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Old 08-18-2020, 10:58 AM   #21
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A little over 9 years of retirement. I've spent just over 32% of my investment net worth at retirement. That net worth is now about 41% higher. I think my tracking is consistent from year to year so the numbers are accurate. At most they shouldn't be more than a little bit off.

The one thing I probably do differently than most others is that I'm using "after tax" numbers on my net worth, so Roth conversions does not change (lower) my net worth except for being off on the tax estimates. I also don't include the taxes paid on conversions as part of spending, since I accounted for it with the "after tax" net worth adjustment. It makes a lot of sense to me because a Roth conversion is really a zero sum event after taxes are paid.
congrats on growing your NW while living on it 9 years. another successful forum member.

I kept the tax in bc it was an emotional moment when I wrote the check and wanted to acknowledge my contributions to my favorite uncle
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:01 AM   #22
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Interesting excercise. Spent about 37% of the initial nut and almost 150% of it left at 7 and 1/2 years in.
you have managed to keep gravity at bay for 7+ years, poor joke but I'm a dad now so it is part of my DNA. I did find the view interesting as well and glad you have added to the discussion.
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Old 08-18-2020, 11:10 AM   #23
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I manage DM's money as well as my DW and myself. Since 2005, my mother's 401k, less all RMDS, is up 20% since then. Since she doesn't need the money, it has been placed in a brokerage account. That brokerage account is now 4x the amount of the original 401k.

As for DW and my accounts, we have been retired for almost 6 years, with withdrawal rates between 2 and 4.5% of the original amounts. Those, too, are up 20% since retirement, although they were down 20% back March/April when the pandemonium started.

I tracked expenses 5 years prior to retirement, and determined that we lived very well at the income we had while w*rking. So our plan was to exactly replace the salary income we received, hence the lower withdrawal rate of 2%. Once we were more comfortable with where we were, last year I withdrew 4.5%. I track the total withdrawals, and our total is still below the 4% plus inflation of the original nest egg.
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I manage DM's money as well as my DW and myself. Since 2005, my mother's 401k, less all RMDS, is up 20% since then. Since she doesn't need the money, it has been placed in a brokerage account. That brokerage account is now 4x the amount of the original 401k.

As for DW and my accounts, we have been retired for almost 6 years, with withdrawal rates between 2 and 4.5% of the original amounts. Those, too, are up 20% since retirement, although they were down 20% back March/April when the pandemonium started.

I tracked expenses 5 years prior to retirement, and determined that we lived very well at the income we had while w*rking. So our plan was to exactly replace the salary income we received, hence the lower withdrawal rate of 2%. Once we were more comfortable with where we were, last year I withdrew 4.5%. I track the total withdrawals, and our total is still below the 4% plus inflation of the original nest egg.
nice job with your DM's retirement account. you are far exceeding the professional money managers, and I'm guessing not taking a chunk out of it to fund your yacht.

I'm tracking about where you and your DW are but you been doing it twice as long. we would be happy to keep things going at this rate and leave our kids with a nice surprise one of these days.

I also looked to see how we are doing compared to our peak working years income, and found we have more now monthly than when we were both working. it makes me do a little dance everytime I think about it. hah
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:22 PM   #24
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nice job with your DM's retirement account. you are far exceeding the professional money managers, and I'm guessing not taking a chunk out of it to fund your yacht.
No yacht for me. Every now and then, even a garagiste makes a great barrel of wine.

DM turns 85 soon and is slowing down physically and mentally. The monies will go to her care, that's what it's there for. When the time comes, it will be split between me and my 3 siblings.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:58 PM   #25
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I checked my net worth back in 2007 when I retired, it is now 75% higher than then. So I guess I’m doing alright, maybe need to spend a little more.

