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Old 10-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by CherylGrrl View Post
Nobody is trying to scare me! I've had a very successful relationship with a financial planner for 34 years and I am extremely happy with the results. I'm really not looking for advice on how to reduce my current level of expenses in order to be able to afford retirement... What I'm struggling with is more that "next year syndrome", I don't think it's really about having enough money.

While I appreciate all the advice about self-directed investment, it's just not for me.
Your choice. All we can do is point out your options. But it sounds like your financial adviser is not worried about being able to quit her job and retire....Just sayin'.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:06 PM   #22
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What I'm struggling with is more that "next year syndrome", I don't think it's really about having enough money.
Correct.

I've been around this forum long enough to know defeating the OMY syndrome isn't something I can offer much help with. My experience is the only cure comes from within, and some people find it and others don't. Like DIY investing (I know, you aren't interested) it takes a bit of courage and self-confidence to pull the plug.

Good luck to you in your effort to get where you want to be.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:22 PM   #23
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I'll recommend you read Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. I gave a copy to my wife and she feels totally on board. It's about $11 on Amazon. You've already learned the Chapter 9 lesson.

With index funds at Vanguard (there are other choices), you should be able to spend less than an hour per year to rebalance your investments and set up your spending account for the coming year.

You are paying not only your FA's 1% but I'm willing to bet she has you in funds with mangement fees between 1 and 2%.

I know I'm not going to convince you but I hope to get you thinking about it. Now that she's retiring, you can get with her if you really feel lost.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:42 PM   #24
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But I'd have to spend more than 20 hours a week at it knowing my talent for things like this, and it would be worse than my current job! No, I'm afraid that's just not going to happen.....
Geez, 20+ hours a week? What does she have you invested in that would require that much work? I do maybe 20 seconds a day checking our balances at Vanguard.com, so around 2 minutes a week, but then I am not paying myself 1% for that (I am usually on the side of people who like their FAs but really, $25k a year has to come out to quite a hefty hourly rate for the actual time your FA is putting in on your account).
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:49 PM   #25
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For $500K adviser fees, plus maybe another $500K - $1M in load funds fees, at least consider just talking to a few paid by the hour advisers.

You don't have to go it totally alone. I have a pension consultant, an adviser at Fidelity, a firm with EAs and CPAs for taxes and an estate attorney. But they all get paid hourly, except the person at Fidelity is no extra cost besides whatever they make from fees like the regular mutual fund charges.

Fidelity has a very good retirement calculator on their web site and they went over all the results with as one of the services for having our money invested there.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:18 PM   #26
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I think the OP has made it perfectly clear she isn't interested in taking over managing her investments, at least not right now. That said, I think that "running the numbers" yourself (FIRECALC, etc.) is a major help in getting over the fear of failure.

To the OP: It sounds to me like OMY syndrome in your case is tougher than usual because you know you have a pretty sweet deal going that could never be recreated. But you are 4 years past your planned ER and not getting any younger. So setting a tentative date in 2014 and keeping it to yourself and DH (and your new friends here at ER.org) is a good start - you can work through more financial scenarios and start to wrap your head around taking the plunge. If it feels right when you get close to the date, you'll know it, and if not, you don't have to go through with it.

Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #27
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Thank you MBAustin... you are exactly right.

I'm trying to overcome the fear of quitting my job, and if you add the stress of considering firing my financial advisor at the same time then I'll just go run to the nearest dark closet and hide!

To all of you who think I need to make a change in the way I manage my portfolio... I promise I will consider it... a year AFTER I retire! So no more please!

I think I need to make a personal plan and I think good timing for me would be in the February - March 2014 timeframe. I like the idea of starting to prepare without burning any bridges... With my husband's Federal retirement plan, we knew he would leave the moment he turned 55, and we counted down the time with pleasure. I know I'd feel a lot better when I finally see the light at the end of my tunnel!
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:20 PM   #28
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Another thing that's sweet about OP's position is that working is now optional, sort of where I was a year ago. Yeah, I could have quit (and did when things went south) but it was an easy well-paying job with a short easy commute. That's hard to find.

