Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

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Topic Author
BHNewbie
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Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

Love this community and have quietly learned a lot this past year. This is my first post as we are now ready in for the next stage I believe. Sorry in advance for its length but want to ensure no stone is left unturned in your analysis.

I am 53 and my wife is 56, and we both will be retiring <edited> 7/3/25 (random date although partially tied to pension increase, that will allow us time to transition between now and then - and would love to say Independence Day was also our first real day of “independence,” literally :)! We don’t hate our jobs and work primarily remotely with lots of autonomy, and we need some time to figure out what’s next.

First question - are our assumptions below realistic (if not properly conservative)? Did we use the right tools to guide us?

We have a mega spreadsheet that tracked expenses in 20 spending categories for last 2+ years. It assumes future 4% flat annual investment gains (net of .2% fees), in an 50/40/10 bogelhead portfolio, and 3.3% flat annual rate of inflation. Capital gains are assumed at 23% (highest) and ordinary income at 25% (includes state tax in HCOL). Medical expenses are assumed to be $3k per month in today’s dollars, conservatively to assume no ACA subsidies, with annual medical inflation at 7% per year. This medical expense rate will continue through Medicare then beyond in case stuff hits the fan medically.

Non-cola annuity pension starts at age 62, and Social Security will be taken at age 70 for both of us (and will assume our 24% increased amount for the delay will be offset by a 24% reduction in benefits due to a potential forecasted government shortfall). We also banded expenses into go-go (our budget now), slow-go, and no-go years, which happen to be naturally reduced 25% between go-go to no-go years. We actually tweaked each of the 20 expense categories in each band, based on some normal assumptions anticipated throughout each retirement phase. We also built in about 30% flexibility in any year if we need to by reducing / eliminating travel and non-essential expenses in a pinch. We have also included forecasted lumpy expenses such as auto purchases every 10 years, large one-time home system replacements such as roof, windows, deck, etc, and potential expenses for kids such as weddings, help with home purchase, and grandkids 529. We may move in the future to get closer to children/other family (but will use net proceeds from current home, as we already live in a HCOL area, so expenses are locked in high and can’t really go up much more :)

At age 70, with all of these assumptions in place and when pension and social security income fully kicks in, we will still have <edited> 25x expenses in our investment accounts, which doesn’t include home equity or potential long-term care expenses (which will be self insured through separate savings account of about $400k). These assumptions, calculated out over time, indicate that we will run out of investment money around age 90 and will need to sell or tap home equity to get us across the finish line. We have run these numbers through firecalc, fidelitys retirement tool, and die with zero’s calculation and all say we are ok for at least 40 years (not even using home equity).

Second and final question: what are we missing, and what is our potential blind-spot(s), both financially and in other aspects?

We are exploring hobbies and volunteer opportunities (to retire to something), begun our focus on health / fitness, researching tax and estate planning options (including Roth IRA conversions while balancing ACA subsidies) and pursuing social avenues now over this next 12-month period. We donate to charities (one of the 20 spending categories above, which is tied to 3.3% inflation annually) and intend on either running out of money at age 100 or leaving an inheritance for family at the end. I am assuming we are overly prepared and checked all of the boxes, but I learn something new from this conservative group all the time and appreciate greatly that approach towards this!

Thank you, BH Community, for your insight and perspectives on this!
Last edited by BHNewbie on Thu Feb 15, 2024 9:59 am, edited 4 times in total.
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retired@50
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by retired@50 »

BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm
I am 53 and my wife is 56...
...
... and Social Security will be taken at age 70 for both of us
...
Thank you, BH Community, for your insight and perspectives on this!
Welcome to the forum.

Have you run your Social Security claiming strategy and details through the Open Social Security calculator?

See link: https://opensocialsecurity.com/

The site was created by a fellow Boglehead.

Regards,
If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. -George Orwell
livesoft
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by livesoft »

If you have any blind spots, I don't think they will matter. What are you retiring to?
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Topic Author
BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

retired@50 wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:51 pm
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm
I am 53 and my wife is 56...
...
... and Social Security will be taken at age 70 for both of us
...
Thank you, BH Community, for your insight and perspectives on this!
Welcome to the forum.

Have you run your Social Security claiming strategy and details through the Open Social Security calculator?

See link: https://opensocialsecurity.com/

The site was created by a fellow Boglehead.

Regards,
Yes, thank you R@50. Taking mine at 62 and wife’s at 70 is best if we are using the actuary tables, but we are looking to bake in longevity insurance if we live into our 90’s. Also gives us a little more wiggle room for Roth Conversions if applicable. Thank you!!
Last edited by BHNewbie on Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

livesoft wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:56 pm If you have any blind spots, I don't think they will matter. What are you retiring to?
Thanks LS - not sure just yet, but hope to have that figured out by next summer. We are currently in our exploratory stage now…fingers crossed!
Last edited by BHNewbie on Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Boglehead1967
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by Boglehead1967 »

Hi,

This is indeed a very conservative set of assumptions.
1. Capital Gains are progressive, 0, 15 and 20% plus 3.8% for the highest earners. Without high regular income you will not pay 23.8%. Since you did not share any actual numbers it’s hard to say more.
2. 33x of current expenses is more than enough. However if you go for a lot of travel your expenses makeup might change.
3. Risk tolerance is a personal choice, not sure what your portfolio looks like but I assume it would be pretty conservative.

