Author Topic: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?  (Read 8414 times)

goHike

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     I retired 8 months ago after years and years of saving all my pennies, and then this year happened.  I really thought I'd be enjoying my retirement, doing lots of travel (I haven't) and getting things done, but mostly I've been a slouch and avoiding my 'to do' list.
    First, let me say that I have a huge loss aversion.  For example, I'm a runner, and when my running shoes wear down and the hard plastic sheath that curves around the heel bone is exposed, I don't go buy a new shoe.  Instead I take lint from the dryer and duck tape it onto the plastic edge and keep going.  I sometimes like buying something I really need, but frequently feel about the purchase soon after.
    So, for me to loose money is really hard to bear.  Prior to retirement I knew I had to buy a new car, and I spent over a year trying to decide.  I ended up buying a Toyota Yaris used, at $9,000, yet felt good about the purchase.  But now, not so much, having to deal with some issues.  Then, right after I retired, I had to visit the Emergency Room because of a failed attempt to do a backflip off a wall.  Failed attempt because I landed on my head (way under rotated, my legs were weak for a 2 hour run earlier).  I won't go into detail, but I had to fork over several thousand there.  Next a cedar tree on my property died suddenly.  Unable to fall the tree myself, I had to spend $800 to get it cut down.  Then my roof began to leak this winter, because of an old chimney.  $7,000 for a chimney repair.  The roof will have to be next, but not right now.  The roof is metal shingle and might be okay, but I suspect the wood frame under it has some rot. 
    And now the market shift during the coronavirus pandemic.  Prior to the market downturn I went on a two week backpacking trip, and all this happened while I was gone, unable to respond.  I lost 3/4 a million in two weeks.  Ouch.  Financially I'm still doing okay (I went from 1.9 million to 1.15 million so fast), but it really hurts to see all this money fly out my 'stache.
    I can't believe I'm writing this.  I'm not somebody who talk about these things, and I'm not a fan of putting myself out there on the internet, but I'm feeling so bummed about all this.  I'm sad so much of the time, and it's affecting how I respond around my family.  I don't really have any friends to talk to, so I guess I'm just looking for an upbeat response.  Being cooped up at home is tough for me, I need to get out there, travel, move around, run ect.   

erutio

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You will get through this because:
- you are a runner.  That takes perseverance, patience, and commitment.
- you went on a 2 week backpacking trip.  The amount of planning and resourcefulness it takes to backpack 2 weeks will carry you through most ordeals that life throws at you.
- you retired early.  That also takes an incredible amount of perseverance, planning, saving, and delayed gratification. 
- you tried to backflip off a wall.  Oh wait...that was probably dumb. ;)

You will get through this.

Dicey

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4% of $1M is still a decent amount to live on. The rest of your nest egg will have plenty of time to recover.

If you're healthy, the best way to get over the doldrums you're experiencing is to be of use to someone else. Look for safe ways to help others in need.

And for fuck's sake, order a new pair of running shoes! Line up some spares while you're at it. Lint and duct tape is ridiculous and your body is going to make you pay for that foolishness in the long run. (<--- Get it?)

Finally, sorry about your accident, but why on earth did you engage in such risky behavior in the first place? That person seems completely at odds with the financial fraidycat/miser you describe. Seeking to balance these disparate sides of your personality might give you the peace you desire.

And if this seems harsh, consider that you're asking for help in facepunch land.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 02:11:09 PM by Dicey »

johnworfin

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“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet”

― Helen Keller

You need to start appreciating all the things you have in life and be thankful for them.  For real, sit down and think about all the things you can do like running, or reading, or seeing, and think about how freakin lucky you are. 

lhamo

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Lots of grocery stores are hiring like crazy now to keep up with the increased demand.  If you are not worried about exposing yourself to the virus now would be a good time to bring in a little extra cash to live off of/invest while the market is down.

You are resourceful enough to FIRE.  You can get through this rough patch just fine.

Dicey

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Lots of grocery stores are hiring like crazy now to keep up with the increased demand.  If you are not worried about exposing yourself to the virus now would be a good time to bring in a little extra cash to live off of/invest while the market is down.

