Author Topic: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?  (Read 3403 times)

jeromedawg

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Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« on: February 25, 2021, 02:15:38 PM »
Hey all,

Playing around with FireCalc and was wondering what you guys consider to be your "bare minimum" in the results as far as determining whether or not it's "safe to FIRE". For example: do you look for 0 cycles failed/100% success rate only? Or do you have a minimum # for the lowest projected portfolio balance (like $500k lowest balance for instance).

Caveat: I'm assuming FireCalc isn't the *only* tool you're using to make the decision either but just one of the many (EDIT: and also your risk tolerance) :)

Also are there any variables to intentionally don't factor in such as Social Security? I hear warnings out there to never expect social security income (as the fund could dry up etc) - I'm about 20+ years out from it...
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 03:43:31 PM by jeromedawg »

nereo

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2021, 02:32:32 PM »
None of the above.

To re-quote another poster, you can't boglehead your way to complete retirement security.
As you get closer and closer to "0 scenarios failed" the risk of you running out of money from what the market might do has gone way ,way down, but all the other risks which might derail a long retirement haven't even been addressed.  Off the top of my head these include premature death, legal liability, lawsuits, severe/chronic illness, social upheaval, political instability, theft.... and a boatload more).

Thing is, there are ways of mitigating almost all of these to some degree, but having a larger and larger stash does less and less.  So once you get into the 'single-digit FireCalc failure' world I'd spend less time worrying about the size of your assets and far more time guarding against all the other things.

Layers of safety is a tried-and-true model that will do far more for you than going from 5% model failure to 0% model failure.  Side hustle, social capital, family network, mobility... those are very powerful in ways that a few hundred $k more aren't.

chevy1956

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2021, 02:38:04 PM »
This is up to you. Personally I'm okay with some buffer (not a lot) and an 80% success rate. One thing that I think is a really poor way of handling FIRE is the side hustle. If I find work that I would for for free great but if not it's the last thing that I want to have to increase my chances of success.

My big buffer is my house. I can sell an relocate to a smaller house/apartment or a cheaper cost of living locale.

herbgeek

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2021, 02:45:44 PM »
Didn't use Firecalc.  I took my average spending times 25 (4% rule), then added 50% buffer.  I did not include social security which is an additional buffer.    Just my husband's ss is 50-70% of our typical monthly spending, so we have lots of buffer for the unknowns to come. Full retirement ss for me is 7 years away but I expect it will be more than my husband's.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 02:48:36 PM by herbgeek »

jeromedawg

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2021, 02:50:53 PM »
This is up to you. Personally I'm okay with some buffer (not a lot) and an 80% success rate. One thing that I think is a really poor way of handling FIRE is the side hustle. If I find work that I would for for free great but if not it's the last thing that I want to have to increase my chances of success.

My big buffer is my house. I can sell an relocate to a smaller house/apartment or a cheaper cost of living locale.

What is meant by "buffer" in this context? So I take it barista FIRE isn't something that appeals to you? Interesting perspective on the house - is it paid off or are you still paying down the mortgage on it? And if you were in a position where you didn't have a home but wanted to FIRE, would you still consider purchasing a home and carrying the mortgage into FIRE?


None of the above.

To re-quote another poster, you can't boglehead your way to complete retirement security.
As you get closer and closer to "0 scenarios failed" the risk of you running out of money from what the market might do has gone way ,way down, but all the other risks which might derail a long retirement haven't even been addressed.  Off the top of my head these include premature death, legal liability, lawsuits, severe/chronic illness, social upheaval, political instability, theft.... and a boatload more).

Thing is, there are ways of mitigating almost all of these to some degree, but having a larger and larger stash does less and less.  So once you get into the 'single-digit FireCalc failure' world I'd spend less time worrying about the size of your assets and far more time guarding against all the other things.

Layers of safety is a tried-and-true model that will do far more for you than going from 5% model failure to 0% model failure.  Side hustle, social capital, family network, mobility... those are very powerful in ways that a few hundred $k more aren't.

Understood - that's why I noted the caveat to hopefully put into context that FireCalc is just one of *many* tools and other things that one could use to determine their FIRE comfort level. I suppose this is just going to vary person to person depending on their risk level but it seems that, generally speaking, FireCalc can give a pretty good idea of where you're at with things. In the context of FireCalc alone, it sounds like in your frame of mind the stash size isn't really as important a factor as much as being in the single-digits per failure % is concerned.

Do you some specific real-world examples of these "layers of safety"? Having side hustles is pretty clear but when you say "social capital, family network, and mobility" what does that translate to in particular besides something like "my friend or family can help get me a job" (I would presume this isn't the first thing you'd necessarily be asking if you get into a tight situation while FIREd though...?)?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 02:53:43 PM by jeromedawg »

Malcat

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2021, 02:57:19 PM »
Yep, you can't Boglehead your way to total financial security. And yes, I'm quoting myself.

Why would I ever base a major life decision on the projections of an online calculator whose outputs are very close to useless in terms of projecting my outcomes???

There are no tools for making this decision for you, it depends on so many varied forms of risk that your brain is the only tool that can figure this out.

What it comes down to is what risks are you most concerned about.
What risks are you most wanting to avoid?
-Having to go back to work?
-Having to significantly cut your spending?
-Facing late in life medical costs?
-Not being able to help family out if they need it?
-Etc, etc

For me, 100% isn't anywhere near close enough for me to feel confident to stop working. Why? Because I have complex health issues that could require years of expensive support. Plus I like working.

What are your risks that you want to manage?
What matters to you? What scares you?

