Author Topic: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?  (Read 10663 times)

handsheldhigh

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Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« on: October 28, 2014, 07:44:29 PM »
Hi.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 07:35:07 AM by handsheldhigh »

looking for FI

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 08:02:15 PM »
If I were you I would retire now and start a roth conversion ladder next year.

Zamboni

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 08:11:33 PM »
I, on the other hand, wouldn't feel like I quite had enough to completely stop working.  You've not got enough at your preferred 2% withdrawal of all of your money combined to meet your projected expenses yet.  You are pretty close, though.

You don't explicitly say that you have a Roth; do you have a Roth?  Is that your taxable acct, or is it something else?  If not, get a Roth started ASAP, because you are going to need that conversion ladder to be able to step off the treadmill.




DoItYOURSELF

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 08:32:53 PM »
Do you realize how freaking conservative a 2% withdrawal rate is?  4% is reasonable.  5% or even higher can work if it is timed right.  But 2%!  That is 2x more money than you could reasonably retire on!  You passed 4% a long time ago.  If it is ruining your health, why in the world would you keep on working?!?!

Allie

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 10:53:00 PM »
It looks like you could comfortably retire from your current position even if you weren't working.  However, just because you have tendonitis doesn't mean you can't do anything.  Maybe not blogging or writing novels or coding, but there are many other options for work that may not bother your hands. 

I'm not suggesting you need to work, but if it would make you feel more secure, just keep in mind that you aren't required to never work again if you quit your current job/career/field and declare yourself retired!

mxt0133

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 12:29:07 AM »
I think you could retire now and re-asses in a year or two if you need or even want to work.  But if tendonitis is really the problem, then I would start typing with you index fingers only as that would reduce stress on your wrist also use a track ball instead of a mouse.  Basically make it work, if you like your job, I would not let tendonits stop you from doing it.  I knew a blind programmer, so yeah, if it didn't stop him then I sure you can figure something out. 

But you don't need to work for money, like ever.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 06:12:53 AM »
So we need to talk about the 2% withdrawal rate.  I'm all for folks doing what makes them comfortable... but in this case you are taking a heavy toll on your body in order to meet this number.

Let me put it this way: If a 3% SWR fails over the next 60 years... then America has bigger problems and you probably should have invested in ammunition and antibiotics.

Play around with cfiresim and check your assumptions about safety.  If you want to be really, really conservative... think about 3.5%.  Along with some rational belt tightening during bad years, this will see you through another great depression.

Save your health!

etselec

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 06:29:48 AM »
I wouldn't assume you won't be able to blog. You can use dictation software (like Dragon) to "type" without using your hands.

Not sure how a program like Dragon would work for the kind of typing workflow you need as a programmer (and it might not be compatible with full-time work, because it'd almost certainly slow you down - at least at first - especially if you're currently using lots of keyboard shortcuts), but it's an option to consider that could keep you doing computer-related work at least part-time, while also preserving your health.

pom

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 06:45:19 AM »
You are planning on working 3 years making things worse and then stop.

I suggest that you stop now, rest your wrist for a year or two, then go back to work for 3 years. Sure it may not be the same job at the same conditions but frankly you don't even need the extra money.

You could also alternate 1 year work, 1 year stop for 6 years.

Anyway, my point is "dont make it worse".

DecD

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 06:49:13 AM »
This was not your question, but it could help with your situation.  I suffered from crippling tendonitis starting 6 months into my first job.  Disastrous ergonomics were to blame, and I certainly didn't know any better. 

I tried lots of things (doctors, Ot, etc) and nothing helped in a meaningful way.  I went to OT for months- still had a cm-tall ganglean cyst on my right hand and had trouble driving the car cause I couldn't grip the steering wheel.

Work had free yoga classes so on a whim I signed up.  Within three weeks the cyst was gone and I had functional hands again.  It was ... life changing.  If you haven't tried yoga, I can highly recommend it.  Something about the stretching/exercise was the perfect combination to sort out the tendonitis.  The class at work (we were a bunch of scientists and engineers) was very much exercise-focused rather than spiritual-focused. 

Dr. Doom

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 06:53:20 AM »
So we need to talk about the 2% withdrawal rate.  I'm all for folks doing what makes them comfortable... but in this case you are taking a heavy toll on your body in order to meet this number.

Let me put it this way: If a 3% SWR fails over the next 60 years... then America has bigger problems and you probably should have invested in ammunition and antibiotics.

Play around with cfiresim and check your assumptions about safety.  If you want to be really, really conservative... think about 3.5%.  Along with some rational belt tightening during bad years, this will see you through another great depression.

Save your health!

Completely, completely agree with this.  3% is safe.  2% is absurdly conservative and IMO should only be the goal if you sort of like working and you're just not ready to RE.  This does not appear to be the case here, as you've got legitimate health reasons which are made worse by continuing to toil away. Since you're already under 3, you also therefore have buffers built in to cover occasional larger emergency-type expenses without blinking.

