Author Topic: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]  (Read 5749 times)

StacheInAsia

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It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« on: January 29, 2018, 09:33:16 AM »
This is difficult to write. It doesn't seem real.

I have reached FI by any reasonable measure. My current spending (excluding tax) is under 2.5%, in one of the most HCOL cities in the world (Hong Kong). The biggest jump was some months back after selling my apartment; I wasn't including the value in my stash because of how volatile the real estate market here is. The market run-up over the past months since then, and especially the past month, has pushed my stash over the $2 million mark.

I will probably RE some time this year, but I think the biggest obstacle is that this doesn't feel real. Hopefully this is just because of how quickly the last jump in the stash happened; if I remember correctly I was still slightly over 4% spend before selling the apartment, which was a sizable chunk of my net worth after doubling in seven years (the property market here is insane). I dumped most of the money from the sale into VTSAX/VTIAX some months back and we have seen what the market has done since then. Before that point, I was steadily approaching FI through a combination of a good income and keeping my expenses in check (the original motivation being a career I absolutely loathed, but which I mostly transitioned away from around 1.5 years ago).

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the situation and feel more stress about it than I should; it's probably at least partly some kind of fear that the market will crash tomorrow. From August to November I started to have the occasional moment of peace and joy, like it WAS starting to feel real, but I think this went away as the market pushed closer to the $2m mark, so I was feeling the "push" again that I am so conditioned to. I'm not sure.

I have a three-month notice period in my job, and would think about starting that at the end of March. I will be visiting home in California for most of March, and will be thinking hard about whether to move back there, or stay here for some time longer. The end of March also happens to be bonus time; though that means less than it would have a year ago, it was a target to "stick it out" to and would likely be a month's salary.

I also turn 40 this summer, so timing-wise that would fit too. I'm just not sure how to get myself mentally into a place to pull the plug completely. It probably doesn't help that I don't really know anyone personally who has been in a position to FIRE (am also single, no kids). I don't think I will fall into OMY syndrome anymore (though I arguably did the past year or two), but I can see "One More Month" syndrome still possible at this point.

It would be great to hear how anyone in a similar position was able to mentally/emotionally prepare to cross the bridge. I was feeling stuck working on my IPS/AA, and this post is what came out instead.

*EDIT* - I'm not worried about not having enough to do/how to spend my time. I have hobbies that I enjoy very much and keep me physically active. 

« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 09:39:13 AM by StacheInAsia »

BTDretire

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 10:38:55 AM »
  Congratulatiuons!
I'm curious what your rent is now, have you figured that new expense into your expenses?
I suspect most of us that have recently attained FI have concerns about a market drop.
 

jim555

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 10:47:41 AM »
When you reach the FI point it becomes VERY hard to keep working.  Once you know you no longer need to put up with work frustrations pulling the plug will become obvious. 
Then you enter the world of the FIREd where a whole new bunch of psychological challenges present themselves. 

Congrats!

Bird In Hand

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 10:57:46 AM »
If I were about to retire in this market (seems likely we're due for a correction soon), and in a HCOL area like Hong Kong, I'd certainly give a long look at moving to a MCOL or LCOL area.  It would be far easier to dial back to a low withdrawal rate should the sequence of returns monster hit at the worst possible time -- right when you're retiring.

But you're in a great situation anyway.  Congratulations on achieving FI  with such a big nest egg at such a young age!

acroy

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 11:09:03 AM »
No advice here, but
BADASS.
Congratulations!!

Gimesalot

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 11:34:00 AM »
I'm just not sure how to get myself mentally into a place to pull the plug completely.

I can sort of relate because after years of saving, the last two are finally where I saw the gains that outpaced my contributions and where exponential growth was evident.  I FIREd earlier this year and it has been a little tough to switch from saving to spending.  I do worry a lot about a correction, but I don't have a crystal ball, the correction could come tomorrow and be 50%, or it could come in 5 years and be 10%.  I have an asset allocation that I am happy with, and many backup plans for those situations.