Overall you seem to be more than ready. Congratulations.
Topic Author
BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

Boglehead1967 wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:08 pm Hi,

This is indeed a very conservative set of assumptions.
1. Capital Gains are progressive, 0, 15 and 20% plus 3.8% for the highest earners. Without high regular income you will not pay 23.8%. Since you did not share any actual numbers it’s hard to say more.
2. 33x of current expenses is more than enough. However if you go for a lot of travel your expenses makeup might change.
3. Risk tolerance is a personal choice, not sure what your portfolio looks like but I assume it would be pretty conservative.

Overall you seem to be more than ready. Congratulations.
Thank you, BH67! Yes, we are built to remain conservative at a 50/40/10 3-fund BH-approved portfolio. Not a political statement but not sure if the government will pick on capital gain earners in the future, as the sentiment seems to currently be against folks who have some wealth and do not necessarily pay income taxes on that wealth :) so we just built in worst case. With taxes potentially changing, 25% may also change, but between the two we believe this is pretty conservative guessing.

Our goal is not to trade some investment gains for peace of mind, so that money provides utility and not anxiousness. Others enjoy the opposite approach, I understand. Not worth the trade for me though, as irrational as that is :)

Thank you again!!
bonesly
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by bonesly »

BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm First question - are our assumptions below realistic (if not properly conservative)? Did we use the right tools to guide us?
You've created your own "mega spreadsheet" tool and used a variety of tools created by others and they all say you're good. It seems pretty likely that your going to make it to the finish line with a positive balance to leave to heirs and/or charity. If you want "yet another analysis", you can post your portfolio details (size in dollars, asset allocation over time, spend plan from just the portfolio assuming pension/SS covers rest of expenses) and you can get a feel for if analyses presented here are consistent with those you've already run. I'm not sure that's worth the effort and I'd agree with the statement: "I am assuming we are overly prepared and checked all of the boxes..."
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm Second and final question: what are we missing, and what is our potential blind-spot(s), both financially and in other aspects?
As noted above, it feels like you have everything covered. Potentially there's some optimization to be had over both claiming at 70 (it's possible one of you should claim earlier while the other sticks to the claim-at-70 plan). Without the portfolio details (and spend plan from that portfolio) there's not much to analyze & discuss.
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Meg77
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by Meg77 »

1 - No your assumptions are not realistic or even properly conservative. They are VERY conservative! Which is fine. But giving yourself a 30% budgetary cushion, assuming $36K a year in medical expenses out of pocket, and assuming only a 4% nominal rate of return (with 3.3% inflation assumption which effectively means you're assuming nearly no real growth of capital over many decades) are all conservative assumptions. I assume your tax rate assumptions are very conservative too, but you haven't listed any figures so it's hard to tell. It takes a LOT of after tax investments to end up with an effective ordinary income tax rate of 25% with no wages, even in a HCOL area.

2 - I don't note any blind spots. But again you provide no real figures so it's hard to tell. What will be your withdrawal rate on your current portfolio for the first 6 years? If anything I imagine you'll be underspending if you'll end up with 33x expenses (again, with very conservative assumptions) when your pensions kick in. So one blind spot may be determining what you want to do with all your surplus. I recommend increasing some spending targets.

Congrats!
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
sailaway
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by sailaway »

The numbers look fine, but why are you referring to 7/3/2024 as "next year" and "next summer"? That is this year and this summer!

I didn't take the general advice to build up our cash reserves before we reduced our income. Due to an odd confluence of circumstances, we ended up with very tight cash flow for the first six months. I wish I had followed the general advice and built that buffer to smooth the transition.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

Thank you bonesly and Meg! I appreciate you validating our assumptions (including we may have tipped too far to ultra conservative). But again, it’s the only thing helping us feel good about the move from accumulation to decimation, and allowing us to sleep at night regardless of what the markets are doing etc. thank you again!
ralph124cf
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by ralph124cf »

Seriously consider a CCRC for age 75-80 onward. We moved in to ours two years ago and we love it.

One thing you will always hear about this type of move, is "better five years too early than five minutes too late".
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familythriftmd
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by familythriftmd »

BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:01 pm Thank you bonesly and Meg! I appreciate you validating our assumptions (including we may have tipped too far to ultra conservative). But again, it’s the only thing helping us feel good about the move from accumulation to decimation, and allowing us to sleep at night regardless of what the markets are doing etc. thank you again!
Decimation is one way to look at decumulation! :D
MoonOrb
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by MoonOrb »

1. Your built in assumptions are really conservative as has been pointed out.
2. You also have flexibility to lower your spending needed.
3. You've budgeted for other large expenses.

It's hard to see how this could not work--you could always share the figures here and get more specific feedback, though.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

sailaway wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:51 pm The numbers look fine, but why are you referring to 7/3/2024 as "next year" and "next summer"? That is this year and this summer!

