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  1. The 5 year rule of retirement is interesting and new to me. Thanks for sharing…it is quite surprising how the markets have done the last few months.

    Index funds are the way to go. Simplifying life and portfolios is indeed groovy.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, DDD. Agreed. We might be a little too cautious with our portfolio right now. But we’re new to retirement and we want to err on the side of caution. Besides, the stock market is making me very nervous right now. Thank God for index funds and simplicity. It allows me to sleep at night. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Cheers.

  2. JKim Canada

    Mr Groovy:

    Curious about your thoughts. Hopefully I can simply convey this to you.

    Current age is 42 with family. I have behind me a defined benefit pension plan that is accruing during my working years (the majority of my retirement savings will be comprised in this bucket and will sustain me based on my forecasts). Regardless of this.

    I am currently invested in mutual funds (with plans to dive into the ETF markets this coming Spring). My asset allocation in my “financial portfolio”, at this time, is 80% equities (mutual funds with low MER)/20% cash. My returns in 2016 amounted to approximately 10-12 % after fees. In that portfolio I have: cash, two Canadian centric (large cap firms, banks, tech, etc), two USA centric (large cap, banks, tech firms, industry, etc…), and one emerging market mutual fund. All the mutual funds gained during 2016. (Also at this time, I am trying to save up for a contingency fund – 6 months; approx $20,000 cash reserve in case bad times hit)

    I would greatly appreciate your/others thoughts since there is seemingly a variety of approaches and mind sets you and others have articulated in the above message board replies.
    I guess what I am asking for is your feel for a 42 year old in this position….

    At this time, regardless of personal assumptions of a bubble or not…. should I shift out and reconfigure (eg. 20% equities/80% cash position)? Or continue to dollar cost average and (because of my age) risk massive kick in the arse from a market down turn and increase my intent to purchase (during the down turn; assuming the signals are there)…..

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, JKim. Obviously, you can’t give me all of your financial information in a few paragraphs. But what you have managed to tell me, I like.

      Your defined benefit pension is gold. I’m going to assume that the pension is similar to ours down here and that when you retire, it will be around 75% of your final average salary (i.e., the average of your highest three years of pay). If that’s the case, you will probably be able to live off your pension alone. So favoring equities over bonds/cash is not a bad game plan. One of my favorite bloggers is a fellow who blogs over at retirementsavvy.net. He and his wife both have military pensions, and their combined pensions more than cover their expenses. So his portfolio is 100% equities.

      I’m a little bit of a wuss, so I would suggest going with 70% equities and 30% cash. Large cap ETFs are fine. Keep the emerging market fund to 10% of your equity side or less. And rebalance once a year.

      I really think you’re in good shape. Like I said, your defined benefit pension is gold. All you got to do now is keep on saving and mentally prepare yourself for the next 2008-like Wall Street implosion. Best of luck, my friend. And thank you very much for stopping by.

      P.S. I grew up on Long Island and I’m a big-time Islander fan. Are you a hockey fan? And if so, who’s your team? Canadians? Maple Leafs? Oilers?

  3. Wow, 2016 is indeed an awesome year for you.

    Now, the entire S&P 500 looks like a huge bubble to me. I don’t know if I’m just paranoid but I’d rather not take any drawdown.

    I’m convincing my wife to keep cash at the moment and deploying them when we absolutely need it.

    Comparing between inflation and a potential loss, I’d rather take inflation. With interest rate at a low right now, I’d prefer to debt up and hold cash.

    Am I approaching this right?

