Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

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uthendo
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Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by uthendo »

I'm saving 50% of my income, which should get me to FI in 4-5 years. Although I hate my job, I'm probably going to work past that, because it feels wrong to leave so much on the table. 8 more years and I'd likely double my retirement savings (IF everything works out...). I've got a few reasons why I'd like extra money to spend. Ignoring my situation, what's your reason for working past FI? Did you lower your savings rate, or did you keep it the same? If you kept it the same, why?
HomeStretch
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by HomeStretch »

Spouse and my reasons for over saving above our projected retirement needs:
- actual income/expenses/market returns during our retirement years will vary from projections
- self-funded LTC
- warm-hand gifting to future grandkids (education) and our children
- inheritance for our children as a safety net

We always spent freely on our discretionary priorities. As our nest egg grew, we upgraded to more luxurious cars, did a large home/property renovation, etc. We have sufficient funds in retirement should we want to buy a second home or build a more retirement-friendly primary home.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Sun Mar 31, 2024 9:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
CoAndy
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by CoAndy »

I am not FI yet but close (about 12-18 months away) but will work longer in order to be able to help the kids out more if needed, pay for some expensive trips, maybe upgrade the car to a better model that was originally planned for, etc. Also to build a bigger buffer for the potential assisted living possibility in the future.
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watchnerd
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by watchnerd »

We passed FI many years ago.

Still work, savings rate is 44% (after taxes).

Work is stimulating and fun for me.

It gives a sense of purpose.
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whodidntante
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by whodidntante »

I'm not working for food and shelter anymore but for lifestyle. I save a lot because work pays for the majority of what I would otherwise spend money on, foreign travel. And health care costs are insane, so it's nice to have someone else paying for the insurance since that's the main part. I like cars but not enough to get another one every 3 years. I tend to keep them for about 10 years. And my house is more than enough for me. My clothes are fine. I could blow more money but it wouldn't give me much pleasure. Work also adds a sense of purpose. I like making big, necessary changes and rallying people.
runner3081
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by runner3081 »

First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
CascadiaSoonish
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by CascadiaSoonish »

If I quit or lost my job tomorrow we'd be able to make retirement work for me, but I prefer to keep working. A few reasons: I'm making good money now, we have two high schoolers both interested in private universities, portfolio contains an underperforming CRE asset (office) that's a huge potential liability, retirement is a one-way proposition with a return to the industry being unlikely, and we don't have cheap tastes in home or travel.

But on a more personal level there are an additional couple of reasons. A good chunk of what we have is inherited and I don't feel right coasting on that without making the same efforts as the previous generations, so one of my 'numbers' is the inflation-adjusted portfolio value of our parents as well as not wanting to retire a decade younger than they did. And when trying to teach a couple teenagers about the importance of grit and sticking to the work it's doesn't exactly support the argument if I'm kicking back all day in sweatpants watching the tube or whatever.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by loukycpa »

I don't see myself slowing down to zero. Some aspects of work I find enjoyable, and as long as I do and people will pay me well for it why not?
"The safe assumption for an investor is that over the next hundred years, the currency is going to zero." - Charlie Munger
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

I grew up in an era in which it was assumed that principal breadwinners of a family would work until 65. I started my career with the assumption that I would work until 65. Turns out I retired several years before that, and as I suspected, many friends in my age group continued working until 65 and ribbed me often about retiring early.

I could have retired even earlier than I did, but I enjoyed my job (especially the international travel), one kid was still in college, and I knew my retirement income would be even better with a few more years of working.

I have never been a fan of the FIRE movement, so you will never find me using acronyms like FIRE or FI in my posts.
privateer79
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by privateer79 »

we have kids in school for a few more years and work is intellectually stimulating, and a great opportunity to pick up additional savings. it could be useful either as an extra safety cushion, a lifestyle upgrade, or as eventual inheritance.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I was FI and didn't even know it. I was one of those Fidelity people who beat everyone else because I completely ignored my 401k and IRA. Once I got the number, it became pressure from outside to not retire.

