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Old 05-20-2021, 12:15 PM   #21
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OP: why are you stuck in CT? If you were to move to any moderate or low-cost-of-living location, there would be zero chance of running out of money were you to retire now.

Locations with good schools can be found. Kids can adjust to moves, I would even argue that it would be good for them to do so once.

Congrats on your success, you're in the driver's seat here.
Another benefit of moving to a lower cost area (and dropping the country club) would be that people tend to compare themselves to their peers. For many, maybe most people, it is harder to feel satisfied when surrounded by relatively wealthier people, even if one is relatively wealth compared to 99% of the country.

"If income effects are entirely relative.....Rather than promoting overall happiness, continued income growth could promote an ongoing consumption race where individuals consume more and more just to maintain a constant level of happiness."

Money Can Buy You Happiness But Only Relative to Your Peer's Income - https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea...-mcb080805.php
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:26 PM   #22
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Well would you consider moving to a lower COL area before 62 years old?
We cut our expenses way down (60%) in the last few years before retirement and while not at 300k, we were above 200k.
Tough call.....
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:30 PM   #23
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What would a 50-60% market drop do to your numbers?

You can't plan for all unknowns.

Using 3%, that is $300k per year. But, if your portfolio temporarily drops to $6 million, the numbers don't work as well.

Spending less always works. Mostly it is "what would you do to make it work?" Could the $2k/month country club go or sell the second home?

I think you will be fine, but be able to zig when the markets are zagging.
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:31 PM   #24
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Well would you consider moving to a lower COL area before 62 years old?
We cut our expenses way down (60%) in the last few years before retirement and while not at 300k, we were above 200k.
Tough call.....

Same here, though we didn't end up moving. With lower income taxes, not paying into Medicare, no more small business expenses, no more saving for retirement, no more commute costs, eventually the kids got jobs and became self supporting and optimizing all the remaining expenses, life is a lot cheaper for the same basic lifestyle, minus the working for a living part.
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:56 PM   #25
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Same here, though we didn't end up moving. With lower income taxes, not paying into Medicare, no more small business expenses, no more saving for retirement, no more commute costs, eventually the kids got jobs and became self supporting and optimizing all the remaining expenses, life is a lot cheaper for the same basic lifestyle, minus the working for a living part.
Plus I am always impressed with your creativity with finding lower costing but high level entertainment.
For us, there were some changes in lifestyle, but one silly example was that we never cooked and were spending 36k yearly on food.
Nevertheless our retirement lifestyle works currently.
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:22 PM   #26
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Another benefit of moving to a lower cost area (and dropping the country club) would be that people tend to compare themselves to their peers. For many, maybe most people, it is harder to feel satisfied when surrounded by relatively wealthier people, even if one is relatively wealth compared to 99% of the country.

"If income effects are entirely relative.....Rather than promoting overall happiness, continued income growth could promote an ongoing consumption race where individuals consume more and more just to maintain a constant level of happiness."

Money Can Buy You Happiness But Only Relative to Your Peer's Income - https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea...-mcb080805.php
Agree with this. Consider moving to less affluent area of CT where it won't cost as much to keep up with the Joneses. Maybe Suffield? Good schools, rural, definitely less expensive than Fairfield. You still won't be too far from family but you'll have more money than you'll know what to do with.
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:23 PM   #27
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.......So drum roll, can I retire? Firecalc saying 3.5% WR is 100% living to 87 not including downsizing etc.??......
You've done well for yourself and your family. Of course you can retire if you wish. Just recheck where you are each year and adjust expenses if needed.... I suspect you won't need to but I certainly wouldn't continue working with your assets and huge amount of discretionary expenses that could be trimmed a bit if needed.
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Old 05-20-2021, 01:56 PM   #28
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I look at that as affordable but easy to trim if itís necessary. Itís a high annual cost, but if you use it, not that different from many travel budgets Iíve seen here.
This was my first thought as well. With higher expenses come higher potential for relatively painless cuts. I call this my "back-up-plan" thinking. Though my expenses are significantly less than yours, they are WAY more than I would have dreamed back in the day. BUT I can almost cut my spend in half if I need to (primarily gifting to kids and charities) so my actual "life style" wouldn't change a lot even though cash-burn would drop dramatically. As long as you and DW are on the same page with any such cutting eventuality, I think you are golden but YMMV.
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Old 05-20-2021, 02:23 PM   #29
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I have posted this before, so skip this if you've read it. But a big light bulb moment for us was realizing that cutting expenses had much more of an impact than saving even $100K more a year. Like if you can figure out how to live a $100K life on $50K, over a 40 year retirement that is $2M less in after tax dollars you need to retire, or $200K on $100K, that is $4M less needed.