You are resourceful enough to FIRE.  You can get through this rough patch just fine.
What lhamo said. Costco is doing same day hiring. Do you have one nearby?

dougules

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1) What was your Safe Withdrawal Rate when you left work? 

It's hard to keep it in mind in the moment, but your retirement plan was probably designed for this very thing.  I was on a flight a few years ago that got really bumpy.  The plane dropped really suddenly twice, and the way the wings flexed made my stomach churn.  But planes aren't designed with great weather in mind; they're designed to withstand really rough air.  I kept thinking to myself "It's designed for this" over and over.  It was really hard to calm down the scared little monkey in my subconscious mind, but I kept repeating it.  Your retirement plan is designed for rough air, too. 

2) I hope you recovered well from getting injured.  That sounds pretty rough.  The silver lining is that you paid for that and the tree while the market was up. 

3) You haven't lost any money because you don't have any money.  Stocks are shares in companies, not cash.  What people will pay for those shares can really change quickly, but who cares if you're only selling a few percent of your shares a year.  If those companies will be back making money again in a few years, you're good. 

4) If it worries you to watch the number go down, stop watching.  Your backpacking trip made you ignore the drop which was exactly what you're supposed to do.  Keep on ignoring.

5) Please tell us about the backpacking trip.  Two weeks must have been pretty epic.  I could use something nice to dream about right now.

Rdy2Fire

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Well as I was thinking about my reply I read all the others and I think the folks above covered it..

Your biggest takeaway from all of the above should be weather the storm, you'll be ok as long as you get some new shoes!!!

MKinVA

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Back flip was pretty stupid. Now, don't do something else stupid like start selling into a down market. You will be fine because you don't have to liquidate your entire portfolio tomorrow morning in order to but food. I assume retiring early, you already set up yourself with enough cash/cash equivalent to get through a year or more. Don't look at the market! Just putter along living like you would if this had not happened. But distancing socially, please.

This is a bit of a lesson for others seeking to retire early. Make sure you have check out and resolved issues like a new roof and new car BEFORE you quit work! We have talked about these things before. Go around your house (if you own it) and determine what will need to be done in say the next five years and then do it. While you are still working. Decide when you will need a replacement car and set aside that money now while you are still working. That way if it is too much of an expense, you can work a little longer. Don't let neglect derail you financially or emotionally.

soccerluvof4

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If when you Fire'd you planned properly , then you were prepared to take a 50% hit and had a emergency fund. So if you did that then yes you will be fine but dont cheat on shoes because that will cost you dearly at some point. Take from someone that needs double knee replacements.

MaggieD

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 06:36:21 AM »
Is there some reason you can’t keep up with your running now?  It seems most places under stay-at-home orders still are allowing getting outside to walk and run.

BTDretire

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2020, 12:38:43 PM »
This virus is going to have an end point, when it does the market will have a upswing. I'm expecting it to have a pretty quick rise. I put my money were my thinking is, I recently put $340k into VTSAX,  VTI and VFIAX. It may have been to early, but I had a fear of missing out. I didn't want to wait to long and buy in at a higher price.
 You will be OK, if you need more comfort, cut your expenses or get a job, until this virus runs it course.

Ricochet

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2020, 12:45:03 PM »
You haven't lost anything, but a paper or digital value, unless you panic-sold or bought stocks that may end up going bankrupt. For the most part, it'll come back in a couple years or less, so ignore the digits on screen, continue to live off 4%, which you probably were not doing anyways, because new shoes could easily be in your price range. Do you want to die with 3 million in the bank? Keep living without a care if you have a good plan. Time to stop watching the tickers... that's for the ones who are ramping up and playing it risky. Back-flip out the front door and get some fresh air.

jeroly

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2020, 03:04:18 AM »
I feel your pain.  Seeing your accounts drop so far so fast is torturous.

The thing to do before anything else is to realize that where you are now is where you are.  You can't reverse the events of the past eight months.  What you can do, however, is to learn from them and to use that knowledge in developing a plan for the future that you can feel good about.

First things first...

