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Old 01-23-2018, 07:50 PM   #41
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The plan - We had several Pre-FIRE goals. Financially we had a range for our assets, X to Y. We had an age target of 55. I also had career goals I wanted to achieve.

The actual - We retired at 53 at the low end of our range, but with some pension funds that were not included in our planning. I achieved my career goals by 46 and began downsizing the j*b.

Edit to add: Our savings range was based on our then budget adjusted for retirement, less taxes more travel, and inflation.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:56 PM   #42
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I invented goals and created emergencies to keep things interesting. You are ahead of where we were, but we pushed all the money we could at the rental mortgages. Maybe dumb as the common wisdom with real estate is OPM, other people's money. Common wisdom wasn't, as when real estate crashed it made no difference to us as the rents kept rolling in and we were pretty much free and clear and without worries. We've mostly done small multis and one of my goals was to own as many units as I had years. Achieved that, but also found that 53 units was busier than I wanted to be. 40 was about the sweet spot for being in good touch with my tenants and having a mellow time as a landlord/maintenance person.

In my later 60s now and have downsized to 37 units and have a man doing the vast majority of the work, but that comes with its own stresses. We could sell them all and live very comfortably for the rest of our days on what we've amassed, and I'd sorta like that - but am not sure I trust dollars or the stock market or -face it- anything different. Personal decision, but I agree - 37? - you have a lot of deals to make and places to change and improve yet!
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:02 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by racy View Post
I had enough when my job at mega corp began to require making trips to China and having conference calls with them on their time ... my time 10PM. I remember having a beer, floating on a lounge chair in our lake after a grueling day at work and realized "I don't have to do this anymore". 37 years of 401k contributions plus a company pension helped, but wasn't the deciding factor.
Yes I had a job with an operation on the east coast and 2 subs in Manila and KL. The communications was always before and after hours. Initially it was a bit of a rush but eventually it got old.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:14 PM   #44
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I invented goals and created emergencies to keep things interesting. You are ahead of where we were, but we pushed all the money we could at the rental mortgages. Maybe dumb as the common wisdom with real estate is OPM, other people's money. Common wisdom wasn't, as when real estate crashed it made no difference to us as the rents kept rolling in and we were pretty much free and clear and without worries. We've mostly done small multis and one of my goals was to own as many units as I had years. Achieved that, but also found that 53 units was busier than I wanted to be. 40 was about the sweet spot for being in good touch with my tenants and having a mellow time as a landlord/maintenance person.

In my later 60s now and have downsized to 37 units and have a man doing the vast majority of the work, but that comes with its own stresses. We could sell them all and live very comfortably for the rest of our days on what we've amassed, and I'd sorta like that - but am not sure I trust dollars or the stock market or -face it- anything different. Personal decision, but I agree - 37? - you have a lot of deals to make and places to change and improve yet!
Nice job amassing a very impressive portfolio. I agree 100% about the trust in the market issue. It is so hard to buy a 4-5% yield, with no leverage and risks that are beyond your control, after investing in rentals.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:30 PM   #45
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Not retired (46, married, no kids, and about 4 years to retirement) but wanted to comment: Goals, risk tolerance, lifestyle.

My enough number is based on current spend combined with estimated spend to support our lofty retirement goals (travel) for both of us combined. It gives me peace of mind that I don't have to depend on the missus hitting her numbers for whatever reason, yet, if she does, I can comfortably have a lower withdraw rate if she does hit her numbers. I don't feel the need to grow my passive income beyond my target because I'm hopefully optimistic that the missus will hit her numbers. And we live a somewhat basic but fairly comfortable lifestyle already so any surplus on my numbers that doesn't need to go to our combined spend would likely more than be enough to cover any quirky material wants (within reason). Growing it further will also bump me up against some taxation and government benefits issues.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:48 PM   #46
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Greetings,

I'm 37 years old, married, no children (but we will likely have one child within a year or two). I have real estate investments that produce approximately $85,000 of taxable income per year after business deductions. I live in the Great Lakes region, so aside from high taxes it's a low cost of living relative to most metropolitan areas. Intellectually I know that I could survive for the rest of my life on this amount of cash flow. I find myself pursuing the purchase of more and more rental property with the sole intent of increasing my eventual "retirement income." I live a lot like a retired person right now, but I'm always thinking that more is better and thus continue to buy.

For those who have already retired, what was your "enough" number? How did you settle on that, and how did you reign in the inevitable temptation to increase your passive income--even if you didn't really need it to live comfortably? I don't care about fancy cars or other status symbols, but I do have an unnatural obsession with passive income (e.g. the more the better).

