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Old 08-28-2021, 05:57 AM   #61
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One of the happiest financial moments of my life happened around November/December of 2004. It wasn't a specific $ milestone, but rather a couple of events that helped bump me up, in general.

First, I had made the final payment on my 2000 Intrepid around that timeframe, so that was $347.66/mo I no longer had to pay. I had actually moved in late 2003, but held onto my old condo, fixing it up to sell. That was a slow process, but I lucked out because the value really shot up in the time the contractor delayed. Anyway, once that condo was sold, that was maybe another $1,000/mo off the books. And I think I cleared about $76,000 on the sale.

NW wise, I had slipped above the $100K mark at the beginning of 2004, and pretty much stayed there, I think. Selling the condo put me above the $200K mark, so I guess there's that threshold. But for me, the satisfaction was more about the peace of mind of having that condo sold, and freeing up around $1350/mo in cash flow.

Some of the other milestones that people might think of as major, such as $500K, $1M, and $2M, while nice, just didn't seem like that big of a deal. I think mental frame of reference, for lack of a better phrase, might be part of it. When you're young, and don't have much, the idea of $500K, $1M, $2M or whatever seems like a big deal, a lofty goal, and it's easy to think of it as life-changing. But, for most of us, we don't hit those milestones instantly. They take years, or even decades, of hard work, risk, sacrifice, patience, etc.

Looking back on my path to $1M, I hit it, briefly, in February 2015. And I hit it again in October 2015, and again in March 2016. Third time was a charm, and it finally held!

But, before that, I had hit $900K at the end of 2013, so at that point I was almost there. I came close, $970K in June of 2014, but then it kind of stalled out. I finished 2014 at $988K. So, when I finally DID hit $1M, instead of being over-joyed, my attitude was more like "It's about damn time!". Plus, at that point I had spent over a year being basically 90% of the way there, so it wasn't like some magic threshold.

Now, if I could go back to any point in my 30's, say, and suddenly enough money fell into my lap to push me above the $1M mark, it would have been life changing. But I guess when you get there more slowly, you just get acclimated to your financial standing, so it doesn't seem like as big of a deal.

Plus, once you get into higher $ amounts, and see how fast it can rise and fall with the market, it can also be a bit humbling!
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:10 AM   #62
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What Iíve learned as Iíve gotten older is to try and have the right perspective about money. Iíve realized a long time ago there will be plenty of people that have a lot more money than my wife and I.

Thatís OK because money is a means to an end and not the end itself. We will use money to fund our retirement one day which will give us the freedom to spend our time on our terms.

Iíve been in a couple of running races in my day. Think like 10k runs. There were at least several hundred participants in each of those races.

Most of us had no chance of winning outside of a handful of competitors who were well trained athletes. But the great part of running was that the vast majority of participants were there to set personal goals like beating personal best times or simply being able to finish the race.

I could have been running by myself in those races for all I cared. It was about finishing the race and accomplishing the goal rather than any comparisons to other runners.

Thatís how I view retirement and net worth: itís about finishing the race and the journey thatís important. Once you view money as a tool and not an end product youíll be less likely to compare your total to others.

Thatís why my goal will be to retire when I think we have enough to comfortably live the rest of our lives and no more- because otherwise Iíd be continuing to work simply to run up the score of a game that doesnít matter anyway. Money is simply the road we take to get to our desired destination but it is not by itself the intended destination.
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:29 AM   #63
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Good analogy and well said. We all need to do whatís right and works for us.
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:53 AM   #64
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... Money is simply the road we take to get to our desired destination but it is not by itself the intended destination.
That is a great statement RxMan!
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Old 08-28-2021, 07:27 AM   #65
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Money is simply the road we take to get to our desired destination but it is not by itself the intended destination.
It's easy to lose sight of the true goal (FI) and think in terms of the NW. I went through that early in my c*reer - long before I discovered this site and long before I thought of RE.

Over time, I slowly adjusted my thinking away from the number itself and more toward Financial Independence. Mid c*reer, I just wanted out. It was then I began a serious self-study on what it would take. I'm sure I was "wrong" looking back (I guessed that anywhere from 6% to 8% would be a reasonable SWR - boy was I green!)

Once I found this site and FIRECalc., I realized I had "enough" and could bail out any time I liked. FI made it possible to stay and "enjoy" my last several years. The second that changed, I left and never looked back. I realized by then that the NW was simply a means to an end. YMMV
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:29 PM   #66
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My NW is around 2.75m now and I honestly canít believe it. I spent so much of my life grinding away thinking Iíd never ďmake it,Ē but thanks to these forums I have.

I also see people worried with $5+M and if Iím honest it often makes me worry. I still rent and itís starting to look like I may never own a home in a place I want to live since the prices just keep climbing.

