Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

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TheTimeLord
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Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:52 am

For those of you who retired before 60 y.o. how much do you think you left on the table? In percentage terms (or dollars if your prefer) how much larger would you portfolio have been if you postponed retirement to a standard age such as 62 y.o.?
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:00 am

Probably not much larger than it is now. Portfolio would grow or not grow whether one was retired or not. Only changes would be external withdrawals and additions.

Since additions are limited by maximum contribution amounts and withdrawals are small, the portfolio would not have changed much if I had kept working.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TeamArgo » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:28 am

I retired when I turned 59, and by that time the growth of my 401K account much larger than my annual contributions. I also had a pension (less than half the worth of my 401K) that my large telphony company had arranged to stop growing back in 2009 (not even interest) as part of a phase out of the plan. Rolling a lump sum cash-out from the pension into my 401K as I retired actually meant I was earning more than before retirement.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by ryman554 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:41 am

livesoft wrote:Probably not much larger than it is now. Portfolio would grow or not grow whether one was retired or not. Only changes would be external withdrawals and additions.

Since additions are limited by maximum contribution amounts and withdrawals are small, the portfolio would not have changed much if I had kept working.
I'm mid 40's but I don't see that as true in my case.

I'll early retire when I hit 3-4M or so.

I'll be saving 75-100k per year until then. That's 2-3% per year that I would give up accumulating. Compared to the 3-4% withdrawal, that is a 5-8% swing. Per year.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by AlohaJoe » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:53 am

$200,000 a year times 25 more years plus portfolio growth.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by coachz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:56 am

I prefer the question......How much extra life will I get by retiring early.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Svensk Anga » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:03 am

It was quite a lot. We were adding about 5.5% to our portfolio balance via new savings when we were both working. Retired at 57, so 27.5% of portfolio plus whatever growth the markets would provide over the five years to 62 was left on the table. Our pensions would have been better too. My wife could have boosted her SS benefits a bit as well. Still, our retirement plan looks quite conservative, so if we would have continued working, it would likely have been for the benefit of our heirs. There was no luxury we desired more than the luxury of not having to work.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Nova1967 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:23 am

I'll retire at 57, with max contribution to TSP and Roth IRA about 30k a year times 5.
Life is too short to put things off.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:37 am

I prefer to think of it as how much do I need to live off and do I have enough for that. Thinking how much you are "losing" by retiring or retiring early you could make yourself work until the day you die. And are you really "losing" money that may just be sitting in an account when you die and you never touched?

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by jabbahop » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:54 am

I retired 18 months ago @ 55 leaving a very good salary, bonus, and stock. If I worked another 7 years to 62, the portfolio might be 30% higher.

We have enough - no regrets.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by coachz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:59 am

jabbahop wrote:I retired 18 months ago @ 55 leaving a very good salary, bonus, and stock. If I worked another 7 years to 62, the portfolio might be 30% higher.

We have enough - no regrets.
I totally agree. I'll be leaving a really nice salary but will enjoy every minute playing guitar and wrestling my dogs.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by cusetownusa » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:03 am

coachz wrote:I prefer the question......How much extra life will I get by retiring early.
I like this viewpoint. When you look at it the other way it's so easy to always convince yourself OMY.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by coachz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:06 am

cusetownusa wrote:
coachz wrote:I prefer the question......How much extra life will I get by retiring early.
I like this viewpoint. When you look at it the other way it's so easy to always convince yourself OMY.
You don't choose when to retire, you choose at what income.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:07 am

jabbahop wrote: If I worked another 7 years to 62, the portfolio might be 30% higher.
I think your portfolio will be 30% higher at age 62 anyways.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Scamp » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:13 am

I'm curious TheTime Lord why do you ask? I left tons of money on the table by selling most of my company stake to my partners. I retired at 42 in upper middle class fashion while my partners are now in top 1/10th of 1%er territory. I left a lot on the table - 80 hour work weeks, stress, uncertainty, risk, and lot and lots of bs. I don't miss it at all.

Good luck.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:15 am

I appreciate that everyone has an opinion but as the OP I asked a pretty specific nuts and bolts question about finances not philosophy of life. I greatly appreciate those who have attempted to answer the question asked it is very helpful to me. Thank you.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by littlebird » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:21 am

Nothing. Retiring young gave me such a delightful life that I didn't need to spend much to fulfill myself. I know that had I worked until the average retirement age, I would have spent much more, in order to answer the nagging question: "what am I working for (if not to spend some money?) and come out about the same in the end.

