So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

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iceport
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So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by iceport » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:19 pm

This dramatic market crash has been unsettling, I won't sugar-coat it. As a recent retiree, I can't help but think this is the stuff sequence-of-return-risk is made of. But psychologically, the 20%+ shrinkage of my life savings has been even more immediately disheartening.

However, when I looked at my records a couple of nights ago, I realized that I still have more left now than I had when I retired three years ago in April 2017.

And then it hit me: That was one of the happiest times in my life! :idea: :D 8-) :D With less than I have left now I was confident in my ability to fund retirement, and happy with my financial circumstances. So rather than comparing my situation now to mid-February 2020, I choose to compare it to happier (if slightly less wealthy) time.

I'm "back to" where I was in July 2017.

Where are you?
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Mardoc01 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:23 pm

10 years away. Not back to where I was last m9nth. But hoping for a chance to lump sum next month. Then. To the moon Alice !

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by livesoft » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:27 pm

Back to early 2019, so about a year ago. I am happy now and I was happy then. 2019 was an exceptionally good year after a poor 2018.
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Cyclesafe » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:35 pm

1/31/2017

Happy then, resigned now.

BTW, this is an excellent way to keep things in perspective.....
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by GrowthSeeker » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:38 pm

I was back to about October, 2018 but with latest market uptick: December, 2018.

It's not a market crash.
It's like a "time machine".
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by mega317 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:42 pm

Something like early 2019. But we've also spent significantly on home upgrades and some travel in that time as well.

Thank you for the perspective.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by rbaldini » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:48 pm

A very sensible post. But I suppose for those nearing retirement, it doesn't quite work out that way. Sure, you might have the same amount of money as you did in July 2017, but now you are almost 3 years closer to retirement - 3 fewer years to accumulate savings. So such folks are presumably worse off than they were then.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by chenzi » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:01 pm

January 2020! My portfolio is heavy on stocks that have fallen at a lesser% compared to Index.

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iceport
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by iceport » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:06 pm

rbaldini wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:48 pm
A very sensible post. But I suppose for those nearing retirement, it doesn't quite work out that way. Sure, you might have the same amount of money as you did in July 2017, but now you are almost 3 years closer to retirement - 3 fewer years to accumulate savings. So such folks are presumably worse off than they were then.
Quite true, rbaldini, and a great point. I guess by the same token, they also have more options available to address the situation than those already retired. And they've been contributing in the interim, so presumably haven't fallen back quite as far.

(Cripes! Is it possible, after a lifetime spent devoted to the other camp, that I'm creeping toward the glass-half-full side? 8-) )
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by dboeger1 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:06 pm

rbaldini wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:48 pm
A very sensible post. But I suppose for those nearing retirement, it doesn't quite work out that way. Sure, you might have the same amount of money as you did in July 2017, but now you are almost 3 years closer to retirement - 3 fewer years to accumulate savings. So you are presumably worse off than you were then.
The same can be said for delaying gratification during accumulation. Being 5 years away from buying a house can be vastly different at 25 years of age vs. 30. My wife and I had a financial target of $400k net worth before having children, and we were a bit over $300k and less than a year away when we dropped some 25% or whatever. Now we have to consider if we really want to postpone that life milestone that much longer. It's not a trivial comparison.

That example is obviously a bit of an outlier, but for similar reasons, I don't really look back. The point of saving money is to use it in the future, not in the past or present, so how near our goals we feel is a function of where we are at this moment and where we'd like to be in a given time. That being said, I think OP's point was more about being optimistic and realizing after a certain point of accumulation, it's a pretty safe bet we're in a better position in life than at the start of our accumulation. Putting things into perspective can certainly help weather these storms.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by firebirdparts » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:17 pm

I've approximately lost 1 year back to February of 2019, but what a hoss of a year that I lost.
A fool and your money are soon partners

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:24 pm

I went 100% fixed income in mid-2017. Sold my taxable stocks and deposited the proceeds into my Ally Bank account. Rolled my VG Roth IRA into my TIAA Roth IRA and converted all the stocks to TIAA Traditional. Reason for this is DW had a massive stroke a couple months prior and I decided to go private pay instead of Medigap for her nursing home care, and I wanted to avoid any risk of loss if the market should suffer a downturn.

