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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-am-as-i-said-59-and-i-have-a-portfolio-of-12398251.aspx

Subject:  Re: Puzzled Date:  4/13/2000  11:16 PM
Author:  Gglass555 Number:  21191 of 75890

I am, as I said, 59, and I have a portfolio of $1,000,000, a nice house on the Chesapeake Bay, some toys and no debt. That makes it feasible that I could retire, but my portfolio is not so great that it becomes a shoo-in. I am, as far as I know, in reasonably good health; however, I need only look at the obituaries and consider friends of mine who are already gone to realize that I may have only 10-15 years to live (or less). Or, I may have only 10-15 "good" years, meaning years in which I can do what I do now. Some would say that I should hang in there for a few more years to increase my nest egg, to insure that I shall have enough to make it comfortably to 90. Others would say under no circumstances withdraw more than 5%, or you might run out of money before you die. However, I have to wonder what sense it makes to put such emphasis on the possibility of living to 85 or 90 when it is also quite possible that I shall die or be disabled before 75. Put slightly differently, it makes more sense to me to focus on my life for the next 10-15 years than it does to orient everything around the years after that, even if I do wind up eating cat food.

So I am puzzled. I do not propose to simply blow it all on the assumption that I may die in 5 years, but I am puzzled by the apparent tendency to assume the other extreme and subordinate everything to the possibility that one will live to be 90. Maybe you will, maybe you won't. Notwithstanding the mortality tables which say you might live to 90, when it comes to discussions on when and how to retire I am puzzled by the lack of comment on the fact that you may only have a few years, with something to be said for concentrating on them, not on the other end.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The fact that you have accumulated $1,000,000 in wealth during your working career suggests to me that, unless you have earned exorbitant salaries, your retirement savings have probably come by self sacrifices, compromises and a little penny pinching and a lot of will power or a combination of them all. You don't need to be a mathematician to realize that this amount of money earning a conservative 10% per annum performance will provide you with portfolio growth of $100,000 a year. With no debt and a retirement home in place, how much, in your opinion, is enough? I plan to retire at 55 with a similar amount and would still retire if the value was half that. Point being, my sacrificing, compromising and "doing without" will end at age 55. It will then be time to enjoy the benefits of my savings and not having to worry about being able to afford this or afford that. Retire and enjoy the remainder of your life, life is to short, especially at age 55...or 59
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