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Old 05-05-2017, 03:28 PM   #41
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I started thinking about ER in November 2010 at age 46. I remember the day because I posted on a personal finance website. I originally planned to go at age 50 when my pension entitlements would vest.

Unfortunately OMY or rather TMY got me and we are now due to retire in 56 days.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:51 PM   #42
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:52 PM   #43
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A Man,A Plan,Panama

Actually. never gave it any thought for myself. Retired 30 years ago at 33/34. About 5 years ago YW (about 30 years younger)started a job with great benefits and I started thinking about ER for her. It forced me to come up with a Plan A and B for her. As a result we put off having our second child until I could draw SS and lock in an income stream for 18 years. As a non-US citizen, we had to include a 5 year stint in the USA, for her to get my death benefit and a few more sheckels for her, until my 2 year old reaches 16.

Currently, she is Golden until 100. recently we started talking about staying in the USA until I bite the dust and she retires, in order for the 2 y/o to go to UNI in the USA as well as the 12 year old. Now healthcare becomes an issue, as well as COL and QOL wherever we go.

Sooo, now I am working on plan C.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:05 PM   #44
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Retiring at age 50 (for me) was a goal that DH and I worked and planned for from early in our marriage. He's 11 yrs older than me, and had mandatory retirement at age 57 (when I was 46). My goal was age 50 for two reasons: it was the earliest to retire under Megacorp's pension plan, and me working four years beyond DH's retirement allowed us to fully fund undergrad studies for both kids.

My situation at w*rk changed for the worse about 18 months before I turned 50 so it was very desirable to implement our plan. Had things been different I may have done OMY or two, but now two years into ER we realize we are ok financially so OMY would've been a waste of retirement time.

So far we don't need my pension from Megacorp so I am letting it grow. It doesn't grow anymore once I reach age 60 so we will be taking it in eight years even if we don't need it.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:26 PM   #45
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I wanted to be FI years before I thought about RE.

Early on I wanted to be financial independent because I realized that full-time employment in my career of choice was not guaranteed. In time the job security issue became less an issue. However, as I became more senior, I was asked to take on more and more responsibilities, including significant management roles. That's when RE came roaring in.
Retirement is wasted on the old.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:39 PM   #46
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The day I started with state govt in 1990 it was age 62 with 30 years of service but in 1995 we received a pension sweetener instead of raises that lowered age to 55 and 25 years of service, so I pretty much new when I would retire from the get go.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:49 PM   #47
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Never had a plan or thought about it until DH and I married at 36. 2nd marriage for both, DINKs, both in IT management. It became an abstract idea that we could be thinking about 55 or maybe less.

That was 2006. During the end-of2008 downturn, we were still both employed, and 401k's were in half but not that big by then. We paid off house and cars and upped savings, making sure we'd be fine to live on one income or less so we'd never have to worry if one of us got laid off.

Wasn't till about 2011 after the initial recovery that we got serious with planning - and we RE'd mid-2016.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:14 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Sasset View Post
Told everyone at my college graduation party that I was retiring at 55. They laughed. I didn't quite make it as I did OMY, but I retired at 56!

