughter to private school and are saving for college expenses. I'm currently putting away about $8,000/year into college savings and I feel it will likely not be enough. Also, we're paying down our mortgage because we will need to cash flow private school once she hits third grade (she has her tuition covered right now because my husband works at her school, but it ends at third grade.) Private school expenses are insane where we live. But we have discussed it ad nauseum and it is worth it for us to delay retirement a few years to send her to private school.

What is your biggest hurdle?
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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I've jumped all my hurdles and I'm fully retired. Good luck to you during your journey.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:22 PM   #3
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So far my biggest hurdle is a job that I really enjoy. It's fun and pays well. I even went to work today to do some interesting stuff. I was the only person in the whole building.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:33 PM   #4
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My biggest hurdle was "Whaddya gonna DO all day?!?"

About 10 minutes after I ER'd I was wondering what I was worried about. It was also the day of my first surfing lesson...
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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I don't know. Literally, I was worried about the unknown, some expense or event I couldn't predict that would break my plan. My best guess is that it would/will be medical, either the increasing cost of insurance or something not covered by insurance.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirion
What do you feel your biggest hurdle is to ER? For me, it's education. We want to send our daughter to private school and are saving for college expenses. I'm currently putting away about $8,000/year into college savings and I feel it will likely not be enough. Also, we're paying down our mortgage because we will need to cash flow private school once she hits third grade (she has her tuition covered right now because my husband works at her school, but it ends at third grade.) Private school expenses are insane where we live. But we have discussed it ad nauseum and it is worth it for us to delay retirement a few years to send her to private school.

What is your biggest hurdle?
I suspect our situation is a lot like yours: biggest hurdle is ensuring the education is funded and getting the mortgage paid down.

Provided I can get the portfolio to keep pace with college inflation (no sure thing), I think we're 75% done with college costs.
Hitting the mortgage hard every time we get even a small pile of money pulled together.

We decided a while ago that we owed two things in this world: we owe our kids a college education and we owe the more on our house. Once those are done, we're playing for beer money...

How are you investing for college?

Thx
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
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Crappy market performance all my adult life. I started investing in 1999. Been all downhill since then, so its tough to make the headway that the Boomers could with the strong markets they enjoyed in their key accumulation years.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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Crappy market performance all my adult life. I started investing in 1999. Been all downhill since then, so its tough to make the headway that the Boomers could with the strong markets they enjoyed in their key accumulation years.
Yeah, that would be one big ongoing issue.

Additionally for us:
- Staying in school into our 30's to get advanced degrees. It helped us to higher income now, but delayed starting accumulation phase by about 5 - 10 years depending how you want to look at it.
- Not getting SW agree about further down scaling the lifestyle (primarily house) leading to higher ER income need.
- The monster of unknown future medical expense needs (primarily related to pre-existing conditions).
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #9
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Crappy market performance all my adult life.
+1

Started saving and investing in 2001.

T
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:12 AM   #10
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We were fortunate to be able to send our kids to public schools. Our son then attended an in-State university and his grades meant we paid no fees for 4 years.

Our daughter went out of State but after the first semester she got a part time job at the university becoming a State employee so we paid in-State fees for all 4 years (after that first sememster).

Still, between the two of them it cost over $100k in fees plus living expenses, books etc.

I can see that education for your kids can be a big hurdle to ER but I believe it is a good investment and we would have delayed our ER date if needed.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:31 AM   #11
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Retiring very early came with a few hurdles: higher FIRE stash required but fewer accumulation years, little help from Mr. market to grow the stash (though we did OK), decades ahead of us with no guaranteed access to affordable health insurance, etc...

But we are fortunate in that the above hurdles seemed surmountable thanks to some fiscal discipline and some good luck.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:04 PM   #12
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Without question the biggest hurdle was private school tuition for daughter and out-of-state tuition for college. A late-in-life change in a home didn't help either. But both of these expenditures were correct choices for us, and I'd do it again for wife and daughter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirion View Post
Also, we're paying down our mortgage because we will need to cash flow private school once she hits third grade (she has her tuition covered right now because my husband works at her school, but it ends at third grade.) Private school expenses are insane where we live. But we have discussed it ad nauseum and it is worth it for us to delay retirement a few years to send her to private school.