A calculator can't quantify those things for you. It can't know if your estimated spend is realistic. It can't know what your risk of divorce is. It can't know what your risk of one of your kids or grandkids developing an opiate addiction is. It can't know how easy it would be for you to cut your spending, or by how much. It can't know if going back to work would be easy for you.

It can't know the BIGGEST factors in making this HUGE decision.

So no, I'll never decide anything based on a deeply flawed and absurdly limited online calculator that can never account for anything that really matters.

It's not a matter of finding a better tool, there are no tools for this. They don't exist. There's just your personal capacity to know what's right for you.

jeromedawg

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 03:24:52 PM »
Yep, you can't Boglehead your way to total financial security. And yes, I'm quoting myself.

Why would I ever base a major life decision on the projections of an online calculator whose outputs are very close to useless in terms of projecting my outcomes???

There are no tools for making this decision for you, it depends on so many varied forms of risk that your brain is the only tool that can figure this out.

What it comes down to is what risks are you most concerned about.
What risks are you most wanting to avoid?
-Having to go back to work?
-Having to significantly cut your spending?
-Facing late in life medical costs?
-Not being able to help family out if they need it?
-Etc, etc

For me, 100% isn't anywhere near close enough for me to feel confident to stop working. Why? Because I have complex health issues that could require years of expensive support. Plus I like working.

What are your risks that you want to manage?
What matters to you? What scares you?

A calculator can't quantify those things for you. It can't know if your estimated spend is realistic. It can't know what your risk of divorce is. It can't know what your risk of one of your kids or grandkids developing an opiate addiction is. It can't know how easy it would be for you to cut your spending, or by how much. It can't know if going back to work would be easy for you.

It can't know the BIGGEST factors in making this HUGE decision.

So no, I'll never decide anything based on a deeply flawed and absurdly limited online calculator that can never account for anything that really matters.

It's not a matter of finding a better tool, there are no tools for this. They don't exist. There's just your personal capacity to know what's right for you.

So if you were wanting to FIRE (in the case that say you are tired of working and don't want to do it anymore), what are some examples of *tangible* goals you'd want to hit before you were comfortable with it? Say if you wanted to mitigate the concern over medical costs due to health issues/concerns, etc. Is there a number you would want to come up with and hit as a goal? And would you come up with numbers in the same way for everything else (e.g. I would need $1mm extra on top of my current stache in order to mitigate Risks XYZ to feel comfortable FIREing?)? It seems to me that you're arguing that it's impossible to quantify FIRE but it seems like this is one of the bases of FIREing [or researching it at least] to begin with (that you still have to quantify it in *some* way)... what am I missing?

OR

Are you just saying that these calculators aren't enough and you DO need to do the more detailed analyses, quantifying and number crunching of different scenarios that could come up? It seems the calculators can still be a good reference/starting point but if you really want to do it the right way you need to break out into Excel and do some major number crunching (perhaps leveraging MDM's case study spreadsheet? https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/forum-information-faqs/case-study-spreadsheet-updates/)...? I'm not saying to base a decision solely on a calculator or spreadsheet but rather multiple reference points: all those things including your tolerance for risk, etc.... for me I would personally want to be looking at FireCalc and preferring 0% failures but that's not the only thing that's going to be a factor in deciding whether or not to FIRE. At the same time it's going to give me a lot more comfortability when I'm ready to make that decision, assuming I'm still at that point, at least in comparison to having a 99% failure rate LOL
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 03:47:27 PM by jeromedawg »

bownyboy

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2021, 04:05:09 PM »
For us we followed the x25 expenses path.

Then our estimated expenses increased. So we saved and invested more.

Then we created three levels of expenses (barebones, moderate and luxury). I ran the numbers in ficalc.app

Our x25 just about covers luxury, however we will use a variable rate withdrawal process by closely monitoring the market (like most MMM imagine) so can amend the withdrawal down to barebones if needed.

Then in the UK we will get inflation linked state pensions at 67 which will add to the safety net.

joe189man

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2021, 04:30:21 PM »
if you havent seen this calculator give it a shot

https://engaging-data.com/will-money-last-retire-early/

it adds the caveat of your average likely hood of being dead into the equation,

which i think is relevant if you are in the perpetual OMY camp

chevy1956

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2021, 05:25:44 PM »
This is up to you. Personally I'm okay with some buffer (not a lot) and an 80% success rate. One thing that I think is a really poor way of handling FIRE is the side hustle. If I find work that I would for for free great but if not it's the last thing that I want to have to increase my chances of success.

My big buffer is my house. I can sell an relocate to a smaller house/apartment or a cheaper cost of living locale.

What is meant by "buffer" in this context? So I take it barista FIRE isn't something that appeals to you? Interesting perspective on the house - is it paid off or are you still paying down the mortgage on it? And if you were in a position where you didn't have a home but wanted to FIRE, would you still consider purchasing a home and carrying the mortgage into FIRE?

We have about 50k set aside for various large expenses including house maintenance and/or a car replacement and/or any special expenses like travel. We don't travel so travel would be a non planned for expense. Barista FIRE definitely doesn't appeal to me. My job wasn't bad. I just don't like working a full time job and my job allowed me 1 day per week from home which I typically didn't do much if any work.

I personally wouldn't consider purchasing a home and carrying a mortgage into FIRE but that is just my perspective. We've paid off our house and we live in a HCOL area. I should clarify this a little. The area we live in is cheap apart from house costs. Housing is expensive and we own a 4 bedroom house. We have 3 kids. We could always downsize or move to an area with cheaper housing. I don't really like debt and/or leverage. Sure there is a time and a place but I am retired from living frugally, paying down debt as quickly as possible and investing into index funds. It's safe, boring and it works. I like that.