So I missed out of the last 2 ½ year market runup. But I just checked the S&P 500, and it’s now less than 100 points more than when I ‘bailed out’. I’m not gloating that the chaos in the markets doesn’t affect me (unless TIAA goes belly up). I just think it’s strange. If DW hadn’t had her stroke I would have been about 30% stocks and would have taken the ride up and down too. And I’d probably be in about the same position as I am now. Not knowing how the markets were going to act 2 ½ years ago, I think I made the right decision then. And I think it’s still the right decision. So even though I predict another runup after coronavirus is put to rest I’m sticking with my 100% cash & TIAA Traditional allocation.

So how did I feel three years ago? About the same as I do now.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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iceport
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by iceport » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:37 pm

A poignant tale, cheese_breath. Thanks for sharing. And sorry for your DW.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Call_Me_Op » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:48 pm

I am back to about July 1, 2019. I am actually surprised it is not worse. A large part of this is my equity allocation is low and my savings rate is high.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by MoneyMarathon » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:53 pm

iceport wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:19 pm
Where are you?
January 5th, 2020.

This is because of contributions made after that date, not because of dodging a decline.

Yes, I'm happy. My main concern is that this bear market might not last very long. :greedy

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:11 pm

I only check my balances on the first of every month, so I can't be sure. But assuming I'm down 20% (after the recent climb) from my February 1 high ($111k), then I'm back to about July 2019 ($88k). And, yes, I was happy then (and now, but I'd really like to be able to go bowling and stuff again).

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Hockey10 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:53 pm

Back to Jan 2019. I was happy then. I am still happy now.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Scott S » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:45 pm

I'm back to March of last year, roughly. Happy then, even happier now. We're healthy, still employed, and have a smiling 5-month-old. :sharebeer
My Plan: (Age-10)% in bonds until I reach age 60, 50/50 thereafter. Equity split: 50/50 US/Int'l, Bond split: 50/50 TBM/TIPS.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by dcabler » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:47 am

Interesting to see I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
After yesterday, 26th March, I'm back to Jan 2019

Cheers

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Chris K Jones » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:34 am

March 31, 2019. A 60/40 portfolio. It has been unnerving the last week or so, but has mostly worked like it is supposed to for me. Happy then and now. More convinced than ever that principles I have learned here are right for me.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:49 am

September 28, 2019 (Saturday)
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by cashboy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:22 am

i have been thinking the same way (and retired).

as of today i am back to march 2019.

i was and am content.
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by keelerjr12 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:32 am

Back to Oct-Nov 2019. Had 65-70% stocks, 30-35% cash at the crash. Now up to 90% stocks, 10% cash.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by ryman554 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:45 am

Going back to the *first* time I achieve this, early-mid 2018.
Saw it on the way down xmas of 2018.
Saw it again Jan of 2019 or so.
Saw it on the way down March 12 or so
I'm sure I'll see it sometime in the future, too.

I did withdraw some funds last August to get a new roof done. I like it that my house no longer leaks. I like it even more that I sold locally "high" to do it.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by seychellois_lib » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:48 am

Retired 4 years. I don't know what I am back to financially, but I am pretty proud of myself for being where I am today. My portfolio has weathered the storm reasonably well. I was really thinking about my (overly?) conservative 40/60 AA during the run up last year but continued to rebalance to that AA. I had to discipline myself to not get greedy and up my equity allocation. Why do that if it was not critical to my goals? As the market tanked I made an effort to observe my own psychology. Was I really prepared to STC even at this conservative AA?

I have a funny habit with regard to pessimistic expectation bias (or whatever one calls it). In situations like this I try to envision a 60 or 70% market collapse. Even after that I can sustain myself so I just quit worrying too much about it. The Sun will come up tomorrow and this too will pass.

I am washing my hands a lot tho.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:49 am

I'm with Satchel Paige. I'm happy now and was happy in the past.

"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." -- Satchel Paige

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Chadnudj » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:49 am

Roughly March-April 2019.

