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How much is enough savings? (+Musings)
Not only is there the rule of 55 which I used recently, but there is the Section 72(t) which is not related to the age of 72, but instead is a way you can withdraw from an existing 401(k) at any age while still employed, with a lot of caveats, including a 5 year withdrawal plan and an actuarial table of your expected lifespan. 

Anyway, withdrawing $50k at 55 or over after leaving the company you are not subject to the 10% penalty but you still most likely will have 20% withheld for tax obligations, and you may or may not get some of that back come tax time. 

mayble, I'm sure you know that, but this is as good a place as any to toss that information out there.

About to be 'vanless' after FOUR years...
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(11-14-2017, 04:31 AM)Redbearded Wrote: So, how much is enough? 

By time I get on the road with the rig I want, I'll be low in liquid cash (though by time I sell most of my stuff that may not true, here's hoping!)
I have some retirement accounts and they have done pretty well these last years, but I think everyone has the concern that they will run out too early. I think I have enough given when I run some of the calculators like this one it says I'm getting really close if I get my spending down to $8000/year.

So I guess the question is, when did you feel safe enough to leave it all behind? Was there a magic number? Assuming of course that it was a voluntary choice (I know things can change in an instant, and I've see too many people fall on hard times). Or was the mentality "I have rice for today; I will be thankful. Tomorrow is tomorrow". 

I guess the fear that I have, as I'm sure most people do given the materialistic way that society leaves its indelible bruise, is not having enough (yes I'm aware that this is a trap, there will never be enough once you are in the cycle, it is the nature of want vs. need). Yet the fear still exists; it is real because I give it power, and I have known nothing else. 

Once one transitions to this nomadic lifestyle, does the fear start to abate? Or is that all part of the journey of differentiating between that which is important and that which is not? Of learning what was once valuable is a manipulation, a travesty of what could be.

It's late; sorry for the ramble, at least i'm not screaming into the void, or am I... Will the void answer back?

Perhaps your fear is your intuition talking to you. What would it take to make you comfortable? I have the same fear, a different number, and I'm choosing to wait.
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Cool There was a book long long ago...... called - Feel the Fear and do it anyway.
Just along the lines of don't let fear hold you back and then end up with regret.
If you can't live on the road with the 8k a year. Can you live where you are for less ?
Maybe the rig you want isn't the one you'll exactly like living in.
I'm all for not letting fear hold you back. And letting the universe look after the details.

(12-03-2017, 01:43 PM)BadSaver Wrote: Perhaps your fear is your intuition talking to you. What would it take to make you comfortable? I have the same fear, a different number, and I'm choosing to wait.
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The point of the following text to help someone sort out their cash flow and other assets so they can ballpark how much money they need.

The Rule of 25 (not really a rule) is a}  Monte Carlo Simulation. A couple Monte Carlo simulation calculators are and Vanguard’s Nest Egg Calculator.

The Rule of 25 infers that you can deduct 4% from your savings, invested in a combination of Stocks and Bonds, and normally expect a 95-96% chance that your money will not run out. I would argue that because the stock market is so high (Price to Earning Ratio) that a 4% return over the next decade may be hard to achieve.

The Rule of 25 means that there’s also a Rule of 300 (Monthly Cash Flow). These two figures let us move back and forth between Cash Flow and Investment Values. For example, if my phone bill is $50 then I need $50 x 300 = $15,000 (invested) to generate this cash flow. You can see now why I’m a cord cutter and have a cheap phone.

Example of moving between Cash and Assets:

Monthly Cash Flow          (x or / 300)        Asset (or Equivalent)
$2,000 Social Security         >                   $600,000
$1,500 Pension                    >                  $450,000
$800                                     <                  $240,000 (Invested)

$4,300 Total Cash Flow       >                  $1,290,000 Asset Equivalent

The Magic Number (as I use it here) is the Asset Equivalent needed to retire safely.

