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Old 12-02-2020, 07:05 PM   #41
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Although I most certainly do want a world with Navigator in it.
Hmmm, now that you mention it, Rocco does sound like it would be a good name for a new handle.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:06 AM   #42
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"won the game" = Ability to live on 1.5% SWR.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:47 AM   #43
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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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You would be in good (or rich) company... Looks like Musk and Bezos aren't satisfied with a hundred billion+ either.

It's a different game these guys are playing. One has to define the game first.

When taking a course on Optimal Control Theory in school, I learned first thing that there are infinitely many optimal control strategies. It's because there are infinitely many ways one can define what optimum is.

Here's a simple example. What is the optimal speed for driving a car? If you are shooting for "minimal time", then pedal to the metal. If you are shooting for "minimum fuel", then the optimal speed of course will be a lot lower. In real life, we are all having our own compromise between the above two extremes.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:21 AM   #44
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For me, it was when I got a 100% historical success result from FIRECalc after entering the most ultra-conservative numbers possible for my situation. For example, I entered an annual spending number about 50% higher than my real world number, no SS, no inheritance, living to the age of 100, and not ramping down my spending as I age. I figured if FC was at 100% even with all those extremely conservative numbers and assumptions, I was good to go.
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Old 12-03-2020, 11:47 AM   #45
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When 3% withdrawal rate pays for everything.
That is sort of where I was going... a target WR but probably lower than 3%... I was thinking below 2% omce pensions and SS are going.

Or alternatively when your expenses are 80% or less of FIRECalc spending level at 100% success rate.

IOW, a lot of redundancy and overfunding.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:23 PM   #46
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I will have achieved nirvana when (if?) the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup again and Iím in the arena for their Game 7 victory. Everything else remaining in life is basically ďbleh, yeah, whatever.Ē
Why not in Game 4? Dream large!

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Old 12-04-2020, 08:25 AM   #47
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Paid off house, kids college over and done with, investible assets 25X annual expenses, and that does not include SS and a small pension.
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:11 PM   #48
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At what point has one "WON THE GAME"? Interested in different perspectives, as there have been a few people who have posted that they 'won the game'. Everybody is different, but what is the minimum?


My minimum - everything paid for, retired, minimum 10k/month coming in off investments/pensions.
It is not so complicated.
You have won the game when you have enough money that you no longer have to rely on investments and work.That amount will vary widely amongst different people.
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:27 PM   #49
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It is not so complicated.
You have won the game when you have enough money that you no longer have to rely on investments and work.That amount will vary widely amongst different people.
I think if you can live off your investments then thats a big win.
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My take
Old 12-08-2020, 09:20 PM   #50
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My take

Felt like I won the game when I got laid off at 42, realized I didnít care to keep doing what I was doing, had 35x annual expenses of a decent living expenditure of 170k, healthy kids and parents (for now), and plenty of time to spend crossing off bucket list items and doing volunteer work.
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Old 12-08-2020, 09:28 PM   #51
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^^^ Way to go. While I enjoyed my work, it was just a means to an end and wasn't what defined me.
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Old 12-09-2020, 11:35 AM   #52
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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.


Cheers!
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Old 12-09-2020, 11:57 AM   #53
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My most recent "winning of the game" would be this year, when I claimed SS at age 70.
Together with my pension/annuities, I seem to have enough income that I have an excess to invest every month.

Now a lot of this excess is because travel plans have been cancelled since March.

I retired in 2013, so for seven years, I did monthly withdrawals from investments in lieu of SS.
So I had very modest Sequence of Returns Risk.
But now I'm through with that, so I win...
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:16 PM   #54
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I think everyone has a different interpretation of "winning the game". For some it's a multiple of cash to cover their expenses. For others it's a generous pension that pays all the bills.
Yep, a have a relative who retired over 25 years ago from a skilled blue-collar job with low five figures saved & a modest pension...but it is COLA'd.

Also got free retiree health insurance...no premiums, deductibles, or co-pays...he and his wife complained when they had to start paying Medicare Part B premiums...their retiree health insurance then morphed into a premium & deductible/copay-free Medigap plan.
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:43 PM   #55
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I think realistically if you have 33X expenses (subtracting pension/SS) you are good to retire and don't need to take additional risks with investments, if the future is no worse than the past 100 years than no worries.....

33x is essentially a 3% withdrawal rate, if you go down to 2% you are pretty much bullet proof financially.
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:49 PM   #56
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I never like the term "won the game". It's not a game. It's life. If you lose a game you feel a little sad, angry, dejected. But if you run out of money you might be living in a cardboard box, or eating cat food. Or to a lesser level, spending your days at home because you can't afford to take a trip, can't afford to fix your car (if you still have one), and so on. Or maybe you're scouring the want ads to see who is paying better than minimum wage to an old-timer who doesn't have current marketable skills. None of this sounds like much of a game to me.

