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No. of Recommendations: 21
Well, hell.

After that last thread, it becomes apparent once again, that I’m the only fool to step through the gate at TMF who grew up poor. My parents were great, I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything. But their idea of investing was waiting to buy the neighborhood’s first color tv until my sister and I went to the dentist in case we needed dental work. That was considered a “sacrifice” in our house. And I learned well from them. To give you an idea of how well I learned, every year, my wife or I would get a new car, and the other would get one the following year. And you surely know what great investments cars have been! 27 new cars in 30 years. Oh, lucky us.

My first—and so far only, kinda—million (cash) only came early last year, at age 68. On a roll with stocks, we came a hair’s breath away from reaching #2 late in the same year. Then came the market’s bi-annual hatred of all things tech, so now I feel fortunate just to still have that #1, and then some, left in cash.

But I managed to retire at age 46, and about 10 years later, started investing “as a hobby.” I starting out small (lol, but with new cars, of course.) It took a while to find my investing path, but it finally came together. But I determined that our old ways must stop with me and my generation.

On the “plus” side:

• One and Only Son (OOS, if you please) is a geneticist, currently working on his PhD.
• OOS’ college is paid for. Thanks Mom & Dad.
• OOS’ car #3 is paid for. Thanks Mom & Dad.
• OOS is already a good investor and has been since high school. Thanks Dad.
• We’re paying off our home in February with investing gains, since gains aren’t likely to be stellar this year.
• Our cars are all paid for and they’re 5,4 and 8 years old! Oh, plus my ‘Vette is an ancient ’05, but like new, with 35,000 miles. (Hey, a guy can’t give up everything, am I right?)
• We’re helping several relatives with humongous medical bills through no fault of theirs.
• We’re looking for a smaller home, but haven’t quite decided where we want to live. LBYM aside, it will be smaller, but will have everything. 😊 I’m not sure if that’s the old ways creeping in or just dues paid, and don’t care. It is what it is.
• Total Debt = $0.00

So, it turns out that an old dog can learn new tricks. But it sure ticks me off that no one taught me anything about building wealth before it was almost too late. And it isn’t rocket science, so it makes me feel pretty dumb that I didn’t figure it out sooner for myself. That said, accumulating money has never been a big priority for me. Seriously, it hasn’t been and isn’t today. But I’ve been poor and I’ve been (relatively) rich. Rich is more fun.

Please do the world a favor. Teach someone to invest in ... something ... big houses and cars not recommended.
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I agree. Coaching the next generation to better themselves through education, job training, investing, and even choosing the right partner--is good practice for millionaires. We should do more of it.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
But it sure ticks me off that no one taught me anything about building wealth before it was almost too late. And it isn’t rocket science, so it makes me feel pretty dumb that I didn’t figure it out sooner for myself.

Yeah. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that two things happened early in my career:

1) I had a grad school class where the professor had The Motley Fool listed as one of his favorite web sites.

2) I “survived” an event where the vast majority of my department got laid off or outsourced.

Nothing like having the right tool available at the right time as an incredibly important life lesson smacks you in the face.

Life would have wound up much differently were it not for those two things happening at almost the exact same time.

Regards,
-Chuck
Home Fool
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No. of Recommendations: 11
After that last thread, it becomes apparent once again, that I’m the only fool to step through the gate at TMF who grew up poor.

Thats not very likely at all. For example, me. We were pretty poor growing up, I mean we didn't quite know it* because we thought everyone was like that, but that wasn't really the case ... we were just kids. I remember in the late 60s or early 70s when my dad lost his job and we lost our apartment. We moved in with my grandparents into a 4th floor walkup, they had themselves and their 2 youngest kids living there at the time, and then all 6 of us moved in, my parents and 4 little kids! All in a small-ish apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Oh, and other than me, everyone was an immigrant, I was the first of the extended family to be born in the USA. We lived like that for just short of a year, and then my dad got a new (and better) job and then we finally moved out. I was in college (or maybe taking college courses in last year of HS) when we got our first color TV. Also, I was the first in the extended family to attend college and graduate. My mom was the second to attend college and graduate, she attended at the same time I did, and graduated a week after I did. And there was no such thing as "investing", instead there was "making this months rent" and "paying off the credit at the store". After I started working, I contributed to the household expenses. And my parents started investing about when I started investing. Luckily they're only 19-20 years older than me, so they still had a little time to save some for retirement.

