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Planning: Back on track
Old 06-06-2016, 09:17 AM   #1
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EvrClrx311's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 628
Planning: Back on track

Back on track may be the wrong phrase. Much more aware of the suck that life has (had) on retirement progress. A few years ago I assumed I was on a good track to save for retirement, but the spending was getting out of hand... so it's a bit like shooting yourself in the foot (Example: if you save 2 million but need to live on 200K a year). Really got to the bottom of why that was... see I've been saving 20% toward retirement consistently since I started working 12 years ago. I assumed that just continuing a 20% savings rate means I could spend everything else... and so I did. My income has almost tripled since then and I had a epiphany of sorts last year (as I saw my dream to FIRE by 50 keep slipping a year at a time as my income went up)... it's the spending that is a real threat!

2014 Numbers:
Income: $161,000
- Retirement Savings: $32,500/yr
- Cash Savings: $0/yr
- Mortgage: $50,600/yr
- Car(s): $18,000/yr (5 year loans being paid down)
- Living Expenses: $30,000/yr
(Taxes seem to soak up the rest)

(sold house... planning to get back into the housing market, but waiting to find the right kind of place, not a McMansion)

2016 Numbers:
Income: $212,000
- Retirement Savings: $52,000/yr (maxed on company contribution and my own)
- Cash Savings: $50,000/yr
- Rent: $24,000/yr
- Car: $7,200/yr (only one loan now; keeping car till it dies)
- Living Expenses: $30,000/yr
- Travel: $18,000/yr
(Taxes seems so soak up the rest...)

Heading in a better direction...
My income has gone up quite a bit, by my overall spending has gone down. While adding in more travel money (something I love; makes me feel much richer in life) I was still able to reduce spending for the year by 20%... upped my savings by a factor of three. To be honest I do spend some of the "cash savings" but not on anything I would consider yearly or monthly expenses. I'm banking closer to 40% of my income now (not just 20%).

My FIRE date which had been getting pushed back further and further toward upper 50's (raised income seemed to be a negative in that regard) is now in my late 40's. Need to maintain this new philosophy (of sorts) through my 30's and I think I'll be set
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:13 AM   #2
rodi's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
I had a epiphany of sorts last year (as I saw my dream to FIRE by 50 keep slipping a year at a time as my income went up)... it's the spending that is a real threat!
You're doing better than me... I had that epiphany in my 40's.... And with less income, concentrating on spending was the ONLY way I reached FIRE.

You've gone through a lot in the past few years - and come out of it with a good attitude and good plan. Keep it up.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 6%, rental income 20%
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:29 AM   #3
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Location: South central PA
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Invest some of your cash savings. There is significant inflation risk in keeping too much in cash. An index based portfolio should average about 7-8% return on investment.

You seem to spend a lot on travel. Can you spend less and still enjoy the experience?

I just spent two weeks in Italy--total cost was <$4000.

If you save 40% you should be saving about $80,000 per year. That is phenomenal. Especially if you keep your living expenses at $48,000 (living + travel). Are you investing your savings in an after tax portfolio? Don't keep it all in cash, inflation will eat up the value of cash.
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