Author Topic: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire  (Read 10082 times)

NumberCruncher

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I read the DC Urban Mom (DCUM) money & finance forum now and then.

This one was great: http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/491795.page

The OP has a completely reasonable plan (or at least feasible, it's a little light on the details):

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I hate working. I'm 40 now and from the first day of my full time job (which is actually an interesting career) I have hated being on someone else's clock. So in three years, DH and I are projecting to have 700k in the bank. We want to build our dream house in N Carolina, near our family, and raise our son there. He will have a pension of 4k per month. We have no debt or car payments, and I think I can cut our fixed monthly expenses to 1k/mo (ie all insurances, cell phones, Internet, cable, property tax). Our child will just be starting k at an excellent public school system. Can we basically retire if we have 3k disposable income coming in and that's it?

The majority of the responses?

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Kidding. But you are sweet.

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A nice dream, but it's just that. A dream.

Be realistic and get a job that you like more.

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Aw, this is cute.

Dream on girl. Dream on.


randommadness

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2015, 07:35:15 AM »
Need someone to go in there and post a list of FIRE blogs!

Pooperman

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 07:38:48 AM »
Hmm, 4k/month pension = instaFIRE for my family (we'd be able to save about 1k/month or so after taxes IN RETIREMENT!!). 750k on top of that? Dat gravy train keeps on chuggin'.

NumberCruncher

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2015, 07:50:27 AM »
Need someone to go in there and post a list of FIRE blogs!

Someone already did before I got there! :D

Some of the responses were also more constructively critical (OP later talks about wanting to use most of that $700k on building their dream house in a good neighborhood), which, you know, maybe not the best idea.

Yet so many people - first reaction? "IMPOSSIBLE!" No discussion needed, obviously, on this fairy tail dream. ;)

Guses

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 12:15:24 PM »
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Say I'm wrong about the $3k and it's really $4k and she's got a clean $1,5k a month to save - so let's say she puts $500 into 529, and $1,000 into her emergency funds. Water heater broke, she's out $4k. Now say 3 months later she needs a new car because her old one died or was totaled. Say she buys a beater for $10k; ten months of her savings are wiped out. Say that year the AC needed repair too. $2k. Say little Timmy needed braces or really wanted to go to some camp, and suddenly you are in a position where your emergency fund is declining... And in my experience there's always going to be a little something that pops up. A small steak of bad luck - hardly a 2 sigma event - and she's killed the bulk of her emergency fund.
 

This is my favorite part.

I wish I had a 10$K "beater" and a 4$K water heater. Sadly, my last one only cost 400$. I will let you figure out which for yourselves.

irishbear99

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 12:18:48 PM »
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Say I'm wrong about the $3k and it's really $4k and she's got a clean $1,5k a month to save - so let's say she puts $500 into 529, and $1,000 into her emergency funds. Water heater broke, she's out $4k. Now say 3 months later she needs a new car because her old one died or was totaled. Say she buys a beater for $10k; ten months of her savings are wiped out. Say that year the AC needed repair too. $2k. Say little Timmy needed braces or really wanted to go to some camp, and suddenly you are in a position where your emergency fund is declining... And in my experience there's always going to be a little something that pops up. A small steak of bad luck - hardly a 2 sigma event - and she's killed the bulk of her emergency fund.
 

This is my favorite part.

I wish I had a 10$K "beater" and a 4$K water heater. Sadly, my last one only cost 400$. I will let you figure out which for yourselves.

Where in the world is this person buying water heaters? I recently priced them at home depot and found them in the reasonable $500-$700 range. Even with installation, how do you hit $4k?

jinga nation

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 12:25:26 PM »
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Say I'm wrong about the $3k and it's really $4k and she's got a clean $1,5k a month to save - so let's say she puts $500 into 529, and $1,000 into her emergency funds. Water heater broke, she's out $4k. Now say 3 months later she needs a new car because her old one died or was totaled. Say she buys a beater for $10k; ten months of her savings are wiped out. Say that year the AC needed repair too. $2k. Say little Timmy needed braces or really wanted to go to some camp, and suddenly you are in a position where your emergency fund is declining... And in my experience there's always going to be a little something that pops up. A small steak of bad luck - hardly a 2 sigma event - and she's killed the bulk of her emergency fund.
 

