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47 yr old on the verge of quitting cushy Fed Job with less than normal benefits of pe
Old 01-10-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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47 yr old on the verge of quitting cushy Fed Job with less than normal benefits of pe

OK here goes....Please help me!!!!

I really want to quit and here is what I have accumulated:

260K: Cash
484K: Buy and Fix Real Estate (Could be converted to rental)
106K: TSP
17K: Roth IRA
8K: Personal Property

875K: Total

I really hate my Government Job...Maybe I shouldn't given today's economic climate. But I do... I am a matter of fact, hard working individual, well rounded, easy going (when not working)

Can I quit?....that is what I keep asking myself.

For the last 4 years I have consistently lived on approx 36K a year without really trying. I think I could live on less. 4% of the above total assets is 35K.

I am very healthy from eating well and exercising (long distance runner) or better than that having two parents that seem as healthy as I at 77 an 72 years of age. I am hoping that maybe I don't need the government subsidized health care.


If I quit and keep with current spending it would be:

36K living expenses
2K High deductible health insurance ( I have to pay for this now)
10K estimated income taxes
===============

48K needed

but 4% of nest egg equals 35K

So I am thinking I need to come up with another 13K if I am not capable of cutting back on expenditures.

But then there is my real estate endeavors.

I own 484K of real estate now. All current Real Estate investments are positive BTW. However I have already realized 100K in loses from previous years. Well they haven't completely been realized. They have been sold and I have 100K of capital loss on the books with the IRS which will make the next 100K future gains tax free.

Also I have been growing real estate assets at a rate of 18% per year for the last 7 years with all that has gone on. I have done well in all of the last 7 years except 2005 and 2006. 2005 and 2006 I lost money because I was stupid and went with the herd. Overall return on real estate endeavors averages out to be 18% after taxes.

I could go on and on with the details but maybe I will quit here.

Summarize------->

I hate my Job
It pays well at 92K
I would rather work for myself.
I am thinking it is time to quit accumulating.
I want to be happy.

I am happiest when I don't have to deal with inefficient Bureaucracies every working day.
It brings me down.

I hate bullshitters. What I find with the Government is Bullshitters and hard working stiffs that are being exploited. Maybe it is like that in any large group of people. This is why I want to work for myself......full time. I know only one employer will really take care of me and I see him in the mirror every morning.

I am 47 years old and my peers are all hanging on to 56 to get Health care subsidy for life and SS supplement from 56 to 62 and less chance of annuity being destroyed by inflation. I think the social security supplement may be a moot point since I never intend to quit working. It is healthy to work...why should I quit working entirely. Well when I get to point that I can't maybe.

I want to be free.

Can I be free??????

Do I have enough to quit working for Uncle Sam.

I don't need much....I am a simple guy....I would like to travel some though.

Help.....................................????????? ?????????????

What do you think???
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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1st welcome to the forum.

2nd a few questions. how do you plan on making income off of your real estate assets? how much income would your real estate assets produce? how many years of federal service do you have? if you stopped working in a job that pays into SS today what would your projected SS benefit be?
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:20 PM   #3
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Welcome,

I quit my federal civilian job after 54 weeks, partly because I hated it, partly because I knew I didn't "need" it, and several other reasons. I think if you intend to continue to work, I would not quit the federal job until you either have another job in hand, or have started your own business etc. You may want to calculate exactly what you are walking away from by leaving the federal job early, but at least you will still have a pension later. Healthcare could be the deciding factor...
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:21 PM   #4
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Hi and welcome!

If you haven't yet read it, check out Bob Clyatt's Work Less, Live More. I think it might have been written for you.

Best of luck!

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Old 01-10-2010, 08:24 PM   #5
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Thank you for responding.

In the past my real estate profits have been in the form of capital gains from finding distressed properties, fixing them up and then selling them for a profit at a rate of 18% annual return per year. However, I only deal with properties that COULD be rented for positive cash flow at a rate significantly greater than the current CD rates.

The properties that I currently hold could be rented for 8 to 10 % annual return on investment after expenses. Being a landlord however is not my chosen path. It is just a second exit strategy. This limits me normally to properties below about 120K and preferable much lower.

Plan A is:

Buy/Fix/Sell---> Accumulate until I get to the point that the Nest Egg can support me. And then Buy/Fix/Sell---> spend the money on whatever makes me the happiest.