Edited to add:- I am also getting paid 1/2 pay for a year and that helps. That 1/2 pay will cover my expenses and enable some additional saving for the first year of retirement.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 05:38:11 PM by chevy1956 »

chevy1956

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2021, 05:28:33 PM »
if you havent seen this calculator give it a shot

https://engaging-data.com/will-money-last-retire-early/

it adds the caveat of your average likely hood of being dead into the equation,

which i think is relevant if you are in the perpetual OMY camp

Yep. I used various calculators and this is one of them. I also don't think calculators are that great. I wasn't sure what my post FIRE expenses would be. We would have been well above a 5% WR but now it looks to be about a 5% WR and it may come down dependent on what the market does.

I'm now tracking expenses and WR's in retirement. I'm hopeful my 5% WR goes down over time to a sub 4% WR. I could go back to work to achieve this but I don't think that will happen.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2021, 05:37:37 PM by chevy1956 »

Malcat

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2021, 05:43:22 PM »
Yep, you can't Boglehead your way to total financial security. And yes, I'm quoting myself.

Why would I ever base a major life decision on the projections of an online calculator whose outputs are very close to useless in terms of projecting my outcomes???

There are no tools for making this decision for you, it depends on so many varied forms of risk that your brain is the only tool that can figure this out.

What it comes down to is what risks are you most concerned about.
What risks are you most wanting to avoid?
-Having to go back to work?
-Having to significantly cut your spending?
-Facing late in life medical costs?
-Not being able to help family out if they need it?
-Etc, etc

For me, 100% isn't anywhere near close enough for me to feel confident to stop working. Why? Because I have complex health issues that could require years of expensive support. Plus I like working.

What are your risks that you want to manage?
What matters to you? What scares you?

A calculator can't quantify those things for you. It can't know if your estimated spend is realistic. It can't know what your risk of divorce is. It can't know what your risk of one of your kids or grandkids developing an opiate addiction is. It can't know how easy it would be for you to cut your spending, or by how much. It can't know if going back to work would be easy for you.

It can't know the BIGGEST factors in making this HUGE decision.

So no, I'll never decide anything based on a deeply flawed and absurdly limited online calculator that can never account for anything that really matters.

It's not a matter of finding a better tool, there are no tools for this. They don't exist. There's just your personal capacity to know what's right for you.

So if you were wanting to FIRE (in the case that say you are tired of working and don't want to do it anymore), what are some examples of *tangible* goals you'd want to hit before you were comfortable with it? Say if you wanted to mitigate the concern over medical costs due to health issues/concerns, etc. Is there a number you would want to come up with and hit as a goal? And would you come up with numbers in the same way for everything else (e.g. I would need $1mm extra on top of my current stache in order to mitigate Risks XYZ to feel comfortable FIREing?)? It seems to me that you're arguing that it's impossible to quantify FIRE but it seems like this is one of the bases of FIREing [or researching it at least] to begin with (that you still have to quantify it in *some* way)... what am I missing?

OR

Are you just saying that these calculators aren't enough and you DO need to do the more detailed analyses, quantifying and number crunching of different scenarios that could come up? It seems the calculators can still be a good reference/starting point but if you really want to do it the right way you need to break out into Excel and do some major number crunching (perhaps leveraging MDM's case study spreadsheet? https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/forum-information-faqs/case-study-spreadsheet-updates/)...? I'm not saying to base a decision solely on a calculator or spreadsheet but rather multiple reference points: all those things including your tolerance for risk, etc.... for me I would personally want to be looking at FireCalc and preferring 0% failures but that's not the only thing that's going to be a factor in deciding whether or not to FIRE. At the same time it's going to give me a lot more comfortability when I'm ready to make that decision, assuming I'm still at that point, at least in comparison to having a 99% failure rate LOL

You don't need a calculator to tell you that more money will result in less failure, but there are no calculators that will tell you what your chances of failure are. Not only are they useless for projecting the future, they're based on assumptions that don't make any sense, and on numbers that are very rough estimates.

I've talked about this in so many threads, but you could input the exact same annual spend as someone else, get the exact same output of, say, 98% success, but actually have wildly different risk profiles because you have a bunch of buffer in your budget and the other person has an unrealistically tight budget.

So the output is basically meaningless.

For my personal goals, yes, I have targets, but I recognize them for how generally arbitrary they are, like most things in personal finance. I've used calculators extensively to compare strategies, like comparing withdrawal rates, etc. But I only ever look at the output as a relative score, not as an actual predictor of outcome.

There are no calculators in existence that can actually project any degree of accurate likelihood of success.

I'm not at all saying that no one qualified for FIRE, I'm saying that no one can save to a point of being 100% "safe", and you just have to do your best to account for whatever your biggest risks are and try to be prepared.

nereo

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2021, 05:53:39 PM »

Do you some specific real-world examples of these "layers of safety"? Having side hustles is pretty clear but when you say "social capital, family network, and mobility" what does that translate to in particular besides something like "my friend or family can help get me a job" (I would presume this isn't the first thing you'd necessarily be asking if you get into a tight situation while FIREd though...?)?


Sure.  I;d wager that the two biggest threats to most forum-member's retirements isn't their WR, but are external 'very bad things' happening to them or their loved ones.  I'd put having to care for family and having acute medical conditions as the top two (at least for US members). In both cases there are things one can do which will have a much larger effect than "lots more money".  In the dependent category, it's important to ensure your parents, children and siblings are in good places, and that the relationship isn't parasitic but mutually beneficial.

As for 'social capital' - part of that is developing a healthy and robust social network.  If you are a jerk in real life people are unlikely to go out of your way to help you, but a robust network of friends can help in so many ways and under so many circumstances. Those sorts of networks can take years to build with very little monetary cost, but it's much harder to emulate with fist-fulls of cash.