I didn't take the general advice to build up our cash reserves before we reduced our income. Due to an odd confluence of circumstances, we ended up with very tight cash flow for the first six months. I wish I had followed the general advice and built that buffer to smooth the transition.
Thank you, Sailaway - yes, my error: I mean next summer (7/3/25!). This allows us some time to figure out the other, non-financial stuff, we hope. We have 10% cash, which is 4+ years of expenses, so we hope to be ok. We may take a little more to help when we are navigating the ACA subsidies and Roth Conversions, if we end up doing. What would be a good percentage to start off in cash, would you say?
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

ralph124cf wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:18 pm Seriously consider a CCRC for age 75-80 onward. We moved in to ours two years ago and we love it.

One thing you will always hear about this type of move, is "better five years too early than five minutes too late".
I would love to hear more about this, Ralph - thank you. It makes sense and seems like a conservative move that wasn’t on my radar for down the road…but should be…thank you!
Last edited by BHNewbie on Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

MoonOrb wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:38 pm 1. Your built in assumptions are really conservative as has been pointed out.
2. You also have flexibility to lower your spending needed.
3. You've budgeted for other large expenses.

It's hard to see how this could not work--you could always share the figures here and get more specific feedback, though.
Thank you Moon! I am curios what additional information you need to assess (no sarcasm or judgement as I’m trying to learn)? If it helps, I will provide, but I would think that the other factors described are far more important. Specific numbers regarding budget, income, expenses, net worth seem to be noise that may distract some from this analysis, especially since I broke it down into ratios and assumptions already. I have been here just long enough to see some become judgmental or voyeristic with this data, and lose sight of the intent of helping :) Not directed towards you, as I have no reason to think that here, however.

I feel through the last 2 years of intense budgeting, that I have a good handle on expenses (that are highly individualized), and I have realistically increased for medical and travel, which usually go up during the go-go years, and travel going down during the no-go years, while medical still climbs (averaged at 7%). So providing specifics there would only be unique to me.

And, regarding accumulation, it’s 33x my average annual expenses in year 70, which factors in the increased drain on my savings, as it is after ACA and other bridge expenses. My lumpy expense are backed out (and accurately based on replacement costs in todays dollars, adjusted for the future). And I have identified 30% of my budget at any point in time as “nice to have, but not essential,” so that you see that I recognize the fluff. If I need to identify more slack then I could go back and evaluate as I’m certain there is more luxuries I could cut, and specifics would help you help me identify anything outside the norm, assuming this exercise is necessary if 30% wasn’t enough.

All investment growth and deductions (such as taxes and inflation) are based on the % assumptions noted. Taxes were based on today’s rates plus some funky conservative math to help me feel like I can better weather any potential changes by future Congresses. My pension and social security earnings (which were reduced artificially based on assumptions that Congress can’t fix in time) are irrelevant because they simply reduce my expenses in any given year proportionately. Whether the net worth is $200,000 or $20,000,0000, it all boils down to these factors, I believe. But, again, I’m here to learn and break my assumptions.

Please advise on which other factors would be important in this evaluation, as it will help me identify other blind spots. Thank you again as I appreciate your input and time, Moon
Last edited by BHNewbie on Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:54 pm, edited 9 times in total.
sailaway
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by sailaway »

BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:14 pm
sailaway wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:51 pm The numbers look fine, but why are you referring to 7/3/2024 as "next year" and "next summer"? That is this year and this summer!

I didn't take the general advice to build up our cash reserves before we reduced our income. Due to an odd confluence of circumstances, we ended up with very tight cash flow for the first six months. I wish I had followed the general advice and built that buffer to smooth the transition.
Thank you, Sailaway - yes, my error: I mean next summer (7/3/25!). This allows us some time to figure out the other, non-financial stuff, we hope. We have 10% cash, which is 4+ years of expenses, so we hope to be ok. We may take a little more to help when we are navigating the ACA subsidies and Roth Conversions, if we end up doing. What would be a good percentage to start off in cash, would you say?

You may want to edit the original with that date.

I really don't know how much cash one should have; we ended up with only a few of months' expenses because DH was told RSUs would continue to vest on schedule, but things went a bit haywire and there was an 10 month delay. I had been counting on the vesting RSUs to fill our cash cofer. We generally only build up a year in cash and spend down from there. It wasn't a big deal: we sold like we knew we would have to at some point, it was just discombobulating to have a plan and have a wrench thrown into it so soon.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

sailaway wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:44 pm
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:14 pm
sailaway wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 1:51 pm The numbers look fine, but why are you referring to 7/3/2024 as "next year" and "next summer"? That is this year and this summer!

I didn't take the general advice to build up our cash reserves before we reduced our income. Due to an odd confluence of circumstances, we ended up with very tight cash flow for the first six months. I wish I had followed the general advice and built that buffer to smooth the transition.
Thank you, Sailaway - yes, my error: I mean next summer (7/3/25!). This allows us some time to figure out the other, non-financial stuff, we hope. We have 10% cash, which is 4+ years of expenses, so we hope to be ok. We may take a little more to help when we are navigating the ACA subsidies and Roth Conversions, if we end up doing. What would be a good percentage to start off in cash, would you say?

You may want to edit the original with that date.

