No. of Recommendations: 4
This could be a long one. Sorry. I'm starting to feel deep concern rising about whether I'll ever be able to RE. So I'm looking for some "expert" advice from those of you here who know your stuff.

I'm 40, work in hi-tech in Silicon Valley (read - high stress, long hours and high cost of living). I'm burning out fast and wish to RE as soon as possible. My SO is quite a bit older than me, and has no assets to speak of. We're newly married - and I've since put him on a budget :-) and max'ed his 401K contributions to try to get him into some financial shape. He has a little CC debt which I've got him paying off quickly.

I own a house here, have bought another one in another country (this is where we wish to RE) to take advantage of the exchange rates and the prices down there, have been contributing to my 401K for the past 8 years (maximum); I've got approx. $200,000 invested in the stock market (of course, it's not even close to that in value right now - I happened to buy most of it not too far from the peak in prices!). Both monthly mortgages are pretty low (in California terms) and I've got tenants in the foreign property which offsets expenses and gives me a negative gearing for tax. I've also got approximately $60,000 sitting in a money market fund, just waiting to be invested (I don't know what the hell to do with this because of the stock market condition); and I've got an emergency fund of cash (which I'm about to toss into a CD I think) for 12 months of living expenses for both of us.
I diligently save at least 50% of every paycheck. My SO is putting his into beating his debt down.

Our ave. cost of living, including mortgages etc, is approx. $60,000 per annum.
I just met with a Financial Planner who advised me to (of course) allow him to manage my portfolio, that while the stock market on average returns approx. 10-11% each year, his money manager could give me over the long haul 18% and even in some cases up to 28% returns. He's given me graphs/charts comparing their performance to the S&P500 etc.

The shocking part was that he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years.
Now, he did base this upon my current salary, adjusted it for inflation etc etc. But this news, even if I only need half of that, floored me. I don't think I can even come close to building that much wealth any time soon. Not even in the next ten years I'm fearing - but do I really have to work that long anyway? Should I be handing over my finances to someone else? Of course, that would involve a 3% or 2.1 (depending how much money I let them manage) fee. Should I continue to invest in the stock market? Or should I pursue mutuals or index funds?
How do I get out of the rat race? How did Galeno and Intercst do it?
How did some of you others do it? How much did you need? Are you weathering the stock storm okay? I think the "deep concern" is starting to turn to panic!!

Please help!

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