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Old 10-15-2017, 06:55 PM   #241
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:13 PM   #242
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This is for a family of two.

if you can accumulate around 500-600K by age 50, that will help you survive for 17 years till age 67. From 67 you can start taking your full SS benefit; You get your amount (say 2600) and your non-working spouse gets 50% of that (1300) totaling 3900 per month. Since the medicare will take of your healthcare costs, 3900 will be good enough to survive for the rest of your life.

So the absolute minimum you need to save by 50 to retire safely is 600K. For each later year you retire, you can reduce the 600K by 50K / year. Does this sound reasonable? Not saying we can retire with 600K at 50 as it depends on economy and its good to have some buffer, but if we want a number this sounds like the absolute min. needed

- Sam
Thank you for posting this. I'm hitting 50 in 6 mos. and this post is exactly what I had in my mind for me to ER. I did not know that non-working spouse gets 50% also so thank you for that. I am READY !!!
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:16 PM   #243
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Most retirees actually live this way so yes you can. Simply depends on what lifestyle you prefer. Nothing wrong with living frugal to gain freedom.
Agreed !!!
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:19 PM   #244
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I know there are a lot of well off people on this site, but it surprises me that so many think that $3900 a month is undoable. Millions of people live very comfortably on less than that.
I did my budget couple of times and even adding "misc." expenses, I can easily live for $3K/mo (w/ no mortgage, no car payments, no college costs, no extravagant vacations). I'm fine with that !
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:09 AM   #245
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Maybe, with a part time job that offered health insurance. Starbuck's offers HI for part timers.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:28 AM   #246
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Whatever "number" you think you need to retire, I would recommend you build a cushion in. Say 20-25%. Stuff happens and if it doesn't the cushion will give more flexibility to your lifestyle in retirement.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:52 AM   #247
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We CAN certainly live on $3900 a month. But my wife and I decided that we WANT to live on (a minimum of ) $7500 a month in retirement.
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:19 PM   #248
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Even with no car payments etc, things will still need to replaced. Also deciding that you are okay without traveling could be a mistake once you have a lot more free time.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:26 PM   #249
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Even with no car payments etc, things will still need to replaced. Also deciding that you are okay without traveling could be a mistake once you have a lot more free time.
My budget is 3000.00 a month and includes everything but taxes. I entered every penny spent for the this year and then added furure purchases like vacation, car, AC, Roof replacement.

Many parts of the southeast are very inexpensive if you live outside of major cities.
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I don't say this often but...
Old 10-17-2017, 12:42 PM   #250
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I don't say this often but...

I would rather w*rk than take the OP's scenario.
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:49 PM   #251
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shabby, I totally agree.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:18 PM   #252
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Yup. +2
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:34 PM   #253
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:08 AM   #254
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Totally agree.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:50 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by militaryman View Post
Dear ole Mom (76) lives on $1361/mo ( combined SS and CSRS survivor benefit pension )

This is net after health/dental premium ($270) and medicare premium

Home is paid off ( +55 community )

Federal Employee Health care working in tandem with Medicare

Energy Assistance pays most of Electricity....

Prop Tax limited due to Age/income....

Small 30K emergency fund

Older Buick will probably not be replaced when it dies.... will just use Free Senior Transportation that comes around a few times a week

Her Emergency Fund has seemed to be growing month to month

She does not seem to be dissatisfied with the amount of money available to live on

Eats out every other day at a modest restaurant and has Cable TV and Internet



I think it helps immensely to retire in an area that has a support network (transportation, local/close amenities) of course debt free and medical paid for.



Before my Father passed last year the two of them lived on a little more but also had higher (family) health premiums, and some Rx expenses tied to Dad. Certainly they lived off of less than $1700/mo net for the last 20 years from age 55-75






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Somebody (i.e. taxpayers) pays for all of these "free" benefits.

What on that list is a big use of taxes? You might come with one, which is the Energy Assistance but alot of that comes from donations which you could help with when you pay your bill.
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Old 10-19-2017, 06:36 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by masceratian View Post
This is for a family of two.

if you can accumulate around 500-600K by age 50, that will help you survive for 17 years till age 67. From 67 you can start taking your full SS benefit; You get your amount (say 2600) and your non-working spouse gets 50% of that (1300) totaling 3900 per month. Since the medicare will take of your healthcare costs, 3900 will be good enough to survive for the rest of your life.