There's also a bit of data missing in your post:  Have you sought medical help for your condition?  What's the professional diagnosis and treatment plan?  If a doctor tells you that you need a break, then you need a break. Plus: in this case you might be able to get a leave of absence. At the very least you will understand the path toward physical improvement... (surgery? pt?  rest? combination?). 

Your physical health is more important than your asset sheet, especially given your robust numbers.  Continuing to earn money at the expense of treating your wrists is like trying to overfill the gas tank in your car when what it really needs is engine oil.  Your tank is full already.  Address the real problem or your engine will freeze up.

>>My concern is that I would rather have enough taxable account savings to last to 60

Why exactly?  This seems illogical given other available methods of accessing your stash.  Do you want/need to be utterly loaded in retirement?

Also consider reading this article on EEE.

Here's the part most applicable to your situation.
"The first issue is the safety or income factor. First people seek a 4% withdrawal rate to cover their expenses because 4% has been shown to survive worst case scenarios over 30 years. Then they seek 3% just to be safe which is a 33% margin. Then the target changes to 2% just to be a bit safer even though this is actually a 100% improvement compared to the original case which means that in the historically worst case they’d end up with millions of dollars they can’t spend. "

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2014, 07:32:42 AM »
1. Quit or no quit, I'd strongly recommend PT/OT. Resting the hands alone may not be enough to optimally cure, because of any scar tissue, etc

2. With correct posture, frequent breaks (kids provide that naturally, lol), I can still easily write more than 1,000 words a day. And I have terrible wrists, even post corrective surgery.

If you want to keep working (I wouldn't), teach programming instead of doing it.

Different tweaks work for different folks, but wrist stabilizers, good posture (which means working on your core every day), and switching to a mechanical keyboard worked wonders for me.

DecD

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2014, 07:41:06 AM »
1. Quit or no quit, I'd strongly recommend PT/OT. Resting the hands alone may not be enough to optimally cure, because of any scar tissue, etc

2. With correct posture, frequent breaks (kids provide that naturally, lol), I can still easily write more than 1,000 words a day. And I have terrible wrists, even post corrective surgery.

If you want to keep working (I wouldn't), teach programming instead of doing it.

Different tweaks work for different folks, but wrist stabilizers, good posture (which means working on your core every day), and switching to a mechanical keyboard worked wonders for me.

I concur with this-- I assumed it was obvious, but just in case...if you haven't been through workers comp to get to the doctor and get into therapy, do it.  If you haven't gotten a proper ergonomic setup yet, for heaven's sake, do it.  Get wrist braces, get a split keyboard, get what you need to sort out the root of the problem.  If your doctor orders you to reduced hours, workers comp will handle compensation.  The choice isn't between Work Full Time and Quit Entirely.  There are in-betweens you can find if you are not yet comfortable quitting.  And if you haven't had an ergonomic evaluation, get one yesterday.

Gin1984

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2014, 10:11:39 AM »
Correct me if I am wrong, but if you took SS at 65, would you not cover your bills with just that?  So, your investments would cover one to 65 plus medical/extra expenses from 65 on right?

deborah

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2014, 04:17:24 AM »
You are probably doing everything that you can to relieve the symptoms. However, having managed staff who have had this condition, I recommend using your mouse in the opposite hand to the one you usually use for it.

I agree with the people who say to get out now. However, have you explored things like 6 months leave without pay? If you tried this, you could prove to yourself that you had enough money to live on, and it might give you a sustained time to relieve the problem with your wrists.

Gin1984

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2014, 07:12:40 AM »
Correct me if I am wrong, but if you took SS at 65, would you not cover your bills with just that?  So, your investments would cover one to 65 plus medical/extra expenses from 65 on right?

You are probably correct. Full retirement would be at 67 for me though.
Sorry, so 67.  Assume you need $250,000 in today's dollars to cover medical from 65 on, do you have enough at 4% to cover your current expenses?  If I am reading your OP correctly, you do.

justajane

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2015, 07:06:43 AM »
At least for a couple of years until you are more confident that you have enough, can you work part-time at something? With your expenses that low, it could even be something menial and low paying. I wouldn't do it unless it's something you enjoy, but I've thought sometimes that if I wasn't worrying about money and retirement, I would enjoy some type of low paying retail or answering phones at a non-profit or office, etc. It would get me out of the house for a while. That's one thing I like about FIRE - the ability to accept or pursue work regardless of the wage.

I also think you could teach in your field or possibly tutor. Neither of these should exacerbate your symptoms.

protostache

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2015, 07:35:03 AM »
Specifically addressing the tendonitis:

I started getting wrist pain that could have led to tendonitis about two years into my full time software developer career. I switched to a Kinesis Advantage keyboard and the pain entirely went away, to the point where these days, six years later, I spend about half my time on that and the other half on my non-ergo laptop keyboard and still don't have any pain. It took a few weeks to learn how to type on it, but after that I was back to full speed.

