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Old 03-31-2021, 01:30 PM   #21
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Happy where we are today.
We have enough for todays world but the world is changing and who knows what the future may bring. Worst case, it is possible that never retiring wouldn't be enough.
Such is life.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:45 PM   #22
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"Enough" is more about aspirations than money, IMO. We have enough, no question about it. But our aspirations do not include being competitive in Aspen society nor do they include owning a private jet.

Recounted by John Bogle: At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, the late Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, the author Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel "Catch 22" over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have . . . Enough.”
Yes, OldShooter. The J Heller quote is exactly what I was getting at. It's not the fiscal reality I was contemplating. It's the internal ability to be satisfied, not to just know you have enough, but rather to feel happy with what you have.
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Pick a number
Old 03-31-2021, 05:44 PM   #23
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Pick a number

For me, “enough” continued to move. It was never enough because more was readily available, as long as I was willing to trade time.

I picked $5M NW as enough, and once I reached that, and came to the end of another year with bonuses - I pulled the plug.

Set a number that meets the needs, and go then.
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:20 PM   #24
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For me, “enough” continued to move. It was never enough because more was readily available, as long as I was willing to trade time.
There's certainly some of that, but my "number" has also risen over time as I got more focused on retirement planning and learned more from this site and elsewhere, got a better handle on what our expenses are likely to be, looked into healthcare costs, etc. The amount that I used to think would be enough turned out to be too low. Better to find that out now while I'm still working though.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:00 PM   #25
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I am satisfied with my life and glad that I didn’t work full time longer. If I had I wouldn’t have gotten to teach a online college class for 8 years. That’s been so fun. I am excited about buying my condo and fixing it up just the way I want it. I enjoy my kids, my friends and my doggies. I am grateful for all the traveling I have done and look forward to more. Even with my income cut in half because of the divorce I definitely have enough.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:21 PM   #26
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I've actually struggled with this exact point.


In 2019, I earned about 240K. Our portfolio, after all spending was accounted for, ended the year 300K higher than it started.


In 2020, I earned about 240K. Once again, our portfolio ended the year 300K higher than it started.


Each year, we added 100K of new money to the portfolio out of current income. But that still means the portfolio grew by about 200K each year on it's own - more than we spent either year.


My problem is that this all occurred during a tremendous bull market. There's no way I can reliably count on growth like that each year. Our portfolio could easily drop by 200K or more this year if the market goes south.


At what point do you decide you have enough of a cushion so that even in the bad years, you'll still be okay? I guess that's the age old question we all have to answer before retiring.
I was referring to rents collected + dividends exceeding my salary, not portfolio value. I was making X at work, and another X off monthly investment income. So 2X total. So at 45 I quit and just make X.
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:27 PM   #27
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......

My problem is that this all occurred during a tremendous bull market. There's no way I can reliably count on growth like that each year. Our portfolio could easily drop by 200K or more this year if the market goes south.


At what point do you decide you have enough of a cushion so that even in the bad years, you'll still be okay? I guess that's the age old question we all have to answer before retiring.
For me, it was assuming we lost 20% of our savings, would we have enough to live on ?
We would, so we pulled the plug.... later that will have another meaning
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Old 04-01-2021, 06:31 AM   #28
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I felt like I had enough when I RE'd 4 years ago. Since then, we have been spending more than I thought we would, but NW is still up 1/3 from then. We have enough to do whatever we want to within reason. Started buying first class air. Thinking of replacing the 4 year old car next year.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:08 AM   #29
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$2 m seemed like it would be enough when I was young. Then the enough number climbed to $4m, but we retired way short of that number. $4m would still be enough to maintain our current lifestyle, but $10m would be enough to maintain the lifestyle I desire.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:43 AM   #30
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When I graduated, I made a pact that I would work for 30 years and retire for 30 years. I was planning based on time not money. OMY meant 31 and 29 etc. So even though I was making big bucks, I avoided OMY.

A relative just fell of his Peloton dead of a heart attack at age 48. He was trying to lose some pounds for a pending trip to Jamaica. Time >> Money

Approaching 19 years retired. Still have more money than when we retired.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:50 AM   #31
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The real test is getting through a drop in your NW. Right now, we are all riding high. The challenge will be when the stock market takes a 20% or more hit.

