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Old 11-18-2015, 11:01 PM   #21
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Thanks to all who have replied.

As for health care, I did check my state's health care marketplace, and I can get a plan (Blue Cross Bronze, I think it was) for less than $350 a month. The first $6000 of health care expenditures would be on me, and after that, everything is covered at 100%. Since I am on no prescription meds, and I rarely if ever see a doctor - maybe every few years for a cough, I think that will serve me well. After my income goes down, post retirement, under the ACA, the cost for the same plan is less than $200 a month. I haven't factored in dental, but even with that, it seems quite reasonable.......<snip>

Have I forgotten anything? For those that think my budget is tight, I'm not seeing where the missing stuff is.
You can't necessarily count on this pattern continuing after age 60. It is amazing how quickly and unexpectedly health issues can crop up. If you had to cover the deductible in full every year until medicare age, could your budget handle that? The same goes for dental expenses - some forum members have stories to tell that would curl your hair.

Have you tried plugging in ages 60-64 in the ACA calculator, to see if it makes a difference in the premiums?

Not trying to be negative here; I just wonder if you are being realistic about your expenses, particularly when you no longer have access to employer subsidized health insurance.

I could easily live on 30,000/year, but I live in a low COL area of the south. Do you intend to stay in Washington, D.C.? If you can maintain the standard of living you want for 30,000/year in that area I am impressed. That shows a lot of self-discipline.

Good luck to you whether you pull the plug now or wait a while. I agree that the stress at the job is a quality of life issue, and all the money in the world won't be enough if you stay so long it ends up compromising your physical and mental health.
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Old 11-19-2015, 12:06 AM   #22
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I have been a workaholic so I have a lot invested in my job.
Sansha, sorry about all the pain at w*rk. Seems like you gave most of your adult life to this company and feel left out in the cold. I'm glad that you have savings so that you have real options.

On the financial side, sounds like you have a reasonable understanding of your expenses. Based on savings & expenses, I think you are in good enough shape because a) you are very close to early SS, b) you are close to Medicare, c) no wife or dependents presumably means that you don't need to leave a large estate and you're not putting anyone else at risk financially.

Actually my biggest wonder is not financial, but rather how you will make the mental adjustment from the workaholic role to something else. It's great that you have pets to keep you company and some hobbies, but will this occupy enough time and provide enough purpose, focus, structure and even social contact?

It first this many not be an issue, as you'd probably just what to decompress. However, at some point later you may feel a need for something more. Then you may need to proactively rebuild your life to meet your desires and needs. Just be aware that it's easier for some than others. These will have to be faced at some point, regardless of when and how you retire. So dealing with them on your own terms by your choosing retirement (instead of being pushed out) is good.

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After all, the years between 60-70 are pretty precious, given as we grow older, maybe our health after 70 may not let us do what we could a decade earlier.
Agreed! We have many older retired friends. The ones in their 60's, even their 70's, love it. We don't know anyone raving about their 80's, assuming they even make it there. Time is precious...

Oh, stay away from committing money with those financial advisors. Their fees can easily add 25% or more to your yearly costs (eg 1% fee on a 4% SWR). I could't afford to use a FA; I managed my own $$$ and have been retired 9 months now. Life is great, good luck!

FB
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Old 11-19-2015, 11:54 AM   #23
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Thanks for all the replies.

I don't think I'll have any problems transitioning to retirement. I'm as much of a workaholic in my personal interests as I am in work, and I am itching to have time for them.

Re costs, yes, I agree it is not like retiring with a pension and full healthcare and a fat nest egg as some more provident people have. Who knows, after a year I may find other work. But right now, I'd like a break. Even if I do take a 100K or so to fund myself for the next 3 years, by 62, I'll have 800K times 4% = 32K plus the 20K from SS a year, which is 50~K. So if I budget for 30-40K and have 50, that's a cushion for emergencies/expenditures. Whole families live on less than that a year and without a paid for house.

Health care is a huge concern of course. If I get drastically ill, well, I may not need that 30+ years of future income anyway. And those kind of catastrophic costs have bankrupted those with fatter nesteggs than mine.

I'm looking at the difference between working the next 7 years to Medicare and having that much less of life to enjoy, perhaps dropping in the traces, or just saying enough is enough.

I think I am at the latter. I like my work well enough, but not the management. I've worked since I was twelve, worked 3 jobs, the equivalent of full time while in college. Worked full time in addition to FT grad school, and then worked 35 years after that.

I've worked as opposed to live. I may only have a few good years yet. Every year is more of a gamble. Except the gamble now seems more weighted toward life bailing on me than money running out. I've reached that point of being fed up for not giving the life I want a chance, because of old fears of running out of $$. And from guilt. Coming from depression oriented parents, the guilt of giving up a good paying job is major. It's stay to 62, but if I would reach 62, it would be stay till Medicaid. And then stay till full SS. Yes I could (and am still) saying one more day, one more month, just hang on.

