Author Topic: Which Calculator to believe? Is it enough?  (Read 2863 times)

CarFIRE

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Which Calculator to believe? Is it enough?
« on: November 27, 2014, 08:48:20 AM »
I am starting my Betterment account with some money from a real-estate sale.  I lost my job in an industry contraction a couple of years ago.  I have always been a saver and investor living below my means.  My wife is the same way.   We *think* we can do the FIRE thing, but fairly terrified to let go fully.  So now I am obsessing with the calculators. 

1.  I found FireCALC, which is excellent and with only 2 major downsides:  1.  It uses only historical data.  2.  It doesn't do a true random monte carlo of the historical data.  That is you get 30-40 year segments in sequential order but you don't get year 1872 next to results from 1913, 1981 etc.  It says I can retire now on $72k/year with 98% chance of success as my "worst-case"

2.  http://www.flexibleretirementplanner.com/wp/planner-launch-page/   This is really excellent.  It does future-looking Monte Carlo Simulations and lets you do a sensitivity analysis on several parameters, 2 at a time.  This varies but generally agrees with Firecalc at the $6k/mo figure

3.  Betterment's is all integrated, but supposed to be forward looking Monte Carlo as well.  It is far more pessimistic, though it doesn't factor in any potential social security, which the others do.  Just under $4k/mo. 

Here's the rub:  Our current house is a fixer upper, likely with a bulldozer.  So a fair bit of money needs to go into that, maybe $400k.  We have a fairly expensive hobby in road racing cars that we don't want to give up until we are too old to do it(we're 45/46 now), hence the need for a more $$$ per month.  Yes, I know first-world problems, but it is what we enjoy.  I did cancel cable yesterday so :P  :D  Obviously if we have to, we can scale back the road racing.  I could work some as does my wife.   The question is, do I need to.   

Questions:

1.  Anyone use these tools prior to FIRE and have an opinion on accuracy?
2.  Opinions on Social Security models(US)?  We've all been told we'll never see that money, but politics seem to show when the populace gets motivated to throw money in their own pockets they are pretty effective at getting the government to kick the can down the road yet again.....

Thanks! 




NinetyFour

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Re: Which Calculator to believe? Is it enough?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2014, 08:57:35 AM »
Have you tried this one?

http://www.cfiresim.com/input.php


Kaspian

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Re: Which Calculator to believe? Is it enough?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 12:04:19 PM »
So now I am obsessing with the calculators. 

Are you even close to FIRE?  Halfway?  I wouldn't get too worried about the calculators until you're a just few years out.  They all show fairly similar scenarios based on spending/returns/withdrawal/inflation.  You should jet be able to ballpark it for now using the average?  I don't have a concrete number myself, but I know I'll need around $780K which could happen around 8 years from now.  Nothing specific.  Ask me in 5 years though and I should be able to pin it down.  :)

deborah

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Re: Which Calculator to believe? Is it enough?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2014, 01:01:54 PM »
So now I am obsessing with the calculators. 

Are you even close to FIRE?  Halfway?  I wouldn't get too worried about the calculators until you're a just few years out.  They all show fairly similar scenarios based on spending/returns/withdrawal/inflation.  You should jet be able to ballpark it for now using the average?  I don't have a concrete number myself, but I know I'll need around $780K which could happen around 8 years from now.  Nothing specific.  Ask me in 5 years though and I should be able to pin it down.  :)
But he says that two out of three calculators are telling him that they can retire now, so he is close.

CarFIRE

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Re: Which Calculator to believe? Is it enough?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 08:31:18 PM »
So now I am obsessing with the calculators. 

Are you even close to FIRE?  Halfway?  I wouldn't get too worried about the calculators until you're a just few years out.  They all show fairly similar scenarios based on spending/returns/withdrawal/inflation.  You should jet be able to ballpark it for now using the average?  I don't have a concrete number myself, but I know I'll need around $780K which could happen around 8 years from now.  Nothing specific.  Ask me in 5 years though and I should be able to pin it down.  :)

Yeah, I am looking at it.  What are people assuming for social security?  Thanks for the new calc.  It agrees the others.