when you reach"your number"

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.

if you reached your number early

Poll ended at Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:53 am

Keep working, keep savings ,I like my job
59
19%
Keep working till SS and/ or pension are secure
38
13%
Quit the next day
41
14%
Work less , part time or a better job(one you like )
126
42%
Stop savings. Or save less but keep.Working
16
5%
Other, please explain
23
8%
 
Total votes: 303

Johm221122
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when you reach"your number"

Post by Johm221122 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:53 am

If you reach your estimated goal early, what would you do?Either with good Investment gains, windfall or just a miracle
Last edited by Johm221122 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Caduceus
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Caduceus » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:59 am

Spend a few years traveling.

Mill
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Mill » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:03 am

Id keep working until I felt my job situation isn't worth it anymore. Kind of vague, but then again its that whole principle behind FIRE.

travellight
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by travellight » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:24 am

I make up a new number that is harder to reach.

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kramer
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by kramer » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:51 am

Even though it was probably not the wisest thing to do, I pretty much quit the next day (at age 41). I was miserable and burned out in my job and so I either had to quit or change jobs, soldiering on was not an option. In fact, my final 6 months were a real struggle and it was all I could do to even soldier on that long, but I forced myself to do it.

Now, almost 7 years later, I think I was taking more risk than I realized but everything has turned out fine, better than I could have hoped (financially and otherwise).

At the time, I planned to work part-time teaching English abroad but later decided I didn't want to do that and so I have not worked since retiring.

Sriracha
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Sriracha » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:46 am

Neither of us have jobs we love and so I don't think we'll keep at them once we reach our number. Beyond that, nothing is etched in stone yet for us, but it's likely that one or both of us will rachet down from current work time/responsibility/pressure (and thus compensation), but keep working in some capacity for a while. Maybe we'll find jobs we do love. How long depends on the age at which we reach our number. This will enable us to (mostly) keep our hands off of our portfolio for a while and simultaneously give us the chance to explore what retirement will really be like. Hopefully, we'll figure out during that sort of semi-retirement phase exactly how we'll want to spend our time when full fledged retirement arrives (if we don't already know by the time we reach our number, that is).
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by traineeinvestor » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:52 am

Other: I worked one more year to provide a larger safety margin and then retired.

It wasn't hard to conclude that there more things I wanted to do outside of the office than I could do while continuing to work. Even though I had a good well paying job, it was still a very easy decision to make.

lazyday
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by lazyday » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:01 am

kramer wrote:, I think I was taking more risk than I realized but everything has turned out fine,
Yeah, I quit before reaching any sensible number, decided to just risk it. Would not reccommend this to most people!

If I knew more about risks, probably would have waited. If I could go back and make myself work longer, I wouldn't, but it is possible that's the wrong choice if easier life with more $$ would have been worth it.

IlliniDave
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:26 am

I picked the 4th option, Work less , part time or a better job(one you like ), although it's not quite simple. I have a minimum date as well, so if I hit a good number prior to then I would keep working and saving.

I will continue to save some fraction of my earnings even after I've accumulated "my number" and hit semi-retirement, to include, on balance, reinvesting some dividends and letting capital gains go unrealized.
Don't do something. Just stand there!

Kelly
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Kelly » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:03 am

I reached it at 48 at $2M (also have military pension). I have to continue working so as not to go into negative cash flow. The"number" is my retirement number.

The timing was good since that's when we started having kids and ALL savings stopped. My company deposits an amount equal to 15% of my pay into my 401k. Other than that, there is no savings at all! This is disconcerting to me since we have always been aggressive savers. I have to remind myself that the portfolio is doing more of the work now than could be done by my 401k contribution limits.

I feel fortunate to have read everything Bill Bernstein has written.

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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by YDNAL » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:17 am

Johm221122 wrote:If you reach your estimated goal early, what would you do?Either with good Investment gains, windfall or just a miracle
I put other. Having reached my/our number doesn't mean you have to default to any of the other choices.

