I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

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KW2020
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:46 pm
Location: Michigan

I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Hello BHs,

I just discovered this site, searching for someone to give me a reality check on financial choices. While I have no qualms about sharing my financial data, I am reluctant to seek advice from folks in my circle as they are not doing as well as I am. My ex-wife and I were always excellent savers, and I have fully recovered from an amicable divorce 5 years ago. Without being boastful I would like validation or criticism.

I am an overworked medical (veterinary) professional & small business owner, age 58. I would like to sell my responsibilities asap and stop working for a while at least. With lots of skepticism, I think I want to buy a sail boat, throw money into the sea, and sail the world. I may, or may not enjoy that for a few months or a few years. I have over 15K miles of long distance sea-kayaking. Three years ago, I bought a trailer sailboat from a friend's widow after an unexpected death and I have been sailing some long distances for the past 2 years in coastal waters and the Great Lakes. As a small animal veterinarian, I have the option of entering the workforce again in the future if my health is willing.

I have kept a running spreadsheet of my net worth since age 17; and for 15 years I have had 3 running dynamic versions of retirement forecast scenarios. The forecasts only take into consideration liquid retirement savings and proceeds from sale of 3 businesses. The forecasts do not consider home, 1 property, any inheritance, or family limited partnership (parents conveyance vehicle) so I have many potential buffers. Once retired, I have forecast to earn only 3% on my savings, to spend an unbelievable $170K on taxes and life, and per my forecasts I should not run out of these semi liquid funds until I am 95 (likely be dead before then as I am tall and wide).

Current income ~$220,000 per year.
Expenses: I don't spend much, and currently manage to save >$100K per year (things have only been "this good" for the past 5 years).
Liabilities:
$140K Mtg.
$25K left on a line of credit from purchase of a small business (11/18).
$450 note held jointly for business "C" below.

Business A value $1M+ (profit 200K)
Business B value $300K (profit $50K+ per year); a recent purchase, passive paramedical income, not reflected above
Business C (40% of son's just purchased practice) value $1M, no significant cash flow yet, planned buy back (~400) in 3y)

My portfolio (not to your specs):
Total Retirement Savings: $1,590,000

American Century IRA: $415,000
Am. Cent. Savings Taxable: $475,000
Axa Equitable 401K $670,000
Chase Brokerage (2 stocks) $15,000
HSA $8,500
Checking $8,000
Wealthfront 2.5% FDIC (new): $100 (time for some non-volatile money)

My choices in Funds include about 15 different funds, chosen flagrantly every 4 to 6 months by lining up the company's funds and 're-balancing' to the better performers over the past 1 to 3 years. This means I am in 90% stocks. My position is that as I can keep working, if things go to bad, otherwise I want to be as aggressive as possible until I commit to living off my savings.

Questions:
1) I would like to ask my older, wiser, and wealthier brother/sister "what do you think of my plans"?
2)What actually drove me here today was the realization that I will soon have over 1M with American Century.
How much is too much to have with one investment company? I do like to keep things simple.

Thank you for your thoughts,
KneadingWater
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Tyler Aspect
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Location: California
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by Tyler Aspect »

KneadingWater wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:31 am Hello BHs,

Welcome to Bogleheads.

I just discovered this site, searching for someone to give me a reality check on financial choices. While I have no qualms about sharing my financial data, I am reluctant to seek advice from folks in my circle as they are not doing as well as I am. My ex-wife and I were always excellent savers, and I have fully recovered from an amicable divorce 5 years ago. Without being boastful I would like validation or criticism.

I am an overworked medical (veterinary) professional & small business owner, age 58. I would like to sell my responsibilities asap and stop working for a while at least. With lots of skepticism, I think I want to buy a sail boat, throw money into the sea, and sail the world. I may, or may not enjoy that for a few months or a few years. I have over 15K miles of long distance sea-kayaking. Three years ago, I bought a trailer sailboat from a friend's widow after an unexpected death and I have been sailing some long distances for the past 2 years in coastal waters and the Great Lakes. As a small animal veterinarian, I have the option of entering the workforce again in the future if my health is willing.

I have kept a running spreadsheet of my net worth since age 17; and for 15 years I have had 3 running dynamic versions of retirement forecast scenarios. The forecasts only take into consideration liquid retirement savings and proceeds from sale of 3 businesses. The forecasts do not consider home, 1 property, any inheritance, or family limited partnership (parents conveyance vehicle) so I have many potential buffers. Once retired, I have forecast to earn only 3% on my savings, to spend an unbelievable $170K on taxes and life, and per my forecasts I should not run out of these semi liquid funds until I am 95 (likely be dead before then as I am tall and wide).

Current income ~$220,000 per year.
Expenses: I don't spend much, and currently manage to save >$100K per year (things have only been "this good" for the past 5 years).
Liabilities:
$140K Mtg.
$25K left on a line of credit from purchase of a small business (11/18).
$450 note held jointly for business "C" below.

It is traditional to pay off loans before entering into retirement. You are not in retirement yet, but it could be a good move to start paying off loans.

Business A value $1M+ (profit 200K)
Business B value $300K (profit $50K+ per year); a recent purchase, passive paramedical income, not reflected above
Business C (40% of son's just purchased practice) value $1M, no significant cash flow yet, planned buy back (~400) in 3y)

My portfolio (not to your specs):
Total Retirement Savings: $1,590,000

American Century IRA: $415,000
Am. Cent. Savings Taxable: $475,000
Axa Equitable 401K $670,000
Chase Brokerage (2 stocks) $15,000
HSA $8,500
Checking $8,000
Wealthfront 2.5% FDIC (new): $100 (time for some non-volatile money)

My choices in Funds include about 15 different funds, chosen flagrantly every 4 to 6 months by lining up the company's funds and 're-balancing' to the better performers over the past 1 to 3 years. This means I am in 90% stocks. My position is that as I can keep working, if things go to bad, otherwise I want to be as aggressive as possible until I commit to living off my savings.