Attempting to not die with to much money. If I quit the FED job maybe this will no longer be a concern.

I have 24 years of federal service. I am hanging in there. Each day is agony. I keep thinking about the opportunities that I am missing out on while dealing with the <#$%^&...

As for the SS benefits numbers. I must confess that I don't remember.......

I did a quick search of scanned material and found that in 2007 the SS Statement that you get in the mail said that if I worked until 56 that I would get $1393/month when I am 62. Then again I am contemplating NOT working until 56 so I don't know. Maybe this gives you a ballpark idea.

Not sure where the 2008 and 2009 SS statements are?? Maybe I can find them.
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:36 PM   #6
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jimnjana,

I have done a back of the envelope estimate of what I would be losing by quitting my FED job and it comes to 228K. I have to suffer 8 year to get the 228K in future benefits so that is about 30K per year benefits. Of course then there is the question that if working for myself in Real Estate will match the 92K that I get working for the Uncle.

If it was all about money then I probably should stay. I really don't need the 92K as I can live on 48K before taxes and health insurance and 36K after. The 92K would be before taxes as well.

There is also the long shot that if I quit and focus on my own business that I may actually make more than 92K. It might not happen but it could?

Hell one year my federal salary didn't even pay the taxes of my part time job.

Thanks for your help
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Just want you to know I share your feeling
Old 01-10-2010, 09:57 PM   #7
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Just want you to know I share your feeling

Hi xswzaq,

"I hate my Job; It pays well at 92K; I would rather work for myself.
I am thinking it is time to quit accumulating.
I want to be happy. I am happiest when I don't have to deal with inefficient Bureaucracies every working day. It brings me down.

I hate bullshitters. What I find with the Government is Bullshitters and hard working stiffs that are being exploited. Maybe it is like that in any large group of people. This is why I want to work for myself......full time. I know only one employer will really take care of me and I see him in the mirror every morning.... I want to be free."

I totally understand your feeling as I have been hanging around in Govt' service for almost 15 years; doing a high paying but mundane job; facing similar assholes, bullshits, preparing meanlingless paper works. I also wanted to be free.

I think I have all the financial backups for my ER but my wife and I decided to wait for a couple of years since:

1) our 2 kids are still young (14 and 9); need more financial security.
2) once we think that we can quit anytime, the down pressure from the job alleviated; especially when promotion is not attempting (we actually turned down such option provided).
3) when anytime we can quit, why now? provided the works do not post much hardship.
4) I have a better goal in my life: try to accumulate more wealth and to help some more children in need. Keeping this job is an easy path to achieve such goal.


My 2 cents:

1) I think you are capable to quit now if you have figured out a better work to do for the rest of your life while you still have the power to earn income when in need.

2) If you have not decided a better work yet, why not hanging around for sometime by adopting a more lax work attidtude? Life would be more easy then.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by xswzaq View Post
Thank you for responding.

In the past my real estate profits have been in the form of capital gains from finding distressed properties, fixing them up and then selling them for a profit at a rate of 18% annual return per year. However, I only deal with properties that COULD be rented for positive cash flow at a rate significantly greater than the current CD rates.

The properties that I currently hold could be rented for 8 to 10 % annual return on investment after expenses. Being a landlord however is not my chosen path. It is just a second exit strategy. This limits me normally to properties below about 120K and preferable much lower.

Plan A is:

Buy/Fix/Sell---> Accumulate until I get to the point that the Nest Egg can support me. And then Buy/Fix/Sell---> spend the money on whatever makes me the happiest.
well if you can net an 18% annual return on your $484K real estate portfolio that should more than be sufficient for your income need but you will need to sustain that and you are talking about another job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xswzaq View Post

Attempting to not die with to much money. If I quit the FED job maybe this will no longer be a concern.

I have 24 years of federal service. I am hanging in there. Each day is agony. I keep thinking about the opportunities that I am missing out on while dealing with the <#$%^&...
see if you can get an early out offer from your fed agency, you can retire with an immediate pension with 25 yrs of service provided you get said offer. can you work 1 more year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xswzaq View Post
As for the SS benefits numbers. I must confess that I don't remember.......

I did a quick search of scanned material and found that in 2007 the SS Statement that you get in the mail said that if I worked until 56 that I would get $1393/month when I am 62. Then again I am contemplating NOT working until 56 so I don't know. Maybe this gives you a ballpark idea.