Due to the above, plus an excellent investment climate and a couple of lucky real estate experiences, our assets quintupled in our 28 year (so far) retirement without much frugality and certainly no deprivation. YMMV.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:28 am

Scamp wrote:I'm curious TheTime Lord why do you ask? I left tons of money on the table by selling most of my company stake to my partners. I retired at 42 in upper middle class fashion while my partners are now in top 1/10th of 1%er territory. I left a lot on the table - 80 hour work weeks, stress, uncertainty, risk, and lot and lots of bs. I don't miss it at all.

Good luck.
I asked because we are still in our mid-50s and our annual contributions to our portfolio with me working still add meaningfully to its growth. It seems me that there comes a point where even that grow for most is not enough to keep them in the workforce and I am trying to get a feel for that balance. You could ask hypothetically at what percentage is additional portfolio growth no longer worth it but I prefer the experience from those who actually made the decision as opposed to what someone imagines they would do 30 years in the future. Maybe I am totally wrong but I would think the vast majority would work OMY for a 100% growth in their portfolio, but what about 50%, 25%, 10% or 5% is that enough to keep people at their desks or was work just to the point they had to pull the chord at all costs.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by surfstar » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:34 am

Enough is enough.

We get that you like working and are stuck in one more year, for ... how long has it been now? Maybe you're anxious about pulling the plug and not having income coming in. That's fine and perfectly normal. I'm sure it can be scary.

You've asked this similar question / vein of thought in many threads. It seems to be a recurring thought for you.

I think the very fact that you are conscious and worry about having enough, means you won't run out. But it is also keeping you from pulling the cord. Which you say you're okay with, as you like your job. So you're fine either way.


I'm out as soon as I have "enough", though. You/we can't have enough time. How much of that are you willing to leave on the table? So much to do and see. I know what my workplace looks like, why spend anymore time here than I need to?

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Conch55 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:36 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
Maybe I am totally wrong but I would think the vast majority would work OMY for a 100% growth in their portfolio, but what about 50%, 25%, 10% or 5% is that enough to keep people at their desks or was work just to the point they had to pull the chord at all costs.
If percentage of portfolio growth is the criteria then I might have stopped working sooner than I did at 59.5. I was hoping for 10% growth per year at that time but the markets of 2014 were not doing their part to help. My annual contribution was basically it, max 401K with a decent company match. At that point I decided the work/life balance was not in my favor and I pulled the plug. No regrets.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Longdog » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:41 am

livesoft wrote:Since additions are limited by maximum contribution amounts and withdrawals are small, the portfolio would not have changed much if I had kept working.
How can this be? Do you not count taxable accounts as part of your portfolio?
Steve

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:41 am

surfstar wrote:Enough is enough.

We get that you like working and are stuck in one more year, for ... how long has it been now?
20 months.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by nukewerker » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:52 am

surfstar wrote:Enough is enough.

We get that you like working and are stuck in one more year, for ... how long has it been now? Maybe you're anxious about pulling the plug and not having income coming in. That's fine and perfectly normal. I'm sure it can be scary.

You've asked this similar question / vein of thought in many threads. It seems to be a recurring thought for you.

I think the very fact that you are conscious and worry about having enough, means you won't run out. But it is also keeping you from pulling the cord. Which you say you're okay with, as you like your job. So you're fine either way.


I'm out as soon as I have "enough", though. You/we can't have enough time. How much of that are you willing to leave on the table? So much to do and see. I know what my workplace looks like, why spend anymore time here than I need to?

I am firmly in this camp.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:10 am

Longdog wrote:
livesoft wrote:Since additions are limited by maximum contribution amounts and withdrawals are small, the portfolio would not have changed much if I had kept working.
How can this be? Do you not count taxable accounts as part of your portfolio?
Sure, I count taxable accounts. I am not making any contributions to my taxable accounts nowadays.

Suppose I have a $100 million portfolio. A $24,000 401(k) contribution and/or $100,000 withdrawal are not meaningful percentages of that portfolio.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by coachz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:15 am

It also depends on how long you think you will live. Living to 95 sounds great in theory but as you get older a number of events can change your idea about how long you think you will last. I personally went through a tornado in September. I was literally in the tornado and had the room I was in be the only room left, so the temporary nature of life has been reinforced rather strongly as of late. Not to mention seeing peers in their 60's pass away and realizing "I'm almost that age!".

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Raybo » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:18 am

There is no way for me to calculate this.

I was self-employed teaching computer programming in Silicon Valley. Today, no one makes any real money doing that.