Rebalancing is moving money from over-represented funds to under-represented funds. You are doing it in the opposite direction!

Questions:
1) I would like to ask my older, wiser, and wealthier brother/sister "what do you think of my plans"?

90% stock / 10% bond allocation is quite aggressive for your age. Nearing retirement age means the priority of preserving asset is just as important as maximizing gains. Having to work when you do not want to is not fun.

2)What actually drove me here today was the realization that I will soon have over 1M with American Century.
How much is too much to have with one investment company? I do like to keep things simple.

Aren't American Century's funds mostly active high turn-over funds? I had owned American Century Ultra 25 years ago, but I converted my funds to Bogleheads style once I read Jack Bogle's classic book "Bogle on Mutual Funds". Three Funds Portfolio should be lower cost over the long term.

Thank you for your thoughts,
KneadingWater
Past result does not predict future performance. Mentioned investments may lose money. Contents are presented "AS IS" and any implied suitability for a particular purpose are disclaimed.
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Orbuculum Nongata
Posts: 483
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

KneadingWater wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:31 am Hello BHs,

I just discovered this site, searching for someone to give me a reality check on financial choices. While I have no qualms about sharing my financial data, I am reluctant to seek advice from folks in my circle as they are not doing as well as I am. My ex-wife and I were always excellent savers, and I have fully recovered from an amicable divorce 5 years ago. Without being boastful I would like validation or criticism.

I am an overworked medical (veterinary) professional & small business owner, age 58. I would like to sell my responsibilities asap and stop working for a while at least. With lots of skepticism, I think I want to buy a sail boat, throw money into the sea, and sail the world. I may, or may not enjoy that for a few months or a few years. I have over 15K miles of long distance sea-kayaking. Three years ago, I bought a trailer sailboat from a friend's widow after an unexpected death and I have been sailing some long distances for the past 2 years in coastal waters and the Great Lakes. As a small animal veterinarian, I have the option of entering the workforce again in the future if my health is willing.

I have kept a running spreadsheet of my net worth since age 17; and for 15 years I have had 3 running dynamic versions of retirement forecast scenarios. The forecasts only take into consideration liquid retirement savings and proceeds from sale of 3 businesses. The forecasts do not consider home, 1 property, any inheritance, or family limited partnership (parents conveyance vehicle) so I have many potential buffers. Once retired, I have forecast to earn only 3% on my savings, to spend an unbelievable $170K on taxes and life, and per my forecasts I should not run out of these semi liquid funds until I am 95 (likely be dead before then as I am tall and wide).

Current income ~$220,000 per year.
Expenses: I don't spend much, and currently manage to save >$100K per year (things have only been "this good" for the past 5 years).
Liabilities:
$140K Mtg.
$25K left on a line of credit from purchase of a small business (11/18).
$450 note held jointly for business "C" below.

Business A value $1M+ (profit 200K)
Business B value $300K (profit $50K+ per year); a recent purchase, passive paramedical income, not reflected above
Business C (40% of son's just purchased practice) value $1M, no significant cash flow yet, planned buy back (~400) in 3y)

My portfolio (not to your specs):
Total Retirement Savings: $1,590,000

American Century IRA: $415,000
Am. Cent. Savings Taxable: $475,000
Axa Equitable 401K $670,000
Chase Brokerage (2 stocks) $15,000
HSA $8,500
Checking $8,000
Wealthfront 2.5% FDIC (new): $100 (time for some non-volatile money)

My choices in Funds include about 15 different funds, chosen flagrantly every 4 to 6 months by lining up the company's funds and 're-balancing' to the better performers over the past 1 to 3 years. This means I am in 90% stocks. My position is that as I can keep working, if things go to bad, otherwise I want to be as aggressive as possible until I commit to living off my savings.

Questions:
1) I would like to ask my older, wiser, and wealthier brother/sister "what do you think of my plans"?
2)What actually drove me here today was the realization that I will soon have over 1M with American Century.
How much is too much to have with one investment company? I do like to keep things simple.

Thank you for your thoughts,
KneadingWater
Welcome! You have come to the right place. There are lots of people here from whom you will benefit.

I am not older or wiser but your plans sound reasonable if you can really handle the risk of your allocation through good and bad times.
I don't think a million dollars under one roof is a concern at all depending upon what it costs you to have it there.
Side note: Personally I don't like to carry debt. Any debt. Others disagree. Neither of us are wrong.

Best to you.
Last edited by Orbuculum Nongata on Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Potential - distraction = performance.
retiredjg
Posts: 42203
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by retiredjg »

KneadingWater wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:31 am 1) I would like to ask my older, wiser, and wealthier brother/sister "what do you think of my plans"?
I think your plan to take time off or retire early is probably ok if you have no financial obligation to the son's practice (or ther things not mentioned) and if you can actually sell your practice.

It is unclear what the cost of setting up your sailing expedition might be so I have no idea if that part of the plan is realistic or not. For example, you cannot afford to put $500k to $1 million into getting started and expect to live on the remaining money for the rest of your life unless your expenses are very very very low.

2)What actually drove me here today was the realization that I will soon have over 1M with American Century.
How much is too much to have with one investment company? I do like to keep things simple.
How much to keep in one place is a personal decision. I would not worry if all that money were at Vanguard because of its unique financial structure.

I know little to nothing about American Century, but it sounds like your portfolio and your method of choosing funds may be a bit of a disaster. :?

Hint...when you rebalance you sell the performers and buy underperformers. I'm afraid you are doing it backwards and that may be costing you a good deal of money. Your portfolio is also way too aggressive if you are considering taking time off/retiring.
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Topic Author
KW2020
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Tyler,

Thank you for the quick response.

>>>It is traditional to pay off loans before entering into retirement. You are not in retirement yet, but it could be a good move to start paying off loans.<<<
I agree, I don't like debt. Other than the MTG, I borrowed these funds for acquisitions with in the past 7-8 months. Business B will be paid off in several months. Business C will pay off itself over 5 years. As the MTG interest is deductible, if figured it was cheap money.