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, LF. There are two keys to successful investing: one is your savings rate, the other is your ability to sleep at night. I too believe that the S&P 500 looks like one huge bubble. So right now, Mrs. G and I are very defensive. Sixty percent of our portfolio is in fixed income (i.e., bonds and cash). And on our fixed income side, twenty percent is in cash. If I were you, I would split my savings between stocks and cash. Suppose for the moment, you’re contributing $500 per month into your 401(k). Keep doing that, but put $250 into your stock fund and $250 into cash. If you prefer to be even more cautious, put $100 into your stock fund and $400 into cash. You get the picture. Remember: you gotta to be able to sleep at night. That’s the key. And as long as you keep on saving, you’ll be able to make a killing whenever the market collapses. Your instincts are sound, my friend. I wish I had your degree of financial sophistication when I just graduated college. Sigh. Best of luck. And thanks for stopping by, LF. I really appreciate it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Francesca. I’m not going to sugar-coat things. You should be scared. But you have one big advantage over people like me. You’re young. So a 2008-like implosion isn’t going to hurt you (providing, of course, you don’t panic). If you have access to a 401(k) or a 403(b), I would begin by putting in as much as necessary to get your company’s match. And I would put your money into an S&P 500 index fund. If you don’t have access to a 401(k) or a 403(b), I would open a Roth IRA with Vanguard and put, say, $200-$300 month into VOO (Vanguard’s S&P 500 ETF). Then I would sit tight and wait for the next Wall Street crash to come. And when it does, you should immediately up your monthly contributions (i.e. double your 401(k) contribution or max out your Roth). Do this and you’ll be sitting pretty 20 years from now. But, again, it’s going to be scary when the market drops. You just have to start preparing yourself mentally now for that inevitability. Thanks for stopping by, Francesca. And best of luck in your investment career. I look forward to reading about your adventure.

  4. That’s awesome! So glad to see that you have had a phenomenal returns in 2016.

    I bought into the market in the Jan 2016 dips and the Brexit dips. Best time to make money is when there is fear on the street.

    You can’t go wrong with S&P 500.

    If I can sound like Kramer, I would say – Jerry, it’s gold, S&P 500, it’s gold Jerry 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      LOL! “Jerry, it’s gold, S&P 500, it’s gold Jerry.” Best line I’ve heard in a while. And it’s so true. Thank you, Michael. You made my day.

  5. This is the mistake that SO many people make with the market – they let their emotions determine their decisions. You guys handled it perfectly. Congrats!! In my heavy research on The Great Depression, the people who came out shining financially were the ones who bought when everyone else was selling.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Laurie. What saved us was this: we started teaching ourselves the fundamentals of personal finance in 2003-04 (thank you Dave Ramsey and David Bach). By the time 2008 rolled around, we were mentally ready. And, of course, that mental toughness has aided us right through to the present. And great point about The Great Depression. Here’s an interesting aside. My great grandfather immigrated from Italy and was a tremendous saver. He was nothing more than a laborer, but he knew enough to prepare for bad times. After the crash of 1929 sent real estate prices plummeting, he jumped on a bunch of rental properties for cash. He never became a real estate mogul, but he never had to use a shovel again.

  6. Lithium Americas sounds interesting and I hope it is successful. Especially to have a source of the rare earth mineral in the Western Hemisphere.

    Regarding investing, your wisdom has been seconding my investment approach. I was big into active managed funds a few years back. We have slowly been transitioning to index funds for some of the reasons you stated. I still keep some exposure to certain sectors in active funds.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Josh. The funny thing about Lithium Americas is that they also have a large lithium deposit in Nevada, just down the road from the Tesla’s freakin’ gigafactory. Why it’s trying to get the Argentina mine going before it gets the Nevada one going I can’t say. Is it because our environmental laws are too onerous? And I hear ya about passive funds. We started out with active funds and have been gradually shifting to passive funds. Haven’t noticed a big drop off in returns yet. I like the idea of playing sectors after they’ve been trounced. For instance, energy was a great sector to play in 2016 because it had such an awful 2015. The dogs of the DOW! In the future we might throw a few dollars at opportunities like this. Thanks for stopping by, MB.

      P.S. Can’t believe Alabama lost to Clemson. I live in NC, but I’m an SEC man. Local ACC-loving talk radio is loving Alabama’s fall. Sigh.

  7. Congratulations! It was very fruitful for your family last year.

    Do not panic! It is so simple that most people will flee when panic comes. You stick to it very well.
    I learned a lot from your blog.

    • Mr. Groovy

      It took me a long time. I panicked back during the dot.com bust in 2000. I had about $19K in a deferred compensation plan at work before things crashed. But rather than ride the storm and keep on investing, I cashed out. I took my $10K and crawled into a safe space. Didn’t start investing again until 2007. Happily, I learned my lesson from 2000 and didn’t panic when Wall Street imploded in 2008-09. Oh, the power of hard-won wisdom! Thanks for stopping by, RGT. I really appreciate your kind words.