So the absolute minimum you need to save by 50 to retire safely is 600K. For each later year you retire, you can reduce the 600K by 50K / year. Does this sound reasonable? Not saying we can retire with 600K at 50 as it depends on economy and its good to have some buffer, but if we want a number this sounds like the absolute min. needed

- Sam
What would scare me about this plan:
1. it makes an assumption of what the buying power of 600K will be in 13 years, relative to what a safe investment AA might be,
2. it makes assumptions about the buying power of the "nut", over a period of 17 years. What happens to that buying power if a market crash reduces significantly the income generating ability of that nut, or if a period of rising inflation and poor market returns occurs.
3. It makes even scarier long range assumptions about the buying power of the "nut" plus SS benefits, starting at 17 years out, and running to end-of-life (which comes with a bunch of assumptions in itself).

I would wager that if 10 couples embarked on such a plan, at least 5 of them would end up like those couples we read about in those "Retirement not what they planned" articles, of RV nomads cleaning bathrooms for a free hook-up in the RV park.

I remember being 37, and dreaming of the day I would not have to answer the bell on Monday morning. I totally get that. And to have 600K by age 50 is a very worthy objective. I would consider it a great start, but not a great finish.

as others have said, YMMV.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:18 AM   #257
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Thank you for posting this. I'm hitting 50 in 6 mos. and this post is exactly what I had in my mind for me to ER. I did not know that non-working spouse gets 50% also so thank you for that. I am READY !!!
Yeah,,,not so fast.. I would rethink that because if you are not yet collecting SS, a lot may change with the SS rules when you get to 67.?? I would recommend stay working if you do not have any other guaranteed income to at least 55 to build up that buffer. Just a thought, either way you have done an awesome job thus far.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:27 AM   #258
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I would wager that if 10 couples embarked on such a plan, at least 5 of them would end up like those couples we read about in those "Retirement not what they planned" articles, of RV nomads cleaning bathrooms for a free hook-up in the RV park.

I remember being 37, and dreaming of the day I would not have to answer the bell on Monday morning. I totally get that. And to have 600K by age 50 is a very worthy objective. I would consider it a great start, but not a great finish.

as others have said, YMMV.
I disagree. I think that a lot more than 5 in 10 can live comfortably on $3900 a month. And none of them have to live in a falling apart RV to do so.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:35 AM   #259
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What would scare me about this plan:
1. it makes an assumption of what the buying power of 600K will be in 13 years, relative to what a safe investment AA might be,
2. it makes assumptions about the buying power of the "nut", over a period of 17 years. What happens to that buying power if a market crash reduces significantly the income generating ability of that nut, or if a period of rising inflation and poor market returns occurs.
3. It makes even scarier long range assumptions about the buying power of the "nut" plus SS benefits, starting at 17 years out, and running to end-of-life (which comes with a bunch of assumptions in itself).

I would wager that if 10 couples embarked on such a plan, at least 5 of them would end up like those couples we read about in those "Retirement not what they planned" articles, of RV nomads cleaning bathrooms for a free hook-up in the RV park.

I remember being 37, and dreaming of the day I would not have to answer the bell on Monday morning. I totally get that. And to have 600K by age 50 is a very worthy objective. I would consider it a great start, but not a great finish.

as others have said, YMMV.
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I disagree. I think that a lot more than 5 in 10 can live comfortably on $3900 a month. And none of them have to live in a falling apart RV to do so.
But your missing the bigger point about the viability of the assumptions, over what amounts to a period of maybe 50+ years. Assumptions about inflation, SS benefits,investment performance, health.....

Certainly, today, with today's purchasing power, one could live on $3900/month. The bigger question is what happens to that over half of a century.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:52 AM   #260
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But your missing the bigger point about the viability of the assumptions, over what amounts to a period of maybe 50+ years. Assumptions about inflation, SS benefits,investment performance, health.....

Certainly, today, with today's purchasing power, one could live on $3900/month. The bigger question is what happens to that over half of a century.
Not everyone living on $3900 a month needs that much. Some may only need $2500. Plus there is some inflation built into SS, correct?

$3900 is plenty of money for many who LBYM, don't live in a HCOL location, and don't have expensive hobbies. I know several people who barely made that much in their best years and have retired on less.
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