Monday’s post about retirement benchmarks by age generated a lot of discussion. I think we all agree that few Americans have the sense to challenge our dubious cultural assumptions when it comes to personal finance. It also caused me to look back on this post from 2017 when I did the math on how quickly one could retire by saving HALF of their income …. … Continue reading ‘50% Rule’ Revisited
When I was starting in my career, it wasn’t clear to me how much we should have saved in our twenties & thirties. This was before the Internet and there was a real dearth of useful information available. Recently, my former MegaCorp Boss sent me an interesting article from Quicken that shared the median retirement savings and savings goals decade by decade for Americans. I … Continue reading Retirement Savings – Benchmarks & Goals
Among the financial tasks I never seem to get to dealing with is a fun one: spending gift cards that I’ve thoughtfully been given. I heard on the news the other day that half of Americans have unspent gift cards at home – averaging $116. I’m part of that group, although I would guess I have more $$$ tied up than the average. Many of … Continue reading Gift Card Procrastination
Right on schedule – an amazing 32 years after starting at MegaCorp – pension and retiree health insurance information have arrived just before my 55th birthday. It’s like a golden piggy bank that was hidden away years ago has made a triumphant return. Related: Ringing Up MegaCorp I still have to dig into the health insurance information a bit, but the immediate surprise was that … Continue reading MegaCorp Pension Arrives
The writers at Kiplinger’s sometimes talk about retirement in three phases: the ‘go-go’ years, the ‘slow-go’ years, and the ‘no-go’ years. The phases relate to how capable people are to travel, take on new hobbies, and lead an active lifestyle. They break out the ages like this: ⁃ Go-Go Years: Ages 65-75 ⁃ Slow-Go Years: Ages 76-85 ⁃ No-Go Years: 86-100 It makes sense when … Continue reading When Does ‘Go-Go’ Become ‘Slow-Go’?
If you’re not familiar with the name Bill Bengen, you probably are familiar with his work. Back in 1994, he published his Trinity Study suggesting that a 4% withdrawal rate of retirement savings would be ‘safe’ for most retirees, based on historical financial returns. Bengen – now long retired himself – has been in the news updating his thoughts on the ‘4% Rule’, as he … Continue reading Optimistic Update To The 4% Rule
I read through a good online discussion of retirement spending/investment probabilities this weekend. Someone was asking early retirees in a forum if they felt a 90% probability of out-living your retirement nest egg was enough, based on a online calculator like FIREcalc. I’ve written about FIREcalc probabilities before and using Monte Carlo analysis to help pressure test your FIRE plan. It is a great tool. … Continue reading Is 90% ‘Good Enough’ Odds?
Inflation is one of the assumptions that our FIRE financial model is the most sensitive to. Even a half percent change in inflation over a 40 year retirement plan is hugely significant. We use an assumption that our spending inflation will be between 2.5-3.0% a year, which is slightly higher than what the official US Consumer Price Index (CPI) has averaged. I’ve read articles in … Continue reading How Fast Are Prices Really Rising?
Our son is just out of college and about 4 weeks into his career in software & web design. He signed up for all of his work benefits right away, including his health insurance and retirement 401K plan. He’s very thoughtful with his financial approach, but I saw an online chat about ‘Financial Advice For People In Their Twenties’ from the fatFIRE Facebook Group that … Continue reading Financial Advice For Your Twenties
My brother and I were talking about some estate work that we each had done recently and the subject came up of safe-keeping documents. We’ve steadily upgraded our approach over the years from using a file cabinet, to putting our wills in the freezer drawer, to buying a fire-box, to investing in a full-on home safe. We now keep our important papers in a large … Continue reading Safety First For Documents