Regarding your mental readiness, I don't see why you need to "pull the plug completely" if you don't feel ready.  Can you work part-time?  Can you get a different job that is less demanding but enjoyable, maybe one of your hobbies?  You are FI now, you don't HAVE to do anything including RE. 

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 12:54:52 PM »
I haven't pulled the plug yet (not there), but what I do is keep a years worth of expenses in savings, so if I do decide to go for it at any time, I know I have a year to adjust slowly without having to worry about the money part, switching from building the stash to drawing from the stash, etc, which a lot of people say is a really difficult mental hurdle.  I have a year to just relax and have fun.  Then at some point I can take a look around, catch my breath, and reevaluate.

So I would say if you don't have it yet, leave your stash alone and spend the next X months income building up a years worth of living expenses and see if that makes it less intimidating.

ysette9

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 01:36:51 PM »
I highly recommend reading Dr Doom’s The Quit Series. He selves into a lot of the mental roadblocks he has when he realizes he is FI but can’t manage to pull the trigger and quit. He goes through the process of getting comfortable with the idea, working through his fears, and figuring out what comes next. It may resonate with you.

https://livingafi.com/the-quit-series/

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 02:16:30 PM »
Do you have a bond allocation?  If the thought of a correction makes you sick, you probably need more bonds.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 08:17:33 AM »
Thank you to everyone who replied! I'm going through all the comments but am putting the short responses here first.

jim55 - Indeed, the "it's not worth it anymore" meter has been steadily increasing. It is just tricky trying to separate that out from the residual burnout from my previous jobs/career.

ysette9 - Thank you for the link. I think I've read a post or two of his before, but that series is definitely hitting home right now.

accroy - Thanks! It was a grind.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2018, 08:33:34 AM »
  Congratulatiuons!
I'm curious what your rent is now, have you figured that new expense into your expenses?
I suspect most of us that have recently attained FI have concerns about a market drop.

My current rent in USD is over $2300 (LOL). But I will block incoming facepunches by noting that my mortgage payment was MUCH lower before I sold my apartment, and I lived there for several years. Also, after this April I will be able to break the lease if I want to since it will be the 1-year mark, so I'll be able to look for something cheaper, including possibly a roommate situation. If I decide to stay in HK I will probably look to cut this expense just on principle, since I justified it by being walking distance from the job (along with other reasons I don't need to get into now), I had to vacate the place I was selling anyway, and the rent is "only" 20% of my current pay.

I do include the current rent in my expenses; my SWR is based on my current lifestyle. Actually I use the average monthly expense of the past five years (not including taxes). Interestingly, the higher rent now hasn't really affected the pre-move average, as I had progressively trimmed down other expenses over the years. In playing around with Cfiresim I actually added 15% to my current spending to include taxes and extra expense buffer.
 

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2018, 08:41:20 AM »
If I were about to retire in this market (seems likely we're due for a correction soon), and in a HCOL area like Hong Kong, I'd certainly give a long look at moving to a MCOL or LCOL area.  It would be far easier to dial back to a low withdrawal rate should the sequence of returns monster hit at the worst possible time -- right when you're retiring.

But you're in a great situation anyway.  Congratulations on achieving FI  with such a big nest egg at such a young age!

Thank you!

The point you raise is something I have thought about. I could move to a MCOL or LCOL if I really felt like I needed to. But the good thing about basing my FI number on my current lifestyle is that COL here is taken into account. Even moving back to southern California would probably be MCOL in relative terms, even near the beach! Based on my current stash and lifestyle, a 40% drop would still put me at a 4% withdrawal rate, which seems ridiculous as I write it. There are definitely places I plan to cut spending as well, once I'm not working full time anymore, which would not hurt my quality of life. And I plan to earn at least some minimal income of some form, to get my SS credits up to 40 since I've been overseas for a big chunk of my career. Those points also give me more confidence in my situation.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2018, 09:01:04 AM »
I'm just not sure how to get myself mentally into a place to pull the plug completely.

