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Old 08-08-2007, 01:22 PM   #1
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Hello

I'm an admin on one of Andy's other forums, and I've joined this forum because my husband, after a couple of years of threatening to do it, made it official last week that he'll be retiring next month in his mid-50s. I'm not thrilled about it, but his bosses have been quite deliberately making his life difficult for the last few years, and it's been affecting his health as well as his work satisfaction (I was quite pleased when one of the worst offenders himself dropped dead a couple of years ago - poetic justice and all - but it didn't help my husband's situation all that much). I work part-time, and I'm negotiating to get more hours of work per week to make up a small amount of the lost income, but I know I'm still going to be worried about the different income level - and I don't think asking Andy for remuneration as a forum admin is going to work - so I figured I could pick up some useful information here.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:25 PM   #2
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Hi Elspeth -

Welcome to the forum! I hope you find ER to be much more enjoyable and less stressful for both of you. Does your husband have a plan for how your expenses will be covered, or is he just winging it?

Of course the biggest question you'll face is how are you covering your healthcare?

I'm sure you'll find plenty of info and advice here.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:40 PM   #3
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Hello Sheryl, and thanks for the welcome!

I'm pretty sure he has a plan of some sort; I just hope he isn't being his usual optimistic self, that's all! We both have some fairly expensive hobbies, so we're going to have to be careful.

Far as I know, his retirement plan includes some level of health care coverage, but of course it has to be paid for, and one of his colleagues who retired earlier this year said it was fairly expensive. I could get some minimal coverage through my job (I'm a freelancer being paid as an employee) but I'm not sure I'm working enough hours per week.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:00 PM   #4
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Welcome to this forum Elspeth. One thing that concerns me is you seem disconnected from your husband's plans. All i can suggest is that you throw yourself in and get involved so you can either pick holes in his plan or validate that his numbers look good. Such an important situation requires both spouses to be fully involved. Good luck, and I will look forward to your updates.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:09 PM   #5
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Welcome!

I second DangerMouse's opinion
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:47 PM   #6
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Yes, I know. Trouble is, this sort of thing makes my eyes glaze over and my brain shut down in self defence (same reaction as when I'm trying to figure out our tax returns every year). I'm not planning to retire at all as long as I'm able to work, but my income is fairly minimal these days. I'd much rather he wasn't retiring this soon, but he hasn't been happy at work and I know it's been stressing him.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #7
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Elspeth, I know it is difficult to do when it really doesn't interest you. My husband has been the same through the process. I finally got him to sit down and got thru all the financials with him last weekend and now he "gets it" and the light bulb has gone on. He is finally convinced that we are on target to FIRE in the near future.

You owe it to yourself to be involved in your family financials, because if something happened to your husband you need to know these things. It may also take some weight of his stressed shoulders if he care share the load on the financials with you.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:31 PM   #8
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Welcome!

To be of much more than immoral moral support, the board wizards might find these bits of info useful before making any comments/recommendations:

Portfolio balance
Asset allocation
Taxable/Tax-deferred
Mortgage
Pension
Health insurance
Whattaya gonna do all day

You might also familiarize yourself with FireCalc (just above the last ad at the bottom of the page).
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:40 PM   #9
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Welcome to the boards. You did say Andy warned you about us, right?

Check out the Life after FIRE board, since that will be your husband soon (and you too)
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:52 PM   #10
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OK, aren't people allowed to edit their older posts on this forum, or is this just a way of torturing newbies?

Thanks for all the pointers. I hope that after reading some of the information, I shall be less anxious about this decision of his. As for the "Whattaya gonna do all day" question, I'll still be working and doing my forum admin stuff, although probably more of the former and less of the latter (much to the relief of most of the members, I'm sure ). I hope my husband will manage to somehow carry on with the research side of his work even though it'll probably be on his own time. Mid-50s is too early for a research scientist to call it quits. Apart from that, he'll be playing golf.

Erm - no - Andy didn't warn me about you. Should he have?
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:27 AM   #11
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You can edit your posts for a finite period of time after the post is made. Then, like writing in concrete, your words are saved permanently.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:58 AM   #12
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Blimey.