I was pretty happy with where I was then. Being back there a year later (with a year's more of shares acquired in my 401k, plus a fully painted house with new furnaces/AC units -- our big expenses in the past year -- and my oldest kid closer to public kindergarten and the reduced cost of daycare that represents, plus generally lower debt/refinanced mortgage at a lower rate) makes me feel hopeful about weathering this storm.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Chadnudj » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:53 am

I'll add -- this is a great advertisement for tracking your net worth. By doing so, you can talk yourself down a bit when a downturn happens -- "hey, I'm no worse off now than I was back in early 2019, so is it really all that bad?"

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by LilyFleur » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:54 am

Thank you for this perspective. I am back to my balance of January 1, 2018. I retired in 2017.
Last edited by LilyFleur on Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Luckywon » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:01 pm

Interesting way to look at it. I'm at the same NW as in October 2018.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by GoldenFinch » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:04 pm

I remember how excited I was years ago when I calculated that we had exactly 200k in money and owed 200k on our mortgage giving us a net worth of exactly zero.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by seychellois_lib » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:05 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:04 pm
I remember how excited I was years ago when I calculated that we had exactly 200k in money and owed 200k on our mortgage giving us a net worth of exactly zero.
Ha ha, zero never looked so good :sharebeer

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Jags4186 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:09 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:04 pm
I remember how excited I was years ago when I calculated that we had exactly 200k in money and owed 200k on our mortgage giving us a net worth of exactly zero.
You had $0 equity in your home?

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by cork » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:11 pm

I'm back to last week in my IRA's, which I started less than a year ago. :|

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by siamond » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:12 pm

With my fairly aggressive AA, I had to go back to mid-2014. Which, incidentally, is the time at which I early retired. I was feeling very good by then, quite elated by my new sense of freedom, and certainly much less anxious than now... :shock: :beer

Just out of curiosity, I checked the Shiller CAPE between those two points (today vs. mid-2014) and they were pretty similar. Same can't be said of the 10-yrs treasury rate though (0.9% vs. 2.5%). It's just an observation, not something terribly meaningful.

Of course, we can quibble at how comparable things are now vs. in the past and how applicable this comparison is for specific personal situations, but let's step back a bit from details, the message from the OP is a truly excellent one. Zooming back from day-to-day immediacy and taking some historical perspective really helps.
Last edited by siamond on Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Noobvestor » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:16 pm

June 2017 was a fine summer all in all :beer

But boy am I glad for diversification - I found myself TLHing lots of some funds going back to 2011 in the midst of all this. :shock:
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by saddle_tramp » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:28 pm

I'm back to around where I retired in March 2019. Became a two comma club member in the run up last fall now back to high 6 figures in retirement accounts. When I rolled over my 401K last year I added extra to fixed income to tide me over to taking SS at 70 which will happen in Aug 2021. Now glad I did. My "if everything goes to hell in a handbasket" logic was to turn on SS early if needed but looks like that won't be necessary. My outlook is life is good with some apprehension of the unknown thrown in to the mix. :beer

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by bgf » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:29 pm

spring-summer of 2019. apart from fearing for my newborn baby (3/23/20!!) and recovering wife, im quite content, just as i was then.
“TE OCCIDERE POSSUNT SED TE EDERE NON POSSUNT NEFAS EST"

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by mrspock » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:31 pm

November 2019.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:34 pm

Recommended soundtrack for this thread:

https://youtu.be/ur57IunS9To

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Toons » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:36 pm

Food
Shelter
Clothing
Health
Happy Spouse
The above 5 are met for today
Couldn't be more content.
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Lee_WSP » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:21 pm

I have very little of my lifetime wealth in the market. Therefore, I’m really no worse off than I was back in February.

I’m more concerned about my income.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by PhoebeCoco » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:31 pm

I retired in June 2018. My investment portfolio today is almost exactly what it was then.

I was ecstatic to be able to retire! I promised myself that I would never complain about anything ever again. I didn't expect to be tested by a pandemic which included a severe toilet paper shortage. But I have not given in yet to complaints. Still pretty happy.

My AA is 90% mostly index funds, 10% cash. That cash, in addition to my monthly pension, would see me through 7 years, at my current rate of spending. I feel safe.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Quirkz » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:38 pm

Great insight, iceport.

