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May 12, 2015


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Fervent Finance

Keeping costs low and being flexible is huge in retirement. If the market dips for a few years when I am not employed by a day job with a constant paycheck, I'm okay with cutting back a little bit and maybe saving travel for another year. Great points!

Retired To Win

I love that concept: resilient retirement.

Here's a Bogleheads formula that somewhat addresses resiliency mathematically:
Nest Egg = (( Non Discretionary Budget * 2) - Annual Pension and/or SS) * 25

The formula (which assumes a 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate), solves for the size nest egg you would need in order to have a !00% cushion for your mandatory expenses net of pensions and/or social security. It also sets you up to have a discretionary budget equal to one's mandatory expenses, which is pretty generous.

(I really like that formula and I intend to find a way to use it as a concept fulcrum for one of my own blog posts.)

Of course, you are right about the importance of lowering one's mandatory expenses as much as is reasonably possible. I managed to lower them by 42% from the time of my "earlier retirement epiphany moment" to when I actually retired. And, yep, leveraging my housing situation by relocating to a much more reasonable cost of living are factored big time in that 42% reduction. The net effect was to advance my earlier retirement date by some 7 years! Not to mention the increased financial resiliency that has given me in my retirement.

Retired Syd

Retired to Win: That's a great example of something I wrote about a long time ago. Instead of multiplying your expenses by 25 and seeing if you've achieved a large enough nest egg, you might approach it by dividing the nest egg you have saved by 25 and ask yourself, what can I do to live on that now? Is it worth those cuts to be able to ditch my job now? I did that and kept asking myself that question over the years until I decided, yes, it's worth it now.


I have a question re social security that I hope to get some input on from Syd or other readers. My wife is a school teacher here in California and because she will get a pension she cannot collect my social after I pass away. So my thoughts were to collect SS early and leave as many of our assets in place for after my demise. I assume she will outlive me by a fair number of years, also if she dies first I get her pension at 100%. So am I thinking clearly on this?

Retired Syd

Mark: Wow, is that really true? I thought spousal benefits were available to anyone whose spouse qualified for Social Security. But if that's the case, it does sound like your plan is better than waiting.

Retired Syd

Mark: I did a quick search to educate myself. I see the rule now: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf. Her spousal benefit would be reduced by 2/3 of her CALSTRS pension payment. So I guess, if the pension is large enough, that reduces the SS payment to zero in your case?


Heh, you might be interested in retirenowau.wordpress.com. It looks at different types of spending patterns in retirement.


If all the mp3s you now listen to came from those CDs, if you sell the CDs, you no longer have rights to retain and enjoy those mp3s. You might not care about copyright infringement, but just some food for thought!


Great way to view the possibilities people have in retirement. I knew a few of the ideas you mentioned but you worded them in a fashion that people should take your advice. Its simple to just stick with the 3 or 4% rule, but with a little bit of hustle people can supercharge spending or saving in retirement. Good Luck and PS I would rather sell the house and not do a reverse mortgage. (They are sharks)

Jeff Blake

Joyce Wayne has talked about comparing the retirement "dream" vs the "reality" when it comes to financial retirement planning. Dealing with unexpected turns in the market, the occasional mistake, and ultimately taking control your future. http://www.retirementmatters.ca/blog/2015/6/30/dreams-and-reality-part-1

Marissa Welner

I totally hear you about needing to rethink your housing. I have some friends that retired in Tennessee: one of the lowest costs of living in the US. Plus they bought a house here: http://www.visitsaddlebrook.com for under $100k and love it!!!!

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