Your NW dropped by about 40% while the markets overall did considerably better than that in the past eight months.  So from that I'd conclude that you are in riskier-than-average investments and probably close to 100% allocated to stocks.  The angst you're feeling now leads me to think that your asset allocation isn't something you can comfortably live with. So if you have an investment policy statement (if you don't you should), review it, consider whether you need to rebalance your investments to reflect your actual risk tolerance (it's easy to think you're very risk tolerant when investments keep going up), and if you do shift your AA, do so in a methodical, non-emotional way.

Second, examine your plan for making withdrawals from your accounts.  Use simulators like firecalc etc. to see some projected probabilities for success in not running out of money over the course of your retirement.  If you are consistently seeing less than say 95% chance of success, then reconsider your plan - maybe you need to withdraw less, maybe you need to earn more money via a part-time job, side gig, or return to full-time employment.

If you don't want to work and don't see a way to not run out of money, then perhaps there are ways of spending less that are not apparent to you but are possibly available to you.  Consider posting a case study here and folks will help you examine your expenditures and show you ways to save $$$ via various hacks.

Best of luck!

Loren Ver

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2020, 07:33:03 AM »
Congrats on FIRE.  Whoo Hoo!

That is a massively wonderful achievement!  I retired in April 2019 so we are both in a similar boat except my boat is a LOT smaller than yours (less than 1 million).  Hopefully your boat was a luxury liner but you still only used one small cabin :).   

Most people have covered most things, so I wont repeat.  Some things to add would be:

1.  This is a GREAT time to plan some trips.  It is good for the mind, especially since you want to take trips.  If you are doing hikes, those can take a ton of planning anyway.  Yah planning!  Also tell us about your past hike or future hike if you are so inclined.  We love to hear about those.  I dream of over night hiking, but know i will probably never do one. 

1b.  Great time to plan some trips....There may be some massively good deals once we are allowed to be out and about again.  Don't sell stocks if you don't have to when the market is down, but if you have room in your budget, it could be a good time to get deals.

2.  Plan on the maintenance.  Market down turns are great time to get big maintenance done for a discount since good companies are hurting for work.  Also, maintenance should be in your budget to begin with, and you don't have to do it RIGHT NOW because the market is down TODAY, today is just the day you want to dwell on it because you CAN'T do it because the MONEY IS ALL GONE OH NO!  Just chill.  Get your house on a schedule and your maintenance on a budget. 

3.  RUN!  Less cars means better running conditions on all counts.  Take advantage of this wonderful and rare times. 

4.  Consider your future emergency fund.  If this down turn is given you all the heart burns, realize that in most situations we have one of these or something equally as OH NO!!! DOOM! about every 10 years or so.  It comes in different flavors, so you need to be prepared based on what you know about you.

5.  And lastly, remember, you aren't stuck at home, you are safe at home.  Watch out for those walls ;).

Loren

edited because i only posted half the first time....
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 07:43:37 AM by Loren Ver »

waltworks

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2020, 12:20:46 PM »
Stop looking at your portfolio balance and carry on.

Also buy some new shoes. That's just F'ing stupid. If you want to still be running in 10 or 20 years, you gotta take take of your ankles and knees.

-W

SwordGuy

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2020, 01:37:06 PM »
Don't panic and you should be able to come thru this with flying colors.

Recognize that even if things go horribly wrong you'll be EVER SO MUCH BETTER OFF than those around you who did not save like you did.

What is your annual spend expected to be this year?   How much you cut that if need be? 
Those are the numbers that most quickly demonstrate the level or risk you're at.

stoaX

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2020, 01:49:29 PM »
I too retired about 8 months ago.  From the "sequence of returns risk" angle, this is bad.  And I also had some higher expenses than anticipated.  I think I can survive this without going back to work but I have updated the resume knowing that there is a slight possibility of returning to the workforce. 

I hope all the great responses you've received are helping - they're certainly helping me!

waltworks

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2020, 03:21:35 PM »
I too retired about 8 months ago.  From the "sequence of returns risk" angle, this is bad.  And I also had some higher expenses than anticipated.  I think I can survive this without going back to work but I have updated the resume knowing that there is a slight possibility of returning to the workforce. 