This is my favorite part.

I wish I had a 10$K "beater" and a 4$K water heater. Sadly, my last one only cost 400$. I will let you figure out which for yourselves.

Where in the world is this person buying water heaters? I recently priced them at home depot and found them in the reasonable $500-$700 range. Even with installation, how do you hit $4k?

Probably a tankless gas-fired water heater... I was quoted $3500 incl. installation recently. I went with a $550 tank from Home Depot.
Signature worthless. I'm worth more dead than alive. Wife and kids will collect. Or Uncle Sam will, you can rely on Him.

Basenji

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 12:26:34 PM »
Well crud, I sure hope $4k pension and $700k investments is good enough because that's almost exactly our plan! Someone go bring that lady over here so we can zap her mind with da MMM propaganda.

zephyr911

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 12:33:44 PM »
I would never work long enough to hit that point. It's so far beyond what we need... $700K would do us even with NO pension, and vice versa.
Semi-FIREd December 2017, part-time entrepreneur, lover of puppies and saltwater.

Basenji

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2015, 12:40:02 PM »
I would never work long enough to hit that point. It's so far beyond what we need... $700K would do us even with NO pension, and vice versa.

As I pushed post, I knew someone would say that. We could FIRE today if we moved to a lower mortgage house. But we don't wanna yet. Anyhoo, my point was, yes, the lady has enough.

zephyr911

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2015, 12:57:48 PM »
I would never work long enough to hit that point. It's so far beyond what we need... $700K would do us even with NO pension, and vice versa.

As I pushed post, I knew someone would say that. We could FIRE today if we moved to a lower mortgage house. But we don't wanna yet. Anyhoo, my point was, yes, the lady has enough.
She sho' nuff does. Somewhere between $500k and $700k, we'll both go part-time, which will net us about the same as his pension, and we'll live on our wages while the Stash compounds for a few more years. It shouldn't take long for work to become 100% optional. And that is the super-conservative, risk-averse, massive-margin-of-safety scenario.
The bottom line for this gal is, the answer is ENTIRELY in her and her DH's hands.
Semi-FIREd December 2017, part-time entrepreneur, lover of puppies and saltwater.

Giro

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2015, 01:15:15 PM »
But if she's building a $700k house, that's a different story.  Her expenses just went up dramatically and she wiped out the whole of her retirement account.

I do need my DH to read this because our pension and retirement accounts are larger right now and he wants us both to keep working.  WHY OH WHY!  wahhhhhh.....complainy...

Basenji

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2015, 02:06:28 PM »
But if she's building a $700k house, that's a different story.  Her expenses just went up dramatically and she wiped out the whole of her retirement account.

I do need my DH to read this because our pension and retirement accounts are larger right now and he wants us both to keep working.  WHY OH WHY!  wahhhhhh.....complainy...

Yeah well building a house...but with 0 mortgage the $4k pension still would do fine.

onehair

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2015, 07:51:50 AM »
I was struck by the one  possibly having to spend 2-2.4k a month on childcare if her hubby takes a new higher paying job.  I expect as I read more I will fall out of my chair in shock....



JR

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2015, 08:29:10 AM »
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Say I'm wrong about the $3k and it's really $4k and she's got a clean $1,5k a month to save - so let's say she puts $500 into 529, and $1,000 into her emergency funds. Water heater broke, she's out $4k. Now say 3 months later she needs a new car because her old one died or was totaled. Say she buys a beater for $10k; ten months of her savings are wiped out. Say that year the AC needed repair too. $2k. Say little Timmy needed braces or really wanted to go to some camp, and suddenly you are in a position where your emergency fund is declining... And in my experience there's always going to be a little something that pops up. A small steak of bad luck - hardly a 2 sigma event - and she's killed the bulk of her emergency fund.
 