My wife and I have 5 kids, all teens and up at this point. I paid for each of them to attend private schools from pre-K through High School, and I paid for their college. Some chose expensive colleges, some chose state schools, some had minimal merit awards, some had substantial merit awards. And the two youngest will be choosing college next year. And I've been working on teaching my kids investing, but not particularly well. It's amazing how kids differ, even siblings. I have one that works and saves her money (probably because I cover most of her expenses), a second one that spends everything she earns and more (she has my credit cards), and another that is very diligent and works whenever she has a spare moment, and saves almost all of what she earns. BUT, so far, they've all taken big steps to saving me lots of tuition money, mainly by taking college classes in high school and every summer. One started college last year with 59 college credits to her name before even starting!

Over my career, now closing in on 40 years, I've always worked as a regular employee, and I don't hop jobs, I've worked for 3 companies in total. Every penny that I've saved and invested came from my earned income from my employers. No inheritances or startup windfalls or similar. I've lived a VERY LBYM life, and even today when it isn't necessary anymore, I still spend less than I earn each year. And while I can retire anytime I choose, with way under a safe withdrawal rate, I still choose to work because I still enjoy what I do, and enjoy the people I do it with.

* In retrospect, we kind of knew it because some of our friends did things like "vacation" and we had no idea what it really was, but we knew they "went away" and we didn't go away.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
After that last thread, it becomes apparent once again, that I’m the only fool to step through the gate at TMF who grew up poor.

Hooboy, not in the least! Even presuming you're talking about the gate of this particular board, I'm sure there are many more like MarkR (excellent post, btw) and me. I looked for but did not find a previous post with my 'growing up poor' story in it that I could just link to, but the short version starts with: younger of two, parents divorced before I could walk, and after a 4-year relationship with a good dude where she didn't have to work much, mom spent a year+ on welfare (and working) before deciding to send us away, at 8 and 7 years old, to live with dad and his basically-wife for a year while she studied her butt off to become a hospital lab technician (her Fine Arts degree never led her to money, only personal satisfaction and a wonderful eye for beauty). She never remarried and I went to 8 schools in 7 districts from K-4th grade. She finally saved enough to buy a tiny ramshackle house my Freshman year in high school. I was lucky enough to go to a good in-state public U with work and about $17k in student loans and lived cheaply off-campus. I think she gave me $1k to help with tuition once when she sold a small piece of land she'd invested in earlier, but that was all--we both agreed from the get-go (or "from the gecko", as we now say in our house) that I was paying for my college. My first year as a bachelor-degreed Civil Engineer, I started at $30k a year, which was $13k more than her best year ever, not just to that point, as a lab worker. In the vein of an earlier reply, I was also very lucky to find TMF when I did, around the time I paid off my student loans (age 29 iirc).

But as someone who grew up with the mindset that "$1M = arrived*" back when that was a whole lot of money, I'm interested in your take, and that of others here who did it, on how retirement on a sub-7-figure nest egg at 46 was able to happen, especially if you didn't have the house paid off and didn't 'become eligible for this board' until 20+ years later. Maybe only having one kid helped (we have 7). I'm pretty hip to the LBYM jive, though not off-the-grid extreme, especially on clothing, cars (currently '03, '06, and '05, bought at car-age 3, 3, and 16, respectively), and food, though DW, who was raised by fearful miser, has a huge weakness for sushi and very expensive cheese. Just, how did you decide that you were done working and that what you had saved was enough?

-n8 (great point about missing investing education and our obligation to give back in that regard!)
* now thinking the "walk number" is $2M due to inflation, mostly in college and housing costs
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that I’m the only fool to step through the gate at TMF who grew up poor.

I think you make a mistake with that assumption based on a hand full of responses.

Many of us here (myself included) lived in trailer parks, had parents on welfare, ate government cheese and generic white box corn flakes.

I also hit my 1st (and 2nd) in the past few years. It is a daily challenge to hold onto that second one but I've got quite a few more earning years to worry about that.
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Thats not very likely at all. For example, me. We were pretty poor growing up, I mean we didn't quite know it* because we thought everyone was like that, but that wasn't really the case ... we were just kids.