Frankly, I don't know how far back I've slipped. I was "maybe 15 or 20 years away" in January, and I still am. There's no reason to watch that closely, but I'm also not really worrying about it much. I had coincidentally rebalanced a little just before the first drops, and then rebalanced a bit after the first drops, and got scolded by my retirement plan for "excessive trading" so I'm just sitting right how. I fully expect to go through at least one, and probably two or three more big dips before I actually retire, so this is just part of the process. Buying cheap for now ...

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iceport
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by iceport » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:53 pm

These comments are fantastic! It's so interesting to hear about folks' real lives, and how much more there is to life than our portfolio balances! Really appreciate your thoughts. Helps keep things in perspective.
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:34 pm
Recommended soundtrack for this thread:

https://youtu.be/ur57IunS9To
Ha! Good one! I liked his music well enough, but he seems to have led an even more interesting life. I read somewhere that he was a math whiz and an Ivy League student. He's probably a good investor.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by GoldenFinch » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:29 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:09 pm
GoldenFinch wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:04 pm
I remember how excited I was years ago when I calculated that we had exactly 200k in money and owed 200k on our mortgage giving us a net worth of exactly zero.
You had $0 equity in your home?
That’s a good question! I wasn’t counting equity. Actually, it is possible since we had bought the house for a bit more than that, but we live in the rust belt where houses bought 20 years ago are selling for less than what people paid for them. We have huge property taxes too, so the home values are low. It is a beautiful place to live though.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by ValuationsMatter » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:51 pm

Dodged it in large part, except for the 3% of my portfolio for which I would have owed short-term capital gains. I bought in 3 times on the way down, until I reached 50(VTSAX|VTIAX)/50(VUSXX). Watched the low point, so far, dip by about 5% of my total assets, and now am back at break-even. I think we'll retest the lows within the next couple of weeks, but I'm also happy if the low is behind us, now that I'm a market participant again. If it goes significantly lower, I'll lose plenty, but will also feel like I'm getting the remainder of my money in cheap.

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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:29 pm

iceport wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:19 pm
This dramatic market crash has been unsettling, I won't sugar-coat it. As a recent retiree, I can't help but think this is the stuff sequence-of-return-risk is made of. But psychologically, the 20%+ shrinkage of my life savings has been even more immediately disheartening.

However, when I looked at my records a couple of nights ago, I realized that I still have more left now than I had when I retired three years ago in April 2017.

And then it hit me: That was one of the happiest times in my life! :idea: :D 8-) :D With less than I have left now I was confident in my ability to fund retirement, and happy with my financial circumstances. So rather than comparing my situation now to mid-February 2020, I choose to compare it to happier (if slightly less wealthy) time.

I'm "back to" where I was in July 2017.

Where are you?
A little farther back in time. . . . .
Image
And, some music to send you back in time.
"Good Morning Sunshine". Oliver.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... hmzEXywq40

j :happy
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Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by MarkRoulo » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:35 pm

iceport wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:19 pm
This dramatic market crash has been unsettling, I won't sugar-coat it. As a recent retiree, I can't help but think this is the stuff sequence-of-return-risk is made of. But psychologically, the 20%+ shrinkage of my life savings has been even more immediately disheartening.

However, when I looked at my records a couple of nights ago, I realized that I still have more left now than I had when I retired three years ago in April 2017.

And then it hit me: That was one of the happiest times in my life! :idea: :D 8-) :D With less than I have left now I was confident in my ability to fund retirement, and happy with my financial circumstances. So rather than comparing my situation now to mid-February 2020, I choose to compare it to happier (if slightly less wealthy) time.

I'm "back to" where I was in July 2017.

Where are you?
About February 2019.

Going by net worth. Some of that is additional contributions, some of that is stocks going up (and, recently, down!).

This actually surprised me. I don't think I had quite internalized how UP stocks had gone in 2019 even though the numbers are easily available.

And I still have my job, my family is still healthy and my kid is doing well in his college classes, so things are actually going quite well for us compared to lots of other folks out there. We're a bit bored, but that's a pretty small complaint right now.

retire57
Posts: 493
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Re: So, Where Are You *Back* To in Time? (And Were You Happy Then?)

Post by retire57 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:47 pm

Mid-February 2017. Happy then, happy now. Great thread!

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