Mobility can be a pretty powerful layer of safety.  At the extreme there are people who have a huge % of their net-worth tied to their homes, who might be unwilling to sell, and who have made no mortgage (and subseuquent low mortgage payments) a key component of their ER.  That's all fine as long as things stay relatively stable, but life is filled with disasters (floods, forest-fires), both natural and human-made (a family member in need). Sometimes you just have to get out Dodge - permanently. Here a renter or someone with a low% of their home as their NW have a huge advantage.  Geoarbitrage can be an important layer of safety - but it only works for those willing and in a position to actually move.

And of course there's side/supplemental income. That's anathema to many in the FIRE community, but for many just keeping that door open can mean the difference between a solid retirement strategy at 4%WR and a rock-solid WR at an even higher (e.g. 5%WR).  What that means is different for all of us, but it may be as simple as keeping certifications up to date and a network of contacts (another part of the 'social network' i mentioned above).  For others it's far less practical unless they branch out considerably from their main career.  Layers of safety doesn't mean you will have every layer - but hopefully you will have several.

Malcat

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2021, 06:57:51 PM »
Thank you nereo, I didn't have it in me to explain that well today.

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2021, 10:10:27 AM »
Outstanding post @nereo

@jeromedawg , I used the calculators extensively when planning for FIRE and I think they're among the most valuable tools we have to plan.  However, I think they can be very misleading for so many reasons.  For me, the main use of the various metrics, whether cFIRESim, FIRECalc, 4% rule, or other tools is to get into a general range for a FIRE number.  I know that for myself, if I hadn't had any of them I wouldn't have been able to come up with a realistic target to work towards.  However, once I got into that range, they became essentially useless.  As others have mentioned, two different people who come up with a 95% success rate in the calculators could have vastly different actual risks. 

Also are there any variables to intentionally don't factor in such as Social Security? I hear warnings out there to never expect social security income (as the fund could dry up etc) - I'm about 20+ years out from it...

To address this question directly, here's what I did.  I'm not saying this is right for anyone else or optimal, it's just what I did to make myself feel comfortable.  First, I tracked my expenses to the penny for about 18 months, and then I modified it to adjust for increases and decreases because I was not working.  I multiplied that by 25x.  I then worked an extra full year after I hit 25x, and was confident that I would retire then regardless of where the 'stache was.  If it was below 25x at that point, I was confident that I had already mitigated the SoRR from if I had quit right when hitting 25x.
Think of it this way - I was basically saying that if I retired right when I hit 25x but after a year the 'stache was well below that, there was a chance I was in the 5% failure cohort.  So I preemptively worked that year, taking zero from my 'stache and adding about 2 years of spending to the 'stache.  That should fully mitigate the risk from being in the 5% failure cohort even if my numbers didn't look good after the extra year.  I was willing to do that because I had a fantastic job that I was happy to stay in for an extra year, and once I quit I knew I couldn't go back due to lapsing certifications.   This was probably unnecessary, but I was in such a good place in my job (thank you FU money!) that the extra year was actually the best of my career. 

The second thing I did was, about 2-3 years before FIRE, my partner (who FIREd at the same time I did) and I sat down together and we came up with a set of triggers and cuts.  For example, if our 'stache drops below the 25x our full spending we have a set of relatively minor cuts that we agreed to beforehand.  If we drop below 20x, we have a set of deeper cuts that we'll make in the budget.  If we get to 18x then we have more severe cuts, and at 15x we start looking for work.  Those aren't exactly the metrics, but you get the idea.  Because we've talked these through before we need to make the cuts we both fully understand what each of us will give up and when we'll need to do so.  I think this gives us a huge safety buffer, both in terms of financially making it through a rough spot in FIRE but even more importantly it gives us a big relationship safety buffer if/when times get tough.  For us being totally on the same page throughout the planning and execution of FIRE has been a real positive in an already great relationship. 

I also am ignoring Social Security, although between the two of us that should actually make up a significant part of our spending.  We also both have a pension, and we ignored that as well.  It's likely that we'll get some inheritance - nothing huge, but probably a 1-5 years of spending - and we ignored that as well. 

You'll notice that after hitting 25x, I basically stopped using any tools.  This analogy might be strained, but I'm going to see if it goes anywhere.  I see the tools providing a similar function to the work you might do to find a neighborhood to move to in a new city.  The tools give you a general target to aim for, but lack really vital specifics that make your situation unique.  Similarly, you might find a neighborhood that fits the lifestyle you want to have in the new town, but that area has apartments, houses of different sizes, condos, etc.  After you've found the neighborhood you stop that search and move on to the search for the specific residence the meets all the unique needs you have.  Once you get to 25x, or 80-100%+ in the sims, set them aside and work on fleshing out the actual detailed plan.  Your plan will be unique to you, but it'll be a much better fit than generically setting a target percentage to hit in some online tool. 

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2021, 11:30:38 AM »
As for 'social capital' - part of that is developing a healthy and robust social network.  If you are a jerk in real life people are unlikely to go out of your way to help you, but a robust network of friends can help in so many ways and under so many circumstances. Those sorts of networks can take years to build with very little monetary cost, but it's much harder to emulate with fist-fulls of cash.