I really don't know how much cash one should have; we ended up with only a few of months' expenses because DH was told RSUs would continue to vest on schedule, but things went a bit haywire and there was an 10 month delay. I had been counting on the vesting RSUs to fill our cash cofer. We generally only build up a year in cash and spend down from there. It wasn't a big deal: we sold like we knew we would have to at some point, it was just discombobulating to have a plan and have a wrench thrown into it so soon.
Thank you SailAway - I edited it above. Also, good to see my cash would help me if a similar issue arose here. Thank you again!
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

familythriftmd wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:29 pm
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:01 pm Thank you bonesly and Meg! I appreciate you validating our assumptions (including we may have tipped too far to ultra conservative). But again, it’s the only thing helping us feel good about the move from accumulation to decimation, and allowing us to sleep at night regardless of what the markets are doing etc. thank you again!
Decimation is one way to look at decumulation! :D
Hahaha, Doc - just noticed this. I’m keeping unedited as it’s a pretty funny mistype and potentially accurate :)
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Watty
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by Watty »

BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm Second and final question: what are we missing, and what is our potential blind-spot(s), both financially and in other aspects?
I did not really follow your numbers but one thing to look at is what your numbers will be if one of you survives the other.

You will only get one Social Security check then and it was not clear if the survivor would get 100% of the pension. The survivor will also be filing tax returns in the higher single tax brackets. Their expenses can also be tricky since some expenses may go down when there is only one person but they may also need to hire people to do things which their deceased spouse would have done.
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Watty
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by Watty »

BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm Second and final question: what are we missing, and what is our potential blind-spot(s), both financially and in other aspects?
I did not really follow your numbers but one thing to look at is what your numbers will be if one of you survives the other.

You will only get one Social Security check then and it was not clear if the survivor would get 100% of the pension. The survivor will also be filing tax returns in the higher single tax brackets. Their expenses can also be tricky since some expenses may go down when there is only one person but they may also need to hire people to do things which their deceased spouse would have done.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

Watty wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:21 pm
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm Second and final question: what are we missing, and what is our potential blind-spot(s), both financially and in other aspects?
I did not really follow your numbers but one thing to look at is what your numbers will be if one of you survives the other.

You will only get one Social Security check then and it was not clear if the survivor would get 100% of the pension. The survivor will also be filing tax returns in the higher single tax brackets. Their expenses can also be tricky since some expenses may go down when there is only one person but they may also need to hire people to do things which their deceased spouse would have done.
Thank you, Watty! Please let me know if I can rephrase any of the calculations (as I know it’s long winded and tedious, but a lot of work went into these calculations so it feels like I had to over explain to ensure I didn’t miss anything for your analysis).

Good point on the surviving spouse. The pension is reduced 12% if I die first, but it’s non-cola so my Mega spreadsheet identifies this as nominal income especially in later years when inflation takes over. And, social security will be reduced to highest earner’s amount, which in our case, we retain still 60% of the total regardless of who dies first. But, the 40% loss will be offset some by reduced food costs (maybe), auto maintenance & insurance (reduced to one car), healthcare (one person), entertainment, grooming, clothes, maybe travel, etc.

Long term care is already covered to account for absence of other spouse’s help. And I budgeted house maintenance and housekeeping as if we had to outsource everything in case one dies or we are no longer able to do ourselves. And to be honest, unless it’s a lightbulb, it’s likely being outsourced anyways with my technical knowledge 😂 The biggest expenses (taxes, utilities, home insurance, outsourced home maintenance, landscaping, charity, gifts, etc) will likely stay the same regardless of headcount - until downsizing (when additional savings can be realized that are not currently captured in the budgets). This may also further offset the loss of social security income.

Thanks again for your insight, good stuff!
rockstar
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by rockstar »

Have you calculated out your expected PIA given that you're retiring early?

https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/socia ... nd-points/

And if you want to be conservative, you can wait to see if the 2025 tax cuts expire or get reinstated. That would give you some more piece of mind. It's not long to wait.

What's your plan to withdraw from tax deferred before 59.5? What's your bridge or approach?

Finally, have you made sure to include lumpy expenses such as: vehicle purchases, appliance and furniture replacement, HVAC replacement, roof replacement, and computer/cell phone replacements into your expenses? Stuff doesn't last forever these days. And quality of merchandise keeps declining.

Otherwise, your high level stuff looks pretty good.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

rockstar wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 5:44 pm Have you calculated out your expected PIA given that you're retiring early?

https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/socia ... nd-points/

And if you want to be conservative, you can wait to see if the 2025 tax cuts expire or get reinstated. That would give you some more piece of mind. It's not long to wait.

What's your plan to withdraw from tax deferred before 59.5? What's your bridge or approach?

Finally, have you made sure to include lumpy expenses such as: vehicle purchases, appliance and furniture replacement, HVAC replacement, roof replacement, and computer/cell phone replacements into your expenses? Stuff doesn't last forever these days. And quality of merchandise keeps declining.

Otherwise, your high level stuff looks pretty good.
Thank you, Rockstar! I feel this site has prepped me well:

Yes, I have calculated out the 35 credit years for each of us, and we exceed the 2nd bend point. “Megasheet” actually has a sheet on SS and does the calculation directly per the government’s formula and historical income and indexed data for both of us.

My assumption is that the current tax breaks will expire in 2026, and higher taxes are factored in already. If not, more padding.

