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Old 04-03-2021, 06:57 AM   #81
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DW and I never believed our numbers would work despite accurate predictions from an AmEx financial planner from 1986 (almost spot on!) and our former accountant turned financial planner and wealth manager. The a/FP gave a complimentary review in 2005 when she expanded her business into wealth management. We shlogged on for another 9 years despite her pleas to hang it up! We never thought we could manage retirement at 45! So with the grace of God, our coffers are full, our annual income is 33% more and the NW is up 40% since 2014.

Sometimes you just gotta believe!
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:21 AM   #82
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I have no where near the money I see mentioned here, but I have enough to retire on very nicely for us IF we don't have a catastrophe like one of us needing long term care. There's no way we could ever retire if we wanted to totally prepare for that. My MIL was in memory care at $92K a year. That's going to put a crimp in all but the best retirement funds.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:38 AM   #83
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I had a conversation on this once with one of our Sr. VPs while on a bus ride back from a company event..

He admitted to being worth more than $10 million. He was horribly unhappy, had spousal issues, the works. Yet, also believed that he "had" to "keep working for the money".

While he didn't elaborate on his expense needs, it was hard for me to imagine that $10 million wasn't "enough" to live out the rest of one's life and seek happiness and fulfillment vs simply running up the score further.

Not being satisfied that one has "enough" also seems to show frequently in equity heavy asset allocations. It's often surprising how much risk some are willing to take simply to run up the score further, after "enough" has already been achieved. That's never been for me..so I sit at roughly 25% equity allocation as that's "enough" to succeed with our own ER plan.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:58 AM   #84
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I had a conversation on this once with one of our Sr. VPs while on a bus ride back from a company event..

He admitted to being worth more than $10 million. He was horribly unhappy, had spousal issues, the works. Yet, also believed that he "had" to "keep working for the money".

While he didn't elaborate on his expense needs, it was hard for me to imagine that $10 million wasn't "enough" to live out the rest of one's life and seek happiness and fulfillment vs simply running up the score further.

Not being satisfied that one has "enough" also seems to show frequently in equity heavy asset allocations. It's often surprising how much risk some are willing to take simply to run up the score further, after "enough" has already been achieved. That's never been for me..so I sit at roughly 25% equity allocation as that's "enough" to succeed with our own ER plan.
Many people suffer from "lifestyle creep". Income goes up so they lease a fancier car, move to a bigger house, join the country club, eat at more costly restaurants, get the premium cable package, send their kids to a ritzier summer camp, have a private box at the theatre, etc. Once they have all of those things, it's very hard to give them up. Much easier to live well below your means all along. If you're saving 30 or 40 or 50% of your income when working, you need a lot less in retirement to maintain your lifestyle.


As for the AA, for some people it's simply about math and odds. Stocks outperform bonds over time. They just do. So even once you're retired, and especially if you retire early, you may not want to walk away from that growth even if you already have enough to sustain you. I know people that are 100% stock or close to it not because they need more but just because they know stocks are best long term. We're about 65% stock right now which I'll probably shift down to 60% as we enter retirement but then probably hold at that level for the most part.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:25 AM   #85
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"Having "enough" has to factor in the degree of contentment one has. Contentment with one's lifestyle (including the required expenses of that lifestyle such as taxes and medical costs), as well as contentment (or perhaps better, ignoring) what one has in relation to others. Sometimes people feel they do not have "enough" because someone else has more, even if what they have could, in others eyes, support their family for generations.

My definition of having "enough" for me was more linked to independence. I felt I had enough when I could choose to retire and not have to choose to ever earn income again, or be dependent on anyone else - including the government - for our lifestyle.

I tent to agree with 24601NoMore on the statement regarding "enough" and heavy asset allocation. I am fine with folks having high AAs, I personally would not, part of the reason is my belief that i have "enough" the additional risk at this point is not worth potential gains. I do not need to be 100% in equities to stay ahead of inflation, so I am happy with having shrinking the equity component of our AA since I retired.

I also believe that one really never knows how one feels about having "enough" until things go "wrong" financially. It is easy to talk about having "enough" when the market is rising. But a year ago, few were talking about not caring, they had "enough", in comparison to those suddenly worried (and in many cases selling of out) their equity allocation. In other words, perhaps one has enough when whatever they could lose in the market does not matter .
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Old 04-03-2021, 11:42 AM   #86
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?..If we retire at 60 with $3M and find ourselves at 75 or 80 or 85 with it having grown to $6M or $8M, we'll happily start writing some large checks.
It really boils down to your current SWR and current inflation.

