In recent months, I've been doing a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of retirement planning. I've been reading and studying and educating myself on every aspect of retirement I can think of including withdrawal rates, taxes, Social Security, ACA coverage, Medicare (well not so much on that yet actually), and more. I've asked a bunch of questions on the SA forums. I joined and became quite active at Early-Retirement.org and have learned a ton of useful information there. I highly recommend the site if you are in the same boat as me.
I've made all kinds of charts and run through countless calculations and projections, played with FireCalc a bunch, and posted a "Can I Retire?" thread at ER with all of our details and I got a bunch of helpful responses.
Based on a number of things I've learned, I've made numerous changes to our portfolio to better position our holdings (more stocks in Roths, more bonds in taxable accounts, for example). I've done a number of things to consolidate our holdings and try to simplify some stuff (rolled over DW's old 401k and 403b, moved an outside MF into our Vanguard account, donated some appreciated stock to our synagogue, eliminated some duplication in our portfolio and got the total number of funds we own down from 16 or more to 11, which is still a lot but it's much better.
Anyway, the bottom line and the point of the title of this post is that no matter how I work the numbers and do the projections, I keep arriving at the same result: the amount we need to have saved for me to retire keeps coming out to be right around $2,500,000. I've become more and more confident in that number.
So what does that mean? Right now, today, we are a bit over $1,700,000. However, I will unfortunately be receiving an inheritance most likely within a year. The estate is currently valued right around $1,200,000 with minimal debt (less than 50K). There will be some expenses involved in settling everything, funeral costs, selling the house, travel, taking a leave from work, etc. I'm guessing that 200K should cover all of that which should leave me with roughly $900,000 as my inheritance. That would put us at $2,600,000 based on our current portfolio. If the market remains at least reasonably stable, even if it doesn't keep climbing like it's been doing, we'd likely have another 100-200K over the next year anyway and be at $1.9 million before the inheritance meaning we could potentially be at $2.8 million or even more when everything is done.
Assuming nothing crops up to make me question the $2.5 million figure, I should be at the point where retirement will work, even if the inheritance turns out to be 100K or so less than estimated.
That's both exciting and scary to be honest.
My plan right now is to beef up our cash holdings to create a nice big cushion to have in place when I do retire. My expense projection has us paying full price for ACA coverage but there's a reasonably good chance we can manage our taxable income to qualify for the subsidy which would make our numbers even better. I'm planning to meet with our CPA after tax season to really drill into a bunch of retirement tax issues including that one.
So yeah, that's how I've been spending way too much of my free time.