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Old 02-07-2021, 12:59 AM   #21
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I ran it after I retired and it said the same thing all the others did, good to go.

So, a couple of times 4 years ago and never again.
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Old 02-07-2021, 05:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincenzo Corleone View Post
I used to be obsessed with running our numbers in Firecalc. But at some point, I started using the feature under the "Investigate" tab that - given a time horizon, an asset allocation and a success rate you provide - calculates the withdrawal rate that would have provided you that success rate. I've become much less obsessed with running Firecalc, and only really use it once a year now.

For example:
For a time horizon of 54 years, and an asset allocation of 70/30, I plug in the following inputs under the heading "Given a success rate, determine spending level for a set portfolio..." in the "Investigate" tab:



I use a time horizon of 54 years so that I can model a long time horizon but not so long as to exclude the worst start year, which I believe is 1966. We probably won't live 54 more years, but I like being conservative.

I don't bother changing the default portfolio value under the "Start Here" tab as it doesn't matter.

As of this year, these input parameters result in a withdrawal rate of 3.13% at ~100% success rate.

I then calculate what 3.13% of our current portfolio value is to determine where we stand. Happily, my wife and I can maintain a higher standard of living with a 3.13% withdrawal rate. Adding our Social Security and my wife's upcoming pension is just icing on the cake.

While I'm no longer that obsessed with Firecalc, I'm still obsessed with keeping an eye on our numbers, always with a 3.13% withdrawal rate in mind (until next year when it might change).

I'll run this scenario again next year after the next set of market data is included in Firecalc. I'll be using a time horizon of 55 years then.
Shouldn't you use 53 years instead of 55? lol
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Old 02-07-2021, 05:41 AM   #23
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This isn't something I discuss with my network of friends so figured it would be safe to broach here.

I know this isn't considered a serious "problem", but does anyone else obsessively run their numbers in FIRECALC? haha
I'm over four years into retirement yet I still very often run the numbers in addition to checking my investment account way too much. It is starting to annoy me that I keep doing it.

In my OMY, I do. I did lots of projections early in my quest for FIRE (early days with John Greaney hanging out at TMF before it went insane) and much less in the middle didn't as my assets/savings were growing. Now that I'm close I play with it a couple times a week at w*rk. All is green other than my mental state with the current economy and second guessing my assumptions. I have now taken to running only my taxable with out deferred (deferred is almost enough to be lean FIRED) to see how long I could last on them alone letting the rest ride. I'd actually like to stop... the numbers and assumptions do not change nearly as often as I reenter them!
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:28 AM   #24
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I used to run it all the time, tweaking various factors and trying different things. I still use it maybe 1-2x/mo, but now that we’ve hit the 99% success rate I’m more obsessed with our spending and making sure we’re keeping to our targets.
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:33 AM   #25
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I ran Firecalc along with Fido RIP quite often prior to retirement. Then, I ran Firecalc on a regular basis for about the first 10 years after retirement. Once I started SS at 62, my standard of living is fully funded with rental income and SS. My WR rate is ZERO. It turns out that my entire retirement portfolio is now an emergency backup. I never run it anymore.
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Old 02-07-2021, 09:41 AM   #26
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Obsession is in the eye of the beholder . Run it once a month, not obsessed. Run it multiple times a day for weeks on end, well...

When I first learned of it, I ran it a lot primarily to get an understanding how to use it and to understanding how the "what if" component worked. After that I ran it (along with other calculators) at year/end/beginning, or when a major or potentially major financial aspect was to be considered (e.g. accounting for a major expense, strong indications of upcoming Megacorp layoff, assess future impact of resetting resetting AA).

Since retiring I have run it several times a year, as with other calculators,and I do not consider that "obsessed". Moderation in all things...
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:01 AM   #27
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I've run it a few times; but at this stage the priorities are reducing expenses, moderating taxes, and making things work with what we have.
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:55 AM   #28
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Never used it. Never had an inclination to use it.
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Old 02-07-2021, 10:59 AM   #29
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I used it every few months in the few years prior to retirement.
I still run it about once a year, 5 years in.
It may become less as time goes on, but it is a great tool.
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:28 AM   #30
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I looked at Firecalc frequently before I retired just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. The basic scenario I ran was to look for a 100% success rate over 35 years with 55% in equities. I kept getting the same results. A 3.5% WR survived 100% of the time.