It raises the question, if I want out, why buy more? Business B was a steal, and very little work (but, I do worry about it). Business C was a venture with my son. An ER practice in another state. He should do well, and it is fun to participate with him. He does all the work and most of the worry.

>>>Rebalancing is moving money from over-represented funds to under-represented funds. You are doing it in the opposite direction!<<<
That I am aware of, I was being tongue in cheek :)

>>>Aren't American Century's funds mostly active high turn-over funds? I had owned American Century Ultra 25 years ago, but I converted my funds to Bogleheads style once I read Jack Bogle's classic book "Bogle on Mutual Funds". Three Funds Portfolio should be lower cost over the long term.<<<
Yes, they are managed funds.
Yes I like that idea, and have been familiar with stock marked target indexes, but AmCent is limited (as you know).
"Three Funds Portfolio should be lower cost over the long term" Hey, I found a BH wiki page! Nice page, I like it.
I simply need to pop that cherry and move my money out of AmCent as that is the only company I have ever used.
My son has encouraged me to move to Fidelity or the like, but he is an inexperienced millennial! But, I am listening to him, and now you too.

The company 401K funds with AXA have an additional 0.5% fee on top of the fund fees. Axa manages all the paper work at virtually no cost. Meaning, essentially, that the expenses are paid out of mine, and other employee's earnings. Sort of stuck here, until I 'quit'. I am aware of the cost of even a fraction of a % really adds up over time. Despite this, and due to dumb luck, I have managed the same return as Vanguards total stock marked index over the past 5 years, ending March 31.

Thank you for your thoughts,

KW
delamer
Posts: 10590
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by delamer »

Welcome.

I’m confused about your intentions regarding the businesses.

You said you are running retirement forecasts that include selling them, but you also list the current income/profits.

Could you clarify? And what about the note on your son’s business?

Finally, what is the value of your home and do you plan to sell it, rent it, or other?

Are you familiar with the concept of safe withdrawal rates: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Safe_withdrawal_rates
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KW2020
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Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:46 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Retiredjg,

Thank you for the comments.

>>>It is unclear what the cost of setting up your sailing expedition might be so I have no idea if that part of the plan is realistic or not. For example, you cannot afford to put $500k to $1 million into getting started and expect to live on the remaining money for the rest of your life unless your expenses are very very very low.<<<
Well, Goofus would say that I’ll likely spend, $250K on a 45’ 10-year-old Island Packet (not sexy, but safe). To balance that I’ll be renting out the home. I could spend 50K a year to maintain the boat. Some do this for < 30K a year total cost of boat and living. Unless I do something stupid, the vessel should have residual value when I am done.

Gallant would say I am going to walk to the end of the pier and dump $250K into the water and never see it again.

Hopefully, I am closer to Goofus's predictions, than I am to Gallant's (Highlight's allegory).

KW
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FelixTheCat
Posts: 1913
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by FelixTheCat »

Here's a little reading to get you started on Boglehead theory https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Getting_started

Here's a little information about Bogleheads three fund indexing portfolio https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Three-fund_portfolio
From Vanguard's list of "core funds," the funds that are best for a three-fund portfolio are:

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX)
Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VTIAX)
Vanguard Total Bond Market Fund (VBTLX)
Here's a tool to give you an idea about retirement scenarios https://www.firecalc.com/

Here's another tool to help you compare your American Century portfolio to Bogleheads three-fund portfolio https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/backtest-portfolio


You may want to look into Vanguard's Small Business Retirement Plans if you decide to go with Vanguard. https://investor.vanguard.com/small-bus ... ns/options to get you into indexing and lowering your investment costs.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.
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KW2020
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Location: Michigan

Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Delamer,

>>>I’m confused about your intentions regarding the businesses…
You said you are running retirement forecasts that include selling them, but you also list the current income/profits.<<<I was trying to provide information that was asked for.

The main business, A, is my practice. This is the one the keeps me up nights and holds me down. There is no debt. Realistically, veterinary practices sell for 5 to 10 times EBIDTA. If I worked hard I could probably sell for more, but I would be happy to sell more quickly for 1.2M. Realistically, it would take a year to sell.

Business B is passive, and I have projected income of 50K per year for 5 years and sell for 300K.

>>>Could you clarify? And what about the note on your son’s business?<<<
My son’s ER practice, business C, is more complicated. We closed in January and it is exceeding expectations. We projected a 10% increase in revenues but have managed 30%. The growth is concerning as we don’t know why, and he is overwhelmed. There is a $400K note that is scheduled to be serviced over 5 years. Likely we will pay this off, before he buys my 40% out. At some point soon we will start taking draws, likely 40% of 100K?

>>>Finally, what is the value of your home and do you plan to sell it, rent it, or other?<<<
Condo value of $250K and I will rent or sell it when I leave.
There is another property I own (70%) with my father (since high school) which we are seeking a building permit for. It is lake front, and to create/maximize value it should have a home on it. That will be a $300K home I will finance and we will hope to sell either my condo, or the lake front at a premium, which ever sells first. Regardless, if I go on a sail about, whatever I am left with I will intend to rent.

>>>Are you familiar with the concept of safe withdrawal rates<<<
I am familiar with the concept, but not by that name.
Currently, my 1st year of total reliance on no new income would be in 2024, and my rate of withdrawal would be 5.4%. Growing savings at only 3% I project to run out when I am 95.
Bear in mind, if I am healthy, I likely will come back into the work force (unless I love sailing the world).

Additional planned sources of income if I pull this off would include:
Veterinary Internet Consulting fee: $10K until 70? (Yes, boat must have worldwide access).
Business B-so long as it is easy: $50K (I have projected 4 years till selling)
Spousal Social Security at 62: $5K (likely more, I don’t have access to her reports), until 72, then mine is projected to be 40K

Thank you,
KW
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KW2020
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Location: Michigan

Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Felix,

You may have come across my table!
(Cat….Vet….get it?)

