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53 and looking forward.
Old 01-21-2019, 07:30 AM   #1
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53 and looking forward.

My name is Chris, and my wife and I are both 53 (been married for 30 years). I make a decent living as a prototype engineer for a large automotive rubber products company, while my wife makes a bit more than me as a project manager for a local home building company.

My 19 YO son still lives at home and will be graduating from UNOH as a diesel tech later this year. My 25 YO daughter has already graduated and is in the CAD industry. She lives 1/4 mile down our county road (we have a 10 acre farm), and will be getting married in October and we have given her a $5000 budget. For the time being, they are both still on my health insurance.

I have been in my 401K for a long time, but only recently started investing at 20% through Fidelity I have about 250K. I will have a 20 year company pension that will amount to about $1000 a month at 62 YO, and with full survivorship. We have both earned a full SS benefit, but will wait to see about how much that will end up being.

Living on a farm, we hope to build a big greenhouse, and ramp up our gardening, while still also traveling extensively in our 32' camper. This last year has been a whirlwind of big expenses including the following;
-$5000 wedding expenses
-$14000 Diesel Excursion used
-$10000 Heartland North Country camper used
-$3500 1968 JD industrial backhoe
-$10000 Heart Defib/pacemaker
-$3000 Car repair
-$10000 Son's tuition help
-$3000 DIY bathroom rebuild
-$3000 DIY auto shop upgrades

This year will be different, and try to limit expenses...most of this stuff was WAY overdue, and truly needed, but looking forward to cutting expenses, increasing investments, and slowing down.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:23 AM   #2
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Welcome, Chris! Do you have a target date for retirement? Tracking expenses in detail can help a lot in identifying areas for cutting back to ramp up your retirement savings now that a lot of major expenses are behind you. Keep us posted and we hope you get some inspiration and ideas from our friendly members!
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:31 AM   #3
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Great job Chris. The hardest thing to do for some are cutting expenses and living below their means. I have invested in Vanguard index funds since the early 1990s and glad that I did. - ER'd Sept 2018 at 51.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:50 AM   #4
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+2

Contribute all you can for the remainder of your working years. Understand yearly spending and add in a yearly "fix it" fund as you can see things do happen. Figure a base budget and then on that includes some travel. Estimate both your SS incomes plus your pension. When will the farm be paid off? Will you need to buy insurance if you RE? This is a great time to start focusing on the high savings years once your projects are done
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:52 AM   #5
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Yes, very important to track expenses and build a retirement budget. Are you using low cost investment funds?
Any thoughts on when you might wish to retire?
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #6
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If we can get through this year, and have a married daughter, and a graduated son, and not need to buy any other large purchases like listed above, I can start on a budget, and contribute more.

Late last year my wife finally got the raise she deserved for the 17 years she has been doing her job, and taking on more, and more. Her raise was 35%. Just last month I got an 8% raise, so we are still a little unsure what the final budget will be....gotta let the dust settle a bit, but glad I found this forum to bounce ideas off of.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:37 AM   #7
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Yes, very important to track expenses and build a retirement budget. Are you using low cost investment funds?
Any thoughts on when you might wish to retire?
I will be turning 62 in June of 2027. I hope to either retire on July 1st, or Dec 31 of 2027...depending on what pencils out better. My BIG concern is even qualifying for health insurance anywhere. I have a new pace maker, been through cancer twice, and have multiple issue from the radiation, and chemo that I had 30 years ago. All in all, I still work hard at home on the farm, and in the office, and enjoy mountain biking, and hiking when we go camping (trying to enjoy a long life as a healthy 5'10" 190# guy).
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Old 01-21-2019, 12:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ckelly78z View Post
I will be turning 62 in June of 2027. I hope to either retire on July 1st, or Dec 31 of 2027...depending on what pencils out better. My BIG concern is even qualifying for health insurance anywhere. I have a new pace maker, been through cancer twice, and have multiple issue from the radiation, and chemo that I had 30 years ago. All in all, I still work hard at home on the farm, and in the office, and enjoy mountain biking, and hiking when we go camping (trying to enjoy a long life as a healthy 5'10" 190# guy).


Well, then along with planning your future enjoy each day. Going on the market for insurance you are only asked if you smoke. Other than that it's just the sticker shock of paying for it. If your MAGI is low enough then you should have a decent subsidy
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckelly78z View Post
I will be turning 62 in June of 2027. I hope to either retire on July 1st, or Dec 31 of 2027...depending on what pencils out better. My BIG concern is even qualifying for health insurance anywhere. I have a new pace maker, been through cancer twice, and have multiple issue from the radiation, and chemo that I had 30 years ago. All in all, I still work hard at home on the farm, and in the office, and enjoy mountain biking, and hiking when we go camping (trying to enjoy a long life as a healthy 5'10" 190# guy).
Best wishes! Have you projected your retirement assets through 2027, and what a 3.5-4% withdrawal would net you? Have you looked at your SS statement? Evaluated your annual spending? Determined whether your projected assets will yield enough annual income to allow you to maintain your desired/required spending rate? Also, you can put all of this into the FIRE calculator!