Lumpy expenses are accounted for including cars every 10 years, large house maintenance items on a schedule, including roofs, windows, etc. on an estimated replacement schedule. Also, have budgeted 1.5% of home value for routine maintenance like painting, caulking, plumbing, etc.

We will need to plan for a withdrawal strategy, good point. Our investment accounts hold approx 75% post tax and 25% pretax. Any suggestions? Thank you again
ralph124cf
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by ralph124cf »

BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:16 pm
ralph124cf wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:18 pm Seriously consider a CCRC for age 75-80 onward. We moved in to ours two years ago and we love it.

One thing you will always hear about this type of move, is "better five years too early than five minutes too late".
I would love to hear more about this, Ralph - thank you. It makes sense and seems like a conservative move that wasn’t on my radar for down the road…but should be…thank you!
Hi BHN.

To define some terms: An Independent Lining community is a community where essentially everyone moving in is cognitively aware, capable of moving around, (walking, including with a cane or walker, or using an electric scooter or wheelchair), and doing all five activities of daily living. Generally at least one person in a couple must be over 55. These can be groups of small to large single family homes or buildings like apartment complexes, or a combination. Amenities vary greatly. Some of the very high end ones have their own golf courses. Many have tennis courts. Almost all have indoor pools, gyms, libraries, computer centers, restaurants, bars, and other amenities.

Prices are commensurate with the quality of the buildings, property, amenities, and location. It will also depend on if the property is a for profit or a non-profit.

The next normal progression would be Assisted Living. This is for people who have cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's or memory issues, or problems with activities of daily living.

A nursing home is for people who are either too disabled for assisted living, such as being bedridden or undergoing rehabilitative services after a knee or hip joint replacement.

A Continuing Care Retirement Center combines all three in one community. There are several financial models in use at these communities. One popular model is to pay a fairly steep entry fee, several hundred thousand to several million dollars, and then pay an ongoing monthly fee, from a few thousand to a few tens of thousands. Some will not raise your monthly fees if you need to move to Assisted Living, or on to a nursing home. Some are strictly fee for service. Some, mostly non-profits, will promise to not kick you out if you cannot pay your monthly fees. If you have a hefty long term care insurance policy, some CCRCs will discount either the entry fee or the monthly fee.

Search BH for some long threads on CCRCs.
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dogagility
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by dogagility »

Congratulations on being set up well financially.
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm Second and final question: what are we missing, and what is our potential blind-spot(s), both financially and in other aspects?
Unexpected and protracted inflation may be a (minor) blind spot. You will delay social security to mitigate inflation effects. You may also want to consider investing in TIPS (rather than nominal fixed income assets) to mitigate unexpected inflation.
Make sure you check out my list of certifications. The list is short, and there aren't any. - Eric 0. from SMA
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

ralph124cf wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:18 pm
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:16 pm
ralph124cf wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:18 pm Seriously consider a CCRC for age 75-80 onward. We moved in to ours two years ago and we love it.

One thing you will always hear about this type of move, is "better five years too early than five minutes too late".
I would love to hear more about this, Ralph - thank you. It makes sense and seems like a conservative move that wasn’t on my radar for down the road…but should be…thank you!
Hi BHN.

To define some terms: An Independent Lining community is a community where essentially everyone moving in is cognitively aware, capable of moving around, (walking, including with a cane or walker, or using an electric scooter or wheelchair), and doing all five activities of daily living. Generally at least one person in a couple must be over 55. These can be groups of small to large single family homes or buildings like apartment complexes, or a combination. Amenities vary greatly. Some of the very high end ones have their own golf courses. Many have tennis courts. Almost all have indoor pools, gyms, libraries, computer centers, restaurants, bars, and other amenities.

Prices are commensurate with the quality of the buildings, property, amenities, and location. It will also depend on if the property is a for profit or a non-profit.

The next normal progression would be Assisted Living. This is for people who have cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's or memory issues, or problems with activities of daily living.

A nursing home is for people who are either too disabled for assisted living, such as being bedridden or undergoing rehabilitative services after a knee or hip joint replacement.

A Continuing Care Retirement Center combines all three in one community. There are several financial models in use at these communities. One popular model is to pay a fairly steep entry fee, several hundred thousand to several million dollars, and then pay an ongoing monthly fee, from a few thousand to a few tens of thousands. Some will not raise your monthly fees if you need to move to Assisted Living, or on to a nursing home. Some are strictly fee for service. Some, mostly non-profits, will promise to not kick you out if you cannot pay your monthly fees. If you have a hefty long term care insurance policy, some CCRCs will discount either the entry fee or the monthly fee.

Search BH for some long threads on CCRCs.
Thank you, Ralph. Definitely sounds like a great option. Is this in the category of proactive or reactive, meaning should folks, in your opinion, wait until a certain stage or early diagnosis? Thank you again!
Last edited by BHNewbie on Mon Feb 12, 2024 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

dogagility wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 4:53 am Congratulations on being set up well financially.
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 12:13 pm Second and final question: what are we missing, and what is our potential blind-spot(s), both financially and in other aspects?
Unexpected and protracted inflation may be a (minor) blind spot. You will delay social security to mitigate inflation effects. You may also want to consider investing in TIPS (rather than nominal fixed income assets) to mitigate unexpected inflation.
Thank you, Dawg! Tough to prepare and anticipate inflation, as we all know, beyond historical standards, but hopefully the conservative assumptions on rate of return (less than 1% real) and other assumptions will offset that. Thanks again.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

Thank you BHs!
ralph124cf
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by ralph124cf »

BHNewbie wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 6:49 am
ralph124cf wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 10:18 pm
BHNewbie wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:16 pm
ralph124cf wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 2:18 pm Seriously consider a CCRC for age 75-80 onward. We moved in to ours two years ago and we love it.

