I’m all of five days into my official early retirement (Mark is a few days deeper in his), so not exactly an expert in what it’s like to be retired, but financially speaking, I’m feeling reminded of this in a big way:
There’s no easing into early retirement. You’re either getting a regular paycheck, or you’re not.
We got our last paychecks last week, which were larger than usual because of cashed-out vacation time (an appreciating asset!), and it was definitely a strange feeling knowing that could be it. Like possibly forever. (Probably not forever, but still.)
— Tanja | Our Next Life (@our_nextlife) December 28, 2017
In a perfect world built for financially risk-averse people like me, that last paycheck would stretch forever like the money equivalent of loaves and fishes, we’d never have to sell off shares of our investments, we’d all hold hands and sing campfire songs, and there’d be nothing but world peace. Except, just kidding, we’re talking about reality.
While we have a bigger cash cushion than we probably need (a little more than 2.5 X, or enough to cover at least two and a half years of living expenses) and can ignore reality for a while before we truly need to start selling shares, eventually we’re going to have to suck it up and click sell. But before we even get to that point, there’s a bigger question looming in our minds:
How much should we actually spend this year?
Of course we have an amount budgeted, an amount that’s padded to allow it to be chopped down should we need to do