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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As noted in the "target retirement" thread, my goal is to reach financial independence by age 50. I'm 32 now, so 18 years to go...

I have a public sector pension so I'm fairly limited in the amounts I can contribute to RRSPs. That said, after age 50 I'll be eligible for a generous pension (it'll be reduced if I retire before 55, though).

Here are my intermediate goals to help me get to "findependence 50":

By age 30: Pay off all debt except the mortgage (complete)

DONE MAY 25, 2009 (YAY!)By age 32: Establish an emergency fund of 6mos of expenses

Update as of September 2010: Mortgage balance now below 75k, on track to pay it off even earlier than planned (by age 34 or so!).
Update as of May 2011: Mortgage balance is now below 50k! Should be paid off by summer 2012!

DONE MAY 2012 (age 34) By age 37: Pay off the mortgage in full.

By age 40: Have 2x annual gross income in retirement savings (TFSA/RRSP)

By age 44: Have contributed enough to children's RESPs to have received the full Canada Education Savings Grant.

By age 45: Have 3x annual gross income in retirement savings (TFSA/RRSP)

By age 50: Have 5x annual gross income in retirement savings (TFSA/RRSP)

I would welcome any comments anybody has on these goals. Any suggestions for additions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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By age 50: Have 5x annual gross income in retirement savings (TFSA/RRSP)

I would welcome any comments anybody has on these goals. Any suggestions for additions would be greatly appreciated.
George, on the assumption 55 is your retirement age, why do you feel or think that you will need 5x annual gross in retirement savings, just how did you decide or come up with that number?

interested to see comments from a 30-year old on this
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The thought behind having 5x annual income saved is that it'll be enough cash to replace about 25% of my gross salary income. Combined with a reduced pension at age 50, it'll be enough for a replacement ratio of 65-70%.

It's actually a fair bit higher than what I think will be needed, but I like the idea of shooting high... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Woohoo! The emergency fund of 6mos of expenses has been established. Time to move toward an early payoff of the mortgage...

I'm using a spreadsheet from Vertex42.com to do the mortgage math: (http://www.vertex42.com/Calculators/Canadian-mortgage.html

I highly recommend it - it's the most flexible tool I've found to calculate the effect of prepayments, especially if the prepayments are irregular.
 

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I'm using a spreadsheet from Vertex42.com to do the mortgage math: (http://www.vertex42.com/Calculators/Canadian-mortgage.html

I highly recommend it - it's the most flexible tool I've found to calculate the effect of prepayments, especially if the prepayments are irregular.
That's a good spreadsheet - I use it as well, for some functionalities. As a point of interest, it doesn't seem quite to match up to the penny with the amount I pay on my mortgage. Have you found this to be true?

I've not had to motivation to figure out why it does not quite line up. The difference is trivial, but seems to be present.

I have another simpler spreadsheet that I use most often, and it does match my mortgage payments.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's a good spreadsheet - I use it as well, for some functionalities. As a point of interest, it doesn't seem quite to match up to the penny with the amount I pay on my mortgage. Have you found this to be true?

I've not had to motivation to figure out why it does not quite line up. The difference is trivial, but seems to be present.

I have another simpler spreadsheet that I use most often, and it does match my mortgage payments.
I've noticed the same thing - the variance is typically less than 80 cents per payment, though, so I'm not worried. I don't really care whether the calculations match those of the mortgage lender 100% - as long as they are close (which they are), they're good enough for my use.
 

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By age 50: Have 5x annual gross income in retirement savings (TFSA/RRSP)

I would welcome any comments anybody has on these goals. Any suggestions for additions would be greatly appreciated.
For someone grossing $65K say, just starting to save at 37 and planning to retire at 50, 6 times earnings by 60 is about right. I ran the numbers assuming a 2% DB pension (integrated) and projecting a constant ATI, die-broke at 95, 6%/2% earnings/cpi, and living in BC.

Without the pension, you might want a bit more... 7.3 times salary. Also... by retiring at 50, recognize you wont be able to make it on RRSPs alone. You will need to be saving outside your rrsp (nonreg & or tfsa)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Without the pension, you might want a bit more... 7.3 times salary. Also... by retiring at 50, recognize you wont be able to make it on RRSPs alone. You will need to be saving outside your rrsp (nonreg & or tfsa)
You're forgetting the DB pension, which can be taken as early as age 50. Given that the thread is about MY goals, then MY pension has to be taken into account, no?
 

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I indicated that six times earnings was about right for someone with a 2% DB pension, and that withoutout the pension, the higher 7.3 number would be required.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I indicated that six times earnings was about right for someone with a 2% DB pension, and that withoutout the pension, the higher 7.3 number would be required.
I think I misread your post, then - my apologies. It looks like you were comparing retiring at 60 with the pension and retiring at 50 without.

Are both of the above numbers assuming full retirement at 50 and living in BC? Would the numbers significantly change in Alberta?
 

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It is hard to make assumptions to fit your example... ideally you need to crunch all the numbers... your salary/pension, loan, etc, so I had to assume the following:-

In Alberta,
31 yrs old
no saving until 37
salary now- 65K indexed at 2%
retire at 50
rate 4%/cpi 2%
full cpp/oas
die broke at 95

results in a 644K nest egg at 51 and a 23.2K ATI level
Ratio savings to salary at retirement.... 6.15

with a 1.5% db pension (not integrated with CPP), the nest egg is 412K and ATI level is 34.1K
Ratio savings to salary.... 3.93

23K vs 34K.... This points out just how much the pension adds to the outcome.

I am not convinced this ratio (salary/savings) is a particularly useful number, BTW. The ATI has much more relevance.
 

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ATI is 'planner speak' for after tax income... the amount you get to spend on beer/groceries etc. In the above context it is common to adjust for inflation... expressing it in current dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'd say this is pretty impressive, George.
Thanks Tom! It'll be even more impressive when I reach some of the goals, but the journey is where most of the fun is. From my amortization calculator, only 3.31 years left until the mortgage is gone!
 

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Thanks Tom! It'll be even more impressive when I reach some of the goals, but the journey is where most of the fun is. From my amortization calculator, only 3.31 years left until the mortgage is gone!
I must disagree here. I love it much more when I reach a goal :)

I love your goals. My long term goal is almost the same - I want to retire at 50. Ironically, I don't want to reach this goal for a while - I quite like being 25.
 

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I am uncertain what you mean by annual gross income at those future ages. Do you mean your current gross income or your gross income at those future points in time? It makes a difference.

Your salary will grow (sometimes significantly) at a greater rate than inflation. These rules of thumb drive me nuts, BTW.... but that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am uncertain what you mean by annual gross income at those future ages. Do you mean your current gross income or your gross income at those future points in time? It makes a difference.

Your salary will grow (sometimes significantly) at a greater rate than inflation. These rules of thumb drive me nuts, BTW.... but that's just me.
My plan is to have enough saved to hit the income multiples based on my gross income at those future ages (whatever that may be). As a public servant, my income is actually likely to grow at a LOWER rate than inflation, if the past decade is any indication.
 

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Hi George, I'm quite impressed with what you've accomplished in your short life. Well done and to use a cliche, keep up the good work. :D

I'm curious about something though. You made a comment in your initial post about your pension vs ability to save in an RRSP. While I don't know a thing about retirement and ratios as explained by steve41, I would like to better understand what you meant by the comment. I've heard a similar thing before and didn't know what they meant. Shouldn't having money in an RRSP be a good thing? What does that have to do with your pension?
 
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