One thing you will always hear about this type of move, is "better five years too early than five minutes too late".
I would love to hear more about this, Ralph - thank you. It makes sense and seems like a conservative move that wasn’t on my radar for down the road…but should be…thank you!
Hi BHN.

To define some terms: An Independent Lining community is a community where essentially everyone moving in is cognitively aware, capable of moving around, (walking, including with a cane or walker, or using an electric scooter or wheelchair), and doing all five activities of daily living. Generally at least one person in a couple must be over 55. These can be groups of small to large single family homes or buildings like apartment complexes, or a combination. Amenities vary greatly. Some of the very high end ones have their own golf courses. Many have tennis courts. Almost all have indoor pools, gyms, libraries, computer centers, restaurants, bars, and other amenities.

Prices are commensurate with the quality of the buildings, property, amenities, and location. It will also depend on if the property is a for profit or a non-profit.

The next normal progression would be Assisted Living. This is for people who have cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's or memory issues, or problems with activities of daily living.

A nursing home is for people who are either too disabled for assisted living, such as being bedridden or undergoing rehabilitative services after a knee or hip joint replacement.

A Continuing Care Retirement Center combines all three in one community. There are several financial models in use at these communities. One popular model is to pay a fairly steep entry fee, several hundred thousand to several million dollars, and then pay an ongoing monthly fee, from a few thousand to a few tens of thousands. Some will not raise your monthly fees if you need to move to Assisted Living, or on to a nursing home. Some are strictly fee for service. Some, mostly non-profits, will promise to not kick you out if you cannot pay your monthly fees. If you have a hefty long term care insurance policy, some CCRCs will discount either the entry fee or the monthly fee.

Search BH for some long threads on CCRCs.
Thank you, Ralph. Definitely sounds like a great option. Is this in the category of proactive or reactive, meaning should folks, in your opinion, wait until a certain stage or early diagnosis? Thank you again!
Hi BHN.

While AL and Nursing Home are almost always reactive after a precipitating event, I believe that a CCRC choice should always be proactive. Among other reasons, the better CCRCs almost always have waiting lists, some for years. Also there are normally physical entry requirements which you might not be able to meet if you wait too long. Choosing a community early also allows you more of a choice of units within the community. At my place you are allowed to modify the unit to suit your needs within certain engineering guidelines. Choosing a place early lets you get these things done before move in.

We looked at different CCRCs within about 100 miles of us before we made a choice, starting before Covid, and decided during Covid. The unit that we decided on was undergoing a gut remodel, as the previous residents had lived there for the 17 years since the building had opened. We decided on several structural modifications. There were sever shortages during Covid so it was 18 months before we could move in. We moved in at the tail end of the Covid lockdowns, and the restaurants were newly reopened in the building. The bars reopened for happy hour two months after we moved in. We were 73 when we moved in two years ago, and we have been extremely happy here. The staff plans regular outside activities, the two most noteworthy for us have been indoor skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel (this is MUCH more fun than riding up in an actual airplane with that bulky parachute strapped on, and then having at most a minute of freefall) and an ax throwing outing. There are also regular trips to operas, plays or museums.

All of the single family houses here have two car garages, and all of the units in the main building have underground spaces for one car per unit. More valet spaces are available at an extra cost.

Financial contracts vary too widely for a meaningful discussion, but where we are, the average unit would pay $1,000,000 to move in, with $900,000 refunded at move out (or death) and $6,000 per month. Another possibility would be $500,000 to move in, with 50% back and $7,000 per month, or $100,000 to move in with nothing back and $8,000 per month. It is important to read and UNDERSTAND the contract, especially the escalation clause. In our contract, the max year over year increase is limited to 3.5%. Discussing with other residents, some limit the increase to 8%, and others only limit it to the CPI increase.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

This is awesome, Ralph, thank you! I must say this was in our blind spot as I didn’t realize such an option excited. And great to see the costs are reasonable based on the level of care, activities, and consistency throughout stages. We will definatley keep this in the Rolodex to explore in the coming decade or so. Thank you again for sharing your good experiences with this as an option!
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BHNewbie
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Re: Did we miss anything?? Looking to retire next year!

Post by BHNewbie »

Thanks again for everyone’s help. My wife and I sat down last night and reviewed mega sheet with a continued eye to blind spots. We decided to tweak our travel expenses up, to a level that far exceeds our experience now as it could happen with the time we will be giving, but everything else looks realistic and will stay the same. As a result, it moved our expense-to-investment ratio from 30x to 25x at age 71. In other words, spending 4% of investments per year. . Again, this in future dollars at that point in time (so precise at that age), based on the straight line assumptions above. We edited this change in the original post.