This is my favorite part.

I wish I had a 10$K "beater" and a 4$K water heater. Sadly, my last one only cost 400$. I will let you figure out which for yourselves.

Some people are just so disconnected from reality. I received several quotes to install a new Bradford White water heater (our current Bradford White water heater is 22 years old) and all of them were under $1,500 turn key. And we bought a 2007 Honda Fit for my wife two years ago that at the time had 60k miles, new tires, new rotors/pads, and a stack of PM service records as thick as a phone book for $9,000. Though the poster in question would probably think a used Honda Fit is a "beater" car.

randommadness

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2015, 02:59:24 PM »
Need someone to go in there and post a list of FIRE blogs!

Someone already did before I got there! :D

Some of the responses were also more constructively critical (OP later talks about wanting to use most of that $700k on building their dream house in a good neighborhood), which, you know, maybe not the best idea.

Yet so many people - first reaction? "IMPOSSIBLE!" No discussion needed, obviously, on this fairy tail dream. ;)

Yeah I threw something up there, maybe that was me. :P

randommadness

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 03:03:09 PM »


Some people are just so disconnected from reality. I received several quotes to install a new Bradford White water heater (our current Bradford White water heater is 22 years old) and all of them were under $1,500 turn key. And we bought a 2007 Honda Fit for my wife two years ago that at the time had 60k miles, new tires, new rotors/pads, and a stack of PM service records as thick as a phone book for $9,000. Though the poster in question would probably think a used Honda Fit is a "beater" car.

I love my paid off 2007 Honda Fit!

MishMash

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2015, 08:53:13 AM »
Quote
Say I'm wrong about the $3k and it's really $4k and she's got a clean $1,5k a month to save - so let's say she puts $500 into 529, and $1,000 into her emergency funds. Water heater broke, she's out $4k. Now say 3 months later she needs a new car because her old one died or was totaled. Say she buys a beater for $10k; ten months of her savings are wiped out. Say that year the AC needed repair too. $2k. Say little Timmy needed braces or really wanted to go to some camp, and suddenly you are in a position where your emergency fund is declining... And in my experience there's always going to be a little something that pops up. A small steak of bad luck - hardly a 2 sigma event - and she's killed the bulk of her emergency fund.
 

I've sadly replaced TWO water heaters in the past 30 days, one in the rental and one in the primary, they both went out at the same time, with the same exact issue...weirdness (one's in CO, one in DC).  CO one came to 1500 turn key, with them drying out and treating the sopping wet carpet.  DC house was 1100 fully installed with a line modification, all paid by the home warranty that came with the house when we bought it. 

dividend

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2015, 10:04:11 AM »


Some people are just so disconnected from reality. I received several quotes to install a new Bradford White water heater (our current Bradford White water heater is 22 years old) and all of them were under $1,500 turn key. And we bought a 2007 Honda Fit for my wife two years ago that at the time had 60k miles, new tires, new rotors/pads, and a stack of PM service records as thick as a phone book for $9,000. Though the poster in question would probably think a used Honda Fit is a "beater" car.

I love my paid off 2007 Honda Fit!

Me too! 

robotclown

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2015, 11:04:33 AM »
These comments actually hurt my brain.

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Since your only reason boils down to, "I don't wanna work anymore!" (Join the club, sister), I'd forget this extraordinarily selfish plan and continue working until you hit a realistic number.
Retiring = selfish.  Ok then.

