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View Poll Results: Fat FIRE II - What is your overall FIRE level - retirement and non-retirement $$ only
Under 500k 6 2.48%
501k to 1 mm 10 4.13%
1 mm to 1.5 mm 15 6.20%
1.5 mm to 2 mm 34 14.05%
2 mm to 2.5 mm 22 9.09%
2.5 mm to 3 mm 19 7.85%
3 mm to 4 mm 45 18.60%
4 mm to 6 mm 42 17.36%
6 mm to 10 mm 27 11.16%
10 mm + 22 9.09%
Voters: 242. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-01-2021, 06:02 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Also, when measuring net worth... include pensions value? SS value? deferre income taxes?

My.... what a tangled web we weave.
I completely agree that putting all measures of net worth on the same footing isn't really possible. That said, I do think that including the value of pensions and RE (by whatever measure) can give a pretty good indicator of which FIRE is fatter than which.

Perhaps the best way would be to use FIRECalc and determine what's the maximum spend level you could maintain to some arbitrary age with some set probability of success (say 100% to age 100, just cause it's easy to remember). That automatically accounts for all the assets of all sorts at one's disposal. I imagine someone has already crafted a poll of this sort at various times in the foggy mists of ER.org history, but I don't recall one off the top of my head.
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Old 06-01-2021, 06:10 PM   #62
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There is a good reason that pensions are not included in net worth. Although I'd dearly like that paycheck coming in, it stops when you stop.

Cash, stocks and bonds and real estate are still there when you're not. Net worth.
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:21 PM   #63
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There is a good reason that pensions are not included in net worth. Although I'd dearly like that paycheck coming in, it stops when you stop.

Cash, stocks and bonds and real estate are still there when you're not. Net worth.
Depends. Are we interested in your net worth, or the net worth of your heirs/charities/Uncle_Sam?

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Old 06-01-2021, 07:25 PM   #64
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There's a reason that "Survey methodology" is a graduate-level behavioral science course! Seriously though, let me give a couple of tips, not just for the OP, but for anyone that needs it:
1) Write out what you hope to find out, as if you're going to ask someone else to design the poll. This makes you define many of your unspoken assumptions, which can often keep the question or choices from being too vague; if you do not define them clearly, your respondents might also be confused by them, or interpret them differently than you do.
2) Write out your choices and spend some time actively trying to envision ways people will not fit your choices. This should help make your choices more inclusive, as people who don't see any answer that applies will probably skip the survey altogether, even though they may have the most useful responses. (Not as applicable to this survey, but still, an "Other, see comments" might show better how many people object to this survey.)
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
I would wager that a good way to make a useful survey would be first to start a thread saying what it is you'd like to know and that you are contemplating a survey poll to find out. Then, everyone can give you feedback on how the questions should be defined and the choices delimited. After assessing the feedback, craft the poll and post a new thread. You can insert a link to the discussion thread for reference.


Two very good posts. The so-called "polls" on this forum usually leave me shaking my head, for many reasons. First, a self-selected poll is subject to selection bias. Second, how many are lying/joking? Third, the question selection and/or goals are usually, well, not well thought out.

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Old 06-01-2021, 07:57 PM   #65
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Depends. Are we interested in your net worth, or the net worth of your heirs/charities/Uncle_Sam?

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Net worth is net worth. Assets minus liabilities. Statement. Easy.
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:20 PM   #66
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Net worth is net worth. Assets minus liabilities. Statement. Easy.
I completely agree.
This is another net worth poll.

But here's the good news.
Let's say you have an exceptional pension/annuity income in retirement. So much beyond your expenses that you put $100,000 per year into investments!

If you live another 20 years, that's $2 Million additional added to your Net Worth!

And that's in addition to the growth of your portfolio year after year!

You could be a WINNER!
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:26 PM   #67
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An annuity can have a value calculated by determining its net present value. But whether to include an annuity in net worth is semantics. Which is why comparing your net worth to other people is of limited value.

If I’m worth $10M, and I take the entire net worth and buy an annuity that pays me $500,000 per year for the rest of my life, is there any value in me now saying my net worth is zero?
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:32 PM   #68
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I think the bottom line is that Fat FIRE is really a function of annual spending money available. So absolutely pension, SS, portfolio withdrawals, - it all counts! And some folks are going to have more coming from pensions/SS and others more from investment withdrawal.

This poll and the prior one were really just trying to get the spread on people’s investment/liquid assets.

A true Fat FIRE poll would ask about people’s total annual income/spending.

Fat FIRE also depends on location due to cost of living differences. I see $100K available annual funds sometimes used as a threshold, but it seems pretty location dependent to me.
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:41 PM   #69
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I think the bottom line is that Fat FIRE is really a function of annual spending money available. So absolutely pension, SS, portfolio withdrawals - it all counts!

This poll and the prior one were really just trying to get the spread on people’s investment/liquid assets.

I true Fat FIRE poll would ask about people’s total annual income/spending.
You keep using that E when you type FIRE. Is SS relevant for E spending? Pensions are a little different because some pensions can start "early" (especially government ones).

