Retirees, when did you start really planning your retirement?

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Re: Retirees, when did you start really planning your retirement?

Post by peetsperk » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:36 pm

I just retired in July. Seriously started preparing in 2012. It's human nature to wish you started earlier, but that's water under the bridge. The fact you're thinking about it now puts you well ahead of many others. I wish you the best in this endeavor.

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Re: Retirees, when did you start really planning your retirement?

Post by bltn » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:43 am

My retirement planning until the last few years consisted primarily of working as hard as I can to maximize my income, and saving a lot of my income. I never thought about percentage of savings used for annual income in retirement. I generally liked my job and figured that if I worked until I no longer wanted to, I would quit, and live on whatever we had in savings. With the aggressive savings policy, and long hours of work, things have worked out well. We are actually able to adjust our spending up about 50% from my working years. Getting the kids out of school, finally, has helped!
I find that some people s FIRE concept of living frugally with a plan to retire early is ok only if they don t have to live that extremely frugal life style throughout retirement. While I personally don t mind extreme frugality, I believe an important part of a retirement goal is having a little extra spending money for a few splurges.

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Re: Retirees, when did you start really planning your retirement?

Post by 22twain » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:15 am

macandal wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:42 pm
I know that one should start planning one's retirement the moment one starts working, but I want to know is when do you need to start making moves, etc when retirement is coming up rather fast.
We didn't do anything specific until near the end.

A year before DW became eligible for our college's "early retirment" plan at age 63 (which includes health insurance for a couple of years, until Medicare), she decided she'd had enough and wanted to file for retirement. We looked our cash flow (with me still working) and savings, and decided, sure, we could handle it even if she postponed Social Security until 70 (which she did). At that time I finally maxed out my 403(b) contributions.

The following year (when she actually retired), the college eliminated a bunch of faculty positions, including mine (age 57). Fortunately they gave me the option of moving to a low-paying administrative position so I could stay on their health insurance until I became eligible for normal "early retirement". I was able to continue maxing out my 403(b) by drawing from my taxable account (from an inheritance) to make up for my tiny takehome pay. It worked out well thanks partly to the big run-up in the stock market which followed, and I retired on schedule with somewhat less than I would have had otherwise, but still more than enough.

A major factor in the success of our laissez-faire approach is that we live in a VLCOL area (small rural college town in flyover country), and don't have a spendy lifestlyle. Our combined Social Security (both taken at age 70) will more than cover our current expenses plus taxes on the SS and our RMDs, so our savings will be for splurges and probably buying into a retirement / assisted living facility eventually.
My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

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Re: Retirees, when did you start really planning your retirement?

Post by remomnyc » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:46 am

I met with a financial planner when I turned 40. I set a goal to retire by age 70 with a certain nest egg. At that point, I enjoyed my job, felt I had great job security, and wanted to maximize my current lifestyle. When I watched my friends lose their jobs after the Great Recession, I started hypersaving (50%). By age 50, I had reached the original nest egg amount. I met with another financial planner to fine tune my retirement plan and pulled the trigger at 52.

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