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Empty-nesters looking to fly the coop!
Old 08-28-2014, 09:46 PM   #1
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Empty-nesters looking to fly the coop!


Im 57 years old and this year re-started self-employment; my husband is 56 and at his current employer for 18 years making low-end six figures.

We have 4 married children with a growing number of grandchildren (fun times). Everyone is self-sufficient; not a burden on us or society.

We are looking to retire as soon as possible, but are confident that, as we acquire information on what is still needed to get us there, we have income right now to get us on track to retire at least by age 67.

We have our primary residence in IL which we will sell anytime we think husband can afford to leave employment and move to our vacation/retirement home in TN and choose enjoyable ways to bring income in. Both of our homes are mortgaged (good equity available) with all the usual bills that go with them. We do have a HELOC on the IL home (balance due Feb 2017) which we are on target for paying off.

Husband is fully vested in a 401K/profit sharing acct from employer with just under $400,000 at present. We have been on the SSA site and know what both our incomes from that will be at age 66.5.

Weve been discussing what retirement will look like to both of us and we know we will not need the income level we have now to be content and happy. We have used Quicken since 2006 to know where our spending is, so we are confident in what well need as we downsize and look to a slower pace of living.

We are not sure where to start to find the next steps to take, but after looking at other input on this site, seems FireCalc may be a good place.

Thank you in advance for any direction/input any of you are willing to give.

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Old 08-29-2014, 07:00 AM   #2
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Since you are already a Quicken user, have you gone through Quicken Lifetime Planner (included in Quicken Deluxe and higher)? You put in your information and assumptions and it does a year by year projection of your retirement savings.

Selling our main home and moving into our vacation home was an important step in our ER since it reduced our living expenses significantly and we were able to plow the proceeds from the sale of our main home into our retirement funds.

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Old 08-29-2014, 07:14 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

+1 on both FireCalc and Quicken Lifetime Planner.

You didn't put any information on current and expected living expenses and whether you have any investments other than the 401k. More detailed information is definitely not required to participate in the forum but you can't get any specific suggestions unless you lift the kimono a little.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:32 AM   #4
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There are lots of planners to play with...they can drive you crazy. I personally find FireCalc, CFireSim, Flexible Retirement Planner and i-ORP the most useful. FireCalc and CFire use historical data while FRP and i-ORP (I think) use Monte Carlo simulations. i-ORP models taxes as well. They all have pros and cons and all give you some idea of where/what your retirement might look like given certain conditions.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:44 PM   #5
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Welcome and congratulations on successfully launching your kids. That's something I aspire to - but my kids are still middle schoolers. LOL.

Is your self employment job something you plan to continue and enjoy? Is it something you'd do part time in retirement? As a self employed person you have more options for retirement savings. I'm sure some of the other members here can fill you in. But I know you can plow higher amounts into tax deferred savings.

The key to retirement, at least for me, is to manage expenses/spending. You have tracked what you're spending... are there things that can be trimmed back on without a negative impact on your lifestyle? For us we found that it didn't hurt us too much to switch our landline to magic jack, our cell phones to Ting, and cut cable back to a more basic package. But the savings were a couple thousand dollars a year... which means we can withdraw less in retirement. We also switched some of our spending habits - using the library vs buying books or kindle downloads, making coffee at home, vs buying at *$s... little things... that add up.

Again, welcome!
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