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ER with young teenagers still around?
Old 08-04-2015, 12:31 PM   #1
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ER with young teenagers still around?

I am 52 and have twin 13 yo daughters. I believe I have the funds for ER (will be debt free by end of the year and have saved enough for college for the kids) and I am more than emotionally ready (ie burned out at work), but I was looking for some input from anyone who went for ER before the kids were out of the house. Pros, Cons and any suggestions appreciated.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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I feel I am in the same position as you. I am 45 years old with 3 children between the ages of 10 and 16 and am financially ready for ER. I think I am emotionally ready but am concerned I will get bored, miss work, etc. Would love to hear the pros & Cons from people who have gone through it already.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:17 PM   #3
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At 52 my daughters will be 14 and 12. I will be mostly retired and hopefully escaping the house of hormonal horrors by heading to our vacation house in Florida on my own as much as possible.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:37 PM   #4
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I ER'd with one finishing high school, one entering college and one in college. We had time to do things together before they left home, which we never had before, and we had some very enjoyable moments which would not have been possible had I continued w*rking.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:41 PM   #5
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We retired 6 months ago and we have a 16 year old boy. We moved half way across the country to be closer to family. No issues so far. In fact its been great to be able to do lots of home improvement projects together since I have time to do them whenever I want now.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:44 PM   #6
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Our situation is not even remotely close (other than having 2 children).
I am 62 and have two Sons ( 10 years old and 4 months old). I retired 28 years
ago shortly after my Wife was born, so I was not thinking college tuition or even how I would keep my Wife in formula and diapers.

I have learned that I can live happily anywhere on varying amounts of money and nothing can make me happier than time spent with my two boy's.

I never spent much time with my Dad who worked on Wall Street and at 97 is still trying to add to his Millions, but am thankful to him for teaching me (unknowingly) to have fun while I was young as money does not buy happiness and family is truly important.

We are all wired differently and while I might get involved in a project, I have never seriously considered going to work for anyone.

My Wife on the other hand is only 4 years into her career and still wants to earn the big bucks. I encourage her as I know what it was like and frankly my Son and I prefer the peace and quiet when she is gone all day.

So if you have a close relationship with your kids, I would list that as a definite pro.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valley fisher View Post
I am 52 and have twin 13 yo daughters. I believe I have the funds for ER (will be debt free by end of the year and have saved enough for college for the kids) and I am more than emotionally ready (ie burned out at work), but I was looking for some input from anyone who went for ER before the kids were out of the house. Pros, Cons and any suggestions appreciated.
After carefully considering the implications for many months, I pulled the plug as a 55 y.o. single parent earlier this year. Kids are 14 (F) and 11 (M). My wife of 30 years (and their mother) died in early 2014, nearly a year after her cancer diagnosis. Sold the only home the kids knew in July and moved 600 miles to what I believe is a better environment for them to finish growing up.

Similar to you, I believe I'm adequately funded to live OK, plus have their higher education costs banked separately.

I like that I am able to be active in their lives, whether it's volunteering at school, talking in the car back and forth to school, or getting them to the beach a few times a week . There is now always time to talk and I want to make sure I have a strong relationship with them, and they with each other. This is the time in their lives to be present and available, even as they want more time away from parents.

As for the downsides, I was initially concerned about setting an example that would help them connect work with it's financial benefits. They were already familiar with my workload and travel, but after engaging them in the budgetary aspects of vacation planning and watching them adjust schedules and activities to bring costs down, I knew they got it .

The other possibility I see on the horizon is my own boredom. We've dealt with plenty of change in the last 2.5 years and settling in at our new location will take some time. I'm getting a couple of things lined up to keep my self challenged once we're past that.

I've done it with no regrets, so expect me to biased . Go forward, enjoy your life - and take advantage of the time to help your girls grow into the best women they can be.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYEXPAT View Post
Our situation is not even remotely close (other than having 2 children).
I am 62 and have two Sons ( 10 years old and 4 months old). I retired 28 years
ago shortly after my Wife was born, so I was not thinking college tuition or even how I would keep my Wife in formula and diapers.

I have learned that I can live happily anywhere on varying amounts of money and nothing can make me happier than time spent with my two boy's.

I never spent much time with my Dad who worked on Wall Street and at 97 is still trying to add to his Millions, but am thankful to him for teaching me (unknowingly) to have fun while I was young as money does not buy happiness and family is truly important.

