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Old 10-30-2020, 06:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Vincenzo Corleone View Post
That's interesting. The financial advisors I've called wanted me to have them manage our money. They didn't want to talk to me otherwise. None of them agreed to just a one-time consultation.
I have not personally used them for planning (I have done a few of Ric Edelmans online seminars along with reading several of his books) but 3-4 times a year they offer to do a complimentary detailed overview (normally costing about $1000) that you can sign up for with one of their advisors. If you find a local office near you you can see if they will do that at no cost and if not now give them your email and have them notify when they will offer it.

They will try and sell you on their services but you don't have to accept to get that review. Just one option to consider if you wanted to talk with a planner. Here is a link:

https://www.edelmanfinancialengines.com
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:33 PM   #22
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I so relate to the obsessive checking on numbers! And to be honest, almost 4 years in, I still check my numbers more than I care to admit. The calculators are a great guide and as someone said if a few give you 100%+ go for it.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:11 PM   #23
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I haven't looked to see if you've laid out your plan for this fine bunch of folks to review. Honestly, with this many eyes, they will very likely catch any significant stuff you might have forgotten. If you're not comfortable with that, present it in terms of % spend level. For instance, if you have a portfolio value that's 31 times your spend level, we'll say "well done - but do you have your Health Care covered until MC (and after?") If you are in your 30s (I didn't look to see if you have it in your profile) other folks than me would need to advise you. If you're in your 50s, I'd take a stab.

I called myself Financially Independent at 51 'cause that's when my pension vested AND my stash would cover the rest (at least 25 times my spend level beyond pension.) Perhaps even more important - to me - Megacorp kept me on a supplemented HC plan. It wasn't fantastic, but it more or less guaranteed I'd never spend more than $10K in one year for HC.

I never even calculated SS into the mix though I'm on it now and it's a bunch. I will admit to a few butterflies when I thought about actually leaving. It wasn't so much "just enough" or worry about Sequence of Returns going forward. It just still felt weird - plus see next.

SO FI at 51, but by some stroke of luck (I'll call it genius on my part) I had created a position for myself at Megacorp that I actually liked. I stayed until 58 when they said - "now you have to do something else" and I said "No, I don't." At that point, I left without a qualm (well, maybe one butterfly, but no more than that.)

So, we'll act (keep that word in mind) as your FA and we're free - and worth every penny you pay us!

So, maybe let us take a stab at it - if you haven't already - since YMMV.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dtail View Post
I for one believe that if one is at 100% in the various different calculators, one is most likely good to go.
The issue is that the calculator is only as good as the input. If you don't account correctly for expenses, you may not be 100% at all.
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:57 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
I haven't looked to see if you've laid out your plan for this fine bunch of folks to review. Honestly, with this many eyes, they will very likely catch any significant stuff you might have forgotten. If you're not comfortable with that, present it in terms of % spend level. For instance, if you have a portfolio value that's 31 times your spend level, we'll say "well done - but do you have your Health Care covered until MC (and after?") If you are in your 30s (I didn't look to see if you have it in your profile) other folks than me would need to advise you. If you're in your 50s, I'd take a stab.
Thanks. Yes, I've already made a post and received valuable feedback:

https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ml#post2052157
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:02 PM   #26
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The issue is that the calculator is only as good as the input. If you don't account correctly for expenses, you may not be 100% at all.
+1 Yes, I think that's exactly my concern. Although, I'm pretty sure I've tracked expenses fairly closely for the past four years.

I should relax.
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:04 PM   #27
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I just run through the numbers and models in my head. Every. Single. Time. I. Walk. The. Dog.

So it goes with my brain. :P
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:27 PM   #28
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While you were contemplating early retirement, poring over your various spreadsheets, models, scenarios, data sets, etc, did you seek out validation - someone to say, "yeah, looks to me like you're in good shape"? Did you ever get over that need for validation?
No, I was pretty confident in my approach. I never had anyone else look at the numbers.
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Old 10-31-2020, 01:33 AM   #29
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I made my own spreadsheet, ran the calculators and then had our 401K person go over everything and use his online planner. Interestingly, his online planner showed we were fine even with all short term bonds, but he tried to convince us we weren't set.

We got the old you'll need 80% of your former gross, you'll develop more expensive hobbies in retirement, and a bunch of comments that seemed more like sales jargon than valid math or fact based critiques. We weren't spending 80% of our gross before we retired and have never had expensive hobbies. Anyway it has been almost a decade now and so far everything has been going much better than our initial spreadsheets. Pensions and Social Security cover most of our expenses so in hindsight I wish we had retired much sooner. But I am glad we at least retired when we did.
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Old 10-31-2020, 01:49 AM   #30
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I kept running the numbers and finally trusted the math, even after I retired. I totally get what the OP is saying.
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Old 10-31-2020, 04:16 AM   #31
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+1 Yes, I think that's exactly my concern. Although, I'm pretty sure I've tracked expenses fairly closely for the past four years.

I should relax.
Do you have access to spending documentation, or can you recreate it, going back beyond 4 years?

When the time for me to RE came, I found the value of having ~20 years of categorized spending data ready for analysis was priceless.

I was never on a budget, just spended what my values allowed.

When I saw that the quicken spending data was remarkable constant from year to year, I knew that I was set to RE.