I didn't realize that we were poor until I went to college, and realized that other people had so much more money. I was stunned when my then-boyfriend said something about remembering the first time his dad made over 6 figures. His dad was a big VP at one of the big oil companies.

From my perspective, we always had enough. There was always a roof over my head and food on the table. Relatives lived close, and we were always gathering for one family event or another. I had a very happy childhood, and never worried about where my next meal would come from.

Even today, I believe that it is about having enough. It doesn't matter much about having more than that, though a cushion is very nice.
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No. of Recommendations: 10
2gifts: From my perspective, we always had enough.

I know we had enough, because if I asked for more, Mom would say, "No, you've had enough."

CNC
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how retirement on a sub-7-figure nest egg at [well below standard retirement age] was able to happen,

I didn’t actually pull the trigger, but I had put contingency plans to do just that in place during the financial crisis when skilled jobs I was qualified for were scarce.

There are a few things to recognize that would have made it possible:
1) it’s expensive to work.
2) it’s expensive to owe money.
3) costs can vary dramatically by location.
4) even in 2022, a family of four can usually find a way to be above the poverty level on a less than $40,000 income ( https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/federal-poverty-level ). That $40,000 income is the “4% rule” on a $1,000,000 nest egg…
5) if your income isn’t too high, your taxes can be remarkably low.
6) if nobody is working outside the home, you could probably get away with one “rolls canardly” type car for a household.

Basically, the worst case contingency plan was to sell our home, use the equity to pay cash for a house in a much lower cost, much lower taxed community about 35 miles away, and “turtle up”. Even without subsidized health insurance (the plan was based on the “COBRA/HIPPA” published guaranteed insurance backstop rates at the time), we could have lived a similar lifestyle in a lower cost, lower taxed area for around $2,500 per month, including a small “buffer” to save for things like car repairs, basic medical expenses, etc.

That “about 35 miles away” community would have still put us within an hour or so of downtown (outside of rush hour) and all the amenities that involves…

Regards,
-Chuck
Home Fool
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you could probably get away with one “rolls canardly” type car for a household. - TMFBigFrog

---------------------

In the late 70's I worked with a guy in Toledo, Walt Albright was his name, who often quipped about a rolls canardly. It has been almost fifty years since I heard that term, until now. Thanks for the memory...
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Yep I grew up poor,but I was happy. Now I’m 59 years old and I’m a millionaire. I’ve been trading for a couple of years and went through the Covid crisis. That set me back. Still $60000.00 in the red. Just found TMF. I’m just wondering what the magic stock in AI that everyone is talking about is. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Hey Muneshine !

Welcome to the Fool. I've been investing for over 40 years and you WILL learn that there is no such thing as a "magic stock" ANYWHERE !

They all have ups and downs. Your job is select the company(s) that you understand and want to be an owner.

Best,
Rich (haywool) profitable portfolio every year.
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Hey haywool,

How do you feel about nitrogen fixing bacteria for corn?

https://boards.fool.com/nitrogen-fixing-bacteria-for-corn-35...

Will it make a difference? Lower fertilizer costs? 7 more bushels/per acre?
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"Magic Stock?"

Bad timing, it changes every week,so we must wait until Monday morning to find out the new one. Last week was Sentinel 1, but that's now so yesterday, better sell it quickly.

I held one over the weekend once by mistake and almost went boobs up.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
My friends I grew up with were born into poor families. They are all 7 figured savers late in their 6th and early 7th decade. How so? They learned early the value of personal wealth, they saved, spent within their means and worked hard.

At the expense of sounding like my grandparents.....the youth of today are not willing to do that. Generally, they want it now and they expect someone else to pay for it.

BruceM
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No. of Recommendations: 19
According to “The Millionaire Next Door” where a couple of sales guys set out to figure out millionaires, most start poor, live cheap. Most live in middle class neighborhoods and drive used cars. The doctors and lawyers in the big houses with fancy cars? High income, spend it all, not much saved. Now we’re not talking the 1% but more like the 90-99% self made millionaires like this board.