In the OPs case cutting expenses from $300K to $150K, that is $6M less in after tax retirement dollars needed. I am not as familiar with prices in other states, but in California the OP could easily afford to pay cash for a home and pay real estate and income taxes even in most pricey cities in California with good public schools. For college they kids would have public university choices like U.C. Berkeley or UCLA with reasonable in state tuition, and many well ranked but less famous public schools.
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Old 05-20-2021, 02:47 PM   #30
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I have been planning FIRE at 50 for a while and I have never felt comfortable with WR more that 3%. Just my 2 cents. RE at 50 has a long road ahead and hence I feel the need to be little more conservative.
Stuck; I have to agree with pjigar on the WR. I'd hold it at 3% and I would plan to 95, not 87.

But I've followed you for years as you've struggled with this final decision. (think your ME move quandry). I think you're pretty conservative and have off ramps that you could deploy. So you "stuck" it out long enough I think, and can do whatever you like.
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Old 05-20-2021, 02:50 PM   #31
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First, don't let anyone shame you for your desired spend... you earned it, your choice. I have a similar spend which has significant discretionary options (i.e. more travel, gifting, home improvements, toys), but don't (currently) have the extra house, CC dues (this may change, who knows). I ran similar models starting at 50, then chose 55 strategically as that was when my last kid of 4 was out of college/employed. My business has been too good/lucrative so I have stuck around working around 10 hours a week, but making very good $$ at a job I don't dislike. None the less, I will start to pull from assets in 2022 (age 57), no pension, just my investments. This slow downshift has been good for me transitioning and has allowed me to run up the score (low 8 figures in investment assets, no debt) without affecting my freedom to do what I want. Do you hate your line of work? If not, I might recommend you wait longer until your kids are older as you will have more expenses than you think (i.e. cars, insurance, "problems that may require, um, fixing with $$") as this may help you angst. As others have said, you can cut back on some of your goodies... but do you want to? Part of the reason I chose to run up the score is I wanted the options to have more goodies... if I so decided. Be honest with yourself. If you want to keep the goodies, I suggest you keep adding to your stash and work a little longer. If not, as others have said, sort thru your Needs/Wants/Wishes and determine what levers you will pull as needed to keep the boat sailing forward.

First world problems, but nothing to apologize for.
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Old 05-20-2021, 02:52 PM   #32
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Stuck; I have to agree with pjigar on the WR. I'd hold it at 3% and I would plan to 95, not 87.
Yeah, I kept on planning for the NEXT 30 years - until that seemed a bit impractical. When I got to 100 as "expiration" date, things started looking even better WDR wise - not mortality wise but YMMV.
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Old 05-20-2021, 02:53 PM   #33
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Old 05-20-2021, 03:14 PM   #34
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Retire! Pull the trigger and enjoy.
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Old 05-20-2021, 04:48 PM   #35
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... I still feel uncomfortable ...
Congrats on having it all - now you just need to hold onto it.

If you aren't comfortable with the SWR framework, consider adopting (at least in part) an approach based on actual income rather than virtual income. For example, if you can arrange for secure actual income that covers all of your necesssary expenses and still have a hefty chunk of your nest egg remaining to play with, then what is there left to worry about?

