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How much do YOU think YOU need to retire? ...and at what age will you (and spouse) retire?

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Replies to: How much do YOU think YOU need to retire? ...and at what age will you (and spouse) retire?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids 83959 replies1009 postsForum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Forum Champion
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    One very wise, but sobering, thing our financial planner told us was that most people find they don't spend as much as they think on expendable things. This makes it hard to cut back, because what you buy is very often what you believe you need, whether you live like a pauper, or just a middle class person.The way you live before retirement is about the same way you should plan to live afterwards. And this takes a lot more money than most of us think.

    It's very easy to say, "Well, you could cut out going out to dinner once a week," but in practice, if this is something that helps your quality of life, it's very hard to give up. We don't become different, more ascetic people when we retire, so whenever possible, we need to recognize this and plan accordingly.
    >>>


    I think one thing, a big thing, that can be cutback is housing....which is why people do move. Once you are no longer working or supporting children, you no longer have to live near your job or where the best schools are (which is likely a pricey area). Retirees often move to areas where there aren't big industries/jobs around because housing is cheaper.
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  • VaBluebirdVaBluebird 3239 replies223 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    High anxiety.
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  • thumper1thumper1 73779 replies3216 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I love retirement. I loved my job too. But I now have time to do some things that I really enjoy...that couldn't be done when I had my day job. I have a lot of flexibility in terms of scheduling everything I do, and that is a huge plus.

    For those wondering how they will occupy their time...have no fear. There is plenty to do. And once you are retired, anyone seeking a smart volunteer will know, and ask you for help.

    I'm as busy, of not busier now than I was when I was an employee. The difference is, I'm really able to choose what I do. And I love it.
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  • 3togo3togo 5218 replies15 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Article from the NYT on when to take SS. Thought this was a good thread to put the link for article.

    I'm not sure I buy the advice to wait as long as you can to start collecting SS benefits. All the numbers are correct in the article ... the longer you wait the higher the higher the expected total SS benefits you will collect over your lifetime .. and if you live a long-time it can be substantially more. Those facts are absolutely correct. They did not include a couple of other pieces of information that are making me consider starting taking my bennies at 62.

    First, if I start collecting at 67 or 70 instead of 62 the total benefits I will collect do not catch up until I am about 80 years old. So it's true my expected SS life-time benefits are higher if I wait ... it's also true for the from 62 to 80 SS will have provided me more benefits if I start taking the benefits at 62.

    Second, if I start collecting at 62 it provides me more flexibility for possible semi-retirement plans. Having the SS benny then may allow me to pursue purely fun rewarding work and a level of hours that I want years earlier than if I wait.

    Third, more than likely I will be more active and more able in my 60s .. so pursuing a financial plan that leverages that decade seems pretty appealing to me.

    Everything written says wait as long as you can ... I'm not sure I buy the argument.
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  • GTalumGTalum 3048 replies25 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My financial planner tells me we'll reach our retirement goals (living at the same standard of living that we are now) in 4 years. We are 10+ years from retirement age, so I feel pretty good about it so far. Maybe I'll be able to work part time in a few years. Then again, the market may crash.
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  • jym626jym626 55110 replies2860 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    bookmarking
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  • scout59scout59 3484 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thumper - you're my hero! H and I have about 1.8 - 1.9 million in 401ks and 403bs; I will also receive a decent annual pension payout from a previous employer. We're hoping to retire in about 5-8 years, and I can't wait to volunteer/work for those causes about which I feel passionate.... I can't imagine that I will be bored or restless when retirement comes.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18419 replies324 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    scout59, it sounds like you are in very good shape.
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  • QuotiaQuotia 134 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We were young parents, so we won't retire for about 20-25 more years.

    We have a number range in mind and are on track to hit the low end. With a little effort, I think we can hit the high end. We'll have about 10-15 years between the end of college payments and retirement, so that should give us a little time.

    We'll both have modest pensions, plus SS and 401k savings, so I hope we'll have enough. It's all so unknown, though.

    We are planning to move to a lower cost area, but those plans may change based on where the kids settle.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Sounds a little crazy, but one thing that has kept me from upgrading to a smart phone is that I know I won't want to give it up. And when I calculate the data plan cost out thru retirement, it makes me a little crazy (say I live until 90 like my parents are getting close to -- start paying for a smart phone at 50 at $30/month, and pay that for 40 years). It comes to over $14,000 with no inflation for the data plan cost (or new expensive phones). Now... who really knows what the cost of data plans will be over time (could go down...) and whether we will even use phones/data plans in 40 years. But still...

    Similar with cable. I am happy as a clam now with a relatively inexpensive Netflix subscription -- there are times I would like cable, but don't want to get used to it. Maybe won't be using Netflix til I am 90, but when I add up the increased cost over the rest of my life, I have no trouble throwing the cable ads in the garbage.

