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40, financially ready to retire, but not sure
Old 02-03-2008, 05:31 PM   #1
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40, financially ready to retire, but not sure

Hi, everyone. I have read some great advice on this forum, but have never posted before. I am 40 years old, spouse is 46. We have a combined net worth of approx. $4.3-4.5 million, about 1/2 in diversified mutual funds, the other 1/2 primarily in money market for the time being. We have no pension, but I will get a lump-sum payout when I leave my current position.

We are pretty frugal, and could live comfortably on well under $100K a year. My question is whether it makes sense for us to retire at our ages. I would not feel comfortable with much more than a 2% withdrawal rate, given my age. I'd love to hear from people who retired in their 30s or 40s, and to get advice from anyone else with thoughts on our situation. We are both professionals. One alternative is to shift to different, more meaningful jobs with much lower incomes. Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:35 PM   #2
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You should read - "how to retire, happy, wild, and free." I think that would help you.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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I don't think the dilemma will be financial, assuming you have access to decent health insurance.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:30 PM   #4
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Do you have some huge debts hanging over your head, because if you don't, and unless you believe that you and your spouse are going to live to see 140 then I'm here to tell you, money is certainly not going to be an issue.

Your case is pretty simple. You've got the rare opportunity to do what it is that you want. If you think that you could be happier than you are right now, then follow through and do something about it.
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:25 AM   #5
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Financially you are more than ok. The real issue is a pyschologically. Retiring very early isn't a decision to be taken lightly. On the other hand there is no reason you have say I am going to quit work next month and never work again.

I took a 1/2 step by asking my company for a leave of absence. You can be upfront and tell them why, or just tell them that you are burned out and need some time to sort things out. If after 6 months or year you feel unfilled in retirement go back to work. Either at your original company or some other job.

Companies won't necessarily be happy about grantee a leave, but given the options of losing a good employee or granting a leave most will relent, if not well you don't need to work for a living.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:04 AM   #6
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With the investments and expenses you describe, you are financially independent. Congratulations. You are free to pursue any kind of work you find interesting and rewarding, including no work at all if that so moves you. Some people have described reaching a point of frustration or burn-out with current careers and if that fits, then you should certainly consider stopping work at least for a sabatical and see how you decompress. If that's not you, then you have the feeedom to decide what you want to do. Write a novel? Live at a slower pace of life? Explore some place or some new learning? Spend more time with kids, family or friends? Take the really great honeymoon trip you somehow skipped before? Take some time are take care of your health, whatever that means to you? Quietly smile and keep doing what you've been doing? It's really up to you two to decide what you want. A nice choice to have.

Welcome to the board. Would love to know how you go about deciding what's right for you. Hope you will feel like sharing as you work through it.
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:54 PM   #7
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Hey, congrats on the ability to quit if you want to, at a pretty early age to boot.

I am in a similiar situation, similiar age and similiar money. My problem is that I own a business I'm trying to get out of, and that is proving to be harder than pulling the plug at a regular job. If I can get this sucker sold at a halfway decent price, I'm gone...........
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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Hey, congrats on the ability to quit if you want to, at a pretty early age to boot.

I am in a similiar situation, similiar age and similiar money. My problem is that I own a business I'm trying to get out of, and that is proving to be harder than pulling the plug at a regular job. If I can get this sucker sold at a halfway decent price, I'm gone...........
Are you working with a business broker, or the "local network"of other dealers in your area?

With the wish of the manufacturer's to consolidate into multi-point locations, I would think it shouldbe fairly easy to do.........
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:58 PM   #9
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One alternative is to shift to different, more meaningful jobs with much lower incomes. Thanks!
IMO, this is THE answer. I assume you've accumulated your net worth (congrats BTW) through your professional work over the years, so I'd guess a life of nothing but leisure would get really old after a few months, but only you can decide. I would also recommend How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free by Zelinski (not well written, too repetitive, but the content is worthwhile) and Work Less Live More by Clyatt. My wife and I are in our early 50's and our net worth exceeds our needs although not by quite . But I will continue to work for another 5-8 years at my high paying job and then go on to some other job that makes me want to bounce of of bed every morning even though it will pay much less.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:02 PM   #10
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One alternative is to shift to different, more meaningful jobs with much lower incomes. Thanks!
IMO, your alternative IS THE answer. I assume you've accumulated your net worth (congrats BTW) through your professional work over the years, so I'd guess a life of nothing but leisure would get really old after a few months. To understand why, I would also recommend How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free by Zelinski (not well written, too repetitive, but the content is worthwhile) and Work Less Live More by Clyatt. My wife and I are in our early 50's and our net worth exceeds our needs although not by quite as wide a margin as you. But I will continue to work for another 3-7 years at my high paying job and then go on to some other job that makes me want to bounce out of bed every morning --- even though it will pay much less. Good luck, nice problem you have.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by hoping View Post
Hi, everyone. I have read some great advice on this forum, but have never posted before. I am 40 years old, spouse is 46. We have a combined net worth of approx. $4.3-4.5 million, about 1/2 in diversified mutual funds, the other 1/2 primarily in money market for the time being. We have no pension, but I will get a lump-sum payout when I leave my current position.

We are pretty frugal, and could live comfortably on well under $100K a year. My question is whether it makes sense for us to retire at our ages. I would not feel comfortable with much more than a 2% withdrawal rate, given my age. I'd love to hear from people who retired in their 30s or 40s, and to get advice from anyone else with thoughts on our situation. We are both professionals. One alternative is to shift to different, more meaningful jobs with much lower incomes. Thanks!
Another option is to shift to no income, and volunteer your time and talents to those that could use it.
Perhaps trying to start a club in your area which would be geared toward helping folks head in the same direction that you're already in?
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Old 03-20-2008, 01:58 PM   #12
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Hi, it's me again. I wanted to thank everyone for the advice. Current status is that spouse has taken a new job in another state; I now have to find a new job or take a leave of absence. I am hoping that I will find something that I like; if not, I will have some time to think about what to do next.

I'd appreciate thoughts from anyone who retired under age 50. Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:25 PM   #13
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Hi hoping,
I retired at 47, DH was 56. I revel in the luxury of time to do things I never had time to before. We both worked many hours OT for 25 years and everything depended on scheduling and many things never got done or were done in a rush with little enjoyment. We missed many family gatherings and recreational activities due to our overloaded schedule.
We supervise care and finances for my 90 year old grandmother and my 68 yr old mother. We now have time to make them feel special and not like they are causing us too much work.
We now go salt water fishing, walk the dogs, go to exercise, cook healthier meals, attend to family matters, read, garden, see friends for lunch or dinner and sleep in past 5 am. Our relationship has improved 200%. We had a good one before but we were so tired all the time we could not enjoy each other.
Even if your SO continues to work, the relief on your relationship if you cease working will be huge. You certainly do not have to work financially so I say give it a try for 6 months. With one person on the home front taking care of daily chores and household activities you both can enjoy the time off of the working spouse. Who knows, seeing you enjoying life again maybe you both will FIRE soon and really enjoy life.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:49 AM   #14
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We're not FIREd yet but will be by age 50. I think you could RE if you wanted, but based on your last post, it sounds like your family is not ready for that in areas other than the FI part. However, I hope your DH's new position gives you more family time. I know, like two4theroad said, my schedule has been so hectic for most of my working life but even moreso over the past 8-10 years, that I have missed a lot of family things I would rather not have missed.

Good luck with your move.

R
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