Mobility can be a pretty powerful layer of safety.  At the extreme there are people who have a huge % of their net-worth tied to their homes, who might be unwilling to sell, and who have made no mortgage (and subseuquent low mortgage payments) a key component of their ER.  That's all fine as long as things stay relatively stable, but life is filled with disasters (floods, forest-fires), both natural and human-made (a family member in need). Sometimes you just have to get out Dodge - permanently. Here a renter or someone with a low% of their home as their NW have a huge advantage.  Geoarbitrage can be an important layer of safety - but it only works for those willing and in a position to actually move.
These are both right, but I'd like to add a slightly different angle to both.  Having seen all of my previous generation age and eventually die (all of them in their 90s except one at 88) I'd like to say that one of the things that enabled all of them to stay in their own homes right to the end, not a single night in a retirement or nursing home between them, was that they stayed in the town they had lived in all their lives (and in one case stayed in the house they were born in all their life).  They not only had an enormous social network they had an enormous practical network as well.  They were on first call terms with every kind of tradesman, professional and service person they could possibly want or need to keep their houses and gardens in good order or to provide them with transport, health and social care.   As they became less able to do for themselves they had no need to worry because they could pick up the phone or drop into a shop or write a letter and the problem would be sorted.  On relatively modest incomes they could live comfortably and without worry because they were well known in the community, they were unfailingly polite and friendly and they always paid promptly and in full.

Obviously sometimes it's necessary to move around a lot.  Other times health problems get in the way of independent living earlier than ideal.  But settling somewhere you can age in place and setting up the social and practical networks to enable that to happen well in advance of actually needing them is the best way forward that I can see.  And being someone who can manage the niceties of social interaction, treats every person they meet well and deals fairly in business help you to set up those networks in that place.

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2021, 11:41:08 AM »
Hearing how others approached this question really helps frame in my mind the process of figuring out how we'll know when we have enough.  This is a nice reminder to apply real world tests to the big question rather than just crunching the numbers.  Spreadsheets and calculators are tools to help see a rough estimate of where the finish line might be (given certain assumptions), and to prompt critical thinking; they won't spit out an actual answer.  No matter how many times I tweak a spreadsheet I am no closer to FIRE - I need to keep reminding myself of that given we have several years to go.

We're still a few years out from FIRE and have an idea of our daily and discretionary budgets would be, but haven't really nailed down what the results of big impact budget items will be (post-kids, post-mortgage, with a likely move/downsize, estimating health care costs, etc.).  So as a result I couldn't say with certainty what our actual budget will be although I have a grasp on the parameters.  Without a reliable budget I can't predict a FIRE amount and therefore a FIRE date.  Evaluating the overall plan in terms of flexibility and resiliency will be key as we get closer to FIRE.

For the time being I am following the same basic approach of discounting in multiple ways (assume no social security, estimate max health care costs, add a buffer amount, etc.).  As we get closer we can apply the tactics mentioned above as a couple to see what addresses specific real world risks.  At some point we'll feel confident enough to pull the trigger.

Thanks again to everyone for sharing on this topic!

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2021, 12:13:55 PM »
Before you FIRE you need to work out how you’re going to spend your stash.

It’s fine to have a stash, but I’ve known several people who’ve never looked at how they actually get the income they need from it. They might have several investment properties that don’t generate much rent (but are increasing dramatically in assessed value), or some other form of stash that lowers their taxable income while they’re working, but doesn’t actually allow them to live off it.

It also means that you need to change from sitting on your dragon horde and making it bigger all the time, to throwing it away and allowing it to reduce in size (while still having enough to last). You’ve achieved FIRE with a different mindset to the one you’ll need after FIRE - or even to actually FIRE. This is a major reason so many go OMY.

You need to be comfortable with living without a job - not having the social interactions that a job brings, the daily structure, and the celebration of achievement that have automatically been part of working. Even the most soul destroying job has some side benefits that you may need to replicate once you’ve FIREd.

Your family dynamics need to change. You have probably automatically been separated from your spouse and children for eight hours a day for most of your marriage. Each of you probably need some independent time in FIRE, and you need to have thought about how you achieve this.

norajean

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2021, 02:34:42 PM »
Once you have 25x minimum expenses invested plus a couple backup plans you are good to go for 30 year retirement.

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2021, 04:01:33 PM »
"The second thing I did was, about 2-3 years before FIRE, my partner (who FIREd at the same time I did) and I sat down together and we came up with a set of triggers and cuts.  For example, if our 'stache drops below the 25x our full spending we have a set of relatively minor cuts that we agreed to beforehand.  If we drop below 20x, we have a set of deeper cuts that we'll make in the budget.  If we get to 18x then we have more severe cuts, and at 15x we start looking for work.  Those aren't exactly the metrics, but you get the idea.  Because we've talked these through before we need to make the cuts we both fully understand what each of us will give up and when we'll need to do so.  I think this gives us a huge safety buffer, both in terms of financially making it through a rough spot in FIRE but even more importantly it gives us a big relationship safety buffer if/when times get tough.  For us being totally on the same page throughout the planning and execution of FIRE has been a real positive in an already great relationship."

Love this, FIRE 20/20!

Prior to FIREing 18 months ago, I would ask DH what we would do if renters didn't pay or the stock market crashed and he would respond with: "I don't know...there's so many hypotheticals...we'll figure it out."

While that's a reasonable answer to the question, I wish we had done a little more talking and set triggers (as you did) as to when we needed to dial back spending vs going back to work.

Our approach was to look at our current annual expenditures, add lots for health insurance since we weren't confident about the ACA, and multiply by 50 instead of 25. We also have two mortgage-free rental units that cover our bare bones expenditures, a mortgage-free principle residence, and we are assuming no social security even though we're eligible in a few years. Our contingency plans have contingency plans...and after looking at the Rich, Broke, Dead calculator it was very clear that our approach will end in Dead way before Broke.

