In just two short months, we'll be retired and living on a constrained income for the first time in ages. But we're not worried, because we have a whole bunch of ways to live beyond that budget, especially once we have time to invest in research and deal-finding. (Plus, we can live a pretty sweet life for not a lot of money, so it doesn't take much budget stretching to feel like we're living a life of luxury.) Check out our plan for living beyond our budget -- and then let us know what we missed!
Today we're continuing the mini-series on Social Security and Medicare by looking at whether or not you should build Social Security into your retirement plan. We're not counting on it, in part because we don't need to, but also for some big reasons that are worth considering for everyone who wants a secure financial future. Give it a read and then let us know what you think!
The question of whether 4 percent is a safe withdrawal rate, as the "4 percent rule" suggests has been -- and will continue to be -- debated endlessly. Fortunately, this isn't more of that debate. Instead, let's look at whether the fundamental underlying assumption of the 4 percent rule -- level spending every year -- is actually realistic and safe to plan around. (Spoiler: it's not.)
We know -- the excitement of the *early* part of early retirement is powerful. So much so that it's easy to focus our retirement planning mostly on those early years. The later years are also so much harder to predict -- more variables, a longer time horizon, more unknown unknowns. But as we've seen in our own planning, it's easy to have an inadvertent early phase bias built in -- here's how to suss that out and ensure that you're planning for both your early retirement and traditional retirement.
We're coming up on six years of living in our soon-to-be-divulged mountain town, and we feel lucky every day that we get to call this place home. But it's not perfect, of course. The place we call home is a place lots of other people call their vacation destination, and that makes for some interesting dynamics. We'd tried to look at it in terms of what lessons we can learn from those visitors that we can apply to our own life and early retirement, and it turns out there's plenty to take away from it all.
It's time for our second quarter early retirement progress report -- our second to last! -- complete with charts galore. This quarter we hit another milestone that's both wonderful and a relief, and we're setting our sights on building up a sizable cushion by year's end for future health care unknowns. Plus: we've launched a reader survey and we'd LOVE your input.
I definitely fell into magical thinking for years of our retirement planning, thinking I'd have time to do everything I'd ever dreamed of after we quit: travel the world, write novels, learn a gazillion languages, solve world hunger -- you get the idea. But after talking to many early retirees, I've had to accept: Time will always be limited. And if I care about accomplishing goals or living a life of meaning, it's crucial to go into retirement with an eye toward making time for what's important, and ruthlessly cutting out what's not.