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59 and Thinking
Old 01-23-2010, 09:42 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 23
59 and Thinking

Hi all,

I am a software engineer living in Dayton, OH. My wife is a retired school teacher. I have been lurking here for as while. But I am getting closer to making the plunge and thought I would elicit some advice.

My current portfolio:

740K divided as follows:



56 % ---- T.Rowe Price Spectrum Income (ER .72)

Her 403b

3.8% ---- Fidelity Balanced (ER .81)
1.9% ---- ING Money Market 1.96%
2.28% ---- Vanguard Wellington


18.4% ---- Vanguard Total Stock Market
7.8% ---- Vanguard Total International Stock Index
6.0% ---- Vanguard Prime Money Market
3.8% ---- Capitol One Savings

Total 100%

According to Morningstar my current asset alllocation is:

45% Bonds
30% US Stocks
10% Foreign Stocks
15% Cash

I am 59; wife is 56;
I am still employed. Wife is a retired teacher with a 42K/year pension. This pension is adjusted 3%/year for inflation. (Soon to be reducerd to 2% year).

My wife is receiving payments to her 403b of 1.1K per month for the next 18 months. She originally had access to Fidelity but that is no longer the case. All of the options were insurance companies so we decided to go with a money market at ING that carries no surrender charges at a rate of 3%. We will move the ING and Fidelity accounts to Vanguard when we are able. (Not until she turns 59 1/2).

Our healthcare currently runs approx. 120/month for her (She is covered with a group policy through her pension plan). I have an individual policy that runs 181/month. This has been adjusting upward about 20% per year.

We have no mortgage or car payments. We have made as many home improvements recently as reasonable in order to eliminate the need to do this when we are both retired (new roof, carpeting, hardware floors, painting (inside and out). We have 1 son already through college and all college debts covered.

I am slowly preparing for ER by cutting back on my days of work. Starting this year I am only working 3 days a year. I would like to completely retire in 2 years (at age 61). I would like to delay taking social security at least until age 66 if possible. If I collect SS ast 62 I would get 1.6K/month. If I wait until 66 this would be just under 2.1K.

At the moment, we are basically living off of my wife's pension and trying to save my salary. I am guessing we may use an extra 10 - 12K per year of my salary for living expenses but we could do without if we had to. As I would like to do some traveling once I retire the expenses may increase some at that time but hopefully all is within budget.

Please give me your thoughts as to ER possibilities and portfolio justments.

Some thoughts:

I am happy with a 40/60 stock/Fixed Income split.
I am considering moving the T. Rowe Price to Vanguard. I am thinking of splitting the SEP-IRA into Vanguard Total Bond Index and Vanguard Inflation Protected Securites.

My thanks to all in advance.

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Old 01-23-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 10,662
You're in great shape but without projected expenses (you make some general statements that suggest you have a number or could easily develop one) I don't think we can provide concrete assessments. Maybe I missed it in your post, but have you tried FIRECALC? Very good place to start.

I would suggest you ignore anyone who gives you a firm yes or no based on your financial picture. Only you will know when enough is enough ($ vs living), it's not strictly a financial decision IMO. And welcome aboard.

No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 01-25-2010, 10:46 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 39
Well I hope you are in great shape - since I'm in similiar financial shoes. I'm a Software engineer with more financial assets but no real pensions to mention. Do you plan on staying where you are? Do you have home equity? I'm a bit younger but I plan on doing a first pass at an ER next year. I'll take a couple of years off anyway just to test the waters. More than likely I'll sell my home in my HCOL area and find someplace a little slower and warmer. Good luck to you!
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