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Start to live on 4k a month now. You will 1. save more money and 2. see if you can do it.
Comments like this one show up a lot, and it's absolutely bizarre to me.  There's tons of people who don't even MAKE 4k a month.  Obviously it can be done.  The median household income in the US is around 48k, which means half the people in the country are doing this impossible task.


lisahi

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2015, 12:49:49 PM »
I'm boggled by the idea that a family can't live on $4,000 take-home each month, especially if the family has no mortgage, debt, or car payments. What could they possibly spend it all on? If the parents are retired, there's no child care (same if the child goes to public school, except for school supplies expenses and, perhaps, sports or activity expenses). Are they eating $2000 worth of groceries? Going out every night? Do they have the biggest cable TV plan known to man? The highest cell phone plan with unlimited data and texts, all on brand-new iPhone 6s, connected to their brand-new Apple watches? Are they buying a new outfit every day and tossing it once it's worn? Did they buy their home in a mega-high property tax area?

Seriously, with no debt, it's kind of hard to spend $4,000 per month on other living expenses unless you really try to be a spendy.

Now, I get that she wants to buy a new house in a great neighborhood. My guess is that is coming out of her $700K expenses. If they don't mortgage the property and simply pay with cash, they are left in the same situation, with only utilities and property taxes as their monthly home expenses. Normal living would allow them to SAVE money every month, and so any emergency could be taken care of with the $1-$2K they are saving per month.

If I didn't have my mortgage, I would be flush with cash if I had $4k take-home. With my mortgage, I would still be flush with cash if I had $4k take-home.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2015, 12:51:48 PM by lisahi »

beltim

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2015, 12:58:40 PM »
These comments actually hurt my brain.
Quote
Start to live on 4k a month now. You will 1. save more money and 2. see if you can do it.
Comments like this one show up a lot, and it's absolutely bizarre to me.  There's tons of people who don't even MAKE 4k a month.  Obviously it can be done.  The median household income in the US is around 48k, which means half the people in the country are doing this impossible task.

You have to consider the source.  In a county where 85% of households make more than 50k, and the median income is over $110k, the residents can lose perspective on how much things cost.
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/demogrph/demrpts/report/fullrpt.pdf  Tables 2.7 and 2.8

That doesn't change the fact that they're wrong, that the OP was planning to move to a much lower cost of living area, and drastic reductions in taxes and housing expenses makes the money go much farther.  I'm just trying to explain the context of their being wrong.

Purple Economist

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2015, 12:59:21 PM »
These comments actually hurt my brain.

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Since your only reason boils down to, "I don't wanna work anymore!" (Join the club, sister), I'd forget this extraordinarily selfish plan and continue working until you hit a realistic number.
Retiring = selfish.  Ok then.

Quote
Start to live on 4k a month now. You will 1. save more money and 2. see if you can do it.
Comments like this one show up a lot, and it's absolutely bizarre to me.  There's tons of people who don't even MAKE 4k a month.  Obviously it can be done.  The median household income in the US is around 48k, which means half the people in the country are doing this impossible task.

Except a lot of people making $48K or less per year aren't living on $4K or less per month.

bagap

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2015, 05:49:38 PM »
These comments actually hurt my brain.
Quote
Start to live on 4k a month now. You will 1. save more money and 2. see if you can do it.
Comments like this one show up a lot, and it's absolutely bizarre to me.  There's tons of people who don't even MAKE 4k a month.  Obviously it can be done.  The median household income in the US is around 48k, which means half the people in the country are doing this impossible task.

You have to consider the source.  In a county where 85% of households make more than 50k, and the median income is over $110k, the residents can lose perspective on how much things cost.
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/demogrph/demrpts/report/fullrpt.pdf  Tables 2.7 and 2.8

That doesn't change the fact that they're wrong
, that the OP was planning to move to a much lower cost of living area, and drastic reductions in taxes and housing expenses makes the money go much farther.  I'm just trying to explain the context of their being wrong.

Exactly, well put.  Just because lifestyle inflation can easily burn up above-average household incomes, doesn't mean conscientious spending habits can't provide a great quality of life on what's essentially an average household income.

onehair

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2015, 10:52:40 AM »
I think I could live comfortably on about half of that but I wouldn't turn down the extra 2k.  I am curious exactly how much house do you get for $700000?  At least 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths I would hope? A kick butt kitchen and garage?