Code: Select all

Keep working, keep savings ,I like my job				            8	29%
Keep working till SS and/ or pension are secure				      3	11%
Quit the next day				                                    4	14%
Work less , part time or a better job(one you like )				10	36%
Stop savings. Or save less but keep.Working			    	      0	No votes
Other, please explain				                                3	11%
The choice that makes more sense, and also getting more votes, is to work less.
Landy | Be yourself, everyone else is already taken -- Oscar Wilde

jollystomper
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by jollystomper » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:05 am

I have hit my "number" but am still saving, though at a slightly lower rate. I'm still maxing out savings going to retirement accounts, but am using more of the other savings for home improvements and a little more vacation. Overall though, still saving at a higher than average rate.

I'm still working, I enjoy my job, but have become more direct in targeting a retirement date.

IMD801
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by IMD801 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:23 am

I think I would work part time and do some charity work.

I think because of the years of blood, sweat, tears, and money invested to get where I am professionally, I'd feel somewhat useless without some kind of work.

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Bogle101
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Bogle101 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:10 am

I am only 29, but dream of retirement alot lol.

I would retire, say bye to my friends and buy a house near a beach.

I would spend my days reading, writing, doing yoga, cooking and occasionally travel.
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mhc
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by mhc » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:33 am

I would keep working for a while and try to get an early retirement offer from the company or get laid off with severance. If a couple years went by and it looked like my job was secure, I would quit.

MichDad
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by MichDad » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:37 am

Hitting our retirement investment savings number is one (but a very important) part of the calculus. We want to pay off our mortgage before we retire, thereby significantly reducing our retirement expenses. Also, I want to reduce the number of low earnings years for the 35 years on which our Social Security benefits will be calculated. Finally, I'd like to qualify for a ten percent bonus on my defined benefits pension if I wait until age 62 to retire. I think the stars may be alligned to accomplish all of this by the end of 2017, if not sooner.

MichDad

THY4373
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by THY4373 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:42 am

I voted "other." If I hit my number prior to 55 I am going to keep working because I need to get to 55 to get retiree health coverage from my employer. At this time I will hang around for that unless I have some major positive black swan event that causes me to exceed my number by such a margin that, that health coverage is no long required. After 55 I'd retire fairly promptly once I made my number.
Last edited by THY4373 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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midareff
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by midareff » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:45 am

I checked other. I had passed my minimum number and my work place was in the midst of huge politically motivated changes. New Mayor, Vice Mayors, Department Directors and others to go with staff reductions and large significant pay and benefit decreases. The workplace became a morale free unpleasant place to work. Politicians, once elected or appointed immediately become the source of all knowledge on every subject. Prior to this staying one more year had been a consideration...... I retired at 64.

kaudrey
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by kaudrey » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:13 am

I voted other. I won't feel comfortable retiring without being able to keep my FEHB (federal health bennies). In order to keep those, I have to work until my FRA, with is 56 years and 10 months. So, unless we get some big windfall to cover extra years of health care costs, that's my retirement date, regardless of whether I hit my number earlier than that or not.

But, I would probably travel more as well, while I was still working... :)

techcrium
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by techcrium » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:20 am

it shouldn't be a discrete amount and discrete time.

IT should be like this:

You reach $300K networth...you worry less about job loss and things like that

You reach $500K networth...you worry less about promotions/salary increases and things like that

You reach $1mil networth...you worry less about having enough to retire. Spend more time on vacation; self actualization activities

You reach $2mil networth...You scale back your hours

etc

Iorek
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Iorek » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:26 am

For me, my "number" depends on having a supplementary pension, so I voted for the option to keep working to ensure pension. If we were talking about enough money that my pension didn't matter, then I'd vote some combination of travel more, work less, but the work less depends a lot on finding an employer who is ok with that.

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HomerJ
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by HomerJ » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:28 am

travellight wrote:I make up a new number that is harder to reach.
Reading your other posts, I fear you're not joking. :)

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HomerJ
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by HomerJ » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:45 am

techcrium wrote:You reach $2mil networth...You scale back your hours
Not always easy to scale back your hours.

goonie
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by goonie » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:00 am

I chose "other".