But when it's time, you'll know.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:25 PM   #29
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Your situation reminds me a bit of mine. DH retired 3 years ago and I went to very part-time, working mostly from home going to office once or twice a week. Last year I made $85k for 15 hours of work a year.[EDIT: Should be 15 hours of work a week]

I've been conflicted about it at all (I don't have as much money as you do though). All the calculators say we are fine for me to quit, but it is a security blanket. I know if I quit I've really burned bridges and couldn't find anything similar if I ever needed to come back.

This year I've pulled back on hours but the thing I still don't feel my time is my own. A few months ago I even negotiated it where I work solely from home. So it isn't that unpleasant. But, I have to check email multiple times a day and I never know when I will need to do something. I work less than 10 hours a week now but I still feel on call all the time.

I keep debating mentally when to give it up. I realize it really is more of a security blanket than something that makes any real difference in the success of the plan....
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #30
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Last year I made $85k for 15 hours of work a year.
----
This year I've pulled back on hours but the thing I still don't feel my time is my own.
Wow.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:30 PM   #31
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This question reminds me so much of this other situation even tho it appears unrelated on the surface...........the bottom line is that only you can make the decision and you will know when it is the right time as others have said......when the benefits less risks of moving on override the benefits and risks of staying by your own personal weighting factors.

When Should an Individual Have Cataract Surgery? - VisionAware

The Patient's Decision
It's important to understand that it is the patient who should - and must - make the decision to undergo cataract surgery. It is the doctor's responsibility to educate patients and give them the knowledge they need to make an independent and well-informed decision regarding cataract treatment.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:47 PM   #32
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You hit the nail on the head! I'm also in a position where I have to work my schedule around client and potential client needs -- and when I'm camping in a national park wanting to take a hike but have an 8 am call, an 11 am call, and a 2 pm call I find that I might as well be working full time! The company is small, so everyone needs to pitch in when opportunity knocks. And we seldom have face-to-face meetings, but when we do the CEO usually changes the date 3 or 4 times, and expects that I'll jump on a plane from wherever I am and be there. So I'm constantly making small concessions that add up to a growing feeling that I'm missing what I worked so hard for over the last 37 years.

I'm at that stage where I should be comfortable cutting the cord, but I grew up poor -- dad died when I was young, mother and I lived on social security survivor benefits. There's a part of me that remembers being poor and never wants to go back. As long as I'm working this halftime job, I'm safe and the nestegg is protected. (Well, as long as the economy doesn't totally melt down but there's no point in worrying about that.) Once I quite, that's it. I'm working for someone I worked for years ago at Mega Corp (I think you folks call it) who knows what I can do. I could certainly not ever find as good a part-time, virtual position again since I am not based in Silicon Valley. So that's making me very cautious. Still, I feel like these are the best years I have to be actively traveling, hiking, skiing, sailing, etc. and don't want to be sitting on a big pile of money at 85!
Our current situations and background are not 100% the same but they are frighteningly close.

This is exactly the same and likely contributes significantly to both of our OMY syndromes...dad died when I was young, mother and I lived on social security survivor benefits. There's a part of me that remembers being poor and never wants to go back.

And, I also have a pretty sweet gig currently that I doubt if I could ever recreate. Mine is full time; but, hard to walk away from even after reaching my number and passing my original planned date. (I believe I am younger and probably do not have quite as high a net worth; but, I believe we are in the same general neighborhood with both.)

Unfortunately, I can offer no real advice. But, I did want to let you know that you definitely are not alone in this situation. And, I will be watching your progress on this front if you choose to continue hanging out with us here even after all the grief advice you have received about the financial planner.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:20 PM   #33
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And I believe that with $2.5M invested I could easily generate $80K/year to replace my earnings. Probably quite a bit more. So I'm not really sure why I'm still working...
As others have suggested, you might find it helpful to run the numbers in a retirement planner and read up on safe withdrawal rates.