    I also intend to have no debt by the time I am 60, and plan to move close to kids/grandkids to avoid those travel costs. :)

    I get a small pension already from ex-H's retirement this year -- for now it just covers the cost of the health care we lost when he retired, but when I reach Medicare age it will be helpful income. And I have saved a fair amount, about 50% of what I would like to have when I retire, with about 15 years to go to retirement. When D2 graduates from college in a couple of years, I expect to turn my earning power toward more retirement savings -- not all will be tax-deferred, but will do some post tax savings as well. I expect something of an inheritance, but am not counting heavily on it. And maybe a scrap from social security, we will see...
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  • thumper1thumper1 73779 replies3216 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Our kids are like gnats. I don't expect them to live anyplace forever. The notion that I'm going to retire "near" them just isn't a happening. I want to live near a decent airport so they can come to visit, and I can go to visit. If they live closeby...fine. But I'm not going to base my living location on theirs. They just move around a lot these days.
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ah, well, I think one of mine is the "settling type", and most likely to have kids also. The gnat analogy definitely applies to the other one, but she might even move to be near us someday if we congregate. :)
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  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11023 replies24 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    @intparent, I get to mooch off D1 regarding Netflix and Hulu account. I need to research the 3 sport channels that DH likes to watch then I can get rid of cable, and phone after that. Regarding cellphone, I was hesitant to get smart phone for myself for a long time. My kids have it but I finally gave in and joined the crowd. I get much pleasure out of it, so I see it as a necessity now. I was kidding about the caveman part.
    edited May 2014
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I need to research the 3 sport channels that DH likes to watch then I can get rid of cable...

    I wonder if there is a way to get just the 3 sports channels... that is the problem with cable is the bundling. I see the benefits of a smart phone (D1 has one, and I have an iTouch in addition to my "dumb" phone). But I work at a computer most of the day with internet access. Would it be nice every once in a while to look up an address on the fly occasionally? Or not take my GPS on vacation? Not to the tune of $14K over the rest of my life. I don't deny that there are some benefits. Merely that the ongoing cost when considered over time is not worth it to me.
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  • IxnayBobIxnayBob 4372 replies42 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    A good rule of thumb is that you should have 25x your annual needs (post SS, post pension) in savings. That number is arrived at via a SWR (safe withdrawal rate) of 4%. Some people think that in today's environment, drawing down more than 3% is unwise (which makes the requirement 33x).

    I compute my annual needs by taking the past few years of expenses (from Quicken), export them to a spreadsheet, and then have columns for best case and worst case spending. For example, commuting cost goes to $0 (unless you're going to do non-local volunteering). Medical expense probably goes up. Cable expense stays the same in best case, but could go down to $0 in worst case. Once the ravenous teens are out of the house, grocery expense is halved (at least)... and so on through the various categories.
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  • oldmom4896oldmom4896 3854 replies287 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    I have a smart phone, costs me $40/month including 300 minutes, texting, and data, via Virgin Mobile. I have to pay for the phone (mine cost $150) and the only extra cost is sales tax on the phone and on the $40. 1200 minutes would cost $50/month plus sales tax. No, I don't stream video, but I've never gone over the limits for data. And it's my GPS--it works fine.
    edited May 2014
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  • thumper1thumper1 73779 replies3216 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We have three iPhones on an ATT plan...$145 a month total for unlimited talk and text, and 10gb of shared data that we don't come close to using! I'd rather have my smartphone than cable TV.
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  • HImomHImom 34097 replies389 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    H has a generous pension that provides a 55% survival pension if I outlive (I'm 15 years younger and have healthy folks that are 85/90). I will get a bit of SS. We have some rentals, some retirement accounts and a few significant IRAs.

    We've run the Monte Carlo simulations for free with several CFPs and they all say we are fine--100% likely to have a substantial estate in 50+ years--more than we currently have.

    H sorta retired 12/31/12 and then really returned 7/28/13 (after 45+ years he mostly loved). H was 70.5 and When first retired. I will soon be 57 and likely to retire any time, depending. We will be ok, even if I fully retire today. I'm only still working because I really enjoy it and feel I'm making an important difference, in my own way and sphere.

    In calculating how much one needs to save, deduct the pension and SS amounts from the annual
    Amounts one needs to live on to get a more accurate estimate of how much needs to be saved.

    Once we paid off colleges and mortgage, expenses went way down. We are in a higher tax bracket as retirees than we were when H worked full time, which surprised us. H has to withdraw RMDs from any traditional IRAs he doesn't convert to Roth IRAs and can no longer contribute to any IRAs. Have always lived below our income and still do, even with travel and paying all D's expenses while she job hunts, including room and board.
    edited May 2014
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