Well done!
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:14 PM   #49
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As a young boy it seemed that all my Dad thought about was retiring from the RR so he could do what he wanted to do (farming). But with 8 children he couldn't retire until he was 65. Two years later he was gone. That left a powerful impression on me. I was determined to retire as soon as I achieved FI. Been retired for 3 months and I'm so busy I don't know how I ever found time to work!
Taking the rest of my life off...
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:48 PM   #50
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Our biggest light bulb moment was coming across the Consumer Expenditure Survey in our fifties and realizing if we optimized our expenses better we already had enough. In hindsight we could have retired sooner than we did, but cutting our overhead took some time to research and implement - doing our own taxes, renegotiating the cable bill, switched from a 1% to a 2% cash back credit card, making the house more energy efficient, replacing the landline with Ooma, and probably a hundred or more other changes that all added up. It has been several years and we still keep finding interesting ways to keep or improve our lifestyle while lowering our expenses.
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:25 AM   #51
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I didn't have a specific target age for RE when I was that young. I had a rough idea of the year with about 10 years to go, and set the final date with about a year to go. It was a month ago at 57.
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:45 AM   #52
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Never thought about retirement when I was younger. Didn't enter my mind until I was about 50. Opened my own firm at 30 which through luck and some diligence grew. The enjoyment of running the firm eventually subsided and by 52 the whole thing was not fun anymore and I began to realize that our time on the earth is not perpetual. It took 5 years to gather the momentum to structure a sale and transition and I retired this January at 57. Great so far.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:02 AM   #53
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I started working at a mega corp at age 21. At various times throughout my career, the company offered early retirement packages where one could take a paid leave at age 53 and bridge to retirement at age 55. I always figured (hoped) that would be my path. DW and I saved our $$ and, as luck would have it, a package was offered when I was age 53. I turned the paperwork in the next day and never looked back...
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:19 AM   #54
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DW and I both came from frugal households, so saving came naturally. I had some vague desire toward FI, but no $ goal. Once I read Your Money or Your Life it cemented the idea. The Four Pillars of Investing and The Millionaire Next Door were the other books that profoundly affected me. Self taught on investing, naturally inclined toward DIY and discovered Bogle, Bernstein and others early in my investing education. ER was never a thought until my early 50's. FI and RE should be separate decisions IMO.
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 50% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 20% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:54 PM   #55
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In 2000, I joked to DW that if the 401k/403bs continued on the current path, that we might be able to retire at 55ish--then Enron hit (she was working at Dynegy and her "company 401k match in Dynegy stock" went down to almost nothing, although her contributions did fine. At that point, you could only take the match in stock, although the law changed on this post-Enron).
However, I did a retirement plan in Microsoft Money at that point and plotted out a relatively frugal retirement at 55, 60, and 66, just for kicks. After dodging the bullet of the tech crash in the early 2000s and then escaping comparatively unharmed from 2008/9, I realized 60 or 65 was quite possible, although the market would need to "cooperate," which it did, in spades.

About 20 months ago at 57, I went into "Voluntary Modification of employment" (working less than 1/2 time online for 1/2 salary) and never looked back. DW, who is 5 years younger, may stop next year or in two years at the most. I can ski or fly fish in the morning and work in the afternoon or evening, or vice versa; I like the freedom of working on my own schedule and haven't touched retirement savings and won't for the next two-three years. Withdrawals then will fund from 62 to full-retirement age (or later, if the market cooperates; earlier, if not).

We now have 70% more assets than I originally calculated we needed and consequently am planning a less frugal retirement, when we start to draw down in a few years.

As Midpack indicates, Four Pillars of Investing is a fine resource.
And on frugality, reading Thoreau's Walden in high school, particularly the first two chapters, cemented the idea of work/expenses versus "experience"/free time, an idea I never forgot.
My Okie grandfather retired a few years early after building his own cabin in Colorado about 8 years before he retired (he was a rural postman), so that also was a powerful example. Going up there in summers in my youth to fly-fish made a "yuge" impression. Paradise.

I believed in a flexible approach, adapting multiple plans (a matrix) to what might occur, and still do. DW originally wanted to work for another 6 years, but I'm trying to convince her that she can stop when she wants to do so, including next month. I'm getting renewed for at least two years, so that makes this more than a possibility.
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:00 PM   #56
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I always put money in retirement plan but definitely don't have a plan. I actually liked working but not commuting. But the last job definitelykilled my joy of working, bot the commute and the nature of the job. So here I am. But truth be told, if I had the same job I had before the last job, I wouldn't retire yet. My husband probably would still retire today but not me. Maybe because I'm actually an extrovert. I pick up energy by meeting people.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:04 PM   #57
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I called it quits at 50 in 2010 after DD finished college. Went to our Fidelity guy and he said we could retire then in 2010. DH was 52. Fast forward 5 years and DH quit at 57 on my birthday. DH boss told him way back in 1984 about the "new" 401K plan and showed all his employees the magic of compounding dollars. It worked. We just always paid ourselves 10% first and the company match was 5%.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:33 AM   #58
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I did not plan for it at all but was thrown headfirst into it when I suddenly became handicapped at 38. And since it was a very rare illness I did not get my disability pension and insurance payout until 10 years later.

Now I'm two years in - and those years managing on social security has made me more careful with money than I need to be. I bought a motorhome and use it a lot but the rest of my stash keep growing.

I was lucky enough to enjoy my work so I probably would not have FIREd if I hadn't gotten ill. But with hindsight I think my old me would have loved FIRE. But it never crossed my mind.
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