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Old 03-21-2015, 08:51 PM   #1
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Fire-ee to be... In May 2016...

Howdy all,

New bird in town.
I'm looking forward to retiring early at 55 next year.

My opportunity to retire early is, unfortunately, due to the my last remaining parent leaving the planet. Between what I'd saved and inheriting the remainder of my parent's nest egg, I have enough to kick the working world to the curb where it belongs.

However, my plans to FIRE immediately were gummed up... by a j*b offer!

I was laid off last November from the best-job-I-ever-had at "Minicorp" when it closed after several years of diminishing business.

I sent out a resume to Megacorp, which (at the time) had no openings. I thought it would be good to have my info "in the stack" for if-and-when.

Two weeks later, my remaining parent unexpectedly died. :~( . I was now thankful to be unemployed, so I could take my time and deal with the funeral arrangements, etc. During this time, I learned that I have enough to retire Right This Minute. So, since I didn't have a j*b anyway, I exclaimed "I'm Retired!"

Shortly thereafter, I got a call from Megacorp. He wanted to set up an interview. He reiterated that there weren't any openings, but wanted to meet me anyway. Since I'd sent in the resume, I felt I should follow through. Besides, they had no openings. I can just say "no" if they ever called me up down the pike.

So I go to the interview, and he says, "When we spoke before, I didn't have an opening, but an employee left, and now we do."

Uh-oh.

I hoped I wouldn't get the j*b. But you know how, when you really want a red light so you can have a chance to look at a map, and you get all greens... Of COURSE I got the offer. Good money, benefits, easy commute...

Several people advised that, since I received a windfall, that I shouldn't change anything for a year. So despite feeling a huge "NO NO NO" in my heart, I found many logical reasons to say yes. So I did. I kind of regret it, but also think I (probably) made the right choice.

I'm getting a chance to test-drive my new situation by living on only the income from my investments, and will get to see how that fares. I can use Megacorp's withholding and contribute the max to their 401k to relieve some of the taxes. (Oh...lord... the taxes! Yikes!). Also health insurance. Additionally, the j*b acts as "cover," so no one is any wiser that I am suddenly FI.

I feel a bit guilty I'm only intending to stay a year, since this is a "career position." I know they're expecting me to work there for a long time. I also feel a tinge of guilt for taking away a j*b from someone out there who needed it more.

I had a real hard time making the decision to take this j*b. But the fish jumped in the boat. :-/

So this year, I will be doing a lot of research on how to provide for my own health insurance (I see there's a whole forum devoted to that here), how best to manage my assets so that I can enjoy the rest of my life without the horror of w*rk. I'm looking forward to reading a bunch on this forum about your experiences and tips on early retirement.

I thank my parents for their hard work and saving every nickel. They were able not only to provide for their own comfortable retirement, but also rescuing mine. (Even though I'm a pretty hardcore saver, and managed to save $350k from my pathetic upper-lower-class income, I'd have been stuck working until 67 or beyond...)

Once I FIRE, I'm considering going back to college, or RV-ing around the USA, and getting back to my studies of Japanese and French. And more travel!

Nice to "meet" you all!
-Columba

p.s.
I love how you guys use "j*b" and "w*rk." Like they are dirty, filthy words. (they are!)
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
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welcome. sounds like you have a lot to do. Working a year (not changing life) may be good while you try to understand your new situation.
With no reference to your age... just the advice to remember that the longer your life expectancy.. the greater the variation in planning for long term income. As I'm sure will be mentioned... rune Firecalc or other retirement income planners to help estimate the spend rate you can safely support.
I too got laid off from a mini corp in November and offered a j*b from another minicorp that I turned down... but then I took for a couple months at their request to bridge until they found someone.
Unfortunately I did not get an inheritance, but just RE this month.
Good luck figuring what you want to do with yourself
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:24 PM   #3
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OP said they would be retiring next year at age 55.

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Old 03-22-2015, 08:58 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good decision. You get a chance to "test drive" your retirement, learn more about handling your new investments and get to try a new job. For all you know you may love the job and want to continue, or it could even lead to other opportunities at Megacorp that could give you more flexibility.

And if you don't enjoy the job, you know that you're not dependent on it which gives you a lot of freedom.