I hope all the great responses you've received are helping - they're certainly helping me!

Actually it's not bad from a SORR perspective... yet. Abrupt but short lived crashes won't hurt you much, because there isn't enough time to spend down the depleted porfolio. Long lived stagnation/long slog along the bottom is a bigger issue, because you'll run through cash/bonds and have to start selling stocks at a loss.

IMO this is all over in <1 year and the market will be climbing again. If you're super concerned about it, go find a (safe) job to do part time right now.

-W

Obviously we could get that. But if things recover in a year or two

BPA

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2020, 05:47:54 PM »
Read this book: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine.
https://www.amazon.ca/Guide-Good-Life-Ancient-Stoic-ebook/dp/B0040JHNQG

It really helps.

And like others have mentioned, remember it's only a realized loss if you sell. And no more backflips. ;)

Best of luck. I've also had kind of a shitty year: helped someone who didn't really deserve it and screwed me over, dealt with the death of a pet who was young and fabulous (and while I was away from home so I couldn't say goodbye), lost a big beautiful tree that I just loved in Hurricane Dorian, lost a much-loved family member. The negative visualization explored in the above book really helped me both prepare for such losses and also with realizing that I still have a good life regardless of those things.

stoaX

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2020, 09:35:29 AM »
I too retired about 8 months ago.  From the "sequence of returns risk" angle, this is bad.  And I also had some higher expenses than anticipated.  I think I can survive this without going back to work but I have updated the resume knowing that there is a slight possibility of returning to the workforce. 

I hope all the great responses you've received are helping - they're certainly helping me!

Actually it's not bad from a SORR perspective... yet. Abrupt but short lived crashes won't hurt you much, because there isn't enough time to spend down the depleted porfolio. Long lived stagnation/long slog along the bottom is a bigger issue, because you'll run through cash/bonds and have to start selling stocks at a loss.

IMO this is all over in <1 year and the market will be climbing again. If you're super concerned about it, go find a (safe) job to do part time right now.

-W

Obviously we could get that. But if things recover in a year or two

Thanks for pointing that out. I am easily more than a year away from having to sell stock-based mutual funds so you're right, that should help considerably.

sparkytheop

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2020, 03:52:18 PM »
@jeroly hit on most of what I was going to, but, just to say it again...

Quote
And now the market shift during the coronavirus pandemic.  Prior to the market downturn I went on a two week backpacking trip, and all this happened while I was gone, unable to respondI lost 3/4 a million in two weeks.  Ouch.  Financially I'm still doing okay (I went from 1.9 million to 1.15 million so fast), but it really hurts to see all this money fly out my 'stache.

First, you're retired, you don't want to be in a position where you feel the need to "respond" to a market change (if you're responding, you're already too late to do much).

Second, your portfolio is at a much higher risk than it likely should be, if you lost 40% of your portfolio in a 25% market downturn.  While retired.

Third, greatly increase your funds for health/emergency expenses if you are going to continue to do high-risk activities (just because you think you can, does not mean you should).

Fourth, duct-taping running shoes is penny-wise/pound-foolish.  Dress shoes you only have to wear once in a while for weddings/funerals?  Great.  Tape up the inside of those babies and kick them off as soon as you can.  Duct-taping shoes that are for a highly-active activity, meant to reduce impact?  Yeah, your knees and feet are going to make you pay for saving a few dollars short-term.

ETA: Huh, I sound pretty cold, don't I?  It's not meant to be a beat-down, but definitely things to reconsider for the future.  Life knocks us down a bit every now and then.  Just got to brush yourself off and do what you can to make the fall a little less painful next time.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 03:55:39 PM by sparkytheop »

Lucky13

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2020, 10:33:59 AM »
Did you see MMM's latest blog post? Initially I'll admit I was a bit put off by the optimistic tone (b/c people are dying dammit!) but as you mentioned sometimes we really do need an upbeat response to crisis. I know it helped me!
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2020/04/02/no-you-didnt-just-lose-half-of-your-retirement-savings/

srad

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2020, 04:47:03 PM »
I went from 1.9 million to 1.15 million so fast

Well sh1t, maybe Suze Orman is right, 5mm is needed for an early FIRE.   Assuming the world returns to somewhat normal in the next few months, the market should bounce back, maybe not to new highs but back enough.  If this lasts for a few years, hello side job.