This should safely bring us to age 101 (as best as we can predict the still agree? Thank you again!!
southernlucky
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by southernlucky »

How big is your investment portfolio (not net worth)? What is your projected annual expense? If that amount is 4% or less of the first number then you are are likely ok with future pension and SS. Btw when you checked your SS estimate online did you click the option for early retirement and not earning W2 income after that? If not the default assumptions if left alone assume you continue working to age 67 at current salary which would incorrectly inflate your estimated benefit amount. Be sure to adjust those settings to get more accurate estimate. The assumed 24% reduction was good planning too.
"Rely heavily on index funds, and begin with the idea of a 50/50 bond/stock ratio, adjusting the ratio in accordance with your own financial profile"--J Bogle commentary on Pillar 2 of 12
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BHNewbie
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by BHNewbie »

southernlucky wrote: Tue Feb 20, 2024 6:31 pm How big is your investment portfolio (not net worth)? What is your projected annual expense? If that amount is 4% or less of the first number then you are are likely ok with future pension and SS. Btw when you checked your SS estimate online did you click the option for early retirement and not earning W2 income after that? If not the default assumptions if left alone assume you continue working to age 67 at current salary which would incorrectly inflate your estimated benefit amount. Be sure to adjust those settings to get more accurate estimate. The assumed 24% reduction was good planning too.
Thank you, Southernlucky! Yes, our expenses (all in, including taxes and healthcare) are less than 4% of our investment portfolio. Income fluctuates until age 70 (as non-cola pension kicks in at age 62 and SS kicks in for each of us at respective age 70’s) so I extrapolated expenses in future dollars (with the stated inflation assumptions and anticipated changes in expense categories) and divided by the projected investment portfolio, and it’s just at 4%. This doesn’t include lumpy expenses after age 70 (cars, etc), so in theory it should carry me 30 more years to age 101, based on the Trinity Study.

My SS is based on an excel calculation, using the SS Admin’s formula (including highest 35 years of indexed wages, bend points, etc). So, assuming 2.5% cola adjustments, my age 70 payout should be pretty accurate, I hope, if not very conservative - especially when including the 24% potential projected haircut. Biggest benefit of the website, in my opinion, was to validate historical SS wages. Am I missing something on that? Thanks again!
Last edited by BHNewbie on Tue Feb 20, 2024 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
southernlucky
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by southernlucky »

My SS is based on an excel calculation, using the SS Admin’s formula (including highest 35 years of indexed wages, bend points, etc). So, assuming 2.5% cola adjustments, my age 70 payout should be pretty accurate, I hope, if not very conservative - especially when including the 24% potential projected haircut. Biggest benefit of the website, in my opinion, was to validate historical SS wages. Am I missing something on that? Thanks again!
You are good then!
"Rely heavily on index funds, and begin with the idea of a 50/50 bond/stock ratio, adjusting the ratio in accordance with your own financial profile"--J Bogle commentary on Pillar 2 of 12
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BHNewbie
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by BHNewbie »

southernlucky wrote: Tue Feb 20, 2024 8:29 pm
My SS is based on an excel calculation, using the SS Admin’s formula (including highest 35 years of indexed wages, bend points, etc). So, assuming 2.5% cola adjustments, my age 70 payout should be pretty accurate, I hope, if not very conservative - especially when including the 24% potential projected haircut. Biggest benefit of the website, in my opinion, was to validate historical SS wages. Am I missing something on that? Thanks again!
You are good then!
Thank you for your time on this, Southernlucky!
HomeStretch
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by HomeStretch »

This thread seems duplicative to your other thread with 33 posts started a couple days ago here:
viewtopic.php?p=7715374#p7715374

Are you asking any new questions here? Was there something not addressed in the first thread or a response you didn’t understand? Or are you just looking for more feedback on the same questions?

Not being critical. I am just trying to understand between the two threads if something from the first thread has caused you concern that needs to specifically be addressed. The overall feedback is that you are good to go.

The only thing missing from your posts are the actual #s - portfolio $, contributions until retirement, spend $, etc. So if there is a flaw in your planning spreadsheets, it’s hard to say. If you don’t want to post $ here that’s fine. Just be sure to load your $ into something like FireCalc to be sure you don’t have a spreadsheet error.

Best wishes for a great retirement!
Exchme
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by Exchme »

Check your finances if one of you passes early - expenses may go down a little, but taxes may go up and pension/SS income may go down a lot.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by oldcomputerguy »

BHNewbie, I merged your two threads on this topic into a single thread in our Personal Finance forum to keep the answers together.
There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way. (Christopher Morley)
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BHNewbie
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by BHNewbie »

:sharebeer
HomeStretch wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 4:42 am This thread seems duplicative to your other thread with 33 posts started a couple days ago here:
viewtopic.php?p=7715374#p7715374

Are you asking any new questions here? Was there something not addressed in the first thread or a response you didn’t understand? Or are you just looking for more feedback on the same questions?

Not being critical. I am just trying to understand between the two threads if something from the first thread has caused you concern that needs to specifically be addressed. The overall feedback is that you are good to go.

