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Won the game - when?
Old 12-01-2020, 04:56 PM   #1
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Won the game - when?

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.
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:58 PM   #2
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:05 PM   #3
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There are plenty of threads on won the game that I have responded to and I have given the same numbers each time... So I'll try something different this time....

I felt that I had won the game when I had more money/NW than I expected to need until age 100. And that's without needing to invest/gamble in the market or lower my annual spend rate. Of course that's relative... If my annual spend rate was a million, I'd be in trouble before to many years but at 100 to150k, I'm okay and happy.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:06 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:09 PM   #5
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I figure I won the game when I started to play seriously, invest regularly, and not TRY to win the game with a home run.

I knew I would get there 15 years before I did, because of the above.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:16 PM   #6
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Early 50's.

But the last five years, ages 53-58 were great us financially.

Pulled the plug at 58/59.
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:50 PM   #7
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For me - something along the lines of

Won the Game = FI
Decided to Stop Playing the Game = RE
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:53 PM   #8
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Just as there’s no universal “won the game” - there’s no minimum. Your minimum is whatever you say it is, until/unless your plan fails by your assessment.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
We're all winners.
agree. other than walking out the door for the last time it's different for everyone
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:02 PM   #10
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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".
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:57 PM   #11
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I agree with RunningBum, DW and I are very secure. We have more coming in than going out. About three years ago, we started gifting our RMD to the kids. It was at that point we felt truly comfortable in retirement. A lot goes into that feeling. We are both getting close to 80, so the money does not need to last as long, the markets are going good, our pensions, (for the most part) are COLA'd, and our health is acceptable. So not sure what winning is, but we will take it.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:24 PM   #12
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You win when you've been living large the whole time, and die with one dollar net worth.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
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".
It is simply a metaphorical device. Our language is richly filled with them.

But I agree everyone gets to evaluate the game in their own way.

When I wanted to FIRE, I had three "numbers", low or minimum, mid and high. I felt I had "won the game" when I met the high number which meant basically I could afford.to live as I wished with no financial worries and excluding anything from social security or pensions.

And now I am about 30 percent above that number, very blessed.

But I also think there is evidence of having "won the game" such as being able to help needy family members or others and in charitable giving. This is true regardless of how much you have.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:21 PM   #14
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When I decided I had won the game I retired (very) early.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:03 PM   #15
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If I factor in claiming SS in 4.5 years (at 70% of SS benefits), we have enough to live generously (with a margin of 30% more than our yearly bills, including what we send monthly to my 87 year old mother) for more than 35 years.

The extra margin funds travel, gifts, and charity.

I'm assuming no gains/interest (but also not inflation FWIW).
That's winning the game, at least as I define it.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:07 AM   #16
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When I don't have to report to a boss anymore which I did when I FIRE'd in 2018.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:17 AM   #17
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When 3% withdrawal rate pays for everything.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:33 AM   #18
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:42 AM   #19
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It's an iterated game, you never get to "win". There is always another hand to
be dealt. You play until you "leave the game", which you don't really want to
do.

Now that I'm retired, I have more time to read up on interesting stuff, like
game theory
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:49 AM   #20
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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.
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