I can sort of relate because after years of saving, the last two are finally where I saw the gains that outpaced my contributions and where exponential growth was evident.  I FIREd earlier this year and it has been a little tough to switch from saving to spending.  I do worry a lot about a correction, but I don't have a crystal ball, the correction could come tomorrow and be 50%, or it could come in 5 years and be 10%.  I have an asset allocation that I am happy with, and many backup plans for those situations.

Regarding your mental readiness, I don't see why you need to "pull the plug completely" if you don't feel ready.  Can you work part-time?  Can you get a different job that is less demanding but enjoyable, maybe one of your hobbies?  You are FI now, you don't HAVE to do anything including RE.

Part time in my current job might be possible, but it isn't something I can count on. And the only way it will come about is if I say I'm resigning, so I can't bluff on that point. I think that my manager would possibly support it, based on a couple of conversations that we have had, but whether or not it would be approved would be outside of her control (as with most of the other things that frustrate me about this particular job). If part time was on the table, I would strongly consider it. I'm really just increasingly done with spending 40 hours a week in an office.

Another job like my current situation would be very difficult to find, in terms of the balance between pay (pretty good) and stress level (a LOT lower than the previous ones). It is a niche position, and in some ways is a "unicorn" in that it was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, for years, when I was trying to escape the previous couple of jobs I had. Which is probably one of the biggest reasons I haven't left already.  Case in point, I had put in my notice at my previous job without even having anything lined up; the offer for my current position just happened to pop up right at the end, literally a week before my last day. (So I was at least "FU" back then, when my NW was lower.)

Part of me is still amazed that this fell into my lap, and the timing that it happened. It isn't too demanding either, compared to what I was putting up with before. I could find some kind of part-time work somewhere, I just know it would almost certainly be much lower pay per hour and/or higher stress. Monetizing my main hobby would not be realistic for at least 5 more years, though I do plan to become more dedicated to it when I have more time.




StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2018, 09:12:34 AM »
I haven't pulled the plug yet (not there), but what I do is keep a years worth of expenses in savings, so if I do decide to go for it at any time, I know I have a year to adjust slowly without having to worry about the money part, switching from building the stash to drawing from the stash, etc, which a lot of people say is a really difficult mental hurdle.  I have a year to just relax and have fun.  Then at some point I can take a look around, catch my breath, and reevaluate.

So I would say if you don't have it yet, leave your stash alone and spend the next X months income building up a years worth of living expenses and see if that makes it less intimidating.

Funny that you mention saving up an extra year's worth of expenses, because that's basically what would happen If I were to put in my notice right after I come back in March; I would save almost exactly a year's expenses in the next five months. I actually have too much cash right now, about 15% of my stash(!). I have been stuck trying to figure out what to do with the bulk of that when I wrote the OP. For a while I was thinking of buying a place in California, but I  decided against it for now after considering what JLCollins and various threads on these forums wrote on the rent vs buy topic.


StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 09:35:32 AM »
Do you have a bond allocation?  If the thought of a correction makes you sick, you probably need more bonds.

The two points you raise are the two main things I have been struggling with for my IPS/AA.  I don't have a signficiant bond allocation at the moment, I'm roughly 85% equities/15% cash right now (as mentioned above I was thinking about buying a property for a while but decided against it for the time being).

I was thinking about going 5-13% bonds, but there are certain quirks of my position (such as having mostly taxable accounts) that are making me wonder if that would be right for my situation. I will make a post on that topic of another post soon, either here or in Investor Alley.  My current thoughts are to have a percentage (or a certain number of  years of expenses) in a tax-free bond fund, but I need to think about it some more.

I have also thought a lot about the idea of a correction or crash making me sick, as you said. The problem is, I'm pretty sure I will feel a gut punch in a large market drop, whether equities are 50% or 100% of my stash; in either case, hundreds of thousands of dollars would still vanish (or appear to, temporarily). But I will know that I still "win" the game as long as I don't panic sell, and that I'm stubborn enough not to do that, which would help me get through it. I will just have to tough it out, knowing that if I stay the course, I win (with as close to 100% certainty as possible based on the past).

