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61 and hesitant
Old 12-12-2010, 08:14 PM   #1
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61 and hesitant

I'm glad I found this site.

I'm 61. My wife is 56. We have about $1,000,000 in retirement savings, generating about $40,000 a year, mostly tax free. She inherited a commercial property that generates $72,000 rent annually, but we can't get the tenant to sign a lease. The tenant has been there for about 30 years.

We also have a long term payout on something we sold. It generates $95,000 annually for another 8 years; about 70% of those payments are tax free.

Our main house is worth approx. $1,300,000, plus or minus, and we have a mortgage of $160,000 that will be retired in 6 years. We have a 2d home in NC that is worth about $500,000, with no mortgage.

Our youngest child is a sophomore in college and it costs us about $15,000 a year; we have a 501 plan with 1 year of those expenses put away.

We can easily live on the rent and the other payment, so long as they are made. The $95,000 a year is pretty secure because we have good collateral. The $72,000 a year is iffy because it is a car dealership tenant; the land is probably worth about $600,000 in a relatively quick sale.

I can't figure out why I am hesitant to quit work. I'm a bit burnt out. My motivation to work hard isn't there, but I don't want to let the people I work with down. I love to spend time in NC. My wife is already retired.

We can live well on about $130,000 a year, and probably more like $100,000 when the mortgage is retired and the last child graduates. I will get max Social Security when I reach 65.

So why can't I pull the trigger? It isn't a big ego thing for me to work and I have plenty of other interests. The whole thing is difficult to get a handle on.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:25 PM   #2
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Welcome! I also had a hard time letting go. That old German work ethic. It took me a couple of years to adjust, but now I wonder why I waited so long.

How does your wife feel about you joining her in retirement? Do you two have plans to travel or enjoy other activities more?
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:30 PM   #3
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Welcome! Retirement is one of life's big changes, and I think it can be a little unnerving to think about it beforehand. Just remember that being retired doesn't mean that you are old or useless these days. It just means that you have reached a goal.

You didn't mention health insurance - - will that be a problem?
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:31 PM   #4
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I think she's ready for me to join her. We both like to do things we can't do as much of when I'm working. The savings are mostly from me working. The rental income and the thing we sold are things she inherited. My fragile little male ego has some issues dealing with being supported, even though I have been the supporter for the last 30+ years!

I mostly think I will wonder why I waited!
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:35 PM   #5
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Welcome, yup, I also think you'll be wondering why you waited.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:40 PM   #6
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I'm glad I found this site.
welcome

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Originally Posted by 67walkon View Post
So why can't I pull the trigger? It isn't a big ego thing for me to work and I have plenty of other interests. The whole thing is difficult to get a handle on.
well that is the question and i am sorry but i think you (maybe with the help of some people who know you well) are gonna have to answer that 1 yourself.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #7
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67walkon wrote " I will get max Social Security when I reach 65." Small correction: according to Retirement benefits by year of birth -- Full Retirement and Age 62 Benefit by Year of Birth -- people born 1943 to 54 qualify for full benefits at age 66. I had to wrestle with a Protestant Work Ethic to accept retirement; took about two minutes to get it to give up. Spending time with your wife seems to me to be more important to you than accumulating more assets, which you don't need. Life is short.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:09 PM   #8
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If you're uncomfortable, there's probably a good reason. I suggest you spend time reading posts on this forum to understand how others are doing. Also read a couple of the books listed in the FAQ. I'd suggest Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt. A book that made me start down this road in earnest was Dominguez's Your Money or your Life. It is a bit extreme, but the underlying message is very solid.

Welcome to the forum. All the best.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:19 PM   #9
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67, you might find this old thread interesting: Handling the "just one more year..." syndrome
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 67walkon View Post
I can't figure out why I am hesitant to quit work. I'm a bit burnt out. My motivation to work hard isn't there, but I don't want to let the people I work with down. I love to spend time in NC. My wife is already retired.
How will you let them down?

I've found that people and businesses can go on along just fine when someone says goodbye. IMO, you need to do what's best for you and your family...because that's exactly what they will do.

