A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Where are you and where are you going?
7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

It's grim to consider, but it seems to me that the diaper risk goes way up right around 80, so I am basing my own calculations on 50/50 making it to 90, but less likelihood of making it to 90 without diapers. So, at 85, maybe 1/4 of future 7WB5s will be dead, 1/2 will be doing well enough, and 1/4 will/would be in diapers if not offed by self. Therefore, I've got only around 30 years life expectation post maximum S.S. dispensation adjusted for diaper-causative suicide.

I don't plan on marrying again either, so not fretting about that.

ffj
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by ffj »

"I just have to remind myself that "one more year" means giving up the youngest, and presumably healthiest/most vigorous year of my retirement."

I'm projecting here, but this was a huge motivator for checking out early for myself. I can't remember how old you are but nobody is promised tomorrow or their health. Sometimes I reflect at the money I left behind by retiring early (it was substantial), but nothing can replace the freedom I've experienced since.

No judgement, but something to consider.

classical_Liberal
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by classical_Liberal »

Regarding social security, it seems to me it would be most beneficial to keep an open mind about when to being drawing it. Obviously there's the longevity argument. So, if health begins to decline earlier than expected, I'd go for it. However, it can also be used to offset any sequence issues that may occur. Like, if at I-Dave age 64, there is a large market correction that causes a 20-30% draw down in your assets, and it does not recover at all by the time you plan to take you next withdrawal, why not start social security then? It prevents excess withdrawals at the worst time, so even if you end up living to 95, you're still wealthier because you reduced withdrawals exactly when it mattered most. I view SS as an 8 year sequence of return risk reduction window. If it doesn't happen in that window, great, then you get max benefits.

Edit to add: In general I agree with @ffj, by you own admission earning more money at this stage won't change much. It's time to change focus to how to make the transition to RE in the best way possible, without consideration of finances. I think this is gonna be really tough for you, to stop thinking in terms of WR 1.8 vs 1.9% and start thinking in terms of creating the best quality of life without work. How to transition without going into some kind of emotional shock, or becoming too sheltered from other people, etc. I've only been watching my spreadsheets for a third the time you have and I have found this transition really hard.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:46 pm
It's grim to consider, but it seems to me that the diaper risk goes way up right around 80, so I am basing my own calculations on 50/50 making it to 90, but less likelihood of making it to 90 without diapers. So, at 85, maybe 1/4 of future 7WB5s will be dead, 1/2 will be doing well enough, and 1/4 will/would be in diapers if not offed by self. Therefore, I've got only around 30 years life expectation post maximum S.S. dispensation adjusted for diaper-causative suicide.

I don't plan on marrying again either, so not fretting about that.
I'm going with the "math" and so 50/50 I hit 78, and the odds of exceeding 85 are small enough I don't really plan beyond 80 aside from wanting to avoid deliberately depleting resources. If I make it to my seventies with enough good health that the expected outcome is I'll spend some time as an octogenarian, might have to tweak things at that time.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

ffj wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:50 pm
"I just have to remind myself that "one more year" means giving up the youngest, and presumably healthiest/most vigorous year of my retirement."

I'm projecting here, but this was a huge motivator for checking out early for myself. I can't remember how old you are but nobody is promised tomorrow or their health. Sometimes I reflect at the money I left behind by retiring early (it was substantial), but nothing can replace the freedom I've experienced since.

No judgement, but something to consider.
I didn't go back and check the context, but typically of late I would make that statement when contemplating arrival at the point where, if things go roughly according to plan, I can get by with trivial or no taxing of the stash for normal living expenses. I'm just beginning to enter that point. I appreciate the reminder. I could probably come close to doubling my wealth if I kept on working to full retirement age, but it would mean 12 more years working. One or 1.25 seems okay, but not 12. However, there are days when even finishing out the current week seems silly.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:02 pm
Regarding social security, it seems to me it would be most beneficial to keep an open mind about when to being drawing it. Obviously there's the longevity argument. So, if health begins to decline earlier than expected, I'd go for it. However, it can also be used to offset any sequence issues that may occur. Like, if at I-Dave age 64, there is a large market correction that causes a 20-30% draw down in your assets, and it does not recover at all by the time you plan to take you next withdrawal, why not start social security then? It prevents excess withdrawals at the worst time, so even if you end up living to 95, you're still wealthier because you reduced withdrawals exactly when it mattered most. I view SS as an 8 year sequence of return risk reduction window. If it doesn't happen in that window, great, then you get max benefits.