I don't think that there is realistically any way for me to avoid that "sick" feeling with any kind of significant equity allocation, at least for the first time (or first few times) the big drop happens.  All I can do is try to mitigate it by training my stoicism/mindfulness, pay less attention to bad news, cut some expenses/earn a bit of income, etc.



Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2018, 02:44:41 PM »
Do you have a bond allocation?  If the thought of a correction makes you sick, you probably need more bonds.

The two points you raise are the two main things I have been struggling with for my IPS/AA.  I don't have a signficiant bond allocation at the moment, I'm roughly 85% equities/15% cash right now (as mentioned above I was thinking about buying a property for a while but decided against it for the time being).

I was thinking about going 5-13% bonds, but there are certain quirks of my position (such as having mostly taxable accounts) that are making me wonder if that would be right for my situation. I will make a post on that topic of another post soon, either here or in Investor Alley.  My current thoughts are to have a percentage (or a certain number of  years of expenses) in a tax-free bond fund, but I need to think about it some more.

I have also thought a lot about the idea of a correction or crash making me sick, as you said. The problem is, I'm pretty sure I will feel a gut punch in a large market drop, whether equities are 50% or 100% of my stash; in either case, hundreds of thousands of dollars would still vanish (or appear to, temporarily). But I will know that I still "win" the game as long as I don't panic sell, and that I'm stubborn enough not to do that, which would help me get through it. I will just have to tough it out, knowing that if I stay the course, I win (with as close to 100% certainty as possible based on the past).

I don't think that there is realistically any way for me to avoid that "sick" feeling with any kind of significant equity allocation, at least for the first time (or first few times) the big drop happens.  All I can do is try to mitigate it by training my stoicism/mindfulness, pay less attention to bad news, cut some expenses/earn a bit of income, etc.

Minimum volatility is found at a mix of 28/72 equity/bond split.  Seventy two percent bonds is crazy conservative for most people though.  I like closed end funds for my bonds and municipals.  I'm currently in IIM, IQI, NEA, and NVG for munis and that is bringing me 6.25% tax free in a *very* safe asset class.  I earn about 10% average on my taxable bonds.  I personally go with a target of 40% for "income" stocks including bonds, variable rate loan funds, and preferreds.  My total distributions, dividends, and interest come to 121.80% of my annual budget.  I feel pretty good that I can tough out the punch to the gut when I see I have lost six figures "on paper", knowing that I can still live basically the same without ever selling a share.  Time is on my side.  Strongly recommend a substantial income component if there are nagging doubts.  It hurts your long term returns but boy is it worth it when the market is getting mauled by bears.

lhamo

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2018, 07:16:05 PM »
Congrats on locking in your gains on the HK property -- with the way the political situation is going, it is hard to imagine the rate of increase continuing at the pace of the last 10 years, but who knows.   We were propelled into FIRE by a similar huge runup in the Beijing property market -- sold in early 2017 for nearly 3x what we paid on the dip in 2009.   We actually stopped working well before we finalized the sale -- worked out for us as we had liquid savings to live off of and the market continued to go up while we got ready to list.  We did lose a bit to currency depreciation, though -- can't have everything, I guess!

I know it results on a drag on returns overall, but what we are planning to is keep 2-3 years of living expenses in cash.  We are also not averse to going back to work PT or FT if necessary (though I would prefer not to).  3 years of cash should be plenty to ride out most recessions -- and we may even DCA some of it in on a declining market (that worked well for us in 2009-10).

If you are willing to do some geographic arbitrage and relocate to less expensive areas that is another safety net.  Even moving out to the NT or one of the outer islands can save you a ton in rent, no?  And if you aren't working you don't have to worry about the commute.  If you speak Chinese there are places in China that are nice to spend extended periods.  And places elsewhere in Asia that might be fun to explore.   Even CA doesn't have to be THAT expensive if you avoid SF/LA.  Again, if you aren't dependent on a job then your geographic options are much broader.