Iím on the verge of using my FI money to make a major change. Whether that will be RE or a new path to engage on I donít know for sure. But clearly I have ďenoughĒ to enjoy a great life. Iím 54 btw.
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:40 PM   #67
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My mental challenge since semi-retiring last year at 54 is watching the portfolio drift downward until SS and our planned downsize of the house at around age 70, i.e. our projections show that weíll have the classic ďsmile shapeĒ of many retiree portfolios over life expectancy.

Oh well, easy come, easy go. The new book ďDie With ZeroĒ made me feel better about using what we have while we have the health to enjoy it.
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:40 PM   #68
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I am 43 single and no kids and have $563,630. Hope to reach $2M by 60.
That's 17 years away. You should make that easy... The problem is, the way things are going, 2m in 17 years may only have the buying power of 1m today... Maybe even far less.
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:52 PM   #69
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My NW is around 2.75m now and I honestly can’t believe it. I spent so much of my life grinding away thinking I’d never “make it,” but thanks to these forums I have.

I also see people worried with $5+M and if I’m honest it often makes me worry. I still rent and it’s starting to look like I may never own a home in a place I want to live since the prices just keep climbing.

I’m on the verge of using my FI money to make a major change. Whether that will be RE or a new path to engage on I don’t know for sure. But clearly I have “enough” to enjoy a great life. I’m 54 btw.
Sure, you see plenty over on bogleheads like that who say they 'need' $20k+/month to retire.

Often they're in a HCOL area & so half of their retirement spending could be due to their multi-million dollar home.

I guess that's the "golden lawnmower" (like "golden handcuffs") price of staying there.
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:52 PM   #70
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My mental challenge since semi-retiring last year at 54 is watching the portfolio drift downward until SS and our planned downsize of the house at around age 70
You may well see your portfolio grow instead. Mine grew 40% in seven years dispite a well over 4% burn rate.
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Old 08-28-2021, 02:16 PM   #71
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The main thing is to not compare your net worth or life style with others. We feel that we are comfortable and can afford everything that we want. We also happen to live in a community where many people have much more than us. There is only so much food you can eat and clothes you need to wear, so it does not matter how much we have. Our retirement is secure and that is all that we need.
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Old 08-28-2021, 06:55 PM   #72
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I have a handy Quicken chart with data that goes back to 1992, but I know that until 1988 we didn't have 401K/IRA money (Edit, actually we had about 4k in 1992).
It took us 22 years from 1988 to 2010 to get the first million in investments/savings. 7 years for the next one. The first is by far the hardest.


To chime in with Robbie, I semi-retired at 57 in 2015 and also expected a burn rate, particularly after encouraging DW to retire 3.5 years ago. Instead, it's up 40% over the last 6 years. Admittedly, we have had decent to good markets, with the exception of the COVID crash. I've only drawn from my account and it is even over the last 3 years of withdrawals, despite an average withdrawal rate of 7%. Meanwhile, DWs accounts have gone up steadily. This is way more than we need since even generous basic expenses are no more than 5k/month and I also send money for expenses to my 89 year old mother monthly. The rest is travel and other non-essentials. The house is paid off, however, and no debt.

I do not compare with others; my comparison is my childhood in rural Missouri (Ozarks) and Western Oklahoma, although I have learned to spend on some wishes over the last decade as the money kept piling up. For a while, I was buying a used fly rod or reel on the internet every year; I have used 3 of them the last 5 years, but two I haven't even used (I don't have a big enough line for the 7/8 switch rod, so I need to go to Cabelas but I dropped the reel in the garage and bent it). I don't normally fish big enough water to use a switch rod, but it's comforting it's here in my study looking at me and gathering dust.

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Curious did it take a long time for your net worth to grow from $1M to $2M? What is the ratio of that growth between investment return.and the income saving?

I think most multi millionaires see the return from investment contributed to majority of NW growth than their income even before the retirement.
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Old 08-28-2021, 07:13 PM   #73
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I have a handy Quicken chart with data that goes back to 1992, but I know that until 1988 we didn't have 401K/IRA money (Edit, actually we had about 4k in 1992).
It took us 22 years from 1988 to 2010 to get the first million in investments/savings. 7 years for the next one. The first is by far the hardest.


To chime in with Robbie, I semi-retired at 57 in 2015 and also expected a burn rate, particularly after encouraging DW to retire 3.5 years ago. Instead, it's up 40% over the last 6 years. Admittedly, we have had decent to good markets, with the exception of the COVID crash. I've only drawn from my account and it is even over the last 3 years of withdrawals, despite an average withdrawal rate of 7%. Meanwhile, DWs accounts have gone up steadily. This is way more than we need since even generous basic expenses are no more than 5k/month and I also send money for expenses to my 89 year old mother monthly. The rest is travel and other non-essentials. The house is paid off, however, and no debt.

