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Old 05-07-2017, 06:32 AM   #41
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This is an early retirement forum, surely most people can understand why I want to retire, no?
Everyone here understands. That doesn't stop them from asking questions.

There's not much I can add to this discussion, but I would say that, with 2 decades to go 'til Medicare, sequence of returns is probably not the biggest risk you will face. There are others, and as MrLoco points out, health care cost is among the top few. Your budget and planned spending does not allow for significant health care spending.

This may be of interest http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ire-69999.html
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:59 AM   #42
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I occasionally read Mr Money Mustache and was surprised to find his wife is not really retired. According to this blog from March, 2017,his wife makes 5 figures on Etsy Inside Mrs. Money Mustache’s Top-Secret Five-Figure Etsy Shop
Another Jacob Fisker story.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:19 AM   #43
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Everyone here understands. That doesn't stop them from asking questions.

There's not much I can add to this discussion, but I would say that, with 2 decades to go 'til Medicare, sequence of returns is probably not the biggest risk you will face. There are others, and as MrLoco points out, health care cost is among the top few. Your budget and planned spending does not allow for significant health care spending.

This may be of interest http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ire-69999.html
I'm not discounting the fact that health care costs can or will increase over time but I do think that since health care has become such a hot button major news issue lately, we're assuming the worst and that health care costs can and WILL only sky rocket from here. I remember when oil was trading at $147 per barrel in 2008 and some parts of the country paid almost $5 for a gallon of gas. Many people assumed we'd never again see gas at $2 a gallon. In New Hampshire we've been paying between $2-$2.50 for a couple years and possibly a couple years more. I know oil prices can rebound but my point is, industries are cyclical. It's possible health care costs could decline for a period of time. I'm not going to plan on that decline but I'm just saying some people might be over estimating the costs of health care a bit. But who knows, I'm just a naive youngster, still a little wet behind the ears.

My budget includes and extra $400 per month principal payment on my mortgage so it's paid down in 15 years. If health care costs increase that much, I can allocate that $400 to those costs. When my mortgage is paid, I'll have an additional $800 per month to apply toward health care premiums if necessary.

I'm hoping that we continue to be healthy. We don't eat processed food and both of us exercise very regularly and we take care of our teeth. We don't smoke and only drink socially, maybe 3-4 drinks a week. I meditate regularly and my wife does Yoga. I'm not saying this life style is a guarantee we won't incur health issues but I think it puts the odds in our favor.

Much of the health care cost people see in this country come from a poor diet, lack of exercise and high stress. I'm trying to eliminate the high stress part.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:02 AM   #44
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You might want to look at FUEGO's blog, Root of Good. He's doing ER at a similar age, with 3 kids, on a similar budget. The kids are on Medicaid for health insurance, so that helps a lot. One important difference is housing cost. His house in North Carolina is paid off and the taxes are quite low. He has some blog income, which was not in his original plan, and he hacks all his expenses - food, clothing, repairs. One thing he is a champion at - travel hacking. I think you are of a similar mindset, and now more of your plan is known, you could make this work.

However, in your shoes, I would work long enough to pay off the house. IIRC, you have a substantial property tax in your home state, and a mortgage on top of that would be too much for me. No way to hack a mortgage, unfortunately.

Another interesting ER blog with similar portfolio numbers is Living a FI. The author is in a similar situation to you with no kids. As part of his ER, he and his wife sold their house and became renters.

In addition to housing, most if not all of the retired ER bloggers relied on the ACA as part of their plans. Premiums are reasonable for younger people, and subsidies, which are income, not asset based, were readily available. Under the ACA, insurers were allowed to charge people in their 50's 3 times as much as younger people. From what I understand, the bill that passed in the House last week raises that to 5 times. It's also not clear how subsidies will work and whether a lot of people will end up in high risk pools. Whether this bill or some other bill becomes law, it looks like health insurance will be more expensive in the future, especially for older people.

In your shoes, if I wanted to take on the risk of very early retirement, I would pay off the house before I jumped. I would also keep a close eye on health care costs and insurance eligibility. You or your wife will likely want to go back to work with employer paid insurance if the outcome of the insurance debate leaves you unable either to get or afford health insurance.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:06 AM   #45
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"Much of the health care cost people see in this country come from a poor diet, lack of exercise and high stress. I'm trying to eliminate the high stress part."

There is some truth to this. However, your genes and other factors play a part. I know plenty of people that followed "the rules" and ended up with debilitating diseases or conditions in their 50's. I would be cautious with the "I'm going to live to 100 in perfect health and die in my sleep" thinking.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:06 AM   #46
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I occasionally read Mr Money Mustache and was surprised to find his wife is not really retired. According to this blog from March, 2017,his wife makes 5 figures on Etsy Inside Mrs. Money Mustache’s Top-Secret Five-Figure Etsy Shop
I wade over there last night and he is a Canadian from a Toronto. Healthcare is not a concern.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:13 AM   #47
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I know plenty of people that followed "the rules" and ended up with debilitating diseases or conditions in their 50's. I would be cautious with the "I'm going to live to 100 in perfect health and die in my sleep" thinking.
Yep.