  8. Congrats on the next phase. After reading your site for awhile and seeing how you handle your finances, I am sure you will weather any storm that comes along. I think it is critical to have exposure to stocks during retirement and 60/40 sounds like a reasonable mix. Cash on hand for a few years and 60% stocks to grow and hopefully outlast you. Thanks for sharing and I hope you continue with the site even though you are officially ‘retired’.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you for your kind words, Brian. Yeah, we’ll see what happens. We think we got things covered, but as Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”

  9. A lot can be said about keeping a cool head and letting the market do it’s thing. We did the same here and 2016 was a good year for us.

    Also, congrats on the Lithium Americas pick, that was a boon for you folks! Always nice when that works out. I had similar fortune shortly after the 2008/2009 recession by going heavier on the beaten down financial stocks.

    • Mr. Groovy

      As Mrs. G says, “Lithium Americas” is our lottery. If it manages to produce some battery-grade lithium in the next couple of years, we could literally make a million bucks. But that’s a tremendous “if.” We’re not counting on it, and if it goes under we won’t be hurt. It does make investing fun. Life is not all about low-cost index funds. Thanks for stopping by, TGS. And glad you played the 2008/2009 recession so well. We did fine, but looking back we could have done so much better. Oh, the cost of financial ignorance!

  10. This gives us so much hope! We just had an entire year of maxing out our retirement accounts and seeing the power of dividends for the first time. I know there will be some bad times in stocks, but continually seeing people like you guys sticking with it and reaping the rewards is a nice feeling.

    What a great problem to have though! 😀

    • Mr. Groovy

      That’s awesome–maxing out your retirement accounts. Keep doing that and great things will happen. I remember it being torture at first. For the longest time, our contributions and reinvested dividends didn’t seem to do much. But then around the 10-year mark, the accumulated savings and the dividends started getting huge (at least from our perspective). All the saving and sacrifice started paying off. Just prepare yourself for the next financial earthquake. I think it’s going to be fairly large, and that’s when your financial mettle will really be tested. Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. SS. Always great hearing from you.

  11. You have a lot to celebrate this year, well done! Early retirement and some great market returns are a nice combination.

    Your advice is sound. Make a plan, stick to it and dollar cost average into the market. I haven’t looked much into retirement portfolios, but it sounds like your approach makes a ton of sense.

    I’ve still got several years before I’m out of the rat race, so I’m much more heavily in equities. And, I do have some other asset classes as well, but just for “fun.” You can check it out in a future post!

    I’m nervous too about the future. Equities are sky high and bonds are set to drop as interest rates climb. Not clear what to do except to keep sticking that money in the market every paycheck and hope for the best!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Jon. I’ve been reading about bond funds during rising interest rates and intermediate-termed funds (i.e. total market bond funds) don’t do too badly. One expert had this to say:

      “[W]hile rising rates hurt bond values, they can increase returns over the long-term. As funds sell bonds at a loss, they reinvest the funds at higher rates. Over time the increased rates offset the losses.

      I hope this expert is right. We’ll see what happens, of course. If only I were in my 20s and 30s and needn’t have to worry about bonds! But no one ever said this investment stuff was going to be easy.

      Thanks for stopping by, Jon. I’m with you, my friend. Dollar-cost averaging is the average investor’s miracle elixir.

  12. What a fantastic year for you guys! Don’t panic is always good advice. Whenever you mix high emotions and investing, you’re not going to have a good result. And you need to have a steady mind to buy the dips. Glad it all worked out so well and here’s hoping for an equally great 2017!

  13. We, too, had a good financial year. 2016 was definitely a roller coaster ride, but nothing we haven’t seen in the past, and won’t see again in the future. The markets are cyclical. Period. I remember watching the presidential election and seeing the DOW plummet as the numbers started to turn in Trump’s favor, only to see a ~300 increase the following day. It just goes to show us that No One can predict the market. Let’s hear it for low-cost index funds! *And the crowd goes wild* 🙂 Congrats on your portfolio returns!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

  14. First off let me say congrats again on the retirement!!! That’s gotta be an amazing feeling waking up knowing that you don’t have to punch the clock.

    On top of that awesome job tuning out the noise and plugging away with your portfolio.

    I did something similar and had the opportunity to dump some extra money in February when the market looked like the bottom was going to fall out.

    Amazing how the beginning of the year started to how the end of the year started with the market.

