Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Downshifting Life to Fastrack FIRE - Early 40's Corporate Lackies
Old 03-11-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
StealthSlacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 5
Downshifting Life to Fastrack FIRE - Early 40's Corporate Lackies

Howdie. I am half of one of the legally married gay couples in CA - we live in the Sacramento area and have always been good savers with an eye on our futures. We have about $600K in 401Ks / IRAs and $150K in a taxable investment account managed by LPL Financial. Cash savings is $45K. Only debt is our mortage on the current (fancy) home - $300K, value $500K.

I've worked for the same company since graduating from college in 1992 and now qualify (rule of 60) for retiree benefits at age 44. No subsidized healthcare, so it isn't worth much. However, I can purchase into the group plan and cover my spouse. DH is 4 years my junior but has done a mix of contract and permanent employment so no employer sponsored retirement bennies are in his future. Neither of us love our jobs or employers, or would chose to do what we do if we weren't paid well.

Things were going along as expected for us young urban professionals trodding the corporate treadmill until a series of health setbacks knocked the foundation out from under us. A serious injury and 6 month recovery (me) followed by a near fatal adverse drug reaction (husband) and 2 + years of ongoing side effects has caused us to re-examine our priorities. My husband continues to struggle with ongoing health problems, complicating the issue of ER as we need a health care solution that can cover his needs.

The other major issue is that my work environment has deteriorated over this same time, and is intensifying at an alarming rate. Job security has never been an issue, but job abandonment may become the solution if I don't make some decisions or effect some changes. I am stressed out, having trouble sleeping, and I want nothing more than to quit today. I am done with it.

We are finishing our first read through of Your Money or Your Life and truly believe in ourselves and our ability to forge a new chapter in our lives. The word "sabbatical" has been introduced. We are very fortunate to have resources, and are now believing that rather than a "Cadillac" retirement in our 60's, we'd prefer a liveable life now.
__________________

__________________
"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life." - Peter Gibbons, Office Space
StealthSlacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-11-2010, 07:44 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
Welcome!

Your Money or Your Life was the first book that seriously motivated me to become financially independent. The financial / investment chapter of that book, though, is woefully out of date - having been written in the days of double-digit bond coupons. I recommend Bob Clyatt's (a member of this board) Work Less, Live More for an up-to-date guide to the financial & other aspects of semi-ER or ER.
__________________

__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 08:40 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,638
Welcome SS. Take your time figuring out the path forward. Don't let the emotional pressure of the moment lead you to rash decisions but, at the same time, let it be a lesson going forward.
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 09:04 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Duesseldorf, Germany
Posts: 1,005
You do not seem to be in bad shape financially. I hope the health issues will improve and go away soon.
To prepare for ER a lot of people here recommend tracking expenses. It has improved our saving rate and allows us to predict our financial requirements in ER more precisely than popular rules of thumb.
If you have read YMYL you might be interested in the forums at www.simpleliving.net, too.
__________________
chris2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Westchester County
Posts: 30
StealthSlacker -

Sorry to hear about the health issues, but I can totally relate to your situation generally speaking. I'm on the other coast, but appear to be in your age bracket, and my partner and I have also been thinking long and hard about starting a totally different life. He also has health problems, but thank God he's blessed with health insurance for the rest of his life when he retires in two years. Anyway, I would echo what someone else said and just encourage you to not do anything rash - put a plan in place and have some very specific goals and timelines BEFORE you leave the job. I quit my job fourteen months ago (after having made a decent financial cushion in an acquisition) and felt liberated for a while but later found myself dealing with a pretty brutal identity crisis, trying to decide what to do next in life. While I know I'm lucky that I can get by without working right now, I have found myself ruminating too much and becoming almost paralyzed with fear and indecision. I know I'll get through it, but I wonder if I had stuck around at my company and made it work for a little while, maybe I could have put a plan in place and made some longer-term decisions before bolting and I would have a better direction right now. (Or maybe I needed to get out in order to sort through my feelings - not sure). Just have a plan if you can. From your post, it doesn't sound like you have any semblance of a plan (other than to "get out") so I would put something together before making the big decision.
__________________
midlifeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 09:35 PM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
StealthSlacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 5
We definately need a plan! Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I haven't really formed a great idea of what life would be like outside of MegaCorp and need to figure that out.

I have been browsing the forums and there is a lot of deep content here. I'm encouraged and feeling more confident that we can build a successful plan. I think we are in great financial shape, but need to keep our lousy jobs because of the subsidized health care until we have a lot more money saved, or health care becomes more affordable.

midlifeguy - I understand what you are saying, and think I'd probably react similarly. I tend to second guess my second guesses, and even a generous cushion would feel slim. But as you say, this is often how we work stuff out. Does your partner have a plan for what to do in 2 years?
__________________
"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life." - Peter Gibbons, Office Space
StealthSlacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 09:46 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Helen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Portland
Posts: 1,343
Hi Stealth,

I'm sorry to hear of your health problems, I hope it improves. You guys are doing great as far as savings. Do you have a goal in mind in terms of how much you need to retire on?