The other thing I did to gain confidence that the stash would outlast us was to look at our money as "buckets". I took each bucket and figured out how long it should last. After that exercise it seemed extremely likely that (barring an apocalypse) we should be fine even if we both made it to 110.

chevy1956

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2021, 06:59:11 PM »
We're still a few years out from FIRE and have an idea of our daily and discretionary budgets would be, but haven't really nailed down what the results of big impact budget items will be (post-kids, post-mortgage, with a likely move/downsize, estimating health care costs, etc.).  So as a result I couldn't say with certainty what our actual budget will be although I have a grasp on the parameters.  Without a reliable budget I can't predict a FIRE amount and therefore a FIRE date.  Evaluating the overall plan in terms of flexibility and resiliency will be key as we get closer to FIRE.

This is the issue but the problem is that it's impossible to get 100% accurate figures especially in relation to those big impact items. I'll give a real example. We have a buffer amount and we have a certain number of items we have to repair on our house. We have done very little maintenance and been extra frugal to get to where we are today. I expect to now have several critical repair items that we will get professionals to do. One quote came back recently at close to a third of our total budget. We looked around and have gotten that quote down to 1/4 of the initial quote. How can you budget for this stuff ?

For the time being I am following the same basic approach of discounting in multiple ways (assume no social security, estimate max health care costs, add a buffer amount, etc.).  As we get closer we can apply the tactics mentioned above as a couple to see what addresses specific real world risks.  At some point we'll feel confident enough to pull the trigger.

My only proviso is don't be too careful. At some point I think you need to track some figure. I track everything to a granular detail now and for a year prior to FIRE. I think a lot of people wouldn't be comfortable with my tracked WR or total amount but I have my house as something that means I think I will always be fine. I just may have to adjust my lifestyle. I view myself as being fine when it comes to living a frugal existence. Since we have 3 kids that we will not support financially post their last year of school I think our spending may go down but who knows.

I think attempting to track everything and managing your own investment portfolio keeps you more alert to the situation and therefore being able to adjust earlier if required. I also think comparing WR's between people is difficult. I used to work in Agile project management and we would track velocities or throughput of teams. The thing is each team has their own way of scoring points and it's impossible to compare velocities between teams. One teams 10 is another teams 100.

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2021, 06:26:10 AM »
We have a buffer amount and we have a certain number of items we have to repair on our house. We have done very little maintenance and been extra frugal to get to where we are today. I expect to now have several critical repair items that we will get professionals to do. One quote came back recently at close to a third of our total budget. We looked around and have gotten that quote down to 1/4 of the initial quote. How can you budget for this stuff ?

Here is what I do to budget for this stuff:

I use YNAB which allows me to fill buckets for each budget line item. Rule of thumb is to budget 1-4% of the value of your house every year for repairs. I just make that part of my monthly budget when figuring out the cost of what it takes to live where I live. Right now I have money collecting in that line item that is just sitting in my bank account and hopefully it will be enough when I need it. If it's not, well, I suck it up and pay what I need to pay.

I do this with cars too. Let's say you buy a car for $15k and that is the car you are comfortable driving. I have a line item for repairs and depreciation. I do my best to estimate both and I just fill that line item so that when my $15k car finally dies or I want to sell it I should have a decent amount of money sitting in the bank to buy the next $15k car.

I don't have to spend any of this budgeted money but it very much helps me mentally figure out how much I need to budget for in retirement because it most accurately paints a picture of my long term spending habits. I use this budgeted amount and not my actual spending to figure out my annual spend for FIRE calculations.

While I'm not really all that close to FI yet, it does make me uncomfortable building up so much cash for these big budget items, so I do have it in my IPS that once I have enough in easy to access cash to cover 2 years of expenses, that's enough cash and I can invest all the rest in equities.



enFuego

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2021, 11:38:06 AM »
My only proviso is don't be too careful. At some point I think you need to track some figure. I track everything to a granular detail now and for a year prior to FIRE. I think a lot of people wouldn't be comfortable with my tracked WR or total amount but I have my house as something that means I think I will always be fine. I just may have to adjust my lifestyle. I view myself as being fine when it comes to living a frugal existence. Since we have 3 kids that we will not support financially post their last year of school I think our spending may go down but who knows.

I think attempting to track everything and managing your own investment portfolio keeps you more alert to the situation and therefore being able to adjust earlier if required. I also think comparing WR's between people is difficult. I used to work in Agile project management and we would track velocities or throughput of teams. The thing is each team has their own way of scoring points and it's impossible to compare velocities between teams. One teams 10 is another teams 100.

@chevy1956 - thanks for the thoughts.  I agree that we will need to plug actual values into our budget at some point to know when we're ready.  I've gone through that exercise already and come up with a number for total investable assets we need to hit.  But I feel its all too far in the future and there are too many big line items that could impact our budget that I can't estimate with great confidence.  I am more confident at this point predicting our total investable assets into the future than I am our budget.

As an example take our housing costs (we plan on having no mortgage in RE).  DW and I have a strong interest in moving to a town we love that is on the ocean for our retirement home.  That could mean actually spending significantly more on a home than our current one to get a house in walking distance to the ocean, or it could be a less expensive home if we go with a 10-15 minute drive to the ocean.  We can envision staying where we are or even moving south if that's where our kids end up settling.  The sudden possibility of permanent WFH arrangement post-Covid introduces the possibility of moving before retiring.  These are all distinct possibilities with a major financial impact that I can't yet predict with certainty.

I am more likely to be too careful than the opposite.  I took big financial risks earlier in life and although in the end it worked out fine for us I don't have as much tolerance for it now.  And I know DW doesn't either.  I am closer to normal retirement age than most here (last child going into college this year) and although I know we are resilient and would most likely not "fail" if we retired "too soon", the thought of having to work again after I RE sure feels like failure to me.  Who knows, we may get answers to these outstanding questions one day and realize we have enough and pull the plug fairly quickly.  Or we may feel better on a OMY type wind down.  This discussion is helping me think about the other ways to prepare  for FIRE aside from just having a lower WR.