I suppose what you're looking for is when you can breathe and sleep more easily because you don't see any of the above happening except for a black swan event. For me that was sometime around when I retired, or maybe even during OMY times, or maybe a few years into retirement when my nest egg continued to rise even as I had no more work income coming in.

My other issue with the "game" mentality is that nobody knows the rules. I feel very secure nearly 10 years into retirement. But what if one of those black swan events does happen? Where is that in the rules? The only game life possibly compares to is baseball, where no matter how big of a lead you have, you can still lose if enough bad things happen. It's not over until the final out, which I guess equates to your death. Maybe beyond death if your needs went beyond you, perhaps to leave enough for a special needs child. You could be pushing up daisies but still "lose the game" if the trust for that child runs out.

Sorry for the rant. I think I'll just ignore threads that talk about "the game".
Pretty much what RunningBum said. I don't think in terms of "winning the game" either, as everything is risk and probability to me. There are no guarantees, nothing is 100% certain, and I'm OK with that.

When I first stopped working, I wasn't sure that I wouldn't have to go back to work. Gradually, I became more confident - a confidence which was helped by the nice long bull market we enjoyed over the last 10 years. There have been other uncertainties along the way, healthcare being one of them. Learning how to manage my withdrawals so as to control my AGI, in order to keep healthcare costs very affordable, has been a help.

Nevertheless, there is always the chance that an unforeseen calamity, either in my own life, or the world around us, could throw a spanner in the works. Retirement is much like the working part of my life was, in that I am continually assessing the various risks and potential future risks and upcoming changes, and figuring out how to deal with them, if and when they happen.

It's fun. I quite enjoy this kind of risk assessment and planning.
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Old 12-09-2020, 01:19 PM   #57
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Won the game when I figured I had enough to pay the bills and fill my needs and wants. This gave me the freedom to work on my health and wellbeing. Just 5 years into retirement I already feel better. Still prediabetic but holding my own, lost 45 lb and physically performing at a 2002 level.
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Old 12-10-2020, 11:26 AM   #58
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I never like the term "won the game". It's not a game. It's life. If you lose a game you feel a little sad, angry, dejected. But if you run out of money you might be living in a cardboard box, or eating cat food. Or to a lesser level, spending your days at home because you can't afford to take a trip, can't afford to fix your car (if you still have one), and so on. Or maybe you're scouring the want ads to see who is paying better than minimum wage to an old-timer who doesn't have current marketable skills. None of this sounds like much of a game to me.

I suppose what you're looking for is when you can breathe and sleep more easily because you don't see any of the above happening except for a black swan event. For me that was sometime around when I retired, or maybe even during OMY times, or maybe a few years into retirement when my nest egg continued to rise even as I had no more work income coming in.

My other issue with the "game" mentality is that nobody knows the rules. I feel very secure nearly 10 years into retirement. But what if one of those black swan events does happen? Where is that in the rules? The only game life possibly compares to is baseball, where no matter how big of a lead you have, you can still lose if enough bad things happen. It's not over until the final out, which I guess equates to your death. Maybe beyond death if your needs went beyond you, perhaps to leave enough for a special needs child. You could be pushing up daisies but still "lose the game" if the trust for that child runs out.

Sorry for the rant. I think I'll just ignore threads that talk about "the game".
How far short will someone reading forums like these really fall?

If they planned at all for retirement but somehow ended up with only 15x-20x expenses instead of 25x-33x it most likely means fewer vacations/travel, not literally losing the roof over their heads.

As for "Black Swan" events, I agree with Bernstein who says that any success rate over 80% is meaningless because of potential future "failure modes" that simply can't be accounted (pardon the pun) for via financial calculators.

The Retirement Calculator from Hell, Part III
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Old 12-10-2020, 05:30 PM   #59
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At what point has one "WON THE GAME"? Interested in different perspectives ...
'The' game? Nope, not my preferred terminology. 'A' game? OK - but the financial game is only one among many, and might not be the most important.

I understand the counterargument: for folks who start out with nothing and work full-time toward financial security, the modern workplace can make so many demands upon personal time and energy that the financial game can sometimes seem like the only game in town. So, one could argue that the opportunity to consider games other than financial is a luxury enjoyed only by the rich.

What are these other games? Further discussion is beyond the scope of this thread. However, I will note that there are plenty of folks who win the financial game but nevertheless have lives that are a complete disaster.

Does my personal opinion on what winning the game means really matter? The US gov't considers me a winner and taxes accordingly. Maybe that is enough.
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Old 12-10-2020, 06:10 PM   #60
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We're all winners.
Must be Lake Woebegon
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