But I feel like a person who has lived for years in a cage and now that I have the resources to get out of the cage am afraid to reach for the door, because who knows what might happen on the other side. Surely I'm not the first feeling this way.

I understand the mentality of saying "stay till you are sure". Stay till you have more. But what I want more of now, is time. And given what may run out first, time for a full life may have hit that tipping point where it could more easily run out before $$.
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:36 PM   #24
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But I feel like a person who has lived for years in a cage and now that I have the resources to get out of the cage am afraid to reach for the door, because who knows what might happen on the other side. Surely I'm not the first feeling this way.
I feel EXACTLY the same way as you do, I feel as if I have been tied to the job by a chain and I now have the resources to cut the chain, I'm so scared to reach for the cutters!

It is what I want but I'm almost embarrassed to do it!

Help!
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Old 11-19-2015, 02:46 PM   #25
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But I feel like a person who has lived for years in a cage and now that I have the resources to get out of the cage am afraid to reach for the door, because who knows what might happen on the other side.
No risk, no reward.

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I feel EXACTLY the same way as you do, I feel as if I have been tied to the job by a chain and I now have the resources to cut the chain, I'm so scared to reach for the cutters!
Both of you sound like prison 'lifers' - you'd rather stay in jail than face trying to make it on the outside. From my perspective, that's pretty sad.
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:15 PM   #26
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No risk, no reward.



Both of you sound like prison 'lifers' - you'd rather stay in jail than face trying to make it on the outside. From my perspective, that's pretty sad.
I've done the hard work and now deserve the freedom. Guess I'm too concerned what others think. It is my life I really should take the plunge.
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:23 PM   #27
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@Rewahoo, I look upon it more as gathering information before making a choice. I've gotten a lot of different perspectives. Some saying, yes, your plan is feasible, go for it. Others saying no, it's not enough, you haven't considered this or that.

I thought that part of the function of posting on this group board is to get different perspectives from people making or planning for ER, benefiting from their thoughts or experience. If you have a suggestion or experience on my plan for ER, I'm listening.

Telling me I'm "sad" for hesitating on taking the step from employment to ER while I gather information doesn't share anything, it just seems to me to be a kick. Hope you enjoyed it.
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Old 11-19-2015, 03:35 PM   #28
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@Evergreen

I'm suspected I wasn't the only person to feel this way. I won't say I'm glad you do, but I think it is entirely natural. Many of us come from cultures where hard work and financial security is revered, and "quitting" when there are still $$ on the table is not. Just reading this board, I see people with much more wealth than I have, hesitating over retirement on the question of do they have enough to support their plans and livestyle.

As for me, I'm waiting to see if my employer and I can reach some reconciliation, and then what he will do if we don't. Yes, I wish I were free, but I'm not buying freedom with a rash act. I prefer a prudent one. Even if I feel jailed, what employee caught up in the rat race doesn't at times?
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Old 11-19-2015, 04:07 PM   #29
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I've done the hard work and now deserve the freedom. Guess I'm too concerned what others think. It is my life I really should take the plunge.
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Telling me I'm "sad" for hesitating on taking the step from employment to ER while I gather information doesn't share anything, it just seems to me to be a kick. Hope you enjoyed it.
The above are textbook examples illustrating how some people respond well to "tough love" while others choose to view it only as a personal offense.
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Old 11-19-2015, 04:23 PM   #30
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Saying your comment is "Tough love" certainly puts a spin on it, but nah, don't buy it.
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Old 11-19-2015, 04:31 PM   #31
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Saying your comment is "Tough love" certainly puts a spin on it, but nah, don't buy it.
I understand. No one has to buy anything said on an internet board.

Best of luck getting out of that cage.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:48 PM   #32
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Sansha,

Thanks for taking the time for detailed replies. I think you'll be fine no matter what you choose since you're aware of the money vs. time risk tradeoff. How this plays out differs from person to person. Good luck in finding your peace!

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Old 11-19-2015, 06:14 PM   #33
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Saying your comment is "Tough love" certainly puts a spin on it, but nah, don't buy it.
REWahoo is a good guy. I think you can take his comment at face value. If you have read many of the posts on this board, you will find he has a lot to offer. Even "Tough love".
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:37 PM   #34
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I am still w*rking but have FIRE in my crosshairs in a few years, and one big help from reading this forum is seeing people wrestle with the very real the OMY Syndrome. I hadn't heard of that before but it is clearly to be avoided once the FI threshold is crossed. What REWahoo says is called OMY, or the Stockholm Syndrome, named for the liberated WWII prisoners who refused to come out of their cells (comfort zones). There is a brilliant post on this by the newly FIREd blogger writing at Living A FI blog. I haven't seen a better and more subtle take on the challenges of the unique transition period from w*rk to FIRE. He became absolutely, inexplicably miserable while w*rking. It finally took therapy to help him see that his problem was that he had denied himself a promise he'd made to himself earlier, which was to quit when he hit his number. He didn't quit, thus misery. When he quit, happiness. I have to guard against this myself.


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