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Cant shake that nagging feeling
Old 01-17-2016, 07:34 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Cant shake that nagging feeling

Hello all, in a few months, at age 57 I am 97% certain I am pulling the trigger and retiring from a 36 year career at the same company. My wife and I have looked at the numbers separately and together and we both think we should be ok but there is still an uneasy feeling. I have been following the forum for a few years and respect the opinion and insight provided. Here is our situation:

Our total discretionary and non discretionary expenses are approximately 100-120K per year. I think we can reasonably cut that back, my wife has other thoughts :-)

We have two boys in college, as a result, our largest one time expense over the next 4 years will be the college tuition for our two boys. Approximately $175K (~$44k per year). We have the full amount set aside in Educational and separate investment accounts.


Our assets include:
- my wife, or maybe my wife's salary of $110K per year. She loves her job and plans to work for the next 5+ years. Company will provide health insurance for the entire family
- our home valued at 600K ($100K outstanding mortgae)
- $1m in tax deferred retirement accounts
- $1.5M in taxable investments (85% stocks, 15% bonds). Currently generating $54K in dividends/distributions
- cash based pension plan valued at $250K which I can take as a lump sum or as a $16K per year annuity
- $40K Health Insurance account provided by my company to pay for insurance premiums if necessary

We are fairly certain my wife's job is safe but obviously nothing is guaranteed and perhaps that is what is generating that nagging worry.

Thanks in advance for any insight into our situation,
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:38 PM   #2
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604, if you've been a forum member since 2009 you've almost certainly seen this: Some Important Questions to Answer Before Asking - Can I Retire?

What took you so long to finally post?
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:43 PM   #3
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Welcome. What does Firecalc say? You also have SS I assume?
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:21 AM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks REWahoo, we did take a look at that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
604, if you've been a forum member since 2009 you've almost certainly seen this: Some Important Questions to Answer Before Asking - Can I Retire?

What took you so long to finally post?
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:24 AM   #5
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Thanks pb4uski, Firecalc says we are 100% good at the low end of our expense range of 100-120K. There is some risk at the high end. We both qualify for SS and that will help if we need to take it in 5.5 years when I hit 62.

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Welcome. What does Firecalc say? You also have SS I assume?
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:39 AM   #6
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I had different numbers, but remember that uneasy feeling. For me - I was just a little too close to the edge of success.

What I did:
- Ran every calculator I could get my hands on... not for confirmation but because not every calculator looks at it the same data. Fidelity RIP is fairly in depth on expenses and it helped confirm my expenses/budget. Quicken Lifetime planner was excellent for modelling the lumpy/one time expenses like college, future kids' weddings, etc. Firecalc runs can then be tweaked to account for stuff you realize from running the other calculators.

- I looked at recurring expenses. I found a decent amount (maybe 5%?) of easy trims that didn't effect my quality of life. Cell phone bills, cable bills, etc can all be adjusted, renegotiated, change carriers. I looked at our grocery bill and realized with small tweaks we could cut the weekly hit. (And I still by organic food and good cu)ts of meat.)

I found little ways to increase my savings. (Which had the effect of lowering my spending. ).

Over several months I found myself getting more confident with the success. I had better than 100% success. That nagging feeling dissipated.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:48 AM   #7
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You seem too be set, but perhaps close. What are your current pre-retirement expenses? How much do you make, vs. how much do you spend? If you spend close to that number now, as evidenced by your savings rate, it's probably good. If you have to cut back, be careful.

As long as your wife keeps working, you are all set. You may want her to retire sooner once you get out of work. It will be harder to travel with her working.

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Over several months I found myself getting more confident with the success. I had better than 100% success. That nagging feeling dissipated.
100% true in my case. Except it has been ~18 months...
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:07 PM   #8
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You have my permission to retire. Feel better?
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:48 PM   #9
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I would retire today. We retired with a portfolio not as big as yours last February. What we have found, we spend way less than we thought we would while still doing road trips and fun local things too.

Go for it. Don't wait. We have heard of so many of friends and family dying in the last year. Life is surely short.

Good luck and look forward to hearing from you on this forum.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:58 PM   #10
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I think you are close, but I would retire if I were you. I only retire for a month and I feel 100% better, no more brain fog. I hope I will get my brain back. No more sleepless nights when you retire.


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Old 01-20-2016, 12:51 AM   #11
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I get a kick out of the "97% certain"....sure it's not 95.5%?

I was concerned when I pulled the trigger at 49 yo 10 years ago. My decision was easier because I was crispy burnt out and was getting more responsibility dumped my way - being miserable is a good brisk push. Had I liked my job still the decision would have been that much more difficult to make. Take your time and crunch numbers - enjoy having the option - freedom is close!
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Old 01-20-2016, 02:13 PM   #12
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Great feedback and I appreciate the words of encouragement. Seems nobody thinks it is a crazy idea so my certainty level has risen from 95% to 98.5% :-)
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It's official
Old 05-26-2016, 03:46 PM   #13
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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It's official

August 17th, at the tender age of 57, will be my last day at the only job I have ever had since college. The hardest part of the process was actually saying the words to my manager. "I am going to retire". Once It was said, the whole thing seemed more real and I got a sense of relief.

While I am anxious to 'get going', I do like the 3 month lead time. Any advice on things I should be focusing on over the next 3 months?
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:06 PM   #14
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Congratulations, yomama! There was a thread about this a few years back, so you may want to search a bit.

Off the top of my head, here are a few things:

- Make sure you and HR are clear on all of the details of things you need to do and by when (like - are you signing up for COBRA, what about 401K, etc.)

- Get everything personal off your work computer and/or cellphone, as applicable.

- Make a list of people you want to say "goodbye" to either by e-mail, phone, or in person. (I sent my "good-bye and here's my personal e-mail address" e-mail out a few days before I left.)

- Take any personal paper files home (past evaluations, etc.). Go through the work files and discard as much as is reasonable and find homes for the rest - your boss and coworkers will appreciate this. (I had to clean out the desk of a packrat who didn't do this and cursed them for weeks afterwards - miserable job.)

- (Goes without saying) Tidy up loose ends on projects and turn over things as needed.

I'm sure there are more that folks will chime in with. Enjoy these last 3 months!
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:33 PM   #15
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Congrats - I'm sure it's a relief to have made the decision! Looking forward to your posts about the next stage of your life.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:09 PM   #16
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You guys look great!

While wifey is working and you are not would not be a good time to ask wifey to cut expenses...

Have Fun!
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:43 AM   #17
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Congratulations !! Welcome to the club.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:44 PM   #18
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You guys look great!

While wifey is working and you are not would not be a good time to ask wifey to cut expenses...

Have Fun!

There is a lot of wisdom in the above statement.
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:24 PM   #19
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yomma604, your statement about the difficulty of saying I am retiring is so true. My group was just moved under corporate IT out from Engineering after 31 years. The new management are really a bunch of nice, supportive guys. So much better then my previous management. But I am still ready to retire. Once I fill a couple of positions and feel reasonably comfortable I too will have find a spine and say I am retiring. (If only someone would fire me!)
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:10 PM   #20
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congrats and enjoy
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