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HI - 53 and seeking a little wisdom
Old 01-09-2008, 10:49 AM   #1
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HI - 53 and seeking a little wisdom

I found this board a couple months ago and just love it—so many smart people here with so much great knowledge. Would be possible to seek some wisdom?

Here’s my situation:

Age: 53
Single, no kids
In excellent health, have had an outstanding diet and exercised regularly for past 30 years

Net Worth: $300K, in both taxable and non-taxable accounts (401K’s, Roth’s, etc.)
No debt of any kind
Currently Saving: $50K year
Condo paid for and currently valued at $430K

FIRE Target Age: 57
Retirement Savings at 56: $600K (with condo, net worth will be > $1M)
I will have no pension or other source of income in retirement.

I live modestly and my total annual expenses run around $18K (even while living in Los Angeles, CA!).
I intend to increase my annual expenses to $24K annual in retirement (to account for travel).
At 57 FIRE age, I’ve factored in $6K annual health premiums to cover loss of employer healthcare.
I intend to delay social security until age 70, at which time estimates are I’ll receive $32.4K annually, or $2700 monthly).
Am also investigating moving to a city with a lower cost of living (Denver high on the list).

For “padding”, and to perhaps to account for possible unexpected health nursing home costs, I’m considering a future reverse-mortgage on my residence (if necessary).

I’ve run FIRECALC, and even with only 25% equities starting at age 57, worst case scenario shows I could end with >$600K (and rising) at age 92. Best case is several million.

Does this plan sound doable to the wise and experienced ER'd folks of this board? I’d appreciate any input you have.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:28 PM   #2
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Hi Options and welcome to the board.

Personally, I have a lot of respect for FIRECalc -- if you're getting a high success rate from it then I'd be feeling pretty confident.

As you know, health insurance is something that scares most of us here. I trust you've done some good research to support your $6K a year budget allocation for this.

Your modest lifestyle is very commendable! Especially since it's going to let you retire far earlier that most of your contemporaries.

It probably won't amount to much, but remember your withdrawal amount in FIRECalc needs to include any taxes you would owe. And you need to include in your budget some amount for large, irregular spending like cars, new appliances, special HOA assessments and so forth.


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Old 01-09-2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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Looks like you are doing some good planning, and are well aware of your expense side actual numbers.

I think you can get real close to the $600k in 4 years if you are saving $50k a year, and you can earn 5% until then on the pot. You don't say how your savings are invested, so assume 5% as a conservative, but bankable, rate.

If you can stick it out 1 year longer to age 58, you can give yourself some padding and safety net. An extra $50k in the pot plus another years earnings of around $30k at 5%.

Then you can SWR at 4% from $600k to get your desired $24k annual, adjusted for inflation each year. And have an emergency fund of $50k+, along with a paid up dwelling, and no debt.

Dreams Worth Dreaming are Dreams Worth Planning For. I Spent a Career Planning for Early Retirement.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:39 AM   #4
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Thanks much! I really appreciate your input. Actually, Coach, I hadn't looked at taxes, but after then figuring in 15% annual for taxes, it all still works according to FIRECALC. And yes, RR, I think I am going to stick it out an extra couple years (groan) for a cushion to account for unexpected expenses.

Thanks again--this board has given me so much inspiration to stick with it!
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