Edit to add: In general I agree with @ffj, by you own admission earning more money at this stage won't change much. It's time to change focus to how to make the transition to RE in the best way possible, without consideration of finances. I think this is gonna be really tough for you, to stop thinking in terms of WR 1.8 vs 1.9% and start thinking in terms of creating the best quality of life without work. How to transition without going into some kind of emotional shock, or becoming too sheltered from other people, etc. I've only been watching my spreadsheets for a third the time you have and I have found this transition really hard.
In general for my numerical planning I've used delaying until 70 as the baseline, largely as a way to stress test viability of annuity+stash (this all started ~8 years ago when both were much smaller). I used to run what-ifs taking SS at different ages but don't any more. I always looked at it from the perspective that as soon as I got an indication that exceeding median life expectancy was unlikely I'd start taking it. I never considered it wrt sequence of returns--that's actually a really interesting idea.

In past years I've given a lot of thought to pursuits during retirement, and have a list of sorts that should keep me reasonably engaged for the first few years, at which point I can just keep going if all is well or switch over and try some secondary ideas if the first set isn't working out. But you're right that it will be a big change and I can't say how I'll respond with any sort of certainty. There are moments when the prospect is intimidating I have to admit.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Parting Thoughts, Part I

Well, this thread is coming up on it's sixth birthday, and all things considered I think I'm going to wind it down. Most of what I'm focused on in my present day-to-day, and what I'm focused on in terms of transition to the next phase, really doesn't have much to do with ere, ER, or FIRE. Financially I'll be okay, and I think I have a pretty good plan to launch into active and fulfilling golden years when the time comes.

Anyone that's read the earlier entries here knows the story. My journey started from a place of fear of losing my job in the depths of the post-2008 mess, grew into a realization that I could twist that fear into an opportunity to pursue some of the things I dreamed of doing as a boy searching for meaning in the Rust Belt, which I then dovetailed with some family-related considerations that emerged over time.

I get good-naturedly gigged a lot for dragging my feet (well deserved in some respects) and perhaps ironically some of that foot-dragging is related to family considerations. Now that my youngest daughter has purged her irrational wanderlust, returned, and married, I've got her, a grandson, and step-granddaughter here now. Three states away I've got an aging dad living alone and a sister in declining health (currently in a nursing home recovering from an awful surgery).

So yeah, those of you that know me, I'll still be pitchforking cash into the stash until early next year. I've also got a music project I'm working on with my son-in-law. Maybe I talked a little about that before, but long story short we both dusted off an old composition that we're collaborating on updating and recording (he basically grew up in a recording studio, and I'm trying to pick his brain to bolster some of my golden year plans). That's the basic focus of my productive/self-improvement/fun time these days. The sad news in all of this is that I'm abandoning all but one sheet of the iDaveSim spreadsheet once I get the 2019 data all buttoned up. It's 7 years old and it'll be sort of like losing a pet. :)

Referring to the title above, I thought before this thread sinks so far down into silt on the bottom of the sea of inactive zombie threads I'd take some time to reflect on my time here while it was active and share what I learned along the way. Some I learned specifically in this context, some just coincided with the window in time. They were meaningful to me and my path. YMMV Most have been stated here before.

So, to get to the point ...

*The one that leaps to mind first I condensed into the statement: "The stash exists to serve me, I don't exist to serve the stash." The point was that digging out of a vulnerable place (divorce + recession + shaky employment situation) and building the stash was a high priority and I caught myself in a place where I was dedicating too much of my life to accumulating financial resources, and the actual living part of life was withering. It can be a fine line.

*On a regular basis think through what it is you really want to do with life. Make lists, journal, whatever. Try to get down to what you really want without letting how you want others to view you drive the train. I suppose a person at her/his deepest core might want to be perceived a certain way more than anything, fair enough. I've had the best luck finding a zone below worded thought and above my reptile brain to mine, after giving myself permission ahead of time to keep it private.

*Similarly, have an idea what your value heirarchy is. Family/friendships, career, leisure, inner development, outer development, might all have a place somewhere, but when options have to be narrowed one must prioritize.

*Both/and is often a superior path than either/or. Not always, but it's a good idea to consider alternatives to binary thinking.

That's all for today. More to follow.

Jason
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Jason »

IlliniDave wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:15 pm
I think I'm going to wind it down. .
I'm getting weepy.