Congrats again on reaching FI!  Second the recommendation for Living A Fi's stuff -- really helped me as I was working up the courage to leave paid employment....

Rubic

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2018, 01:32:29 PM »
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the situation and feel more stress about it than I should; it's probably at least partly some kind of fear that the market will crash tomorrow. From August to November I started to have the occasional moment of peace and joy, like it WAS starting to feel real, but I think this went away as the market pushed closer to the $2m mark, so I was feeling the "push" again that I am so conditioned to. I'm not sure.

As other posters have mentioned, relax.  Given your current spending, even if the
market drops 50% the day after you FIRE, you'll still do okay with a 5% withdrawal
rate under almost any conceivable scenario.  And the reality is with that kind of market
drop you'd probably reduce your spending by 10-20% anyway, even further buffering
your savings.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 08:13:26 AM »
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the situation and feel more stress about it than I should; it's probably at least partly some kind of fear that the market will crash tomorrow. From August to November I started to have the occasional moment of peace and joy, like it WAS starting to feel real, but I think this went away as the market pushed closer to the $2m mark, so I was feeling the "push" again that I am so conditioned to. I'm not sure.

As other posters have mentioned, relax.  Given your current spending, even if the
market drops 50% the day after you FIRE, you'll still do okay with a 5% withdrawal
rate under almost any conceivable scenario.  And the reality is with that kind of market
drop you'd probably reduce your spending by 10-20% anyway, even further buffering
your savings.

Thanks. I have thought about these points indeed, so keeping them in mind will help a lot when the inevitable happens.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2018, 08:22:47 AM »
Congrats on locking in your gains on the HK property -- with the way the political situation is going, it is hard to imagine the rate of increase continuing at the pace of the last 10 years, but who knows.   We were propelled into FIRE by a similar huge runup in the Beijing property market -- sold in early 2017 for nearly 3x what we paid on the dip in 2009.   We actually stopped working well before we finalized the sale -- worked out for us as we had liquid savings to live off of and the market continued to go up while we got ready to list.  We did lose a bit to currency depreciation, though -- can't have everything, I guess!

I know it results on a drag on returns overall, but what we are planning to is keep 2-3 years of living expenses in cash.  We are also not averse to going back to work PT or FT if necessary (though I would prefer not to).  3 years of cash should be plenty to ride out most recessions -- and we may even DCA some of it in on a declining market (that worked well for us in 2009-10).

If you are willing to do some geographic arbitrage and relocate to less expensive areas that is another safety net.  Even moving out to the NT or one of the outer islands can save you a ton in rent, no?  And if you aren't working you don't have to worry about the commute.  If you speak Chinese there are places in China that are nice to spend extended periods.  And places elsewhere in Asia that might be fun to explore.   Even CA doesn't have to be THAT expensive if you avoid SF/LA.  Again, if you aren't dependent on a job then your geographic options are much broader.

Congrats again on reaching FI!  Second the recommendation for Living A Fi's stuff -- really helped me as I was working up the courage to leave paid employment....

Thanks! My gains weren't as absurd as your 3x, but it was still 2x and I figured it was the right time to get out for various other reasons.

I will probably keep something like 6-12 months in cash and 1-3 years in bonds, for similar reasons as you pointed out. Geographic arbitrage is definitely another backup, I treat my current rent situation as temporary while I'm still working full-time in this job, and I don't see myself staying in HK the rest of my life; I could possibly decide to leave as soon as later this year.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2018, 08:31:58 AM »
Do you have a bond allocation?  If the thought of a correction makes you sick, you probably need more bonds.

The two points you raise are the two main things I have been struggling with for my IPS/AA.  I don't have a signficiant bond allocation at the moment, I'm roughly 85% equities/15% cash right now (as mentioned above I was thinking about buying a property for a while but decided against it for the time being).

