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Old 12-02-2020, 05:51 AM   #21
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When I didn't have to worry about money or bills anymore. When everything is set up very simply and someone else could take charge fairly easily if needed.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
My dad used to listen to Bob Brinker’s Money Talk on the radio. Then I did too. He used the term “Critical Mass”, when your investments earn enough that you don’t need to work to support the lifestyle you want.

I knew I’d won when every retirement calculator, including FireCalc indicated 100% success. 2014. Health insurance was the only sticking point after that.
I listened to Bob for years and still get his newsletter. His programs really got me thinking that we could do it too.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:53 AM   #23
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I won the game when I was born into a family that taught "live below your means", "Pay yourself first then cover all your financial responsibilities", "earn a living at something you love", "enjoy what you have", and "take care of family", . Later I learned some investment basics that provided for a comfortable retirement. Not extravagant but just fine for us and financially worry free.


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Old 12-02-2020, 05:59 AM   #24
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I felt I was winning when I reached 25x my annual expenses. I felt finally as if i could relax a little. It was like when you're winning by 25 points in the 3rd quarter of a basketball game. The game isn't over yet but you're winning and it's probable you will. So, I stepped out of full-time work and went part-time for two years because when that first happened I was 53. Went into the "4th quarter" for the those two years and reached 33x annual expenses. Pushed myself as far as I could go and ended the game this year. Had a prosperous year and now at 47x annual expenses.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:19 AM   #25
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Won when I didn't have to sit through an annual review of my performance. It was especially painful because I was a manager who also gave reviews & knew how the game was played.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:28 AM   #26
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It is simply a metaphorical device. Our language is richly filled with them.
+1 Completely agree. I'm glad you commented since I had not seen the other post.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:25 AM   #27
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I feel I won the game when I was born in the United States. No matter what somebody's situation or circumstances in this country, there are countless stories of success.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:05 AM   #28
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Won the game when I no longer had to work, or basically FI. Working because you want to rather than have to is another way to view it.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:17 AM   #29
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Won the game when I realized I have far more money than I know what to do with.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:43 PM   #30
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Financially we won the game this Spring when our pension crossed the $11k a month threshold, no debt, paid health care and a few dollars in investments. Retired May 1, 2020.

From a family perspective we are deep in the red zone and ready to score. The goal line where the game is won at our house is getting all three kids through university, independent and launched into their chosen profession. First two have passed that point. Last kid ... soon to be a nurse ... will graduate in May 2021 and launch into her profession during this very interesting time!
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:08 PM   #31
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While I felt we have "won the game", I also agree with the sentiment that it is not a 100% guarantee. I view it similar to planning for tomorrow or the future - the odds are in your favor enough that planning makes sense. But your tomorrow or the future is not 100% guaranteed.

Our planned retirement SWR (after pension) was over 2%. Before the pandemic hit, it was running closer to 1%, and we were doing everything we desired. The pandemic has pushed our SWR lower. So, mathematically, a 2% SWR will never run out in our lifetime. In the remote situation that I lose my pension, our SWR will still be under 3%.

There is also the emotional component. The downturns since June 2018 reassured us that we would be fine, even at prolonged lower levels of the market. I do not need to work for earnings, so the job offers I get, while interesting *IF* I needed work, just seem like a chore. DW is still pinching herself that I have told her to stop her part-time work when she wants, it does not matter to us financially. We are more than content with what we have achieved and my lot in life. There is another thread where someone laments that, in retrospect, had they had a more aggressive AA they could afford a $1.5M house instead of "just" a $1M house. Discontent can be more of a threat to "winning the game" than anything else.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:02 PM   #32
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The real win for us has been a combo.

FIRE and Good Health.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:26 PM   #33
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I grew up in a paycheck to paycheck kind of household, where every big car repair bill or the water heater needing replacing was a crisis. It is nice now to not have to work and not have to worry about money. A lot of our neighbors seem pretty puzzled on how we could retire so early, but what we don't tell them is that we retired early and spend half of what we could. I get a kick out of looking for bargains and optimizing expenses.

DH and I kept most of our blue collar habits we grew up with, so except for having a nice house, we just don't spend a lot on travel, entertainment or consumer goods. I don't compare myself to our neighbors. I compare how I'm doing now compared to the neighborhood I grew up in and life is pretty good. Every day is like winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. Some of our most fun days are doing cheap things like going to Napa wineries with Groupon passes or attending a foodie event at a fancy ballroom at the top of a skyscraper in San Francisco with Michelin restaurant booths on $20 seat filler tickets.

I think I have the post Medicare budget down to a 0% withdrawal rate, being able to live well on SS, modest pensions and some odds and ends hobby income, and that is with living in an expensive house in a HCOL area and going out several times a week to events like wine tastings, plays and concerts (post pandemic).
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:44 PM   #34
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When I realized we could live comfortably on our pension alone. The 50% stock market gain over the last 2 years hasn’t hurt either.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:48 PM   #35
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I will have achieved nirvana when (if?) the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup again and I’m in the arena for their Game 7 victory. Everything else remaining in life is basically “bleh, yeah, whatever.”
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:49 PM   #36
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. . . From a family perspective we are deep in the red zone and ready to score. . . . .
Let's hope for no "Pick 6".
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:53 PM   #37
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I will have achieved nirvana when (if?) the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup again and I’m in the arena for their Game 7 victory. Everything else remaining in life is basically “bleh, yeah, whatever.”
As an observer of DC sports, that seems rather lofty.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:14 PM   #38
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I don’t think anyone ever “ wins the game.” I believe I could be reasonably happy in retirement if I had very little money, but even if I had a hundred billion dollars, I would still want just a little bit more.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:24 PM   #39
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I don’t think anyone ever “ wins the game.” I believe I could be reasonably happy in retirement if I had very little money, but even if I had a hundred billion dollars, I would still want just a little bit more.
You would be in good (or rich) company... Looks like Musk and Bezos aren't satisfied with a hundred billion+ either.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:25 PM   #40
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I don’t think anyone ever “ wins the game.” I believe I could be reasonably happy in retirement if I had very little money, but even if I had a hundred billion dollars, I would still want just a little bit more.


Although I most certainly do want a world with Navigator in it.
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