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53, would ER if I had the money!
Old 07-15-2010, 02:52 AM   #1
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53, would ER if I had the money!

Hi All,

I'm 53 yo, registered nurse, single mom to 12 yo daughter, living in Louisiana.

After another rough weekend at work I decided that I need to improve my chances of retiring someday. Spent the last few days reading online & discovered this great group! If only I had started to plan for ER when I was young. I wasn't a great saver, spent lots of money on travel, wasted lots of money.

So bad news is that I have only $300,000 in 403b. (Need to work on my allocations. Need advice on mm/bond/mutual fund options in 403b. I'm less risk tolerant after several rough years in the market, continued volatility, and my desire to retire ASAP!)

Good news is that I'm almost debt-free. My salary last year was $95,000. And our hospital provides great compensation at my years of service. I'm currently putting 17% into 403b and the hospital matches 100% of first 10% and gives me an additional yearly lump sum deposit of 6%. So total into 403b equals 33% of salary. I also opened a Roth IRA last year, will put max until retirement ($6000/yr), and plan to allow that to grow as long as possible.

But bottom line is that I probably won't get out very early. If I can find a way to average 6% per year over the next 9 years my 403b & Roth will grow to total of approx $968,000. I'll be 62.5 (earliest SS age + wait 4 months to get one more annual review bonus, one more end of year bonus, and one more 6% lump sum payment from employer).

At that point I could begin 3% withdrawal which would = $29,000
If necessary I could begin SS estimated to be $20,350/year at age 63.
(if I can wait until full retirement age SS = $26,000/year)

I need to work on budget/cutting expenses both current and estimated for retirement. I don't have expensive tastes or hobbies. But I need to cut waste since I expect health care & long term care insurance to eat up a lot of my retirement budget.

So much to learn from this group!

Want2ER
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:57 AM   #2
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Welcome. Looks like you have addressed the need to save save save from this point forward to reach your goals. I will let the financial gurus here address your allocation question. But just wanted to say hello and wish you the best.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by want2er View Post
..............(Need to work on my allocations. Need advice on mm/bond/mutual fund options in 403b. I'm less risk tolerant after several rough years in the market, continued volatility, and my desire to retire ASAP!)............

Welcome. You have obviously been doing your home work.

If you haven't found the Bogleheads forum yet, I think you'll find some good advice on allocations there. Note that they have a canned format to ask about investment choices which greatly speeds along the analysis.

Bogleheads :: View topic - Asking Portfolio Questions
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:49 AM   #4
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Welcome , I am a retired a RN and I think you are doing a great job preparing for retirement while being a single Mom.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:33 AM   #5
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Hi Want2er,

Like others have said, it looks like you've done your homework.

You did mention that you need to work on budgeting/cutting expenses and cut waste. Do you have a budget in place to do this? If not, you'd want to get one. There have been several threads on here about what budgeting system (software, spreadsheet, manual) that people use. The second part is to decide what waste you wish to cut and then save/invest the rest for ER.

When I ER'd, I too had to re-look at my expenses. As an example, for me, I found my monthly cable tv bill as wasteful so eliminated that expense.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for the welcome, feedback, links! I'll do some more reading & be back with questions.
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