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View Poll Results: When you retired, how many years of expenses had you saved
10 years or less 16 8.51%
11 - 20 years 18 9.57%
21 - 30 years 53 28.19%
31 - 40 years 48 25.53%
More than 41 years 53 28.19%
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Poll: When you retired, how many years of expenses had you saved POLL
Old 09-20-2023, 02:04 PM   #1
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Poll: When you retired, how many years of expenses had you saved POLL

If you tracked this data, when you retired how many years of expenses did you have?
Years of expenses = retirement assets / planned expenditures
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:24 PM   #2
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Who cares what I saved? The important number is what you HAVE at the time of retirement. That includes savings and return on investments. 25x expenses is a common rule of thumb as you know.
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:31 PM   #3
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Who cares what I saved? The important number is what you HAVE at the time of retirement. That includes savings and return on investments. 25x expenses is a common rule of thumb as you know.
Have, earned, saved, etc, the intent of the poll is what amount did you retire with and how many years did that represent,
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:33 PM   #4
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What we had right at retirement we knew would be different than what we knew would come later. In our case, we still lived in Silicon Valley with a mortgage and a HCOL at retirement. Less than 18 months later, we were in Central Texas, having sold the house off in California and buying a new house outright in a MCOL area. This was pretty much planned at retirement. We went from a mortgage to no mortgage. We pocketed nearly 2/3rds of what we cleared after capital gains taxes, closing expenses, and paying off the mortgage on the sale of our Silicon Valley house.
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:41 PM   #5
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On the day I retired, I had about 31 times my planned annual expenses. (The timing of my retirement was determined by when I became eligible for retiree health insurance, not by the size of my nestegg).

So for me, the day I retired was not the last day of saving for retirement. The market was booming and I was still in LBYM mode. Therefore my nest egg continued to grow.

I remember at that time, somebody here on the forum said, basically, "SAVING in retirement? Why would anybody save in retirement?". To me the reasons are the same as why anybody would save while working so that's why I remember that puzzling question.
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:45 PM   #6
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I'm really not sure how to answer that question/poll since my spend rate has changed a lot since I retired. (As expected)
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:48 PM   #7
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I'm really not sure how to answer that question/poll since my spend rate has changed a lot since I retired. (As expected)
Mine has as well and I track the variability of the number on my financial dashboard. It goes up and down. If I add in social security it almost doubles.

Its just a fun poll.
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Old 09-20-2023, 02:53 PM   #8
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Gotta start spending more, just realized. Booking only luxury class cruises the rest of this year!
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Old 09-20-2023, 03:05 PM   #9
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I took a tape on our after tax spending for each of the four years leading to early retirement.

Not by category, just total spend. Easy to do since all payments go through our current account or credit cards that are in turn paid through our current account.

Post retirement the number was somewhat accurate. We spent the first year of retirement homeless. Travelled internationally for seven months, then rented a furnished condo for three months.

Massive changes on our lifestyle but surprising the total spend was plus/minus 10 percent each year thereafter.

We are spending more now, twelve years on because of inflation. Travel costs have increased far greater than the rate of inflation.

On the plus side, our equity investments did far better than expected.
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Old 09-20-2023, 03:28 PM   #10
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Meaningless if one expected to pay for most or all yearly expenses out of pension and/or social security income. If you specified net expenses after other income sources, it might be more useful, because that is what you need your stash to actually cover.
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Old 09-20-2023, 03:31 PM   #11
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x35 w/o SS. No pensions
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Old 09-20-2023, 03:34 PM   #12
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No pension, and since we were retiring in our 40's we ignored SS. So we went with about 30x, maybe 31 or 32?

And about half of it was in taxables, so we'd have no worries about making it to 59.5 on the first chunk.

The conventional 4% says 25x, but that's for a 30 year retirement, and we want 50+, so figured it was safer to overshoot a little.
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Old 09-20-2023, 03:43 PM   #13
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I don't really have "planned" expenses but use trailing 12 months expenses as my guide. The end of the month I FIREd I had 51.3x my trailing 12 months expenses and at the end of last month I was at 48.4x my expenses. Lowest point since my FIRE date was 37.3x and the highest was 55.7x. I might have a spreadsheet with that info going back to 1999. ;/
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Old 09-20-2023, 03:45 PM   #14
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Meaningless if one expected to pay for most or all yearly expenses out of pension and/or social security income. If you specified net expenses after other income sources, it might be more useful, because that is what you need your stash to actually cover.
Exactly.

We had about 25 years of expenses, but a chunk of that was destined toward college and weddings for 3 ungrateful offspring, so really about 20 years of expenses. No pension and very little SS. I had already retired when I first encountered this forum and FIRECalc, and my first run at my original numbers gave me a resounding 84% probability of success.
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:08 PM   #15
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I'm in the middle of a 9-10 year planned transition from full time employed to absolutely retired. Sometimes called the go-go years. My budget has a lot of discretionary fat. I still work seasonally (6 weeks per year), earning about 25% of my spending budget. There's financial milestones ahead in my transition to fully retired. Man plans and God laughs, but I hope:
In 4 months I start Medicare
In ~5.5 years I start SS
In ~6.5 years I start Pension
In 4-8 years I quit working at all and sell the side hustle.

On the day I retired from full time work (3 years ago) I had 18X my go-go fat FIRE budget. 2023 looks like I'll go over my budget by ~10%. 2021 &2022 were slightly under.
When I reach 72 (knock on wood) I won't require anything from portfolio

Firecalc has always said I was over 100% success and the numbers now are better than retirement day. I worked 2-3 years too long.
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:18 PM   #16
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I answered but the answer depends on SIRE vs FIRE, and the large number of people somewhere in between. You don’t need to save much if anything if you’re SIRE.
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Meaningless if one expected to pay for most or all yearly expenses out of pension and/or social security income. If you specified net expenses after other income sources, it might be more useful, because that is what you need your stash to actually cover.
I agree. I would look more at something like how many years of net planned expenses after pension/SS income in cash did one set aside when they retired, since that more seems to be the ongoing debate related to much cash on hand one should have, and did that turn out to be too much/too little/just right.
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Meaningless if one expected to pay for most or all yearly expenses out of pension and/or social security income. If you specified net expenses after other income sources, it might be more useful, because that is what you need your stash to actually cover.
I prefaced the question with if you tracked the data. So someone who has significant pension income likely wouldnít care and not pay attention to the number.
For the rest of us living off our portfolio, it is a pertinent number.

It a fun poll.
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Old 09-20-2023, 04:49 PM   #19
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I agree. I would look more at something like how many years of net planned expenses after pension/SS income in cash did one set aside when they retired, since that more seems to be the ongoing debate related to much cash on hand one should have, and did that turn out to be too much/too little/just right.
Hey, start a poll. Thatís a good question.
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Old 09-20-2023, 05:13 PM   #20
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I prefaced the question with if you tracked the data. So someone who has significant pension income likely wouldn’t care and not pay attention to the number.
For the rest of us living off our portfolio, it is a pertinent number.

It a fun poll.
Maybe some pensioners wouldn't care, but I have always tracked the heck out of the data. I knew precisely how much I had on the day I retired and a very good idea what my expenses would be. The ratio was 25x, not counting the value of my house. It's more now, because the pensions and SS have been paying the expenses.
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