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:26 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forum!

Pulling the trigger is a mental challenge, a major change. I'm not close, but been told that's a barrier. Since you have outside interests, can you take an extended vacation or leave of absence and test drive retirement? No remote working and limit any work related conversations and see how you feel?

Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:33 PM   #12
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How will you let them down?

I've found that people and businesses can go on along just fine when someone says goodbye. IMO, you need to do what's best for you and your family...because that's exactly what they will do.

Welcome to the forum.
+ 1

Most corporations will survive the loss of even the most senior executives just fine. The people you used to work with will adapt once you have gone. Even if they don't, why would you want to place the interests of a company ahead of your own?

If you worry about it (or want a transitional period between working and living), you could offer to work part time or consult for a year or two.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:40 PM   #13
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So why can't I pull the trigger? It isn't a big ego thing for me to work and I have plenty of other interests. The whole thing is difficult to get a handle on.
You wrote about 90% about your finances and 10% that you can't pull the trigger that has nothing to do with money.

So, can you tell us more about you and what you are wrestling with? Otherwise we all will guessing with very little information which will not very helpful for you.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:59 AM   #14
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Here's a previous posting that I had made to another thread concerning the same hestitancy which I had at the time I was retiring. I hope this helps you understand your situation.

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Avian, I am retiring in 7 more workdays. I signed my papers and an announcement was made two weeks ago. I have had an ominious feeling of uncertainty before I signed, during the signing, again when I dropped the letter in the mailbox, and off and on ever since. I think its an anxious feeling that emerges when I see people who have involuntarily lost their jobs while at the same time, I am voluntarily giving up a good paying one. I keep thinking to myself, are you nuts? But I seems to lose sight of the fact that my retirement income totally replaces my earned income and I really have nothing to worry about. I think it is the fear of the unknown. Will the investment configuration really work? Will the economy dive again? Will inflation outstrip my purchasing power. How can I be certain that I am not going to end up making a giant mistake? Well, you know, I believe one could worry themselves into dispair. I believe I have tried that. I believe that I am trying to find excuses for not accepting this change so I can avoid the fear of the unknown. But I also firmly believe that once the retirement day has past and I see my carefully laid plans begin to unfold and work, I will feel relief. I know that I don't want to work any more. I am just sick of it. I want my freedom and I shall have it. I don't want an employers schedule interferring with my own. I want to come and go as I please. When I think that this independence is only 7 days away, a big smile comes to my face. This board has generally said over the years, Live Below Your Means, and you will be alright. Trust LBYM and you will be alright!
I wrote this 19 months ago. Since then, everything has been just fine. In fact, my portfolio is worth more now than when I retired and I expect that trend to continue. Retirement was a great decision for me. I'm glad I did it.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:07 PM   #15
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Dex, its a lot of things. First of all, I'm a point where work isn't all that difficult and, until the last year or so, paid pretty well. For the most part, I like the people I work with. Except for certain times, my work schedule is somewhat flexible; I come in about 10:00 a couple of mornings a week so I can work out and I usually take a couple of long lunches a week to go to a gym. However, the tedium, after 36 + years is hard to take. I have too many interests outside of work to worry much about getting bored, or at least I think I do.

I guess a psychological pressure point is that our current finances would allow us to live on what is essentially assets my wife inherited for another 8 years or so, while letting our savings grow. We're both pretty thrifty, but if I want to buy a $100 part for my bicycle or a new windshield for this old car I have, I think I am reluctant to spend my wife's "inherited" type money on things she might think are frivolous. I guess I could pull money out of the 401 K for that sort of stuff if need be, but I just haven't resolved that yet.

I'm home today with a bad chest cold, so I can think about it a bit more than usual. I'm pretty sure the numbers work, but we need to make sure with a fee based financial adviser and haven't done that yet.

This forum is a very good one for help with this stuff.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:11 PM   #16
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I've found that people and businesses can go on along just fine when someone says goodbye.
Amen to that! I've had many jo*s/positions over many years. When I moved on, I counted on the fact that I felt I made a difference (much like spreading fertilizer) and those left behind could go on quite easily after I was gone.