Funny that you mention Agile.  I work in agile as well and I kind of use it as  a model to think about this issue.  I have a ranked backlog of needs/questions.  As time progresses I will continue to pick them off the list as we get clarity on the requirements and estimates.  At some point we'll have enough of them resolved and we can cut a release :).

bmjohnson35

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2021, 12:49:52 PM »

I used various online calculators and the 25x rule as yardsticks.  We eliminated our debt and tracked expenses closely for 2 yrs prior to giving notice to employer.  We also factored in future income streams: social security and a pension......not included in our above calculations, but as additional buffers to SORR. 

Ultimately, it was combination of corporate burnout and the untimely death of multiple people I knew that were the major catalysts to expediting early retirement 5 yrs ahead of my original plan.  The unexpected death of a long-term colleague who I highly respected, really hit home for me.  Even if we hadn't met all of the above financial criteria, I suspect I would have retired anyway or at least taken some extended time off.

P.S I think being raised to embrace self reliance and DIY also helps with a life decision of this nature.

chevy1956

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2021, 06:24:54 PM »
Funny that you mention Agile.  I work in agile as well and I kind of use it as  a model to think about this issue.  I have a ranked backlog of needs/questions.  As time progresses I will continue to pick them off the list as we get clarity on the requirements and estimates.  At some point we'll have enough of them resolved and we can cut a release :).

This is actually how we budget. We have a ranked list of extra stuff to do above and beyond normal expenses which are much easier to track. We have a buffer for that extra stuff. We try and manage the extra stuff frugally as well.

This is why though ti's really hard to get a perfect WR because your expenses don't really work like that. You have some input into your expenses and you can adjust.

flyingaway

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2021, 08:50:41 PM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).

In my opinion, the tricky thing is to estimate your expenses in retirement. You can compress your expenses unrealistically to make FIRECal 100% success. You should have a reasonable estimate of your expenses with some wiggle rooms. Then input that expenses number to any calculator. A calculator just gives your a portfolio number, e.g., 25X, that may be good for you to think about retirement.

nereo

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2021, 05:17:00 AM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Several times I’ve thought “this is a textbook example of the hedonistic treadmill!” While reading this thread...

Omy

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2021, 07:43:30 AM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Several times I’ve thought “this is a textbook example of the hedonistic treadmill!” While reading this thread...

Lol...explains my moniker. We thought about it a lot at 25x...just didn't pull the trigger for 5 more years.

ixtap

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2021, 08:35:31 AM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Yeah, everyone knows that the real MMM way is to just transition to a second career, not build in buffers that allow you to literally retire from paid work!

nereo

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2021, 12:20:01 PM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Several times I’ve thought “this is a textbook example of the hedonistic treadmill!” While reading this thread...

Huh... and here I was going around pronouncing it “Ah -my”... though I did wonder if it should be prononuced “oh-my”

Lol...explains my moniker. We thought about it a lot at 25x...just didn't pull the trigger for 5 more years.

sparkytheop

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2021, 01:32:17 PM »
Personally, I feel like any tool depends on the skill and knowledge of the user.

If I gave you a meter, would you be able to check the amperage of a given circuit?

If I handed you five needles and a ball of yarn, could you knit me a sock?

If I dumped a pile of fabric, some scissors, and a sewing machine on your table, could you make a wedding dress?

How about a MIG welder and a pile of metal?  Could you build something that was structurally sound?

Complex tools require skills and knowledge above "use hammer to hit stuff", and the results are dependent on the skills and abilities of the person using them (I've seen meters get fried, and big stuff go boom.  While exciting, it's not the desired outcome.)

But, for a person with the appropriate skills and knowledge, tools like meters, knitting needles, MIG welders, and sewing machines come in extremely handy.

I view retirement calculators the same way.  Garbage in = garbage out. 

There is no way to prepare for every possible outcome, but you do your best to mitigate risks, consider outside influences, plan for the worst, and hope that the true worst isn't beyond your ability to imagine.

I enjoy using sites and calculators like firecalc, but I am constantly doing all I can to make sure the numbers mean something with some substance and don't just make me feel good.  I also know that the unknowns can destroy a pretty spreadsheet or graph. 

chevy1956

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2021, 06:18:30 PM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Yeah, everyone knows that the real MMM way is to just transition to a second career, not build in buffers that allow you to literally retire from paid work!

I think what he did and what he proposes aren't completely in alignment. I don't want to go to a second career. I also don't want to work too long. You have to have some idea of your expenses and WR. I don't think you need to get to 25x expenses and going beyond that to me is a little over the top.

nereo

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2021, 05:05:32 AM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Yeah, everyone knows that the real MMM way is to just transition to a second career, not build in buffers that allow you to literally retire from paid work!

Are you doubting that Pete could stop working entirely if that’s what he wanted to do?

2sk22

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2021, 06:01:49 AM »
A very topical blog post by Micheal Kitces

Quote
One concern when reporting Monte Carlo results to a client framed around ‘probability of success’ is that anything less than 100% can sound scary. Consider a 50% probability of success: ‘Failing’ one-out-of-two times when failure implies running out of money in retirement simply does not sound acceptable. Such a result can make clients feel that they are unprepared for retirement and that they must save even more or retire even later so that they can achieve a higher probability of success. It is important, however, to think carefully about what a 50% result actually implies. First, this metric alone actually tells us nothing about how severe ‘failure’ is. If 90% of a client’s desired income comes from guaranteed income sources, then ‘failure’ is capped at a relatively modest 10% cut in a client’s income, which is not ideal but far from devastating. Moreover, adjustments can often save a ‘failing’ plan, so simply shifting a 50% probability of success framing to a 50% probability of adjustment can take a lot of sting out of that result.

ixtap

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2021, 07:43:30 AM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Yeah, everyone knows that the real MMM way is to just transition to a second career, not build in buffers that allow you to literally retire from paid work!

