Anyone trade non-performing self-employment for ER?
I've been reading the forums, but haven't seen a discussion about the topic that's heavy on our minds here.
My DH is self-employed in a service industry. He took a loss in 2008, and may break even in 2009 if he's lucky. That's with no salary; just enough income to cover expenses. 2010 is likely to be more of the same. yada, yada, yada. I have a decent income from my job, and we have some income property that is giving us a positive cash flow (although it's also feeling the economic hit).
The dilemma is that he turns 62 very soon. If he "retires" he can take early SS and he also has a small pension from a previous career; the combination would be about $24,000 annually. Obviously, this is a lot more than he's making in his business right now, but not what he would like to earn. We still have kids in college, and have committed to helping them finish. (They work hard, have scholarships, loans, etc.) We're pretty frugal, drive older cars, aren't big "consumers." We have some very decent investments, 401K from previous career, some SEPs and IRAs from the good years, etc. Our home is nearly paid off, although we have some HELOC debt from some necessary remodeling and college expenses. I am planning to work for another few years.
My gut feel is that it would be much better for him to take the early SS and pension, than to stick out a very difficult business environment in the hopes that he starts to see some income in a year or so. He is emotionally tied to the business, but tells me daily how impossible it is to make any money there.
Does anyone here have experience in trading a non-performing business for early retirement? Is it possible to "ride the fence" and take the SS while being self-employed on a part-time basis?
thanks -- I've really enjoyed reading many of the posts.