I do not compare with others; my comparison is my childhood in rural Missouri (Ozarks) and Western Oklahoma, although I have learned to spend on some wishes over the last decade as the money kept piling up. For a while, I was buying a used fly rod or reel on the internet every year; I have used 3 of them the last 5 years, but two I haven't even used (I don't have a big enough line for the 7/8 switch rod, so I need to go to Cabelas but I dropped the reel in the garage and bent it). I don't normally fish big enough water to use a switch rod, but it's comforting it's here in my study looking at me.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I had a late start in my career so I tried to shorten my accumulation period. It took me 8yrs to get my first 1M and I am hoping it will take less than that to get the 2nd but I am not holding my breath for the economy to be as good as it has been in the last decade.

I got two non salt water cheapo telescope fishing rod from Amazon back in 2017 and they are in my bug-out bags with the accessories, never been used. It just seems to be a lot of hassle to start a hobby but I am sure it is just my COVID lockdown talking.
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Old 08-28-2021, 07:29 PM   #74
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My NW is around 2.75m now and I honestly canít believe it. I spent so much of my life grinding away thinking Iíd never ďmake it,Ē but thanks to these forums I have.



I also see people worried with $5+M and if Iím honest it often makes me worry. I still rent and itís starting to look like I may never own a home in a place I want to live since the prices just keep climbing.



Iím on the verge of using my FI money to make a major change. Whether that will be RE or a new path to engage on I donít know for sure. But clearly I have ďenoughĒ to enjoy a great life. Iím 54 btw.
You can always sell your house to get the money back. Recessions like 2008-2009 that resulted in housing price drop does happen but not often, while rent goes up year after year consistently. It is the matter of removing the band-aid or being cooked by a slow boiling water.

Some people are happy to be a nomad in a camper van. Maybe that is something that fits your retirement life style?
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Old 08-28-2021, 09:30 PM   #75
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That's 17 years away. You should make that easy... The problem is, the way things are going, 2m in 17 years may only have the buying power of 1m today... Maybe even far less.
$568,706 now.

The issue is that I am still 💯 stocks but donít know when to be in Bonds.

$2M canít be $1M on past history of inflation. We havenít even had many 3% inflation years. It also depends on what you are buying too. Inflation prices doesnít effect all goods/services.
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Old 08-28-2021, 10:34 PM   #76
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Than more you have than less you want to spend. 10 years ago I was buying 50K car without second thought. Today thought that I need to take out 50K for car make me sick...
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Old 08-28-2021, 11:55 PM   #77
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You may well see your portfolio grow instead. Mine grew 40% in seven years dispite a well over 4% burn rate.

Letís hope, eh? Iíd be thrilled with flat for 7 years.
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Old 08-29-2021, 06:25 AM   #78
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Letís hope, eh? Iíd be thrilled with flat for 7 years.
Robbie, has made a great point and one that is very likely to happen. I beleive in a 7 year time frame your portfolio will be greater.

In 5 year in retirement mine has grown 52%.
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Old 08-29-2021, 06:42 AM   #79
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I caught an old "Columbo" episode the other day, where they mentioned some prices, and I thought it was an interesting little time capsule. Now, being a tv show, I wouldn't be my life on some of these dollar figures being totally accurate, but they may have been a ballpark figure for the time.

Anyway, the episode originally aired on 9/26/72. Columbo was grilling a murder suspect, a music conductor who lives a fairly lavish lifestyle, on various costs and such. The suspect said he paid $18,000 per year in property taxes, and from that Columbo guessed the house cost $720,000, to which the guy responded close, $750,000. The house was the same one used for the exterior shots of the governor's mansion in "Benson". Columbo then asked how much this guy had spent on all the furniture and he said "Oh, I don't know...maybe $100-200K."

Columbo mentioned that he only makes $11,000 per year!

It really made me notice that, even back in 1972, you had to be more than just an entry-level millionaire if you wanted a really lavish lifestyle. And, in the case of this murder suspect, he had a rich wife he was leeching off of.

I just looked up the Benson house on Zillow.com. They estimate it's current value to be about $6.7M (oddly, about what $1M adjusted for inflation in 1972 would be). Its property taxes in 2020 were $7,557, and its assessed value was only $514,591!

Those tax/assessment numbers seem laughably low to me. I'm guessing they reflect some kind of tax credit for it being a primary residence? And doesn't California have provisions in place to keep property taxes really low, if you stay in your home a really long time?

Here's the Zillow page: https://www.zillow.com/homes/1365-S-...20699719_zpid/
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Old 08-29-2021, 06:46 AM   #80
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People like to worry, especially many of the folks on this site who are fiscally conservative and planners by nature. As long as you are good, that is what matters. We have a large portfolio, and the latest thing I am going to have to worry about is the tax and medicare implications of eventually pulling all the money out of the tIRAs. I delayed and OMY for a loooong time. Keep in mind many FIRE with less than you.
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