Not sure where the 2008 and 2009 SS statements are?? Maybe I can find them.
it should be helpful when you decided to really retire or even semi-retire, be it early or not.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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I think 10K is way to high an estimate for your expected new withdrawal after ER. You might want to look into what a realistic number is. I would say it should be less than half of that.

Would you be OK with finding another job (perhaps in the private sector and perhaps not paying as much) if your enterprise doesn't take off and the real estate venture does not pan out? You sound like you don't really hate working; you just hate your job and the bureaucracy.

I think you should take the next 6 months to research what you need to run your own business and line everything up (registering, meeting with attorneys, or even creating a business plan) while still just doing the bare-minimum at your job. For one, I find a defined timeline greatly reduces the mental stress and anxiety of w*rking. (So what if the boss does not think you're the most motivated worker?) Plus, then you can jump right into your business if you want to.

You are in a good situation right now to have the choices. Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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I "quit" my Fed job at the age of 48 after 26 years of service. It is not whether or not you leave, but how you maneuver the exit.

First, are there any other opportunities for movement? This can require having a heart to heart with your SO, mine couldn't envision a move so I needed to figure out my options in that context.

Next, analyze your manager. Most would rather help you move to another agency than go through the hassle of an adverse action.

The other option is to leverage your contacts, would anyone throw you a life line?

Now, plot your exit taking care to fill foreseeable potholes.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Easter99 View Post
Hi xswzaq,

"I hate my Job; It pays well at 92K; I would rather work for myself.
I am thinking it is time to quit accumulating.
I want to be happy. I am happiest when I don't have to deal with inefficient Bureaucracies every working day. It brings me down.

I hate bullshitters. What I find with the Government is Bullshitters and hard working stiffs that are being exploited. Maybe it is like that in any large group of people. This is why I want to work for myself......full time. I know only one employer will really take care of me and I see him in the mirror every morning.... I want to be free."

I totally understand your feeling as I have been hanging around in Govt' service for almost 15 years; doing a high paying but mundane job; facing similar assholes, bullshits, preparing meanlingless paper works. I also wanted to be free.

I think I have all the financial backups for my ER but my wife and I decided to wait for a couple of years since:

1) our 2 kids are still young (14 and 9); need more financial security.
2) once we think that we can quit anytime, the down pressure from the job alleviated; especially when promotion is not attempting (we actually turned down such option provided).
3) when anytime we can quit, why now? provided the works do not post much hardship.
4) I have a better goal in my life: try to accumulate more wealth and to help some more children in need. Keeping this job is an easy path to achieve such goal.


My 2 cents:

1) I think you are capable to quit now if you have figured out a better work to do for the rest of your life while you still have the power to earn income when in need.

2) If you have not decided a better work yet, why not hanging around for sometime by adopting a more lax work attidtude? Life would be more easy then.

Easter99,

I think you have a good point about hanging on a few more years until I can easily quit anytime.

I go back and forth all the time because I feel that the closer I get to MRA. 8 yrs away now the harder it will be to leave. i.e Carrot/8 is less reason to stay than Carrot/6, Carrot/5...Carrot/2, Carrot/1.

I keep wondering what is 8 years of my life really worth. If I have managed to make it to a point where I can support myself with my Real Estate endeavors and my estimate of 228K for the benefits is correct then today the question is:

Is my freedom for 8 years worth 228K. I think the answer is yes....There are just so many unknowns.

I wish I could be more lax but my management is push, push, push.....all while they sit on their ass.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jdw_fire View Post
well if you can net an 18% annual return on your $484K real estate portfolio that should more than be sufficient for your income need but you will need to sustain that and you are talking about another job.



see if you can get an early out offer from your fed agency, you can retire with an immediate pension with 25 yrs of service provided you get said offer. can you work 1 more year?



it should be helpful when you decided to really retire or even semi-retire, be it early or not.
If Obama opens the door for early out after I leave I am joining to be very disappointed. I am 2 yrs and 3 months from 50 years old.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
I think 10K is way to high an estimate for your expected new withdrawal after ER. You might want to look into what a realistic number is. I would say it should be less than half of that.

Would you be OK with finding another job (perhaps in the private sector and perhaps not paying as much) if your enterprise doesn't take off and the real estate venture does not pan out? You sound like you don't really hate working; you just hate your job and the bureaucracy.