DW: when I asked if we could retire if we had $100 Billion, she said we wouldn't have enough.
outside family: Your father worked until he died. I worked until I was nearly 80.

So I kept working and saving. Retired last year with 56 times retirement spending which was 84 times working spending. If I didn't finally decide to ignore everyone else, I'd have gone to over $10M easily. I do regret having not retired at least 5 years ago.
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stan1
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by stan1 »

There are many personal examples:
- Enjoy job

- Maybe don't enjoy it, but good at it, can tolerate it, and the money is worth it

- Skills are amenable to part time work or consulting

- Feel like adding value to society

- Any stress of job does not impact other parts of life (very personal)

- Don't have something else to do with time

- Job gives necessary separation from spouse/family (hey, let's just say some relationships are stronger with a little time apart rather than around each other 24/7)

- Confidence in the future. It really is not reasonable to assume the future will be like the past. At some point we have to buy into the system and hope for the best.
Last edited by stan1 on Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

It’s a good idea to work past FI. Doing just enough might work in some facets of life, but I wouldn’t count retirement as one of those.

It’s not uncommon to achieve the sense of FI late in a bull market, and also during the peak earning years. Couple those two tougher, and working awhile longer is sensible.
Being wrong compounds forever.
Johm221122
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Johm221122 »

I also don't work for food or shelter. But for a different lifestyle

I'm currently very minimalistic and literally spend about $1200 a month (not counting healthcare or taxes because I work and it changes after I retire)

I want to retire and spend closer to $4000 a month in today's money.
Last edited by Johm221122 on Sun Mar 31, 2024 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
H-Town
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by H-Town »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 8:56 am I'm saving 50% of my income, which should get me to FI in 4-5 years. Although I hate my job, I'm probably going to work past that, because it feels wrong to leave so much on the table. 8 more years and I'd likely double my retirement savings (IF everything works out...). I've got a few reasons why I'd like extra money to spend. Ignoring my situation, what's your reason for working past FI? Did you lower your savings rate, or did you keep it the same? If you kept it the same, why?
Because not everything is about money. What’s your purpose in life?
Time is the ultimate currency.
WhatsIRR
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by WhatsIRR »

A recent discussion on this topic had lots of good replies.

viewtopic.php?t=394656
TheNightsToCome
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by TheNightsToCome »

I took a year between college and med school and another year after selling a critical care business and fellowship. I "retired" due to burnout at 42, but my interest in investing led me to work (which felt like a vacation relative to solo practice cardiology) as an equity analyst, b-school, and later running a solo RIA.

I eventually returned to practice after a serious illness, but I essentially experienced retirement on multiple occasions during youth and middle age--a better time to be retired. Now that I'm older and have managed to negotiate a well-compensated position that I like (on most days), I find that I derive much more satisfaction from work than when I was younger.

Also, I think it is unlikely that future investment returns will equal past returns. We may have bad times ahead (not a prediction), my wife (11 years younger) may live a long time, and I might become demented and drain our resources. I see many of my patients foregoing certain meds due to cost, and there may be very expensive, but very valuable, yet-to-be-created meds that would benefit one or both of us in the future.

While earning I can cash flow just about any catastrophe, and I'd like to feel that comfortable in retirement.

On the other hand, if my working conditions change for the worse, then I'm out of here.
CraigTester
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by CraigTester »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 8:56 am I'm saving 50% of my income, which should get me to FI in 4-5 years. Although I hate my job, I'm probably going to work past that, because it feels wrong to leave so much on the table. 8 more years and I'd likely double my retirement savings (IF everything works out...). I've got a few reasons why I'd like extra money to spend. Ignoring my situation, what's your reason for working past FI? Did you lower your savings rate, or did you keep it the same? If you kept it the same, why?
I retired 11 years ago at 46. I was one who always raised his hand for the "worst" but best paying job/career.... which inevitably led to several CEO roles and many, many 80 hour weeks....

I was all in on work.... and hated it....

