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Thread: What is your "enough" number?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    So it looks like quite a few of you have found $1.5 million, or $5,000 per month, to be the magic number. Isn't it interesting to think of how much benefit we get from SS, medicare and pensions over our lifetime? Can you imagine having to come up with $1.5 million before you can retire?
    Last edited by Geila; 3-5-20 at 12:12pm.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    Can you imagine having to come up with $1.5 million before you could retire?
    Well, yes I can imagine since we did it. We gave up a lot (by the Jones' lifestyle). We paid off debt AFTER paying ourselves first and we paid our debt in an aggressive manner before spending on any extras. It was decades of monthly cost-averaging and the first 15 years it grows very slowly.

    I have our net assets tracked back to 1996. It has taken 24 years to grow it 13X that "starting point". And we started back in 1987!

    It sucked for awhile until we garnered solid control of our spending habits and became goal driven. And then it took until 2010 to become permanently debt free, paying cash for EVERYTHING!

    If we had been well-educated on money back when we got married in 1980, the road would have been much easier and the waste would have resulted in a much earlier achievement of success. But I am grateful we learned by the time we were 26!

  3. #23
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    Well, yes I can imagine since we did it. We gave up a lot (by the Jones' lifestyle). We paid off debt AFTER paying ourselves first and we paid our debt in an aggressive manner before spending on any extras. It was decades of monthly cost-averaging and the first 15 years it grows very slowly.

    I have our net assets tracked back to 1996. It has taken 24 years to grow it 13X that "starting point". And we started back in 1987!

    It sucked for awhile until we garnered solid control of our spending habits and became goal driven. And then it took until 2010 to become permanently debt free, paying cash for EVERYTHING!

    If we had been well-educated on money back when we got married in 1980, the road would have been much easier and the waste would have resulted in a much earlier achievement of success. But I am grateful we learned by the time we were 26!
    Wow. Just wow. Congratulations.

  4. #24
    Junior Member wildflower3's Avatar
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    Intriguing thread. Being NOWHERE near retirement myself, it's definitely something that's still on my mind. My dad retired a few years ago and my mom just retired a few weeks ago. I've definitely tried to keep an open ear when she talks about how she's managed their money and retirement plans and have used little online projections and calculators to get an idea of where I'm at, where I should be, etc. My parents have put off receiving my dad's social security so that he'll receive more per month, and I believe they'll start getting it sometime this year (he just turned 70).

    I do not have social security; I used to work in local government but they were on a county retirement system, however I wasn't there long enough for it to do much. I feel pretty 'on my own' in preparing for retirement (even though it's ~35 years away) in the sense of needing to save it all myself, and definitely utilize any matching my employers do for IRAs and such!

    As I started paying closer attention maybe 6 months ago and perusing more online resources than before, I generally decided 2 million by retirement at ~67 years old for myself. I'm currently on track for that from what I can tell. 3 million would be even better to have more cushion in case of extra health issues I guess?

    My boyfriend should have some sort of retirement through his employer (also local government) though I can't recall what, and obviously we aren't married (fingers crossed though lol) so I try to be practical and be prepared for providing for myself, should things ever not work out.

    I am definitely trying to be good about 'paying myself first' and it's part of why I'm happy about the house we hope to buy - it would allow us to live very decently within our means, despite needing some updates and being far from exciting.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    Rogar - was the $500k in addition to other sources of income/benefits like SS, pension, medicare?
    No. It was just $500k outright in savings. Of all my calculating, that number was more of a swag than other budget estimates from income or spending. If and when the time comes I'll have other common incomes from SS, a small pension and what ever medicare might pay. I'd say it's more of a sleep comfortably at night figure. I watched my parents spend down their savings and assets to become eligible for Medicaid once they both were in long term care facilities, and it was an uncomfortable situation. Maybe it will allow more home health care rather than being subject to institutional care and an alternate to long term health insurance. It's pretty much of an unknown I suppose.

    For the record my savings at retirement was less than the common $1 million number, plus a pension of about $15k a year and 50% of health insurance paid by previous employer until Medicare kicks in. House paid off.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Wildflower, it’s great that you are saving for retirement when young.

  7. #27
    Junior Member wildflower3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Wildflower, it’s great that you are saving for retirement when young.
    I'm certainly trying! I'd like us to buy this house, live in it for 10+ years and slowly save towards another downpayment. It'd be great if we could then buy something a little nicer and rent this house out, but that's too far out to really have any real idea.

    Another goal is to work at a place that would get me vested and able to have retirement health insurance - my mom went back to the state for a year doing a crap little student job unrelated to her career, just to add some time working there to end up with the health insurance.

    For those not yet retired, are there any simple online resources you like using to gauge where you are at and get a general prediction of your retirement situation, such as calculators, projections, etc that don't require an account? My Transamerica account offers simplified projections for example, but wouldn't be helpful to someone without an account. Chris Hogan, Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, etc resources?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    So it looks like quite a few of you have found $1.5 million, or $5,000 per month, to be the magic number.
    Wow! I certainly hope that is not the "standard". Nowhere close to $5,000 per month as a working household, let alone thinking of retiring with that much.

    I don't think this is the thread for me to participate in - LOL!

    Congrats to all of you who have "made it". Enjoy!
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  9. #29
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Happystuff, My humble opinion is that you should run your own numbers and maybe use a retirement calculator. Not everyone has the same lifestyle and it's a good way to get a handle on budget and income streams. I am still on the experimental stage of SS payments, but with no debt I'm pretty sure I could live on SS plus about $10k per year plus a nest egg for things like new furnaces or car replacements.

    Having no debt and bridging the gap between early retirement and then SS and medicare are the big issues. As a single person I think the 1.5/5000 magic number is pretty much in excess of my middle class needs. Having a partner could be better or worse depending on any additional income streams, but there are also some synergies in spending.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Happy, one of the biggest expenses can be traveling if you enjoy it. The years we travel we have spent between 4-15k/year just on travel. No regrets as the day will come when one of us canít.

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