You are right, there is a wealth of information on this forum.

I'm glad you joined and look forward to reading your posts. It's nice to have other gay people here as our situation is a little bit different.

Warm regards,

-helen
__________________
Helen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2010, 10:37 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
flyfishnevada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smith
Posts: 743
Welcome! I am 43 and will retire from State of Nevada this summer. Full pension of about $5000/mo + partial health beni's. I had my own health issues (colonectomy due to diverticulitis. Lost ten inches of colon and have a nice 10 inch scar to show for it. Eat your fiber!!!!) that began to shift my thinking. Until about 3 months ago I had still planned on working until the kids were gone to build bigger savings for a "Cadillac" retirement starting about 50-52. Then I found Your Money or Your Life.

Working hard for 6 to 8 more years just wasn't sitting right and the book kind of reset my thinking. Once I started thinking about what really made me happy, working to get more money kind of fell out of favor. We are now tracking our spending (two weeks so far) and are thinking of selling our home with the $2000/mo mortgage and downsizing.

I am planning to work part-time/casual in my field and for myself (small hobby business, writing a book) to build a smaller savings and pay bills until we can adjust our spending. Yes, that means I will be semi-retired (DW already is part-time from home), but working doing what I want, when I want beats the toxic office environment. I have also made arrangements to be able to play at full retirement for about 6 months. We have also looked at alternative means of living after the kids are gone. Instead of a house and mortgage, maybe full time RVing, condo, sailboat, whatever.

We are thinking that the experiences we have and spending time with each other far outweighs a big house, fancy cars, expensive toys.

You aren't alone. If you want to do it, go for it!!! You will find lots of support and very little "you'er to young!" or "what will you do?" stuff here. Good luck on your RE and I hope the health issues can be resolved. I think sometimes getting out of the rat race is a big step in the right direction in that regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
Your Money or Your Life was the first book that seriously motivated me to become financially independent. The financial / investment chapter of that book, though, is woefully out of date - having been written in the days of double-digit bond coupons. I recommend Bob Clyatt's (a member of this board) Work Less, Live More for an up-to-date guide to the financial & other aspects of semi-ER or ER.
I have seen that book. Now that you mention it, I will see if it is at my library (see YMOYL is already working it's magic).
__________________
flyfishnevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2010, 09:13 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
I am 43 and will retire from State of Nevada this summer. Full pension of about $5000/mo + partial health beni's.
How is this possible?
__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2010, 09:42 AM   #10
Confused about dryer sheets
StealthSlacker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen View Post
Hi Stealth,
Do you have a goal in mind in terms of how much you need to retire on?
Hi Helen! We need to figure that out. When DH was on disability ('08), we set a plan in motion to lower our current fixed costs as much as possible, with the goal of living WELL on one paycheck. So I know where our minimum is today (still too high but that is why I am here!), but we won't continue to live in this city when we stop working.

After thinking on it last night, there is more of a plan in place than I realize. We own some family land in a semi-rural area and are talking about building a modest home there (using ca$h) over the next few years. When we are ready, or when circumstances dictate, we will sell the current fancy house and move there. A lot of moving parts in that plan, but it is motivated by wanting to see a recovery in the local housing market before making a move, and also a MegaCorp-instilled desire to take advantage of the depressed Northern CA construction industry to lock in lower costs labor and materials to build the house.

fly, I too plan to be "semi-retired", not in my current professional field, but rather in a field of interest. YMOYL has made think about the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question for the first time in years. I love to repair things and am very good at it. I am a decent auto mechanic and love machines of any description. I can drive a tractor, backhoe, and 30' box truck. There has got to be something in there that I could do for some scratch!
__________________
"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life." - Peter Gibbons, Office Space
StealthSlacker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2010, 12:08 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,664
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
Then I found Your Money or Your Life.
That pesky book has ruined more good careers! Including mine....
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2010, 11:06 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
flyfishnevada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smith
Posts: 743
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
How is this possible?
30 years at any age. Started when I was 18, bought 5 years. 18+25=43. Tada!!
__________________
flyfishnevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2010, 11:11 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
flyfishnevada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smith
Posts: 743
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthSlacker View Post
fly, I too plan to be "semi-retired", not in my current professional field, but rather in a field of interest. YMOYL has made think about the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question for the first time in years. I love to repair things and am very good at it. I am a decent auto mechanic and love machines of any description. I can drive a tractor, backhoe, and 30' box truck. There has got to be something in there that I could do for some scratch!
Yes! I am not an engineer anymore. I am a writer. Been thinking about writing books for years. Now I am doing it, or at least doing the research and planning if not the actual writing. YMOYL is a little too hippie/green for me, but core message is solid. It's changing the way I look at life.
__________________
flyfishnevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2010, 06:54 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
30 years at any age. Started when I was 18, bought 5 years. 18+25=43. Tada!!
No offense flyfishing and while I am happy for you, this is outrageous.
5K/month equal $60K a year. Presumably there is some COLA aspect to your pension. At age 43 the state of Nevada will on average pay you for 35 more years. You would need the equivalent of more than 1.5 million to get a $60K pension. Or to put it another way the pension is the equivalent of a pay raise of $55,000 a year (assuming a return of 8%), over the last 25 years.