I see my two sons doing just fine and I am being extra generous with my 5 GCs.
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Old 04-03-2021, 11:46 AM   #87
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Many people suffer from "lifestyle creep". Income goes up so they lease a fancier car, move to a bigger house, join the country club, eat at more costly restaurants, get the premium cable package, send their kids to a ritzier summer camp, have a private box at the theatre, etc. Once they have all of those things, it's very hard to give them up. Much easier to live well below your means all along. If you're saving 30 or 40 or 50% of your income when working, you need a lot less in retirement to maintain your lifestyle.
When we decided to ER, I made my spreadsheets and then we tried to validate the numbers with our 401K financial adviser. He tried to tell us we would need 80% of what we were grossing in our working years, but we never spent that much even when we were working. Plus in retirement our income and SS taxes decreased, we no longer needed to save for retirement, we had time to do more for ourselves like our own yard work and taxes, our kids would be finishing college and be off the payroll in the foreseeable future, we no longer needed life and disability insurance, we no longer had job or small businesses expenses, and we had more time to analyze and optimize our current expenses, like making the house more energy and water efficient, renegotiating the cable bill every year to always get the best new customer rates, price shop insurance, and hundreds of other little expense reductions that really added up.

If needed, we also had the option of downsizing, moving to a lower cost of living area, or even just moving to a lower rated public school district or further out into the suburbs where the home prices were much lower. We didn't end up needing to make any of those moves, but we decided that any of them would have been a good trade off to not having to work at all any more.
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Old 04-03-2021, 11:51 AM   #88
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Jollystomper, I would say that DH and I feel exactly like your opening paragraph. We're content with our lifestyle, we know we have the savings to pay for it, and we're not really concerned with what others are doing with their money. They have their interests, and we have ours. It's incredibly freeing.
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:17 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
..I tent to agree with 24601NoMore on the statement regarding "enough" and heavy asset allocation. I am fine with folks having high AAs, I personally would not, part of the reason is my belief that i have "enough" the additional risk at this point is not worth potential gains. I do not need to be 100% in equities to stay ahead of inflation, so I am happy with having shrinking the equity component of our AA since I retired.
We have had an asset allocation of 80% equities for the last 10 years. I have had the conversation with our heirs and they agree that a high allocation makes sense for them as beneficiaries.

With The Fed raising rates, I am expecting that to cool the equity markets so I am liquidating some assets to give away. Enough to cover the extra tax too.

It is difficult to do this but it is the plan!

My forecast for YE S&P 500 was 4200 last December but I am beginning to think 4100 is more realistic.
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Old 04-03-2021, 01:36 PM   #90
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When we decided to ER, I made my spreadsheets and then we tried to validate the numbers with our 401K financial adviser. He tried to tell us we would need 80% of what we were grossing in our working years, but we never spent that much even when we were working.
Exactly. Last year, we saved 41% of my gross income. That means the most we could possibly need to have the exact same lifestyle in retirement would be 59% of what I currently make. In reality, it would be far less for all of the reasons you mentioned.
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Old 04-03-2021, 01:54 PM   #91
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^ this^
I am stuck with a pension and no path beyond roths to defer taxes, but DW has a 403b and (MUCH THANKS TO THIS PLACE!), i just dialed it up to the max. Even with that, her remaining salary is more than we spend and my wages are all going to investment. We need about 30% to live comfortably.
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Old 04-03-2021, 02:32 PM   #92
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When we decided to retire, instead of looking at percent of gross earnings in our working years for what we would need in retirement income, we looked at the Consumer Expenditure Survey. We put our expenses in the same categories and identified some key areas where our expenses were unnecessarily high, like haircuts and groceries, even for a HCOL area. I saved a lot by going to a strip mall stylist instead of a fancy downtown salon, and my hair actually turned out better. Now with the pandemic I learned to cut my own hair using some guides (like the crea-clips) from Amazon. I only had to learn one hairstyle so it wasn't that hard. My hair looks the same as the salon cut. The 80 / 20 for lowering our grocery bill was changing where I shop. I started a price book and realized the same items in my neighborhood supermarket stores were often 3 - 5 times as much as they cost going to discount and outlet stores just 10 minutes further away. These were small changes that didn't really impact our overall lifestyle, but 100+ of these kinds of recurring expense reductions (times 40 years of potential retirement), made a huge difference in how much NW we needed to retire and keep, or even improve upon, the same basic lifestyle we had when we were both working.
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:33 PM   #93
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..we tried to validate the numbers with our 401K financial adviser. He tried to tell us we would need 80% of what we were grossing in our working years, but we never spent that much even when we were working.
I always cringe when an adviser (or magazine, newspaper, etc article) recommends trying to replace "X%" (usually 70-80%) of pre-retirement income in retirement. Yet it still seems there are a lot of so-called "professional" advisers and others out there making the same old generic recommendations to people. YIKES. Hard to fathom why they don't simply recommend getting a good handle on actual expenses pre-retirement, use that as a baseline, and adjust as needed for lifestyle changes expected in retirement.