If I reached my number today, I would plan to remain in my current position through the end of the year and then leave with no plans to reenter the workforce in the near future (i.e. the next year or two). Then I'd take the next 6 months or so to think everything through and make sure it's what I want before I go through with it. I'm pretty sure it's what I want but I can't say that right now with 100% certainty b/c I really haven't spent much time thinking about it.

But I'm not going to reach my number today...or anytime soon, so I'll remain a slave to the system for a while longer :|

johnz1001
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by johnz1001 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:01 am

techcrium wrote:it shouldn't be a discrete amount and discrete time.

IT should be like this:

You reach $300K networth...you worry less about job loss and things like that

You reach $500K networth...you worry less about promotions/salary increases and things like that

You reach $1mil networth...you worry less about having enough to retire. Spend more time on vacation; self actualization activities

You reach $2mil networth...You scale back your hours

etc

Good post. It's psychological mainly at first, but then as you reach your number and go beyond, it remains a psychological comfort, but in addition, you can readily do some real world things differently in light of your desires and interests.

bhsince87
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:22 am

I hit my number about a year ago (at age 48). To be honest, I still don't know what to do!

It actually caused me some stress at first, but eventually I realized it's a very good problem to have.

I'm still plugging along and saving at the same rate for now, but hoping to be able to cut back my work hours 2-3 years from now. Or maybe just bag it. I don't know.

In the mean time, one of my new years resolutions is to drink better wine and eat steak more often......
BH87

The Wizard
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:49 am

travellight wrote:I make up a new number that is harder to reach.
Something like this was what I did, yes.
Once you reach your original number, it's time for introspection and serious thought.
Chances are that your original number was chosen on a whim and isn't really enough to provide for a whiz-bang retirement.
An additional 20% will permit a much grander approach...
Attempted new signature...

Market345
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Market345 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:10 pm

After I reached my number (I was a tech entrepreneur), I quit, traveled Asia for a year (and met my girlfriend along the way - while trekking in Nepal), and then we volunteered/lived in Africa for a year and a half. And then we moved last year to the Philippines - I've started a not for profit social business to build products that improve the lives of the poor around the world.

Why did I do all this? I realized that while I was able to fulfill all of my personal needs (=happiness), I felt that my life lacked meaning (=fulfilling the needs of others). And so, that is what I'm doing - balancing a life of happiness and meaning. Of course, meaning is different for everyone.

Check out these articles on happiness vs meaning:
• Meaning is more important than Happiness: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... ss/278250/
• There's more to life than being happy: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... py/266805/

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Bengineer
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Bengineer » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:13 pm

I went with "work less". I view reaching my number as Financial Independence. I can now choose what work I take on, how much, where and with who I work. I'm warming up to the Retire Early part. :)

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tuningfork
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by tuningfork » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:14 pm

My plan was when I reached my number AND turned 55 to secure my pension and retiree healthcare, then I would continue to work as long as the job was fun. My number and 55 arrived at about the same time, work had become stressful and trending worse, so I left and never looked back. :D

johnz1001
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by johnz1001 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:17 pm

Market345 wrote:After I reached my number (I was a tech entrepreneur), I quit, traveled Asia for a year (and met my girlfriend along the way - while trekking in Nepal), and then we volunteered/lived in Africa for a year and a half. And then we moved last year to the Philippines - I've started a not for profit social business to build products that improve the lives of the poor around the world.

Why did I do all this? I realized that while I was able to fulfill all of my personal needs (=happiness), I felt that my life lacked meaning (=fulfilling the needs of others). And so, that is what I'm doing - balancing a life of happiness and meaning. Of course, meaning is different for everyone.

Check out these articles on happiness vs meaning:
• Meaning is more important than Happiness: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... ss/278250/
• There's more to life than being happy: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... py/266805/
That's an admirable perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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Peter Foley
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Peter Foley » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:18 pm

I hit my number briefly prior to the 2009 downturn. I regained it sometime in 2010. At the time my work was busy and I mostly enjoyed it. My wife is 5 years younger. She wanted to retire about when I did. The compromise was to retire in 2012. By that time I had my number + 50%.