Are you doubting that Pete could stop working entirely if that’s what he wanted to do?

No, I am saying that it isn't unrealistic to build in a few buffers, and several.commenters were getting judgy judgy about what it means to be Mustachian, when even the founder had two plans for earning money.

Omy

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2021, 11:18:42 AM »
At age 35, I retired the first time. My then husband and I had an $800k stash and low expenses. We could live easily with a 4% WR. Within a year, the market dropped and our stash dropped to $600k. We got part time jobs to avoid pulling from the stash while the market was down. And ended up divorcing a couple years later...dividing the $600k stash in half.

These stressful events caused me to question the 4% rule. So I found a job I loved, remarried, and worked another 15 years to continue building the stash. I didn't want to lose sleep ever again worrying about the market, health insurance costs or what might happen if one or both of us developed a serious, expensive illness. So that's why I over-saved for retirement number 2. I don't want to be in my 70s or 80s wondering how I'm going to pay for food or meds.


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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2021, 11:21:54 AM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Yeah, everyone knows that the real MMM way is to just transition to a second career, not build in buffers that allow you to literally retire from paid work!

Are you doubting that Pete could stop working entirely if that’s what he wanted to do?

No, I am saying that it isn't unrealistic to build in a few buffers, and several.commenters were getting judgy judgy about what it means to be Mustachian, when even the founder had two plans for earning money.

Got it, and thanks for the clarification.
It's amazing to me how often the IRP show up around here...

SwordGuy

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2021, 11:34:47 PM »
We had a pretty good idea of what our spending would be post retirement.

We had multiple sources of income -- Wife's social security, rental housing income, sharecropped farm income, and stock/bond portfolio income.   Daughter has Down syndrome so we had to include her in our expenses plus have enough left over after we passed for our son and grand kids to consider her a real financial blessing to take care of.

She isn't mentally capable of fixing any problems in our plan so we chose to be overly cautious.   It's one thing when you pay the price for your mistakes and quite another when your helpless kid does.  One reader of my blog quipped that I was in the business of manufacturing safety buffers -- and they didn't blame me.

I used a number of FI simulators to double-check our plans.   Can't say any of them changed our decision either way.  I used them to verify there wasn't something fundamental that I had missed or misunderstood.

Because our income was diversified and we had many safety buffers, we just knew it was time when it was time.  We waited until my wife went on SS (she's older than I am by 10 years) because that removed virtually all pressure on our stock/bond portfolio.   PS -- we didn't discover MMM until I turned 55 and she was 65 so retiring whilst very young wasn't going to happen without a time machine.


chevy1956

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2021, 01:48:13 AM »
I cannot believe that people on MMM are talking about FIRE with 50X expenses, plus buffers, plus ignoring social security, plus possible inheritance, etc. (all together for a possible FIRE).


Yeah, everyone knows that the real MMM way is to just transition to a second career, not build in buffers that allow you to literally retire from paid work!

Are you doubting that Pete could stop working entirely if that’s what he wanted to do?

No, I am saying that it isn't unrealistic to build in a few buffers, and several.commenters were getting judgy judgy about what it means to be Mustachian, when even the founder had two plans for earning money.

Got it, and thanks for the clarification.
It's amazing to me how often the IRP show up around here...

I don't think the issue is really what constitutes retirement but more about what is an adequate safety level. It's pretty obvious though that people are in different situations and will have different tolerances for risk. Everyone has to just call it themselves and accept the consequences of their decision. I assume that this approach is a lot better than not saving at all.

yachi

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2021, 12:31:45 PM »
Didn't use Firecalc.  I took my average spending times 25 (4% rule), then added 50% buffer.  I did not include social security which is an additional buffer.    Just my husband's ss is 50-70% of our typical monthly spending, so we have lots of buffer for the unknowns to come. Full retirement ss for me is 7 years away but I expect it will be more than my husband's.

@herbgeek   Are you saying, as an example, you took your $25,00 spending x 25 = $625,000, then you added 50% to this number, and ultimately saved $937,500.  This gives you a withdrawal rate of 2.67% and then on top of this you didn't include social security?

herbgeek

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2021, 06:28:25 AM »
Quote
@herbgeek   Are you saying, as an example, you took your $25,00 spending x 25 = $625,000, then you added 50% to this number, and ultimately saved $937,500.  This gives you a withdrawal rate of 2.67% and then on top of this you didn't include social security?

Yes, this is exactly what I did.  Social security always a big unknown, so I never included it in my planning.  Its been a nice surprise, as spouse started collecting last year at his full retirement age, and that amount typically pays for 1/2-2/3 of our monthly spending.    A lot can happen to ss before I start collecting so still not planning on it for basic expenses- it will fund extras in our budget. 

I don't have children, so I'm planning on a sizeable chunk of my money to be spent on assisted living/end of life care should it be needed.

House is not included in net worth, since I will continue to have to live somewhere, and my house is moderate anyways and I'm already in a moderate cost of living area, so not like I can cash out and move to a lower cost area and have that extra cash.

norajean

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Re: Using FireCalc, etc - what is/was your "green light" for FIRE?
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2021, 04:59:44 PM »
If you can get to where 100% of your needs are met by SS and other regulator income (rentals, pension, annuity, etc) then you never have to draw down your savings.  It will always be there in case you have an emergency, need long term care, etc.