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ER in 4 months...or 11 months...or 24 months...
Old 01-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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ER in 4 months...or 11 months...or 24 months...


I've already posted in the FIRE and Money forum so this introduction is a bit behind. My bad.

I've been planning on ER sometime around 55 (currently 54.5) and it looks like I might be "released" (with a paltry severance package) by Megacorp in June. Or I might be kept on until Dec. 31, 2012, or Dec 31, 2013.

In Texas, unmarried with no debt and no kids. Have worked since 1984 in higher education and for a couple of megacorps; no government service, and no pension.

I currently rent a small apartment, having moved here from NC in 2009 after selling my house there. Decided not to buy a house in TX in 2009 with only a 3-5 year horizon and brutal property taxes, and instead put the "house kitty" into an earmarked account at Vanguard, at 50% Wellington and 50% GNMA (yes, I now know that was probably not a smart move taxwise, but I didn't want to lose principle in my "house" money). The house kitty has grown from $220K to $270K. I'll let it continue to grow until I know where I want to buy my "pine box house", and then pay cash.

Each year I max out my 401(K) including catch-up, as well as put $6K in a Roth IRA. Then I stuff more into taxable savings; I'm living on about 30% of my monthly gross income, so well below my means.

Excluding the "house kitty", my assets are mostly at Vanguard, about 60% in tax-advantaged / tax-deferred accounts, and 40% in taxable accounts. Again, excluding the "house kitty", 4% WR of my combined accounts would cover current living expenses, but there's not enough extra for travel, etc. yet -- the stuff I want to do in ER!

I will do a major rebalancing in July, when I am able to move my 403(b) funds from TIAA-CREF to an IRA at Vanguard. When I finally FIRE, I can roll my 401(k) to Vanguard as well, and then settle on a Lazy portfolio of some sort.

I'm learning a lot from the forum posts. Right now, based on the answers to a post a few days ago, I have learned that I should put stocks in my taxable account for tax-efficiency purposes, so I'm looking at the Vanguard indexed stock funds and ETFs, and figuring out that step.

Apologies that this is rather long-winded.Thanks to all for answering my clueless questions!
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:33 AM   #2
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BarbWire, welcome to the forum. There is a lot to learn but you sound like you're doing all the right things - maxing the retirement accounts, saving, keeping housing costs to a minimum.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:33 AM   #3
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Hi BarbWire. Sounds like you are in pretty good shape. I like the mix b/t taxable, tax-free and tax-deferred accounts. I hope you can hang on for another couple of years while you build up your fun-money kitty!
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:50 AM   #4
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Hey BarbWire I'm going to be 54 in a couple of months single (widowed) and childless in TX. Achieved FI last month after paying off last two rentals. Have a dozen. I've been maxing 401K at work plus Roth the last few years and I have about $300K in taxable accounts.

Hope to RE at age 55 (close to 56) if I can hang on two more years. That coincides with insurance changes for 2014. Also trying to build up a cushion for extras such as a bit of luxury in travel. Don't mind LBYM but would like to do splurges on occasion. I also may dabble in Real Estate sales a bit as I've had a license for 32 years. If you can choose the right house in the right area you can do well. For me it's close-in East Dallas with good schools near White Rock Lake. Everyone touts Austin but in some ways it is more "Austin" than Austin. Same for North Oak Cliff, but the schools are not as good. East Dallas has had double digit appreciation in the last two reports and the major retailers have taken notice.
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