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Old 05-20-2021, 06:50 PM   #41
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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.
External things have changed. Your internal angst seems constant.
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Old 05-20-2021, 07:03 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by StuckinCT View Post
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.
OK let's meet up back here in 2026..
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Old 05-20-2021, 07:39 PM   #43
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I must be missing something or mis counting. You have ~8.7m in invested assets, not including your home and another 1.75m for kids. 300k spend gives you a 3.5% withdrawal rate, which is more like a 3.2-3.3% withdrawal rate when you adjust for inflation on the mortgage and the fact that it will go away.

That alone should get you to 95 at 100% and you have LOTs of levers to pull if we started to see historically divergent outcomes. Not to mention your spend will likely go down as the kids launch.

Unless you want more, either so you can increase your spend or leave money to your kids, or your wife is much younger than you, I donít understand why you wouldnít be done. The odds are you will end up with far more than necessary.

It sounds more to me like you donít want to be done and want to stay in accumulation mode. Which is fine and something I totally understand, but itís not because you canít pull the plug at your desired spend level IMO.

Thereís a middle ground here too, which is what weíve ended up doing. I would assume you have a valuable skill set and could likely earn a decent amount consulting independently. DH just wasnít ready to start spending down the accounts, so he is consulting *very* part time and bringing in about 1/3-2/3 of our spend. Weíve spent some on home improvements, but it has significantly decreased what we need to draw. It comes with some tax benefits as well.
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Old 05-20-2021, 10:43 PM   #44
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+1 OP has plenty... just frozen and can't pull the trigger... change is hard.
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Old 05-21-2021, 12:06 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by StuckinCT View Post
Okay so the big 5-0 is just over 30 days away, and here is where things stand:

Primary Home- $1.49mm $565k mortgage
Second Home- $717.5k Paid
Taxable Portfolio- $7.2mm
IRA- $1.35mm
Roth-$150k
SS $42k me at 70 stopping now, wife will get $21k
No pension
No other debt

Total Spend including Taxes Health insurance is $300k
DW makes $25k part time job she likes and ten years younger
Three kids 11,10,9 have $1.75mm set aside in 529s /other accounts for Ed
Will downsize house at age 62 for $1mm home, reduce spend some as kids leave?

Firecalc just barely 100% spending $290k- assuming DW contributes $10k

I have to work until March of next year for final payment of business sale, which is factored in above, So drum roll, can I retire? Firecalc saying 3.5% WR is 100% living to 87 not including downsizing etc.??

** We assume $25k for misc expenses each year like new furniture, painting, replacing boilers AC Roof etc..

I still feel uncomfortable- I could cut CC club which is $25k or work part time as well.
You're assuming that you'll spend $290k annually for the rest of your life. I think that's an overestimate. The reason is that once you get into your 70s and 80s, you'll physically slow down, so for a lot of the activities (e.g. traveling, sports, shuttling between homes, etc.) that you are doing now, you'll more than likely not be able to do as much due to declining physical rigor, and the expenses associated with these things will be correspondingly reduced. Sure, the fix costs will still be there, but the discretionary spending (which I assume constitutes a large part of the $290k burn rate) will definitely be lower.

So I think you're definitely good to FIRE. There's no need to trade a few more precious years of your remaining physical active years for a extra few million that you won't need.
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Old 05-21-2021, 05:02 AM   #46
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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 unfortunately agree. In a different recent thread, the OP did mention that he is looking to retire at 55 which is 5 years from now.
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Old 05-21-2021, 05:13 AM   #47
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First, I think you have done well for yourself and your family. Take a bow! Second, I think your expenses are your business and need not be defended; these things are all relative. I get entirely how the new holiday home w/ boat is an undeniable draw. I am not into the CC lifestyle, but think that for you the country club membership needs to stay. You will likely want to play more, and your absence would be noticed. This could affect your social life and dampen your joy in RE. So, if the numbers are tight (and I think they are a bit), I would keep everything in the plan for now and get a j*b after the business sale. Perhaps you could consult in the same business line? You will know when it feels right to say "done and dusted"!

I look forward to more news from you as things develop.