What is "enough" for you? Any advice on how to slow down?
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:12 PM   #47
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Nice job amassing a very impressive portfolio. I agree 100% about the trust in the market issue. It is so hard to buy a 4-5% yield, with no leverage and risks that are beyond your control, after investing in rentals.
I tried a rental for a few years. It wasn't for me. I couldn't leave well enough alone on the rental house. After spending the entire summer the year my daughter was born fixing up the rental, I sold it. It just was not worth my time when compared to spending time with my family. That was 27 years ago. I'm happy to report that I did OK without rentals.
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Old 01-24-2018, 08:44 PM   #48
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Using Firecalc with an 80% chance of success, $700k is enough with no mortgage. So my goal is to get $700k and then ask for additional vacation from megacorp, perhaps even a sabbatical of sorts. I suspect there’s nearly a 10% chance this will earn me an immediate dismissal. At which point I will accrue unemployment benefits and pad my retirement with a scintilla of luxury.
Hopefully, DW would continue to work, which would cover most of the basics and further fund luxury experiences.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:03 PM   #49
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The potential munchkin on the way changes and complicates the question a lot, since there are the additional expenses during K-12, then the issue of college and healthcare. So I would continue to accumulate your real estate empire until you reach a margin of safety that will get you through launching the Munchkin in the world on his/her own.

In my case, at 56 (3 years ago) I ran the numbers and realized that we had enough to make it safely but on a budget that was "comfortable." I had the option of working part-time and DW wanted to continue to work, so we moved to Reno, closer to both sons. In the process, the net worth has increased about 40%, leaving a huge margin of safety and allowing a yearly expenditure (at the 4% SWR) considerably more than we expect to spend, so DW is retiring at the end of next month. I'll continue to work part-time online for half of my former salary and will be happy to do so for at least another two years, since it reduces the withdrawal rate below 2.5%. Afterwards and before SS kicks in, for about 2-3 years I may withdraw 6-6.5%, but only for a few years. After SS kicks in the withdrawal rate diminishes to a safe rate.
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:12 PM   #50
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The decision to "retire" is not all about me and my desires. There are people who are grateful that I continue to work (although part-time self-employed is an entirely different world than full-time W2 or 1099 work). These people include family members / co-owners who eagerly gobble up the purely passive income generated by our assets, and non-family members who make a living using our assets. As long as the work is mildly intellectually stimulating and only occasionally aggravating, I'll stay in the saddle regardless of my net worth and/or income. My Dad is still working as he approaches 80 and my paternal Grandfather worked in the family biz until his death; I may follow in their footsteps. 😎
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Old 01-24-2018, 09:36 PM   #51
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I never thought of retiring until my wife ask me why don't I retire. LOL I looked into it ran numbers and finally found this site and the rest is history.

I guess for me with a lot of soul searching my conclusion was I should of invested better and I would of had a LOT more wealth if I would of done that. In the end it really didn't matter because I had more then I could ever spend. No need to keep working I would of added maybe another 150K to my wealth with a couple more years of work. That wasn't worth it to me.

I have been retired for 20 months and which I would have done it sooner.
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:32 AM   #52
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Enough is 90% of what a sensible person in my position would need.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:31 AM   #53
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I invented goals and created emergencies to keep things interesting.
I am doing exactly this- I signed myself up for a difficult degree/designation to distract myself from the chaos at work. I can at least control my studies, and it gives me something to shoot for. Megacorp has set new goals for us, and at the end of my career, I feel no pressure to achieve Mega's goals anymore. And being fired is no longer much of a threat, as we could live on 3% of our current portfolio.

I began taking Fridays off which helped immensely with the stress, but I still dread Mondays and pacify myself with travel. (Cabo in 16 days- Yipee!) I have enough now, but DH who grew up poor, is having a hard time envisioning early retirement. He keeps raising our numbers as we hit them, but he's welcome to keep working if he likes. I'm done in 2 years.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:13 AM   #54
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My approach is different, I don't have passive income, I keep a combination of cash and stocks as speculations. The cash portion can cover living expenses at my current rate for the rest of my life if it keeps up with inflation (and SS and 401k RMDs are icing). I've kept the same standard of living since I was in college so I think I'm locked in for life. My stock specs are based on what I like, these gains and losses won't move my living standard but will affect my mood. My idea of 'enough' is a few good trades per year, net.

