Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
7 months to ER...Excited and nervous!
Old 09-07-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Dan5099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hazleton, PA
Posts: 3
7 months to ER...Excited and nervous!

Hi everyone,

Like most of the new posters, I have been checking this site out for a few months and taking in all sorts of advice and tonight decided to emerge from "lurkerdom".

I'm Dan, 47, and have worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 24.5 years. My agency's retirement plan allows for a member to retire with 20 years of service at 50% of our highest year's salary or at 25 years with 75% of our highest year's salary. In either case, we keep our full health care benefit package for life (which is an excellent plan - $15 copay for office visits and $5 prescriptions..everything else covered 100%). I volunteered for every overtime assignment available this past year so that my annual pension will be close to 90% of my base pay which is approximately $90K. After using some of my lump sum payment to pay off the few bills that I have, I will actually be keeping more of my money each month than I do now.

My DW is a high school teacher and I have a son who is a Jr. in college and a daughter in 9th grade. I am taking the pension option that reduces my monthly payments slightly, but will continue to be paid to my DW should I roll a 7 before she does. She has her own excellent health care plan which would cover her and the kids should that happen. I have a deferred comp. plan that was pretty robust until the stock market collapsed (it basically follows the S&P500 index) and some modest savings. My main concern with my pension is that it does not include COLAs. A COLA can be approved by our state legislature, but that rarely happens. If I live long enough, my pension may dip below median income (or, more accurately the median income may rise above my pension), but the alternative would be to die young. After about 6 months of retirement, I plan to look for a low stress pt job to keep myself active.

As the big day gets closer, my anxiety level rises but I suppose that is normal. Well, that's about it. I look forward to more of the great ideas I have come across on this forum and to sharing my experiences as I approach, enter, and enjoy ER.

Best wishes,

Dan
__________________

__________________
Dan5099 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-07-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,905
Hi Dan,

I don't know if you have played with FIRECalc (a free retirement calculator, link at the bottom of each page here). But, it may give you some idea of how the non-COLA'd pension will contribute to your retirement.

Having your health care benefits in retirement is a great advantage.

Although I haven't felt especially anxious about retirement (as you have), it has been an emotional rollercoaster in many ways. I do think that we need to cut ourselves some slack, because it is a big transition.

Anyway, welcome to the Early Retirement Forum!
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
heyduke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 348
i am still dreaming that I will get to dream about retirement...
__________________
heyduke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 08:06 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Coach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,127
Dan, congratuations!

It sounds like you've planned well, worked hard, and now will get to enjoy some more fruits of your labors. Best wishes for a happy retirement.

Coach
__________________
Coach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 08:39 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Nice to meet you Dan! I have found this site to be an excellent source of information. More importantly, I found people who really understand the ER experience. Look forward to hearing more from you as you approach the big day
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 11:23 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North of Montana
Posts: 2,753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan5099 View Post

After about 6 months of retirement, I plan to look for a low stress pt job to keep myself active.


Dan
You'll find lots of other ways to keep active. Enjoy!
__________________
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate conclusions from insufficient data and ..
kumquat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 09:12 AM   #7
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan5099 View Post
After about 6 months of retirement, I plan to look for a low stress pt job to keep myself active.
That was my plan too, only it took more like five years to find something that fit and paid enough to make starting the car worthwhile. DW is still looking after finishing her BA degree, but in a leisurely fashion.

I've been back to work for a year now and it seems to be working out all right. For the moment it is full time but only because two of the guys are taking a tour of Iraq, courtesy of the U.S. Air National Guard. When they come back in October it should cut back to three or four days a week.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 11:27 AM   #8
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4
Dan - Sounds like you got the financial aspect down, but what about the cranial stuff? Do you think a part-time job will work for you? Somewhere I read that if you accept a job after retirement that is "below" your "capacity", it won't be satisfying and you'll end up job hopping until you end up going back to work at the capacity that you're accustomed to. Either that or you'll start drinking... I have two years to go, so I'm a little bit behind you. However, I'm still thinking of the upcoming "challenge" and always intetersted in what folks are planning... Roy
__________________
royboy65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 06:50 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 265
Happy! Excited! Nervous! I am one month from retirement and I can relate. I have looked forward to this---planned for it--but I admit the emotional roller coaster is giving me a bit of a ride. I have run the numbers and feel fairly confident that I will be okay, but it is still a big step.