I'm sorry for the passing of your parent, but welcome to the Forum.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:51 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your parent.
Please post what you find on insurance, I haven't study that just yet. My wife is a school teacher and is a year younger than me 😊
So she will work omy after I leave megacorp my insurance is not that good as a retired person. So we might use Dw
Good luck


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Old 03-23-2015, 03:09 PM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
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To those who are pre-Medicare and single (no kids), what kind of range should I expect to spend on health insurance? Through the ACA, it appears that I can get a policy for about $700/mo... I'm 53, female, healthy, no prescriptions, only see the doc for regular things.

Are any of you, who are age/health similar to me willing to divulge your monthly health insurance outlay? Or confirm the figure quoted above is semi-accurate?

Merci,

-CL


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Old 03-23-2015, 04:21 PM   #7
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we don't quite fit your situation... were married with grown kids... just turned 54. But on the ACA insurance we were considering a plan covering both of us for $754/mo. For the exchanges pre-existing conditions are not considered for the rates... smoking would be considered. Different states will have different rates.

Were you looking at a bronze, silver or gold plan? Was it HSA compatible?
If you are that health, going with a high deductible plan my be the most economical.
We ended up going with cobra this year.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:36 PM   #8
Confused about dryer sheets
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My employer-provided is equal to the Gold plan, but I could likely do fine on the bronze at this point. Other than regular preventative care, I've only needed insurance for the unexpected disaster, like when I've broken bones. :-/

Health insurance is the question mark, after depleting 18 months of Cobra (which I think I'll be eligible for when I quit). Not that Cobra is any bargain--I was paying $650/mo for Cobra when I got laid off. Of course, there's no option to continue coverage into retirement. (Unlike my parents, who had amazing coverage for their 30 years of retirement...)

Firecalc runs my numbers at 100% success, but I'm still number-crunching to get an accurate per-month post-work expense rate. Luckily I've been doing Quicken for over a decade, and have oodles of data on what I spend. The unknowns are health insurance and the extra activities/life enhancements to make the time off count.

Although I'm very low maintenance and frugal there are things I'd like to do in retirement that are expensive (like go to music school and travel). I can absolutely live on my nest egg as I live right now, which is kind of a titch better than "scrapin' by." I've been living on ~38k-48k/year. Of course, I don't just want to putter around the house once I'm free! (OK, maybe a little).

And then (back to the health insurance, sorry, I began to ramble) the ACA is in flux and who knows what it will be in the next few years? Will it be there at all? And what happens if it goes away? All unknowns, of course.

Boy... Lots to think about.

Please share any links to appropriate threads here that are in the general topic of pre-Medicare health coverage.

Thanks all, sorry for the blither.

:-)
-CL






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Old 03-24-2015, 08:36 AM   #9
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it looks like you picked a silver or low gold plan from the ACA in your area.
back a ways I had an employer who added a high deductible plan and the group had to evaluate the choice... bunch of unruly engineers. Before this they just had a $500 deductible and a $750 deductible ... the $750 was the most chosen plan....
What we found is that the high deductible plan was best in most cases. If you had little happen it was cheaper, if you had major problems and max'ed out of pocket the high deductible was cheaper. There was a sweet spot in the middle where the low deductible was cheaper. Note... don't just look at the benefit... include the cost in the analysis. There is more than just the cost analysis... the network (doctors and hospitals) are important to. There is not really a right answer.

Buying insurance can be like investing. you buy a stock that you think has some higher risk and you want some insurance... you buy a put (so you can off load it if it tanks)... you need to decide how much you are willing to pay for what level of protection.

Be careful on the "I'm healthy"...that can change very quickly. I had got off my blood pressure meds and was taking 1/4 pill every other day of a cholesterol med... see the doc twice a year. All or a sudden a couple light headed spells and within a week I had a pacemaker. Pacemakers cost a tad more than broken bones... I still think I'm in good health for that matter.. just an electrical problem. Still have the 2 PCP visits a year. Add to that 1 short visit with the cardiologist and 2 data dumps from the pacemaker.

picking the most affordable health insurance is a bit more involved than just price... or metal type. Remember you are paying someone to cover some of your risk. Decide how much you are willing to pay for it... and count the cost of health insurance as part of your health care cost when evaluating.

good luck
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