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Finally introducing myself
Old 07-25-2018, 02:13 PM   #1
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Finally introducing myself

Hi there. I started lurking on this board a couple of years ago. I actually made my retirement dreams happen in November of 2016. Was scheduled to exit the following February when DH turned 65 and I would be 59.5. I got offered a six months severance package 3 months before and it was close enough to take it and run.

DH retired early @ 57 in 2009 because he had a lot of health issues and I made enough money for us to make it work.

I feel like we are in good shape - was a bit intimidated reading all of these threads but then realized that with one of us on Medicare and me at 61, we don't need quite the level of assets as someone trying to retire much earlier.

Looking forward to participating in the forums and meeting you all!

Anne
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:18 PM   #2
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Congratulations Anne, and welcome to the forum! Are you and DH enjoying retirement so far?
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:18 PM   #3
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Anne, welcome to the forum! Be careful, posting can be addictive.
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:18 PM   #4
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Welcome out of lurker-dom!

Glad to hear you and DH were able to pull off an early retirement.

You already know what a great forum this is. Look forward to seeing more posts from you.

omni
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:00 PM   #5
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Welcome AnneG! Glad to have you join us officially and hope you enjoy contributing to the discussion!
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:27 PM   #6
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Congratulations Anne! Welcome to the forum! I look forward to your contributions.
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Old 07-25-2018, 03:50 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum.

My DW is on early Medicare due to disability and yes, it makes it easier to only worry about healthcare for one of us.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:47 PM   #8
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Welcome AnneG. Looking forward to more posts from you.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:37 PM   #9
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Hi Anne -

Iím happy to have you ( we need more women!). Welcome, and let us hear from you.

Itís good to have another Anne here.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:53 PM   #10
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Welcome. and wondering after two years what you have learned and are you spending more or less then anticipated?
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:21 AM   #11
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Great Decision Anne! You are absolutely correct in that you do not need beau coup bucks in order to enjoy a happy early retirement. I took a buyout 7 months ago (which was 3 years prior to getting my first pension check) and have found a very happy balance in life.

A bit of a nest egg + interest income + an easy peasy part time job (with a high degree of flexibility) is covering my fixed monthly expenses with ease.

Have fun and looking forward to your posts....

I
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:14 AM   #12
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Thank you all for the warm welcomes!

A little bio on me that will help fill in the blanks and answer a few of your questions. I worked for megacorp for 38.5 years - after the first buyout 18 years in, they liquidated our pensions - I got a whopping $15K plus another $15K in profit sharing - whoop de do. Fortunately we (my husband worked for the same company) were socking away everything we could in our 401Kís. My retirement coincided with that nice lift in the market and we ended up with about $925K in our investment accounts so not quite $1M, but no debt other than a very reasonable mortgage payment.

We also cashed in $250K in equity when we sold our house we built in 1994. We had already purchased another house on the other end of town (closer to the kids and my work) at the bottom of the real estate dip in 2012, so some of that $925K was tax-free gains from the sale of that house. I debated about paying off the mortgage in this house but Iím a cash in the bank vs cash in the bricks kind of thinker and Iím glad we didnít. We ended up converting about $200K in mostly post-tax savings to a 5 year fixed period annuity that along with hubbyís SS will fund us until I get to 65.

I tried to live on a spreadsheet budget for the first year and while it worked on paper, it didnít work in reality. I increased the budget by 25% which is pretty close to what we were spending pre-retirement. Seems that the nature of our expenses changed, just not the amount! Social security will cover about 65% of our expenses once I start drawing, so Iím pretty comfortable with our nest egg being able to fund the remaining 35%.

I will say I am enjoying retirement far more than I ever thought I would. I honestly had no idea what to expect - there were a lot of uncertainties - but now that Iím settled into it, it just keeps getting better!
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Old 07-26-2018, 11:33 AM   #13
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Welcome, Anne! Looking forward to your posts!
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Old 07-26-2018, 11:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by AnneG View Post
Thank you all for the warm welcomes!

A little bio on me that will help fill in the blanks and answer a few of your questions. I worked for megacorp for 38.5 years - after the first buyout 18 years in, they liquidated our pensions - I got a whopping $15K plus another $15K in profit sharing - whoop de do. Fortunately we (my husband worked for the same company) were socking away everything we could in our 401Kís. My retirement coincided with that nice lift in the market and we ended up with about $925K in our investment accounts so not quite $1M, but no debt other than a very reasonable mortgage payment.