Remember this recent thread? http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...uck-86031.html
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:17 AM   #48
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Why? My question is why not? I have so many interests outside of what I do for a living. My job is just a means for me to make some money so i can further explore and pursue those interests.

Some people have asked me why I want to retire and what I would do. Here's the why part: one of the gentlemen that I work with is 54 years old. His net worth is roughly 2.5 million, no kids, no debt. There's a handful of other people in the office just like him. One day in the office we were talking about my trip to Vietnam. My wife and I enjoy traveling to off the beaten path locations that are typically very inexpensive. He's always asking me about my travels and where our next trip will be. So I asked him, why don't you just retire now and travel for a while and he replied "because when we're not traveling I'm afraid I'd get bored". And I said "really? I could think of at least 100 things I'd rather be doing right now than sitting in this office" And he said "well why don't you go do those things?" That got me thinking really hard. I compare him to Brooks in the movie Shawshank Redemption. He's become institutionalized. I'm leaving before that happens to me.

I don't rely on my job as a source of self importance or identity. I don't need to keep working to "use my brain" or work for the "comradery". I get plenty of that in the things I do outside of my job. So I hope that answers your question of why I want to retire in my 40's.

As for what I would do: the list is too extensive but a few examples would be, grow food in the garden, mountain bike, paddle board, hike in the White Mountains, practice my guitar, slack line, learn French & Spanish, volunteer for habitat for humanity and the Appalachian Mountain Club, refine my photography skills, learn to draw, cook amazing meals every day, bake sourdough bread, maintain my car and house, repoint my chimney....

I haven't even mentioned the things my wife likes to do. I hope this answers the question of why and what.

This is an early retirement forum, surely most people can understand why I want to retire, no?
I wish you luck with your plan. But honestly I've done all those while my kids were young, they are now grown up. My husband and I got married late. We're done playing by the time we got married, so our focus was on the kids. So that's what I did while raising my kids and travelling of course. We've been joking last night, after reading your thread, that had we not had kids, we'll be having too much money and time, unpuposedly. So the kids are a blessing in disguise.
Retirement sounds good at first, I was elated, but honestly, I've been retiring for nearly two years and there are time that I thought I was under utilized. And I'm the DYI type of person. So my advice is to make sure you have enough money before you pull the trigger.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:34 AM   #49
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It is easy to think being healthy in your 40's will continue throughout your life. However, this is not realistic at all.

We (age 57 and 61) are extremely healthy for our age. We exercise, eat healthy, no smoking and have no major health problems nor take any prescription drugs. All of our friends and family around the same age group are taking between 1 and 11 drugs daily. None of them have a major disease but they are not healthy by any means.

After tracking our expenses in Quick Books for 3 years we know what our actual expenses are today and which ones might continue into retirement. We have no mortgage and no debt and live in a low cost of living state. We live a nice life and enjoy low cost activities like hiking, cycling and tent camping. Like you we cook and eat at home most of the time.

Currently we pay 21,000 a year for health insurance through the ACA and during our retirement this will be 1/3 of our expenses. This cost for health insurance is most likely going to increase for people our age. This cost does not include the additional 500-1000 yearly for dr or dentist visits. We pay everything out of pocket due to a 6500 per person high deductible plan.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:38 AM   #50
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Even with two health insurances, BCBS FEP and Medicare, we pay about $10k a year if you count ever little knick knack. Dental cost is included in there. I'm reasonable young and healthy with good teeth. See a doctor once a year for check up.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:20 AM   #51
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My question is why do people want to retire too early, like in 30s and 40s. I might be considered old here, I retired at 55, but in real life, nobody I know or met retire that young. Except for one guy who graduated from UCLA in engineering and has not found a job since. He is mooching off his mom and rich brother.
Because they can? If you had come into a windfall in your 30s or 40s would you have continued working? I had an interesting career, but when financial independence came and I decided I could pull it off, I retired at 39 to pursue all those things that I didn't have time or energy to do because of a demanding career.

FWIW, I didn't take a pay cut when I retired, if fact spending increased. So I didn't try to swing anything on a tight budget.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:22 AM   #52
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jjonas, you might want to read the AARP articles lately on what the latest ACA repeal plan means in terms of costs for older Americans and the Fidelity studies on how much health care will cost for an average retired couple. These aren't theoretical costs, most people here without pension insurance really are spending this kind of money and the prognosis is not for these costs to go down in the future. The difference between the advice here and many of the ER blogs is that people who post here aren't selling anything and are older and posting from actual experience.