Poor? Dad worked at the utility company made $27K when he retired in 1987 after 30 years. I started at $30K a year later fresh out of college. We did have a TV. Enough to eat. Lots of homemade and hand me down clothes.

Mom, though, grew up hungry and “no indoor plumbing” poor so she always worked and that probably dragged us from lower middle to middle. She painted, wallpapered, fixed up old houses. When I was 12 she discovered a knack for selling real estate and never looked back. Only woman in her office. After three jobs with raging sexist bosses she opened her own office in a back room at home and taught me about amortization and paying interest. I typed her offers and answered the phone. Worlds youngest real estate secretary!

At 24 I discovered stocks and a bit later, maybe 27 the Fool. I remember 7% then 2% commissions. Mom hated stocks, some dumb uncle lost money. She made it to a million at around 62 buying crappy houses, cleaning them up, renting them and selling them. I didn’t want to work 16 hour days like her. I’m the only kid out of 4 that ever became even a little bit wealthy. My brother is 64 and his net worth is negative 6 figures. Yikes.

So here we are.
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Hey Paul !

N2 fix sounds good ... will it actually work on the massive mid-west corn acres? Dunno.

If the technology is finally developed to be nearly 100% effective, it could work ... but at what cost for the final product? Cost for the farmer is a major factor as profit margins are rather small (thus we have large farm sizes).

Also, this is a "not natural" condition. N2 fixing is not natural for a corn plant. What will happen further down the road? Like multi-flora rose (that stinkin' stuff!) was supposed to be a "living fence to hold livestock." It was promoted by the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture as a long term labor saving fence. BULL CRAP! We are now continually chopping it out of the fence rows and it has gone rampant in our timbers and roadsides.

However, if time proves it to be sustainable, profitable, and controllable it could have a place in our seed shed. We'll see ...

BTW - where do you live?

Thanx,
Rich (haywool)
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No. of Recommendations: 10
To talk about money was considered so vulgar it never happened in our family.

My Mum was widowed twice, very young, and had to raise 5 children 14 and under, in a country beloved by, but foreign to her....New Zealand. I had no idea about money except for my modest weekly allowance.She never talked about bills. Later in life when I arrived in America I was amazed to hear how easily Americans talk about money.

In NZ at that time, school was free, doctors were free, dentists till 18 were free, music lessons a modest amount, upkeep of ponies mostly outside no big deal.Later for older siblings University was also free.

When I went to Europe I found out from relatives my mother had been brought up in great luxury with many servants. I know she had "chosen" New Zealand when traveling around the world because she said there were no rich people and no poor people, but I had no idea what she had come from.

I did know she had never been in a kitchen till she was married with one and a half children and suddenly needed to ask a neighbor how to cook. "Tea, toast, meat and vegetables" were her requests, but that seemed merely a family fable, as meals were great..... we lived modestly.(I'm number 4)
When she died, we found she had left nearly all her money to charity,(she thought inherited money was bad for the character) and as I have mentioned before, had also left the five of us with 10 foster children around the world to support. I had no education about money, had won a scholarship for University in England, got a little pocket money from Mum, but had never had anything to complain about.

My husband on the other hand, was the child of refugees.

He grew up in London when the best of rations in the family, like eggs, were only given to him. His father walked, to save bus money. Oxford education was free, he changed from being a barrister to go to an American business school, had solid jobs, and we lived modestly like other young exec families. I happened to teach in a private school where the kids' families were SO rich that one boy of 11 donated three acres of land to the school, and others came to school by taxi.
So DH and I could joke about money.....

DH did OK and we put kids through college etc. Now that we are retired we have a financial advisor we like, and I have my own little portfolio, guided by the Motley Fool every time I buy something. I've been with Motley Fool since 1994 I think, when it was very small. They've helped me SO much that it will be no skin off my back to buy my grandson his first car this year....

I am very lucky that my husband ( a businessman who was never interested in money) is kind and generous and also helps our kids as needed.