We also cashed in $250K in equity when we sold our house we built in 1994. We had already purchased another house on the other end of town (closer to the kids and my work) at the bottom of the real estate dip in 2012, so some of that $925K was tax-free gains from the sale of that house. I debated about paying off the mortgage in this house but Iím a cash in the bank vs cash in the bricks kind of thinker and Iím glad we didnít. We ended up converting about $200K in mostly post-tax savings to a 5 year fixed period annuity that along with hubbyís SS will fund us until I get to 65.

I tried to live on a spreadsheet budget for the first year and while it worked on paper, it didnít work in reality. I increased the budget by 25% which is pretty close to what we were spending pre-retirement. Seems that the nature of our expenses changed, just not the amount! Social security will cover about 65% of our expenses once I start drawing, so Iím pretty comfortable with our nest egg being able to fund the remaining 35%.

I will say I am enjoying retirement far more than I ever thought I would. I honestly had no idea what to expect - there were a lot of uncertainties - but now that Iím settled into it, it just keeps getting better!
Hi there
Have you tried using Firecalc with inputting all your variables just to gain further comfort?
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:51 PM   #15
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Hi there
Have you tried using Firecalc with inputting all your variables just to gain further comfort?
You know, I played with Firecalc a lot when I was trying to decide whether or not to pull the trigger and I found that I ended up manipulating the values to get the outcome I wanted. I decided to trust the Fidelity retirement calculator and the advice of my trusted advisor who tells me we're OK.

I think it helps that we are not expecting an extravagant lifestyle and the kids are doing really well on their own, so leaving an inheritance isn't a priority. Besides, I told myself if the situation changes, I can always go back to work, but for now I'm enjoying every minute I can.
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:39 PM   #16
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You know, I played with Firecalc a lot when I was trying to decide whether or not to pull the trigger and I found that I ended up manipulating the values to get the outcome I wanted. I decided to trust the Fidelity retirement calculator and the advice of my trusted advisor who tells me we're OK.

I think it helps that we are not expecting an extravagant lifestyle and the kids are doing really well on their own, so leaving an inheritance isn't a priority. Besides, I told myself if the situation changes, I can always go back to work, but for now I'm enjoying every minute I can.
Excellent, plus the Fidelity calculator is also a great conservative calculator.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:11 PM   #17
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Welcome Anne -- re: budgets and freedom from spreadsheets. Not sure you are comfortable with apps -- but if you have a smart phone I like the ease of the every dollar app (I've also used Mint).

Glad you are enjoying retirement - Congrats!
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:33 PM   #18
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Welcome Anne -- re: budgets and freedom from spreadsheets. Not sure you are comfortable with apps -- but if you have a smart phone I like the ease of the every dollar app (I've also used Mint).

Glad you are enjoying retirement - Congrats!
Thanks - I've been using spreadsheets forever (think MS Dos and Lotus 123). It's not the tool - it was the data I was inputting. Spreadsheets worked fine while I was working because we had a rather predictable set of expenses and extras were something we planned and saved for. Seems like in retirement, a lot more extras have popped up. I guess when you have more time to spend money, you do!
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:42 PM   #19
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Welcome Anne! I'm 61 and retiring in 34 days. Like your DH, my DH also just got on Medicare and yesterday was his last day of work. Looking forward to figuring out how much to spend and how to enjoy all this 'free' time were going to have.

This is a great place to spend some of it! But it is addictive, so beware!


What were your biggest surprises after retirement? Anything you hadn't anticipated? I don't like surprises, so I'm collecting opinions.
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Old 07-27-2018, 01:00 PM   #20
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Welcome Anne! I'm 61 and retiring in 34 days. Like your DH, my DH also just got on Medicare and yesterday was his last day of work. Looking forward to figuring out how much to spend and how to enjoy all this 'free' time were going to have.

This is a great place to spend some of it! But it is addictive, so beware!


What were your biggest surprises after retirement? Anything you hadn't anticipated? I don't like surprises, so I'm collecting opinions.
Well congratulations on your upcoming retirement too!

I anticipated more travel, but I didn't budget for it and didn't prior to retirement because that was one of those extras we planned for. So that's one. Healthcare is probably the other biggest spend. I had $6K in my HSA when I left and it's down to about $300. Dental, vision, prescriptions, co-pays along with premiums all add up to a lot more than I originally thought. And the last one is one I certainly didn't expect - I keep finding projects for the house. Being in it more makes me want to fix up things I would have probably overlooked or ignored previously. Living in a rapidly growing, high COL area means it's hard to find good quality contractors and when you do, they have to live in this high COL area too, so they are not cheap. Most of our other expenses stayed about the same but I guess it will be different for everyone. Good luck!
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