Nothing different than a parent's responsibility to their childern - the next generation...

Sometimes it's time to go, and everybody is better for it. You, and your "past"....

Just a note: When I decided to retire (on my terms), the company announced a year after I retired, the shutdown of local operations (moved/merged out of state). Two years to the date of my retirement, my former section was eliminated. Sometimes it's good to make your own future, rather awaiting on others to determine it for you...
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:46 PM   #17
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I have not retired quite yet but I have taken the first step. Reading (as others here have recommended)...
  • How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free by Ernie Zelinski
  • Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt &
  • Get a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well by Ralph Warner
...all helped me become far more comfortable with the idea of retiring, and are probably available at your library.

All 3 books touch on $, but that appears to be the simple (but not easy) part to come to grips with. They also talk about all the non $ aspects, which is where I was getting hung up. Sounds like you might be wondering more about the latter as well.

Best of luck, big step, but you clearly have good options...
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:14 PM   #18
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Dex, its a lot of things. First of all, I'm a point where work isn't all that difficult and, until the last year or so, paid pretty well. For the most part, I like the people I work with. Except for certain times, my work schedule is somewhat flexible; I come in about 10:00 a couple of mornings a week so I can work out and I usually take a couple of long lunches a week to go to a gym. However, the tedium, after 36 + years is hard to take. I have too many interests outside of work to worry much about getting bored, or at least I think I do.
I was in a similar situation. I had an easy corp. job and I could have stayed until 65 but I decided to get out at 51 - now 55. I though of it this way. If I was on my way to work and were in a car accident and as I was dying I would pissed at myself for not retiring early. What good did all the work, savings and money in the bank do me.

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I guess a psychological pressure point is that our current finances would allow us to live on what is essentially assets my wife inherited for another 8 years or so, while letting our savings grow. We're both pretty thrifty, but if I want to buy a $100 part for my bicycle or a new windshield for this old car I have, I think I am reluctant to spend my wife's "inherited" type money on things she might think are frivolous. I guess I could pull money out of the 401 K for that sort of stuff if need be, but I just haven't resolved that yet.
I'm not married and I don't understand this. You are working and have your own money.

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I'm home today with a bad chest cold, so I can think about it a bit more than usual. I'm pretty sure the numbers work, but we need to make sure with a fee based financial adviser and haven't done that yet.
I think most here would say you have enough options and enough to retire. Run the numbers and after you see you have enough to retire you have the psychological aspects to deal with. People have posted here who have a net worth of 3.5M+ and 60K annual budget still ask the question; "Do I have enough?"

I have significantly less than you do and a lower expense budget. But, I too am uneasy about finances - at least until I make it to SS; which takes off some pressure.

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This forum is a very good one for help with this stuff.
The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Identify your issues and be specific and you will get good responses. Don't do that responses can be all over the place.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:45 PM   #19
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Welcome , I also had a hard time pulling the plug so I did it slowly a little bit at a time . Of course I was an RN and that is pretty easy to do in the medical profession . You are from my generation which still gets caught up with the male wanting to be the bread winner . Times have changed . You have been the bread winner for many years and now the balance has changed . As long as your wife isn't constantly referring it to as her money and is willing to share forget about it and just enjoy the perks . What if the shoe was on the other foot and you had had a large inheritance ? Wouldn't you share ? If so there is your answer . Hope you get feeling better ! I hate colds .
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:29 AM   #20
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welcome! my father was in a similar situation (more than ample resources plus nice govt pensions) so he retired. In general I think he has hated it - all his identity was tied up in "being the boss". he didn't have a circle of friends, numerous activities and charitable commitments to go TO once he left the job. Now it seems he spends about 99% worried that he won't have enough money to make it to the end. we've run firecalc together many times and even with zero return and no soc security he still makes it 100% of the time.

Make sure you've gotten something to go to once you pull the cord.

good luck!
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