I think you should take the next 6 months to research what you need to run your own business and line everything up (registering, meeting with attorneys, or even creating a business plan) while still just doing the bare-minimum at your job. For one, I find a defined timeline greatly reduces the mental stress and anxiety of w*rking. (So what if the boss does not think you're the most motivated worker?) Plus, then you can jump right into your business if you want to.

You are in a good situation right now to have the choices. Good luck!
I would be fine with another job in the private sector. If my earlier posted estimates are true and I only need to come up with an extra 13K per year. If the real estate deals don't make the extra 13K ,I would be fine with delivering pizzas, driving a cab, just about anything to keep the nest egg intact.

The more I think about it the more I think I can make it. If I can make money during one of the worst down real estate cycles ever. I will probably be fine when things recover and if for some reason I manage to screw it up, then I can deliver pizza's. Or maybe work a temporary job to get the nest egg back on track.

I don't think I need the 6 months trial as I have already been working the part time job for 7 years and I have done well most years.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Brat View Post
I "quit" my Fed job at the age of 48 after 26 years of service. It is not whether or not you leave, but how you maneuver the exit.

First, are there any other opportunities for movement? This can require having a heart to heart with your SO, mine couldn't envision a move so I needed to figure out my options in that context.

Next, analyze your manager. Most would rather help you move to another agency than go through the hassle of an adverse action.

The other option is to leverage your contacts, would anyone throw you a life line?

Now, plot your exit taking care to fill foreseeable potholes.
Thank you for these great points!

My SO would absolutely love to go somewhere else. Also I believe management would make it easy for me to transfer to another agency.

My problem is that after I have invested 7 years into studying the real estate market in my current area that I would be starting all over if transferring to a new local.

I have a business system that works and I am reluctant to transfer to a new place until I am more sure that I have enough for ER without working at all.

I will always work but learning a new system in a new place could really set me back.
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Federal Positions
Old 01-11-2010, 08:04 AM   #15
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Federal Positions

just a few rambling thoughts here.....


There are hundreds of thousands of federal positions.

How many positions have you held?

I understand your experience where you have been has been unsatisfactory. I too have worked in such positions within the federal gov. One particular year I found the position, that I had held 12 years, to become very stressful over the past year. So I did something about it that was good for ME..... I found a fed. temp job across the street with another agency that I was very overqualified for and quit my permanent position. (they could NOT believe I did it) Yes, I took a nice pay cut but I knew that with thousands of federal jobs available that I would find something that satisfied me again and I would avoid throwing away one of the main reasons people work in the federal gov. anyways. (retirement salary and benefits)

So I then had a job that was easy to deal with on a day to day basis and I just started applying for other positions I found intriguing and for which I qualified for... If I did not qualify for a particular position that I was interested in I would take a class or get a certification so that I would be at least marginally qualified. I ended up changing positions and agencies a couple times but eventually I found something I really enjoy and I did not loose one day of federal service. (currently have 23+ years)

It seems u think your only options are to stay or quit but that makes no sense to me when u work for the largest employer in the US.

I do not work for DOD any longer but often come in contact with prior active duty military and almost without fail when I meet someone who left service after 10 years under their belt they indicate deep regret for not finishing their time (20 years) and getting that retirement benefit.

For you, with 24 years and 8 to go, it is like a service member serving 15 and not doing the last 5.

Chances are you'll regret it.

"My problem is that after I have invested 7 years into studying the real estate market in my current area that I would be starting all over if transferring to a new local.
"

Why not widen the scope of the jobs you'd be willing to take in the Federal Gov in your area. Rather than leaving altogether what if you look at jobs making from 50k on up --- find some job that you'd love that would leave you with enough energy to do the real estate venture too.... Think outside the box -- taking a lower paying job does not mean your stuck there --- it just may be a temporary resting place until you find an even better fit.

But, of course, it is your choice.

The good side of you quitting for all of us taxpayers is that your giving up alot of retirement and salary benefits that would normally be paid out.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:05 AM   #16
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Easter99,


I keep wondering what is 8 years of my life really worth. If I have managed to make it to a point where I can support myself with my Real Estate endeavors and my estimate of 228K for the benefits is correct then today the question is:

Is my freedom for 8 years worth 228K. I think the answer is yes....There are just so many unknowns.

