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I think it's obvious what I'm getting at...I don't see why I should wait until I have 25x yearly expenses to retire. Sure, if a severe market downturn hit in the next year or two, I would have to tighten the belt or maybe even get a part time job. If I'm ok with that, why wait?

There has been some discussion of this in the past on this and related boards. One often-suggested approach is a tiered system.

Pre-Social-Security (also include any other pensions you will be able to draw on sometime in the future) budget: however much you believe you'll get from Social Security eventually, set aside assets to replace it from actual retirement date to when you'll be able to draw Social Security.

Austerity budget: cheap tiny apartment, doing all your own cooking, the public library a major source of entertainment... to the extent that it's in excess of your pre-Social-Security budget, fund that extremely-safely for at least 25 years.

Comfortable budget: decent living quarters, the occasional movie and dinner out (whatever you would consider one step up from austerity)... fund the additional cost of that safely for 20-25 years.

Living-well budget: not rich, but quite comfortable... fund the additional cost for about 5 fewer years.

Flamboyant budget: twice-a-year cruises, a week in Paris every spring... fund this additional cost for 5-10 years (it gets a boost from the likelihood that you won't live THAT flamboyantly EVERY year). Another approach to this one is to simply demand a certain minimum balance in the tier, and you're free to spend ONLY what's above that balance. So if your investments do well you can take a bunch of cruises, but if not then you stay home until your investments recover.

Now, once you retire, watch those tiers carefully. If one goes broke, you MUST drop down to the next lower tier.
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