We are all wired differently and while I might get involved in a project, I have never seriously considered going to work for anyone.

My Wife on the other hand is only 4 years into her career and still wants to earn the big bucks. I encourage her as I know what it was like and frankly my Son and I prefer the peace and quiet when she is gone all day.

So if you have a close relationship with your kids, I would list that as a definite pro.
I'm sure you are already aware. But if not, If you collect Social Security,
Your two young children can also collect 1/2 your amount, "family limits",
until they are 18 years old, or 19 if still in high school.

Check out SS website for details. Pretty clear.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:12 PM   #9
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Close to the OP, and closer to the reply below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I ER'd with one finishing high school, one entering college and one in college. We had time to do things together before they left home, which we never had before, and we had some very enjoyable moments which would not have been possible had I continued w*rking.
DD is 17 and rising HS senior; DS is 16 and rising junior, so similar. I am new to RE ... only about a month so far, so not at all the expert here.

A couple strong positives so far have been
(1) being around/available, particularly now that they're out of school for the summer; they aren't around too much per se between friends/dates/work/activities, but they've both told DW that they're glad I'm also around more now.
(2) getting the chance to do more spontaneous things and loosening, even if slightly, the common teen/tween image of Dad as a guy who gets up in the morning, gets dressed and leaves only to come home late in the day, and who is often if not always tired/cranky/annoyed, etc.

On the more challenging side, it's probably not entirely fair to call it RE if you still have kids at home (no matter the age) at some level. As DW has been mostly a SAHM for the past 15 yrs, I'm reminded that for many years she worked way harder that I did and for no $$; the work continues even with teens, so it's not 100% do what you want whenever the mood strikes you ...

IMO it has been very worth the trade off so far.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:22 PM   #10
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I retired 2 years ago with 3 kids age 1, 7, and 8. They are now 3, 8, and 10.

Upsides are huge - spending more time with them while young. We just got back from a 7 week vacation in Mexico. That wouldn't have been possible while working full time.

Today was another great day in early retirement with kids. We spent most of the day at the pool. It's not very busy during the week but gets packed and often closes to new visitors due to capacity constraints on weekends so it's nice to have the option to visit when everyone else is at work.

Tomorrow and Thursday will be play dates for the kids with their friends they haven't seen all summer since we were out of the country.

Downsides? I guess travel is a little harder with kids. By their teen years we might just leave the kids at home with a credit card, a cell phone, and some stern words about responsibility (is that child neglect?).
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:10 PM   #11
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Retired at age 50 with a 1 and 3 year old. Now the boys are 16 and 18. The deciding factor when making the decision to retire was the realization that I could be part of their daily lives as they grew up. Generally can make myself available to drive them places and actively support their activities. Coached many a youth soccer team, cub scout leader, treasurer of youth organizations that they are involved in, etc.

Even in retirement, we live rather modestly, probably only withdraw 1% of investments in addition to pension and part time work. Do not have, and do not encourage the consumption lifestyle or expensive toys...but value experiences together. The older one drives our 10 yr old minivan if he wants to go somewhere.

It is not a typical retirement, much of the time my schedule is dependent upon their school and activity calendar. Before school age we could travel in the off-season, but since school age, our biggest issue is getting away in the summer as it needs to work around scout camp and school and club soccer, and now summer jobs. All part of life's experiences.

While I'm much more available for them, Three months a year I work at a CPA firm doing taxes...and sometimes 50 hour weeks, so they know that at times work is a priority in life.

But tomorrow neither boy works so we're going mountain biking!

And the boys have been getting a SS checks the last couple of years.
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:13 PM   #12
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A big plus for us going semi-ER while we still had kids at home is that with less earned income we were able to arrange our finances to get decent amounts of financial aid for college. So while other families had a stay at home spouse going back to work to help pay for college we were both able to cut back to some part-time work from home.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:40 PM   #13
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A big plus for us going semi-ER while we still had kids at home is that with less earned income we were able to arrange our finances to get decent amounts of financial aid for college. So while other families had a stay at home spouse going back to work to help pay for college we were both able to cut back to some part-time work from home.
This is a great hidden advantage that we weren't counting on. Looks like much of our kids' college will be paid for by grants/loans based on a low Expected Family Contribution from us. We look "poor" to the FAFSA formulas lol.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wolf View Post
I'm sure you are already aware. But if not, If you collect Social Security,
Your two young children can also collect 1/2 your amount, "family limits",
until they are 18 years old, or 19 if still in high school.