The only thing missing from your posts are the actual #s - portfolio $, contributions until retirement, spend $, etc. So if there is a flaw in your planning spreadsheets, it’s hard to say. If you don’t want to post $ here that’s fine. Just be sure to load your $ into something like FireCalc to be sure you don’t have a spreadsheet error.

Best wishes for a great retirement!
Thank you, HomeStretch - yes, I explained in the second post (but the new text was lost in the topic merger): I originally posted in the other section as I noticed this topic was mostly found in this section, opposed to the other. Was hoping to catch a new audience here, but it appears folks read and participate in both, which is great! Fortunately, the moderator caught this as well and merged the two! Sorry for the inconvenience, as
I now know how unnecessary “cross pollination” is on this site!

Yes, I used actual numbers for firecalc and others as you must, of course. Here, not so much as it’s almost irrelevant / unnecessary if I instead shared the results and the assumptions behind the results. My question is really in the assumptions that drive my spreadsheet, as the math is the easy part. Otherwise, I noticed the responses get skewed towards opinions or questions on how one arrived with a particular savings amount.
Or how one spends their money. Seems to morph into being more voyeuristic than educational in my opinion, etc 😂. I spared us all that by stating that my expenses can flex a third or more if necessary - proven by my meticulous tracking of expenses and assumptions on retirement spending. Math is right, I tripled checked, but are my assumptions conservative enough? Would actual numbers serve a purpose here, or is my thinking correct that it doesn’t matter?
Last edited by BHNewbie on Wed Feb 21, 2024 8:45 am, edited 13 times in total.
Topic Author
BHNewbie
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by BHNewbie »

Exchme wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:02 am Check your finances if one of you passes early - expenses may go down a little, but taxes may go up and pension/SS income may go down a lot.
Thank you, Exchme - good point! Hopefully offset each other, but not sure. Maybe the surviving spouse downsizes to reduce taxes, utilities, and other house items to further offset as the house is too big for us now. Also, the pension pays out 92% if I pass before my wife. If my wife passes first, the SS steps up to her higher earnings as well. Good things to consider, so thanks again!
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BHNewbie
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by BHNewbie »

oldcomputerguy wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 5:33 am BHNewbie, I merged your two threads on this topic into a single thread in our Personal Finance forum to keep the answers together.
Thank you OCG! Sorry for the work…
HomeStretch
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by HomeStretch »

BHNewbie wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 7:32 am … Math is right, I tripled checked, but are my assumptions conservative enough? Would actual numbers serve a purpose here, or is my thinking correct that it doesn’t matter? …
It’s hard for me personally to comment on the assumptions without the context of numbers. But I understand your observations about the turns a thread can take when numbers are posted. So don’t post the numbers on my account as you have received comments from others on the assumptions. The fact that you have run your numbers through FireCalc, etc. is sufficient to be sure you haven’t made a major spreadsheet error.

Have you looked at the need for Roth conversions balanced against ACA subsidies/IRMAA?

+1 to Exchme’s comment about running a surviving spouse scenario. But that likely isn’t a major issue given the fact that your pension pays 92% to spouse + higher SS.
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BHNewbie
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Re: Looking to retire next year - please hard critique our plan!

Post by BHNewbie »

HomeStretch wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 8:52 am
BHNewbie wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 7:32 am … Math is right, I tripled checked, but are my assumptions conservative enough? Would actual numbers serve a purpose here, or is my thinking correct that it doesn’t matter? …
It’s hard for me personally to comment on the assumptions without the context of numbers. But I understand your observations about the turns a thread can take when numbers are posted. So don’t post the numbers on my account as you have received comments from others on the assumptions. The fact that you have run your numbers through FireCalc, etc. is sufficient to be sure you haven’t made a major spreadsheet error.

Have you looked at the need for Roth conversions balanced against ACA subsidies/IRMAA?

+1 to Exchme’s comment about running a surviving spouse scenario. But that likely isn’t a major issue given the fact that your pension pays 92% to spouse + higher SS.
Thank you, HomeStretch! I get your inquiry as well, but I think it’s only because we were trained here to provide and analyze in that format. And, some feel compelled to go off the mark for no analytical reason, on stuff that isn’t really necessary to the discussion :) The income and expenses are what they are. And if I was missing the desired ratios, using incorrect assumptions, then I see why posting the inputs would matter a bit in trying to adjust with others input.

The important stuff is the expenses, the investments, the investment vehicles, and the assumptions that all drive the calculations and produce the ratios. In my situation, the expense and income inputs are the easiest part of this exercise for a lay person and don’t want to waste any expert analysis where not needed. I provided all but the “noisey or nosey” inputs, which again are what they are, in some cases highly personal (how much is total spent or spent on subscriptions) and unchangeabe (today’s account balances - how did he save so little or so much, how much did he make or failed to invest, etc) and are not open for irrelevant analysis as it relates to my goal here. If I said I spent $50k annually or $500k annually, it wouldn’t help you here, especially if my investments provided a solid ratio. I’m seeking analysis on my assumptions on inflation, methodology, concepts, etc, which a lot of more knowledgeable folks than I have kindly provided. Am I missing something in this approach as I will gladly share if relevant.

I have not explored the mechanics of Roth conversions and will need to research a strategy here. This could possibly be my next post - thank you for bringing attention to this - I appreciate you!
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