Quote:
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We identified some key areas where our expenses were unnecessarily high, like haircuts and groceries, even for a HCOL area. I saved a lot by going to a strip mall stylist instead of a fancy downtown salon, and my hair actually turned out better. Now with the pandemic I learned to cut my own hair using some guides (like the crea-clips) from Amazon. I only had to learn one hairstyle so it wasn't that hard. My hair looks the same as the salon cut. The 80 / 20 for lowering our grocery bill was changing where I shop. I started a price book and realized the same items in my neighborhood supermarket stores were often 3 - 5 times as much as they cost going to discount and outlet stores just 10 minutes further away. These were small changes that didn't really impact our overall lifestyle, but 100+ of these kinds of recurring expense reductions (times 40 years of potential retirement), made a huge difference in how much NW we needed to retire and keep, or even improve upon, the same basic lifestyle we had when we were both working.
It's really amazing how much savings there are for those who have the interest and desire to work at it. We don't "need" to clip coupons, shop at Aldi, aggressively negotiate our cable and other bills, re-use aluminum foil or do any of the probably dozens of things we do to save a few pennies here and there, but it DOES really add up! And every penny we save, as the old saying goes..is a penny earned.

My younger sis has worked in a garden center as a designer most of her adult life..she's usually scraping to get by. But when I suggest she try to do some simple things (like move her Prescriptions to Kroger to get $3 or $6 refills instead of the far more costly through her insurance plan), she won't bother to take the time to do it. Makes me kinda crazy as she always seems strapped for $$, yet won't expend the effort to do simple things to lower spending..I know far too many people like that, all of who complain about needing to work into their 60s, 70s or beyond because they expect they will "never have 'enough'" to retire.
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:34 PM   #94
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Removing double post..sorry bout that - weird!
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:59 PM   #95
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It's the internal ability to be satisfied, not to just know you have enough, but rather to feel happy with what you have.
This!
Hubby and I have talked about this idea. We both feel that as long as we have enough to pay our bills (and hopefully that will be for the rest of our lives) and have a little left over, we are happy. We don't need more.
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Old 04-03-2021, 04:00 PM   #96
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... We don't "need" to clip coupons, shop at Aldi, aggressively negotiate our cable and other bills, re-use aluminum foil...
No, you really don't need to! On this site, we recycle dryer sheets, not aluminum foil!
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Old 04-03-2021, 04:32 PM   #97
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Many people suffer from "lifestyle creep". Income goes up so they lease a fancier car, move to a bigger house, join the country club, eat at more costly restaurants, get the premium cable package, send their kids to a ritzier summer camp, have a private box at the theatre, etc. Once they have all of those things, it's very hard to give them up. Much easier to live well below your means all along. If you're saving 30 or 40 or 50% of your income when working, you need a lot less in retirement to maintain your lifestyle.
.
One of the best deals I ever got on a used car was from a guy like that I worked for at a high-tech company. He got a promotion/raise and his leased Lexus ES-300 was no longer good enough for him. I bought the Lexus off the lease at a very good price before it got in the hands of a dealer. He then leased a Mercedes that spoke more to his new status. We were both happy.
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:26 PM   #98
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1) First tell that 'enough' is near is you have no more mortgage, no car loans, no debts.
2) Second tell if you have 'enough' is you have savings to last you 30 - 40 years.
3) Third is if you cannot already trade more of your time for money, then you have enough.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:58 PM   #99
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Interesting question with my easy answer. I knew we had enough to retire when my wife told me so!

Not trying to be funny. She took care of me, the house, three kids and all our domestic finances for over three decades and knows what we need. With no mortgage or other debt and a few hundred k in various 401(k)s/IRAs/457 plans, I filed for my govt COLA-adjusted pension and retired last May.

There was another factor. I was promoted the year prior and my stress level was over the top. She saw that too and knew that I had enough!
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Old 04-04-2021, 12:13 AM   #100
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5 years ago, having 'enough' money for me meant being able to pay cash for a $400K condo, and spend 1/2 of $75K annually on travel. Then I decided that the travel budget wasn't enough, and kept on OMY'ing. Then COVID-19 hit, and my wife decided we should buy a house, rather than a condo. That $75K spend just became $150K, to be able to afford a reasonable amount of travel and pay for the house. This year, without travel, we're only spending ~60% of budget, if not a little less. If I had known that COVID-19 was coming, I might have retired earlier, and traveled for a couple of years, very extensively. But no one knows the future. Having a solid retirement fund, house with a pool, safe community, health care, and living in Hawaii...I no longer feel the need to travel like I once did. Sure hope we can get back to some travel in 2022!
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