As for how I keep risk under control, it's by position size. My bets haven't scaled up over time, instead what has grown is number of positions, i.e. diversification (aka sprawl). Each 4Q I harvest the losers, take some winners to balance it out, and let the rest ride. I stay motivated to follow my own rules by occasionally reading stories about people who lost it and wiped out, like this one: Isaac Newton Learned About Financial Gravity the Hard Way | Jason Zweig

As for slowing down, I know I'll have to over time because my trading depends on having a clear head which may not last many more years. Right now I'm thinking of gradually hiring it out; this might be something you can try as well.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:53 PM   #55
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My “enough” number keeps going up, as I accumulate more. That’s not a good thing — especially as we are fortunate to have much more than most people would call “enough.” But I’m risk averse and always worrying about “what if...”

To avoid my doing OMY forever, I set an arbitrary date of 12-31-2020. On that date - which will be 30 years with the same company - I’m done. I needed to set an arbitrary date in order to protect me from my own OMY instincts.

To the OP: my advice would be to diversify beyond RE, don’t hang it up at 37, and don’t assume you will be happy living on $85k a year for the next 50 years. Inflation could be a real issue (don’t fall victim to recent bias there), and kids can be extremely expensive.
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:46 PM   #56
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at 37 - I would be concerned about how a potential negative inflationary scenario for you living on $85,000 could impact you. add in kids - I would highly encourage you to consider to continue to look to deploy capital in the real estate space. I would stay away from commercial and keep to what you know. it sounds like you are investing in rental real estate that is managed by someone else? if so - thats great. I've been retired for 3 years and required $250k after tax to live. and despite being retired and have a portfolio that generate nearly $400k after tax - I - like you - continue to invest in passive real estate (only residential) investments. I prefer this risk return tradeoff when compared to putting new money into stocks at this point in the cycle or bonds where one could envision the end of the Long bull market in bonds. just my 15 cents. keep at it.
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:55 PM   #57
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So I feel I have enough, but am in a conundrum at the moment. DW wanted to go back full time at Mega-corp and starts in two weeks. The good, we both get 5 weeks PTO, I have a good direct report and a huge shop with tools (like a CNC router table) that are "all mine" for one of my hobbies.

On the numbers, we're at around 30x expenses at age 47 & 53. We also took off 3 years to test the ER waters and did enjoy it, so my personal goal is somewhere 3-5 years from now. Also, we're able to sock away appx. $120-150k annually for the next few years. Expecting our multiple of expenses to get to 40x or more by the time comes.

I will eventually spend more time with DGD (just under 2 years and lives down the street) and would like to increase my volunteering as well, so I'd like to work into it over time. We'll see how it goes...

We, as a couple, live in a large city and the past 2 years all in live on appx. $43k. Kids are not as expensive if you keep it simple, public schools, community college then state school, then marriage for ours. All in with a car to boot I'd swag a $100k tops for everything. Obviously many here may scoff at that #, but our daughter turned out just fine climbing the ladder just like their kids. $85k would be enough IMO, but the healthcare thing would intimidate me a little at the moment, at your age. I agree on the comments on diversifying your income stream, btw.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:20 PM   #58
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My body told me I had enough. Couldn’t deal with the physical pain of sitting in front of a computer anymore. Fortunately our FA said we had enough so we could retire comfortably (~$180,000/yr). DW wasn’t ready and worked three more years, so we are even more comfortable financially. We bought two beach houses, one for snowbird use and one for summer rental with a few weeks of personal use. Even after a major remodel of the Florida condo and repairs to the Jersey Shore house, we’re able to give to our church and charities, help the boys and save for grandchildren’s college. We also enjoy cruising, including two weeks in the Baltic Sea last summer. I’ve also pretty much given up trying to do repairs or improvements myself. So much easier to pay someone else to do it right the first time.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:44 PM   #59
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Our "enough" number was based on "this is how much we spend per year without really trying to budget, buying what we want, traveling a bit, and not restricting ourselves beyond our normal reasonable instincts".

Then take that number, factor in post-RE taxes and HI, pad it for comfort, and x25. So that's a number to support a 4% wd that's commonly talked about, but then add more padding depending how early you want to retire...so then we moved the needle up a bit from there to our comfort level, to bring it a bit under 3.5%. For a long time we had our target number based on all that.

Then we got about there, and OMY'd due to circumstances (DH got to go PT, I was hanging around for severance), and in reality RE'd with a number about 20% higher than we had been planning to hit initially.

That's good, because DH is more of a worrier than I am, and his number would always have been higher than mine. But being married in RE to someone worried about every dollar going out would NOT be fun! So that's where you also factor in your personal risk appetites.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:47 PM   #60
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I've only got about 15x my living expenses. Never thought of it that way, really, because of course S.S. will change the equation when the time comes -- it's probably more like 27x once S.S. kicks in, if you see what I mean.
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