Author Topic: Ham  (Read 23729 times)

Wile E. Coyote

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #50 on: April 13, 2014, 09:57:58 AM »
"According to Mint, we reached that in August 2013, but that includes a large amount in home equity.

I had very little when I met my wife in 2004 after having left the rat race to start a business.  The business was not successful and I wound it down at the end of that year.  My wife had been very successful in her career and managed to save a good amount.  I went back to work in 2005, so we both had good incomes and were relatively frugal with our living expenses.  When we married in 2006, I had a small amount of student loan debt and very little else, so my net worth was probably only slightly positive, but my wife had about $50K in equity in her house, $175K in retirement accounts, and $130K in savings/taxable investments.

In early 2008, my wife left her job so that we could start a family.  We have been pretty good about saving, but have a very unmustachian home.  We max out my 401(k), but much of our excess cash has gone into paying down our mortgage a lot in order to get below the conforming limit and reduce our interest rate to 2.75%.  As of August 2013, we had about $370K in equity in our home (far too much, I know), $520K in retirement accounts,  $110K in cash/taxable investment accounts. 

The moral of the story, marrying well helps a lot!:)

BlueHouse

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #51 on: April 13, 2014, 11:01:37 AM »
About 2 months ago, age 46.
Achieved by recent good fortune because other than spending less than I earn and not carrying credit card debt, I am a big spendypants!
Started a solo business 5 years ago, meaning my income went up considerably.  -- I also spent a lot more and bought an expensive house in an expensive COL neighborhood, so I think I could have been FI now had I not bought the house.  NW jumps occurred at 3 points in my life - each time I bought a house.
The biggest savings factor for me is being able to stash 50K/year in a solo 401k for the past 5 years.  Good thing I'm already "old", otherwise I'd be saving all that money without being able to touch it for years!  :)
I don't have enough cash or liquid to retire anytime soon.  All of my "wealth" is tied up in real estate and tax-deferred funds. 


dude

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #52 on: April 14, 2014, 07:58:36 AM »
Why a million?  Because that number still captivates many of us psychologically.  The term "millionaire," while not what it was in Rockefeller's day, is still rarefied air.  That being said, having $1M in invested assets was my goal for a long time.  It was only after finding MMM and similar websites that I realized I didn't have to get there to become FIRE.  So now my goal, in order to cease working 5 years hence, is @$800,000. I'm a good ways past half of that right now (I also have a pension that will provide the equivalent of what a 4% SWR on a $1.4M portfolio would provide annually -- for which I never cease counting my blessings, believe me).

Started working @16 years ago at a pretty meager (for my profession) salary of @$38K.  Contributed up to the matching amount to my 401k right away (6%), then upped that contribution steadily as I climbed the income ladder, eventually to @$140K.  Hit the annual contribution max about 10 years ago.  Barring any major market setbacks, I should comfortably hit the $800K mark in 5 years (max + match + catch up contributions = @$30k/year being invested).

If I'd stuck to the original plan to retire in 12 more years, I'd easily hit the million-plus mark (again, barring another 1929 or 2008), but I no longer wish to stay in the work force long enough to make that happen. Though because I plan to withdraw less than 2% annually from my account for the first 7 or so years I'm FIRE'd, there is a good chance I will hit the million-plus mark in retirement.

I can't say I've been very frugal or stayed clear of debt, or was Mustachian all along, but I did learn valuable lessons early in my career about spending more than I earned when I racked up some credit card debt.  Also had (have) student loan debt, and a fairly significant mortgage.  But after taking a stand years ago and dumping the credit card debt, the other debts have been managable and reasonable, and I've managed to have a high savings rate simultaneously (@46%). For sure if I'd learned the way of MMM many years ago, I'd have re-thought even those debts and might even be free and clear of them today.  As it is, I'm on pace to vanquish the student loan debt by the end of this year ($23K left).  The mortgage is what it is, but we fortunately live in a very desirable, high-demand area, so the equity we are building should be lasting.

Lots of great inspiration in this thread -- that I wish I'd had 16 years ago!

NinetyFour

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #53 on: April 15, 2014, 01:48:26 PM »
I became a millionaire last year.