The term Fat FIRE was popularized in the very E retirement community found on Reddit and MMM. The term always includes the E, and generally does not consider SS and pensions.

I'm coming to the conclusion that a lot of "FIRE" polls here include a lot of non-E peeps (FIR), which is fine but makes the data suspect. They need a warning to the effect "if you are considering FIRE do not use this data for anything!"
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:49 PM   #70
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You keep using that E when you type FIRE. Is SS relevant for E spending? Pensions are a little different because some pensions can start "early" (especially government ones).

The term Fat FIRE was popularized in the very E retirement community found on Reddit and MMM. The term always includes the E, and generally does not consider SS and pensions.

I'm coming to the conclusion that a lot of "FIRE" polls here include a lot of non-E peeps (FIR), which is fine but makes the data suspect. They need a warning to the effect "if you are considering FIRE do not use this data for anything!"
This is the early retirement forum. I guess people should stop posting here once they reach a certain age? Some people start their pensions as early as 55 or even earlier for some law enforcement. Some spend more heavily from their investments initially because they know SS and pensions are coming online later. I think a lot for people here initially retired early, and stuck around, and their income source composition has since changed. It is still a very useful resource for folks planning and getting feedback on their early retirement. I guess the poll creator can ask that no one 65 or older answer the poll.

If you retired early, are you always an early retiree or not? I don’t care about the MMM and Reddit uber early retirement wannabes. Someone brought the Fat FIRE question to this group.

Distraction.

Warnings on any internet forum polls are useless anyway. The poll data results are always suspect!
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Old 06-01-2021, 09:09 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by stepford View Post
I completely agree that putting all measures of net worth on the same footing isn't really possible. That said, I do think that including the value of pensions and RE (by whatever measure) can give a pretty good indicator of which FIRE is fatter than which.

Perhaps the best way would be to use FIRECalc and determine what's the maximum spend level you could maintain to some arbitrary age with some set probability of success (say 100% to age 100, just cause it's easy to remember). That automatically accounts for all the assets of all sorts at one's disposal. I imagine someone has already crafted a poll of this sort at various times in the foggy mists of ER.org history, but I don't recall one off the top of my head.
I like this - the ratio of the maximum spend at 100 years old at 100% success divided by actual retirement spend - certainly a lot closer to useful. Of course then we'd argue about what expenses to include, at what age, etc.
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Old 06-01-2021, 10:50 PM   #72
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You keep using that E when you type FIRE. Is SS relevant for E spending? Pensions are a little different because some pensions can start "early" (especially government ones).

The term Fat FIRE was popularized in the very E retirement community found on Reddit and MMM. The term always includes the E, and generally does not consider SS and pensions.

I'm coming to the conclusion that a lot of "FIRE" polls here include a lot of non-E peeps (FIR), which is fine but makes the data suspect. They need a warning to the effect "if you are considering FIRE do not use this data for anything!"
Of course it’s relevant, imo. Perhaps not if you are retiring at 30 or 40, as you’re far enough from SS that it’s harder to predict. But we started making plans when DH was in his early 50s and I was in my mid-40s, so definitely at least an ‘e,’ if not an ‘E’.’ Bridging 10 years to an additional 40-50k of income for the next 30-35 yrs is different than funding that extra $ out of your portfolio. I think you have to be *very* fat to have an extra 40-50k/yr for a significant portion of your retirement make no difference.

Pensions may be less relevant just because they’re so rare for those in my age bracket. And if you have one, it’s usually because you worked for the government, so the ‘fat’ piece may be less likely.

All that said, I agree with the comments about poorly designed surveys/polls being meaningless. I actually the the heart of the question is interesting and would be curious to see the responses. But none of the polls I’ve seen so far are all that useful. Just the title of the thread biases the results!
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Old 06-02-2021, 07:11 AM   #73
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And NW is not a good measure of whether you can retire or not. Firecalc says I needed $1.4M in savings @ 55 in 50/50 AA for 100% Ps. I would need $3.8M if I didn't have a COLA pension and free healthcare.
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:10 AM   #74
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An annuity can have a value calculated by determining its net present value. But whether to include an annuity in net worth is semantics. Which is why comparing your net worth to other people is of limited value.

If I’m worth $10M, and I take the entire net worth and buy an annuity that pays me $500,000 per year for the rest of my life, is there any value in me now saying my net worth is zero?
Depends.
My payout annuities had a ten year guarantee.
So if I died tomorrow, then the Present Value of $500k/year over ten years would be part of my Net Worth...
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Old 06-03-2021, 12:40 PM   #75
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And NW is not a good measure of whether you can retire or not. Firecalc says I needed $1.4M in savings @ 55 in 50/50 AA for 100% Ps. I would need $3.8M if I didn't have a COLA pension and free healthcare.
Yep, that's the reason I'm begging my kids to stay in (active or Guard/Reserve) until they've got enough years/points for the pension.
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