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Early? At 58? Everything's relative.
Old 06-16-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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Early? At 58? Everything's relative.

As we worked our way through our careers in the Southeast Michigan auto industry, DW and I had long looked forward to retiring at the only somewhat arbitrary age of 62. In recent years, both of our employers contracted, both were sold, another cycle of contractions hit, etc. etc. Finally, about five years short of "the plan", DW (along with about 1000 co-workers) was offered the choice of a somewhat enhanced early retirement package, or taking a different job with the company. When we talked to a CPA and took a good look at our situation, we found that we were actually in much better shape than we had thought. DW took the package.

That was last year. For the first time, we spent the last twelve months really focussed on how we spent money; what were necessities, what weren't. what costs would be reduced or disappear if we were both retired, what would increase, etc. I have run several simulations (Fidelity, Vanguard, T Rowe Price) and they all confirm what the CPA told us... that we are FI. I've ordered the new Scott Burns collaboration "Spend til the End", will invest $150 in their simulation software and I am sure that it will say the same thing.

My pension calculator at work tells me that working two more years would increase my pension about 20%. Two more years would increase our 401k withdrawal potential about 10%. However, the net impact on our ultimate total retirement income (SS included), after tax, would only be about 7-8%. The cost would be at the price of losing two years on the healthy end of retirement.

So while age 58 is not early compared to most people on these forums (FIRE at 43?...wow!!), from my perspective, the thought of retiring in six months (my target) instead of thirty or fifty-four months is incredible.

I have not yet explored all of the forums, but I find a number of them really interesting. The "what if I work one more year syndrome" is not a rare affliction. The application for social security at 62, re-payment of 8 years, and re-application at 70 is intriguing. Hope it's not closed down or means-tested any time soon.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:35 PM   #2
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Welcome Downshift - thanks for posting. We look forward to hearing of your adventures as you make the final preparations and pull the pin.

Good luck.

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Old 06-16-2008, 11:37 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=downshift;670291]....
My pension calculator at work tells me that working two more years would increase my pension about 20%. Two more years would increase our 401k withdrawal potential about 10%. However, the net impact on our ultimate total retirement income (SS included), after tax, would only be about 7-8%. The cost would be at the price of losing two years on the healthy end of retirement....
QUOTE]

Welcome, Downshift.

I really relate to your post especially the comparison two years apart. I'm also using that kind of reasoning to convince myself to jump a little earlier, I'll be 61, and I know there are several others here 58 and older still in the planning stages.

Looking forward to seeing more of your posts.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
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Welcome to the board!

I am 60, and will be retiring next year at 61. Like you, I am pleased and amazed at the youth of some retirees around here and I would join them now, if I could.

Then again, I suppose that compared with retiring at the (supposedly) usual age of 65, retirement at 61 or 58 could be thought of as early.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:06 AM   #5
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Downshift welcome to the boards. I noticed from your post you did not say that you had run your numbers through FIRECALC. You should do this it will give you another answer for withdrawal rates and retirement success (money left once both of you are gone). If you get a 100% sucess rate form FIRECALC its pretty good bet you can retire in 6 months as planned.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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Welcome I retired at 59 and it's great !
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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My wife retired 1 1/2 yrs ago @58 and I retired this March @57. No doubt working longer would have built up our resources but once you reach the point where the basics are covered you can look differently at how long to work. I also had a relatively 'little' cardiac event which a lot of people ignore. One 'problem' for me was I actually liked my work (@NASA) so it was a harder decision to retire. My wife retired from teaching but still works a few hours here & there to stay connected. Its your time you get to decide what you want to do with it. For me the time with the kids, grand kids & travel are 'worth' it.
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