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Old 05-21-2021, 05:47 AM   #48
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Lots of sugar-coated replies in this thread; I'm gonna be more direct:

OP - get your expenses/lifestyle under control. With your current mindset, no amount of savings will be enough.
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Old 05-21-2021, 06:15 AM   #49
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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'.
My DD tells me that we live like "poor" people because I tell her to buy a $50 jeans rather than a $100 jeans!
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Old 05-21-2021, 06:22 AM   #50
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Old 05-21-2021, 06:33 AM   #51
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I disagree. Things have changed. .
Looking at your first post your goal was for $16K in monthly spend. You're now at $25K so things have changed. I don't fault you for that, things get more expensive as I'll discuss below.

Many here have focused on reducing spending. I'm not going to do that because when I retired at 51 I told myself I'd only do it if my lifestyle would say the same. I was not going to compromise on they way my wife and I liked to live in order to FIRE. Many here do but not I. My first post on here was similar to yours with slightly lower numbers. I too was chastised for spending levels and told I should cut everything. It's what many people here do. Take that with a grain of salt and decide your own lifestyle needs/wants.

IMO (and experience), your expenses will go up as your kids get older. Their hobbies/activities get more expensive not cheeper just like yours have. Cars, insurance, dating, weddings, family trips, etc. all get more expensive. Not to mention grandkids and then everything gets even more expensive.

My kids are both out of college and on their own in different states. We visit each at least once a year and fly them here when they want to visit as well. We still go on family vacations that I pay for because I feel its important. When they are married and have kids I'm sure we will be going their often. For vacations I'll probably take the whole family, because I feel its important to share that time.

The major flaw I see in your planing is modeling to 87. In todays world that is way too young to plan for. At that point your wife will only be 77. Whats her plan from there?

Also make sure your taxes are conservatively covered in your budget. Most of your money is in taxable accounts. I'm not convinced that capital gains will stay at 15%. I'd plan for higher and be happy if they don't.

My FIRE plan was to plan for the worst for both longevity and spending. Worse case scenario is that my kids inherit more than I intend.
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Old 05-21-2021, 06:42 AM   #52
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Great example of the unconscious bias of this forum. If the OP had divided all the numbers by 3 ($3M investments, 2 houses worth 750k w/$188k mortgage, $100k spend, $580k for kids, $8k for CC), I bet the responses would be different.

Congrat's on your earnings and savings power. Great accomplishment at any age and more so <50.

Devil in the details. Tax mechanics really change in retirement. Are your investment values after business sale, net of tax? That portion would have high basis, which means you could spend it first with little tax impact. Your AA now and for FireCalc assumptions matter. Are you a trader or investor? Trading can lead to higher taxes. Maybe you are already getting to this conclusion, but might have to earn more to preserve spend and sub 3%wr. That is your choice and maybe your view will change if/when you need to look for a new job. Will also be interesting to see how market behaves over next 9 months, which could impact the #'s.
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Old 05-21-2021, 07:16 AM   #53
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A lot of good points here and really do appreciate everything including constructive criticism.

In terms of investments, I have about a $2.8mm capital gain in the portfolio. Part of the reason I bought the Lake George House was to peel off some fixed income and leveraged equity/ closed end funds that are interest rate sensitive. Right now I am positioned 80/20 with about $2mm in individual Dow stocks that I have weighted differently, some miscellaneous growth stocks and dividend Aristocrats and then ETFs such as IVW, VWO, VNQ, IJR, IWS, IWM, DVY, VYM etc. I am pretty much buy and hold, but as the portfolio has appreciated I have pulled back on risk some. I am considering increasing equity exposure if we get a pull back, I don't see how you make money in bonds, with a few exceptions.

So 50 is just a number, but I have to stay on til March to get my final check from this deal I did. Not sure where I go from there, I am darn close to calling it so maybe depending on how the market does over the next ten months and potentially cancelling the club now that the kids are somewhat growing out of the pool and having the lake will put me over the top.

I don't mind working, don't love my job like my wife, but admit in my heart of hearts, I am still working til 55- I would like to fund a Lincoln annuity to create a pension with about $1-1.5mm throwing off $50 75k with new savings. Also, the kids are still young and being home with COVID over the last year was great, but the truth is, there is no retirement happening around here any time soon until they get a bit older. I just don't know what my earning power will be after next year, so at least I have a back up plan.
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Old 05-21-2021, 08:34 AM   #54
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Not everywhere nice in CT is THAT expensive except Greenwich/Fairfield County stuff. Practically just an extension of Westchester. Conn is small enough you can compromise nearby enough with current location, Iím sure.
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Old 05-21-2021, 10:55 AM   #55
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Cutting expenses and cutting one's lifestyle are two entirely different things. In many cases it is possible to live better for less, especially if you have a two income household with kids and haven't had a lot of time to compare prices. Reviewing expenses like finding a cheaper cell phone plan with more data and better coverage; price shopping insurance; making the house(s) energy and water efficient; cutting out fast food; finding a better mechanic that charges less for better quality work can all add up and reduce expenses while improving, or at least not lowering, one's lifestyle.