EricP

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2015, 11:13:33 AM »
I think I could live comfortably on about half of that but I wouldn't turn down the extra 2k.  I am curious exactly how much house do you get for $700000?  At least 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths I would hope? A kick butt kitchen and garage?

In DC or in the LCOL area that she is planning to move to?  If it's DC it depends on the location, but in some places no $700K wouldn't get you a 4/3.

Pooperman

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2015, 11:21:08 AM »
I think I could live comfortably on about half of that but I wouldn't turn down the extra 2k.  I am curious exactly how much house do you get for $700000?  At least 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths I would hope? A kick butt kitchen and garage?

In DC or in the LCOL area that she is planning to move to?  If it's DC it depends on the location, but in some places no $700K wouldn't get you a 4/3.

Build dream house in NC. So figure $50k for the land (it's less, but lets say it's an awesome piece of land). Typical houses are about ~$75/sqft to build... so gold-plated, 6 car garage mansion?

Lanthiriel

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2015, 11:48:27 AM »
Quote
Say I'm wrong about the $3k and it's really $4k and she's got a clean $1,5k a month to save - so let's say she puts $500 into 529, and $1,000 into her emergency funds. Water heater broke, she's out $4k. Now say 3 months later she needs a new car because her old one died or was totaled. Say she buys a beater for $10k; ten months of her savings are wiped out. Say that year the AC needed repair too. $2k. Say little Timmy needed braces or really wanted to go to some camp, and suddenly you are in a position where your emergency fund is declining... And in my experience there's always going to be a little something that pops up. A small steak of bad luck - hardly a 2 sigma event - and she's killed the bulk of her emergency fund.
 

This is my favorite part.

I wish I had a 10$K "beater" and a 4$K water heater. Sadly, my last one only cost 400$. I will let you figure out which for yourselves.

Where in the world is this person buying water heaters? I recently priced them at home depot and found them in the reasonable $500-$700 range. Even with installation, how do you hit $4k?

Probably a tankless gas-fired water heater... I was quoted $3500 incl. installation recently. I went with a $550 tank from Home Depot.

*Raises hand* I have someone coming next week to install a side-arm hot water heater on my boiler and rewire the whole system as cold-fired. It's costing me $3500, and I'm really hoping that it pays off in the long run. I'm doing it mostly because I hate, hate, hate it in the spring and fall when it's about 40 degrees out, so I need my heat running, but the boiler's running at 180 degrees, so my garage is practically on fire. Apparently this is partially due to the fact that my cast iron boiler is about double the size it needs to be for my house, but that thing is a tank, so I'm not too keen on replacing it...

Krnten

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2015, 07:59:46 PM »
I really wish I could un-learn about DCUM.  I just wasted several hours over the last few days being horrified by the ridiculosity. Thanks MMM forums :-(

onehair

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2015, 10:43:10 AM »
While casually scanning some of their pages I noticed someone asking about how to help their mother after she retires or if she stops working.  I was dumbstruck by the opinion given that maybe the older lady should apply for a reverse mortgage.

http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/491000.page

I think I got the link wrong if so I apologize but I was also leery of suggesting the woman look into annuities since I do know they're not always all they're cracked up to be...




FatCat

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2015, 12:04:48 PM »
I don't get it. Do these people not know what most people live on? Most of the couples I know make less than $4k per month. That's plenty to live on. And that's not even counting the $700k.

bagap

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Re: DCUM - $4,000 /mo pension + $700k NW is no where near enough to retire
« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2015, 12:30:34 AM »
I really wish I could un-learn about DCUM.  I just wasted several hours over the last few days being horrified by the ridiculosity. Thanks MMM forums :-(

This pretty much sums up the life of most of my in-laws...two income households, making a shit ton of money but somehow spending even more, never-ending social media postings about vacations, pricey concerts and brand name EVERYTHING.  And all the while griping about taxes, their inherent unfairness, and how expensive living a "normal" life can be...

 *head explodes*