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End of the Beginning in sight --- delayed implementation
Old 07-01-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
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End of the Beginning in sight --- delayed implementation

A one year status update on the original thread 'End of the Beginning in Sight posted summer 2011.


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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

Update July 2012

For the most part the divestment of the various divisions both in the USA and overseas went as planned and I realized the after tax benefits anticipated last summer. Assets now consist of $1.9MM in brokerage, $0.25MM Roth IRA, $0.3MM other plus the fully paid real estate including the Oregon farm property.

However, several UNANTICIPATED developments have arisen in the last year.

1. One of the overseas divisions did not sell and I have been asked to continue on in basically a caretaker role for the next three years while it is packaged along with other units for a strategic sale. Better salary, less stress and chance at a big 'pot of gold at the end of the rainbow' bonus at the end of three years, with or without a sale.
2. So now faced with signing on another three years overseas, which even without the big bonus will significantly upgrade financial resources available post retirement with a corresponding increase in safety margin.
3. Conclusion is that it is too tough to turn down the three additional years. It also allows enough forward visibility to begin construction of the house on the Oregon farm.
4. DW is having a tough run of medical problems back in Houston and it may be that she can never re-locate to a rural setting in Oregon.
5. So another financially based reason to hang on another three years.

I know this is common for 'one more year' to creep into the retirement decision. This is a 'three more years' variant. Part of me says just do it, the rational side says hang in there and build resources while I still can and while the rewards make it easy to save.

Just thought I would post the update as the original thread received several pieces of good advise.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingfooted View Post
A one year status update on the original thread 'End of the Beginning in Sight posted summer 2011.
So sorry to hear about DW's developments!

Has she ever had any interest in traveling? I realize you said she's been hanging out at home, and your location isn't on the top 10 list of tourist destinations...but perhaps you could meet her at an airport overseas, and the 2 of you take a week or two trip somewhere? A few of those might help make the time pass more quickly for you on your final 3 year run.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MooreBonds

So sorry to hear about DW's developments!

Has she ever had any interest in traveling? I realize you said she's been hanging out at home, and your location isn't on the top 10 list of tourist destinations...but perhaps you could meet her at an airport overseas, and the 2 of you take a week or two trip somewhere? A few of those might help make the time pass more quickly for you on your final 3 year run.
The problem is that she is not doing well in the ambulatory department. I'm afraid travel would be very uncomfortable for her. I het back to the US often enough (2-4 times per year).
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:51 AM   #4
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What sort of support system does your DW have back home? With her medical problems are you letting visions of the 'pot of gold' cloud your priorities?

Not trying to be judgmental, simply looking from the outside in and asking if you've looked at all sides of your decision.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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What sort of support system does your DW have back home? With her medical problems are you letting visions of the 'pot of gold' cloud your priorities?

Not trying to be judgmental, simply looking from the outside in and asking if you've looked at all sides of your decision.
Appreciate the sentiment.

DW is in an urban area and has enough support resources to keep herself comfortable. As a couple we are long term expatriates and the attitude towards long absences has evolved to be somewhat different than a 'conventional' relationship.

It's a tough balance between the two extremes - be a stay at home or reach for the pot of gold. The impact on retirement of working another few years at peak earnings rather than start drawing down the nest egg is huge. Our mutual agreement is that it's better for the partnership to get fully financially comfortable now and build a safety net rather than wake up at age 75 with the realization that one of us (DH) should of worked a few more years instead of applying at Walmart as a greeter. Particularly as medical expenses could be higher than what we had earlier anticipated.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:11 AM   #6
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Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans...
Only you (+DW) can define your priorities and decide at which place the "pot of gold" stands.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:26 AM   #7
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Ask yourself, if DW's health deteriorates dramatically (or she dies) within the next 3-5 years would you wish that you had retired now or would you be (and she) be satisfied it was worth pursuing the extra assets?

If you can picture yourself saying, "This situation is too bad, but I (we) would do it all over again," then go for it.

If you picture yourself saying, "OMG, why did we worry about more money?" then don't do it.

I think the latest decision on Obamacare would push me to be done now.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wingfooted View Post
Appreciate the sentiment.

DW is in an urban area and has enough support resources to keep herself comfortable. As a couple we are long term expatriates and the attitude towards long absences has evolved to be somewhat different than a 'conventional' relationship.