Better remember to do my proofreading before posting, I suppose.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:01 PM   #13
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You owe it to yourself to be involved in your family financials, because if something happened to your husband you need to know these things.
If something happened to him, the first thing I'd do is to go back to England, and things are different there anyway. We're sort of thinking we may go back there anyway at some point, but this really isn't a good time with the dollar not being worth anything over there.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Yes, I know. Trouble is, this sort of thing makes my eyes glaze over and my brain shut down in self defence (same reaction as when I'm trying to figure out our tax returns every year).
Hi, Elspeth. I had the same reaction when my DH first wanted to share his 20-page financial spreadsheets (he ERed before me). After a long day of number crunching at work, the last thing I wanted to do was talk money and long-term plans all evening. I happened on a solution that worked for us, and may for you. We'd agree on a day and time to discuss it, and I would set a time limit. I knew I could stand pretty much anything for 15 minutes to start. That forced him to organize his thoughts and not just bombard me with random information. Then as I deciphered his backwards logic became more familiar with his software and investing in general, I could tolerate enjoy lengthier sessions. We get along much better now that I no longer think he's lost his mind we're on the same page.

We're both healthier and happier now that we've ERed.

Even when only he was ERed, my life was better than before because he could do helpful things during the day and I no longer had to run errands on my lunch hour.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:12 PM   #15
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Good idea; thanks!

That looks like a very relaxed cat...
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:15 PM   #16
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I'm just reiterating what many have suggested so far. You owe it to yourself, him, and the marriage to get involved in the process. Where is it written that mid-fifties is too early for a research scientist to call it quits.?He's not commiting suicide he is beginning a new journey.

As a former fully tenured business professor, and author of a graduate management text, that research thing is a real drag after you lose the fire. Personal finance is more about the person(s) and their values than it is about the math.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
If something happened to him, the first thing I'd do is to go back to England, and things are different there anyway. We're sort of thinking we may go back there anyway at some point, but this really isn't a good time with the dollar not being worth anything over there.
Elspeth, how long since you actually lived in the UK for any extended period? Reason I ask is I am an Aussie expat resident in the US, we went back to Australia a few years ago, only stayed 2 years and have to say it was a struggle. That said, we intend on retiring in Australia because of the benefit of the national health system. If you have been gone too long you may just find yourself totally americanised. You need to be sure if you are thinking of going back, that you are going back to what really exists and not what you want it to be. We lived in the UK for 5 years and whilst there were many things we liked about it, the pubs, being able to get places on public transport we would never go back on a permanent basis because of the weather, the overcrowding and my personal experience with the national health system was that it was totally apalling.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:48 PM   #18
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I'm just reiterating what many have suggested so far. You owe it to yourself, him, and the marriage to get involved in the process.
He's been talking about early retirement for several years. I've always said I think it'd make more sense to wait a couple more years till he was closer to having his 401K income kick in. Mind you, he had some problems with directors who were happily making his life hell on earth, and I fully supported him leaving that place of work before it killed him. I'd just much rather he'd switched that job for a lower-stress job somewhere else. There's no way I'm ever going to understand the stuff about finances, investments, portfolios, taxes, and so on; I've been trying to read the financial section here, and it's like trying to make sense of Arabic. And it wouldn't make any difference anyway, because he's decided what he's going to do. So it's just a case at this point of trying to make the best of it.

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Where is it written that mid-fifties is too early for a research scientist to call it quits.?He's not commiting suicide he is beginning a new journey.
He's been in management for a while and is hoping to start doing some research again, which he hasn't had a lot of time for. Some of the stuff he's doing is potentially quite exciting (for those who are excited by physics). But I don't think this stuff he's planning to do will involve being employed anywhere. Just working at home with whatever little grants he can get or working on his own time if the grants aren't available.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:56 PM   #19
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Elspeth, how long since you actually lived in the UK for any extended period?
Been here since the early 1980s. I never really lived independently in the UK for an extended period because after university I had barely a year at work in London and then came over here.

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Reason I ask is I am an Aussie expat resident in the US, we went back to Australia a few years ago, only stayed 2 years and have to say it was a struggle. That said, we intend on retiring in Australia because of the benefit of the national health system. If you have been gone too long you may just find yourself totally americanised.
I've never assimilated here. On the other hand, logistically and financially it'll probably be too expensive for us to go back to live. However, if I was on my own, there'd be no reason for me to stay here. For one thing, I have family back there. Seeing what happened when my mother got Alzheimers, it was quite interesting how their friends, even long-term friends, disappeared into the woodwork while family rallied round. At least one branch of the family is fairly close-knit, and we tend to try to be there for each other.

Quote:
You need to be sure if you are thinking of going back, that you are going back to what really exists and not what you want it to be.
It doesn't matter. It's home. This isn't. I'm not claiming to be rational about it.
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