    Thanks for sharing your groovy secrets 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      Yeah, I forgot all about the beginning of the year dip until Ty pointed it out in an earlier comment. I just checked my statements from the beginning of 2016. No investment activity other than our usual 401(k)/403(b) contributions. So we didn’t play the beginning of the year dip. Damn! What was I thinking? Oh, well. At least we didn’t sell anything. Thanks for stopping by, MSM. Glad to see someone played that dip correctly.

  15. Way to go Groovies!

    Love that you transitioned towards simplicity. If you’ve won the game, why keep rolling the dice? I like it.

    Whenever I try to simplify my finances, i seem to come up with a reason to complicate it. And then do so. I have 10% in international right now…but why? Is 10% going to make a difference? I guess I like the currency exposure just in case the USD takes a nosedive vs. the other currencies.

    I also have $2500 in Peer2Peer Real Estate. Why? It’s not going to make a drastic difference. I guess I have some gambling in my blood….as long as it’s a small portion of my portfolio I guess thats okay.

    I can’t wait to follow your early retirement journey. Do you find it easier to come up with topics after having retired?

    • Mr. Groovy

      I hear ya, TJ. That gambling impulse is in my blood too. I had a emerging bond fund that returned 14% last year. It was very hard exchanging that fund for a total bond fund that will return about 2%. But like you said, keeping that emerging bond fund wasn’t going to make a drastic difference (it was less than 8% of my bond/cash side). Besides, the new portfolio will provide a good experiment. Will the simple and staid outperform the complex and flashy? The plot thickens.

  16. Solid year and decision making Groovies.

    If you can hold that much cash and have that much invested in Bonds and withdraw at a safe rate – why the hell not take the security!

  17. Congratulations to you both on a great year! And thanks for this valuable post. Mr. Grumby and I hope to exit the workforce in mid-2018, and we’ll be re-balancing our portfolio at the end of this month. Initially we were thinking of a 70/30 mix, but your good food for thought might steer us toward a more conservative approach that we can adjust after we’ve weathered the first 5 years.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Check out Kitces and Pfau if you get a chance. Mrs. G and I are trying to accomplish two things. We want to protect our portfolio as best we can from another 2008-like crash–especially, since we just retired–and we want our portfolio to stay ahead of inflation over the long run. Kitces and Pfau think the rising equity glidepath is the best way to accomplish this. Collins, on the other hand, thinks you should stick with a 60/40 split. Meh. It’s a tough call. But right now we feel the most comfortable with the Kitces/Pfau approach. Only time will tell if this strategy is the right one. Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. Grumby. I look forward to your retirement adventures in the very near future. Cheers.

      • Will definitely check out your rising equity glidepath link. So great to have this personal finance blogging community as a resource as we navigate our way to the light at the end of the tunnel! Thanks again for spreading the wealth of your knowledge and experience.

        • Mr. Groovy

          My pleasure, Mrs. G. We do have a great community. And rarely a day goes by that I don’t learn something from it. If only we had this blogging stuff 20 years ago. Sigh.

  18. Yowza! Heck of a NW increase!! Good for you guys – retirement is looking much better now, I’m sure. 🙂 You’re so right – don’t fall into the black hole of fear. Even if you are totally prepared anything can happen. Do your best to insulate yourself so you don’t have to constantly be looking over your shoulder. I have my bare bones FI number and the realistic one. I also have a super duper extremely awesome FI number I am working towards. After seeing my NW increase this year the way it did it seems more likely that I can aim for the super duper number without putting a ton of pressure on myself. Looking forward to trying, at least! 🙂

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Miss M. Don’t forget. Our net worth increased $180K with two people rowing. Your net worth increased a $100K with only one person rowing. As far as I can tell, your per-person-rowing increase beat ours hands down ($100K vs. $90K). And I’m not implying it’s a competition. It’s just my way of pointing out that Mrs. G and I love what you’re doing and can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for you. It’s going to be fun regardless of how things turn out on the accounting side. Thanks for stopping by, Miss M. Always a pleasure hearing from you.

  19. Awesome news . . . and very inspiring. Inspiring not only to keep paying off debt so we can invest more, but also to keep learning about all of this stuff. I’m still very much a novice when it comes to investing, so some of this was over my head. But the more I read, the more I learn. Thank you for that!

    And, if staying the course is a good strategy, then I feel okay with leaving my current investments alone until I have the opportunity to learn more.

