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Subject:  Re: are we arguing the wrong aspects? Date:  12/30/2002  10:27 AM
Author:  otterrivervalley Number:  88130 of 888563

Gurdison (and others who make this arguement) It is my belief that the concept of RE is composed of two equal elements. For simplicity sake I call them the math part and the non-math part. Often, depending on one's particular background, one is given more weight than the other. This probably explains why there is a divergence of opinion on RE issues.

you are so correct that if we can, we should pack it in as early as practical. I also know folks who worked until they reached the age of retirement only to pass on shortly afterwards, or were too physically disabled to enjoy their new found freedom. Or worse yet, had their health and freedom, but no capital to do what they had put off doing until they retired.

But think about it. We are talking of getting out of the rat race years before many will be able to and many can't even dream of doing. We are in enviable situations. But at the same time, my idea of early retirement is not to sit around and "be happy". I fully expect my fun activity costs to rise not because of my wife and I, but because of the adventures my wife and I want to share with our kids.

in economics, they call the decision process "opportunity cost". One has to weigh the cost of doing this at the cost that comes to something else. Thats what we are discussing. Is the cost of working a few extra years of your life for the additional margin worth the lost opportunity to "fill in the blank, attend your kids ball games, take them to the zoo, fly remote controlled airplanes with them, etc".

Course, there is the flip side of this question: if I quit early to get out of the rat race sooner, what will it cost me in lost opportunities later on? Will we not be able to take the kids on a 3 month long trip to see the west? Will we not be able to take the kids to the city to see the Nutcracker ballet or to the museums? Will we not be able to take the kids to Wash DC a few times in their life to help them understand our form of government and see it in action (as sorry as it is sometimes)?

And of course later on, will we still have the margin to pay taxes on our retirement property so that we don't have to sell off a piece at a time? Our retirement won't be spent driving around in Porsches' or BMWs, it will be a pickup and something or other. Our kids will learn to grow their own garden, to fish, hunt, fix their own cars, be plumbers, carpenters, electricians, you name it. They will learn what America is all about. They will learn that if you want something in life, you have to SACRIFICE something in return.

now maybe the disagreement on when to retire is simply a matter of each of our own situations. I would agree that if I was say in my mid 50's getting out as soon as possible would be more important than someone retiring in their mid 40's. Think each circumstance, each individuals needs, each individuals dreams of what they want to accomplish in their own retirement have to be considered and like everything else, used in compiling their own individual retirement scenario.

and yes, it may cost some an extra year or two of work to feel more "secure". It may cost some an extra year or two of work to enable their retirement portfolio to cover the costs and have a little left over for unexpected events.

and yes, some may choose to get out as soon as possible and say I have enough, my decision is that if something happens along the way, I will have to choose what I give up in return. Or I will choose to do less than I wanted to with my new found free time.

thats what it all boils down to, opportunity cost. Which side of the equation do you choose to lean towards. And one plan does not work for all as we are all individuals with our own governing circumstances.

we however are looking at it as a godsend that we will be able to retire early, but at the same time, placing a higher priority on the long term security over the short term "happiness" of being free sooner.

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