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What We Believe
Old 08-27-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
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What We Believe

While there are a broad diversity of individuals and philosophies on this forum, I’m going to take a stab at what we, as an average group believe. Please feel free to add constructively to the list.

We believe that for most here:

  1. Early retirement means retiring at 55 or earlier.
  2. Hope is not a strategy.
  3. Living below your means prior to retirement is the key to attaining ER.
  4. FireCalc can give you one of the best predictions as to whether you’re ready financially to retire, but that you should use multiple retirement calculators and/or Monte Carlo simulators to confirm your results.
  5. Follow the 4% rule or better yet, make it the 3-3.5% rule (confirmed by FIRECALC).
  6. You need to know your budget prior to retirement.
  7. You need to know your budget in retirement, and ensure you’ve accounted for everything, including health insurance and possibly LTC.
  8. Diversified investments diversify risk.
  9. Asset allocation is king.
  10. Maintain a solid asset allocation, especially in retirement. Most include some equities (50-60%+ with some % of international funds), some bonds/bond funds (10-60%), and cash/money market/CD reserves (1-3 years living expenses).
  11. Invest in mutual funds, not individual equities (which carry higher risk).
  12. Timing the market does not work as effectively as long-term investment with AA.
  13. Save and invest with withdrawal strategies in mind (including taxes). This means having both taxable and tax-deferred investments.
  14. Determine the best time for you and your spouse or SO to take SS.
  15. Plan for a decrease in SS benefits (say, 25%).
  16. Plan for the elimination of the ACA in its present subsidized form.
  17. Have something to retire to.
  18. Plan to maintain or exceed one’s pre-retirement standard of living in retirement.
  19. Avoid annuities.
  20. Avoid speculative ‘investments’ with no basis in value.
  21. Your investable assets are what matters, along with any debt. The value of your house or classic car collection are not investable assets, unless you are going to sell them.
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:41 PM   #2
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I think the definition of early retirement is different than #1 by the OP. To me, it is retiring before pensions, social security, or medicare. I don't receive a pension. So, less than 65.
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:50 PM   #3
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Some variants for me.

I did not retire until 60. But that was early enough for me. And we retired on one income as DW was SAHM.

Our planned SWR is 2.5 to 3% (beer money). When it gets dark and scary, we can go to zero indef.

I have a couple of modest (survivable) pensions, so am more aggressive at 65/35 (more greedy).

We have excellent lifetime healthcare.

Around the time of SS cliff, one of my pensions will go up more than the SS haircut.

One to add:
Being able to retire while healthy enough to enjoy it is the secret sauce of life.
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Badger View Post
...more aggressive at 65/35 (more greedy).
One to add:
Being able to retire while healthy enough to enjoy it is the secret sauce of life.
I'm also more aggressive than most here (90/6/4). +1 on the add...it's the reason most are here!
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:58 PM   #5
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If it were just that simple, do you think we would have a gazillion posts?
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Old 08-27-2018, 03:58 PM   #6
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This is like the Cliff's Notes for this forum. I would modify #14 (When to take SS) to "It just depends"

If everyone fully digested your list, no one would ever need to check in here and ask questions.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:02 PM   #7
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Fully agree with 2, 6, 14, 15, 18 and 20
Partially agree with all others.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:06 PM   #8
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For #17, does retiring to just putzing around count?

IMO, retiring for the sake of the absence of work is pretty darn good in itself.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:08 PM   #9
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You can't plan for everything. For example, planning for the repeal of the ACA is tough. I retired some years ago, before the ACA and the ACA reduced our costs even without a tax credit. Before the ACA I was on an expensive risk pool. With the passage of the ACA the risk pools disappeared. If it goes it probably won't go before I am 65 and eligible for medicare (in a year). So, for me I probably dodged a bullet. If it goes, what happens then? You can't plan for a big unknown so you have to decide what risk you want to take.
The risk is higher if you have preexisting conditions. Or might develop them in the future.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HNL Bill View Post
  1. FireCalc can give you one of the best predictions as to whether youíre ready financially to retire,
I agree that many here believe this but I am not aware of any data that supports the belief.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:21 PM   #11
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I wish my Android would separate your points. As it is, past the third point, my feeble mind is lost.

BTW I don't think ER is limited to 55. At 56 if felt early. Many told me it was too early. Including my DF who retired at 60.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:28 PM   #12
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22. Do not live in a bedroom on a different floor of your house than your children.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:35 PM   #13
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Appears you assume all are male here? And all married to a female?

"14. Determine the best time for you (and your wife) to take SS."
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HNL Bill View Post
Early retirement means retiring at 55 or earlier.
"Early" is not a single number that applies to everyone.

Quote:
Asset allocation is king.
Saving is king.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:43 PM   #15
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I would add:
We believe flossing is important to oral hygiene
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:46 PM   #16
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We believe that dryer sheets are a national treasure, and not to be wasted.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:53 PM   #17
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I believe we will never agree on what we believe. And if you don't believe it now, believe me you will after an unbelievable number of belief posts follow this.
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Old 08-27-2018, 04:55 PM   #18
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I believe we will never agree on what we believe.
That's a statement I can believe in...
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Old 08-27-2018, 05:13 PM   #20
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I don't believe in any of that list. I do believe it's some attempt at "group think"
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