The devil, of course, is in the details. If DW and the DKs have become used to the "finer things in life", then they may not agree with your definition of 'necessary expenses'.
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:09 PM   #36
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Stuckin CT, you have enough assets to do just about whatever you like. My spend is very close to yours and Ive learned to re-evaluate annually and make adjustments as needed. You can afford the CC and the schools and if the crap ever hits the fan you can cut back as needed. You have been on this site long enough to know you have allot of flexibility. My first FIRE was at 50 with only half your stash and I got hammered in the 08 recession. I went back to work again to right the ship and doubled the nest egg. Thats what we do if life throws you some lemons. But please rest easy that you have the $'s and the knowledge to weather the storms. You and I have spoken before and you're advise to me was to not let others throw shame at your spending. The advice
is back to you. Now go and enjoy that big 50! You earned it.
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First, don't let anyone shame you for your desired spend... you earned it, your choice. I have a similar spend which has significant discretionary options (i.e. more travel, gifting, home improvements, toys), but don't (currently) have the extra house, CC dues (this may change, who knows). I ran similar models starting at 50, then chose 55 strategically as that was when my last kid of 4 was out of college/employed. My business has been too good/lucrative so I have stuck around working around 10 hours a week, but making very good $$ at a job I don't dislike. None the less, I will start to pull from assets in 2022 (age 57), no pension, just my investments. This slow downshift has been good for me transitioning and has allowed me to run up the score (low 8 figures in investment assets, no debt) without affecting my freedom to do what I want. Do you hate your line of work? If not, I might recommend you wait longer until your kids are older as you will have more expenses than you think (i.e. cars, insurance, "problems that may require, um, fixing with $$") as this may help you angst. As others have said, you can cut back on some of your goodies... but do you want to? Part of the reason I chose to run up the score is I wanted the options to have more goodies... if I so decided. Be honest with yourself. If you want to keep the goodies, I suggest you keep adding to your stash and work a little longer. If not, as others have said, sort thru your Needs/Wants/Wishes and determine what levers you will pull as needed to keep the boat sailing forward.

First world problems, but nothing to apologize for.
+1 Congratulations... you've earned it. Though with $300k spending there should be ample room for belt tightening if you have adverse investment results.

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....Firecalc just barely 100% spending $290k...
I get 100%. $300k spending, $8.7m portfolio, 45 years, $42k for SS starting in 2041 and $21k her SS starting in 2038... all rest default values.

Also, I assume that your $300k of spending includes your mortgage payment? If so, you should exclude it from spending, include it in off-chart spending and then include an setting pension amount when the mortgage ends... in all cases not inflation adjusted. If you include your mortgage payment in spending then FIRECalc will inflate it forever and that is unduly conservative.
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:20 PM   #37
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I think I told you before what I thought. IIRC you had even less money back then, so I think the same thing, only more.

As someone sagely pointed out above, you're stuck in a prison of your own making because you want to have everything. Most people realize some time during their adult lives that they have to prioritize and let a few things fall off the bottom of the priority list.

For you it seems like you can pick any N-1 of the following N items:

FIRE
Two houses
Living in Connecticut
Country club

So you could just prioritize that list and whatever's on the bottom doesn't happen. Maybe you don't FIRE. Maybe you drop the CC membership. Maybe you sell a house. Maybe you move. Right now, by default, you're prioritizing FIRE last, which is fine, but it seems to be something you're wanting to have higher on the priority list. The question is, will you and your family be happy to trade off something else on the list?

I guess the only other constructive suggestion I have for you is to find a way for you to take a year off. Call it a sabbatical to everyone else, but in your own mind and maybe with your wife consider it a FIRE trial. If things are going well, extend it a year. Worst case you have to go back to work and have had a two year vacation.
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:33 PM   #38
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First, don't let anyone shame you for your desired spend... you earned it, your choice. I have a similar spend which has significant discretionary options (i.e. more travel, gifting, home improvements, toys), but don't (currently) have the extra house, CC dues (this may change, who knows). I ran similar models starting at 50, then chose 55 strategically as that was when my last kid of 4 was out of college/employed. My business has been too good/lucrative so I have stuck around working around 10 hours a week, but making very good $$ at a job I don't dislike. None the less, I will start to pull from assets in 2022 (age 57), no pension, just my investments. This slow downshift has been good for me transitioning and has allowed me to run up the score (low 8 figures in investment assets, no debt) without affecting my freedom to do what I want. Do you hate your line of work? If not, I might recommend you wait longer until your kids are older as you will have more expenses than you think (i.e. cars, insurance, "problems that may require, um, fixing with $$") as this may help you angst. As others have said, you can cut back on some of your goodies... but do you want to? Part of the reason I chose to run up the score is I wanted the options to have more goodies... if I so decided. Be honest with yourself. If you want to keep the goodies, I suggest you keep adding to your stash and work a little longer. If not, as others have said, sort thru your Needs/Wants/Wishes and determine what levers you will pull as needed to keep the boat sailing forward.