I wish I could be more lax but my management is push, push, push.....all while they sit on their ass.
How are you calculating the 228K? The unknowns are the reason why many people in your position stay on the job.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:31 AM   #17
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If you hate your job I would quit. Life is too short to do something you hate.

I would then take a year off and travel or do what you choose. After the year, then look for a part-time job doing something you would love. Regardless of the pay, that part time income should help bridge the slight shortfall you see in the math right now.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:17 PM   #18
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just a few rambling thoughts here.....


There are hundreds of thousands of federal positions.

How many positions have you held?

I understand your experience where you have been has been unsatisfactory. I too have worked in such positions within the federal gov. One particular year I found the position, that I had held 12 years, to become very stressful over the past year. So I did something about it that was good for ME..... I found a fed. temp job across the street with another agency that I was very overqualified for and quit my permanent position. (they could NOT believe I did it) Yes, I took a nice pay cut but I knew that with thousands of federal jobs available that I would find something that satisfied me again and I would avoid throwing away one of the main reasons people work in the federal gov. anyways. (retirement salary and benefits)

So I then had a job that was easy to deal with on a day to day basis and I just started applying for other positions I found intriguing and for which I qualified for... If I did not qualify for a particular position that I was interested in I would take a class or get a certification so that I would be at least marginally qualified. I ended up changing positions and agencies a couple times but eventually I found something I really enjoy and I did not loose one day of federal service. (currently have 23+ years)

It seems u think your only options are to stay or quit but that makes no sense to me when u work for the largest employer in the US.

I do not work for DOD any longer but often come in contact with prior active duty military and almost without fail when I meet someone who left service after 10 years under their belt they indicate deep regret for not finishing their time (20 years) and getting that retirement benefit.

For you, with 24 years and 8 to go, it is like a service member serving 15 and not doing the last 5.

Chances are you'll regret it.

"My problem is that after I have invested 7 years into studying the real estate market in my current area that I would be starting all over if transferring to a new local.
"

Why not widen the scope of the jobs you'd be willing to take in the Federal Gov in your area. Rather than leaving altogether what if you look at jobs making from 50k on up --- find some job that you'd love that would leave you with enough energy to do the real estate venture too.... Think outside the box -- taking a lower paying job does not mean your stuck there --- it just may be a temporary resting place until you find an even better fit.

But, of course, it is your choice.

The good side of you quitting for all of us taxpayers is that your giving up alot of retirement and salary benefits that would normally be paid out.
Military Man,

Thank you for all your comments.

Finding a different Federal Job may be a good move. Also I like you recommendation of keeping your eye out for better opportunities.

My biggest fear along these lines is that working for any large institution and especially the Federal Government is just not a good fit for me personally.

I would like to find a place one day where I am appropriately rewarded for my efforts. The more the effort the more the reward. The way promotions in the Federal Government are handed out to the undeserving just sickens me.

I know this will always exist, I mean look at congress and the choice of presidential candidates that we have. Pitiful.

I would just rather not have it so directly in my day to day life.

Back to the any ole Federal Job route. Do you think that it would be possible for me to leave Government service for a few years and then if I am not as happy as I think I will be or if I am seeing the nest egg take a bad hit then go back into Government service at say 51 years old....leaving 5 more years of service to get the benefits back.

In summary, how hard is it to get a semi-fun Government Job at 51 if you have been out for a few years
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:29 PM   #19
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How are you calculating the 228K? The unknowns are the reason why many people in your position stay on the job.
JimnJana,

Well my stab at calculating the benefits has included.

1) the lose of COLA's on annuity that I will get between now and 62.
2) The lose of 401K Matching contributions from 47 to 56
3) The Social Security Supplement that I would receive from 56 to 62
4) The subsidized Health Care from 47 to 65 giving reduced value to this from 65 to 80 as Medicare will become primary.

I am thinking of taking the SS Supplement out of the calculations as I really don't see myself not working from 56 to 62 anyway.

The value of the Federal Employee Health Care may be going away soon as well.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:31 PM   #20
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If you hate your job I would quit. Life is too short to do something you hate.

I would then take a year off and travel or do what you choose. After the year, then look for a part-time job doing something you would love. Regardless of the pay, that part time income should help bridge the slight shortfall you see in the math right now.
Hey, I would really enjoy that!!
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