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Old 04-01-2021, 08:39 PM   #61
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Enough for us was when we felt we no longer needed to worry about whether we have enough. We know that regardless of what curve ball gets thrown our way - a leaky roof, a major repair, a big medical bill...we can handle it. Having enough to no longer worry about whether you have enough is enough for me.

We are going on four years of retirement and have no regrets about leaving the workforce early, even though we were both high earners and could have made a lot more.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:00 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by ExFlyBoy5 View Post
This is a battle I have with my DW fairly regularly. Well...not a battle per se, just not much in agreement. We are 100% FI according to Firecalc and have more than enough money. Nonetheless, I can't convince her to stop w*rking...she has a fear of not having "enough" which is just like her parents. They have WAY MORE than enough, but still own multiple businesses and WILL NOT STOP. They are getting up there in the years and think they are immortal.

I have lost a lot of former co-workers to cancer in the last few years and it's eye opening. What I can say (and I think others would agree) is that I don't have ENOUGH time left in this life. Do I want to live forever? Well, probably not...but I also know that the time left is finite and unknown.

Not sure what my point is...except yes, I have enough money but probably not enough time.
For your in-laws, it is not a matter of possessions. They simply know no other way. It is the stopping that is alien for them.
I suspect that many times people fear that stopping is giving up and dying.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:20 PM   #63
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For me, enough was when my retirement benefits were more-or-less equal to what I was living on. My pension and social security are cost of living adjusted so I have not lost any purchase power during the past 10 years. I lost about 20% of my retirement savings in 2009 but that wasn’t enough to sway my decision.

Enough is not just a $$ figure. It is also the cost of not retiring. Whether you are unhappy in your job or life. Your health status and life expectation. Also your ability to live within your means and be happy.
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Enough - How much is that?
Old 04-02-2021, 08:37 AM   #64
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Enough - How much is that?

I always think of the old guy who was “security” at a golf course for which I worked during college. He’d ride around chatting enjoyably with people and I never saw him leave the golf cart. He liked to say, “I’m doing this job for fun to get out of the house. I don’t need the money. I have a military pension, a government career pension and Social Security. What would I do with more money?” He seemed as bullet-proof as any hedge fund manager to me and was certainly content.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:13 AM   #65
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Having money left over is irrelevant in my book.
I just care about being comfortable and having a decent life until the end.
If there is money left over, I certainly won't know about it or care about it after
I am dead. The real problem is running out of money while still alive.
Most people here won't run out, in fact many of them have more than they retired. But even less successful people will still have SS every month and a house they can sell if things get tight.

There are a lot of people on this site living quite comfortably on less $3 - $4000 a month who could sell their house and live off the proceeds for a decade or two, even longer supplemented by SS. Even if they have $0 savings.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:26 AM   #66
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There are a lot of people on this site living quite comfortably on less $3 - $4000 a month who could sell their house and live off the proceeds for a decade or two, even longer supplemented by SS.
In the course of all of my planning, I do think about the fact that right now, today, we have $1.7 million saved. If we spend $6,000/month, that would support us for 283 months or 23.6 years. That would take me to 80 and doesn't count SS and assumes a 0% return on our portfolio. Even if we spend $7,000/month (which is where we were pre-COVID), that's 20 years without SS or any positive returns.


Maybe we're all being way too conservative in our planning.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:15 AM   #67
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I'm no psychologist, but I wonder if humans (or at least those driven to succeed/accumulate) never have 'enough'.

We tend to make goals--"first million, second million, third,--and once we reach that plateau it is not matter of "comfort" --food,shelter,clothing-- but more a matter of the challenge to increase it. It's sort of a 'what's over the next hill' mentality.
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Old 04-02-2021, 10:21 AM   #68
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I'm no psychologist, but I wonder if humans (or at least those driven to succeed/accumulate) never have 'enough'.