Using a software package such as quicken that allows dual-entry accounting will prevent you from having untracked spending. You wouldn't be able to reconcile all of your financial accounts with their statements if you tried this.

-gauss
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:11 AM   #32
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OP, there's a book written just for your circumstance: The Number by Lee Eisenberg
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:06 AM   #33
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... I had also monitored my progress using Financial Engines that was available through Vanguard for years. ...
It's still there (at least for me). Look under Services in your Profile & Account Settings.
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:12 AM   #34
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I retired in 2001, without the benefit of FIRECalc and all the other calculators available today. Just seat of the pants calculation. So far it has been working just as planned.

One thing I believe may be useful is to run FIRECalc using only a portion of your portfolio (maybe 75%) and inflating your planned expenses (maybe 120% of actual). If that comes out to a high success percentage, it should give anyone the assurance they need.
Hi braumeister, Can you give us an idea of the percentage your nest egg has increased in 19 years?
i.e. $1M to $2M is 100%, $2M to $6M is 200%. Thanks
Edit: I'm going to start a new thread on that subject.
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:43 AM   #35
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Hi braumeister, Can you give us an idea of the percentage your nest egg has increased in 19 years?
i.e. $1M to $2M is 100%, $2M to $6M is 200%. Thanks
Edit: I'm going to start a new thread on that subject.
I don't have records going back that far. Certainly we're more comfortable now than we were then.
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:20 AM   #36
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When I retired, I attended a "free retirement workshop" that was offered locally. I knew it was most likely a FA trying to get clients, but I was looking for information anywhere I could get it. I went to the class, which turned out mostly to be about social security (I did learn a few things). At the end of the class, the instructor offered to give everyone a "free one on one evaluation of your finances".

I told the instructor that I had no intention of ever hiring a FA, but he still offered the evaluation. We set up a meeting time, he sent me a workbook to fill out about my finances. I went to meet with him, his partner was in the room. They were Fiduciary FA's. We sat and went through my finances for over 2 hours. They were very knowledgeable on finances and confirmed all my actions and understandings were valid. Even though I repeatedly told them I would not be using them as FA, they continued to help me.

We set up a second meeting to give them time to run my numbers through their model. I took my wife with me to the second meeting. It also lasted several hours reviewing the model. The most valuable thing I got out of the second meeting was the validation for my wife that we were doing things right.

In the end, these two guys spent hours with me and gave me validation and great advice for free. They even offered to let me come back in a year for a "check up". Even though I told them repeatedly I would never use a FA. They said they do this for possible referrals and also said some wives do use them after their husbands pass away. Overall, it was a great experience.
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:50 AM   #37
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I think the key is to obtain enough expert validation for one’s very specific circumstances without seeking so much validation that one gets confused from too much entirely well-intentioned but contradictory, opinionated advice. I feel for people new to FIRE topics who occasionally wander in here with a basic question, such as “What do you all think about this Edward Jones mutual fund for my retirement?” and get approximately 1,000 different, heated answers. I wonder if they sometimes leave with analysis paralysis.

I like the free Personal Capital app, which captures all of my various accounts in one thorough dashboard. PC has a built in Monte Carlo-based retirement planner with very clean and modern graphics. Probably twice a month, I think of some, “Hey, what if?...”, which I drop in there and play with as an experiment. Then I usually hit “Reset” to return to reality. The only place we make actual money decisions to ensure DW and I are on the same page, and in case something happens to the other one, is together with our assigned Vanguard Flagship PAS once/year using their powerful, proprietary software. These two methods, plus the occasional query on this wonderful board, give me the external validation I need.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:37 AM   #38
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About 5 years before retiring in 2017, DW asked me "You're really serious about retiring at 55" one day on vacation. She made me hire a FA to look over the numbers before she could be convinced. We hired a "for fee" (not getting a % of anything) and suggested a few moves but then said "you're good." And that forced us to make a real budget and understand our real expenses. A year before retiring we hired him again to follow up.

I too, second guessed all the time, but I finally "let go" when I realized that we had so much "fat" in our lifestyle that there was plenty to cut if/when the **** hit the fan.

3+ years in, I am still very comfortable with the move, despite what 2020 has brought us.
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:22 AM   #39
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Yes, we went to three FA, two of them were free one time consult from our job pension.
We were told we were OK.
Then I discovered this forum, along with firecalc and other calculators named and started doing my own checks.
We are OK, but I still have doubts creep in.
When that happens, I re run firecalc, and create different scenarios.
Only 4 years into retirement, but so far, doing well.
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:26 AM   #40
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I did have a little of that anxiety, but here is how I got over it:

1) I realized I still wanted to stay engaged by w*rking maybe 4-8 hours/week for awhile...so I knew if I came up short I could just w*rk more hours/week or more years.

2) I "oversaved" by about $100k. I know the market is volatile, and at the time I ER'd the market was near all time highs. I was concerned that I'd FIRE and it would drop...yikes. So my DW and I talked, and we agreed to oversave before FIREing by about $100k (only took 1.5 years more). We also reduced our AA by about 15% on the equities side to lower volatility.

It's now been about 2 years (no exact FIRE date lol...I slowly transitioned out of full-time work to where I am now....about 4-8 hours/week) and I have not had the slightest bit of anxiety.

Good luck.
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