Wanted to learn guitar, learn to surf, boat, go to a grocery store on a Tuesday afternoon, work extensively on a stock market model that my father had started, hang out with "normal" people like when I was young.... None of this was possible in the role I was playing....

So my wife and I carefully planned our escape... years in advance..., and then one fine day, I made the announcement that shocked everyone....

They all assumed it was some sinister plot to go to a competitor, etc, but it wasn't.... I really just wanted to live a version of life where I was once again in control of my schedule, et al.... Wanted to get back to how it was in college....or maybe summer break as a little kid...

Well 11 years later, here's what I found about retired people:

1 - Neighbors around me who genuinely feel they "accomplished" whatever they intended to in their work, are extremely happy in retirement...

But, those who are "secretly" unfulfilled with what they "didn't" accomplish at their work seem to spend an awful lot of time running for neighborhood HOA boards, talking down to waitresses, etc....

==> Observation: Don't be that person.... They are miserable and make everyone around them miserable...

2 - People I know who don't really, really feel they have "enough" to be retired, are miserable.... And it's the worst kind of misery, they still feel like they need to "keep up appearances" and continue to play the game....

And similar to above, you find these people heading up all sorts of things where they get to boss others around (without pay).... My theory (though I'm not a psychologist) is they desperately feel they need to control something... Because at 4:00am they don't feel in control of their own lives...

==> Observation: Don't be that person.... They are miserable and make everyone around them miserable...

3. Now happily, there is another category of folks I met in retirement who are happier than they've ever been and are just a joy to be around...

It doesn't seem to matter what they did in their careers, or even how much money they saved.... But the common denominator seems to be that they left work on their own terms, having accomplished whatever their definition of career success was, with a gut level belief that they have "enough" money to last the rest of their lives...

You won't find these people running for an HOA board, or living within anyone else's "structure or rules".... Rather they are mostly just doing their own thing.... And "usually" are very excited about how they will one day make someone else's life so much better with the estate they will leave....

Observation 3: If you fall into this last category, IMHO, You've won the game... Quit work tomorrow and don't look back.

But if you fall on the wrong side of either category 1 or 2, make a plan to get to category 3...., and once you arrive, retire the next day and live happily ever after...

Good luck

Craig Tester
Topic Author
uthendo
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by uthendo »

H-Town wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:58 am
uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 8:56 am I'm saving 50% of my income, which should get me to FI in 4-5 years. Although I hate my job, I'm probably going to work past that, because it feels wrong to leave so much on the table. 8 more years and I'd likely double my retirement savings (IF everything works out...). I've got a few reasons why I'd like extra money to spend. Ignoring my situation, what's your reason for working past FI? Did you lower your savings rate, or did you keep it the same? If you kept it the same, why?
Because not everything is about money. What’s your purpose in life?
Quite honestly, I have no idea. I have nothing to retire TO, but know I don't want to continue working. So there's got to be reasons for continuing to do so. Most of the answers given by everyone else resonates well with me. The one I didn't see is to leave an inheritance for children. While I firmly believe everyone should pull themselves up by the bootstraps and do what needs to be done, I worry that individuals in future generations will be wiped out by things that are beyond their control. I.e. gone are the days when you stayed with one employer and retired with a pension. Now, you'd be lucky to stay in the same career field with multiple employers. In the future, will your chosen career even exist, or will technological change render you obsolete in a heartbeat? I want to provide my kids a "backstop" so that if things go very badly at least they'll have their basic expenses covered.
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uthendo
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by uthendo »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:28 am I was FI and didn't even know it. I was one of those Fidelity people who beat everyone else because I completely ignored my 401k and IRA. Once I got the number, it became pressure from outside to not retire.

DW: when I asked if we could retire if we had $100 Billion, she said we wouldn't have enough.
outside family: Your father worked until he died. I worked until I was nearly 80.

