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Thread: What is your "enough" number?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    What is your "enough" number?

    When I read the billionaire thread, it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend about money. She said that in her mind, if she had $2 million, that would be her "we have plenty of money" number. They have 3 kids and 4 grand kids that they help financially and I'm sure they would like to leave an inheritance as well. This prompted me to think of what my own number would be, that number that comes up when you think, "Yes, that would be more than enough." Dh and I don't have kids so our main concerns would be health care and assisted living costs when we're older.

    Obviously, there are lots of other factors that come into play, primarily pensions, SS, Medicare, and inheritance for some. But if you had none of those other sources of income or resources, and had to rely solely on your saved funds, what would be your "enough" number? The dollar amount that you feel would be enough for you to stop working and retire comfortably, knowing that your financial needs would be met.

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    With an additional $500,000 tax free I could retire now.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I will reply in generalities. Given the stock market of the past few days, I need to be prepared to lose half.

    So hereís what I need in general:

    Nursing Home costs: $800,000

    $100,000 a year to go towards nursing home care for one of us x 8 years. That is $800,000.

    My scenario doesnít cover both of us being in a nursing home, thatís very unlikely, but if that does happen then thatís fine. We just exhaust our resources and go on the government dole.

    General living costs: $1.8 million
    $60,000 x 30 years

    So, a total of $2.6 million. But that doesnít cover any major loss in financial markets.

    Ffortunately we have a pension and Social Security. We donít have to rely entirely on our own saved assets.

    That $60,000 annual living cost could be shrunk down quite a bit if needed, yet it is a fair amount lower than what we spend now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    I will reply in generalities. Given the stock market of the past few days, I need to be prepared to lose half.

    So here’s what I need in general:

    Nursing Home costs: $800,000

    $100,000 a year to go towards nursing home care for one of us x 8 years. That is $800,000.

    My scenario doesn’t cover both of us being in a nursing home, that’s very unlikely, but if that does happen then that’s fine. We just exhaust our resources and go on the government dole.

    General living costs: $1.8 million
    $60,000 x 30 years

    So, a total of $2.6 million. But that doesn’t cover any major loss in financial markets.

    Ffortunately we have a pension and Social Security. We don’t have to rely entirely on our own saved assets.

    That $60,000 annual living cost could be shrunk down quite a bit if needed, yet it is a fair amount lower than what we spend now.
    Ditto.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    In college in the '80s, I thought the number was $2 million, for a family of 3-4.

    Nowadays I'd put it at about the same, because I've figured out that I don't spend nearly as much as I thought I'd spend. Maybe round it up to $3 million to account for living in a high cost of living area such as my current spot.

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    I thought IL's answer was really interesting and it got me computing. Then I saw that the original question was aimed at pure savings, as though SS and pension and potential inheritances did not exist for the respondent.

    But for me the only way to answer is to look at my actual situation, which includes ss and pension, and then planning for 30 more years which of course if really generous and it could be a lot shorter.

    And then there is no way I could reach the numbers that IL and Gardnr and Bae say are "enough."

    So I'm not sure what I am trying to come up with as a number, since at 63, there is no time left to come up with a great career that is going to let me save this money and up my various income streams.

    I do like the idea of "enough" very much and that is actually my financial guiding principle. But I think I am defining "enough" differently, sort of enough to cover the basics as to food, shelter, ability to spend time with my family and do a certain number of fun things, support health that lets me do those things.

    So not really sure as to number?

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I thought IL's answer was really interesting and it got me computing. Then I saw that the original question was aimed at pure savings, as though SS and pension and potential inheritances did not exist for the respondent.

    But for me the only way to answer is to look at my actual situation, which includes ss and pension, and then planning for 30 more years which of course if really generous and it could be a lot shorter.

    And then there is no way I could reach the numbers that IL and Gardnr and Bae say are "enough."

    So I'm not sure what I am trying to come up with as a number, since at 63, there is no time left to come up with a great career that is going to let me save this money and up my various income streams.

    I do like the idea of "enough" very much and that is actually my financial guiding principle. But I think I am defining "enough" differently, sort of enough to cover the basics as to food, shelter, ability to spend time with my family and do a certain number of fun things, support health that lets me do those things.

    So not really sure as to number?
    My thoughts exactly. Is "enough" what I would like to have? What I need to have?

    My thoughts go more philosophical because, like Tybee, looking at the 2M as "enough" is certainly not my number because it's an impossible number. I'm OK with that. I have set my personal expectations and my financial planning so that "enough" is exactly what I have. Given that I'm an independent contractor, I'm not looking at a number where I can finally ring the bell and live off the "enough"--my goals are like Tybee's--just enough to have the basics covered and be able to enjoy life in a simple way, which I will be able to do with streams of income like SS and supplemented with continued employment, be it part time, full time, or occasional.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I thought IL's answer was really interesting and it got me computing. Then I saw that the original question was aimed at pure savings, as though SS and pension and potential inheritances did not exist for the respondent.

    But for me the only way to answer is to look at my actual situation, which includes ss and pension, and then planning for 30 more years which of course if really generous and it could be a lot shorter.

    And then there is no way I could reach the numbers that IL and Gardnr and Bae say are "enough."

    So I'm not sure what I am trying to come up with as a number, since at 63, there is no time left to come up with a great career that is going to let me save this money and up my various income streams.

    I do like the idea of "enough" very much and that is actually my financial guiding principle. But I think I am defining "enough" differently, sort of enough to cover the basics as to food, shelter, ability to spend time with my family and do a certain number of fun things, support health that lets me do those things.

    So not really sure as to number?
    I use as a guiding principle: I don’t want to impoverish my spouse. If I have a debilitating stroke, I suppose I could live for a few years but I hope it doesn’t go on for eight years. In a nursing home my pension and Social Security would go to pay for that nursing home cost and I still need an extra $40,000 a year for it. That’s OK we have that kind of money. Our chief household income is tied to me.


    But that scenario leaves DH only with his Social Security check which is not huge. He needs a certain amount in assets to draw down for living expenses. He knows how to live very simply, and he has excellent handyman skills he could work at into his late 70’s, but why should he? I also expect that in Hermann, there are quite a few handymen working at low wages. In St. Louis he could be busy 60 hours a week, but I doubt it to be true there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I looked at 25 times my annual expenses as my "enough" number, and I have a little bit more than that as a buffer. That's assuming there's no social security, but of course since my spouse is 66, it clearly will be there for him when he files. I can cut back quite a bit should I have to, I also don't need to leave any inheritance because I have no kids, so there's always digging into principal should I need to. I think I have enough.

    My expenses are quite low, so my total enough number is way less than other numbers being quoted.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Officially, fully on the government teat this month because I am pulling Social Security income and also
    Medicare.

    I signed up for Social Security income a couple of months before my “full” retirement age of 66 because that’s what worked out best for us, taxwise. I didn’t want to do it in the last tax year and we wanted to get it over with before gardening season started because I don’t want to have to pay attention if things are set up correctly in the month of May when my birthday is.

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