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End of the Beginning in sight
Old 07-25-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
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End of the Beginning in sight

After 20 years overseas assignment, looks like events are moving in my direction to FIRE in 2012.

Mid 50's, married,no kids. Worked overseas for Oil Service Co. - hardship assignments in not so nice hell holes with some personal danger. Own house in Houston plus Oregon farm of 160 acres - decent size but non commercial. Total real estate value of $1.1M all paid for, no mortgage. No other debt, credit cards are paid in full every month, six cars and four motorcycles all paid for between Texas and Oregon.

Current salary in the mid- $200's plus bonus. Wife is stay at home / doing her own thing. Made the first million in my 40's basically through overseas assignment differentials, low out of pocket cost, tax benefits and a good run of capital gains in the market although I suffered with most in 2008. Luckily missed the big real estate crash, the Houston house is modest and farmland remains in good demand. After the first million, the second and third come fairly quickly with any kind of investment success and continued savings.

Brokerage account of $1.2M , Roth IRA of $ 0.3M, other cash savings of $0.3M all after tax. The division I head up will be divested sometime this year and am looking at share of the sale valuation plus leaving benefits in the range of $0.6M after tax. Proceeds of all the lump sum distributions to transfer to the Brokerage account. Passionate about investing and stock market.

I could hang on with the new company if I wanted to but at this point it doesn't seem worth the bother unless the rewards are superb. Frankly I have other interest I want to pursue, feel burnt out and life in a foreign country is wearing on me.

No pension, social security to start at age 70. All the calculators say that I am financially prepared to ER.

The plan at this point is to sell the house in Texas, build in Oregon and transfer residency to Oregon in 2013 after all the lump sums are paid out (for state income tax reasons). I will gentleman farm, maybe run a part time business connected with farming and get back into some of the hobbies I have been unable to pursue these many years. Medical insurance to transfer to state pool after Cobra exhausts. Not sure how my wife will adjust to farm life (Green Acres scenario) and that is probably the biggest danger to the entire plan.

Worried about the state of the USA, welfare economy and what the future holds when we can no longer sell promises (bonds) to the Chinese. So feel that rural Oregon is a good place to hunker down for a future that may be quite different than today.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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Sounds good.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:23 AM   #3
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Welcome to the site.

Will you continue working overseas before retiring next year?
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:26 AM   #4
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As long as the divesture drags on, I will remain overseas. How far into 2012 I go will depend on the transition process and handing over to the new owners. Given the complexity of closing an international transaction and probable transition period, I cant see winding up before mid 2012 - which gives us plenty of time for an extra savings spurt going into the finish line.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:11 AM   #5
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Yes, welcome! Will your DW be able to continue doing her own thing as she hunkers down on the farm with you?
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:19 AM   #6
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Sounds like it is time to go and enjoy the farm. Sounds like you will have plenty to do on the farm.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever
Yes, welcome! Will your DW be able to continue doing her own thing as she hunkers down on the farm with you?
Big question mark. She finds rural life rather boring. I can spend a week on the farm staying busy with chores, after day or two she just wants to go into town - which is limiting as far as entertainment value or else a fairly long (1 hour) drive. Ideally she would develop on farm hobbies, that hasn't happened so far during our visit periods.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:18 AM   #8
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Sounds good. Congrats. two questions though. How much do you think you will spend in retirement and are you sure you want to go back to the US to retire?
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:23 AM   #9
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Great financial planning!

As a retired wife, in Oregon, I too would get bored and lonely quickly on a remote farm. An acquaintance of mine, after a rainy weekend in the woods commented, "I married for better or worse, but not for camping!" You really need to consider her in planning your life in retirement.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Danmar
Sounds good. Congrats. two questions though. How much do you think you will spend in retirement and are you sure you want to go back to the US to retire?
I have $120K per year, inflation adjustment 2.7%, $30K annual farm earnings plus SS at age 70 plugged into my calculator.

Thoroughly enjoyed my time overseas but after 20 years the novelty and excitement has wore off. It used to be that every vacation we would travel somewhere exotic - now I just want to fly back to the US and spend the time at the farm. Some of the problem is that in a hardship posting you usually don't see much except the compound walls, the office and trips back and forth to the airport.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:37 AM   #11
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Great financial planning!

As a retired wife, in Oregon, I too would get bored and lonely quickly on a remote farm. An acquaintance of mine, after a rainy weekend in the woods commented, "I married for better or worse, but not for camping!" You really need to consider her in planning your life in retirement.
That's the dilemma. Conceivably we could keep a second house in Houston where she feels more at home but it would mean me working another three years to support the added expense. A lot to ask for...
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:04 PM   #12
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If you could find a small place it might not be that expensive.
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:27 PM   #13
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum.

I would suggest waiting for 1-2 years after you retire, before you sell the house in Houston and move to Oregon. Retirement is a big adjustment in itself, and from your post it sounds like retiring plus moving back to the US plus quickly moving to a remote farm in Oregon might stress your marriage too much.

You can wait for a year or two if it is going to save your marriage, right?
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:38 PM   #14
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Ms G. settled into rural life quite easily, by the way we lived in Greenacres WA, now called Spokane Valley. We are a small community of 200 on 200 square miles. Ms G. has a dozen close girlfriends, once a month or so 4-6 take off for Tucson or Phoenix for shopping and fun. Dinners, parties, and community get togethers are our form of entertainment, and Netflix. If it wasn't for our friends, I don't believe Ms G. would be as happy as she is. Me a little gardening, running, volunteer firefighter, and a long honey-do list keeps me busier than I ever expected to be.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:48 PM   #15
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum.

I would suggest waiting for 1-2 years after you retire, before you sell the house in Houston and move to Oregon. Retirement is a big adjustment in itself, and from your post it sounds like retiring plus moving back to the US plus quickly moving to a remote farm in Oregon might stress your marriage too much.

You can wait for a year or two if it is going to save your marriage, right?

Thanks for the (good) advice. I will plug the incremental expense into the retirement calculator.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:55 PM   #16
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Thanks for the (good) advice. I will plug the incremental expense into the retirement calculator.
Also, don't forget to compare the cost of living in Houston to the cost of living in Oregon. You might not need as much income in Houston. Plus, if you do plan to sell the house in Houston eventually, you might get more for it in a few years after the real estate market recovers.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:16 AM   #17
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what area of oregon is your farm located in?
we have a few properties in cottage grove & creswell (just south of eugene on hiway 5) & can't wait to retire so we can leave the hell hole known as san jose california for the scenic wonders & friendly (english speaking) people in oregon.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:37 AM   #18
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what area of oregon is your farm located in?
.


On the dry side of the state outside of Boise.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #19
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Ah, Ontario way. The Blue & Wallowa Mountains are magnificent!
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:16 AM   #20
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I had a friend who bought land in Oregon with the intention of retiring there - he lived most of his life in North San Diego county. Turned out the cultural difference and the lack of old friends caused him to return to his old house.

I have found that every area of the country has its own "personality". I think that is the reason some people are drawn to, for example, New York City, but other people think that is a terrible idea. So make sure you are the type of person who likes the Green Acres lifestyle of Oregon before you cut all ties with Houston. Often a new situation sounds great when you are thinking about it, but reality can be much different than your dreams.
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