However, it is impossible to argue with your logic of taking the money and run.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2010, 08:31 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
flyfishnevada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smith
Posts: 743
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
No offense flyfishing and while I am happy for you, this is outrageous.
5K/month equal $60K a year. Presumably there is some COLA aspect to your pension. At age 43 the state of Nevada will on average pay you for 35 more years. You would need the equivalent of more than 1.5 million to get a $60K pension. Or to put it another way the pension is the equivalent of a pay raise of $55,000 a year (assuming a return of 8%), over the last 25 years.

However, it is impossible to argue with your logic of taking the money and run.
That is 75% of my average salary for the last three years and ya, it is COLA'd. I have heard it is one of the best in the nation. I am not sure why. Maybe it was created way back when to coax people to come to Nevada. Who knows? Its a fairly well funded pension and it is protected by law from being raided. I would usually have to work 30 years, but I bought five years of service. Because I was so young and made so little money (I started in the mail room), it only cost me $14,000. Now it would cost me about $130 to by 5 years. I am not offended. It is what it is and I wouldn't expect anyone to pass up a deal like this on principle. I didn't!

Sorry for the inadvertent thread jack
__________________
flyfishnevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2010, 08:09 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,068
Your Money or Your Life ... great book. I don't personally agree with the investing advice, but the rest of it remains very useful.

Michael, we don't have a lot of time on this earth! We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.
__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2010, 08:54 AM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Welcome aboard. I'm impressed at your adaptibility after life threw you a couple of curveballs.

One small note - the firm that is managing your investments - how much in the way of fees and commissions are they charging? One of the most important pieces of my retirement "evolution" was to fire my advisor and set out on my own.

Check the archives for other suggestions but books by Solin, Bogleheads, Lucia and others might convince you go out on your own. Remember: a 1.5% annual fee may not seem like a lot, but when you are living on 4% of assets a year (as you might in FIRE) it's substantial.
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2010, 08:55 AM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
HsiaoChu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton View Post
...... listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements.
After 39 years of this...... it does get old. And when you've been listening to it for longer than the "droners" have actually been living, its also kind of funny in a macabre way.
Z
__________________
HsiaoChu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2010, 09:37 AM   #19
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
No offense flyfishing and while I am happy for you, this is outrageous.
Why is that outrageous? The state offered him a deal 30 years ago and he accepted it.

I have a similar arrangement - DB pension, 100% COLAs, health insurance (I pay 30% of the group premium). But I also worked 18 years of weekly rotating shifts which is now known to play havoc with circadian rhythms and statistically cut five to seven years off my life.

I paid my dues. So did he.

If it makes you feel any better the retirement plan that I'm under is not being offered now.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2010, 08:12 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Milton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Why is that outrageous? The state offered him a deal 30 years ago and he accepted it.
clifp can speak for himself; but I suspect that he meant that it was outrageous that the elected politicians (who are ostensibly the guardians of the public purse) would offer/approve such a sweatheart pension. I didn't infer any criticism of flyfishnevada from his post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
If it makes you feel any better the retirement plan that I'm under is not being offered now.
It is a continuing mystery to many voters why public servants enjoy such good deals (job security, indexed pensions, decent salaries, handsome vacation entitlements, full benefits, etc.) relative to the private sector. As government deficits mount, I suspect that the situation will gradually change ... it is no longer sustainable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
One of the most important pieces of my retirement "evolution" was to fire my advisor and set out on my own.
Me too. Fortunately this happened fairly soon into my investment journey.
__________________

__________________
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
Milton is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SINGLE life after FIRE omni550 Life after FIRE 112 01-05-2009 01:40 PM
What is life like after FIRE? mattgg1 Life after FIRE 33 11-22-2008 10:48 PM
How much life insurance after FIRE? Den26 Life after FIRE 14 09-04-2008 01:15 PM
Mid 40's Female, RE kayelem Hi, I am... 12 12-20-2004 03:29 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:46 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.