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Knowing when to call it quits....
Old 01-23-2021, 11:21 AM   #1
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Knowing when to call it quits....

As I approach my target faster than I planned, I can't help to think - how will I know its time? Everyone is at the mercy of the market, and one day I'll hit my number, but the next day/week/month could drop below. I don't feel like its a binary operation. I'm thinking, I should way at least 6 months after hitting it to ensure we're really over the hump.

How long did others wait after hitting their number?
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:42 AM   #2
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When I learned if I sold my condo and put it with my other savings and emphasized income producing assets and lived cheap, it was then I realized I had a shot at leaving my job for good. One morning in 2016 I woke up and decided I had enough of my job and the BS, and although I had a pretty good idea what I could live on and what my new investment totals would create, it was still somewhat a leap of faith.

The wanting to get out of my job was a stronger feeling and emotion than the money the job created itself. That was the difference and what put me over the top.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:45 AM   #3
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Knowing when to call it quits is sort of like pornography.... it's hard to describe but you know it when you see it.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:51 AM   #4
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The answer varies for each of us. Some people here are happy with an 80% prob of success where others can’t pull the trigger until they’re at 200% (twice as much socked away as needed for 100%). No one can decide for you. How much of your income is SIRE vs FIRE? How realistic are your spending projections - have you factored in health care costs, taxes, large infrequent expenses (they’ll come)? There are many unknowns...
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:05 PM   #5
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Your number likely has some wiggle room in it, so hitting it one day, dropping off the next, then going back over - eh that's normal.

That's when you start to think about what other things will drive your date: Annual bonuses, vesting, insurance enrollments, 401k contributions, etc. And that's where everyone is different. I knew I'd have to go after Q1, because our company match was always at the end of a quarter, and our bonuses were in February. So if I hit my number in October, for example, it was always going to be worth it to wait until 4/1 before saying "I'm out" and giving 2 weeks notice.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireDreamer View Post
As I approach my target faster than I planned, I can't help to think - how will I know its time? Everyone is at the mercy of the market, and one day I'll hit my number, but the next day/week/month could drop below. I don't feel like its a binary operation. I'm thinking, I should way at least 6 months after hitting it to ensure we're really over the hump.

How long did others wait after hitting their number?
I waited (i.e., am waiting) a year.

See also: Murphy's Law of Retirement.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:26 PM   #7
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I had 3 numbers: a low number, a medium and a high.

I retired when I got to the high number but that was not the catalyst. I continued to work hoping for a long expected sale/IPO of our company. I retired after realizing I did not need that money and had spent 2 of extended "waiting".

Ultimately, it is math. Your life is finite. Each year you work is one less year of freedom from work.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:57 PM   #8
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We had our number. The only thing left was a golden handshake from my employer. It came, as expected, about 10 months later.

It was all down to math for us once we knew the finances were in place.

What math? The math that indicated how many healthy years we might have to enjoy our retirement the way we wanted to. Lots of independent international travel.

The one thing we cannot buy is more healthy years. We chose retirement and experiences over working past 59 and increasing our net worth. It was as simple as that.

Nine years later....for us it was absolutely the right decision. In hindsight, I could have walked at 55.
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:16 PM   #9
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how will I know its time?
When the income available (with 100% success in Firecalc) is enough to say [mod edit] to your boss, because you can live on that much income.
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:12 PM   #10
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I think for me I had hit a number I was comfortable with some time ago but did the transition slowly in the sense that the company I worked for was happy to have me as part time. I reduced my hours a couple times and finally realized that work was such a small part of my time that it was easy to drop it all.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireDreamer View Post
As I approach my target faster than I planned, I can't help to think - how will I know its time? Everyone is at the mercy of the market, and one day I'll hit my number, but the next day/week/month could drop below. I don't feel like its a binary operation. I'm thinking, I should way at least 6 months after hitting it to ensure we're really over the hump.

How long did others wait after hitting their number?
Detailed elsewhere, I waited about 7 years as I was enjoying my j*b. The day I no longer enjoyed it (because my assignment was changed), I pulled the plug.

I always advise to be flexible and have back up plans - just in case your number isn't quite right when you retire. What would you be willing to "give up?" Some travel? Nights outs on the town? The vacation condo? A hobby? Be sure you know what is "non-negotiable" within your retirement life and then be sure your number will handle THAT - no matter what. So, if flexibility isn't in your plan, you may want to stay longer. If you're flexible, your number may well support you even if it's under strain from time to time. Good luck. As always, YMMV.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by UnrealizedPotential View Post
When I learned if I sold my condo and put it with my other savings and emphasized income producing assets and lived cheap, it was then I realized I had a shot at leaving my job for good. One morning in 2016 I woke up and decided I had enough of my job and the BS, and although I had a pretty good idea what I could live on and what my new investment totals would create, it was still somewhat a leap of faith.

