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57 Year Old Jumped Ship - Prematurely?
Old 05-30-2014, 08:00 PM   #1
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57 Year Old Jumped Ship - Prematurely?

Greetings! I guess I am not asking "can I retire?" since I already pulled the plug. But lapsed Roman Catholics like to confess and hopefully, come away feeling good.

Salient facts about me:
  • 57 years old
  • Liquid assets 25X annual expenses, 10/40/50 cash/fixed/equity
  • $9,000.00/year FERS pension
  • Outstanding mortgage debt $119,000.00; 10 years remain on 4.4% loan
  • FEHB health insurance in retirement
  • LTC policy $250.00/mo.
  • No kids. Live-in partner of 20 years age 68 brings in considerable income, gets SS but has no pension or retirement assets, has Medicare but no LTC.

I retired a couple of months ago mainly because the job was, for me, beyond stressful -- getting into death march territory. Didn't pay well, either. My late husband died at age 57 so as they say, I've seen that movie before . . .

I know a lot members here pull the plug with a lot more certainty, but it appeared to me I was OK if I can keep my spending in the $30k - $40K range, going forward. Shouldn't be too hard.

I will be in line to get survivor's SS in a year and a half -- $1200/mo.

As a final note, I expect to inherit (I am in the will of a close relative who is over 90). This fact did influence my decision to retire, but only by about 10 to 20 percent.

It would be very out of character for this relative to change the will, however, it's possible. I would rather shoot myself than sue a family member over an inheritance. So, luckily, I am confident that without any inherited money, I will be fine.

Because my partner's income is contract-based and he is 68, I have to assume this income stream could end at any time. However, he has been pulling in about $5,000.00/mo. We own the house together, and split the mortgage and expenses.

What do you think? Thanks for any replies and for all the help I have already gleaned from this forum, from very smart people.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:29 PM   #2
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Spectrallight,

Welcome to the forum. I'd say it's time for you to start enjoying life! If the job was making you that miserable, you don't need that in your life. Whether you choose to retire full time, or find something else to do either full time or part time, you should make sure that you are only doing what you enjoy and look forward to.

If your assets represent 25X expenses, that supports your ability to withdraw 4% per year. Your pension and eventual social security should drop that down a bit though and give you plenty of cushion.

So how have you been spending your last few months since leaving the job? Are you finding the time enjoyable? Pursuing new hobbies? It takes at least a few months to decompress after leaving a stressful work situation, so hopefully you are starting to settle into a new and enjoyable routine for yourself.

Congratulations!
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for Responding!

Thanks for your supportive response to my post! For the time being (two months into retirement) I love having a lot of unstructured time. The Pacific Northwest is gorgeous this time of year!

I do hope to return to volunteer work I did before. It was related to mental health, and suicide prevention.

Retirement is easy for me. I'm introverted. Reading, puttering, a few social engagements, and family stuff, suffice nicely. Again, nice to hear from you.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:56 AM   #4
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You'll be fine. In a year and a half once your SS survivor benefit starts you'll be getting $23k a year between your pension and SS so your gap to $40k of expenses will only be $17k a year. If your assets are 25x your $30-40k of expenses then your WR will only be 1.7% to 2.3%. Absent asteroids, you should be all set.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:55 AM   #5
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You mention that your partner has no pension or retirement assets-only SS. Will you be supporting him when he finally retires and if so do your expenses cover the two of you?
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:21 AM   #6
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He has a modest equity stake in a start-up enterprise. That could amount to something. Or not.

So, yeah, I could end up supporting him -- in the sense of covering any shortfall between his half of the household expenses and his SS, once his income opportunities dry up. Hopefully, this won't happen too long before the mortgage is retired in about ten years.

He started a company in the 1980's. Despite accomplishing a lot -- in terms of job creation and innovation -- the business went down. Other corporate officers bailed on him. He was left alone with a lot of debts. Financially he never recovered.

But he has always been a joyous, productive guy. Megacorp or government would not have been a fit for him.
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:34 PM   #7
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Welcome , I would try to pay off as much as the mortgage as possible before your partner's business dries up .
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:56 PM   #8
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Welcome! I also pulled the plug early a few weeks ago at age 61 due to toxic politics and am also partnered with an older (by 15 years) guy. In my case, I married him so I'm not entitled to survivor's benefits on my late Ex's record. Darn.

With assets equal to 25 X your annual expenses you should be fine, especially since you can't be held responsible for your partner's LTC if he needs it. I'm assuming that you've got whatever legal protection is necessary to ensure that you get your fair share of the house if he predeceases you.

Like you, I'm finding the transition amazingly easy. Don't have to set the alarm. Don't have to squeeze all my errands into evenings and weekends when everyone else is doing them. PLENTY of volunteer opportunities; so far I've gotten heavily into working in a community garden that provides fresh produce for the local soup kitchen.

Welcome to the Board!
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Old 05-31-2014, 03:15 PM   #9
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Spectrallight –


I also retired from federal FERS employment at 57. Hopefully you had a reasonable accumulation in your TSP account. (401k type account for non-feds). At my earliest opportunity I rolled mine out to an IRA type account that would allow investment in real estate.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectrallight View Post
Retirement is easy for me. I'm introverted. Reading, puttering, a few social engagements, and family stuff, suffice nicely.
Sounds like me and DW. It works for us.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:54 PM   #11
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Thank you for the thoughts and warm welcomes.

Moemg: Yes, for sure we should pay off the mortgage as early as possible. There is no prepayment penalty, so all it will take is a little discipline.

athena53: My partner's LTC does concern me a bit. I should be young and strong enough to handle what comes up, at home. BUT he's a big guy. I have told him, if you are demented AND combative, all bets are off!

Seriously -- in Washington State, registered domestic partners have community property benefits and burdens. I am sure the State would come after my assets for his LTC if we were RDP's. So we can't do that.

I am not trying to game the system here -- just survive!

unano2002: About 25% of my retirement money is TSP. The rest taxable. Right now, I am letting the TSP ride, in a Lifecycle 2020 fund.

Again, thanks, and good to meet y'all.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by spectrallight View Post
!

Seriously -- in Washington State, registered domestic partners have community property benefits and burdens. I am sure the State would come after my assets for his LTC if we were RDP's. So we can't do that.

.

I am glad you mentioned this . My SO of fourteen years and I have considered becoming registered domestic partners . We do have all the legal stuff done so we can be health care surrogates & power of attorney but I am now putting the domestic partnership on hold . Thanks !
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:09 PM   #13
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hope i don't sound morbid, but information is good to have. How does one get SS survior benefits at such a young age? (57 + 18 months)
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