So I kept working and saving. Retired last year with 56 times retirement spending which was 84 times working spending. If I didn't finally decide to ignore everyone else, I'd have gone to over $10M easily. I do regret having not retired at least 5 years ago.
This is the crux of the question. Working longer certainly has financial benefits, but, on our deathbed, will we be grateful for the extra income, or regret having lost all that extra time? Certainly a personal question, but also one that can't be answered except in hindsight.
skp
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by skp »

I went part time (job shared) instead of retired. At the time I thought it was because there was no compelling reason not to. I didn't hate my job, it was a 10-minute commute, I was physically perfectly capable of doing it, and I thought it stupid to pay exorbitant prices for health insurance, when I could get full time benefits for working only one or 2 twelve hour shift a week. I was also getting 6 weeks a year of PTO, and if I scheduled it right, I could get 2 weeks off with just one vacation day.
Maybe if I was honest it was more than that. Maybe the real reason was because I was raised with a strong worth ethic and thought I was "allowed" to retire at 65.
I'm not sorry I did. I like to say those part time years (since I was 62) "taught" me how to retire. I eased my way into it.....
GaryA505
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by GaryA505 »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 2:34 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:28 am I was FI and didn't even know it. I was one of those Fidelity people who beat everyone else because I completely ignored my 401k and IRA. Once I got the number, it became pressure from outside to not retire.

DW: when I asked if we could retire if we had $100 Billion, she said we wouldn't have enough.
outside family: Your father worked until he died. I worked until I was nearly 80.

So I kept working and saving. Retired last year with 56 times retirement spending which was 84 times working spending. If I didn't finally decide to ignore everyone else, I'd have gone to over $10M easily. I do regret having not retired at least 5 years ago.
This is the crux of the question. Working longer certainly has financial benefits, but, on our deathbed, will we be grateful for the extra income, or regret having lost all that extra time? Certainly a personal question, but also one that can't be answered except in hindsight.
I'm 72 and I ask myself that question every day I go to work.
Get most of it right and don't make any big mistakes. All else being equal, simpler is better. Simple is as simple does.
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uthendo
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by uthendo »

runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 am First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
Once you hit FI, why keep up the very high savings rate? I'm not necessarily against it, just curious why you (and other posters on this thread) maintain it.
KlangFool
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

1) Work from home. Good work life balance. Most days, I only need to work/attend meeting 3 to 4 hours per day.

2) Good chance to be laid off. Aka, paid to leave within a year or less.

3) Recently, my employer just take away 50% of my jobs and I still get paid the same.

4) The sad part is I am probably more productive than many of my peers at my employer. They literally at zero or negative productivity.

KlangFool
Last edited by KlangFool on Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Johm221122
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Johm221122 »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:01 pm
runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 am First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
Once you hit FI, why keep up the very high savings rate? I'm not necessarily against it, just curious why you (and other posters on this thread) maintain it.
For me it's to hit my target as fast as possible. I am always trying to think of ways to lower my target to make it easier to obtain with compromising risk or lifestyle desires.
Topic Author
uthendo
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by uthendo »

I guess I'm looking at it more from a mathematical perspective. I'm currently saving 2x per year, spending 1x per year from earnings instead of investments, and (hopefully) my investments grow at least 1x per year. So for every year I continue working, I'm "earning" 4x. My savings rate is greater than my average investment growth, so it's still meaningful to continue saving. At some point the math won't make sense.

But fully agree with earlier posts about WHY continuing to accumulate past FI.
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uthendo
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by uthendo »

Johm221122 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:05 pm
uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:01 pm
runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 am First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
Once you hit FI, why keep up the very high savings rate? I'm not necessarily against it, just curious why you (and other posters on this thread) maintain it.
For me it's to hit my target as fast as possible. I am always trying to think of ways to lower my target to make it easier to obtain with compromising risk or lifestyle desires.
While you're reaching for FI, sure that makes sense. But once your past FI, are you setting a second goal that you're racing towards?