I was thinking about going 5-13% bonds, but there are certain quirks of my position (such as having mostly taxable accounts) that are making me wonder if that would be right for my situation. I will make a post on that topic of another post soon, either here or in Investor Alley.  My current thoughts are to have a percentage (or a certain number of  years of expenses) in a tax-free bond fund, but I need to think about it some more.

I have also thought a lot about the idea of a correction or crash making me sick, as you said. The problem is, I'm pretty sure I will feel a gut punch in a large market drop, whether equities are 50% or 100% of my stash; in either case, hundreds of thousands of dollars would still vanish (or appear to, temporarily). But I will know that I still "win" the game as long as I don't panic sell, and that I'm stubborn enough not to do that, which would help me get through it. I will just have to tough it out, knowing that if I stay the course, I win (with as close to 100% certainty as possible based on the past).

I don't think that there is realistically any way for me to avoid that "sick" feeling with any kind of significant equity allocation, at least for the first time (or first few times) the big drop happens.  All I can do is try to mitigate it by training my stoicism/mindfulness, pay less attention to bad news, cut some expenses/earn a bit of income, etc.

Minimum volatility is found at a mix of 28/72 equity/bond split.  Seventy two percent bonds is crazy conservative for most people though.  I like closed end funds for my bonds and municipals.  I'm currently in IIM, IQI, NEA, and NVG for munis and that is bringing me 6.25% tax free in a *very* safe asset class.  I earn about 10% average on my taxable bonds.  I personally go with a target of 40% for "income" stocks including bonds, variable rate loan funds, and preferreds.  My total distributions, dividends, and interest come to 121.80% of my annual budget.  I feel pretty good that I can tough out the punch to the gut when I see I have lost six figures "on paper", knowing that I can still live basically the same without ever selling a share.  Time is on my side.  Strongly recommend a substantial income component if there are nagging doubts.  It hurts your long term returns but boy is it worth it when the market is getting mauled by bears.

Those sound like very high returns for a safe asset class! I'm leaning towards some tax-free bonds since most of my accounts are taxable; I'm looking into Vanguard's muni funds for simplicity's sake initially, but will do some homework on other options too. I feel like I roughly have "enough" in equities for now, so if I wind up having up a good part-time gig after leaving full-time work I would probably consider more tax-free bonds as the next target (real estate seems like it would be too much of a PITA for me!).

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2018, 06:47:40 AM »
Thanks to everyone who replied before. Am checking back in for a quick update.

Work: Going back home in March was great, but I didn't feel as strongly about moving back there yet (I would like to spend more time there though). But during the trip I increasingly felt that it was time to leave the job. Not really emotionally, just "yup, it's time". So a month ago I had "the talk" with my boss. I said I'll be leaving in the near future, but would be happy to consider working part-time for a while to help with the transition. It appears that this has just been approved; a three-day week starting from July. But I'll believe it when I see an official confirmation this week. It will probably be around six months of part-time, then I leave.

Part of me feels like I wimped out by agreeing to part-time instead of just giving my notice outright, but I think slowing down first is the better move overall for various reasons, since I decided I'm not in a hurry to move out of town right away. I felt physically ill before having the talk with my boss; not because of her, but because of the gravity of what I was doing. But I felt MUCH better after doing it.

Moving? I feel like I want to be based in HK for at least another year or two, to travel more in Asia etc. Also there is a good chance I will get some contract/freelance work if I want to next year, and there is plenty of room to cut my housing costs once I'm not going to the office five days a week anymore.

Bonds: I've put $125k into VWIUX over the past few months to reduce cash drag; I chose it over VBTLX since most of my stash is in taxable accounts. I still have too much cash but am thinking about getting more bonds or doing something else with it since I feel like I have "enough" equities (around 85%). I'll start working on an IPS again since I'm pretty sure now that I won't be buying an apartment/condo at least for a couple of years, and the uncertainty of that seemed to be my main block in trying to write an IPS before.

Also I didn't have much reaction to the 10% market drop earlier this year, which is a good sign. The me of a year or two ago probably would have felt it a lot more strongly. I also calculated that if the stock market dropped 50%, I would still be at a roughly 4% SWR at my current lifestyle.