And you can do a backflip in retirement?  impressive... 

 






Alien

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2020, 12:10:09 PM »
Have you cosnidered running barefoot?
Any house that needs 7k just for chimney repair should be sold ASAP!
Having 1M NW while being able to do try a backflip puts you in the 99.999 percentile. Though having no friends sucks. I can sympathize.

Much Fishing to Do

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2020, 06:52:47 AM »
Assuming OP is half way back like the market, so at around 1.5M, and at 1.15M things were "fine" (SWR-wise I assume), maybe start thinking about reallocating to a less risky portfolio?, at least some at a time.  Sure it sucks to sell lower than the high, but I can't imagine it sucks more than what this volatility is doing to your psyche.  This has not been as bad as 2008 or 2000 yet, so whether it happens this year or in 8 years there's no reason to think you wont be going thru this again in your lifetime.  A simple 60/40 portfolio (like a VSMGX) is following the basic modern investing plans and would not have had near the move.

In 2008 I saw how the ebb and flow tortured those too risk averse for their portfolios (which unfortunately most do only figure out when things tank), as one would only feel complete despair and wanting to sell at each low, and any recoveries only made one feel better, so then decide not to lower risk but have hope hanging on was working, only then to go thru it again on the next drop, until many were finally giving up when the market hit 50% down and selling it all.  I think talking about duck taping shoes and such despair over a $7k home repair when one has $1M+ shows something needs to change.

dude

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2020, 09:30:38 AM »
I'll be FIRE'd for one year come mid-May. Retirement was exactly what I'd hoped it would be for about three months (i.e., last summer). Then my marriage came to an end (well, divorce still pending but I moved out back in October) and a global pandemic swept the globe and the stock market dropped. Ouch. But here's the thing -- I'm doing just fine. For starters, I pulled my money out of stocks last October, not as some market timing ploy (though certainly I was concerned that a massive correction was LONG overdue) but rather because I'd chosen to stick with Michael Kitces' "rising glide path" approach to retirement money -- i.e., be very conservative in the early years of retirement, then gradually ramp up equity exposure. In the meantime, I'm living solely on my pension, which I've found is more than enough during this period of economic shutdown -- I mean, hell, what discretionary spending can I really do? And while this forced sequestration is taking a minor toll on my psyche on account of being denied the outdoor recreational pursuits I value so much (each major snowstorm out in the intermountain west has felt like I'm being personally mocked by god), I've found other things to occupy my mind and body, like reading, studying Spanish, doing home-based workouts, working on a van conversion, watching instructional videos on various topics, etc. I know we'll get through this sooner or later, and then I'll be able to satiate my wanderlust and need for spending time in nature, I just have to take a Stoic approach to not worrying about things I can't control and focusing on the things I can.

Exflyboy

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2020, 03:36:38 PM »
I'll be FIRE'd for one year come mid-May. Retirement was exactly what I'd hoped it would be for about three months (i.e., last summer). Then my marriage came to an end (well, divorce still pending but I moved out back in October) and a global pandemic swept the globe and the stock market dropped. Ouch. But here's the thing -- I'm doing just fine. For starters, I pulled my money out of stocks last October, not as some market timing ploy (though certainly I was concerned that a massive correction was LONG overdue) but rather because I'd chosen to stick with Michael Kitces' "rising glide path" approach to retirement money -- i.e., be very conservative in the early years of retirement, then gradually ramp up equity exposure. In the meantime, I'm living solely on my pension, which I've found is more than enough during this period of economic shutdown -- I mean, hell, what discretionary spending can I really do? And while this forced sequestration is taking a minor toll on my psyche on account of being denied the outdoor recreational pursuits I value so much (each major snowstorm out in the intermountain west has felt like I'm being personally mocked by god), I've found other things to occupy my mind and body, like reading, studying Spanish, doing home-based workouts, working on a van conversion, watching instructional videos on various topics, etc. I know we'll get through this sooner or later, and then I'll be able to satiate my wanderlust and need for spending time in nature, I just have to take a Stoic approach to not worrying about things I can't control and focusing on the things I can.

