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Old 08-30-2009, 11:00 AM   #1
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A new/old member?

I am an old member....who has been following others' retirement experiences. I have only posted once in the past ----so here it goes.

Okay.........What is "early retirement"? That is a relative concept. When you are planning on retiring at 65 or 66............62 is "early". For the may be 42, 55, or even 70.

We are 62.5 and recently “nudged out” . My DH planned on 65, but life had other plans. We have saved but haven’t been quite as “lucky” as Audreyh1. However, we are in pretty okay shape. “Living off the portfolio” was better to read about than actually being confronted with the reality. After years of the dependable paycheck and benefits….it feels like jumping over the cliff – even with a $42k pension backstop, paid house, our kids through college with no loans, and today $.9 mil in retirement savings. We also have funds not included for a new retirement home and move nearer our children.

We have health insurance covered until 65--- at an atrocious price ---- the premium money is socked away in a separate account and not include.

I know that we are going to be "OK" but I have to tell you......"apprehensive" is the term that comes to mind and not "freedom".

When "the decision" to "retire" is made by somebody else for isn't a great feeling.

It is only because of this forum that I have followed for the past several years that I know things are going to be okay. My thanks to all for your valuable personal experiences that have aided our preparation.

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Old 08-30-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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Wonderful to hear from you, and yes "early" retirement is relative. Wise is the person who has managed their affairs so that if retirement comes unexpectedly early they are not devastated economically.

Retirement is not just an economic event, it impacts personal relationships too. Often a severance package will include access to their corporate employee assistance program for a period of time. Participating psychologists can be helpful in sorting out the emotions and life changes of retirement. Even if you don't have access to an EAP seek out professionals who offer that type of counseling.

Financially you are better off than many, many couples in your situation.

Duck bjorn.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
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Welcome! You sound like you'll be fine. Great idea to sock away the $$ for the health insurance and consider it separate from the rest of your assets, by the way.
Go Cubs
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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Welcome again ,
It is difficult when any life changing event is thrown at you but you seem to be in great shape .
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:02 PM   #5
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Hi, Molly!! Don't worry...even some of us who ER'd of our on accord are wondering if we did the right thing.
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by molly View Post
I know that we are going to be "OK" but I have to tell you......"apprehensive" is the term that comes to mind and not "freedom".
Leaving the paycheck world is not for cowards and it's natural to be apprehensive. It's like jumping into the deep end of the pool and realizing you forgot your flotation device. You know how to swim, but it was always comfortable, assuring and safe to have that thing that guaranteed you wouldn't sink. From the info you provided, it sounds like you have everything covered nicely. I think if you continue to work your plan as well as you set it up that you should be able to spend more time enjoying your enforced emancipation and less time being apprehensive.

My training and experience (and probability my personality) is that one should never wonder about how to react if something goes bad. It's better to have considered every danger and worked out a plan beforehand. That was a good practice in my career, and it worked well for me as I brought everybody back alive. But in retirement, I find I have to put a limit on my imagination's ability to dream up dangers. In other words, I can come up with more things to be apprehensive about than I have time to prepare for, or resources to counter with. It's very healthy to know that you've done a good job, and while you could do better, sometimes it's better to say "I'll worry about that if and when it ever happens".
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it. - Andrew Jackson
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:38 AM   #7
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My thanks to all for the words of encouragement.

We will be okay. We have absolutely no debt and enough cash on hand so that we don't even have to look at our retirement nest egg for at least three years. Then, we also have a more than adequate life preserver inside of our retirement portfolio in short term bond funds. So......our hope is to let the stock mkt. investments work and continue to rebalance.

I realize that our pension money is quite a nice safety net and we are "lucky" to have it when it is fast becoming a thing of the past. We are eligible for SS but want to delay that until maybe 65 or 66. We are still trying to figure out the tax/medicare cost implications and how it effects when to take SS. Also --- the balance of qualified vs. non-qualified $ as it realates to SS and taxation.

In any case, Leonidis is right, "It's like jumping into the deep end of the pool and realizing you forgot your flotation device." We knew this was coming a year ago -end of a govt. contract - but nonetheless, you always hope that something would change. Fact is this "surprise part" came a year earlier then we had previously been told to expect.

I know that my DH will try to find another job. I am encouraging that he limit it to PT work ....but I know that he wants to do something.

I have learned so much from all of you. THANKS TO ALL
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:42 AM   #8
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If you will have SS in addition to your nice pensions, you are golden. Looks like your biggest problem is convincing yourself of that fact.
Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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Yup..........that's the problem........."convincing ourselves". You work hard for a long time and don't quite know how to handle not having that structure in your life. Change is hard sometimes.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:16 AM   #10
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I had huge uncertainties even though I had more than adequate resources which got worse up until my retirement was final. Things are much different now...I love it and wouldn't trade it for the world. See my post regarding my feelings at the time...57 yr old - hesitant ????

My beer has a hole in it!
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