Now that I’m 63 I’m feeling much more comfortable on having enough. Back in 2008-2010 I was concerned.
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:23 PM   #26
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At 62.5, Ive been retired 14 months now, income exceeds expenses with plenty more cushion than I started with, (about 20% more) even though we only have $5k/mo pensions plus DWs 1.2k SS. Waiting until mine is at least $3.5k/mo, maybe $4k. Life is good.
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Old 08-21-2020, 08:38 PM   #27
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We spend very little time accounting or tracking. After 15 years, the nut is larger (maybe 20% - back of the envelope). We're not spending what's coming in (which includes RMDs from 401(k)) so we just don't worry about it until/unless something hits the fan (nothing big so far.) As mentioned in other thread(s) by the time you pass 70, your time frame changes (gets smaller - just look at the RMD calculator if you doubt me)

I did try ONE year to track spending. I found that I was off my estimate on several things, BUT was within a couple % for total yearly estimated spending just by eye balling it. Since then, I've tried a couple of times and quit about Jan 4 or so. Too much like w*rk if you ask me! BUT I heartily approve of any method which gets you where you want to go financially in this thing we call FIRE. YMMV
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Old 08-22-2020, 06:48 AM   #28
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I started tracking our monthly cash flow when I retired, to see how our actual spending would measure up to what our plan was. We stopped tracking where we were spending, just our total spending. In two years of retirement, spending at a "wants" level above our "needs" level we had spent just over a third of what we expected. It was a factor in our decision to pay the mortgage off early. After that that additional expense last month, we were tracking top about 80% of our spending plan.

Having a pension (that, along with DW's SS which she took at 62, put that passive monthly income above the median U.S. household income) is a big difference maker. For all intents and purposes we have yet to have been forced to touch our investments, which are higher than when I retired. If we keep spending at our current rate our cash will last us 20 years. Gotta work on that...
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Old 08-25-2020, 06:41 PM   #29
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I started tracking our monthly cash flow when I retired, to see how our actual spending would measure up to what our plan was. We stopped tracking where we were spending, just our total spending. In two years of retirement, spending at a "wants" level above our "needs" level we had spent just over a third of what we expected. It was a factor in our decision to pay the mortgage off early. After that that additional expense last month, we were tracking top about 80% of our spending plan.

Having a pension (that, along with DW's SS which she took at 62, put that passive monthly income above the median U.S. household income) is a big difference maker. For all intents and purposes we have yet to have been forced to touch our investments, which are higher than when I retired. If we keep spending at our current rate our cash will last us 20 years. Gotta work on that...
I keep meaning to sit down and input all of my transactions into a spreadsheet or Mint or something to see where I really am. What I do know is that NW is still way up (3x) from when I retired 8 years ago but the allocations are very different. I don't consider cars and such as assets although we bought 2 in the past few years. Savings that goes into a 2nd home purchase may impact liquid assets but doesn't impact Net Worth so in that way we live better than we did before. Mostly look at withdrawals for spending from investment accounts after other income and all living expenses are calculated.

To simplify things I pay all bills from checking and collect all rents there, so I can see where all the outflow is, then it is only looking at any withdrawals from investment accounts and I don't really bother with the "appreciation of Property" unless sold as far as NW goes. My WR is below 1% so doing just fine in that sense and living well!

Envious of you guys who really track your finances..... seems like there are always more important things to do!
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:09 AM   #30
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my sense is that most of us are not tracking spending meticulouly, and probably do not need to as long as our investments are doing well. if I see the investments dip though, I've made adjustments to my spending accordingly without enduring much pain.

I think this is why the 4% rule is so valuable to me bc we are not machines and anyone with sense will make course adjustments as needed.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:09 AM   #31
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A very high level summary our investment income and spending since retiring in early 2014:

Our 6.57 years of retirement withdrawals equal 20% of our initial portfolio amount. Our portfolio is currently 32% larger than when we retired.


Nominal values. Inflation has taken 10.4% since retirement.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:57 AM   #32
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my sense is that most of us are not tracking spending meticulously, and probably do not need to as long as our investments are doing well. if I see the investments dip though, I've made adjustments to my spending accordingly without enduring much pain.

I think this is why the 4% rule is so valuable to me bc we are not machines and anyone with sense will make course adjustments as needed.
I still track by category0 I think it's interesting and it lets me see what I need for basic expenses (food, mortgage, utilities) vs, "wants" so I know how much I can cut back if needed.

My simplistic metric: in the 6 years since I've retired, net worth has gone up by an average of 3%/year after withdrawals. That tells me my spending is sustainable.
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:19 PM   #33
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A very high level summary our investment income and spending since retiring in early 2014:

Our 6.57 years of retirement withdrawals equal 20% of our initial portfolio amount. Our portfolio is currently 32% larger than when we retired.