I'm sorry your marriage ended, that sucks!

I must say when my Wife retired she had a very different view of what WE were going to do than I did. Honestly this caused a degree of stress. Fortunately we managed to negotiate a compromise but in the back of my head there was the nagging thought that "We might not make it".

That truely would have been awful.

Bateaux

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2020, 11:00:33 PM »
I'll be FIRE'd for one year come mid-May. Retirement was exactly what I'd hoped it would be for about three months (i.e., last summer). Then my marriage came to an end (well, divorce still pending but I moved out back in October) and a global pandemic swept the globe and the stock market dropped. Ouch. But here's the thing -- I'm doing just fine. For starters, I pulled my money out of stocks last October, not as some market timing ploy (though certainly I was concerned that a massive correction was LONG overdue) but rather because I'd chosen to stick with Michael Kitces' "rising glide path" approach to retirement money -- i.e., be very conservative in the early years of retirement, then gradually ramp up equity exposure. In the meantime, I'm living solely on my pension, which I've found is more than enough during this period of economic shutdown -- I mean, hell, what discretionary spending can I really do? And while this forced sequestration is taking a minor toll on my psyche on account of being denied the outdoor recreational pursuits I value so much (each major snowstorm out in the intermountain west has felt like I'm being personally mocked by god), I've found other things to occupy my mind and body, like reading, studying Spanish, doing home-based workouts, working on a van conversion, watching instructional videos on various topics, etc. I know we'll get through this sooner or later, and then I'll be able to satiate my wanderlust and need for spending time in nature, I just have to take a Stoic approach to not worrying about things I can't control and focusing on the things I can.

I'm sorry your marriage ended, that sucks!

I must say when my Wife retired she had a very different view of what WE were going to do than I did. Honestly this caused a degree of stress. Fortunately we managed to negotiate a compromise but in the back of my head there was the nagging thought that "We might not make it".

That truely would have been awful.

Happy it worked out.

Dicey

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2020, 01:50:45 AM »
Sorry to hear that news @dude, i just checked your journal, but it's not covered there, so if I may politely ask, what impact will divorce have on your finances? More than one mustachian has had divorce derail their retirement. It sounds like you are escaping that fate, which must be a huge relief.

spartana

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2020, 11:49:39 AM »
I'll be FIRE'd for one year come mid-May. Retirement was exactly what I'd hoped it would be for about three months (i.e., last summer). Then my marriage came to an end (well, divorce still pending but I moved out back in October) and a global pandemic swept the globe and the stock market dropped. Ouch. But here's the thing -- I'm doing just fine. For starters, I pulled my money out of stocks last October, not as some market timing ploy (though certainly I was concerned that a massive correction was LONG overdue) but rather because I'd chosen to stick with Michael Kitces' "rising glide path" approach to retirement money -- i.e., be very conservative in the early years of retirement, then gradually ramp up equity exposure. In the meantime, I'm living solely on my pension, which I've found is more than enough during this period of economic shutdown -- I mean, hell, what discretionary spending can I really do? And while this forced sequestration is taking a minor toll on my psyche on account of being denied the outdoor recreational pursuits I value so much (each major snowstorm out in the intermountain west has felt like I'm being personally mocked by god), I've found other things to occupy my mind and body, like reading, studying Spanish, doing home-based workouts, working on a van conversion, watching instructional videos on various topics, etc. I know we'll get through this sooner or later, and then I'll be able to satiate my wanderlust and need for spending time in nature, I just have to take a Stoic approach to not worrying about things I can't control and focusing on the things I can.
Glad to hear that FIRE is working out for you even under all these terrible circumstances,  and you are enjoying it despite the lockdown. That'll end and there's still surfing (alas no skiing or snow boarding allowed) out here in the wild west so maybe soon things will be back to normal.