So now I don’t bother using Firecalc anymore. I just look at our overall net worth and calculate 3.5% to see how things generally look. If we have a major market correction maybe I’ll run the numbers again. But until then there’s really not much new info to be found in Firecalc so I don’t see any purpose in looking at it any more.
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:39 AM   #31
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I probably do FIRECal simulations once a month, just for fun, because I know what kind of results I will get.
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:45 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FREE866 View Post
I know this isn't considered a serious "problem", but does anyone else obsessively run their numbers in FIRECALC? haha
I'm over four years into retirement yet I still very often run the numbers in addition to checking my investment account way too much. It is starting to annoy me that I keep doing it.
Haha, I can relate! I run Firecalc quite often, even though I know full well that it's going to give me the same results. I have always been good at repetitive behavior
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:49 AM   #33
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Has anybody noticed that 40-60 stocks seems to be the sweet spot on Firecalc.
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:55 AM   #34
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There was a time before I FIRE'd that I was running every calculator I could get my hands on. In some sense I was interested in the different methodologies employed ie. historical vs Monte Carlo. As others have said, at the end of the day, no calculator can provide results that anticipate all the scenarios that may happen in the future. In any case, I do still like Fidelity RIP as my go to calculator because to me it seems to be one of the most conservative.
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:59 AM   #35
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I wouldn't call it an obsession, but I do check Firecalc several times a year just for fun, although I retired back in 2015. I'm getting older every year (duh) so the remaining year decreases every year but my portfolio has been going up, so my spending potential has increased by around 30%, which is nice. I was a little worried when DJIA went down to 18000s last year though. It's much more fun to check Firecalc when my asset is up, obviously.
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:01 PM   #36
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Has anybody noticed that 40-60 stocks seems to be the sweet spot on Firecalc.
Yes. I noticed that long ago. In fact, if I recall, with more feathering, it's actually 38%-62% that got me the largest initial pull with 100% survival. I used "Long Interest Rate", though rather than bonds but the difference between all those options is really pretty close anyway..
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:02 PM   #37
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There was a time before I FIRE'd that I was running every calculator I could get my hands on. In some sense I was interested in the different methodologies employed ie. historical vs Monte Carlo. As others have said, at the end of the day, no calculator can provide results that anticipate all the scenarios that may happen in the future. In any case, I do still like Fidelity RIP as my go to calculator because to me it seems to be one of the most conservative.
True in that it is using Monte Carlo, plus only goes to a 90% success rate.
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:21 PM   #38
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I ran firecalc back in December. I don't find retirement calculators too distracting. What has attracted my attention too much is a new found obsession with checking account balances almost daily. Part of the reason I don't obsess on firecalc is the strong feeling that the account balances I would enter aren't "real". I've had better annual return percentages than 2020 in the past, but 2020 almost seems counterfeit for some reason. Last run at firecalc was well into 100% and it would only be further today.
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Old 02-07-2021, 12:25 PM   #39
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Yes. I noticed that long ago. In fact, if I recall, with more feathering, it's actually 38%-62% that got me the largest initial pull with 100% survival. I used "Long Interest Rate", though rather than bonds but the difference between all those options is really pretty close anyway..
I have read before that it is not wise to take stocks above 70% or 75% based on the risk level.
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Old 02-07-2021, 02:14 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by FANOFJESUS View Post
Has anybody noticed that 40-60 stocks seems to be the sweet spot on Firecalc.
Assuming you're looking at success percentage, then that's generally true. Although it depends on several variables:

1. Time period. Shorter time periods will favor a heavier bond allocation; this is because if you only look at a short time period, a bad run in the stock market (like 1973/1974) deals an early mortal blow to the portfolio and it can't handle the subsequent withdrawals. Conversely, longer time periods tend to favor stocks, as they are needed to battle the cumulative effects of inflation over the long haul.

2. Pension income. If a large portion of your expenses are covered by a pension, I think that a higher equity allocation wins out.

3. How safe your spending level is. If you're not spending very much, then any allocation could be safe. For a ridiculous example, spend 0.5% of your assets and you can be anywhere between 100/0 and 0/100. What I typically do is find out what the 95% safe spending level is with the investigate tab first, and then plug that in for my spending, then ask it to investigate AA.

Finally, for pretty safe spending levels, there is often a range of AA that has an equivalent historical success rate (such as 95% or 100%). In this case, though, the average terminal portfolio value is generally higher with higher stock allocations. For this reason, my rule of thumb is to have my AA at the highest stock allocation that is consistent with the highest success rate. So for example, if I can get a 95% success rate with anywhere between 30/70 and 70/30, I'll go with 70/30 due to the average terminal portfolio being the highest in that range.
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