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Almost 50 ... Still Working
Old 09-25-2007, 02:59 PM   #1
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Almost 50 ... Still Working

Hi,

I will be 50 next month and I am still working. My goal for retiring at 50 will not happen. Well in 1999 I thought that stock investments were going to get me there quickly. Well we all know how that went. In 2000 I had a portfolio of $1.1 million weighted around 75-80% stocks and the rest in cash and bonds. I also had about $150K in a 401K. I also owed over $100K on my house. By 2001 that portfolio shrunk to around $500K (including the IRA). Early retirement dreams ruined.

Fast forward to 2007. I made a comeback sort of, thanks in most part due to an unlikely source, my day job. Yes the one I wanted to retire from gave me stock options that grew to contribute a nice sum of money to my assets. I still do not think I have enough to retire. My assets are as follows.

1. 925K (725K cash and bonds, 200K stocks)
2. 450K in 401.k wieighted 50/50 stocks and bonds
3. 80K in company sponsered retirement account. If I work to age 55 I will get roughly 2000/month should I opt for SS leveling. When I am 62 the value does NOT increase as the payout from the company sponsered plan will be reduced by the amount SS gives me.
4. No mortgage on my home worth over 500K

I simply do not trust the stock market and refrain from puting any new money there.

Also as I write this someone informed me of a clause about ending medical coverage if terminated by my employer. I have 10 years here, and the clause states that coverge could continue if you have 10 years of service and are between the ages 50-55. I perviously thought I had to wait until age 55.

I am not married and have no children and save most of my salary except for some luxuries I like (Mercedes Benz AMG).
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:07 PM   #2
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Hi,

I am not married and have no children and save most of my salary excpet for some luxuries I like (Mercedes Benz AMG).
Good taste in luxuries. Just be sure to buy your jeans in a feed store.

Ha
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:24 PM   #3
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Jayp465,
Welcome to the forums. Glad you found us and look forward to your posts of your FIRE journey.

The amount you need to retire is based on your expected expenses while in retirement and how high on the hog you want to live. The basic rule of thumb is your annual expenses times 25 as the initial valued of your nest egg needed to fund your expenses over a 35 year retirement with inflation taken into account.

You can reduce this amount since you appear to have a pension which is a very valuable income source since it allows you to reduce your required nest egg and offers some degree of assurance of a constant flow of income without selling off equities or cashing in CDs etc.

Being single with no kids is a plus in many ways since you can better choose how you want to live ('possum or like a King). It also simpilfies your estate planning which can be a major consideration for many folks with respect to how much they want to leave to kids etc.

Good luck and welcome to the boards. Use the Search function to check out some prior posts within your areas of interest. Chances are it has already been discussed....many times.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:22 PM   #4
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FYI ... what I failed to disclose is that I am really unfulfilled in my job, bored to tears, live in the NYC area, and that job pays 170K/year. Sort of the golden handcuffs. I have no career goals or aspirations and a hobby that I would like to dedicate more time too.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:44 PM   #5
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FYI ... what I failed to disclose is that I am really unfulfilled in my job, bored to tears, live in the NYC area, and that job pays 170K/year. Sort of the golden handcuffs. I have no career goals or aspirations and a hobby that I would like to dedicate more time too.
Welcome. The good side is that you have options with your net worth to move into something more satisfying that pays less, just retire in a lower cost of living area, or take a self financed sabbatical.

For me one of the hardest things to give up was the status of begin able to say (to myself) "I make XXX dollars a year". After I retired I realized what a high price I was paying emotionally for such hubris.
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:56 PM   #6
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FYI ... what I failed to disclose is that I am really unfulfilled in my job, bored to tears, live in the NYC area, and that job pays 170K/year. Sort of the golden handcuffs. I have no career goals or aspirations and a hobby that I would like to dedicate more time too.
Sounds like you suffer from the same NYC curse that I do - mid-40's, wife, no kids, seven-figure investment accts and NW, high-six-figure income, no real hobbies or interests outside work. Most people on this board would say that you've got more than enough to retire on, but they would probably fail to account for the kind of lifestyle that living in NYC tends to propogate.

As said above, the key is understanding what your expenses would be. Living in NYC it is very hard to figure out how much you could live on if you moved to a lower cost area - the lifestyle is so different its just hard for us NYers to grasp.

Like me, sounds like you seriously need to start spending some time working on your Plan B - where would you be happy living, who do you want to live near, how much would it cost, and what would you do with yourself. I've come to the conclusion that until I can answer those questions, I won't really know if/when FIRE is a real possibility.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:26 PM   #7
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Are you willing to move? If so, you should have enough to retire on. If not, grit your teeth and work a couple of more years.

Good luck!
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:05 PM   #8
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Hi Gekko,

Well not really the same as you. I have no wife, but I am fully dedicated to a model subway hobby. I was at work today thinking all day about a current detector circuit for the train system I have built for myself.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:17 PM   #9
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FYI ... what I failed to disclose is that I am really unfulfilled in my job, bored to tears, live in the NYC area, and that job pays 170K/year. Sort of the golden handcuffs. I have no career goals or aspirations and a hobby that I would like to dedicate more time too.
For a different perspective, the median US household income is $48k. Your current liquid portfolio of $1.375M could support a 4% withdrawal amount of $55k per year and you have a paid off house, access to healthcare, and SS coming. Plus, you are obviously very skilled and creative or you could not have come this far.

You could retire today to a better lifestyle than 1/2 the US and your household is only 1 person. So the question is, How bored is bored? You might have to change things to make it happen, but most Americans make due with less. You could also consider downsizing to a more meaningful job as an interim position. Good Luck, it is good to have options
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:14 AM   #10
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I suspect true NYers with significant 6 figure incomes and a lifestyle to go with it cannot grasp a significantly different lifestyle upon retirement. Their social network is based there and it takes $$ to continue it. They may find it extremely different to jettison that for something most of us take for granted, but is a foreign concept for NYers. Seems terribly unfortunate.

To provide another perspective on a Manhattan lifestyle, the company I worked for moved its head office from Manhattan to a burb of DC about 15 years ago. It paid for a select group of senior/exec secretaries (late 50s to early 60s in age) to come to DC for 1-2 years to help with the transition. Some of them had never had a driver's license nor driven a car in their entire life. The company paid for them to learn how to drive and provided a temporary allowance to get a taxi to work until they did.
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:23 AM   #11
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Manhatten aside, It's tough for anybody to relocate away from what is familiar to what is not. I would have a tough time leaving my area.

The wife and I both have strong family and friends connections here.

Moving just isn't for everyone even though it may be financially advatageous to do so.
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