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Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 06:59 AM   #1
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Early Retirement/Second Career

Greetings-

I have enjoyed reading this board for at least a year, and have occasionally posted as a guest, so it is time for an introduction.

I'm currently a Federal Government employee, 52, living in Northern VA. I'm anticipating budget cuts and hoping I will be offered an early out this year. That will offer a reduced pension, but include health insurance and LTC insurance. I'm married and have an 11 year old son.

I want out of the rat race, so if I can make my escape with a pension, we will sell the house and move to Wilmington, NC. I will set up a solo law practice doing estate planning and be there to greet the wave of retiring boomers arriving at the coast over the next 30 years or so. I am hoping that I can set up a practice which will be low stress, allowing me to work as much as I want - say 20 hours a week - and to enjoy life more. After 25 years in the government, I feel the need for jerkproofing my existence. I am inspired by John Galt's recent comments about sole proprietors he knows who actually enjoy working.

My wife and I have pretty substantial savings in IRA's, 403b's and the Government's thrift savings plan. We expect the sale of the present house, and downshifting to a new one will leave us debt free (including no mortgage) and with some cash to ease the transition. I would like to structure our expenses so that my wife can quit work, and we won't need to tap the retirement funds for the next decade or so. At that point, even if we don't add to it in the interim, I think we'll have enough that a 4% withdrawal rate should be sufficient to support our lifestyle.

For me, FI means having the independence to enjoy a lifestyle which includes work, but on my terms. If it turns out that the present plan isn't what I anticipate, I'll have the freedom to try something else. Comments invited.

rapoole
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 07:16 AM   #2
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career


By the way, how did that "confused about dryer sheets" end up in my posting? I'm confused about confused about dryer sheets.
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 07:21 AM   #3
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Welcome Rapoole! We are originally from NC and know that Wilmington is a booming place, with it's proximity to Wrightsville Beach and Landfall, etc. there will be plenty of estate planning business. Your biggest challenge will probably be to stick to your 20hr week plan and not let it become a J** 8).

Best wishes,
The Beachbumz
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 07:34 AM   #4
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Thanks Bumz. The Landfall/Wrightsville Beach area is exactly what I am thinking about. And you are right, the challenge will be to prevent it from becoming a j**. If we can avoid ratcheting up lifestyle and expenses too much, I hope to be in the position of choosing the amount and type of work I take on. Suggestions invited.
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Welcome Rapoole. Glad to have another lawyer to join in. I am 50 years old (this is the first time I've said that--weird going from the 40s to the 50s) and experimenting with working part time at my firm. I don't think I would want to try to do it on my own though. The thought of having to deal with trust accounts, CLE credits, sending out the bills and paying the bills doesn't thrill me. I also think I would be lonesome for some of my co-workers, both as people to bounce ideas off of and as friends.

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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 10:26 AM   #6
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Hi Martha-

* * *You are right, handling all that stuff while practicing law would be a handful. *Tentative plans are for my wife to serve as the business manager - doing billings and paying bills. *I think that can definitely work, since she already handles the checkbook and pays the bills at home, and is handy with spreadsheets and taxes. Whether she takes on more than that will require an assessment of its impact on our relationship. Not worth it if it adds stress.

Also, your point about colleagues is a good one because that's the best part of my present job. However, I see giving up colleagues as the price I must pay to escape from managers, and will seek social interaction elsewhere. I tend to be a joiner - serving on boards and so forth, and I think that may suffice.

rapoole
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 10:38 AM   #7
 
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Hello rapoole! Man, I would love to own a business
with my wife and if I was 15 years younger
(maybe even 10) I would do it. I have even thought about
financing something for her to run which would give
us some independence from her job. Alas, I don't have
the drive any more and would be reluctant to clutter
up my carefully constructed ER life with entanglements,
even if DW would handle the details. Nope, just
going down the yelow brick road of ER while I wait for my spouse to join me at The Emerald City.

JG
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-05-2005, 05:04 PM   #8
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Hey John-

Well, if she doesn't share the dream, you may need to wait. Eventually she will come around.