But as we live in America, I try to tell our kids to be sure to save for retirement, as life here is very expensive...and saving regularly is important. I really really hope my 50-year-old with kids has been doing that.
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4) even in 2022, a family of four can usually find a way to be above the poverty level on a less than $40,000 income ( https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/federal-poverty-level ). That $40,000 income is the “4% rule” on a $1,000,000 nest egg…

Just a quick addendum. When you're 33 1/2 years old, your spouse is 32 years old with 2 kids, your SWR is NOT 4%. That's because you have far more than 30 years remaining, probably closer to 55 years. And if you're 55 years old, and using a 30-year timeframe, most likely those two kids are out on their own already (hopefully at least).
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No. of Recommendations: 6
At the expense of sounding like my grandparents.....the youth of today are not willing to do that. Generally, they want it now and they expect someone else to pay for it.

The thing is, we won't really know until they reach our age. With all the criticism/ridicule the Millennials got over the last 2 decades, they appear to be doing just what the Boomers did - buying houses, having children, becoming suburban, saving money, starting businesses, etc. Maybe they started a few years later, but they're also likely to live a few years longer, so it all might even out in the end.
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Hi Haywool,

Corteva the spin off from Dupont is involved. And I see additional press releases. Makes me think there are real products out there. But will people buy them?

Maybe no one wants to be first. Let the other guy try it.

I hear fertilizer prices are up. Must be a good year to look for alternatives.

BTW - where do you live?: I live in Wildwood, on the western edge of St. Louis County.

Paul
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Hi MarkR -

I’ve long felt the 4% rule was a better planning guide than a retirement spending guide. As in “a good target to save for is 25x the annual spending you need your portfolio to cover.”

The whole 50/50 stocks/bonds allocation piece and “only increase your withdrawal in line with inflation” piece seem more in line with the rule’s design around “worst case scenario” planning, rather than a guide on how to actually operate in ‘normal conditions’.

Heck, even the rule’s creator now thinks the number can be boosted to 4.5% or so and still hit the worst case scenario 30-year design criteria with a high enough success probability… On a $1,000,000 portfolio, that’s an extra $5,000 a year. Or said differently, in the original 4% rule, there was apparently already a 12.5% buffer built in…

The key is flexibility and cost control. In my original post, I mentioned that the $2,500 spend rate at the time would have kept us at a comparable lifestyle in a substantially cheaper area. If we were really forced to cut back, we could have gotten away with less. In addition, other than the lousy job market at the time, there was nothing keeping one or both of us from working. And even then, there were jobs available, just not the types of jobs where our training, skills, and experience would be valued sufficiently to command a large salary.

Regards,
-Chuck
Home Fool
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No. of Recommendations: 30
OK, I'll go.

Adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. The ACE Score is calculated from the number of "yes" responses to 10 items about: emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, emotional and physical neglect, witnessing domestic violence, growing up with mentally ill or substance abusing household members, loss of a parent, or having a household member incarcerated. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect such things as attention, decision-making, learning, and response to stress. Children growing up with toxic stress often have difficulty forming healthy and stable relationships. They may also have unstable work histories as adults and struggle with finances, jobs, and depression throughout life (www.cdc.gov/aces).

More than half (52%) of all U.S. adults report at least one ACE, with 14% reporting three or more such events. An extensive body of research demonstrates powerful relationships between the ACE Score and a wide array of health and social problems throughout the lifespan. For example, 16% of adults with an ACE score of 4+ become alcoholics, as compared with 2% of adults with an ACE score of 0, and 6% of those with a score of 1. Nearly 60% of women and 35% of men with an ACE score of 4+ suffer from chronic depression, versus 18% of women and 11% of men with ACE scores of zero. Individuals with ACE scores of 4+ are twice as likely as ones with scores of zero to report having "serious job problems," and individuals with ACE score of 5+ are 17 times more likely as ones with scores of zero to have attempted suicide.

My ACE score is 10 out of 10. Both of my parents were alcoholics who divorced when my (younger) brother and I were in grade school. We bounced through various living situations, including foster homes. I changed schools 13 times before graduating from high school. My brother was expelled in the 11th grade and never graduated, married, nor held a steady job. He died recently. He and I grew up in deep, violent poverty. It was common to have the utilities turned off for nonpayment, to have to collect enough empty bottles to return to the store to buy a can of beef stew for dinner, or to eat corn flakes with water on them for breakfast. I was 13 when I first saw a dentist. An aunt I was staying with took me to have an abscessed tooth removed.