As you know I also divorced shortly before I FIREd (and before the great recession) and while both put a major crimp on my finances it all worked out well in the end. Better than well in many instances even having much less money then you or the OP. So you (and likely the OP too) will likely be OK and your FIRE won't be too affected in the long run. Good luck!

Dicey

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2020, 06:30:42 PM »
I'll be FIRE'd for one year come mid-May. Retirement was exactly what I'd hoped it would be for about three months (i.e., last summer). Then my marriage came to an end (well, divorce still pending but I moved out back in October) and a global pandemic swept the globe and the stock market dropped. Ouch. But here's the thing -- I'm doing just fine. For starters, I pulled my money out of stocks last October, not as some market timing ploy (though certainly I was concerned that a massive correction was LONG overdue) but rather because I'd chosen to stick with Michael Kitces' "rising glide path" approach to retirement money -- i.e., be very conservative in the early years of retirement, then gradually ramp up equity exposure. In the meantime, I'm living solely on my pension, which I've found is more than enough during this period of economic shutdown -- I mean, hell, what discretionary spending can I really do? And while this forced sequestration is taking a minor toll on my psyche on account of being denied the outdoor recreational pursuits I value so much (each major snowstorm out in the intermountain west has felt like I'm being personally mocked by god), I've found other things to occupy my mind and body, like reading, studying Spanish, doing home-based workouts, working on a van conversion, watching instructional videos on various topics, etc. I know we'll get through this sooner or later, and then I'll be able to satiate my wanderlust and need for spending time in nature, I just have to take a Stoic approach to not worrying about things I can't control and focusing on the things I can.
Glad to hear that FIRE is working out for you even under all these terrible circumstances,  and you are enjoying it despite the lockdown. That'll end and there's still surfing (alas no skiing or snow boarding allowed) out here in the wild west so maybe soon things will be back to normal.

As you know I also divorced shortly before I FIREd (and before the great recession) and while both put a major crimp on my finances it all worked out well in the end. Better than well in many instances even having much less money then you or the OP. So you (and likely the OP too) will likely be OK and your FIRE won't be too affected in the long run. Good luck!
I thought of you when I wrote that. You're the only person I can think of who did okay. Maybe because you each had your own military retirements?

spartana

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2020, 10:13:10 AM »
I'll be FIRE'd for one year come mid-May. Retirement was exactly what I'd hoped it would be for about three months (i.e., last summer). Then my marriage came to an end (well, divorce still pending but I moved out back in October) and a global pandemic swept the globe and the stock market dropped. Ouch. But here's the thing -- I'm doing just fine. For starters, I pulled my money out of stocks last October, not as some market timing ploy (though certainly I was concerned that a massive correction was LONG overdue) but rather because I'd chosen to stick with Michael Kitces' "rising glide path" approach to retirement money -- i.e., be very conservative in the early years of retirement, then gradually ramp up equity exposure. In the meantime, I'm living solely on my pension, which I've found is more than enough during this period of economic shutdown -- I mean, hell, what discretionary spending can I really do? And while this forced sequestration is taking a minor toll on my psyche on account of being denied the outdoor recreational pursuits I value so much (each major snowstorm out in the intermountain west has felt like I'm being personally mocked by god), I've found other things to occupy my mind and body, like reading, studying Spanish, doing home-based workouts, working on a van conversion, watching instructional videos on various topics, etc. I know we'll get through this sooner or later, and then I'll be able to satiate my wanderlust and need for spending time in nature, I just have to take a Stoic approach to not worrying about things I can't control and focusing on the things I can.
Glad to hear that FIRE is working out for you even under all these terrible circumstances,  and you are enjoying it despite the lockdown. That'll end and there's still surfing (alas no skiing or snow boarding allowed) out here in the wild west so maybe soon things will be back to normal.