For my part, I'm a little worried that working closely together (and spending a lot more hours in close contact) will add stress. Don't know, and I hope not, but won't know till we try.

rapoole
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-06-2005, 06:07 PM   #9
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Quote:
For my part, I'm a little worried that working closely together (and spending a lot more hours in close contact) will add stress. Don't know, and I hope not, but won't know till we try.
rapoole
Just give a try. You may be quite pleasantly surprised.
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-08-2005, 05:42 AM   #10
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Quote:

That will offer a reduced pension, but include health insurance and LTC insurance.
You will have to pay the full cost of the gov't LTC insurance. The gov't does not contribute to it, unlike health insurance, where the gov't continues to pay 72% of the premium for retirees.

The gov't LTC insurance is not necessarily any cheaper or better than other LTC insurance. Shop around.

Grumpy


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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-08-2005, 08:32 AM   #11
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Quote:
The gov't LTC insurance is not necessarily any cheaper or better than other LTC insurance. *Shop around. *Grumpy
My father and I checked into this a year ago... the federal LTC policy was more expensive (with fewer benefits) than his John Hancock policy.

Everyone's health profile is different and the policies may have changed since then, but just because it's federal doesn't mean that it's better or cheaper.
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-08-2005, 09:00 AM   #12
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

I don't think anyone answered your confusion about dryer sheets. Look under the topic "Frequently Asked Questions"; thread "Dryer Sheets" and read each and every one of the messages. It won't really enlighten you a bit.
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-08-2005, 09:54 AM   #13
 
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Dryer sheet lore is very subtle and not easily assimiliated by dryer sheet wannabees. The finer points
are nuanced in such a way as to exclude from the dryer
sheet fraternity those deemed unworthy of enlightenment

JG
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-09-2005, 04:39 AM   #14
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

"You will have to pay the full cost of the gov't LTC insurance. *The gov't does not contribute to it, unlike health insurance, where the gov't continues to pay 72% of the premium for retirees. *

The gov't LTC insurance is not necessarily any cheaper or better than other LTC insurance. *Shop around."

Re payment for LTC - I know I have to pay for it. I have already signed up.

There are a couple of reasons I like the government LTC plan. One is it is (will be) an automatic deduction from my pension check. So if I get sick or absent minded (already am) my LTC doesn't get cancelled.

Also, I like the clout inherent in being part of group enrollment. It is my understanding that the policies have an "out" if the actuarial assumptions underlying them don't work out. Nobody really knows how many are going to need long term care in 2040 - with changes in longevity due to medical care, it could be lots more (or lots less) than insurers expect. If the benefits are going to be reduced due to unexpected adverse experience, they will have to negotiate with the Office of Personnel Management.

I don't like or trust insurance companies, and I view having OPM as my advocate as a distinct advantage. Kind of like the difference between negotiating health insurance on your own, versus buying it through the FEHBP. JMHO. 8)
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-09-2005, 04:44 AM   #15
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career


"I don't think anyone answered your confusion about dryer sheets. Look under the topic "Frequently Asked Questions"; thread "Dryer Sheets" and read each and every one of the messages. It won't really enlighten you a bit."

Actually my question was how does that bit about dryer sheets end up in MY messages, and how do I change it. Didn't find that in the dryer sheet faq.
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-09-2005, 04:46 AM   #16
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

"Just give a try. You may be quite pleasantly surprised."

Spanky, thanks for the encouragement. Do you have personal experience or observations re working with a spouse to offer?
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-09-2005, 06:40 AM   #17
 
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

I worked with my former spouse with no real problems.
It was only a problem living with her

JG
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-10-2005, 01:06 PM   #18
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

Quote:
Actually my question was how does that bit about dryer sheets end up in MY messages, and how do I change it. *Didn't find that in the dryer sheet faq.
That feature is controlled by the moderator. The phrase changes as your number of posts rises.

You could send Dory36 a PM with a suggestion for alternate phrases.
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-10-2005, 03:36 PM   #19
 
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

There is no shame in being a "dryer sheet wannabe".
Many of the oldsters on this site had to pay their dryer sheet dues, Newbies should do the same.

non sum qualis eram

JG
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career
Old 01-10-2005, 04:33 PM   #20
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Re: Early Retirement/Second Career

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Spanky, thanks for the encouragement. Do you have personal experience or observations re working with a spouse to offer?
I met my wife at work. We worked together in harmony. I also noticed that many couples that work together or in business partnership do not have more conflicts compared to working with others (not having a spousal relationship).

However, I have heard plenty of examples that partnership with brothers and sisters end up in bad terms.

Spanky
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