First world problems, but nothing to apologize for.

Thanks for everyone's thoughts. $300k is our budget, and there is nothing really we want to cut, except maybe the CC club at some point. Also, some of the the $1.75mm (targeting $2.5mm in 8 years) we have for the kids is for cars, weddings, down payments and 5th year in college if that happens. We spend about $20k in activities now so I actually expect that to drop in HS with less camp, lessons etc.

We're not big spenders at all where we live. I get that we are prob in the second percentile but we feel upper middle class. For a long time the real estate market was so bad here we could not sell our home, hence the name StuckinCT. Now we can sell, but my wife and kids like our home so we are staying. Believe me, if I could snap my finger we would live in a more modest home- I would be happy in four bedroom updated center hall colonial, but to sell our place now seems stupid with $100k in transaction costs and then all the new expense of setting up a new house. We just bought a second house in Lake George with a boat and we are very excited about it, with the idea it will be a home up north to get out of the heat with a home down south when we downsize so that we can enjoy now.

I like the idea of downsizing at 62, but since that won't be happening anytime soon and houses in Mount Pleasant SC cost about $1mm for what we want, it is not like we would be lowering our expenses that much and the public schools here are like private schools. Our plan is to keep Lake George and dump the CT house for SC house at 62.

First world problems for sure, but I believe I need to save another $1.5-2mm to retire comfortably which will bring us to $14mm which is just crazy to me but those are the numbers, so I will need to find a new gig next year. Thanks for everyone's thoughts, I am close but no cigar IMHO and I really do enjoy my goodies, i.e. boat and vaca house to a lesser extent club- I am willing to keep working for it.
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:41 PM   #39
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Thanks for everyone's thoughts. $300k is our budget, and there is nothing really we want to cut, except maybe the CC club at some point. Also, some of the the $1.75k we have for the kids is for cars, weddings, down payments and 5th year in college if that happens. We spend about $20k in activities now so I actually expect that to drop in HS with less camp, lessons etc.

We're not big spenders at all where we live. I get that we are prob in the second percentile but we feel upper middle class. For a long time the real estate market was so bad here we could not sell our home, hence the name StuckinCT. Now we can sell, but my wife and kids like our home so we are staying. We just bought a second house in Lake George with a boat and we are very excited about it.

I like the idea of downsizing at 62, but since that won't be happening anytime soon and houses in Mount Pleasant SC cost about $1mm for what we want, it is not like we would be lowering our expenses that much and the schools here are like private schools.

First world problems for sure, but I believe I need to save another $1.5-2mm to retire comfortably which will bring us to $14mm which sounds like a lot I know, so I will need to find a new gig next year. Thanks for everyone's thoughts, I am close but no cigar IMHO and I really do enjoy my club, boat and vaca house- I am willing to keep working for it.



Same song different verse. Just for kicks I went back 5 plus years to your first thread and guess what, it's basically a repeat of this one. Rinse and repeat...do what you what to, but only after you figure out what you really want to do. I'm guessing we'll be reading a new version of this question 5 years from now.
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Old 05-20-2021, 06:48 PM   #40
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Same song different verse. Just for kicks I went back 5 plus years to your first thread and guess what, it's basically a repeat of this one. Rinse and repeat...do what you what to, but only after you figure out what you really want to do. I'm guessing we'll be reading a new version of this question 5 years from now.
I disagree. Things have changed. Net worth up almost $3mm, sold VT house bought Lake George house, flew to SC to investigate Mount Pleasant but decided not to move until retirement due to potential bubble prices.

I also may lose my job next year when the business sale is complete, so I need to start figuring out my next move. I don't work for a Mega Corp.
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