I retired in 2000, the year that Silicon Valley blew itself up. I probably left some money "on the table" but I also could have spent a lot of money to maintain my existing business or start a new one that would have been lost. It is impossible to tell.

What I didn't leave on the table was 10 years of bike touring while still in my 50s.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:28 am

I am not ER'd but recently did a calculation with 2 possible retirement ages, given my expected assets/pensions/SS for each scenario.

By ER'ing at 45, I'd expect to be able to spend $50k per year until age 90.

By retiring at the normal age of 67, I'd expect to be able to spend $350k per year until age 90.

So this would indicate roughly ($350k * (90-67) - $50k * (90 - 45)) = $5.8M real dollars left on the table, for 22 additional years to do whatever I want.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:41 am

TheTimeLord wrote:I appreciate that everyone has an opinion but as the OP I asked a pretty specific nuts and bolts question about finances not philosophy of life. I greatly appreciate those who have attempted to answer the question asked it is very helpful to me. Thank you.
Okay, here's a nuts and bolts answer, with the caveat that I became a SAHD rather than "retire," but I no longer got a paycheck from a third-party.

At the time (14 years ago), I was getting around $250k per year. My highest comp year was $420k, my lowest $210k, but I think $250k plus good benefits is a reasonable number to use. After-tax amount was minuscule by comparison (work in NY, live in NJ, wife makes lots of money). I was probably on track to get paid more going forward, but who knows?

So, gross I guess I left around $3.5M on the table plus 14 years of 401k contributions plus 14 years of pension accumulations plus miscellaneous. It's only money (oops, some philosophy snuck in :oops: ).
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by MSDOGS1976 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:46 am

I retired at 53. At 62 my portfolio would have been roughly 35% more. No regrets though.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by uncaD » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:53 am

I was making high 6 figures when I retired 3 years ago at 45. I don't even want to hazard a guess at how many millions I would have accumulated if I waited to retire at a more "normal" age. No regrets.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by LarryAllen » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:16 pm

surfstar wrote:Enough is enough.

....

I'm out as soon as I have "enough", though. You/we can't have enough time. How much of that are you willing to leave on the table? So much to do and see. I know what my workplace looks like, why spend anymore time here than I need to?

I especially like your last line! I agree. I know exactly what this place looks like and tire of seeing it again and again!

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Artsdoctor » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:25 pm

Went to part-time at 55 and will retire fully at 60. Interesting exercise in math, but I'm guessing the entire portfolio would probably be 25% higher. Spouse remains full-time.

Can't avoid philosophical comments altogether, though. Wouldn't trade this decision for anything. Was starting to see relationships slip through fingers and spending more time with family and friends can't be quantified monetarily.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by vitaflo » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:45 pm

It's a fairly simple math problem. Figure out what you save every year, figure out how many years before 62 you will retire, adjust for market returns and inflation, and you'll get your number of what you left on the table.

My goal right now is to retire at 50 with $2.5m. If I worked until 62 at my current savings rate, I'd leave about $1.5m on the table. Worth the tradeoff for 12 extra years of not being in the rat race.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:47 pm

Artsdoctor wrote: Can't avoid philosophical comments altogether, though. Wouldn't trade this decision for anything. Was starting to see relationships slip through fingers and spending more time with family and friends can't be quantified monetarily.
But while that money left on the table is a measurable the philosophy is very individualize to a person. You feel relationships slipping through your fingers, I felt that way when I wasn't working and others were. Virtually all my good friends currently are from some period in my workalike although work is rarely a topic of conversation. I laugh more at work than social gathering, I constantly inject humor to defuse tense meeting. For me work is incredibly high pressure and for it to work I need to be able to interact with people on a more personal level to understand them and enjoy their company. In my case withdrawing from work would be ant-social. Frankly my wife is the same on her job although not nearly as funny.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Toons » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:49 pm

Not much at all,
Never really give it any thought. :happy
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by btenny » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:50 pm

I retired very early at 52. I left on my terms and my selection. I gave up a lot of $$$ I am sure, maybe 30-50% or more in my retirement portfolio. But I am not sure I would have lived through 10 more years of working and travel stress at my big corporation job. I know I would have been much worse off physically and mentally. But I had enough $$$ to retire comfortably so who cares. I got 10-13 more great years of fun and enjoyment. I started skiing and traveling a ton. I went on big hikes. I did lots of heavy physical stuff that would have been difficult at 60+. I skied 150 days a year. I mountain and ice climbed because I was young enough.

I discovered a whole new way of life that is wonderful. I did the right thing for me.

