Author Topic: What are my unknown unknowns?  (Read 1663 times)

datu925

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What are my unknown unknowns?
« on: February 13, 2017, 07:38:59 PM »
I'm a long-time reader of MMM and have plucked much of his low-hanging fruit. My savings rate is about 66%, and my earliest FIRE date is in 5-6 years when I'm 33-34, though I intend to keep earning for a few years after that to provide some extra safety and perhaps live a lusher lifestyle. While I have some expenses and opportunities that I can (and do) keep working on, I mostly feel like the goal is now to stay the course and build the stash for the next 5-6 years.

Now I'm trying to figure out what I should be thinking about next. I'm reminded of Rumsfeld's quote about unknown unknowns. I know about certain things that I should be planning for, but there's a whole set of concerns, worries, dreams, etc. that will come along as I'm building my stash, and then when I'm retired, that I am not yet aware of.

So: what big-picture advice do people have for young 'uns who have their shit relatively together? What should I be thinking about over the next 5-6 years as I build my stash? For those who are currently retired (early or otherwise), what do you wish you'd thought about when you were in my position? What sorts of FIRE life challenges could I get a head start on?

I started writing this a case study and then decided that it was more of a general question, so I've tried to avoid too many numbers/specifics. But I'm open to feedback that it's too general or belongs in the Case Study forum.

Retire-Canada

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Re: What are my unknown unknowns?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 10:34:48 PM »
What are you going to do with your life when you no longer need to work for money?

Travis

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Re: What are my unknown unknowns?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2017, 02:41:53 AM »
Make sure you fully understand your post-FIRE tax situation and specifically how you intend to draw down your 'stache.  For me it's a "known unknown," but I imagine a number of folks on glidepath to FIRE don't know how to access the money once they've won the game and haven't even thought about it.  Figuring that out the day you need the cash is probably too late.

marty998

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Re: What are my unknown unknowns?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 03:01:31 AM »
Wife/kids/family

And be aware that you might be bringing a disproportionately high amount of assets into a future marriage.

I expect on the balance of probabilities for me that a pre-nup discussion may be on the cards.

Mr Mark

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Re: What are my unknown unknowns?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 04:44:15 AM »
Wife/kids/family

And be aware that you might be bringing a disproportionately high amount of assets into a future marriage.

I expect on the balance of probabilities for me that a pre-nup discussion may be on the cards.

+1 wrt "unknown unknowns"

... you might be bringing losing a disproportionately high amount of assets into a future marriage divorce

erutio

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Re: What are my unknown unknowns?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 05:36:12 AM »
To piggy back off of mattdamon above, the biggest unknown will be health insurance.  We will not know how much it will cost for you if you are RE in 5 years. 

Mr. Green

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Re: What are my unknown unknowns?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 07:27:38 AM »
Your unknown unknowns are....unknown. One could drive himself crazy trying to think about all the possibilities that would require extensive financial support. A kid with a learning disability, an injury that leads to a change in life quality, the list goes on forever. At a certain point you have to let those things go and know that it's impossible to plan for everything. I accepted that I had to money to cover all the probable things, and if the improbable happened then so be it. Otherwise I'd work until I died trying to ensure I had enough money to cover every high cost scenario I could think of.