Anyway, the between the OPs recent posts with different retirement timelines, making a decision not to retire within 12 hours from one post to another within just this thread, and not fine tuning the retirement calculations to incorporate changes like adding in Social Security, the wife living past 77, not factoring in the kids growing up and moving out, etc. it doesn't seem like he is really that motivated to retire early or making the numbers work.
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Old 05-21-2021, 11:02 AM   #56
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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 $1.75mm (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.
Something else to point out as it relates to housing and planned downsizing... it doesn't always happen the way you plan. We had plans to downsize from our big a$$ house once the kids got out. Well, 2 of them are married now and live nearby and have given us 3 grandkids! Now we are remodeling the basement and using the pool again! Guess what, we ain't going no place! Kids call it "home" and we want a place we can all gather comfortably and enjoy, so we are staying put until further notice. Just something else to think about if you were going to rely on a downsize to help fund your retirement.
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Old 05-21-2021, 11:24 AM   #57
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It is hard to get a point of view of situation that you have never been there before. There is always going to be a wide gap between what people define what is "essential" for them in RE. And that is OK. It is hard to accept it but that is the truth.

May I present my beat up joke I tell my friends all the time: A a guy wanted to live next to a waterfall so he built a huge mountain with a waterfall in his ranch "backyard". Someone asked "Why would you do that?" The guy replied "Because I can."

Moving the goal post is also normal as you grow in your working life. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to sacrifice the life style in RE. To the contrary, that is the whole point or RE. If you already 70 and not ready to RE then that is a different situation altogether.
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Old 05-21-2021, 01:53 PM   #58
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I unfortunately agree. In a different recent thread, the OP did mention that he is looking to retire at 55 which is 5 years from now.
Yes and I still feel 55 is right age. If you go back and read the original post, I simply posed the question of, can I retire (now that net worth up 2.5mm) with firecalcl at 100%?

The other point I am trying to make is that firecalc is saying I am 100% at a 3.5% WR- I am not sure I am comfortable with that.

As others have suggested, a 3% WR is safe. Others have asked why my spend has gone up and part of that has to do with budgeting more for home maintenance, second home, health insurance and taxes. 16k 5 years ago is 18k today, I think I could live on that in some parts of the country, but not here and we decided to stay and move to SC at retirement.

I feel we have a comfortable lifestyle, but certainly not extravagant. I am sure I could be happy living on $150k in other parts of the country. People Greenwich pay their staff $300k, I know because my wife was a Nanny. It is really funny because we have nothing in common with these people. And I don't fault them for living the way they do. That said I get that we are reasonably well off even here in the expensive NE, which is why I keep asking this question, but this is a numbers exercise...
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Old 05-21-2021, 02:42 PM   #59
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Just worry about completing the sale of your business. If the buyers offer you something to stay on consulting then consider it, if not take six months before deciding if you want something. My guess is a consulting role or some other gig will fall on your lap sooner than you want it to.

Your assets seem to be plenty to maintain your current lifestyle so you have little to worry about from a financial perspective but I get that it is hard to spend when you have been a saver forever.
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Old 05-21-2021, 06:25 PM   #60
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I feel we have a comfortable lifestyle, but certainly not extravagant. I am sure I could be happy living on $150k in other parts of the country.

My $300K lifestyle but spending $150K example was just to illustrate how expense optimization over 40 years may be more impactful instead of saving $X dollars one more year. No one is saying you should live on $150K a year in retirement. With your NW you obviously can have a much higher spend rate than that, if you choose. However, if you really want to retire early, figure out what your spend rate would be with an average 3% or less SWR, or higher but with discretionary expenses you would be willing to trim back, one or both of you living to 90, and factoring in kids being off the payroll, SS, etc. Most retirement planners, like the Fidelity planner, let you enter in all those factors. Otherwise, save more, which seems to have been your plan anyway.
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