The wanting to get out of my job was a stronger feeling and emotion than the money the job created itself. That was the difference and what put me over the top.
That is why I am retiring in a month. Need to retire!!
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by brett View Post
We had our number. The only thing left was a golden handshake from my employer. It came, as expected, about 10 months later.

It was all down to math for us once we knew the finances were in place.

What math? The math that indicated how many healthy years we might have to enjoy our retirement the way we wanted to. Lots of independent international travel.

The one thing we cannot buy is more healthy years. We chose retirement and experiences over working past 59 and increasing our net worth. It was as simple as that.

Nine years later....for us it was absolutely the right decision. In hindsight, I could have walked at 55.
100% correct that you can not buy is more healthy years. I tell others that, but I don't think that they really hear what I am saying.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:14 PM   #14
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For me it wasn't a particular number, it was a predetermined date. When that date arrived I was out of there. Then I focused on how much $ I had and took charge of my own investments. I was 50 and felt I'd be able to go back to w@@# if I had to. That was 5 years ago and I have over 40% more in my investment accounts than I had when I retired. Haven't been back to w@@# yet either.


I made it to my goal of 31 years with the company. Turns out I had plenty of $ to let it go. Glad I did it. I felt like my head was in a pail of water and no amount of additional $ could have kept me there.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormy Kromer View Post
For me it wasn't a particular number, it was a predetermined date. When that date arrived I was out of there. Then I focused on how much $ I had and took charge of my own investments. I was 50 and felt I'd be able to go back to w@@# if I had to. That was 5 years ago and I have over 40% more in my investment accounts than I had when I retired. Haven't been back to w@@# yet either.


I made it to my goal of 31 years with the company. Turns out I had plenty of $ to let it go. Glad I did it. I felt like my head was in a pail of water and no amount of additional $ could have kept me there.
I guess it never even crossed my mind that I would or even could go back to w*rk. My schooling was ancient (when I graduated college, Air, Earth, Fire and Water were the 4 elements.) MY value to my Megacorp was a wealth of experience (heh, heh, knowing where the bodies were buried, etc.) and a huge network. Megacorp had a policy of NEVER h!ring back retirees - not EVEN as contract empl*yess! SO, on the "outside," w*rking would have been greeting at Walmart or mowing lawns for the old ladies in the neighborhood.

I've heard several folks here suggest that they could "go back to w*rk" and I'm sure some folks could. I'm just guessing it's not as easy as it might sound - but I never tried and never would try, so YMMV.
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:47 PM   #16
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I think I briefly hit my number in January of 2020, and I know I hit it and stayed above it for a bit in February. I really was thinking that this was it, and I could start planning on retiring. If the market had kept its course at the time, I probably would have gone in April 2020. My birthday is in April, so I was shooting for around that time to make it symbolic.

Of course, COVID had other plans for me. By the time April settled, while I was on the mend, I was about 15% off my number. At the bottom, on March 23 2020, I was about 32% down from my number.

Now, I'm about 13% over my number, but I'm still not quite ready. I think part of the problem is that I've been working from home since mid-March, so it just feels like easy money. Plus, it's not like I can just get out there and easily enjoy retirement, until this virus turmoil subsides. So if I'm going to mostly hang around the house, I figure I might as well get paid for it!

Now, once they start a serious push to return us to the office, as long as my investments are still doing well, that might just be the push I need to go ahead and retire. I've been working from home for so long now, that getting me to re-acclimate to the workplace it probably something akin to trying to turn a mountain lion into an indoor cat!
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:00 PM   #17
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Oh, you will know. You gut will tell ya.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:17 PM   #18
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For me, the numbers were there (barely in my belt and suspenders way), and my boss told me that they were going to hire a replacement for someone else at my level with a different skill set who was being given a lateral move. I didn't want the company to lose my potential replacement while doing the other job search. It was fun to see the look in her eyes when I gave her the news.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:32 PM   #19
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Hitting the number is only part of the equation. For me, knowing when to go also included how much "buffer" I wanted to build beyond the number to reduce risk, had my time become more important than my money, and did I know and feel comfortable with how I wanted to spend my retirement time.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:43 PM   #20
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Hit the “medium” number.
Had $1.2M in retirement funds.
Mother croaked (at age 95.5 after 6 years of dementia) and I inherited $300K.
Fired my largest customer the next day (May 02, 2019) and went to México for 10 days. Did not answer the phone.
Now have $1.9M. Stock market been very very good.
Our withdrawal needs are $4K/month, but we are doing large Roth conversions.
My life. Am happy.
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