Ha!  Kidding!  I just wanted to see what I would feel like to say that.

Fortunately, I will need less than half of that to be FI.  And I hope to reach that within the next 6 years.

nicknageli

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #54 on: April 15, 2014, 03:24:31 PM »
This may be a bit premature, but I expect to reach $1M in the next 4 months (Age 27).

Big ol'

Bateaux

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #55 on: April 17, 2014, 03:43:03 PM »
Reaching one million was always an interim goal.  It took almost 20 years.  Lots of unexpected road blocks including health issues and recessions.  Now we are moving beyound the 1M mark and should reach 2 M in a few years.  Somewhere between 2M and 3M I will start to feel comfortable. There is no way I could sleep at night retired with only 1M.

RootofGood

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #56 on: April 17, 2014, 04:41:03 PM »
Early 2013.  Age 32.

Consistently saving 50%+ each year.  Low cost globally diversified index funds.

brewer12345

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2014, 05:23:00 PM »
Uh, probably about age 33.  Its a little fuzzy because I always considered the equity in our home to be wildly overstated so I did not pay much attention.  Nothing fancy for us.  We always saved til it hurt, maxed out 401ks, etc.  Managed a 6 figure household income since about age 27.  Of course during the crash our net worth was well under 1MM again (I think the portfolio bottomed at $4XXk).  Now retired at age 40 with a 1.5MM portfolio, although DW still pursues her small business part time.  Our investments have always been public securities (stocks and bonds), no real estate or wacky stuff.

RootofGood

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #58 on: April 17, 2014, 07:19:11 PM »
Our investments have always been public securities (stocks and bonds), no real estate or wacky stuff.

I heard you were doing some iron condors on beaver cheese futures.  Rumor has it anyway.

brewer12345

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2014, 07:21:33 PM »
Our investments have always been public securities (stocks and bonds), no real estate or wacky stuff.

I heard you were doing some iron condors on beaver cheese futures.  Rumor has it anyway.

In Venezuela beaver cheese futures are public securities.

CJMcF

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #60 on: April 18, 2014, 03:57:40 AM »
Love this thread - thanks for everyone's stories - so interesting to hear. I work in UK pounds and hit 1m when I was 43 - just through saving and working hard - no big ups or downs - but I hope to hit 2m by the end of this year with a bit of luck - when I will be 49. I'm very lucky - I like my job and am a part owner of a consulting practice so am starting to think what I want to do in the future - I want to be able to enjoy myself and be totally free from work while I am still young enough and healthy enough to fully enjoy it.

SAHD

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #61 on: April 18, 2014, 10:13:40 PM »
Reaching one million was always an interim goal.  It took almost 20 years.  Lots of unexpected road blocks including health issues and recessions.  Now we are moving beyound the 1M mark and should reach 2 M in a few years.  Somewhere between 2M and 3M I will start to feel comfortable. There is no way I could sleep at night retired with only 1M.
I reached 1m at the age of 42 now worth 2.5 at 48 (I have no debt except for my 2 rental properties).  I totally agree with the quote. I can not sleep well at night with only 1-2m in net worth, I still believe I am poor and need to scrimp and save at every opportunity.  This is one of the "bad" side effects of the MMM lifestyle , constantly looking how to save every penny make me feel poor.  Of course this is just my personality and not how everyone feels. 

JT

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #62 on: April 19, 2014, 04:27:34 AM »
Can't say reaching $1m was ever a goal of mine (grew up poor but happy and the millionaire psyche just wasn't there!!!)... so I'm delighted with my current NW of $829,000!  Will have to find a FIRE calculator...

The biggest thing that changed my non millionaire psyche was a divorce when I was a stay at home Mum and suddenly had no income and no current work history!! 

It scared the bejesus out of me but I educated myself (still educating myself), got a job, shrunk the expenses and saved, saved, saved.  The car stays in the shed, the push bike got a dusting.  My work is only 6km away.  My son's school is 700m away.

NW is made up of superannuation, property and savings. But it's the property that's caused my NW to increase.

Fortunately, I am still not feeling financially safe ....



« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 04:31:12 AM by JT »

Unique User

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #63 on: April 23, 2014, 01:49:43 PM »
Interesting to see so many in their 30s!  We were close in 2007, but then DH really wanted to buy a couple rental properties, we were unemployed for a couple years and the market (both stock and real estate) tanked.  We have recovered and should hit there next year or 2016 at latest, I'm 44.  We don't have a retirement plan other than the day the last college tuition bill is paid or funded.  She is only a 7th grader, so we'll reevaluate her senior year when we see what college costs will look like. 

DollarBill

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #64 on: April 23, 2014, 06:06:00 PM »
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)   

skyrefuge

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2014, 06:29:21 PM »
July 2013, age 36.

15 years of work as a semiconductor engineer with a ~70% savings rate investing in index funds. Pretty much the same story as MMM, without the wife and the house-building adventures. I posted a more detailed version that happens to exactly answer this question at the time, so I won't repeat it all here.

I will note that 9 months later, I'm something like a $1.14 millionaire. It's funny how that 0.14 feels like not much more ("eh, it pretty much still rounds to a million"), but that tiny fraction actually represents one hundred and forty fucking thousand dollars in the last 9 months. Yay, compounding!

DoubleDown

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #66 on: April 23, 2014, 06:54:48 PM »
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)

Well I guess that's one way of looking at it! I'm not sure they really equate (and I realize you have your tongue planted in cheek), but no doubt that pension should make a huge difference in being FI. And honestly, in some ways I think that pension is more valuable. Sure, $1 million gives you lots of leverage to do things, but with the pension you never have to engage in all the hand wringing here over your 4% vs. 3.572% SWR, or the proper asset allocation and if you have too much risk in stocks, and how well your portfolio will survive certain market conditions or inflation, and on and on. Those checks just keep coming forever!

MMMdude

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #67 on: April 23, 2014, 08:22:21 PM »
If we are talking networth, then I reached that milestone approximately September of last  year at age of 38.  Paid off house worth about 400k and then rest in liquid assets.  Liquid stuff has grown nicely to about 700K as of today due to pretty good market returns in Canada over that timeframe.  Hope to hit $1Mil liquid by December 2016 as increasing networth approx 10k a month at this point!

As for how.  I make a decent but not extravagant salary and live on less than 20k per year due to the fact that i paid off mortgage about five years ago.  Got rid of that millstone as fast as i could

MrsPete

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #68 on: April 24, 2014, 11:09:09 AM »
When?  Depends upon how you're looking at it:  If you mean total net worth, including the house and other assets, the answer is young -- younger than I would've ever expected.  If you mean actual cash and financial investments and excluding money that's set aside for the kids' education that we don't consider "ours", past 40 . . . but still younger than I ever would've believed possible. 

How?  The old fashioned way:  Living on less than we earned -- good, old fashioned frugality.  Hard work.  And some luck too:  We've both been fortunate never to experience unemployment, our children were born healthy, and our medical bills have all been moderate. 

Numbers

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #69 on: April 24, 2014, 11:34:29 AM »
Interesting thread for me right now as I approach the number.... Sort of: I'll show you mine if you show me yours :)

The basic answers for us are: Any week/month now to hit $1M NW at age 44 for me, 38 for wife. (We've been a couple for 10 years, married for 8 with one son, still in the expensive preschool years).

My story is not too straight of a line; spending most of my 20's doing 'interesting things' that didn't pay much (or that even required loans :), though I've always been a saver at heart. What interesting things? Oh, full time alpine ski racing coach in S. Lake Tahoe, on the organizing committee/staff for the Atlanta Olympics, going back to school full time for an MBA... Once I did finally settle into my now career portion of life (just as I hit age 28), I started out at $48K. Eventually jumping that number over the six figure barrier a few years ago, but also including 2 layoffs from being downsized out of both the tech bubble and real estate bubble. Wife never made all that much (~$28-35K) until a few years ago and now her career has taken off in many ways, including financially, as she has now roughly tripled her income from when we met. 

Also a 'lost decade' in the stock market just as I started my investing for FI. I bought plenty of shares over the years that have finally blossomed during the recent upturn in the markets. Plus a now paid off condo where I/we lived for 11 years, that is now a rental property. And also some small equity in our 2.5 year old house (with cheap rates and RE prices only looking like upward growth, I only put 5% down on the place and kept my taxable accounts going strong).