I think in your honor a one year increase of $300K in net worth should now be referred to as an "Illinois Dave." So a $150K increase would be "1/2 of an Illinois Dave" and so on. I doubt it will reach the universalism of a "Jacob" but you never know. And come to think of it, getting divorced should be referred to as "Getting "uo'd." But that should probably wait until his shit gets finalized. Anyways, good luck.

McTrex
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by McTrex »

I’d be sorry to see you leave these boards, but I wish you the very best in your future endeavours!

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Parting Thoughts, Part II

Sorry, McTrex, didn't mean to give the impression I'm making a melodramatic exit from the site entirely. I'm just discontinuing this journal thread. Should have done it more than a year ago (almost did). As an exercise for myself I'm just recapping some of what were to me the more important ideas that kept me going during the various hard times.

*Happiness comes from within (fun comes from outside). This little faux-mantra was helpful while accumulation was a priority. Most of us aren't Mr. Spock, and saying, "No," to yourself can be hard, especially when under pressure from the culture or family and friends, etc. A person can be quite happy while being prudent/frugal in pursuit of fun. It can also be an antidote to consumerism. If you're unhappy, a new luxury automobile or exotic vacation by itself is extremely unlikely to reverse your emotional fortunes. Changing yourself might.

*Equate time and money as part of "make/buy" decisions. This is one of the underlying tenets of YMOYL, but I can truthfully say I was doing this 15 years before I read YMOYL. When the kiddies were young (and my paycheck much smaller) I arbitrarily picked $20/hour. If I could do a job acceptably in 4 hours that would cost $200 to hire someone to do, I'd do it myself ($80 < $200). But if the reverse were the case (take me 10 yours to do something I could hire out for $80), I'd hire out and spend the 10 hours with my kids. But don't take that too literally. How enjoyable the work is or what ROI you might get from skill development should be considered. (Look! A thought in line with ere from iDave, haha)

*Remember SWAN. Sleep well at night. I stole this one from some of the Bogleheads. If worrying about your investment strategy/tactics is keeping you up and night (or causing equivalent forms of stress) then maybe you should try something different that's less risky. It applies beyond investing too.

*SWAN corollary: As investors the game we play is that we get paid to take risk with our money. Have to find a balance.

Here ends Part II.

7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I am happy to hear that you aren't entirely leaving. I believe you lend a certain zen gravitas ballast to this forum which is of great value.


P.S. I was afraid you might be being put-off by my references to diapers. Unfortunately, I have lately been much in the company of people around age 80 who are in temporary or permanent diaper phase due to variety of disease and decrepitude, so I have been darkly dwelling on the possibility.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Parting Thoughts, Part III

7Wb5, I suspect if someone honks me off enough I cut ties, it won't be you. I am only smart enough understand about a third of what you write anyway. "Gravitas" is not a word often applied to me, haha. Likely that was the first instance.

To continue and perhaps conclude the list...

*A random rejoinder. Strategy doesn't pay the bills. It's my caution to: "never confuse results with strategy." Can a lifetime's decent results be a fluke? Sure, but what are the odds unless you're Forrest Gump? At some point results validate (or refute) the strategy. It's like saying, "Don't confuse a flower with a seed." However there's a rejoinder to the rejoinder: don't forget the playing field changes with time.

*I miss BRUTE's contributions.

*Remember perspective. The blind men and the elephant is the classic story. Looking at things from different perspectives (without prejudging) is valuable.

*Mr. Spock is a fictional character. My belief is that at the end of the day human behavior is overwhelmingly driven by emotion. Sometimes I think logic is just a trait we evolved to mitigate the consequences of the messes our emotions make.

*Diversity of opinion is not any sort of nasty -ism or -ophobia. We're pretty good as a group about that, but we've had our moments. There's way more division in the world than there needs to be. Demonization is not cool.

GandK
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by GandK »

That was awesome.

Thanks for all the fish.

Fish
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Fish »

While shuttering your spreadsheet/journal might be an end of sorts, I think you’re on the cusp of a new adventure that will be interesting and exciting. Applying introspection and analysis to something in your life besides dull numbers is something that the community is sure to find interesting if you care to share it.

Farewell to financial-Dave, and here’s hoping that FIRE-Dave will stick around or at least report back once in a while. Congratulations on accumulating so far beyond your target that you no longer need to track it so closely.

