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
A survey in a recent online group asked early retirees if they work with a professional financial advisor. I was surprised to see that the great majority (about two-thirds) of folks did not. While I always tell people you need to be knowledgeable enough to be your own primary financial advisor, it’s nice to have a professional financial advisor as a secondary resource. That is, … Continue reading Do You Have A Financial Advisor?
I used to think that I was pretty organized. My wife and I both value keeping our house neat and our files and records are no exception. January is the time of year that we generally deep-dive into making sure that everything is properly updated. Related: Annual Round-Up Day This year has shaken me from that confidence. After having my heart attack the day after … Continue reading Getting Much More Organized
If you are like me, you sometimes see articles in the personal finance press about people who are very young – in their 30s and 40s – who have quit their jobs and declared themselves FIRE’d (financially independent & retired early). Recently, ABC’s Good Morning America ran this piece on a couple who retired very young and the ‘secret strategies’ they want to share with … Continue reading How Long Can FIRE Last?
I sent this picture of a Porsche Cayman S with a ‘NO KIDS’ license plate to my MegaCorp boss a few years ago. He’s a Porsche guy and he and his wife don’t have kids of their own. His reply was insightful … “One wife, too!” I wouldn’t recommend making significant life decisions based purely on dollar and cents, but that doesn’t mean that many … Continue reading No Kids? One Wife?
It’s a basic question, but one that I have struggled to find any data on: how many people retire at what age? I found a chart from a University of MN study a few years ago and ‘reverse engineered’ some data, but I knew that my math wasn’t very exact. Now I came across this chart / data from a helpful website called DQYDJ.com … … Continue reading How Early Is Early Retirement? (New Data)