In time:
1998, 28 yrs old, -$10K in NW ($15K in student loans)
2000, 30 yrs old, $35K NW (down to $5K in student loans)
2002, 32 yrs old, $85K NW (had bought the condo, no more student loans)
2004, 34 yrs old, $175K NW
2007, 37 yrs old, $315K NW (Somewhere in here I married into about -$15K of NW from my wife, plus we paid for her masters degree)
2010, 40 Yrs old, $485K NW (Expensive NICU stay for Jr birth in here, condo paid off about here as well)
2012, 42 Yrs old, $725K NW (house purchase in late '11)
2014 (as of Mar 31), 44 yrs old, $970K NW

So it turns out that you can 'waste' much of your 20's (FI wise), marry into negative NW, invest during a horrible 10 year stretch of the markets, get laid off twice, have a very expensive medical bill and deal with other of life's bobbles and still hit ~$1M by mid-forties if you work really hard at your career (aka improve income opportunities) and save, save, save the whole time...

Rough numbers today:
$550K Retirement Accounts
$190K Taxable Accounts
$230K total RE Equity
I don't count cars or other 'stuff' as financial assets for NW, otherwise I could probably claim $1M today.

I'll probably work a good 7 or so more years to pay off the house and build up plenty of cushion. I've seen some of life's detours already and want to feel secure. Then do PT work to stay busy, but not too busy.


Freedom2016

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #70 on: April 24, 2014, 12:54:09 PM »
We're not at $1m yet but it is possible that we'll reach it by the end of this year due to windfall earnings for my business this year. Here's what I posted in the Celebrations thread a few days ago:

Date                Net Worth
12/31/10         $142,963
12/31/11         $210,200
12/31/12         $240,656
06/30/13         $240,656
04/19/14         $579,639

I'm 40, DH is 42. We both spent many years (before we met) doing non-lucrative things - I worked for a non-profit for several years, then went to grad school FT; hubby was a professional musician for 4+ years. Combine that with not watching our finances very closely, and voila - although we weren't tracking it, our net worth was either negative or just not growing much for a number of years. I had CC debt and undergrad student loan debt for a few of those years, though I did knock those out along the way (and swore never to carry CC debt again). Of course I also took on more loans for my grad school education. :\

In 2005, I joined my current company and started being more deliberate about saving. That was really good, because I became a partner in 2008 (i.e. came off of payroll and onto an "eat what you kill" compensation model), just in time for the crash to wipe out much of our client work in 2009. I effectively lived off of my savings for a year, until business started coming back. So- yay for the savings I did before that, because it allowed me to stay out of debt when my income tanked.

Fast forward to 2010, when we (1) bought a house and (2) I got cancer and had to cut back on work for a few months. Our liquid savings took a dive, and income dipped. But my health returned in 2011 and I had a banner year at work, so by the end of 2011 NW had increased by almost $70k.

In 2012 we had a baby, and I took 4 months (unpaid) off of work to care for the wee one. Still, we were able to increase NW by $30k that year, though you can see NW was flat by mid-2013 - I hadn't ramped up to prior income levels and we had some new baby expenses (ie daycare) to take into account. In 2013 my financial tracking went off the rails for a few months (didn't keep up in Quicken) so I don't have an end-year 2013 NW calculation, but you can see that we've had a huge spike in 2014 - our NW is about 2.4 times what it was in June '13. And it's possible that we'll exceed $1m NW by the end of this year - all while I am the solo income provider and DH is a stay-at-home dad.

Sometimes I want to attribute my windfall client earnings to luck, but colleagues and friends would say I am selling myself short - or even sabotaging my ability to repeat this kind of financial success with other clients. In truth, I have been working in my industry for almost 20 years and by now I have amassed a lot of experience - and credibility - for which clients are willing to pay a handsome sum. If I can parlay this into another couple of years of similar earnings, we would be FI within the next year or two.

sleepyguy

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #71 on: April 24, 2014, 01:46:13 PM »
at 35 we're pretty close to NW of $1Mil currently.