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dmcmahon
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by dmcmahon » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:37 pm

In theory I'm already there. Problem is I see a lot of uncertainties w.r.t. inflation, prospective returns on financial assets, the health care system, and social security. So it's more of a smear than a specific point. I do like my job and my company. Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go.

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BHCadet
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by BHCadet » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:06 pm

I voted other...
I've reached my target and retirement age to receive full retirement benefits from my employer.
But, not SS yet.
I'm still working waiting for my wife when she can receive full retirement benefits from her employer.
We also continue with our savings rate to have more cushions.


EDIT: changed my vote to "Keep working till SS and/ or pension are secure"

Live And Learn
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Live And Learn » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:11 pm

I had to vote "other". I decided to work two more years, but I definitely don't love my job ! I needed more cushion to sleep at night.

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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by nash031 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:33 pm

Hoping to reach my number at age 42-43. DW and I will both likely work for a while (5-10 yrs) longer, but I won't be doing what I'm doing now, and (depending on a lot of things - kids or not, availability, location) I won't be a cube rat. At least that's the idea!

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sephage
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by sephage » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:27 pm

I hit the number at 40, and decided to take the buyout at my previous company. Basically, a soft landing, as they say. I now basically work part time as a freelance journalist/media guy, in a field that I love (wine), and spend the majority of the week hanging out with my five year old daughter so that my wife can work full-time at a lower-paying job that she really enjoys (managing a local toy store).

There are significant challenges, and we need to be frugal until SS/IRAs/pension kick in (which means twenty years of paying the bills somehow!) but as others have posted here, the risks have been worth it. Hitting the number early means that you don't necessarily have to squirrel money away at the same rate that you used to do it, and gives the freedom to try to pay the bills doing things that are more fun than they are lucrative.
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bengal22
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by bengal22 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:34 pm

need an option "never had a number." I wanted to retire at a certain age and I pretty well hit that. I saved regularly and invested wisely but I retired at the age I wanted to retire and was psychologically ready.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

Sambuca00
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Sambuca00 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:05 pm

Good topic. I think I've hit my 'final' number (started at 1 and went to 2M), but my wife thinks I'm having a midlife crisis and should keep working! But seriously, I like my job so I chose that first option, but I would reduce my hours if I could. I also incidentally saved less of my income last year, but my portfolio gains were unexpectedly good so I finally pulled the trigger on putting in a pool and going on a safari... I think the final frontier is leaving the safety of active income for the unknowns of passive income. Some people jump off that cliff without a care in the world, but I'd need a huge stock option windfall to 'quit the next day'.
bhsince87 wrote:I hit my number.... To be honest, I still don't know what to do!
It actually caused me some stress at first......
That post sounded exactly like my experience. Sounds crazy that it is stressful to reach a life goal, but you suddenly have to figure out what to do!

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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by pastafarian » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:35 pm

Edit-- uh, never mind.
Last edited by pastafarian on Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sans souliers
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by sans souliers » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:31 pm

Considering that investing for retirement is a 30 - 40 year endeavor, I guess you could say I quit the next day, although in reality it's been about a year since the number was reached. My last day arrives in about two months.
Sometimes pessimism leaves me pretty well prepared for when things don't go my way, and pleasantly surprised when they do.

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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Jena » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:41 pm

Timely question since, with a bit of luck, I should hit my number by the end of this year. However, I believe Social Security is based on your 35 highest earning years (correct?), and I won't have 35 years of full time employment under my belt until 2016, so if I can hold onto my job for another two years beyond 2014 I'll probably keep working and build a little cushion. It's a tough call, however, since my job isn't nearly as much fun as it used to be and there are things I'd like to do in retirement that are physically challenging, so I don't want to delay too long.

Jennifer

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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by fposte » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:58 pm

I went with "Keep working" and "Other." I do love my job and it has a great trajectory--now. But there is the possibility of massive organizational change coming down the pike that would take much of the enjoyment away, so my number is there as an exit strategy.