>>>You may want to look into Vanguard's Small Business Retirement Plans if you decide to go with Vanguard. https://investor.vanguard.com/small-bus ... ns/options to get you into indexing and lowering your investment costs.<<<They are limited to SIMPLE and SEP plans; I have contact them in the past for just the reason. Currently, I am able to defer $26K (I think for 2019) into the 401K. I do have to match for my employee’s too, but good for them.

Thank you for the other links, I will look at them.

I very much like the 3-fund portfolio, as I don’t kid myself that I know anything! And, it would keep me from looking, as much, every time the marked goes up.

KW
JBTX
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by JBTX »

You have about $1.7-M in retirement assets, plus another $1.5-2.0M in business interests.

- do you any liquid funds (non taxable, emergency funds, etc)
- 90/10 is certainly more aggressive than I would be (or am) at approx your age.
- I am not clear on how "hard" your business net worth is. But let's just use a total net worth number of $3.5M. $170k/ 3.5M. That is a 5.0% withdrawal rate. By itself that has a long term failure rate risk which most here find unacceptable. Most shoot for between 3.0-4.0%. Now presumably you will eventually draw social security so that would help to offset some of the expenses. So 5.0% until social security may work, but that can hold hit your savings fairly hard if the economy or markets take a serious dip.
HomeStretch
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by HomeStretch »

Good advice and questions from other posters.

In preparation for sailing the world, you might want to simplify/consolidate your financial accounts. For example, consolidate your taxable and retirement accounts where possible. Move accounts to one or two financial institutions at most.

You may need to move to bank/broker that allows access outside of the US. I recall BH threads about accounts being shutdown when brokers detected ex-U.S. IP addresses during log on.
PartIrish
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by PartIrish »

"Spousal Social Security at 62: $5K (likely more, I don’t have access to her reports), until 72, then mine is projected to be 40K."

This scheme ended a few years ago, unless you were born before January 1, 1954. If you file for spousal benefits at 62, you are deemed to have filed for your own benefits as well, and will receive whichever payment is higher, at the discount for applying early. You can no longer file for spousal while waiting for your own benefit to grow. (Delayed credits stop at age 70, btw.)

More here: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/deemedfaq.html
Vanguard Fan 1367
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

Your AXA and its .5 percent plus the fund expenses sounds like my AXA 401K. I like the choice of something that is a Vanguard choice which was fairly recently added, maybe in the last year or 2 with about a .15 expense ratio with of course AXA's .5 percent added to that. AXA has been good to me and I appreciate their help with the 401K. Some of AXA's offerings are much higher than a total of .65 ER. I have done well for several years with the least expensive offering.
Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
billfromct
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by billfromct »

You won't be able to take spousal SS benefits. Spousal SS benefits were eliminated a few years ago unless you were born before 2 January 1954.

Also SS benefits do not increase after age 70. If you wait until age 72, you are missing out on 2 years of SS benefits for no added increase in future SS income.

Also, what is an "ER practice"? A veterinary emergency room?

bill
delamer
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by delamer »

KneadingWater wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:45 pm Delamer,

>>>I’m confused about your intentions regarding the businesses…
You said you are running retirement forecasts that include selling them, but you also list the current income/profits.<<<I was trying to provide information that was asked for.

The main business, A, is my practice. This is the one the keeps me up nights and holds me down. There is no debt. Realistically, veterinary practices sell for 5 to 10 times EBIDTA. If I worked hard I could probably sell for more, but I would be happy to sell more quickly for 1.2M. Realistically, it would take a year to sell.

Business B is passive, and I have projected income of 50K per year for 5 years and sell for 300K.

>>>Could you clarify? And what about the note on your son’s business?<<<
My son’s ER practice, business C, is more complicated. We closed in January and it is exceeding expectations. We projected a 10% increase in revenues but have managed 30%. The growth is concerning as we don’t know why, and he is overwhelmed. There is a $400K note that is scheduled to be serviced over 5 years. Likely we will pay this off, before he buys my 40% out. At some point soon we will start taking draws, likely 40% of 100K?

>>>Finally, what is the value of your home and do you plan to sell it, rent it, or other?<<<
Condo value of $250K and I will rent or sell it when I leave.
There is another property I own (70%) with my father (since high school) which we are seeking a building permit for. It is lake front, and to create/maximize value it should have a home on it. That will be a $300K home I will finance and we will hope to sell either my condo, or the lake front at a premium, which ever sells first. Regardless, if I go on a sail about, whatever I am left with I will intend to rent.

>>>Are you familiar with the concept of safe withdrawal rates<<<
I am familiar with the concept, but not by that name.
Currently, my 1st year of total reliance on no new income would be in 2024, and my rate of withdrawal would be 5.4%. Growing savings at only 3% I project to run out when I am 95.
Bear in mind, if I am healthy, I likely will come back into the work force (unless I love sailing the world).

Additional planned sources of income if I pull this off would include:
Veterinary Internet Consulting fee: $10K until 70? (Yes, boat must have worldwide access).
Business B-so long as it is easy: $50K (I have projected 4 years till selling)
Spousal Social Security at 62: $5K (likely more, I don’t have access to her reports), until 72, then mine is projected to be 40K

Thank you,
KW
You have a lot going on, financially speaking.

If you set aside the $40,000/year you’ll need until you get to Social Security at age 70 — from your current assets — that’s roughly $450,000.

That brings your nest egg to roughly $3 million once you sell all the businesses.

You can reasonably take 3.5% to 4% from that portfolio each year — so $105,000 to $120,000.

Add in the $40,000 Social Security estimate.

So I’d say you are somewhat short of your $170,000/year goal.

In your position, I’d retire if I could lower my target spending (including taxes) by $20,000 to $25,000 per year.

If you expect to spend $250,000 on a boat, then I’d lower the target a bit more.

