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A Ford Retiree
Old 05-20-2007, 11:27 AM   #1
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A Ford Retiree

I took the salaried early retirement offer at the end of Feb 2007 at the ripe old age of 53 !

I worked for Ford in Engineering for over 30 years and was planing on retiring in 2008 anyway, so it wasn't that much of a "pull ahead".

I have done "very well" (in my book) with my 401k for the past couple of years, averaging 10+% (including my deposits). Prior to that, don't ask ! Of course that is what you get if you just dump your money into your company's stock and ignore it, year after year. I thank God almost everyday that I sold all of my F at around 28 ! There are thousand of salaried folks left with their entire 401k in Ford stock, hoping it will make a great comeback.

The transition to retirement has been tougher than I thought. One reason is my wife is still working and plans to stay on the job for another 5-6 years. It is hard for me to stay home and watch her go to work everyday !! She works as a "paraprofessional" (non-teacher, non-administrator) for the local school system. It will help that she gets summers off.

I also have some "Mad Money" to play with. No I don't follow Jim Cramer religiously, but I have done pretty good !

I'm an Internet shop-a-holic, computer geek (all 30 years) and engine nut.
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-20-2007, 12:34 PM   #2
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Re: A Ford Retiree

Welcome.
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-20-2007, 01:35 PM   #3
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Re: A Ford Retiree

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Originally Posted by theoldwizard
The transition to retirement has been tougher than I thought. One reason is my wife is still working and plans to stay on the job for another 5-6 years. It is hard for me to stay home and watch her go to work everyday !!

mmm..... My wife RE'd 3 years ago. I don't think it took her longer than 1 morning sleeping through my alarm to overcome that emotion.
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-20-2007, 05:36 PM   #4
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Re: A Ford Retiree

Congrats on finding your own "way forward"! I retired early last April after 30 years with a cross-town rival until very recently owned by a German firm, now going private.
Enjoy the ride...you've earned every minute of it!
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-21-2007, 05:30 AM   #5
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Re: A Ford Retiree

Congratulations and welcome to the board. I also retired from Ford at 53 and moved to the Dominican Republic and never regretted it.
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-21-2007, 07:03 AM   #6
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Re: A Ford Retiree

Welcome. I left Ford March 1 at age 54 and don't miss it, even one bit.

Let's hope they get it together and can continue to support the health care and pension plans they have so generously given us!
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-21-2007, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: A Ford Retiree

Welcome,

53 is not a bad number. What do you drive?
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-21-2007, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: A Ford Retiree

I guess this means I might have to take back all the bad things I said about my Expedition...
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Re: A Ford Retiree
Old 05-21-2007, 10:24 AM   #9
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Re: A Ford Retiree

We have been looking for places to live in St. Paul Minnesota along the Mississippi river. There is a Ford plant on the river slated to be closed shortly. It has been there forever and a day. Wish I knew what they are going to do with the property. Don't suppose you worked there?
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:56 AM   #10
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Welcome. I left Ford March 1 at age 54 and don't miss it, even one bit.

Let's hope they get it together and can continue to support the health care and pension plans they have so generously given us!
I guess you were not reading the Salaried Employee Bulletins (or you were not salaried), but health care insurance ends at age 65 starting January 1, 2008. It is replaced by a Health Reimbursement plan which give you and your spouse a fixed amount (hopefully enough) to buy gap insurance.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:56 AM   #11
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Welcome,

53 is not a bad number. What do you drive?
A 2007 Mercury Milan V6 (lease) and a 1998 Econoline E150 Chateau, 4.6L V8

Yes it's almost ten years old ! No rust (amazing for sitting out in the MI winter), only 86K miles. It gets about 12 mpg around town, but my wife drives it to work, only 0.5 miles away (still can't get her to walk, even though the weather is nice). It's got like a 40 gallon tank, but I haven't filled it up since last month ! It took my daughter back and forth to college for the previous 5 years and still can haul "the kitchen sink" (and the refrigerator and the stove and ...) inside, no tarps required

I'm not a "I work for Ford, I drive a Ford" (recent bumper sticker in Dearborn) person. I might get a Mini when the lease runs out on the Milan.

