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Old 01-21-2018, 08:18 AM   #61
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After reading these posts, sort of begs some other questions (perhaps it should be a different thread?)?

So your success % hit whatever range you were comfortable with... how did your expenses move during the various market up/down cycles compared to your "carefully" planned ER budget? Did you nervously/cautiously adjust your budget down to ensure your success rate? Did you adjust your budget with the yearly swings of the market? After living in RE for a number of years, where did you land with your Goldilocks budget compared to your original plan (less than, right on, more than)? Did you let the "success calculators" run your budget?

OK, that's enough questions...
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:22 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by DawgMan View Post
After reading these posts, sort of begs some other questions (perhaps it should be a different thread?)?

So your success % hit whatever range you were comfortable with... how did your expenses move during the various market up/down cycles compared to your "carefully" planned ER budget? Did you nervously/cautiously adjust your budget down to ensure your success rate? Did you adjust your budget with the yearly swings of the market? After living in RE for a number of years, where did you land with your Goldilocks budget compared to your original plan (less than, right on, more than)? Did you let the "success calculators" run your budget?

OK, that's enough questions...
Good questions. Seems to me that once you have been retired a few years, and get comfortable with your retirement and remain fairly flexible in your spending, Firecalc becomes much less relevant. As the actual sequence of return results play out, I see much less reason to try to model the future based on previous history. After all, if you stay flexible and started with a reasonable plan pretty hard to run out, no?
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:50 PM   #63
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I never have understood the point of FireCalc. Ok, I plug my numbers in and get a bunch of runs for data from the past. But, everything I see says future markets will probably have less returns than past markets. So, what is the point of knowing what would of happened if I had retired a bunch of years ago, using data that may not apply any more?
FireCalc includes some very dire market scenarios. Most of them from 100 years ago or more when the US markets were much less stable. So I am reasonably comfortable with FireCalc's historic arsenal. I don't now how you go about finding a better data set.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:14 PM   #64
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FireCalc includes some very dire market scenarios. Most of them from 100 years ago or more when the US markets were much less stable. So I am reasonably comfortable with FireCalc's historic arsenal. I don't now how you go about finding a better data set.


Only data set that bothers me is the 65 66 years. Inflation is my Boogieman, and I don't see a threat there at this time.
I think looking at the 19th century data is pretty useless now. Laws and general rules of 1929 are so different than those we're operating under.
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:17 PM   #65
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I ran Firecalc once about 10 years ago. I can’t remember the projected success rate, but it seemed ok at the time. I wasn’t going to retire at a certain success rate number anyway. I was going to retire by a certain age and live within a decent WR after that.
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Old 01-21-2018, 10:23 PM   #66
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I call total BS on the claims of FIRECalc outputting success rates like 110%, 200% etc.

Why are people saying this BS? And why would anyone believe it? Maybe they don't know what it means.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:03 AM   #67
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Only data set that bothers me is the 65 66 years. Inflation is my Boogieman, and I don't see a threat there at this time.
I think looking at the 19th century data is pretty useless now. Laws and general rules of 1929 are so different than those we're operating under.
But people worry that things could get worse in the future compared to the relative smooth sailing post 1920 for the US. 1905-1906 and 1912-1916 were rough as well as 19th century periods. So I’m glad there are some earlier “wild times” added in the data.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:15 AM   #68
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I call total BS on the claims of FIRECalc outputting success rates like 110%, 200% etc.

Why are people saying this BS? And why would anyone believe it? Maybe they don't know what it means.
I don't use Firecalc myself for planning, but I'm curious why you think it is BS? What if someone was still saving half or more of their retirement income? Wouldn't that give them a very high success rate?
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:06 AM   #69
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^ @daylatedollarshort

What if they win every lottery ever, save almost all of it, and their portfolio doubles every nanosecond? Think about it!
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:29 AM   #70
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^ @daylatedollarshort

What if they win every lottery ever, save almost all of it, and their portfolio doubles every nanosecond? Think about it!
I still don't really get your point. What if a retiree household has $80K in retirement income and spends $40K? Or $300K income and spends $100K? Wouldn't that have pretty high success rates?
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:33 AM   #71
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^ Read my first post. Do you get it yet?
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:44 AM   #72
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I call total BS on the claims of FIRECalc outputting success rates like 110%, 200% etc.

Why are people saying this BS? And why would anyone believe it? Maybe they don't know what it means.
I think what you're saying is that if historically, a certain WR led to success 100% of the time, there is no way that WR could have been successful any more times. I get that, but to use the language you used, and "call BS on it" is a bit harsh, in my opinion. As daylatedollarshort is saying, if someone has 80K income, but only spends 40K, saying that they have a 200% success rate is merely a way of expressing that. We understand what they are saying, and that's what matters, surely?

This forum has long been characterized by civil discourse, and I for one prefer the spirit of understanding my fellow forum members, than "calling BS on them" - unless they are purposely peddling untruths, in which case it is warranted. Such scoundrels deserve to be sent packing

A little understanding goes a long way.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:46 AM   #73
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^ Read my first post. Do you get it yet?
Sorry, I guess I'm too dense. I don't really get your point but that's okay. Carry on.

Added - Major Tom posted at the same time as my post but made the same point more eloquently than I did.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:01 AM   #74
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I never have understood the point of FireCalc. Ok, I plug my numbers in and get a bunch of runs for data from the past. But, everything I see says future markets will probably have less returns than past markets. So, what is the point of knowing what would of happened if I had retired a bunch of years ago, using data that may not apply any more?
I remember reading years ago that equity returns will be much lower, like 4-6% and yet here we are in an ongoing bull market. "They" really have no clue.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:08 AM   #75
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I remember reading years ago that equity returns will be much lower, like 4-6% and yet here we are in an ongoing bull market. "They" really have no clue.
Aaah yes, right now we are in a heated market, but who knows what will happen in the future? A sharp correction, followed by a long period of stagnant returns, would pull the average down a fair bit. Maybe equity returns indeed will be lower over the next 10 - 20 years. On the other hand, maybe they won't.

I hope this post helped
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:12 AM   #76
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I remember reading years ago that equity returns will be much lower, like 4-6% and yet here we are in an ongoing bull market. "They" really have no clue.
A perfect example of how nobody knows the how future returns will be.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:53 AM   #77
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A few thoughts.

I find it often helps to read all the posts in a thread before posting myself.

FIRECalc max success rate is 100%. The posts touting a higher number were tongue in cheek. Most everyone got that.

Major Tom, that was a very nice post. Thank you.

We’re a friendly group here, polite and respectful discussion with friendly disagreement are our most important characteristics.
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:54 AM   #78
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Y'all made me run FIRECalc again.

It says that at my spending rate in 2017, I can increase it 2.5x (future SS is included).

And if I continue at that 2017 rate, my stash will be 5x larger in 15 years in the best case.

Yet, in the worst case, it stays the same!

Such is the vagary of market returns.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:20 AM   #79
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To get to 200% Firecalc, those who were conservative and consistent with their savings, worked an extra 6 to 8 years beyond what they needed to for 100%. I was not willing to give up the best quarter of my retirement years for that feeling of security.

(for those with an unexpected windfall, this situation is understandable. To correct they just need to up their spending or charitable giving.)
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:38 AM   #80
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The 1920's were in the 20th century, not the 19th. Just saying....
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