It's a tough balance between the two extremes - be a stay at home or reach for the pot of gold. The impact on retirement of working another few years at peak earnings rather than start drawing down the nest egg is huge. Our mutual agreement is that it's better for the partnership to get fully financially comfortable now and build a safety net rather than wake up at age 75 with the realization that one of us (DH) should of worked a few more years instead of applying at Walmart as a greeter. Particularly as medical expenses could be higher than what we had earlier anticipated.
This trade off is very tough to make because there's so much emotion in each choice and it is so personal. No matter what you choose, in a few years you will probably see things differently, and things may not work out as planned. Unexpected outcomes exact the heaviest toll on us. Is there no third option?
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MichaelB
This trade off is very tough to make because there's so much emotion in each choice and it is so personal. No matter what you choose, in a few years you will probably see things differently, and things may not work out as planned. Unexpected outcomes exact the heaviest toll on us. Is there no third option?
No good ones at least. Thanks for all the comments.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
What sort of support system does your DW have back home? With her medical problems are you letting visions of the 'pot of gold' cloud your priorities?

Not trying to be judgmental, simply looking from the outside in and asking if you've looked at all sides of your decision.
+1 and I would add, at least for me, time with my DW is priceless.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:56 AM   #11
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I would not spend money building a house in Oregon if your wife may never be able or willing to live there. IMO you and your DW need to have a serious talk about where you want to be and what you want to do in retirement.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #12
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Why can't you just retire and stay in the Houston area for now? If you like a more rural type lifestyle you could buy an acreage property in one of the surrounding counties and still be within half an hour of major amenities including doctors, hospital, etc.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:59 PM   #13
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I just got back from Willamette Valley area of Oregon on vacation and for more scouting to retire there in +/- 3 years. The fact that you already own land there is a huge plus. DW and I are looking for a house and acreage in mid to upper Willamette Valley. Quality of life there compared to Houston is a no-brainer for us when you consider climate, scenery, wine, fruit, vegetables, way-of-life, skiing, hiking, mountains, ocean ad infinitum. We would already be there were it not for seeing our son through 3 more years of high school. He is already gearing his college plans for the West.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:25 AM   #14
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Quality of life there compared to Houston is a no-brainer for us when you consider climate, scenery, wine, fruit, vegetables, way-of-life, skiing, hiking, mountains, ocean ad infinitum.
A good example of how criteria varies from person to person.

Climate? Would be nice to not have the Texas heat, but I don't like cold weather

Scenery? Probably better (haven't been there but most anywhere is better than the Houston area)

Wine? Don't drink so don't care

Fruit? Don't like it much.

Vegetables? OK with the ones I get in Texas

Way of Life? Very much a matter of personal opinion -- I don't know much about Oregon so have no opinion as to which I would like better. I very possibly might like Oregon better.

Skiing? Huge negative. I don't like cold or mountains....

Hiking? Not my idea of fun

Mountains? Beautiful to look at for sure but I'm petrified of heights...
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:56 AM   #15
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Wing, if it were me I'd sell the farm, quit my job, count myself lucky to have over $2M in retirement funds, and spend time with my wife.

But that's just me.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:18 AM   #16
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Leprechauns buried their pots of gold (for what?). I think the real gold is your time.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:30 AM   #17
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Wing, if it were me I'd sell the farm, quit my job, count myself lucky to have over $2M in retirement funds, and spend time with my wife.

But that's just me.
One thing is 100% for sure -I'm not selling the farm !
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:42 AM   #18
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My theory is that if you want to see what someone wants to do, just look at what they are doing. You seem to be happy with your plans so more power to you. Sorry to hear your DW has health issues but it is good that she is someplace with health resources and support.

Your current two-home lifestyle (overseas and Houston) will probably bode well in three years for spending part of the year in Oregon and part in Houston, too.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:04 PM   #19
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Leprechauns buried their pots of gold (for what?). I think the real gold is your time.
+1
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sheldon cornped
I just got back from Willamette Valley area of Oregon on vacation and for more scouting to retire there in +/- 3 years. The fact that you already own land there is a huge plus. DW and I are looking for a house and acreage in mid to upper Willamette Valley. Quality of life there compared to Houston is a no-brainer for us when you consider climate, scenery, wine, fruit, vegetables, way-of-life, skiing, hiking, mountains, ocean ad infinitum. We would already be there were it not for seeing our son through 3 more years of high school. He is already gearing his college plans for the West.
I agree that Oregon is an interesting state. We are out on the eastern side of the state as farm land is more affordable,it has fewer people and it rains hardly at all.
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