In my situation, my first kid graduates high school in 5 years, which is when I think I'll hit FI (I'm shooting for a 3% withdrawal rate). My second kid graduates in 8 years, so 3 more years. If I maintain my savings rate, I think I'll be at 50x. What gives me pause, is that if I increase my spending 25% now, I'd only have to work 1 more year to make up for it. Is it worth living a little now, in exchange for a little time later? I dunno. All I know is it's very hard to cut back on the savings rate because, like you, I'm trying to get there as fast as possible.
CraigTester
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by CraigTester »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:07 pm I guess I'm looking at it more from a mathematical perspective. I'm currently saving 2x per year, spending 1x per year from earnings instead of investments, and (hopefully) my investments grow at least 1x per year. So for every year I continue working, I'm "earning" 4x. My savings rate is greater than my average investment growth, so it's still meaningful to continue saving. At some point the math won't make sense.

But fully agree with earlier posts about WHY continuing to accumulate past FI.
yep, when you no longer care about adding another X to your pile, you've solved half the riddle.... But as long as that still seems important, its a no-brainer, keep working....
Johm221122
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Johm221122 »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:12 pm
Johm221122 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:05 pm
uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:01 pm
runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 am First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
Once you hit FI, why keep up the very high savings rate? I'm not necessarily against it, just curious why you (and other posters on this thread) maintain it.
For me it's to hit my target as fast as possible. I am always trying to think of ways to lower my target to make it easier to obtain with compromising risk or lifestyle desires.
While you're reaching for FI, sure that makes sense. But once your past FI, are you setting a second goal that you're racing towards?

Yes, my current spending and what I want for my desired retirement spending are different . I could basically retire today depending on your view of the of Social Security future changes at my current spending level.

But in retirement I want to spend a little more and move to a more expensive area. It's not the end of the world if it doesn't happen but it's what I want and what I'm aiming for unless I get tired and just retire to current situation
runner3081
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by runner3081 »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:01 pm
runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 am First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
Once you hit FI, why keep up the very high savings rate? I'm not necessarily against it, just curious why you (and other posters on this thread) maintain it.
Because it moves the goalposts.

For example...

Someone who saves 50% (makes 200K, saves 100K), will roughly have a need for $3M at a 3.25% withdrawal rate. 

Start spending more... get used to it and all of a sudden, those yearly expenses are now $150K at retirement.

The amount needed to retire just shot up to $4.6M.
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rocket354
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by rocket354 »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:07 pm I guess I'm looking at it more from a mathematical perspective. I'm currently saving 2x per year, spending 1x per year from earnings instead of investments, and (hopefully) my investments grow at least 1x per year. So for every year I continue working, I'm "earning" 4x. My savings rate is greater than my average investment growth, so it's still meaningful to continue saving. At some point the math won't make sense.

But fully agree with earlier posts about WHY continuing to accumulate past FI.
I'm in a similar situation. My savings rate last year was 56% of gross--and that's the lowest it's been for a while. Compared to my expenses last year, I saved just under 2.3X. My portfolio is currently at about 42X my spending from last year. Continuing to work is a net gain of 3.3X per year, irrespective of market returns, but that is not at all a primary motivator.

My reasons for still working:

1) Uncertainty of future necessary costs. Increased healthcare costs or other unexpected items.
2) Uncertainty of future discretionary costs. As an example, I would like to do more travelling and would have all the time in the world to do it when retired. Or maybe I'd want to try being a space tourist at some point. I would hate to limit what I might want to do based on my current spending habits and a hazy ability to project how much I'd like to spend in 10/20/30 years (I'm mid-40s).
3) Uncertainty of future market returns. I know what the US stock market has done the last 150+ years, on average. What will it do the next 30-40 years is my concern.
4) My job is pretty cushy. We are going through a reorg and I've had next to no work to do for the past 2+ months. I WFH. It's been bad before (depends on my boss). But for now, I'd feel like an idiot quitting an easy gig.
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rocket354
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by rocket354 »

runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:29 pm
uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:01 pm
runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 am First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
Once you hit FI, why keep up the very high savings rate? I'm not necessarily against it, just curious why you (and other posters on this thread) maintain it.
Because it moves the goalposts.

For example...

Someone who saves 50% (makes 200K, saves 100K), will roughly have a need for $3M at a 3.25% withdrawal rate. 