I managed to escape, partly because I was determined to do so and partly from pure luck. After high school, I attended three different colleges but still managed to get my BA in 7 semesters while working part-time throughout. I graduated at age 20 and got married 3 weeks later. That lasted 8 years. I remarried, another 8 years. I married a third time, and we’ve been two peas in a pod for 34 years now.

I went on to complete my PhD at age 25. I spent the next 39 years as a professor in the top department in my field. The chairman who hired me told me to put the maximum (5%) deduction into my TIAA retirement account automatically every month, which the university would double-match. He said I'd thank him one day. I do. I also thank TMF, which I found as a folder in the old AOL. I learned how to invest, and I applied what I learned. I'm still learning. And I'm grateful for all of this and more, every day.
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I’ve long felt the 4% rule was a better planning guide than a retirement spending guide. As in “a good target to save for is 25x the annual spending you need your portfolio to cover.”

Those are essentially one and the same. Just stated a different way.

The whole 50/50 stocks/bonds allocation piece and “only increase your withdrawal in line with inflation” piece seem more in line with the rule’s design around “worst case scenario” planning, rather than a guide on how to actually operate in ‘normal conditions’.

Yes, the very definition of the "Safe Withdrawal Rate" is one that can withstand the worst case scenario. That's because you only get one try at it, if you go bust at age 79 due to withdrawing too much from your portfolio for ~15 years, you're done, there is no recovery from that.
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No. of Recommendations: 10
Hi MarkR,

Yeah, that 4% thing ...

It is primarily a planning amount with the goal of an "average portfolio" to last 30 years with a 90% possibility of a positive outcome.

It is not a guarantee.

I had 2 friends that out-spent their funds. One was going to Oklahoma casinos on a regular basis. He wound up getting a job for a medical service making rush deliveries to hospitals and clinics. The other went back to riding a horse, chasing cattle, in every kind of horrible weather you can imagine.

Neither was a good outcome.

Both could have been avoided with some planning and understanding of what to expect from their savings.


I used the 4%/25X when planning our retirement but I haven't really used it in retirement.

As you mentioned, lots of people are concerned about "how much" can they withdraw. I concentrate on "When."

It is simple: I focus on when our portfolio is making new highs. In order to make a new all time high, our portfolio needs to grow enough to "replace" any withdrawals and to "recover" any value drop due to market conditions.

A key to this is maintaining an expense cash cushion outside of our portfolio. We target 3 years of our cash needs. I plus this up by about 10% to cover inflation.

Example:

Start portfolio value of $100K. I take a $5K distribution. Market forces take it down to $91K before the markets rise. At that point, our portfolio needs to gain $9,001 to set a new high.

Once it makes a new high, usually a series of the over a few days or weeks, I will consider refilling our expense cash cushion. I may sell stock or just take cash from dividends.

If our portfolio keeps marching along, I may flush some cash every month or two and keep the cushion topped off. At times like the current, out last ATH was Nov 9. I made cash in October and November and topped off our cushion. I left some excess cash in the portfolio because we are building a home. While I have sufficient cash outside of our portfolio, I like having the extra available.

This extra cash allows me to take a withdrawal if needed. Since our portfolio is -34.51% from our high, I would not sell stock to make cash.

The longest we have gone without selling stock to make cash is from late June 2007 through October 2010 without selling stock. Our portfolio was fully recovered and setting new highs in late June 2010.

We survived quite well on our cash cushion along with a little bit of dividend cash from our taxable account. (We were under 59.5 and did not want to mess with 72(t) distributions.)

Since then, the dividend production of our portfolio has increased greatly and can fully support us, actually 217% of our needed cash.

Gene
All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page
http://my.fool.com/profile/gdett2/info.aspx

Here are some photos of our project:

General photos of the land and maps:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3NC9sbPMxjzUZBc76

Construction: From bare grass on October 17, 2021 to the latest step today.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/YdH6e5w4rwz5rknG9
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Hey Gene,

Your new home looks great! I was surprised to see that your electric service is coming in on poles. When I saw the trench, I thought that would be used for all utilities including electricity. What is the reason for not burying the electrical service coming to the house? Local ordinances?

Thanks!
'38Packard
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Nice piece of land you chose! Wide open views of land and sky.... that's great!

