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Old 08-22-2014, 05:22 PM   #1
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What would it take???

I love to ask people the question...
What (how much) would it take to walk away from employment, and feel comfortable? I know it's a wide range based on lifestyle, but give me a number and a brief explanation. To know you could pick up and go whenever you wanted!!!!
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
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It use to be the $6400.00 dollar question, then $64,000.00, now $640,000.00. How far along the road are we all to $6,400,000.00?
I just can't see myself being retired full time. I will allways want to dabble but I would guess $640,000.00 would give me a very comfortable lifestyle in Belize, along the second longest Great Barrier Reef in the world.

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Old 08-22-2014, 07:21 PM   #3
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Re: Full-timing

We met a couple in their mid-50's who were full-timing; and we asked them about early retirement, and whether it was worth the sacrifices and lifestyle adjustments they had to make.

He said that it boiled down to this: They could continue working and go camping two weeks and several weekends a year, and eat steak. Or, retire, full-time and eat hamburger.

For them, it was worth it to eat hamburger...

AARP says that a recent poll revealed that most retirees were living on about 66% of their pre-retirement income, averaging $58,000 per year, and had about $473,000 in total retirement savings (including house, cars, 401k, IRAs, etc.).

Also, most with annual budgets of $40,000 or more indicated that they were very satisfied with their retirement lifestyle; and increases in expenditures above this amount only provided incrementally more satisfaction.

See AARP article at this link: Retirees Living Comfortably on Less, Survey Shows – AARP

After my wife and I reached 60, we often asked retired people how they knew when it was time to retire; and they just said "You'll know...", which wasn't much help. Then, I was laid off in 2011 at age 63.5 and couldn't find a job. Our house, car, TV and Airstream were all paid off; there was sufficient funds in our 401k's; and we didn't have any credit card debt or other loans. We looked at each other and said, "It's time". They were right!
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:00 PM   #4
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We reached that place last Feb. one thing left to do is sell the house.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #5
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The numbers seem soooo low. Healthcare, taxes, repairs etc etc etc???
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
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It can be done but you aren't going to have full hookups every night.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:54 PM   #7
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See Mr. Money Mustache for an interesting perspective:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/...or-retirement/

He and his family live fabulously well on under $25K a year.

Poppy
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mwilliamsmd View Post
The numbers seem soooo low. Healthcare, taxes, repairs etc etc etc???
Hate to make a political comment - but the day has come where for many people being on Medicare is better than having insurance through an employer.
Our very small company tried to keep group rates, but five employees nearing retirement age plus two younger ones with a history of serious health problems... the Obamacare premiums shot up 50% and the coverage.... well ever see a $2500 deductible? We could have encouraged every employee to have a pre-tax medical savings account... but with a small company our personnel department wasn't big enough to administer such a plan.

A married couple retiring on $50-$60k especially with some money from social security and Roth IRA's ... taxes probably go way down from the "earning years."

PLUS if you're a full timer, you can choose your state of residency. How many people are tax refugees from Taxachusetts, the Big Apple or Californication?

Paula
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:32 PM   #9
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Paula, I am glad that you didn't want to make a political statement.

What would it take? That is a very difficult question. I don't think it ever comes down to just the numbers. Everyone comes to their early 60's or late 50's with a different set of expectations. You simply cannot find an easy formula. It will be different for everyone.

For us it was rather simple. We needed to pay off ALL our bills. We needed to cover health care costs until we hit medicare age. We needed to agree on what we wanted to do those first 10 years we were retired.

We had planned well enough ahead to put away enough money to provide for our "fun" activities. Our retirements and social security would cover our basic needs. 5 years in and it is working for us. We both liked our jobs right up until the end but realized that our lives were not tied to the work we did. The reality of work is that it keeps us active but once we decide to leave, there will be another person in our spots to take over. Connect with your lives and not your work and retirement will come easier.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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I am just beginning the exploration of this equation. I feel quite under-prepared...but after a meeting with a new (my first) financial adviser, I have found (I'm still trying to wrap my head around it) that I am in an arena of a 99% achievable lifestyle for my goals. Mind you, I am a hamburger kind of person, but I was shocked at even the worst case scenario.
I have a few years before trigger pull, and a few financial jobs to get handled before "R day", and maybe there will be adjustments in the plan, but It apparently can be done much more easily than I thought.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:14 AM   #11
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Paula, I am glad that you didn't want to make a political statement.
This forum is a place for friendships, all things Airstream and helpful civil conversations. I'm sorry I brought up Obama Care. It hurts my heart to know that our small business simply cannot take care of employees any longer.