Your home equity, the lot, and potential income are a cushion.
lakpr
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by lakpr »

KneadingWater,

You said the mortgage interest is deductible. Are you sure about that? With a $140k balance, the interest on that mortgage is just around $4500 per year, and together with a SALT cap if $10k, unlikely to vault you over the standard deduction amount of $24k.

Please check your 2018 tax returns, it is highly likely you took standard deduction (unless you have other rather large itemizable deductions not mentioned in this thread so far).
Last edited by lakpr on Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KW2020
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Lakpr,

Good call, but yes I did itemize my deductions. I am single, so my standard deduction would be 12,000.
My itemized deductions (real estate taxes associate with family limited partnership) came to $17.2K

Thank you for double checking this.

KW
lakpr
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by lakpr »

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I missed that you did say you were divorced.
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KW2020
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

JBTX,

>>>- do you any liquid funds (non taxable, emergency funds, etc)<<<
Essentially, yes. The taxable AmCent funds can be moved w/in 24 hours into my checking account, and I have a commercial line of credit I could draw on if the need arose.

PartIrish,

>>>Spousal Social Security …this scheme ended a few years ago, unless you were born before January 1, 1954.<<<
Well, thank you for that. I missed notification of that one.
I get to delete a line on my long-term scenario now and re-figure my options.

Billfromct,

>>>Also SS benefits do not increase after age 70.<<<
Yes, my mistake. I have the full amount starting at 70, not 72.

>>>Also, what is an "ER practice"? A veterinary emergency room?<<<
Exactly.

Vanguard Fan,

>>>I like the choice of something that is a Vanguard choice which was fairly recently added, maybe in the last year or 2 with about a .15 expense ratio with of course AXA's .5 percent added to that.<<<
I’ll look into that.

Thank you for all the help, exactly the sounding board that I needed.

KW
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celia
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by celia »

I will let others comments on your investment portfolio. I would like to comment on the sailing goal, health insurance, and retirement accounts.
KneadingWater wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:31 am I am an overworked medical (veterinary) professional & small business owner, age 58. I would like to sell my responsibilities asap and stop working for a while at least. With lots of skepticism, I think I want to buy a sail boat, throw money into the sea, and sail the world. I may, or may not enjoy that for a few months or a few years. I have over 15K miles of long distance sea-kayaking. Three years ago, I bought a trailer sailboat from a friend's widow after an unexpected death and I have been sailing some long distances for the past 2 years in coastal waters and the Great Lakes.
It sounds like your interest in sailing is fairly recent. I don't know how much you talk to other sailing folks when you are in port, but it may be good to start talking to them about their costs (and adventures) to help you understand what you might be getting into.

I have a cousin who, with her husband, sold their house right after they retired to sail along the Atlantic seaboard in their boat, which they had owned for several years. They were land-based during tropical storms (hurricanes) and after they had a kitchen fire on the boat and needed repairs. They also left the boat in a port to fly home to relatives for extended holidays (Thanksgiving to Christmas) and when their parents were seriously ill. I'm not sure when/if they sold it, but are now living with their widowed parent. This story is just an illustration of what can happen even if all your other plans go well.

I have also heard that owning a boat is often a "money pit", but those who can afford it, do it because they enjoy it. Two things you may not have considered are to sail with at least one other person aboard for safety. If one of you gets sick or a disaster happens, you can look out for each other. This could also help you share the costs. The other thing to consider is if it would be better to rent a boat. This would allow you to sail in different parts of the world, possibly with different partners, each time. Then you could fly to/from the pickup port, sail for whatever time you chose, then leave without having to sell the boat and the expenses would be more predictable. You could also learn from your sailing partners if you find someone experienced which would prevent you from learning from "the school of hard knocks".


What are you planning to do for health insurance or getting medical attention while you sail? Health insurance for those your age is usually more expensive at your age and Medicare (at 65+) does not cover medical services outside the U.S. although some supplemental Medicare policies do (up to a lifetime benefit of $50,000). I think you would want more than travel insurance (even if it even covers you while sailing yourself around) as those policies seem to assume you use another insurance first before you file a claim with them.

Understanding your Medicare options, at age 65, is complicated. Basically, you can choose from:
  • "original" Medicare (alone) has Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (doctors visits, lab work). Part A has a deductible/co-pay and Part B has a yearly deductible (currently $183/year), then pays 80% of the bill with you paying the rest.
  • Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) combines parts A, B, and some extended coverage, usually through an HMO (where you usually have to get all service within your chosen network, else get approval for outside services). This consolidates your Medicare benefits and your costs are lower, but you pretty much give up the right to go anywhere you want.
  • A Medigap (Supplemental) Plan rides on top of Part A and B, and acts like a PPO, to cover an extra 365 days days of hospitalization (on top of Part A) and the 20% of the claim that you would be responsible for with Part B. Within this category, there are plans with "lettered" names, such as "F" and "G", but "F" will be closing to new enrollees next year. Some of these plans reimburse you for foreign medical expenses you incur, up to a lifetime limit of $50,000.
    https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-ot ... p-policies
    https://www.medicare.gov/supplements-ot ... gap-travel
  • If your other Medicare plans don't cover meds, you would also need to buy a Medicare drug plan, Part D.
Once you chose your Medicare coverage at age 65 (or you stop working later), you will have to undergo medical underwriting to change to a plan with better benefits and may not be able to. You are always free to go to a plan with lower benefits.