You can take care of your health, but car accidents, sports injuries, genetic predispositions and other stuff can happen to seemingly healthy people. A fitness trainer from The Biggest Loser was in the news this past year from having a heart attack.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:31 AM   #53
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Because they can? If you had come into a windfall in your 30s or 40s would you have continued working? I had an interesting career, but when financial independence came and I decided I could pull it off, I retired at 39 to pursue all those things that I didn't have time or energy to do because of a demanding career.

FWIW, I didn't take a pay cut when I retired, if fact spending increased. So I didn't try to swing anything on a tight budget.
I pursued all those while still working and raising kids. The only thing I didn't do is take off for 4 months at a time like I did last year. I wouldn't take off a week of vacation while my kids were in school, I didn't want to disrupt their schooling. So that's the only hindrance. We did a lot things when we were single too. We didn't have to be in retirement mode to do it.
I personally think it's sad to wait until retirement to do all those things. It's not a binary choice.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:00 AM   #54
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"Much of the health care cost people see in this country come from a poor diet, lack of exercise and high stress. I'm trying to eliminate the high stress part."

There is some truth to this. However, your genes and other factors play a part. I know plenty of people that followed "the rules" and ended up with debilitating diseases or conditions in their 50's. I would be cautious with the "I'm going to live to 100 in perfect health and die in my sleep" thinking.
And I know plenty of people who didn't follow the rules and lived until they were 95, relatively healthy. I certainly realize that we could be genetically predisposed to certain illnesses that's why I said if we keep maintaining a healthy lifestyle we'll put the odds in our favor, not eliminate health issues all together. I know health issues may arise but I'm not going to delay retirement for fear of getting sick someday and not being able to afford the treatment for that sickness. I'd much rather enjoy my younger years than work 40-50 hours per week for another 10 years simply so I can have enough money to afford future health care costs.

We all have anecdotes of this and that and we can speak from our personal situations but that doesn't apply to all people. My mother and father in law are in their late 60's and they take zero medication other than something for seasonal allergies. One of the guys I mountain bike with, who is a poster boy for healthy living, got testicular cancer. Who knows what will happen but like I said, i'm not gonna work 40-50 hours per week for another 10 years for something that may or may not happen in the future.

I agree that paying down the mortgage would be more of an ideal situation. If I didn't have the mortgage I don't think I'd wait until 2018 to retire.

Thank you very much for recommending those other blogs by the way. I was looking for people with similar situations.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:04 AM   #55
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My question is why do people want to retire too early, like in 30s and 40s.
Because more people have jobs like in the movie Office Space than have rewarding careers like astronauts or cancer researchers? -

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Old 05-07-2017, 10:22 AM   #56
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I wish you luck with your plan. But honestly I've done all those while my kids were young, they are now grown up. My husband and I got married late. We're done playing by the time we got married, so our focus was on the kids. So that's what I did while raising my kids and travelling of course. We've been joking last night, after reading your thread, that had we not had kids, we'll be having too much money and time, unpuposedly. So the kids are a blessing in disguise.
Retirement sounds good at first, I was elated, but honestly, I've been retiring for nearly two years and there are time that I thought I was under utilized. And I'm the DYI type of person. So my advice is to make sure you have enough money before you pull the trigger.
I still do many of those things now and want to dedicate more time doing the things I love. I really don't need a job or career to make me feel important or utilized. The possibilities are endless with what I could do if I didn't have employment. I guess you have to be a curious person and you can find an interest and/or challenge in quite a lot. My father is in his mid 70's. He and many of his friends sit around, they watch Fox news, read the paper and do puzzles. Maybe a round of golf here and there. They often complain about the world because they watch and read bad and biased news all day long. If that's what people like, hey I'm not judging but I have so many interest to keep me busy. I won't end up like one of those bored retired people. I just don't know how that even happens.

My concerns about sequence of returns has diverged into health care costs and "what would you do all day" discussion. I still believe, the more immediate risk is retiring into a bear market. I'll have to use more of the recommended calculators and figure things out.

I did use Fidelity's very conservative retirement planning tool and my outcome was successful at 90% confidence level through age 95. This tool assumes a 7% annual inflation rate for health care costs. It's only successful when we both work part time until ages 55. We would both need to bring in $1100 per month. I used conservative estimates for social security and I also modeled in zero income for all of 2018 because it would really be nice to travel through Southeast Asia and South America for a year before we have to work 3 days a week. I'll send you post cards
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:39 AM   #57
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Because more people have jobs like in the movie Office Space than have rewarding careers like astronauts or cancer researchers? -

I hope you are joking. What happens if everybody decides that their jobs are not rewarding. For once, you house would be full of trash, stinking trash, because the trash man decides that his job is not rewarding.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:07 AM   #58
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1. I'd like to know what your thoughts are about the importance of sequence of returns.......
You've done your homework well. Sequence risk is real and can be huge. For example, our financial plan allows for a 40% reduction in networth due to this issue. That sets the minimum amount of fixed assets we hold - we hold enough cash / bonds to use as spending $$ through a typical downturn (3yrs+) so we don't have to sell equities at a big loss.