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kramer
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by kramer » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:23 pm

Jena wrote:Timely question since, with a bit of luck, I should hit my number by the end of this year. However, I believe Social Security is based on your 35 highest earning years (correct?), and I won't have 35 years of full time employment under my belt until 2016, so if I can hold onto my job for another two years beyond 2014 I'll probably keep working and build a little cushion. It's a tough call, however, since my job isn't nearly as much fun as it used to be and there are things I'd like to do in retirement that are physically challenging, so I don't want to delay too long.

Jennifer
Social security is quite progressive and your latter working years add much less to your monthly check than your early working years. I would advise you to go the social security web site and play around with the numbers there.

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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by Jena » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:27 pm

kramer wrote:
Jena wrote:Timely question since, with a bit of luck, I should hit my number by the end of this year. However, I believe Social Security is based on your 35 highest earning years (correct?), and I won't have 35 years of full time employment under my belt until 2016, so if I can hold onto my job for another two years beyond 2014 I'll probably keep working and build a little cushion. It's a tough call, however, since my job isn't nearly as much fun as it used to be and there are things I'd like to do in retirement that are physically challenging, so I don't want to delay too long.

Jennifer
Social security is quite progressive and your latter working years add much less to your monthly check than your early working years. I would advise you to go the social security web site and play around with the numbers there.
Thanks. I'll do that.

Jennifer

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tylerdurden
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by tylerdurden » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:44 pm

I picked "Work less , part time or a better job(one you like)." I enjoy my job, but I would like to shift to something less stressful and perhaps part-time; it might be a form of consulting at that point where I work for 6 months and then take 3 months off. However, I'm hoping to build up my career further before I hit that number, so I'm not sure my ego would let me walk away from the job/career at that point. I hope reach those crossroads soon. :)
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by reisner » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:53 pm

My number was a pension number. When I reached it, the pension nearly equaled my net salary, given no more deductions for SS, pension, union dues, IRA. If I didn't retire I was working only for a pension increase, of about two per cent a year--a job most candidates would kill for, but I was burnt out. I was allowed to continue half time on top of the pension. That went into IRA and home renovations. After two years I reached another number, the peak of the housing bubble in my estimation (I was five months short). We wanted to move out of San Diego anyway and thus hit the real estate jackpot after owning the same house for 28 years. Double bingo.

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cowboyinasia
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by cowboyinasia » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:14 am

I'm surprised by the number of number hitters in their 40s, and how many are planning on retiring or semi-retiring at 55. Good on ya!

For me I 55 brings no benefits, certainly no pension. I am hoping to switch to part time at 55, but I'll need to bridge until social security kicks in.

What I'm taking away from this thread is that I should actually save a bit less than I do now. I'll probably work longer than I have to, just to be safe, and die with money in the bank so I should enjoy life a little more now and work a little longer. Fortunately, I don't hate my job right now. Actually like it.

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HomerJ
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by HomerJ » Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:24 am

cowboyinasia wrote:I'm surprised by the number of number hitters in their 40s, and how many are planning on retiring or semi-retiring at 55. Good on ya!

For me I 55 brings no benefits, certainly no pension. I am hoping to switch to part time at 55, but I'll need to bridge until social security kicks in.

What I'm taking away from this thread is that I should actually save a bit less than I do now. I'll probably work longer than I have to, just to be safe, and die with money in the bank so I should enjoy life a little more now and work a little longer. Fortunately, I don't hate my job right now. Actually like it.
My wife is 8 years older than me, so when I hit 55, she'll be 63.... She can pull in $1500+ a month at that point, and since we're shooting for $7k a month to retire, that's a pretty big chunk... (When we both are pulling SS, we should be able to cover 50% of our expenses with SS)

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obgyn65
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Re: when you reach"your number"

Post by obgyn65 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:46 am

Same as this post for me except that I set up and run free clinics in Central America a few times every year.
Market345 wrote:I realized that while I was able to fulfill all of my personal needs (=happiness), I felt that my life lacked meaning (=fulfilling the needs of others). And so, that is what I'm doing - balancing a life of happiness and meaning. Of course, meaning is different for everyone.

Check out these articles on happiness vs meaning:
• Meaning is more important than Happiness: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... ss/278250/
• There's more to life than being happy: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archi ... py/266805/
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell

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