For KneadingWater, be aware of the increased cost to the premiums for the Part B and Part D plans when IRMAA kicks in:
Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries. For now, KneadingWater might consider doing Roth conversions before age 63, if his income is lower than it will be at age 71. (more about this in a bit)

My portfolio (not to your specs):
Total Retirement Savings: $1,590,000

American Century IRA: $415,000
Am. Cent. Savings Taxable: $475,000
Axa Equitable 401K $670,000
Chase Brokerage (2 stocks) $15,000
HSA $8,500
Checking $8,000
Wealthfront 2.5% FDIC (new): $100 (time for some non-volatile money)
It looks to me that your "retirement savings" is $415K + 670K = $1,085,000, unless you are counting everything as usable for retirement. I assume the IRA and 401K are still pre-tax (not Roth). These two accounts need special attention since they fall under different withdrawal rules. At age 70.5, you need to start withdrawing 3.65% from them as Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) and the percentage to be withdrawn increases every year after that. They could easily be valued at $1.6 to 1.8M at age 70 unless you start withdrawing or do Roth conversions before then. The RMD would then could be at least 62,000 each year and every dollar of it would be taxed.

To figure out if you should do Roth conversions before then (when in lower tax brackets), estimate a low and high income for age 70 and see what tax bracket range(s) those incomes would put you in. Compare those tax brackets to all your potential tax brackets before then to get an idea of when and how much you should convert. I estimate you could convert about half of that before then, if you wanted to, while roaming the seas.

Note that the current tax brackets are temporary. They are at historic lows but will revert to 2017 rates after 2025, unless congress makes some changes before then.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by unclescrooge »

retiredjg wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:40 pm Hint...when you rebalance you sell the performers and buy underperformers. I'm afraid you are doing it backwards and that may be costing you a good deal of money. Your portfolio is also way too aggressive if you are considering taking time off/retiring.
+1
Rebalancing is about selling the performaners and buying under-performaners, ie. selling high and buying low.
Chasing performance is the wrong way to invest. You're basically selling low and buying high, again and again and again.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Celia,
Your comments regarding sailing and insurance are already understood and well headed. Thank you.
I am hoping, and intending, to not sail alone.

All the sailing I do now is rushed. Needing to cover distances in short amounts of time.
The variables I have not experienced is long crossings (>200M), prolonged weather at at sea, leisurely sailing, and exploring coastal communities. I hope I can tolerate all of those and enjoy 3 of them.

Unclescrooge,

To be clear, it is uncommon that I transfer funds or change from one fund to another. Perhaps twice a year I will assess the returns of my funds and compare to others. And, aggressively, I tend to stick with funds with consistently higher returns over 1,3,5 and 10 years; and yes I am swayed by the more recent years. Generally I make a decision and stick with it, not reacting when the marked does. This seems to have served me well, up until now. (My personal long term forecast scenarios have me earning only 3% on savings/retirement. but I do ignore inflation. So I have never expected to continue in this regard.)

NOW that I am thinking about needing to rely on this money long term, my questioning has lead me to boggleheads; and you have me thinking about indexes and bond funds, and lower cost funds (e.g. Vanguard).

I have moved 80K into Vanguard Bonds at this point; but I realized that in January I was forced to liquidate nearly all of my taxable savings to fund Son's business acquisition (until our financing came through). The timing was awful and I sold low and reinvested high back in AmCent funds on February 2, 2019. This created a new problem where now I will pay short term capital gains on 48K (~$19,000 tax) if I sold again, to move these funds to Vanguard's bond funds.

Now my dilemma (and anyone's guess) is whether to leave these funds in place for 6 months, so I only pay short term capital gains; or move it now to preserve short term value?

And, now that I walked away for a bit, this sabbatical from work (I think that is a better name) to go sail depends entirely on sale of the practice. If that sale happens, THEN I will have funds to sail, put into bonds, and into a boat. Short term capital gains can wait 6 more months (he hopes).

Thanks for reading, but I guess that seems a reasonable plan.

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by mcraepat9 »

KneadingWater wrote: Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:44 pm

Unclescrooge,

To be clear, it is uncommon that I transfer funds or change from one fund to another. Perhaps twice a year I will assess the returns of my funds and compare to others. And, aggressively, I tend to stick with funds with consistently higher returns over 1,3,5 and 10 years; and yes I am swayed by the more recent years. Generally I make a decision and stick with it, not reacting when the marked does. This seems to have served me well, up until now. (My personal long term forecast scenarios have me earning only 3% on savings/retirement. but I do ignore inflation. So I have never expected to continue in this regard.)
What benchmark did you use to determine that your transfers have served you well? Please share, as we are eager to understand how those moves (generally not advisable moves) actually improved your returns over your benchmark.
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Dear Scrooge,

>>>What benchmark did you use to determine that your transfers have served you well?<<<
I don't claim to have a better way, just that I have been doing it (which means I have actually saved and invested more than most) by the seat of my pants some time. My benchmarks have been to compare to the DJIA and S&P (which I have favored), and I have not used a very analytical manner, but mostly subjective. As I said, my AmCent (50% taxable, and 50% IRA)took an unplanned hit as I had to pull out almost 50% when the market was at a low in early January. So YTD (6/30) AmCent is only 11.66% . My 401K with AXA is doing 23.54% YTD (6/30). VTSMX is 18.62 (a bit less on 6/30). So, from my naive perspective this "seems to have served me well" even if it was dumb luck.

>>>Please share, as we are eager to understand how those moves (generally not advisable moves) actually improved your returns over your benchmark.<<<
One could take your words as supercilious shaming of my efforts, but I profess that I am here to learn, not here to teach you a better way. I know I don't have a better way. As stated far above, I have ADMITTEDLY been guessing, playing, chasing funds consistently doing well. But, as my monies have grown & and my expiration date nears, any decision is more serious and hence I have come here to learn. As I start to grasp my sabbatical from work, I think I want less risk. I don't want to simply say, whatever happens (with my guessing), I can just keep working.

I won't buy a lotto ticket as I know, on average, it is just voluntary taxation. Thus, I embrace the low cost idea of index funds. Yet, a part of me trembles at the thought of leaving funds that HAVE been consistently returning more. And. I am struggling anew to accept that I should be 50% in bonds, and to understand their returns (many charts show the steady value of the funds without reinvesting--I think?). And, am still struggling with the realization that anything I do with AmCent funds before next Feb will result in short term gain taxes.

But, I am changing--thanks for the encouragement.