Rob
Rule Breaker Home Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
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It is primarily a planning amount with the goal of an "average portfolio" to last 30 years with a 90% possibility of a positive outcome.

This is not correct. It took that portfolio (I think 60/40 at the time) and ran it through *every* 30-year period on record. The "safe" level was determined by when it NEVER failed, not even once, a 100% positive outcome. Later there were studies with 100/0, 80/20, annual reset, etc portfolios, but they all have similar results with some slight variation.

It is not a guarantee.

There are no guarantees in real life. That's why every safe withdrawal study clearly states that if there is a worse 30-year period in the future, and if you are unlucky enough to begin your withdrawals at the start of that worse 30-year period, you will run out of money (obviously if you continue spending it at the determined withdrawal rate).

A key to this is maintaining an expense cash cushion outside of our portfolio. We target 3 years of our cash needs.

This is generally a very good idea and advisable to most people. It enables you to not *have to* sell stocks if they have a sudden decline. And sudden declines are usually short-lived (not always, but usually). So if you have a few years of cash to tide you over, you can wait to sell some until they've recovered. This contributes to an overall reduction of risk, of course, with the penalty of all that cash earning zero-to-negative real returns when compared to the long-term index fund (or most equity investments) returns.
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Hi 38Packard,

No ordinances. The three outfits just did not want to share a trench.

The fiber-optic for phone, internet & TV cost $185 for the hook-up. They bored from under my driveway then used a Vermeer trencher on a dozer to place the cable at 42" for about 1,600 feet. They will finish the last 100 ft at 24" near the house.

Water was about 1,900 ft at around 36" for about $13,500 including a road bore.

Electric coop power was about 200 ft on the other side of the road. Going above ground I paid about $3,500. Going underground was over to $18,000 and a couple more months out.


Gene
All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page
http://my.fool.com/profile/gdett2/info.aspx
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The fiber-optic for phone, internet & TV cost $185 for the hook-up. They bored from under my driveway then used a Vermeer trencher on a dozer to place the cable at 42" for about 1,600 feet. They will finish the last 100 ft at 24" near the house.

That's pretty deep. AT&T buried my fiber optic at about 2". It was been cut twice in the last three years by a lawn plug aerator.

PSU
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Gene,

That's amazing that the three outfits would not share a trench. Actually I think it's ridiculous - but who am I to judge the BIG UTILITIES?

'38Packard
- Not a fan of Utility companies ;-)
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Hi 38Packard,

"Not a fan of Utility companies"

I guess you are an urban person.

The only "big utilities" in rural areas are companies that create wind farms and solar farms, long distance transmission lines, etc.

Our electric company is a co-op.

Our water supply company is a co-op.

Our telephone, internet & TV company is a co-op.

We pay an initial fee to join. As we use services, a portion of our fees "pay down" the capital expense of our service connection. These are capital credits. After a long time, you may receive the capital credits as a payment.

Members of a co-op vote for the board of directors and are "stock holders" of the co-op.

You might say, "I" am the utility companies.

By the same token, I am also my mortgage company, an ag credit corp. It has some similarities to a co-op since I buy a share of stock and have voting rights. Each year, we may receive a patronage payment and a 1099-PATR to file with taxes.


Gene
All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page
http://my.fool.com/profile/gdett2/info.aspx
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Hi Gene,

I guess you are an urban person.

Not quite, but we do live on the "South Shore" of Boston. We live in a small farming community which is not urban at all, but unfortunately, due to the way the utilities work in the Northeast, we have a for profit monopoly that delivers our electric and gas services that is quite profitable.

As a matter of fact, it's so profitable that a large service area within New England and New York is owned by National Grid, a UK based utility. -> https://www.nationalgrid.com

Here's a link to their investor's page dated May 2021 -> https://www.nationalgrid.com/document/141791/download

So unfortunately, we have to deal with the high cost of electricity delivery here and the utility being pretty profitable for their shareholders.

'38Packard
- who thinks that that utility companies are trying to put bigger and bigger dents into my millionaire status every single day.
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So unfortunately, we have to deal with the high cost of electricity delivery here and the utility being pretty profitable for their shareholders.

In that case, you can buy some of those shares, and share in the profits, to subsidize the high cost of electricity.
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