One thing that may be interesting to keep from the iDaveSim spreadsheet is your best guess projection of NW into the future, and periodically check actual performance against it.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

jason, an "iDave" as a unit could indeed be somewhat of a curio hereabouts, haha. Its nearly 43x a jacob, and a bona fide ere-er could check out with one.

Fish, yeah, there's one sheet, maybe two, I'll be keeping up. And I'll keep up my companion Quicken file for as long as the software will work. It's how I manage my banking and I've become dependent on it's reminder feature when it comes to things like property taxes and insurance premiums--larger payments that are scattered randomly through the year. And I do plan to make up a sheet just like you describe--one that tracks my financial assets versus a nominal projection, maybe with a guard band or two on the low side to indicate totals falling to the point I might want to consider modifying my behavior. I'm hoping to be on this side of the dirt long enough to go through another market swoon or two. I'm also considering a new journal thread once I do pull the plug. I remember jacob saying in the past that only a minority of folks stick around once they "retire", and I don't want to be someone who "takes" while they have a need, then disappear once I don't and never give back. Thing is, being a shining example of FatFIRE (relatively speaking--I'm far from FatFIRE among the bogleheads), I'm concerned that I sometimes undermine the philosophies jacob is trying to teach. Not sure how to avoid that in a journal that's not fiction. So we'll see what I decide on that. I'll have absences while I'm off-grid, but expect to be around in some fashion.

K, thank you!

A couple followups to the list ...

Around age 14 I became a diehard Rush fan. One thing that has sort of surprised me is that more diehard Rush fans didn't find their way here given their universe of fans scooped up a lot of introverted, kindhearted, misfits (like me). Their drummer and primary lyricist, Neil Peart, passed away a couple of weeks ago from cancer. He was 12 years older than I am, and as I think it is with many writers, what he wrote often reflected a coalescing of his recent past experiences. So his words often served as signposts for me as I made my way though adolescence and the various subsequent life stages right around the time he was penning lyrics retrospective of his journey through the same stages. As an aside, the final song on their final album, "The Garden", is one I'd recommend as a helluva summary of a good life philosophy. Even though it was penned ~7 years prior to his diagnosis, and ~10 years prior to his passing, it sure looks like he might have intended it as his final song lyrics and parting message to his music fans. Back to the point, there have been a few things he's said over the years, some I picked up from past interviews, some only in the last couple weeks in the outpouring of tributes and reminiscences, that resonate with me and a couple of them seem to fit here.

One thing he said he asked himself every day, and when facing any "moral dilemma" is What would my 16-year-old self do? His goal was to make each day the "most excellent" day he could make it. It's probably worth noting that this came in the period after his first wife and daughter died within a few months of each other. I don't remember if I stated it explicitly here, but much of what I've envisioned for my future has been the product of going back to the kind of things 8-year-old iDave dreamed of doing (most notoriously that's where the cabin-in-the-Northwoods came from). So obviously he was a little more mature than I am :) and he's much more of an authority on how to live an amazing life (some chronicled in his published books), but my version of that philosophy is something I'm going to cling to as much as I can. I like to go with a younger age because kids have an amazing ability to be fully engaged in the moment, and around age 9 or 10 is where I began to be aware of social standing and all the things that begin the cascade of adolescent stress that seems not to disappear, just change form, through life thereafter.

One of my buddies from back in the day posted a link on FB to a short tribute article that recounts another biker's random meeting with Neil on an obscure back country road in West Virginia some years back. "The Professor" left him with some advice:

Never follow anyone. Be your own hero.

Looking forward, I think I'll toss a dash of that into the stew and stir it up real good.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

There's a lot of wisdom in your parting thoughts. I'm happy you'll be sticking around. :D

Smashter
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Smashter »

Such great thoughts, thank you for sharing. I'm excited to check out more of Neil Part's life philosophy and music now, I am not familiar with either.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I'm glad you're sticking around too (and enjoying your wrap up).

Speaking of Peart, Audible/Amazon are offering 7 of his audio books for free right now. I think you have to subscribe to Audible to actually download them but you can then cancel your Audible trial subscription and keep the downloads (I "purchased" them via Amazon but haven't bothered with the Audible part yet). So if you want some listening material for what I'm guessing is going to be some long drives in your future...

Igotgoals
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Igotgoals »

Another person glad you aren't exiting completely.

I don't post often but read regularly and always look forward to your posts and comments.

classical_Liberal
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by classical_Liberal »

Thanks for the wisdom I-dave!

Here's one more hoping that you chronicle your transition.

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