We tend to make goals--"first million, second million, third,--and once we reach that plateau it is not matter of "comfort" --food,shelter,clothing-- but more a matter of the challenge to increase it. It's sort of a 'what's over the next hill' mentality.
This describes me to a "T"
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Old 04-02-2021, 01:31 PM   #69
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My goal is more low overhead than increasing net worth these days. I like the math challenge and hunt for bargains / easy side income. If you don't spend much you don't need a lot of income. Like my 2% cash back credit card pays for all my annual museum, park, zoo, garden, winery passports, seat filler and other membership passes / subscriptions and then a lot of of what we do during the year is free or cheap. I can plan a day in Sonoma going to an art museum, a hike at a state park and two wineries with a picnic lunch at one of the wineries and just pay for tips at the wineries and gas. I keep a picnic supply cabinet with a pretty table cloth and stocked with dollar or two dollar bargain items from outlet and dollar stores like stuffed grape leaves, drinks, quinoa salad and nuts for picnics on the go. I grew up poor so I'm pretty happy simply not having to work and living like this.
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:01 PM   #70
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I grew up poor so I'm pretty happy simply not having to work and living like this.
Ditto....we don't have too many 'needs', and we have fewer 'wants'; our Canadian 'equivalent' of Social Security, and our dividend income from investments, generates more than we spend, even when we (used to) travel (mainly to Europe) twice a year.

The 'nut' increases, but we feel no urge to spend it (presently).....if friends' kids, the granddaughters, etc, end up with it good luck to them.....right now, it's there if we need it...but we hope the 'need', (which for us generates negative connotations), never arises.
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:53 PM   #71
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When you want to hang it up. My dad still won't give it up at 90. But I guess who am I to tell him no? My mom hung it up at 55 and only because she had a vision problem. But she laments about how she should be working.

I told her I plan on meeting done at 54. She's like you can't be done at 54, you'll have accomplished nothing. You'll have wasted your life, education, etc. Apparently I need a high power career and lots of money to "Accomplish".

As for DH? He says no way is he retiring at 55. I want him to and he says no. he's 43 so who knows. He absolutely refuses to contemplate retiring before DK are done with college and I know we'll have enough, we are closing in on having enough now.

So some people have a goal (DH) no retirement till kids are done with college. Doesn't matter if we don't have to pay for college he just can't do it.
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Old 04-02-2021, 03:39 PM   #72
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I'm no psychologist, but I wonder if humans (or at least those driven to succeed/accumulate) never have 'enough'.
I think that's quite to the point. Human genes are based on our experience over many many millennia, and by far the dominating threats were, one, there just never quite enough food or water so it's best to horde as big a stash as you can, and two, there is always the threat of raids by others or of natural disasters, so be clever in how you store your stash.

These genes are what in our times of plenty lead to, one, growing waistlines and 401k accounts, and two, recognizing that diversification is useful. I really believe that most of human behavior is as simple as thinking "what would caveman do".
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Old 04-02-2021, 03:51 PM   #73
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I really believe that most of human behavior is as simple as thinking "what would caveman do".
This way of looking at it really simplifies a lot of philosophical issues, questions, and discussions.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:01 PM   #74
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By retiring early, and having assets in asset classes not counted by the FSA (small businesses and retirement plans) our kids had grants for 100% of college tuition. Plus we utilized community college, online courses, transfer programs, paid internships, tutor job, tax credits, and probably more I've forgotten so that college cost us very little out of pocket.

A young adult I know worked part-time, lived at home, went to community college, then transferred to and graduated from U.C. Berkeley in a high demand major, and even had a semester studying abroad. It just seems like there are good ways, at least in our state, to have a great education without spending a fortune. Having a high net worth of course makes life easier, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. Low overhead has its advantages, too. Some of our kids' friends' families have gone into debt and/or spent hundreds of thousands on low demand undergraduate degrees, and in some case the kids dropped out without graduating. So in those cases spending a fortune on college didn't really lead to a high quality education or job opportunities compared to a more focused, low overhead approach.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:24 PM   #75
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Having money left over is irrelevant in my book.
I just care about being comfortable and having a decent life until the end.
If there is money left over, I certainly won't know about it or care about it after
I am dead. The real problem is running out of money while still alive.
I mostly only want to have enough money until living is not fun. It is pretty fun right now and I do want to see humans on Mars, but not really interested in living in extreme pain or with severe dementia.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:33 PM   #76
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This way of looking at it really simplifies a lot of philosophical issues, questions, and discussions.
Yes, it looks simple and right at, or even beyond, the border of being silly. But over all these years, I find myself more and more pulled towards this view, despite the fact that I have a quite high-brow job and the education that goes with it, and from that perspective, this view is a bit self-defeating for me to have. But, watch that "Office Space" movie, and you again see the caveman brain in action, just trained enough to deal with a bit of modern tech. Even all the high-brow jobs and the motivation to enter them, may often just go back to "I wanna be the more clever caveman".