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by Dottie57 »

Just a question:

You state “veterinary practices sell for 5 to 10 times EBITDA.”. Are you sure? My dad was a veterinarian and he sold for2 to 3 times EBITDA. When a vet buys a practice they don’t know if clients will stick or not.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Dottie57 wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:54 pm You state “veterinary practices sell for 5 to 10 times EBITDA.”. Are you sure? My dad was a veterinarian and he sold for 2 to 3 times EBITDA. When a vet buys a practice they don’t know if clients will stick or not.
I entertained several entities who proclaimed 8X. Industry standards have been anchored at 6. Cant really be sure until a deal is done. I'd be willing to accept 4 to 5, but hope for more. I'll keep you posted.

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by not4me »

KneadingWater wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:31 am

Questions:
1) I would like to ask my older, wiser, and wealthier brother/sister "what do you think of my plans"?
2)What actually drove me here today was the realization that I will soon have over 1M with American Century.
How much is too much to have with one investment company? I do like to keep things simple.

Thank you for your thoughts,
KneadingWater
2nd part 1st, although skimming the posts, it sounds as if you have at least conceptually bought into moving from AC. I wouldn't be concerned about having too much there in terms of the company American Century going away/bankrupt. If there were situations where you required immediate access, it would be good to have an alternative (think their systems fall to some ransomware....). Also, without knowing which funds you have there, it may not have the diversity you might think. Shops like that will often have the same people picking investments across funds; allocations may differ slightly, but not as much as otherwise.

Also, whether it be to Fidelity or Vanguard, you can likely move them "in-kind" now. Then, gradually -- or as cap gain calendar turns the page, you can easily shift.

You have lots of options you could consider & are wise to think now before ready to launch the boat. I noted several tie-ins to family -- limited partnerships, joint owning of real estate, business. I didn't notice if you mentioned whether or not you have siblings and/or multiple kids. If not, that simplifies of course, although family connections are often tricky. And of course I guess you may have a future partner. That to say, don't overlook the inheritance aspects of all this. For example, your joint venture with son & business; i think that may have 2 parts -- one where you are on hook for a debt & the other where you have an equity stake. What happens if something happens to you? It might be worth considering him not buying you out (cap gain tax for you?), but get a step-up in basis later. May depend upon how reliant you are on cash flow. Several things to balance. Be sure all your accounts (old & new) have the beneficiary designated as you wish now (nothing outdated).

Good luck
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by augryphon »

KneadingWater wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:31 am
Questions:
1) I would like to ask my older, wiser, and wealthier brother/sister "what do you think of my plans"?
2)What actually drove me here today was the realization that I will soon have over 1M with American Century.
How much is too much to have with one investment company? I do like to keep things simple.

Thank you for your thoughts,
KneadingWater
Welcome Kneading!

1) Not being older (I'm just a baby at 57) or wiser (my IQ<my shoe size) than you, but almost as wealthy as you, I'll analyze your plan.
a) it's a helluva plan, the very best I've seen here. The only thing you're missing is a competent first mate. Good fortune has shined upon you in that I happen to be available. Let me know what day we sail.
b) One thing you and I do know for sure is that Father Time is breathing down our necks. If you want to go sailing, go now. Don't be the guy whose Eulogist says "he always hoped to sail...". You have the money and the ability to return to work later to make more. Shove off!
2) I don't have any knowledge about American Century, but I would not be concerned about having $10M+ with Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, TD-Ameritrade, or the other major low cost firms. I plan to use Fidelity.

I'll be waiting at the pier, Skipper!
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

not4me wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:48 pm Also, whether it be to Fidelity or Vanguard, you can likely move them "in-kind" now. Then, gradually -- or as cap gain calendar turns the page, you can easily shift.
In process, thank you.
not4me wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:48 pm You have lots of options you could consider & are wise to think now before ready to launch the boat. I noted several tie-ins to family -- limited partnerships, joint owning of real estate, business. I didn't notice if you mentioned whether or not you have siblings and/or multiple kids. If not, that simplifies of course, although family connections are often tricky. And of course I guess you may have a future partner. That to say, don't overlook the inheritance aspects of all this. For example, your joint venture with son & business; i think that may have 2 parts -- one where you are on hook for a debt & the other where you have an equity stake. What happens if something happens to you? It might be worth considering him not buying you out (cap gain tax for you?), but get a step-up in basis later. May depend upon how reliant you are on cash flow. Several things to balance.
To be clear, the business at this time, is paying off the debt.
The last bit about not getting bought out...totally loses me.
I'll need to consternate and figure out what you mean. No doubt, I am missing a lot.
not4me wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:48 pm Be sure all your accounts (old & new) have the beneficiary designated as you wish now (nothing outdated).
This is current, however, it will need to be readdressed after assets have been moved.

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

augryphon wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:19 pm One thing you and I do know for sure is that Father Time is breathing down our necks. If you want to go sailing, go now. Don't be the guy whose Eulogist says "he always hoped to sail...". You have the money and the ability to return to work later to make more. Shove off!

I'll be waiting at the pier, Skipper!
Thanks for the laugh and the encouragement.
I'll send up a flare!

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

KW2020 wrote: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:43 pm
Dottie57 wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:54 pm You state “veterinary practices sell for 5 to 10 times EBITDA.”. Are you sure? My dad was a veterinarian and he sold for 2 to 3 times EBITDA. When a vet buys a practice they don’t know if clients will stick or not.
I entertained several entities who proclaimed 8X. Industry standards have been anchored at 6. Cant really be sure until a deal is done. I'd be willing to accept 4 to 5, but hope for more. I'll keep you posted.

KW

Dottie,

I am sorry your father's experience was not as good. We all have different yard sticks and personal evaluations of our own practices. Apparently, I under valued mine. Your comment stuck with my (I am a bit retentive). I did managed to sell for 10X, closed yesterday. Feels unreal.

I said I would keep you posted.

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Hello BHs,

I has been 13 months, since I first found you, and much has changed.