How did we do it?

Nothing too exciting.  We own an Investment condo and rent out part of our house.  Our combined income over the past few years has been about 200k, although only about the last 1.5-2yrs I've been on-board with FIRE.

A big part though is neither of us have any student loans so we got a clean slate starting out.  Hers was more difficult, she worked while going to University and graduated with zero debt.  I took the easy road and didn't bother with university :)

Not exactly sure when our "number" is... probably NW $2mil or something.

Katnina

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2014, 01:52:22 PM »
I got to 1M at age 29 or 30.  I worked in finance (high salary + bonuses) and lived a spartan life.  It helped that I worked so much, I never had time to spend my money!
I focused on pre-paying my mortgage and saving as much as possible, while still donating a decent amount of money to my favorite charities every year.  I maxed my 401(k) contributions every year (and got 100% matches for 5 years at one company), and my apartment appreciated from $220k when I bought it, to ~$400k now.

I'm now 33 and married, and we are at approx 1.5M net worth.  My husband had slightly negative equity when we married (underwater mortgage on a house + student loans as liabilities, about 100k in 401(k) as asset) and we are aggressively paying down his mortgage (the house is a rental now), and will tackle the student loans once the mortgage is done (84k to go on the mortgage).  I'm retired (working part time for fun) and he is still working full-time.  He could retire now, but wants us to get to $2M NW before he quits.


Nords

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #73 on: April 26, 2014, 10:02:02 PM »
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)

Well I guess that's one way of looking at it! I'm not sure they really equate (and I realize you have your tongue planted in cheek), but no doubt that pension should make a huge difference in being FI. And honestly, in some ways I think that pension is more valuable. Sure, $1 million gives you lots of leverage to do things, but with the pension you never have to engage in all the hand wringing here over your 4% vs. 3.572% SWR, or the proper asset allocation and if you have too much risk in stocks, and how well your portfolio will survive certain market conditions or inflation, and on and on. Those checks just keep coming forever!
Bill, another way to look at it is how much you'd have to own in I bonds to generate $2100/month-- because you're getting an inflation-adjusted annuity. 

The interest rate for the next four days is 1.38% (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds_iratesandterms.htm) so you're already over $1.8M.  Overkill!

Of course this is also a classic example of why early retirees need to have a high percentage of their portfolio in stocks.  And if you're eligible for that pension then you'd need to consider the same asset-allocation issue when you approach that first pension deposit.

Falcon

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2014, 01:19:46 AM »
Very interesting reading and I love hearing the themes that resonate in my journey.
1997 NW $32k in Super and $5,000 proceeds from the sale of our house.
2013 NW $304k in Super, $375k in bank, PPR $375k (paid off) and equity of $150k in 2 investment properties. I also feel uneasy that this is not enough and watch the pennies closely. 
Real estate growth and saving via extra payments to the Super (read 401k) have been the key. Could have been a lot better if not for the GFC and had I moved earlier into real estate investments.

I am looking toward the next goal of $1mill in liquid assets and plan to achieve this in 7 years

DollarBill

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2014, 07:44:43 PM »
Quote
so you're already over $1.8M

Sweet, so now I'm a double Millionaire...Nice!!!

DollarBill

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Re: When Did You Reach A $Million And How Did You Do It?
« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2014, 07:51:04 PM »
When I retire from the Military I'll get about $2100 a month ($25K a yr). So if I compare this amount to others living off their stash @ 4%. Would that mean I have $630,000?? ($630K X .04 = $25K) So now I just need to come up with $370K to qualify as a millionaire...right? :)

Well I guess that's one way of looking at it! I'm not sure they really equate (and I realize you have your tongue planted in cheek), but no doubt that pension should make a huge difference in being FI. And honestly, in some ways I think that pension is more valuable. Sure, $1 million gives you lots of leverage to do things, but with the pension you never have to engage in all the hand wringing here over your 4% vs. 3.572% SWR, or the proper asset allocation and if you have too much risk in stocks, and how well your portfolio will survive certain market conditions or inflation, and on and on. Those checks just keep coming forever!

I agree it will let me sleep well at night...I guess for all those sleepless nights...lol.