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Old 01-21-2019, 02:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ckelly78z View Post
I will be turning 62 in June of 2027. I hope to either retire on July 1st, or Dec 31 of 2027...depending on what pencils out better. My BIG concern is even qualifying for health insurance anywhere. I have a new pace maker, been through cancer twice, and have multiple issue from the radiation, and chemo that I had 30 years ago. All in all, I still work hard at home on the farm, and in the office, and enjoy mountain biking, and hiking when we go camping (trying to enjoy a long life as a healthy 5'10" 190# guy).
Okay then. Try checking out Healthcare.gov and Healthsherpa.com to get some initial thoughts on how much your medical could cost pre medicare years.
As mentioned by another poster, your pre-existing conditions should not come into play with current ACA rules.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:14 PM   #11
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It will help that next year, my daughter will be married, so she won't be on my health insurance. It will also help that my son will be graduating, and supposedly moving to NY with his girlfriend (which will lower electric, water, and food bills, as well as incidentals).

It will also help next year to have a short term loan consumer paid off, we won't be paying all the hidden expenses of a wedding, and that we won't be taking another (fully paid) trip to Sandals south coast Jamaica like we did in December for our anniversary.

I can start expense tracking soon, but a budget might have to wait for a few months until we settle into our new incomes, and less expenses.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:06 AM   #12
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This year will be different than last year. I will be selling my wife's old car (2003 BMW 325CI convertible $2500) that basically sits there waiting for someone to need it with current license plates, and insurance. I will be selling my 1985 Porsche 944 $4000 that doesn't have plates, and only liability insurance, and has been sitting for 2 years.

I may also consider selling the backhoe $3500 that we bought for a big trenching project last year. I also need to sell my daughter's 2008 Dodge Caliber $3500 that will payoff the down payment we had to help make for her new 2018 Honda Civic.

If I can get the $13500 out of these non-used vehicles, and another $3-4K from other stuff around the farm, it will go a long way to getting things paid down, and get a budget in place that doesn't include large kid expenses.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:04 PM   #13
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Good news, My daughter will get us up to date on her rent payment (5 years ago we installed a 16x80 mobile home a nice 1 acre lot only 1/4 mile from us) with the 3 months she was behind after an unplanned emergency. We will also be getting back an additional $2500 from taxes due to my son being in college, and an additional $3500 back into the emergency fund from her selling her car.

After paying off our home equity loan at the end of this year, we will be looking for some Southern Kentucky property to hopefully build a farm/homestead on, that we could move to when we retire 8 years from now.

Things are slowly falling into place, I just have to be more patient.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:42 AM   #14
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+2

Contribute all you can for the remainder of your working years. Understand yearly spending and add in a yearly "fix it" fund as you can see things do happen. Figure a base budget and then on that includes some travel. Estimate both your SS incomes plus your pension. When will the farm be paid off? Will you need to buy insurance if you RE? This is a great time to start focusing on the high savings years once your projects are done

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Old 02-13-2019, 01:47 PM   #15
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After talking to the wife about Kentucky, we both like the idea of getting 50+ acres in the Southern hills, near some large bodies of water (Cumberland area) to mainly put our camper on, as a private retreat vacation spot, but not necessarily moving there on a permanent basis.

My wife has been with her home building engineer job for 17 years now, and the boss finally stopped all the un-achievable, dangling carrot bonuses for her. He adjusted her pay up 66% for 2018. My megacorp restructered it's pay scales, and gave long term employees (I have 20 years in now) a well deserved 8% raise, and an additional week of vacation.

These two raises will be put to use this year, to start filling up our 2nd, and 3rd buckets, and max out my 401K deposits.
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:49 PM   #16
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UPDATE; I just pulled the Porsche 944 out to sell, and am getting it detailed, my daughter's car sold, The BMW is fixed (reliable battery, and now in a garage spot.

We have re-thought the Kentucky property until we can easily pay cash for it (may never happen), and decided to upgrade the family farm with a completed auto shop, a newly finished bathroom, a furnace/A/C upgrade, and a new metal roof.

After looking at the numbers, I am considering working until 64, instead of 62 for the following reasons;
-2 more years of payroll checks. ($110,000).
-2 more years of company match on my 401K (20% +6%).
-2 more years of solid health care (not out of pocket).
-30% more than age 62, for company pension payout due to hitting 30 years service. ($500 extra a month)
-10% more SS payout for each of us ($300 a month extra)
-My job isn't a high stress office job, more of a lab job.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:44 PM   #17
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Here is a pic of the Porsche 944.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0027.jpg (808.2 KB, 27 views)
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:51 PM   #18
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I live back in the woods, you see
My woman and the kids, and the dogs, and me
I got a shotgun, a rifle, and a 4-wheel drive
And a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

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