    • Mr. Groovy

      You may be a novice now, but you won’t be in a couple of years. That’s the beauty of personal finance. It’s not complicated; it’s just a lot to digest all at once.

      Mrs. G and I really didn’t start investing until 2007, when we were well into our 40s. And we made a lot of mistakes. But we kept dollar-cost averaging and we kept learning, Happily, everything worked out.

      I think the key is to find an asset allocation that lets you sleep at night. If we were younger, we would be comfortable with a 90/10 or 80/20 split. But at our advanced age, the 40/60 split fits our risk tolerance better.

      Oh, and here’s another tip. Have someone you respect take a look at your asset allocation and fund choices. It never hurts to have another set of eyes look over what you’re doing. Mrs. G and I are fortunate. I have a cousin who does estate management for wealthy clients. Every year or so he looks over our portfolio and lets us know if we’re doing anything weird or foolish.

      Thanks for stopping by, Harmony. And don’t sweat the investment thingy too much. You’re way ahead of most people. And you’re certainly way ahead of where Mrs. G and I happened to be at your age. Bravo.

      • I appreciate the tip, but what if you don’t have anyone you respect where it comes to investments? My friends (IRL) are spenders and my family members declare bankruptcy and run from student loans instead of invest money. My brother in law said to just look for the investments with the lowest fees. I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient, but it would be nice to know that things are set up right. LOL – Do you want to look things over for me?

  20. You pointed out the Brexit crash, the Donald crash and how you didn’t panic (well done!), but you forgot to mention how 2016 started – down, down, down! Good thing you didn’t cash out for something safer since the market not only rebounded, but ended up by quite a bit.

    Congrats on your very epic year! Outdoing 2016 will be hard (thanks to your early retirement — tough to top that), but you can do it by enjoying the hell out of your newfound freedom. With that in mind, I hope you two blow 2017 away.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Holy crap! I forgot all about that dip. Yeah, the DOW dropped almost 9% during the first three weeks of January 2016. I have to check my records, but I don’t think we bought anything during that dip. We certainly didn’t sell anything. Thanks for the reminder, Ty. I appreciate it.

  21. Congrats on a fantastic 2016, Groovys! I love following your journey. And, of course, reading your sound advice – don’t panic is great advice.

    We got through 2008 without touching anything (I just watched The Big Short last night and was floored…). We didn’t have as much to lose at that point, but we still lost a ton of money. It was a good lesson. Yet, I have to admit, when I was watching futures on election night, I was experiencing significant anxiety (knowing I would stay in no matter what).

    I adhere to Mr. Collins advice. I do think we may be too heavily invested in equities right now. We plan to go a little more conservative in the near future. You have me convinced I need to do this sooner rather than later…

    • Mr. Groovy

      We went through 2008 relatively unscathed as well. At that time, we were only a couple of years into our investing careers. I think between our brokerage account, our Roths, and our workplace accounts we had about $80K-$90K pre-Great Recession. We still had a lot of cash from the sale of our New York condo. After the dust settled, our combined investment accounts went down to $40K-50K. But we kept on dollar-cost averaging. Bank of America was trading for under $4 a share in February of 2009. I remember half joking to Mrs. G that we should throw $50K at BoA. If we had done so, we would have had over $200K in less than a year. Oh, well. You live and learn.

  22. I like the attitude, don’t panic just maintain direction. That’s truly what is needed over the long run. Many studies show that investor panic, selling at the bottom, is one of the key reasons most people fail to even keep up with the overall market. We have much of our investing on auto pilot. I’m a bit less on the conservative side (way less then 20% cash) but I feel that level should be set based on your risk tolerance. Being retired means you have a different tolerance then us employed folks. If the market tanks I’ll just make more income and invest it after all. Still if your diligent to your plans, and know how you will react up front, I think you’ll be fine. Don’t forget, in 4 more years we’ll have the same uncertainty now for the next change. There is always something to panic about if you look for it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Couldn’t agree more, FTF. If I were in my 20s or 30s, I’d be all in on stocks. Maybe a little cash on the sidelines to play the dips. But at 55 and no gainful employment, I got to be a little more careful. I’ve quickly adapted to this no work thingy, and I don’t want to return to cubicle life and commuting.