"Business A value $1M+ (profit 200K)" Sold for almost twice that value.
"Business B value $300K (profit $50K+ per year)" has a potential buyer, and if not happy to keep it.
"Business C (40% of son's just purchased practice) value $1M" after only 14 months, agreed to have son buy me out as the business was growing too stinking fast.

Almost all of my investments are with now Vanguard (except for the sale proceeds which are in my checking account as of 18 hours ago).

Question: If I want to re-frame my situation and my portfolio in order to get a reality check, is it best to do that here, or start a new thread?
I would think that editing the post from Last June would be super confusing.

Thank you

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by retiredjg »

It would be super confusing. Start a new thread. Your situation is now different. You can include a link to this thread if you want, but make sure all information needed is actually in the new thread so that flipping back and forth is not necessary.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by HomeStretch »

Congratulations on your successful sales!

For best feedback in your new thread, consider using the “Asking Portfolio Questions” format (link below). It includes more information (such as marginal tax rates) than your original post in this thread.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asking_ ... _questions
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by LadyGeek »

It's best to keep all the information in one thread so we can see the previous discussion. Readers will still want to flip back and forth if a new thread has been started.

Post your update in this thread using the Asking Portfolio Questions format (new post).

Don't modify anything in the first post except to add something like "My situation has changed, see below." to the top of the first post.

Update: Start a new thread, see below.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by retiredjg »

LadyGeek wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:49 am It's best to keep all the information in one thread so we can see the previous discussion. Readers will still want to flip back and forth if a new thread has been started.

Post your update in this thread using the Asking Portfolio Questions format (new post).

Don't modify anything in the first post except to add something like "My situation has changed, see below." to the top of the first post.
Respectfully LG, I disagree. :(

This is a whole new situation with entirely different questions. Trying to sort old information and new information results in a lot of confusion and bad advice based on confusing details. And it is difficult for the people trying to give suggestions to sort it out.

It will be much easier to help this poster from a clean slate.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by LadyGeek »

You may certainly disagree. :happy Sorry, I didn't realize this was an entirely different situation.

KW2020 - When you start your new thread, please post a link to the new one here. Everyone who's posted in this thread will see it show in Your posts (generic link - goes to your posts) and know to follow you over to your update.

("Your posts" is under the Quick links menu at the top-left corner of the page.)
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I have only one piece of advice. When you sail away, be absolutely sure that you have proper insurance on the boat and its contents.

My uncle regularly talked to my dad (who owned the family insurance business) about all the money he saved by not having insurance on his sail boat. Well, one day, following a storm that forced him to abandon the sailboat and head for shore in Haiti, where as is often the case, civil unrest was at a peak. Not only was the boat stripped before he could get to it, but he required help from government operatives to get out of the country.

He never gloated about all the insurance money he saved again.
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Jack,

So sorry to hear about your fathers misadventures. Must make for some (good?) stories over cocktails.

I have a $5K dollar boat now. I happily took it on and proclaimed it was 'disposable'. An educational tool. I have spent more on sailing instructions and 'real' boat rentals than the boat I currently own. My only concerns was that I didn't hurt anyone, or anyone else's treasure vessel. That boat was insured for liability only.

When I buy a 'real' boat, I am fully prepared to insure it. However, I am also prepared that this may become a misadventure. As so many have said: "a whole in the water that you throw $1,000s of dollars into." I do hope to enjoy living on this boat for a while; but if it doesn't pan out as the fantasy I hope for, I am OK with that too. My financial life will still live with Vanguard, I'll stiff have a condo, and my intellectual life can live on a thumb drive. So long as I don't hurt anyone, and I don't get hurt either, then all well be well in my world.

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by KW2020 »

Lady Geek,

>>>KW2020 - When you start your new thread, please post a link to the new one here. Everyone who's posted in this thread will see it show in Your posts (generic link - goes to your posts) and know to follow you over to your update.<<<
I will head your advice.

Thank you all, for your help.

KW
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Re: I think I found someone to ask about retirement plans....

Post by GMT-8 »

I've enjoyed reading this. I also am glad that you came back with an update. Can I comment on the boat portion of the dream?

I live a mile from the Pacific Ocean and have spent many hours on the water, in other people's boats, plus my kayaks and other small vessels. I have done a dozen commercial cruises in the Pacific, Atlantic and rivers. Five years ago I was asked to co-pilot with a friend relocating his 47 ft motorboat 1500 miles up the coast - that took us 6 weeks and was a tremendous experience.

One common factor in all our trips is UNPREDICTABILITY. That's partially what makes being on the water exciting.
  • Until a typhoon comes at 50-70 kts and the cruise ship can only do 30 kts max.
  • Or when both our diesels die and I have to calculate how long we have before we drift the 5 miles onto the rocks.
  • Or when the storms and winds come up, the US Coast Guard shuts the port, and we have to find a slip for a month or so.
  • Or the whale-watching rib boat gets a bit too close to the whale and you are all tossed into the ocean (not a killer whale, thankfully)
  • A neighbor was living the dream and sailing around the world with her French boyfriend when they capsized near the Falklands. They were eventually rescued, she flew home, and "le crazy Frenchman" spent the next year getting the boat retrieved and seaworthy again. She continues to refuse any contact from him.
These stories are not to deter you at all, but just to indicate that despite preparation, resources and good intentions, things can go awry and the trip can be much longer and more expensive than you can imagine. Despite being within 10 miles of the West Coast on our trip we didn't have Internet access much of the time. Our captain in Alaska last year told me that a month's satellite plan for his yacht is $6000! Etc.

So be sure you have all the details figured out, plenty of cash in the appropriate currencies, and that whoever you are sailing with is knowledgeable, healthy, and able to operate the boat, radio, radar, etc. when you are not. I agree with whoever said "Do it soon" because it can be an extremely tiring business and we (in our late 50's-early 60's & good health) were exhausted most of the time, believe it or not.

Cheers,

GMT
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