BTW (commercial coming), I have had a Fusion and now a Milan. They are GREAT cars. No BS. Lots of interior room, good power (with a V6) and I'm getting about 22 mpg, suburban driving. Much better than the old Contour I used to have.
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:59 AM   #12
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I guess this means I might have to take back all the bad things I said about my Expedition...
Say what you want ! After 30+ years, I have a pretty thick skin ! Plus, I just don't Give a D**N these days !
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Old 05-23-2007, 02:11 AM   #13
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We have been looking for places to live in St. Paul Minnesota along the Mississippi river. There is a Ford plant on the river slated to be closed shortly. It has been there forever and a day. Wish I knew what they are going to do with the property. Don't suppose you worked there?
Nope ! I worked in Dearborn, the center of the Ford Universe !

Ford (or should I say Ford Land, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company) has a lot of land on their hands now. Much of it requires special clean up before it can be sold.

The building I worked in is a historical landmark. It is the first building Henry (the first) ever built exclusively for engineering (Engineering used to be done in the factories. The terms white collar and blue collar started because even though the engineers worked in the same building as the assembly workers, many times within a few dozen feet of the assembly line, engineers all wore white shirts !) This building has Henry office fully restored and a lot of "other" interesting things. It is closing also.
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:13 AM   #14
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Say what you want ! After 30+ years, I have a pretty thick skin ! Plus, I just don't Give a D**N these days !
Oh I probably wouldnt have pulled too many punches

Just ask the GE guys that post here...
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:53 PM   #15
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Oh I probably wouldnt have pulled too many punches
I would love to know the story behind your screen name !

My name is pretty simple. Old well, because at least my kids think I'm old ! That, and I found that I was older, or had more time on the current job assignment, than almost all of the management I worked for !

The wizard part has to do with my old job and a little gag gift my wife bought me a several years ago. Although I worked in Engineering, the last 10 years I spent doing Unix and VMS computer system administration. Unix admins frequently get the moniker "wizard" or "guru". Wizard stuck when my wife bought me a wizard hat just like Mickey Mouse had in Fantsatia ! It had a place of honor over my desk for many years.

It got more interesting over time. When I would return from vacation, the hat would be on my chair with a note saying, "The Wizard is OUT !"

One vacation my buddies made an effigy of me out of some boxes, a blown up picture of my corporate ID card , with the hat on top !

At my retirement party I presented my hat to my best friend and the guy who was going to get stuck with the lion's share of my work !

I thinking of getting another wizard hat, but this one would be like the one Gandalf the Gray wore !
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:04 PM   #16
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Well, suffice it to say that one user says that he doesnt get it, because i'm neither cute nor fuzzy.

Which would make him the last person on earth to get the joke.

Or perhaps its just an attempt at remarketing myself?

A couple of other users have found me to be both cute and fuzzy. Some have questions.

Another answer is that I once defeated the investing worlds greatest troll by using a rabbit with a pancake on its head...and a kayak.

But you dont see me boasting about the boat.
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:27 PM   #17
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I guess you were not reading the Salaried Employee Bulletins (or you were not salaried), but health care insurance ends at age 65 starting January 1, 2008. It is replaced by a Health Reimbursement plan which give you and your spouse a fixed amount (hopefully enough) to buy gap insurance.
Although it is tough to have a spouse working when he is retired he may be able to use his wife's health care insurance program. An issue well worth exploring.

It is tough for many guys to be retired while the wife is working. The best advise I can give is to ask how would you like to spend the next x years. An engineer can be a big help sharing their knowledge and skills with students either in the classroom or mentoring. If you were to make a bargain with your maker to survive the next ten years what would you offer?
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:06 AM   #18
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Although it is tough to have a spouse working when he is retired he may be able to use his wife's health care insurance program. An issue well worth exploring.
That is exactly what we are doing, well at least for the next few months !

DW was just notified that her services at the high school where she works are "no longer required" in fall. Not cast in stone until the official layoff notice come through in August, but still depressing.

Very few people in the other 49 states have any idea how bad the economy is in Michigan ! With all the buyouts and plant closing in SE MI, the auto industry is sinking fast. I'm betting that by 2010 the # 1 industry in MI will be tourism or farming. Considering the weather in MI, this is not a really good.

College grads with primary/secondary education degrees and law enforcement can't find jobs ! Sure Google hired a thousand or so in Ann Arbor, but the Pfizer shutdown is worse.

I had to agree with my mid-20's son the other day, the future of MI for the next 5 - 10 years is bleak.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:45 AM   #19
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I guess you were not reading the Salaried Employee Bulletins (or you were not salaried), but health care insurance ends at age 65 starting January 1, 2008. It is replaced by a Health Reimbursement plan which give you and your spouse a fixed amount (hopefully enough) to buy gap insurance.

Fortunately I can move to my wife's plan at that time.
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