Enjoy.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by matonplayer » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:53 pm

We recently retired at mid 50s. If we had worked another ten years our portfolio would probably be 20 percent larger than it will be. But we have more than enough.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Watty » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:08 pm

coachz wrote:I prefer the question......How much extra life will I get by retiring early.
That is especially important for a couple since even if you have good health and are vigorous to a ripe old age your spouse may not be.

I didn't look up the statistics but for a couple retiring at 65 the odds of them both being alive and in good health in ten years are probably not all that great, especially compared to when they were 55 or even 60.

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by mlebuf » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:14 pm

Here's a question for those who did not retire early: How many years of freedom did you leave on table? That number is easily determined.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Dutch » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:17 pm

livesoft wrote:
Longdog wrote:
livesoft wrote:Since additions are limited by maximum contribution amounts and withdrawals are small, the portfolio would not have changed much if I had kept working.
How can this be? Do you not count taxable accounts as part of your portfolio?
Sure, I count taxable accounts. I am not making any contributions to my taxable accounts nowadays.

Suppose I have a $100 million portfolio. A $24,000 401(k) contribution and/or $100,000 withdrawal are not meaningful percentages of that portfolio.
Oh please

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:22 pm

mlebuf wrote:Here's a question for those who did not retire early: How many years of freedom did you leave on table? That number is easily determined.
Freedom to do what I guess is my question. I have traveled the world, participated in activities and enjoyed the people I have met along the way. Your question is a fine one and maybe you should make it a thread but honestly the only time I feel I have wasted in the last decade was about 7-8 of the 10 months I took off after taking an Early Retirement Package from Megacorp. So for me to date the answer would be zero years. Now if the wife changes her mind about work and retires that might change in a heartbeat. But at the moment I don't feel like I am missing a thing, could be I am dellusional.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Will do good » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:43 pm

Timelord, I believe you will be doing OMY again :oops: .
As your former OMY member, I'm turning in my membership and retiring in a month. :sharebeer

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by TheTimeLord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:10 pm

Will do good wrote:Timelord, I believe you will be doing OMY again :oops: .
As your former OMY member, I'm turning in my membership and retiring in a month. :sharebeer
Congratulations. I hope your retirement exceeds your expectations in every way. I think I may be in the OMD club, just not sure if that is Day or Decade (LOL).

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light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by tbradnc » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:48 pm

$2253.34.

:)

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:07 pm

tbradnc wrote:$2253.34.

:)
Found the big tipper!

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by zaboomafoozarg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:09 pm

Dutch wrote:
livesoft wrote:Suppose I have a $100 million portfolio.
Oh please
Hey, at least we know who blows the curve on the annual net worth surveys :D

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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:13 pm

^I "suppose" we don't know.
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Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by DVMResident » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:35 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
Scamp wrote:I'm curious TheTime Lord why do you ask? I left tons of money on the table by selling most of my company stake to my partners. I retired at 42 in upper middle class fashion while my partners are now in top 1/10th of 1%er territory. I left a lot on the table - 80 hour work weeks, stress, uncertainty, risk, and lot and lots of bs. I don't miss it at all.

Good luck.
I asked because we are still in our mid-50s and our annual contributions to our portfolio with me working still add meaningfully to its growth. It seems me that there comes a point where even that grow for most is not enough to keep them in the workforce and I am trying to get a feel for that balance. You could ask hypothetically at what percentage is additional portfolio growth no longer worth it but I prefer the experience from those who actually made the decision as opposed to what someone imagines they would do 30 years in the future. Maybe I am totally wrong but I would think the vast majority would work OMY for a 100% growth in their portfolio, but what about 50%, 25%, 10% or 5% is that enough to keep people at their desks or was work just to the point they had to pull the chord at all costs.
In the book "Money Ratios", the author describes when the earnings on the assets outpace the contributions is a tipping point where you transition from a laborer to a capitalist. Once you reach this point, saving each additional dollar has diminishing returns.

RCL
Posts: 375
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:48 am

Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by RCL » Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:50 pm

livesoft wrote:^I "suppose" we don't know.
I think there was a reading comprehension problem there :sharebeer
It Is Best To Consult Others Before Taking Unusual Actions

Levett
Posts: 4177
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: upper Midwest

Re: Early retirees, how much did you leave on the table?

Post by Levett » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:00 pm

Why would I ask?

It's one of those questions folks with regret ask.

I don't regret a day I retired.

Money certainly contributes to a satisfying retirement, but money alone does not assure a satisfying retirement.

Lev

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