Monthly Cash Flow Examples (make your own list)
$500 Medical
$250 Gasoline
$100 Maintenance
$50 Clothes
$200 Food
$100 Dining out
$500 Emergency Savings
$50 Phone
$150 Miscellaneous
$200 RV Parks
$2,100 Total               >                         $630,000 Asset Equivalent (The Magic Number) 
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(11-14-2017, 09:37 AM)vsession Wrote: The most used method is the 4% rule for retirement. Your current age may be the biggest factor and what will be your plan B. No matter what, always have a plan B if the nomadic life doesn't work out has you though. If you plan on living on 8000/year, which is more surviving than living IMO, you need to have 8000x25= 200000 in saving if you never want to work again. Your chance of success will be in the 90% range. If you're 20 years old, this may not work well since the 4% rule is for a 30 years retirement.

Basically, your question can't be answered, some people feel happy with having 1000$ in the bank account without having any job and some feel stressed with 200000$ and a full time job.

For me personally, having a plan B is more important than the money in the bank account, knowing what to do in advance if X happen is my way of reducing stress.

Indeed. I plan to have some savings but in the end I have a plan B.
Dum inter homines sumus, colamus humanitatem.
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How much is enough is a big question. I am basically retired, believe the world is about to implode and investing in the stock market is to volatile for me at my age. I have worked out that $750 a month is comfortable for me. I don't plan on doing a lot of driving. I would like to spend as much time as I can parked up in beautiful, remote places and gradually make my way around the entire country. That could take me the rest of my life. I have short, medium and long term savings. I have adequate health insurance, excellent vehicle insurance that includes roadside assistance and recovery off road as well as on road. I have enough money on short term deposit to pay rent and normal expenses for a year in case I get sick or have to deal with an elderly parent or some such. I have long term savings and more retirement available in about 10 years. I am extremely frugal. I would rather dumpster dive than go to a restaurant (almost joking). I have a few skills that I can deploy online for a little extra income. I plan to find some work as I go. In my field I can do temp/contract work so part of my plan is to work from time to time when I find something interesting. I worked in corporate banking for a long time and I would love to contribute my skills to a not-for-profit, charity etc. I can't afford to do that if I live in sticks and bricks, so that's part of my reason for wanting to live on the road and be free. Save the whales! Clean up the oceans! #vanlife goals :-)

The point made about a dollar figure per mile of travel I think is absolutely key and I was blown away the first time i heard about it. It's such a great rule of thumb.
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John61CT (01-15-2018)
While the 4% is a decent starting point, my personal take is to use a bucket method to protect your nest egg.  Basically have various buckets of diverse risk. 

One bucket consists of cash or near cash.  This could be in T-Bills or tax-exempt bonds.  It should be in the form of a ladder so that the maturity dates are spread over the next few years.  You would initially set it up from about 16% of your nest egg and ideally would be set up the year prior to retirement.  You don't plan on making much appreciation and will hold these assets until maturity.  This bucket (plus social security) will provide your income for the next 4 years.  You start with 16% of your nest egg because that is 4 years times 4% per year. 

The second bucket consists of assets which are more aggressive than the T-bills and Munis but tend to be more stodgy.  It might include some of the dividend aristocats and income funds.  This bucket would also potentially carry high cap index funds such as SPY. 

The third bucket would consist of aggressive growth and international funds.  This is where I'd put QQQ for instance. 

At the end of each year you would evaluate the growth of the second and third bucket and move 1/2 of the growth into the first bucket.  I'd also move any money drawn out as part of any RMD into the first bucket to extend the ladder. 

The goal is to use the first bucket to protect the second and third bucket.  For example in a down year, you don't have to take any money from the second and third bucket because you have your living expenses covered in the first bucket.  You'd only have to extract any RMD.  And since generally a down year is generally recovered in one year, the first bucket acts as insurance against having to withdraw in a down market.  While 2008 was an exceptionally strong recession, the market had fully recovered by 2011 so the first bucket would have reduced the impact of the recession on your nest egg.

Also - by only withdrawing 1/2 of the growth, you still are compounding the growth of the nest egg which is important in dealing with inflation.

At any rate, this is my strategy and so far it seems to be working. I'm sure other folks have other strategies.
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