  23. You can drown in a puddle if you let panic set in.

    Congrats on kicking off retirement with a solid investing year. Don’t panic and buy while on sale are two principals I have talked to my kids about. Just plain straight forward advice and you don’t need any so called experts to tell you any different.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “You can drown in a puddle if you let panic set in.”

      Great adage, my friend. I’m going to have to remember that.

      • Agree – totally love that one! And the simplicity of Jim Collins and the others’ you mentioned. It takes a long time for folks to believe that investing can be that simple. And the more stories like this that are shared, the better. Nice work Groovy’s – for hanging in there and just working your plan.

        • Mr. Groovy

          You are so right, Vicki. You don’t have to be a genius to be a good investor. Keep it simple, dollar-cost average, and don’t panic. If we could bottle that temperament and sell it, we’d be billionaires.

  24. Love the transparency, Mr. G. Congrats on a great year, and having the courage to “Buy The Dips” (I love buying dips!). I also love the Kitces, Pfau and Collins theory, and applaud you for putting into action for all to see.

    One question, your cash reserve. One thing I’ve read from many sources, and wrote about myself, is the need to have ~2-3 years of spending requirements held in liquid form (cash, MMF’s, etc). Does your “20% of 60%” provide enough cash to avoid selling anything during a downturn?

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Fritz. Yes, our cash will last four or five years giving our current spending levels. That’s probably being too cautious. But like you, I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’m pulling for The Donald, much like I pulled for The Barack, but I just don’t know how much he can do. Our problems are too big for any one man–or any one generation, for that matter–to fix. I hate to be so pessimistic, but gargantuan debt plus robots plus algorithms plus cultural decline equals one giant pile of sh*t. And I doubt very much that we can avoid stepping in it. Ain’t I a joy to be around!

  25. Congrats on a financially stellar 2016! May the rest of your retirement be long, healthy, happy, and panic-free.
    We too are always looking for ways to simplify. We watched The Big Short over the weekend and were horrified, but at the same time don’t know what actionable steps to take since it’s possible for fraud to exist in any part of the market. Argh! So we’re hoping to have enough saved and enough lifestyle flexibility to weather the ups and downs.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Exactly! Flexibility is the key. And I think a good part of flexibility comes from not being overextended. If your debt is low and you have a healthy emergency fund, you should be able to ride out most economic storms. Another good reason to adopt the minimalist’s mindset. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. We watched The Big Short too and were equally horrified.

  26. You had a whole “Don’t Panic!” post and not a single Douglas Adams reference?

    although any excuse to put in Animal House is a good one.

    We are probably way too exposed to the stock market. But bonds just don’t feel right to us either. We have some, but interest rates seem wonky because they’ve been artificially low for so long and continue to be.

    We haven’t worried as much about it since we have the rentals as well. The rental market’s already good, and whatever changes happen (interest rate, employment rates, etc), I don’t see rental demand drying up unless credit really loosens to pre-2008 standards. Which I guess is possible with this administration, but we’re trying to keep an eye on it.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I feel shame. I have never read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Got to get that on my reading list this year. Thanks for the reminder. And I hear ya about bonds. A 2% return is tough to swallow. But I guess that’s the price you pay for safety. Rental income would be a nice arrow in our financial quiver, but Mrs. G and I tried it already and we sucked at it. Not good at picking out good tenants, and not good at standing firm when we get hit with sob stories. Meh. Thanks for stopping by, Emily. I owe you for the Douglas Adams reminder.

  27. Woohoo! congrats on the retirement and the net worth growth! That’s awesome. 🙂

    I think the key to investing is to focus on the long term–don’t get distracted by all of the what-ifs because they’ll drive you crazy. That’s also a good way to lose money, since no one can predict the future. Great job taking the dip in the market as a chance to buy. 😉

    Even though the market is performing pretty well now, many of us still remember the Great Recession. I’m rightfully conservative when it comes to our money for that very reason. We never know what’s going to happen, so prepare for the bad times during the good times.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Assuming for the moment that our bonds/cash will only suffer a small hit should we have another Wall Street implosion, I think our relatively small exposure to stocks leaves us in a good position. A 50% crash would still give us enough money to prevail under a 4% withdrawal rate. I think things will get hairy in the near future, but I doubt we’ll have a crash greater than 50%. Love your adage, Mrs. PP. “We never know what’s going to happen, so prepare for the bad times during the good times.” Definitely words to live by.