We kind of got "vaccinated" in late 2018. After I retired late summer 2018, the market promptly went into a swoon for the rest of 2018. It was a good test, and a kind of vaccination to something worse. I hope... I managed to not panic or look for a job, even though NW was dropping. This will happen again. I hope I have antibodies against stupid behavior next time.

Someone above said "be sure you are ready for a 20% hit". Yep. We actually are ready for a 40% stock market hit.

The long term worry to me is inflation. The current situation is fuzzy. Here we are, watching every day products going up, yet the official numbers say no inflation. And then there is health care inflation.

Inflation is the reason we are not just piling everything into something "safe" like a CD. Why? Because it isn't safe when the inflation monster roars.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:54 AM   #32
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I am pretty happy but I would not say no to Bezos levels of money. There are things I want to do that are just out of the realm of possibility without many billions.
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:57 AM   #33
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The classic test is dory36's bucket test:
http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post381043

You start with two buckets, one in each hand.

One bucket started empty, and gradually filled with b.s. as you worked there.

The other started out with your net worth, and it too continued to fill as you worked there.

Eventually, the b.s. will outweigh the net worth, and you'll know it's time to go.

If you aren't there yet, enjoy what you're doing and keep filling that other bucket.
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Enough - How much is that?
Old 04-01-2021, 09:42 AM   #34
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Enough - How much is that?

The answer to your question is much like the thought experiment of Schrödinger’s cat: the concept of enough and not enough exist at the same time until the box is opened.

And the irony of your question enough/not enough is that the answer is only known after you’re six feet under in your own box.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:50 AM   #35
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When I graduated, I made a pact that I would work for 30 years and retire for 30 years. I was planning based on time not money. OMY meant 31 and 29 etc. So even though I was making big bucks, I avoided OMY.

A relative just fell of his Peloton dead of a heart attack at age 48. He was trying to lose some pounds for a pending trip to Jamaica. Time >> Money

Approaching 19 years retired. Still have more money than when we retired.
These are the stories that reinforce my idea that I have more than enough. Could I go out and earn more? Why yes I could...but I live a very good comfortable life and have zero desire to have any more "stuff."

On occasion, I will watch "Office Space." if I ever have a inkling to w*rk again, it nips that in the bud immediately.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:52 AM   #36
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I had a similar conversation back in Jr. high school. My friends uncle quit a six figure job (in 1971) to spend his time going door to door spreading his religion. My friend couldn't believe he would give up such a lucrative career at such an early age. I figured it made sense because he was happier and more fulfilled.
I lost my wife at 53 and realized more money wasnt that important anymore and retired at 54. My old friend is still working though I imagine he is much wealthier than I.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:56 AM   #37
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The answer to your question is much like the thought experiment of Schrödinger’s cat: the concept of enough and not enough exist at the same time until the box is opened.
Or..."How long is a piece of string?"
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:59 AM   #38
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On occasion, I will watch "Office Space." if I ever have a inkling to w*rk again, it nips that in the bud immediately.
"Office Space" lopped a few million off my NW goals.

Just kidding. It didn't do anything to my NW goals, but it did inspire me to reach for retirement. It is great inspiration to stay retired. DW and I both worked on the Y2K problem and this movie really hit home.

In recent years, every time some policy from Megacorp would come up, someone in my dept. -- possibly me sometimes -- would say, "Oh, another TPS cover sheet request." We'd all have a good laugh, except for our boss. Our boss was a very straight laced guy and did not watch R movies. We tried to get him to watch it so he could be in on the joke, but he never would. Too bad.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:12 AM   #39
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I am pretty happy but I would not say no to Bezos levels of money. There are things I want to do that are just out of the realm of possibility without many billions.
But we have something Bezos does not. A lot of discretionary time! I'm slow smoking a brisket today and listening to Van Morrison. My guess is he is shuffling from meeting to meeting.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:32 AM   #40
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For a while now I have looked at $2.5 million savings as the right number, because it could spin off $100,000 a year per the 4% rule, with $3 million as my stretch goal (to supplement modest pensions, SSN). I am close to the $2.5, and with the government devaluing the currency I guess I should get over $3 in a few years.

Although my DW does not spend foolishly, I know she wished she could, so 'enough' for her would be at some level I will never get to (short of a lottery win).
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