As you know I also divorced shortly before I FIREd (and before the great recession) and while both put a major crimp on my finances it all worked out well in the end. Better than well in many instances even having much less money then you or the OP. So you (and likely the OP too) will likely be OK and your FIRE won't be too affected in the long run. Good luck!
I thought of you when I wrote that. You're the only person I can think of who did okay. Maybe because you each had your own military retirements?
I didn't have a military retirement pension as I wasn't in long enough. Just a future small CalPERS pension that I wouldn't be getting for a decade or more - plus my own investments (seperate finances so we both left with what we put in and no alimony for either). I also bought him out of the house we had purchased a couple of years before so had to pay him off for that plus pay the full mortgage with just my income.

So it was rough financially at first for me but didn't put a big dent in my FIRE. Or his - not that he will ever FIRE as he likes his job. He chose to stay in the military beyond his 20 years rather than FIRE together at 38 as we had always planned so he has the big military CWO4 pension, full medical for life, and continues to do the same job as a civilian for much more money plus will get a secondsy gov pension. So he's doing OK ;-).
« Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 10:33:17 AM by spartana »

Dicey

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2020, 10:47:12 AM »
Hmmm, sorry I got that wrong, and glad you got through it. It's interesting that your ex stayed in so much longer. Maybe he just didn't realize how important his career was going to be to him. In a way it might be better. Imagine if he had thrown this monkeywrench into your best-laid plans and then pulled the plug  six months or a year later.

Also, without being too specific, are you in the mountains or on the sand these days?

spartana

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2020, 09:51:03 PM »
Hmmm, sorry I got that wrong, and glad you got through it. It's interesting that your ex stayed in so much longer. Maybe he just didn't realize how important his career was going to be to him. In a way it might be better. Imagine if he had thrown this monkeywrench into your best-laid plans and then pulled the plug  six months or a year later.

Also, without being too specific, are you in the mountains or on the sand these days?
I don't blame him. We married young (23) with plans to RE at 38 but his job and career ended up being so important to him and so interesting he just wanted to do it as long as possible  (I had the same military job/life and loved it so totally get it). Parted on friendly loving terms after many years together (and many compromises on each persons part) and no regrets. The things you think you want in your early 20s might end up being totally different than what you want 15 or so years later.

As for me - mmountains and beach both (long story) but mostly sand for now as everything is in lock down "up the hill" ;-).

ETA: While many (most?) people who divorce probably have a harder time FIREing or staying FIRE,  being single can often make it easier to FIRE especially if you were married to a more spendy person.. Also makes handling a divorce easier if you are both on the FIRE path and you aren't married to a spendy person. Cost us about $150 to do our own.  While my ex-DH and I were both frugal savers and that went a long way towards each of us being FI separately, I hear plenty of stories here about wrecked FIRE plans because of divorce.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 08:09:54 AM by spartana »

dude

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2020, 06:19:31 AM »
Sorry to hear that news @dude, i just checked your journal, but it's not covered there, so if I may politely ask, what impact will divorce have on your finances? More than one mustachian has had divorce derail their retirement. It sounds like you are escaping that fate, which must be a huge relief.

hey, @Dicey, I think I'll be just fine in the end, but we'll see. We kept separate accounts throughout our relationship, both pre- and post-marriage, and she's earning @$150k, so it should be just a matter of splitting assets. My state is an "equitable division" state, so all assets (before and after marriage) are considered. I had 15 years of Fed service prior to our marriage, so she's more or less only entitled to half of the 13 years we were married, which would be roughly 20% of my pension. But we've also got @$350k in equity in the house we own together, so there will be some trading off there. My 401k is (or was before the Covid crash) roughly 2x hers, but she also owns a second home, so I think it should more or less be a wash there. But who knows?  In any case, my pension is pretty generous and even if I end up with 2/3 of my 401k, I'll still have over $500k, so I should be just fine.

Car Jack

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Re: I retired, and then everything went to wrong...Will I get through this?
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2020, 09:22:37 AM »
Perhaps get yourself a part time, low pay, fun job.  I see on national TV, Dominos Pizza looking for help.  There ya go.  Low responsibility, use that Mazda 2 of yours (You do know the Toyota Yaris is a Mazda 2, right?) at a billion miles per gallon and take the money you earn to buy some shoes and upgrade to a Honda FIT.