I highly recommend checking it out. The price may be a little high for some people around here but in my opinion, investing in tools that don't physically harm you is worth it :) (they have a great return policy if it doesn't help, also).

cynthia1848

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2015, 07:47:04 AM »
I have had tendonitis and ganglions on both wrists and now have little to no pain.  This is what I did:

1.  surgery to remove ganglion (orthopedic surgeon)
2.  PT and OT, AGGRESSIVE, to work on scar tissue.
3.  Move mouse to other side (this is huge)
4.  Correct wrist and keyboard setup
5.  Look at what you are doing in everyday life that will exacerbate it.  I had the most trouble when I had babies - lots of picking up and putting my wrists in awkward positions, then trying to type with my bad hand.  NO GOOD.  Things that might make it worse are:
- touch pad or mouse with bad hand
- using knife to cut up food with bad hand (I had to have my husband be sous-chef, or buy pre-cut veggies and meats)
- opening jars
- small writing/drawing with bad hand (like decorating Easter eggs)
- any other repetitive motion with bad hand (like conducting a music group - I had to switch hands)

Dragon has also come a long way in the past few years.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2015, 07:50:39 AM by cynthia1848 »

bacchi

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2015, 09:29:03 AM »
Claim worker's comp, work part-time, and have comp insurance pay for the reduction in hours? Or...give 2 weeks and quit (or "take a health sabbatical").

deborah

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2015, 06:27:00 PM »
Do you realize that if you hid your money under the bed you would have enough to last you until you get SS?

How much more certainty do you need?

partgypsy

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2015, 05:54:12 AM »
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have been able to manage my wrist issues well and generally have less discomfort as time goes on as I minimize the amount of typing I do and anything that might irritate it.  Though this really hasn't changed my desire to get out. After reading about other peoples experiences (Dr. Doom especially!) I have been able to admit to myself that I'm not interested in this kind of work anymore and I don't like the people I work for and with.  I don't know why I didn't see this earlier.  It must be a geek failing.  I don't fit in and I suspect that my lifestyle choices offend them. I still enjoy the work sometimes as I like solving problems and seeing my stuff deployed. I always have. That's why I went into the field in the first place.  But I don't give a two shits about politics or what anyone thinks... and it shows.

I would love to give them the finger but I know myself well enough that I know I would worry about the money if I wasn't confident I had enough. This is not just because I don't trust the SWR rate studies but that I don't trust myself to estimate my future expenses accurately so I figure I need enough safety to cover that uncertainty as well.

Well I was going to give you more advice, that is my friend who has a job that revolves around work with her hands, had a bad case. First tried to work through the pain, then with the advice of a specialist took 6 weeks off not doing any of the movements of her job along with nsaids and some kind of exercises and is close to back to normal. So taking a chunk of time of for healing may be necessary.  But that doesn't get into the fact if you are not interested in the job anymore. regardless, i would HATE to not be able to use my hands for things such as typing, whatever you decide to do, I would continue to investigate options for this.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2015, 07:23:44 AM »
I don't trust myself to estimate my future expenses accurately so I figure I need enough safety to cover that uncertainty as well.

I struggle with this too. I'm also FI based on current expenses, but expect my future non-working expenses to be higher because I'd like to do more travel, local trips, volunteering, etc, and will have to pay for medical, dental, and health insurance which employer currently covers.

What sorts of things are you thinking of doing when no longer working? Will your travel and car budgets go up? More home projects/gardening? More volunteering/donating?

In any event, congrats! You are looking at 2.4% WR for your known expenses, leaving a sound 1.6% buffer for any future expense unknowns :) And, you likely have many other levels of safety margin options if you sit down and think about them: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/17/its-all-about-the-safety-margin/

Beardog

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2015, 04:53:35 PM »
Posting to follow.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2015, 02:00:35 PM »
After attending Camp Mustache II this May, I realized my 'stache could grow more quickly thru strategic investing in RE (Real Estate) than just letting it ride in the stock market.

Reading the first 3-4 books on arebelspy's list is a great start - pick them up at your library.  Especially understand the concept of income via regular cash flow.  Joe does most of his RE investing remotely - hiring a property manager

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/real-estate-and-landlording/real-estate-book-recommendations/

I would suggest taking some portion of your savings, and building a 'team' for RE investing, or buying performing RE notes.  I'm in the process of setting up a self-directed IRA with a checkbook LLC to do note investing.  But the returns via RE can regularly be in the 10-12% range while getting those returns in the stock market are something you have less control over.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2015, 03:51:55 PM »
BTW... a good on-line resource I devoured last night on the SD-IRA / checkbook LLC's topics is:
The Insider's Guide to Tax-Free Real Estate: Retire Rich Using Your IRA by Diane Kennedy and Dolf de Roos
[available online via library.books24x7.com]  (review here)

soccerluvof4

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2016, 08:56:27 AM »
Kudos! good to hear!

Roots&Wings

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Re: Reader Case Study - Hands on Fire - Retire Soon?
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2016, 03:04:07 PM »
+1

That's great you're making lifestyle changes that are more in line with how you'd live once retired...easing into things instead of drastic changes. Thanks for posting the update and continued success in your journey! You've already won the game :)