What is your biggest hurdle?
Have YOU considered trying to get a position at your daughter's new school? That's what we did, and it worked magnificently. You don't have to teach. You can be a receptionist or an assistant to someone. There are several parents who have done that. Some of them even had advanced or professional degrees like DW. In fact, DW is still working there part time, but mostly to keep her medical coverage due to the serious medical problems that made insurability difficult.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:52 PM   #13
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I know it may sound presumptuous, but my answer is "nothing".
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What is your biggest hurdle?
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:03 PM   #14
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My biggest hurdle was getting divorced when I was 47. That million dollar portfolio quickly became less than half after I bought out my half of the house. But I saved and invested like crazy and made it up by the time I was 54 and retired.
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Old 01-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #15
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Health insurance and 2 kids though college certainly impacted our plans. But my biggest hurdle was just to start thinking and planning about early retirement. Until it started looking like a possibility, I was just going to retire at 65 or later, and without a lot of thought. I saved 10% of our income, but without any plan. I was happy where I was. But that started to fade, and I was happy to be FI sooner than I had thought when the startup I worked for was bought and my stock options were worth something.

I try to make sure my DS's save appropriately and give then a simple retirement spreadsheet to estimate retirement income. One seems to want to ER fairly quickly.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:22 PM   #16
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Y'know, one thing I've learned from studying stock markets is that in the early stage of a bull market, people still don't believe it.

If you'd had a chance to buy stock in McDonald's in the 1960s, Microsoft in the late 1970s, or Apple in the mid-1980s... you'd have run away screaming from those egotistical idiots. And let's not forget those late 1990s grad students Larry & Sergei, who kept tinkering with #102 in the search engine roster when everyone knew that banner ads and online stores were where it's at.

Same with the 1980s stock market. Business Week's 1979 "Death of Equities" cover story echoed for a decade. Black Monday persuaded us all that 1966-1982 wasn't finished yet. Sure, the Cold War ended a couple years later, but East Germany was going to bankrupt West Germany and then that idiot Hussein was going to set the Middle East aflame. Or Japan was going to go bankrupt before the rest of the world imploded.

Everything's clear through the 20-20 retroscope.

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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Crappy market performance all my adult life. I started investing in 1999. Been all downhill since then, so its tough to make the headway that the Boomers could with the strong markets they enjoyed in their key accumulation years.
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Started saving and investing in 2001.T
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Yeah, that would be one big ongoing issue.
In your favor, you guys have had to actually learn how to invest instead of just giving your money to Fidelity (at 2-3% sales charges in the 1980s) and resting on your hubris assets.

I know plenty of Boomers who were sure that the 1980s-90s bull markets made them brilliant investors. They're still working.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:59 PM   #17
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In your favor, you guys have had to actually learn how to invest instead of just giving your money to Fidelity (at 2-3% sales charges in the 1980s) and resting on your hubris assets.

I know plenty of Boomers who were sure that the 1980s-90s bull markets made them brilliant investors. They're still working.
Since I can do simple math, I am pretty sure that I would have figured out how to invest without the "help" of two historic market crashes within a decade.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:35 PM   #18
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Biggest Hurddle here is Private Health Care insurance cannot not be purchased in Ohio due to Pre Existing Conditions so continue to W*rk to get the group plan. Hope to change that thru change in health or legislation.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:49 PM   #19
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My impending divorce is currently my biggest hurdle, along with the fact that I'd been counting on two incomes to get to FI. I'm losing half of my assets even though I contributed the vast majority of the income during the marriage.

On the other hand, I can now be as frugal and LBYM as I want, without having to worry about what he says, so hopefully I can recoup what I lost and still be FI at a decent age.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:44 PM   #20
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As my ER plan was taking shape in 2007-2008, I was watching for the following major pieces to fall into place:

(1) The value of my company stock was rising close to the level ($300k) I felt I needed to get out.

(2) I had found a bond fund which could generate the monthly dividend income I needed t pay my bills. The bond fund had some risk was not a total "junk bond" fund.

(3) I had found an affordable individual HI policy (at least at the time; I have since changed to another one) to buy after my COBRA expired. Even though I was still working, I had reduced my weekly hours to a level below the minimum to be eligible for group health, making me eligible for COBRA even though I was still working.

Item (3) was my biggest and most uncertain hurdle.
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