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No. of Recommendations: 16
Hi,

I plan to retire at 52, I'm 37 now.

Things in round numbers get me excited - when my IRA or 401(k) pass a mark (like 50K or 100K or whatever), it makes me feel like I accomplished something.

So, my happy dance is because my retirement money surpassed $400K for the first time over the weekend.

YAY!

Karen
(who really has no reason to post this, except that I love these boards and I love cheering on others when they hit milestones)
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Congratulations Karen!

Lets look at that assuming a 9% growth rate and no further influx of cash:

37 400
38 436
39 475.24
40 518.0116
41 564.632644
42 615.449582
43 670.8400443
44 731.2156483
45 797.0250567
46 868.7573118
47 946.9454698
48 1032.170562
49 1125.065913
50 1226.321845
51 1336.690811
52 1456.992984
53 1588.122352
54 1731.053364

Looks to me you might hit 1 million at 48 years old. I suspect you may hit it sooner.

If I were you, I would think about a celebration activity when you hit 500k. Personally, I would recommend swapping houses with someone in a foreign country and trying out a new country for a week.

Theres my 2 cents, congratulations
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Congrats, Karen!

Your post made me look at my own projections. You've got me beat. I'm 30 right now, but when I project it out, I should only be near the $225k mark at 37. But a lot can happen in 7 years, so who knows, right? Thanks for the post!

-Agg97
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Thanks yttire!

Well, you did find one of my passions - travel! My BF and I went to Costa Rica last month and had a blast. Next year we are thinking of doing a bicycle tour through Portugal, or maybe going to New Zealand. But the house swapping sounds like fun too!

I number-crunch more conservatively than you do, usually, using more like 6 or 7% return, just to be safe. But, I am saving quite a bit - last year I saved about $30K, including maxing out my TSP (the federal gov't 401(k) plan) contribution.

The deferred gov't pension I'll get at 62 will help, too. I'll have 31 years in at 52, assuming I stay in the gov't for another 15 years.

Thanks again,
Karen
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Agg,

Thanks. I would say you have me beat in one sense. At 30, I didn't really keep track of how much I had and didn't really have a plan for retiring early. It was just a vague notion. I have been maxing out my 401(k) since I starting working at 21, which has certainly helped.

Over time, I grasped the concept of saving my raises and the importance of saving outside of the standard retirement accounts. I think I opened my Schwab brokerage account about 10 years ago, at around 27, but it was quite small for a long time.

You are probaby projecting it out at the same savings amount you are at now, but in 7 years you will likely be making quite a bit more money. I'd suggest you save your raise every year. See how long you can live on what you are making now. I have been doing this for 4 years, and it has really helped increase the amount I save.

And you are right, you never know what will happen. I took a buyout last year at work and got 1/2 a year's salary. That was a nice boost - I paid off my car loan and saved the rest.

Well, now I have a challenge - I posted $400K on 5/2/06 - how long until $500K?

And I'm not counting the equity in my townhouse, because I figure I have to live somewhere, right? :)

Karen
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DCongrats and good work Karen!

Sounds like you are well on your way to FIRE. As you said, many things can happen to speed or slow your journey, but methinks you are on your way.

I am 49 (not for much longer) and hope to retire 52-53. I have a good job that I like, so I'm contemplating what life after FIRE should be for me. Maybe some writing, travel, who knows?

DW and I have about 750k in the FIRE fund, not counting home equity (though I see that as an asset that can be sold in later years to pay rent...). About half of the 750k is in rental real estate which currently throws off about 50k annually, which we add to the FIRE Fund.

It's so good to hear stories such as yours... and discouraging to try to convince non-savers of the peace of mind some long term savings can provide.

Stay the course and be well!

-AJ

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Thanks AJ. Sounds like you will be all set too!

My one sort of planning wrinkle is the pension. Although a few years ago I would have said I'd stay in the gov't until I retire, my current situation may lead to a different choice.

My BF and I talk off and on about leaving DC and moving to New England to be closer to our families. If we do that in the next few years, my pension will be a lot smaller. So, I pretty much base my plan on having 1/2 the pension I'll get if I stay the course.

On the flip side, with 2 incomes to pay the mortgage instead of just mine, we would be able to make up the difference by saving more...

Karen
whose parents retired at 57 and have had a blast the last 12 years...
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I'm 30 right now, but when I project it out, I should only be near the $225k mark at 37. But a lot can happen in 7 years, so who knows, right?

I'm also 30 right now and I also took a look at my projections after reading Karen's post. We should be at about $340k at age 37 if all goes according to plan.

But...then I looked back at some old spreadsheets that I put together when DH and I graduated from school six years ago. It only projected that we'd have about 60% of what we actually have now. Even though our returns have been lower than projected some years (especially in the early part of the decade), our salary has grown much faster than projected and we've been able to put up 401k percentages and Roth contributions faster than I thought we would. It gives me hope that we might be in as good of shape as Karen seven years from now. Of course, the dollar will be worth less - so $400k now won't be the same as $400k in seven years. So, I still say Karen has us both beat.

-4
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-4

Sounds like you are doing great too!

I didn't intend this to be a contest, but I can certainly understand how the urge to compare happens. Happens to me all the time. I'm just glad I have a place to come where people are thinking about these things like I am.

I love coming here (and www.early-retirement.org etc) to talk about these things and read other peoples plans and goals.

Thanks again, everyone!

Karen
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