The important points are (a) yes, this is a critical risk and (b) have a realistic action plan for what to do if it happens. At your age/situation, a plan may simply involve working longer now to save more assets. Or could be taking on part time work if needed in the event of a downturn. As long as you are monitoring the market and have a real backup plan in place, the risk can be mitigated.

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2. If the markets do drop, do I ......... How do people manage withdrawal rate?
If markets drop, activate your backup plan. The goal of the plan should be to NOT sell off your equities during the downturn at a loss. In our plan, we have enough fixed assets to ride out most downturns without cutting expenses. Second step if needed is to cut expenses. We could cut 30-40% without much pain. Last step (extremely unlikely for us) would be to find a way to get some income to help preserve assets.


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3. If anyone has a similar financial situation as ours (source of income exclusively from market investments), I'd like to hear your thoughts on early retirement. How are you managing your withdrawals?
We have significantly more assets that you so not similar. But when looking at your numbers in Firecalc and seeing the thought that you have put into your plan, I'd say firm up your plan and go for it. Just make sure of a couple things.
(a) have / or develop a backup plan in the event of a downturn.
(b) watch your expenses VERY closely since you are tying yourself into many, many years of a very low budget (at least relative to what I'm used to).
(c) watch your wife's pension situation, make sure if they go bankrupt or look like they may cut benefits, you adjust your plan for that.
(d) make sure that some of your Firecalc runs account for the possibility of one of you passing early. You'd lose one SS benefit then. Probably not an issue for you but worth double checking.
(e) consider cost of health care if you need it in other countries...ie, if you end up needing expensive back surgery (for example you tripped and messed it up royally), figure our if the local country has facilities you can use and can you afford it .... or do you have to fly back to the US to our expensive options and use them. You have many years when such things might happen so worth starting to get a feel for this. Some here on this board have mentioned using facilities in other countries quite successfully and quite economically. May be worth another thread if interested in this.

Good luck to you and happy travels.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:14 AM   #59
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Nonsense. the trashman doesn't think it's rewarding and a job he really loves and wants to do. He does it because he needs the money and his life lacked advantages probably starting with his parents and this is the best he can do at least for the moment. In fact there are lots of people with east lucrative jobs who are still complaining that their jobs aren't rewarding or don't pay enough.

Think of all the jobs that need to be done ( most jobs) that are hard, dirty, dangerous or at least monotonous and stultifying, and not rewarding except on the level of "I need the money." If everybody had the cosmically good luck to be able to do only that which they excelled at, found rewarding, and was concomitantly, lucrative, almost nothing would get done in this world because it is not in the nature of most jobs to be that way.

That's why the exhortations to increase one's skills and get a "better" job are pretty silly and show a lack of knowledge sincere or willful. If I am fortunate enough to do that and leave my stultifying/dangerous/hard job that job will still exist and still need to be done and therefore some unlucky person will get stuck having to do it simply by his circumstances. And someone else will profit from it simply by circumstances. Denial of these facts is denial of Life itself.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:19 AM   #60
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Nonsense. the trashman doesn't think it's rewarding and a job he really loves and wants to do. He does it because he needs the money and his life lacked advantages probably starting with his parents and this is the best he can do at least for the moment. In fact there are lots of people with east lucrative jobs who are still complaining that their jobs aren't rewarding or don't pay enough.

Think of all the jobs that need to be done ( most jobs) that are hard, dirty, dangerous or at least monotonous and stultifying, and not rewarding except on the level of "I need the money." If everybody had the cosmically good luck to be able to do only that which they excelled at, found rewarding, and was concomitantly, lucrative, almost nothing would get done in this world because it is not in the nature of most jobs to be that way.

That's why the exhortations to increase one's skills and get a "better" job are pretty silly and show a lack of knowledge sincere or willful. If I am fortunate enough to do that and leave my stultifying/dangerous/hard job that job will still exist and still need to be done and therefore some unlucky person will get stuck having to do it simply by his circumstances. And someone else will profit from it simply by circumstances. Denial of these facts is denial of Life itself.
I'm response to the statement that people decide to quit in their 30s or 40s is because their jobs are not rewarding. Only if you have the money to back up quiting. Otherwise you need to suck it up. Not all jobs are rewarding. Don't kid yourselves.
To me people who don't allocate money properly for health care cost in retirement and then we have thread after thread about worrying about health care cost skyrocketing, is another form of begging. You want to retire on other people's money. No diiference then the guy with a cup on the street with a sign. I see that as nonsense as well.
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