Actually, typing this for the world to see is good for me because I am realizing as I type that of all the mixed emotions that I feel---happy is by far the predominant emotion. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities of developing a new life for myself. I have hobbies and interests that I want to explore and the chance to do this without a full-time job is wonderful.
__________________
FIYes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 08:43 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by royboy65 View Post
Dan - Sounds like you got the financial aspect down, but what about the cranial stuff? Do you think a part-time job will work for you? Somewhere I read that if you accept a job after retirement that is "below" your "capacity", it won't be satisfying and you'll end up job hopping until you end up going back to work at the capacity that you're accustomed to. Either that or you'll start drinking... I have two years to go, so I'm a little bit behind you. However, I'm still thinking of the upcoming "challenge" and always intetersted in what folks are planning... Roy
Royboy,

Today when you asked me about my PT gig and how I liked it I think your statement above fits me as how satisfied I am. Just like with the night teaching compared to what you and I are familar with and the good students I find the other a let down.

I have a list of ideas on my desk that over time I have explored or discounted. They are slowly getting marked off. Nords has heard me complain about it over time and helped me talk thru my options. I guess I thought a PT gig might help me transition, but the more I think about it I realize that I am not interested in any of these ideas and cold turkey may be the way for me to go. While I was initially concerned about grey matter going soft that is quickly changing as I realize I have so many things on my to do list.

I see you going thru the process I have been experiencing. Hey I signed up for TAP today for Dec. Would you believe my prereq is that I bring a current resume for them to review and help me tweak. I asked the guy what about if I am not interested in a 2nd career. He said we will have to work on that one.

Tomcat98
__________________
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 09:01 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
heyduke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 348
Tomcat98 is that Colorado Springs in the background of you avatar?
__________________
heyduke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 05:45 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Welcome Dan.

It looks like your pension and retirement benefits are fairly generous. Even though it does not have a COLA... (which most private pensions do not)... 90% if relatively high for for 25 years and under 55. This is almost unheard of in private business. Of course, you may not qualify for SS.

Since you DW is a teacher, she is probably in line for a decent pension. She should also include the joint survivor option in her pension. She probably does not qualify for SS.

Do you qualify for SS? If so, there may be some strategies that can help (in terms of delaying taking payment to increase that COLA adjusted stream of money).

If you do not have SS, then you will really need to have other assets to invest to offset inflation over the years.

If you are not comfortable crunching the numbers and doing what if projections, I would suggest that you see a fee based financial planner. Consider using a best case, worst case plan.

I would recommend that you do this before you retire. If you find you need to continue to work a bit longer, you are probably at your peak earning years at your current j*b... IMO you should factor that into the equation.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 10:57 AM   #13
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,544
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
I would recommend that you do this before you retire. If you find you need to continue to work a bit longer, you are probably at your peak earning years at your current j*b... IMO you should factor that into the equation.
I agree. In the '80's I heard of guys who retired from NYPD and did the same thing you did, worked all the overtime they could to rack up the final year's income but they had no COLA. Ten years later they were living in near-poverty and working as night security guards at grocery stores.

Inflation - which I think is a near certainty given the current govt. spending - is a very real risk for you.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 05:20 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyduke View Post
Tomcat98 is that Colorado Springs in the background of you avatar?
Yes it is at the Zoo
__________________
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2009, 09:03 PM   #15
Confused about dryer sheets
Dan5099's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hazleton, PA
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
Welcome Dan.

It looks like your pension and retirement benefits are fairly generous. Even though it does not have a COLA... (which most private pensions do not)... 90% if relatively high for for 25 years and under 55. This is almost unheard of in private business. Of course, you may not qualify for SS.

Since you DW is a teacher, she is probably in line for a decent pension. She should also include the joint survivor option in her pension. She probably does not qualify for SS.

Do you qualify for SS? If so, there may be some strategies that can help (in terms of delaying taking payment to increase that COLA adjusted stream of money).

If you do not have SS, then you will really need to have other assets to invest to offset inflation over the years.

If you are not comfortable crunching the numbers and doing what if projections, I would suggest that you see a fee based financial planner. Consider using a best case, worst case plan.

I would recommend that you do this before you retire. If you find you need to continue to work a bit longer, you are probably at your peak earning years at your current j*b... IMO you should factor that into the equation.
Thanks for the well wishes and advice all. Chinaco, since I worked since I was 14, and also had a 2nd pt job for several years while working full time, I will be able to get in my remaining quarters to be eligible for SSN with a couple of years of pt work. The cost of living in my area is relatively low. I'm pretty confident that all will be well, but I'm in good health and it wouldn't be the end of the world if I took a pt job after retirement.
__________________

__________________
Dan5099 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The CAVS are makin' moves!!! So excited thefed Other topics 17 05-19-2008 01:26 AM
Anyone have trouble getting the spouse excited about ER? cardude Life after FIRE 23 12-31-2007 07:01 PM
Nervous, just plain nervous limpid lizard FIRE and Money 48 11-13-2007 09:18 AM
Should I be nervous? DFW_M5 FIRE and Money 21 07-26-2006 11:13 AM
excited,only 6 wks away! explorers Hi, I am... 7 04-13-2006 12:50 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:26 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.