Author Topic: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?  (Read 2833 times)

Aki

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Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« on: November 01, 2016, 07:32:10 PM »
DH & I are 47/46 years old, no kids or debt and house is paid off.  We split pretty much everything and have always kept our finances separate.  My numbers are:

401(k) = $611,383
457 = $246,166
Roth IRA = $139,100
VTSMX (taxable) = $45,782
American Funds (taxable) = $70,000
Wellesley/Wellington Funds (taxable) = $44,114
Cash: $3,000

DHs total assets are similar.  Last year was the first year I tracked everything I spent and it came to just over $20,000.   

Id like to leave my full-time state government job in the near future (I feel like I'm late for retiring early!) and maybe do something different down the road, part-time, but Im not sure exactly what; Im currently burnt out and tired of office politics and want to spend more time with family.  DH has his own business and will continue with that for at least a few years.  Well lose good health insurance benefits when I leave and a quick search shows a silver ACA plan would cost us at least $750 a month.  My biggest concern about leaving is making sure I can pay my bills, which currently dont include health insurance costs.  My car is getting up there is years/miles, too.  Is FIRE feasible based on above numbers?  (Ill continue to max out on 401/457 til I leave.)  Im also wondering about the most tax-efficient way to access the money.  Thanks in advance.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 08:16:58 PM »
Just a quick run of the numbers shows you should be able to safely pull roughly twice the amount of money you need each year from your investments, for as long as you live.

terran

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 08:19:30 PM »
By my math you've got a stash of just under $1.16 million, projected spending of $29000 ($20k plus $750/month health insurance). Worst case if we call your tax liability what you would pay as a single filer, and all your income is taxable you'd be looking at $3k in taxes, so call it $32k before tax giving you a 2.76% withdrawal rate, so I'd say you're FIREd a few times over at this point.

Since presumably you'll split the cost of health insurance with your husband (and it will be deductible if your husband keeps working for himself), and only traditional account withdrawals (401k and 457) will be fully taxable the picture gets even rosier.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 08:22:10 PM by terran »

marty998

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2016, 01:13:40 AM »
I'm impressed at your 401k balance.

Assuming your contribution limit is 18,000 per year... and correct me if I'm wrong but it hasn't been that high for all of the last 3 decades, then you have put away close to the max + had significant investment returns as well for most of your working life?

Well done!

Aki

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2016, 05:36:28 AM »
Thanks for the reassurance Metric Mouse & terran.  I'll split health insurance costs with DH; I didn't know it could be deducted.  I've got lots to learn about taxes!

Thanks also marty998: I started contributing about 10% to 401k in 1998 and maxing out a few years after that.  I didn't realize my employer offered a 457 (or even knew what a 457 was) until sometime in mid-2000.  I've been fortunate to have access to such plans.   

terran

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2016, 11:44:23 AM »
I'll split health insurance costs with DH; I didn't know it could be deducted.  I've got lots to learn about taxes!

Only because your husband is self employed. Normally it can't.

zephyr911

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2016, 12:35:40 PM »
I have to ask about two potential game-changers.

Id like to leave my full-time state government job
Are you eligible for any kind of pension, now or down the road, if you leave now?
Quote
maybe do something different down the road, part-time, but Im not sure exactly what
This figures big in my plan. Even a small amount of employment income can replace a huge amount of Stash requirement. So, think about what that might be for you, if you're already entertaining the idea. Look at some possible options and figure out the feasibility and likely income.

Aki

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2016, 11:30:45 PM »
This looks pretty safe for you to retire given your individual expenses, but you really should merge your finances with your husband in order to make sure.  If he is continuing to work, how does he feel about you retiring?  Given his current level of assets and his spending, do you still have a 4% SWR?  These are questions you can only answer when you combine finances.  If you retire and you can't pay your bills, is he going to evict you?  I just don't understand keeping finances separate in a marriage.

I can't imagine doing it any other way.  (We've been married almost 20 years.)  He's totally supportive of my FIRE goal and I don't think he'll evict me if I can't pay my share--although I better double check.  : )   

Aki

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Re: Case Study: Is FIRE feasible?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2016, 11:49:31 PM »
I have to ask about two potential game-changers.

Id like to leave my full-time state government job
Are you eligible for any kind of pension, now or down the road, if you leave now?
Quote
maybe do something different down the road, part-time, but Im not sure exactly what
This figures big in my plan. Even a small amount of employment income can replace a huge amount of Stash requirement. So, think about what that might be for you, if you're already entertaining the idea. Look at some possible options and figure out the feasibility and likely income.

No pension now or down the road.  I was hired right after the state changed to defined contribution plans.

Good point about PT work and it's part of my plan, too...I'm just not sure what it'll be.  Hopefully I'll figure it out before leaving FT work.  Thanks!