Nominal values. Inflation has taken 10.4% since retirement.
that's a good point, need to factor in inflation on my the last 3 years of retirement, which is just shy of 5%. so, I'm up only a hair on my taxable acct, but up a bit more on my retirement acct. I wonder if the previous posters normalized their numbers for inflation?
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:41 PM   #34
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that's a good point, need to factor in inflation on my the last 3 years of retirement, which is just shy of 5%. so, I'm up only a hair on my taxable acct, but up a bit more on my retirement acct. I wonder if the previous posters normalized their numbers for inflation?
I didn't. The calcs that we've been provided are only marginally useful as far as I'm concerned, so I wasn't going to extra effort to factor in inflation. The market has done well, my spending has been under my target, and inflation has been low during my retirement years, so I'm happy with my financial state.
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:55 PM   #35
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I love most of the results here. Since I'm planning on FIRE in January, I can only hope that my SORR is the same as most of you actually encountered!
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Old 08-26-2020, 02:41 PM   #36
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I didn't. The calcs that we've been provided are only marginally useful as far as I'm concerned, so I wasn't going to extra effort to factor in inflation. The market has done well, my spending has been under my target, and inflation has been low during my retirement years, so I'm happy with my financial state.
I didn't either. Not cause I'm lazy, just that I know the number wouldn't make me as happy.
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Old 08-26-2020, 03:15 PM   #37
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We have spent as much as we wanted to during our retirement, not counting inflation our stash is 40% higher than when we retired about 6 yrs ago..

I do meticulously track my spending, and our big joint spending, DW doesn't bother as much so there is about a $5K error factor. Bottom line is we are below the 4%
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Old 08-27-2020, 08:40 AM   #38
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A very high level summary our investment income and spending since retiring Jan 1, 2016:

Our 4.67 years of retirement withdrawals equal 31.3% of our initial portfolio amount. Our portfolio is currently 12.9% larger than when we retired. Invested $118,360 in home improvements - siding,windows,roof,kitchen,etc., paid off mortgage and HELOC. Only debt remaining is credit cards which are paid monthly full amount due.

Spending may be higher than others here because of confidence about some inheritance coming in the future and spending will be less now that big home improvements are complete.
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Old 08-27-2020, 09:44 AM   #39
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I think this is why the 4% rule is so valuable to me bc we are not machines and anyone with sense will make course adjustments as needed.
Hmm, I see a contradiction in that statement. To me the 4% rule is NOT valuable for the same reasons you listed: "bc we are not machines and anyone with sense will make course adjustments as needed". If the 4% was so valuable wouldn't a person blindly follow it without course adjustments?

Now I do believe the 4% rule is an important planning tool. Just like historic CPI, roof, HVAC and vehicle longevity averages, etc... are all important for PLANNING. I would think once FIREcalc, 4% rule and all other planning tools forecast success, there would only need to be occasional check ups to see if we are in the ball park. I have plenty of COA's planned if circumstances change.
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Old 08-27-2020, 01:40 PM   #40
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Hmm, I see a contradiction in that statement. To me the 4% rule is NOT valuable for the same reasons you listed: "bc we are not machines and anyone with sense will make course adjustments as needed". If the 4% was so valuable wouldn't a person blindly follow it without course adjustments?

Now I do believe the 4% rule is an important planning tool. Just like historic CPI, roof, HVAC and vehicle longevity averages, etc... are all important for PLANNING. I would think once FIREcalc, 4% rule and all other planning tools forecast success, there would only need to be occasional check ups to see if we are in the ball park. I have plenty of COA's planned if circumstances change.
hoorah BD,

I'd say we have a, I say tomayto and you say tomahto situation here. 4% rule and its corollary, 25x annual spening, is a useful planning guide. it was simple, backed by good research and certainly put a number on the wall for me to shoot at over the years as I pursued FI and retirement.

I have noticed a lot of people keep poking holes at it bc it isnt a hard and fast rule--there are plenty of exceptions where following the 4% rule blindly will lead you to the poor house: sequence risk, 30+ year draw down period being just two common fail points. So, what I am saying is dont throw the baby out with the bath water, the 4% rule is great but add a libral dash of common sense in its use.
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