A 3% withdrawal rate from $2.5M is $75K annually, less $25K for a 1% adviser fee and subtract more for any other management fees. If there are other management fees like fund fees costing another 1%, that's another $25K, off the $75K, leaving you with $25K.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:49 PM   #34
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Wow.
Yeah that was kind of not right....meant $85k for 15 hours a week.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:19 PM   #35
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Yeah that was kind of not right....meant $85k for 15 hours a week.
Still pretty good!
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:26 PM   #36
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You hit the nail on the head! I'm also in a position where I have to work my schedule around client and potential client needs -- and when I'm camping in a national park wanting to take a hike but have an 8 am call, an 11 am call, and a 2 pm call I find that I might as well be working full time! The company is small, so everyone needs to pitch in when opportunity knocks. And we seldom have face-to-face meetings, but when we do the CEO usually changes the date 3 or 4 times, and expects that I'll jump on a plane from wherever I am and be there. So I'm constantly making small concessions that add up to a growing feeling that I'm missing what I worked so hard for over the last 37 years. .....
Bingo! That is the same frustration that I felt. So in your example if each call is an hour between prep and all you will have worked a half a day and have some flexibility to do things in between, but you really don't have sufficient contiguous time off to do things you want to do - take that hike, play 9 holes of golf or whatever.

And better yet, the 8 am call gets push to 9 because some moron can't manage his schedule, and the 2pm call is cancelled 5 minutes after your friends are scheduled to tee off or some other stupid thing like that.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #37
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Still pretty good!
Oh, it was great financially. Even this year working much less hours and now working entirely from home is great on an hourly basis. That is what makes it hard to walk away. Yes, the calculators say we are fine. But, I know that if I walk away from this I couldn't really replace it if something unexpected happened. The work isn't onerous really (especially now - working solely from home), but it is more of a drag on me than anything else. That is, I always have to schedule around it and I can't mentally just turn off since I could get called upon at any time. I might work 0 hours one week and 12 the next. That is fine....but it means that I have to check email, always be available by phone, etc. There is a point where that hassle factor outweighs the admittedly nice financial benefits....
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:51 PM   #38
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I never mind when someone is suffering from OMY syndrome. Just one more person paying my eventual social security.

I, however, retired at age 50. When I do consider the possibility of running out of money late in life, unlikely as it may be, I just figure that I'll probably have Alzheimer's by then and won't remember that I used to have it better. And in the meantime, I'm enjoying the hell out of life while I'm still young enough to appreciate it. I would regret growing old at work and then dying much more.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:16 PM   #39
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Your situation reminds me a bit of mine. DH retired 3 years ago and I went to very part-time, working mostly from home going to office once or twice a week. Last year I made $85k for 15 hours of work a year.[EDIT: Should be 15 hours of work a week]
....
For awhile there I thought maybe you were a designated hitter. (Actually, they make more and work less).
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #40
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20 hours a week!? How about 10 hours a year...most of that during tax time? Set it and forget it. Just dial up a reasonable asset allocation to begin with. Oh. What, we've beaten this horse to death already? Sorry.

The OMY syndrome is very tough for some of us. I think some need to feel security more than others (I happen to be one of those). And if you're saving at high rate, it is hard to let go of that security, when you see that after letting go, you're saving nothing. I remember trying rock climbing one time. I got to a point on a cliff face where I knew I would not be able to hold onto the rock after my next move...I would slip and fall. I was top-roped, so there was no danger in the situation, but I just could not make myself take the next step. I tried and tried, but I couldn't willingly lose control of the situation. I have a similar feeling about my job. Letting go and losing control has a powerful emotional effect on me. [Okay I've said it. Doctor, do you have something you can prescribe for me?]

harley, you're welcome for the social security support.
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