Check out SS website for details. Pretty clear.
+1. I learned all about it here on the forum, but as it turns out many of us have young children so it is important to keep this info out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
A big plus for us going semi-ER while we still had kids at home is that with less earned income we were able to arrange our finances to get decent amounts of financial aid for college. So while other families had a stay at home spouse going back to work to help pay for college we were both able to cut back to some part-time work from home.
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
This is a great hidden advantage that we weren't counting on. Looks like much of our kids' college will be paid for by grants/loans based on a low Expected Family Contribution from us. We look "poor" to the FAFSA formulas lol.
Good info! My children will probably go to Uni in the states, so I will have to look into this. Maybe, convince the young bride it is better for us, for her to ER and we go spend those college funds on a trip around the world.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:58 PM   #15
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DH retired and I semi-retired when we had two that were just starting college and one that was in high school. Five years later, things have in many ways turned out differently than we expected. There have been some higher expenses than expected, some lower. Overall, it has worked out fine. But, it has been a mix.

1. One son shortly decided college was not for him and moved out on his own sooner than we expected. So, that ended up helping financially.

2. Another son had a hard time deciding on major and so it has taken him longer to finish college than we expected. He is now a senior in college (computer science) but will graduate with a full year's more of courses than originally planned for. So, in that sense, he has been and will be on our dime longer than anticipated. On the other hand, due to a move we made he was able to commute for most of his college experience except for the last year so his living expenses have been less than they would have been with room and board for the entire time.

3. Because DH was retired and I was working very part-time, we were able to homeschool our daughter during her high school years which was very much to her benefit. We could never have done that while working.

4. DD is in college and there have been some unanticipated expenses with regard to her. They won't break the bank, but the point is we couldn't anticipate everything.

5. Having us at home a lot more has really been great during these past 5 years with the kids.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:47 PM   #16
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We had two finishing HS and one in college. It presented some problems but nothing earth shattering. If the finances are in good shape, you can "fake" the rest but YMMV.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:50 PM   #17
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This is a great hidden advantage that we weren't counting on. Looks like much of our kids' college will be paid for by grants/loans based on a low Expected Family Contribution from us. We look "poor" to the FAFSA formulas lol.
We try to stay under the ACA cliff so we might as well shoot for the FAFSA and state grant limits, too. The FAFSA formulas exempt many asset classes (including personal residence, businesses under 100 employees and retirement accounts). It doesn't make any logical sense sense but rules are rules so I am not going to argue.

Here is another little tip - you can put the tuition each semester on a credit card with 50K or more sign up bonus miles and then pay off the card when the grant money is disbursed for a little bonus money. Free money made off free money - what is not to like about that?
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:11 AM   #18
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This is a great hidden advantage that we weren't counting on. Looks like much of our kids' college will be paid for by grants/loans based on a low Expected Family Contribution from us. We look "poor" to the FAFSA formulas lol.
Good for you! Won't work to well in my case as while our "income" is modest, the FAFSA 5% formula on certain assets pretty much eliminates my sons from receiving college financial aid. May be eligible for some when both are in college. Too much in taxable assets.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:31 AM   #19
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I pulled the ripcord at 45 with 12 and 14 year old kids. It was great being able to spend time with them. Each had medical issues that required attention, and I could be there for them.

The only downside? They are now 21 and 23. One out of college and starting a new job, the other a senior. We still aren't "free" in the sense that we have long periods of time without one or both of them around. The delay in really being empty-nesters was something I didn't think about going in.

I originally worried how it might look to them that I wasn't working. We talked through it, and they could see me spending time on investments and working with non-profits, so this didn't turn out to be an issue.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:11 AM   #20
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55 and just in April with twin 16 year old boys @ home and 19 year old son finishing up freshman year in college.

For us the only negatives were
1) explaining to them that I was retiring. One son said "but don't you have to work until you are 65?" It has been good as a entre to many discussions about budgeting, jobs, savings, taxes, etc.
2) we plan on downsizing from our current home and begin snowbirding. If they were already established and on their own, this might have been an easier conversation. Losing the home they spent the last 10 years in is an issue for them.


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