Start spending more... get used to it and all of a sudden, those yearly expenses are now $150K at retirement.

The amount needed to retire just shot up to $4.6M.
That is a great point. As well, I'll add that now the person is only saving $50k, so not only have they given up their FI, but they've greatly elongated the path to reclaim it.

Once I became FI I made myself a promise that I would never spend more in a year than my portfolio could theoretically support (so 4%). That way, I would be sure of never losing my FI. So far, so good.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by GaryA505 »

I worked my way out of poverty, so seem to have developed a way of thinking that is difficult to change. Remembering the days when I didn't have enough money for the bare necessities of life, remembering the days when I wondered if I could ever have a "normal" life, remembering the days when I wondered if it was worth even continuing my life. Those things produce scars that never heal completely.

And I don't think I'm the only one.
Get most of it right and don't make any big mistakes. All else being equal, simpler is better. Simple is as simple does.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by THY4373 »

In the immortal words of my father who retired at 47 (under the old Federal system) and again at 62 (from the UN) and again at 82 (from Federal contracting) because "work is my hobby". I won't be my dad and I am planning on retiring at 55-57 (next couple of years).

My dad has two inflation indexed pension and two gold plated private insurance plans that cover 100% of his and my mom's medical costs (they aren't on Medicare).
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Artsdoctor
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Artsdoctor »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 8:56 am I'm saving 50% of my income, which should get me to FI in 4-5 years. Although I hate my job . . .
I think you answered your own question. Step back and define "FI": financial independence usually connotes the ability to do what you'd like without being dependent on the financial outcome.

What happens if someone loves their job and has all of the financial security in the world? An awful lot of people would continue doing what they love.

You could flip your question on its head: "I hate my job and can't imagine working a day longer than I have to, so what do I do with myself after I reach 'financial independence'?"
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by nassau34 »

watchnerd wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 9:13 am
Work is stimulating and fun for me.

It gives a sense of purpose.
+1

There were times I really liked going to work, and times I didn't. I never would have quit during a time things were going well. I put way too much work into building the situations I liked to just walk away.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by mptfan »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:19 am I have never been a fan of the FIRE movement, so you will never find me using acronyms like FIRE or FI in my posts.
I love the irony! :D
Afty
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Afty »

I like my work. I spent a long time in school to be able to do what I do, and I have no interest in stopping while things are going well.
TheNightsToCome
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by TheNightsToCome »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:01 pm
runner3081 wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 am First and foremost... spending time, contemplating what I want to retire TO, not run away from. Might as well take a salary and get the other benefits of working while I try to figure this out.

We still save upwards of 70%.

Though stressful and many hours, my job is very flexible. The moment they take this away, that may be it.

Another issue is healthcare, waiting to see if the current subsidies will extend beyond current expiration.

Unknown costs. People get sick, die, costs skyrocket for things like home and auto insurance, etc.
Once you hit FI, why keep up the very high savings rate? I'm not necessarily against it, just curious why you (and other posters on this thread) maintain it.
In my case, we are more than 90 times last 8 years annual expenses, but there aren't a lot of things to buy that would increase our quality of life, though as noted in another thread I'd consider flying private if I could get a round trip for about $15,500.

Regarding the future, who knows? I just read on the American College of Cardiology website that tafamidis costs $250,000 per year. It is a useful drug treatment for cardiac amyloidosis, an untreatable disease until fairly recently. Fortunately, neither my wife nor I have cardiac amyloidosis, but we might be faced with an analogous situation in the years ahead.

Also, when I do retire we'll move back to my hometown, and I'd like to build a custom house with Passive House standards. It will cost much more than we'll net from our current house.

Mostly, I want my wife to be a rich old widow when I'm no longer around to look out for her.
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Squirrel208
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Squirrel208 »

OP it appears you're working for the wrong reasons, or at least not for all of the right reasons anyway.

"Work" in human history and culture is much more than a means to accumulate wealth in hopeful anticipation of "not working" someday, especially during the most active and energetic years of our lives. Work provides a sense of purpose, identity, and satisfaction. Regularly engaging in activities deemed useful and productive to our existence is key to human nature in general.