I can't write anything else on this topic unless I go into a 10,000 word diatribe. I no longer think Nixon was the worst president we ever had. I'm done.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:58 AM   #12
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Even a SWAG here will be meaningless. As you point out your lifestyle requirements will vary from mine. But what about all the other variables that will critically determine your "right" number? Are you married? Do you have kids still in school? Will you pay for their college? How many years will they be attending? What current liabilities are you carrying? Do you have any significant health issues? Perhaps most importantly how many years do you (and your spouse) have left to live? This list goes on and on.

Nevertheless, my meaningless SWAG is $2,000,000.
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:14 AM   #13
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Great discussion so far. I agree the biggest factors are - are you still covering a mortgage, still supporting children etc. I usually approach it from, the mortgage is done and the kids are self sufficient. Meaning it's my wife and me. When you throw in large extraneous expenses all bets are off.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:13 PM   #14
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My wife and I answered this question for ourselves earlier this year. And I just wrote about why we were selling everything to buy an Airstream, and part of that is not waiting for some future date: Why we are selling it all to live our dreams | Bold & Adventurous

I have always done one thing, SPEND LESS THAN WE EARN. As our income has grown over the past several years, our lifestyle has barely inflated from where we started.

We determined we could live on $2500 a month comfortable, full-time while raising children. We would still be able to save a large portion of cash each month too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John-aka-Poppy View Post
See Mr. Money Mustache for an interesting perspective:

The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?”

He and his family live fabulously well on under $25K a year.

Poppy
I love that you mentioned Mr. Money Mustache, have been following him for the past three years. He convinced me to sell my Audi and start riding my bicycle to work.

I have also read these:

How I live on $7,000 per year
» How I live on $7,000 per year Early Retirement Extreme: — a combination of simple living, anticonsumerism, DIY ethics, self-reliance, and applied capitalism

The Secret to Living Well on $11,000 a Year - US News

Living on $12,000 a year

For myself, being 32, I am not too concerned with retirement. I actually plan on never retiring in the traditional sense. That is working a zillion years so you can ride out the rest of your life till death hoping you don't run out of money before you die.

I know so many family members who are hoping to die before they run out of money. I never got that. And thanks to recent changes in our nation and their health coverages, are all the more worried about their lifestyles. And worried daily about affording things.

My retirement plan was and has been simple. It's called residual income in the form of investments and rental real estate properties. Retirement accounts, 401K's and IRA's usually don't do well with inflation. But rent adjusts with inflation. And land is the one thing they aren't making anymore.

In the mean time, I work as an entrepreneur taking projects here and there that pay out more than trading my hours for dollars and give me greater flexibility with my time. We could be enjoying a much higher life style. Most of my colleagues ride around in 80K cars.

But they can't seem to wrap their heads around how we just up and bought an Airstream or paid cash for a truck. Maybe it has something to do with not buying $4 Starbucks every day.

When we go full time the biggest hit to us will be how much we are presently saving away. But that's fine. We're ok with reduced savings.

BTW, I've used my own 50/35/15 plan for some time.

We save 50 percent of our income. (a portion is saved and invested)
35 percent is all our fixed and budgeted expenses.
15 percent is our fun money. If we don't spend it, it rolls over to the next month.

But I will say this, sometimes worrying to much about how you're going to make it, will just keep you trapped inside your comfort zone and false illusion of security. Sometimes you've got to take a risk to get a big reward.

A few points that apply to us that might help you relate or understand my position. We are traditionalist. So people think we're weird. We have joint accounts, everything is "ours" in our household. Money is ours, income is ours. Truck is ours, Airstream "ours". I pretty much disagree with the vast majority of people on how much "stuff" you think kids need. We plan to home school. We live simply. We're minimalist. We don't have cable TV. We read books. We don't eat the standard american diet of crap food. I'll buy a $500 pair of boots over your $30 walmart boots if they'll last 10yrs.
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