What most philosophers and psychologists feed us is often just the caveman stuffed in a designer suit fitting our times, if it's not just rather naive like Kant's categorical imperative: "Man should behave in such a way that his action could be used as a universal law". More power to Kant, with such beautiful thoughts he helped launch the Time of Enlightenment, which was supposed to lift us out of the more caveman-like dark ages and of which we all are a product. But the reason the world is so messed up 250 years later is quite simply that the cunning caveman couldn't care less about taking care of anything but himself and his close family, since he understands that this assures survival of his genes, and that's why we still have too much of him in the current gene pool.
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:48 PM   #77
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About having "enough": Does anyone know if there ever was a poll or detailed discussion of what percentage of the "100% FireCalc" number FIRE people are drawing?
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:55 PM   #78
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I retired at 54 with our three kids then ages 7, 11, and 17. And my wife at that point had not worked at a job since our first child was born. (Interestingly, my wife left her job the very day she went into labor and gave birth to our first!) Obviously, I decided we had "enough" at that time 20 years ago.

Since I retired, we got all three kids through college debt free (them and us), got each started with a funded Roth IRA, and got each a used car.

Another interesting note, right now I have a bigger net worth by far than at any other point in my life, even after 20 years of retirement. I am now contemplating a generous gifting program to the kids each year, will save them some state estate taxes down the road. Also contemplating my qualified charitable distributions for church, need to talk with some of the people over there.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:23 AM   #79
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About having "enough": Does anyone know if there ever was a poll or detailed discussion of what percentage of the "100% FireCalc" number FIRE people are drawing?
I don't recall a poll or discussion like that, although there probably has been one.

Personally, last year the total amount that I spent came to 54% of my "100% FIRECalc number", calculated for being retired until age 117 and a $400K minimum balance. But I have SS (started at age 70), and a mini-pension and they supplied almost all of that 54%. My retirement is a bit over-funded.

As for withdrawals, I didn't withdraw anything from my portfolio other than my equal monthly withdrawal from the TSP, which was equal to my RMD plus $159/month. My withdrawal rate as a percentage of my portfolio itself was 0.7%.
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Old 04-03-2021, 04:41 AM   #80
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This is a very current discussion at our house...or really what to do once you have enough.

For me money has never been about money. Milestones, round numbers, and dividends make me smile...but those are just reference points against a long range plan.

Money always been about the purposes that money can accomplish:

- Security and good quality-of-life for my family.
- College for my kids.
- An early, comfortable retirement.
- A substantial impact on important charitable causes.

Many years ago I set goals in each of those categories with the objective of achieving them by the time I was 50, though I expected the charity part to take longer.

I turn 50 in three months and life has been good to us.

We hit our goals for retirement and college a while ago.

This last run up in the markets took us so far past the retirement goal that this year we donated a large amount of appreciated securities to our charitable fund and took that goal off the list.

We've created a side fund to help the extended family should they require it and stashed a pile to the side for weddings or future needs of children/grandchildren.

We always spoke wistfully of buying a beach house and we're now stacking wood for that...the pile should be completed by next March.

Meanwhile my employment and the market run-up have catapaulted us well past our retirement goal and that just continues on its way. Even a 30% drop in the markets wouldn't scuttle the retirement plan.

For contractual and other reasons, I will continue working for a few more years. The company may offer me the opportunity to run the business unit I helped start as a new venture 17 years ago. That may be enough to keep me going for a few more years...but definitely not for the money.

So, we have more than "enough"...for me the question is about purpose.

Do I find some new purpose that makes me want to keep bringing in income or do I pull the rip cord and seek purpose in other ways.

We'll find out!
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