It's well-known that meaningful and challenging work improves our mental health, staves off cognitive decline, and extends our lifespans. Work provides a sense of identity, purpose, and flow in life that helps us to give us a sense of who we are, as well as a reason to get out of bed each morning. Engaging in meaningful work is part of being respected by others in our society, and key to self-respect too.

Work builds community, and community can't be built without it. Meaningful and challenging work is also intellectually gratifying. Our brains are happiest when they are active and engaged. That's why so many highly successful millionaires and billionaires like Buffet, Musk, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Gates, Jagger (and both apparent presidential candidates) are still hard after it. They don't need the money, but they very much do need the work.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by Gaston »

watchnerd wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 9:13 am Work is stimulating and fun for me.
Agree completely. When you love what you do, you don’t think too much about how many hours you worked last week, how much money you saved, or how soon you can FIRE. You just want to keep doing “it”, whatever “it” is.

I was fortunate enough to find my “it” a long time ago, and most of my time working has felt like a vacation. Not because work was easy, but because I found it personally rewarding.
“My opinions are just that - opinions.”
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by kleiner »

Even within one household, attitudes may vary a lot. My wife and I saved a very high faction of our salaries and we achieved FI relatively early. I retired early at a point when our savings were at 55X a lavish lifestyle as I was burnt out. My wife on the other hand enjoys her work and continues to work. Both of us are happy with this arrangement!
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by AerialWombat »

UpperNwGuy wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 11:19 am I have never been a fan of the FIRE movement, so you will never find me using acronyms like FIRE or FI in my posts.
I am the polar opposite. Big fan of FIRE, always talk about FIRE. I knew as a teenager that I wanted to reach FIRE, long before that term was even coined. My brain is unable to reconcile why people work when they no longer have to. I retired the second I was able to, at age 43, and have absolutely zero regrets.
This post is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real financial advice is purely coincidental.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by sfnerd »

I've been able to retire since I've been in my late 20s / early 30s. Now my portfolio has ballooned to 8 figures, and growing.

Now in my early 40s, I continue to work for a few reasons:
  • My job is interesting, and I'm kind of at the pinnacle of my career (C-level role). I'm still accomplishing things I feel good about. I create a lot of high end jobs, and I build products people enjoy.
  • My job keeps me mentally engaged: I'm learning all the time, and it will be difficult for me to maintain the same level of "brain health" in retirement. I'm not someone who is really affected by job stress, so there aren't massive downsides on that front.
  • There is a possibility of a massive equity payout (tens of millions of dollars or more) if I'm successful with this company. I can do a lot of good with that money, and could start a charity.
There are some benefits to this as well. My wife and I can spend almost all of my cash paycheck if we want (we still save a lot though). We fly business class all around the world, and treat friends and family to great experiences. We don't have to really think about money, and we can be generous with family.

I do see the end of work coming, though. Despite still having a lot of energy, I do want to spend more time with family, go on longer trips, and see friends who are in far away places (we live in Asia, and in addition to the US we now have close friends that live in every part of the world). Staying fit is also more time consuming than it used to be. I'll probably hang it up sometime in my 40s, but I'm not sure if that's in a year or seven years.
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Re: Super Savers who plan on working past FI, why?

Post by White Coat Investor »

uthendo wrote: Sun Mar 31, 2024 8:56 am I'm saving 50% of my income, which should get me to FI in 4-5 years. Although I hate my job, I'm probably going to work past that, because it feels wrong to leave so much on the table. 8 more years and I'd likely double my retirement savings (IF everything works out...). I've got a few reasons why I'd like extra money to spend. Ignoring my situation, what's your reason for working past FI? Did you lower your savings rate, or did you keep it the same? If you kept it the same, why?
Enjoy what I do, feel like it makes a bigger difference in the lives of others than anything I could do as a volunteer, and it doesn’t keep me from doing anything else I also want to do. I earn more and save more than before I was FI. FI is overrated if you actually want to and can keep working.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
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