TL;DR: My mindset has been gradually shifting since January, to the point where I just "knew" it was time to make the move. No OMY for me. Next step is to finalize my IPS after I confirm the work arrangement.

Physicsteacher

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2018, 07:59:10 AM »
Congratulations! That's an excellent update.

SachaFiscal

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2018, 09:16:00 AM »
Congratulations! I can see how transitioning to part time could be a good option for you psychologically. When I left work, I had the safety net of my husband still working so it wasn't as scary financially.  Nevertheless I mulled it over for about a year, took a 3 month sabbatical, and tried going part time for a while (4 days a week).  Even with all that I just couldn't bring myself to continue to work once I had reached my number.  Jim is right, it becomes very difficult to work after reaching FI (unless you totally love your job).  I'm excited for you and your new adventures as a semi-retired (and eventually fully retired).  Look forward to hearing updates.

Rubic

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2018, 12:54:45 PM »
Thanks for the update.  Please post in this thread again in 6 months (if
not sooner) when your part-time transition is completed.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2018, 05:29:31 PM »
Thanks for the update! 3 day work week, and 4 day weekends sound awesome! Are the 3 days back to back?

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2018, 08:55:22 AM »

@2Birds1Stone  Yes, it will probably be Wednesday to Friday normally. So four day weekends, and no more Mondays. I just had to quit to get it :)

@SachaFiscal  I agree, one one level it is difficult to keep going instead of just pulling the plug outright. But slowing down first and enjoying some four-day weekends will let me get used to a lower income before it disappears completely. It also leaves the door open for some contract-based work in the future, which would help finish off my 40 SS credits.

@Rubic I will definitely post an update at the end of the transition!

Rubic

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2018, 11:17:28 AM »
It also leaves the door open for some contract-based work in the future, which would help finish off my 40 SS credits.

How many quarters are you shy of completing your 40 SS credits?  You
definitely don't want to miss out on those benefits, though you should
have plenty of time to complete your numbers.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2018, 05:29:55 AM »
It also leaves the door open for some contract-based work in the future, which would help finish off my 40 SS credits.

How many quarters are you shy of completing your 40 SS credits?  You
definitely don't want to miss out on those benefits, though you should
have plenty of time to complete your numbers.

I'm six quarters shy, because a large chunk of my career has been overseas for non-U.S. companies. Yes I've been planning to do at least enough part time work after RE to get the last six credits, in one form or another, as an annuity backup. It's possible that I could do contract work for these guys after I leave (and after an enforced minimum sabbatical), which would let me do it much more efficiently on a per-hour basis. Which is another reason I offered to help with the transition instead of just putting in my hard minimum notice.


Hikester

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2018, 09:30:05 AM »
Congratulations! I was in a similar mental spot a few years back. I couldn’t believe that it was true and I was in my mind “too young” to FIRE. We plan and plan and then one day it no longer is pie in the sky. One day it is real. No training for that. The one big difference is that I did know one other person, my spouse. That made it a lot easier as I could see FIRE in my daily life. What I can tell you is time will make it sink in better. You already know you are not alone in this path. We both know even if the market sinks 50% we will be ok too. You are not alone. We are cheering for you and your success! Freedom to live life on your terms is so worth the journey.

StacheInAsia

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Re: It doesn't seem real [big jump to FI, how to RE now]
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2018, 06:38:35 AM »
Congratulations! I was in a similar mental spot a few years back. I couldn’t believe that it was true and I was in my mind “too young” to FIRE. We plan and plan and then one day it no longer is pie in the sky. One day it is real. No training for that. The one big difference is that I did know one other person, my spouse. That made it a lot easier as I could see FIRE in my daily life. What I can tell you is time will make it sink in better. You already know you are not alone in this path. We both know even if the market sinks 50% we will be ok too. You are not alone. We are cheering for you and your success! Freedom to live life on your terms is so worth the journey.

Thank you! Yes my mindset is slowly shifting over time.