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Old 03-09-2013, 05:37 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4

Been lurking for a little while, but finally signed up. I'm 51 with a 49 yo wife, and 2 kids - 17 and 14. Had a buddy just retire at 57, and it got me to thinking. We've paid off the house and cars - no debt. We've saved $4.6MM total, with about $900K in 401Ks and the balance in after-tax savings. On top of that, we have $150K set aside for the kid's college. Our expenses are ~100K each year. I have run this through a lot of calculators, and they all say we are good. But it still makes me a little nervous. Am I just being overly conservative?

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #2
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With a withdrawal rate of 2.173913% ($100K/$4.6m) you are highly unlikely to run out of money. Congratulations!

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Old 03-09-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Things look good from where I sit, but it's where you sit that counts. Retirement is as much about psychology as it is about saving and investing. There have been many threads on the forum about how people handle the nervous part of retiring. The most recent that I can recall is this one Retiring at 61 but unsure Use the search fuction and you should be able to find many more.
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Welcome, cmb!
Old 03-10-2013, 03:53 AM   #4
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Welcome, cmb!

+1 for Gumby's post.

And congratulations on all you have saved. (DH and I will never see that kind of savings; if we'd had it in our 40's or early 50's, we would have retired ASAP.) Of course, much depends on the COL where you live. And do you have access to retiree health insurance?
"Everything becomes more itself." --C.S. Lewis
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:37 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, cmb.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:10 AM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Mar 2013
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No, we don't have any retiree health insurance, so that is one big concern. I pay about 1/2 of the cost of my insurance now at work, and I've just stopped contributing to the kids college fund, thinking I have enough saved to cover them. So that savings of $600/mo should help offset the additional insurance costs I'll see. No pre-existing conditions, but I could always take COBRA until Obamacare kicks in and I wouldn't have to worry about being denied even if something came up. Of course, who knows at what cost.

Biggest concern is what will inflation do. FIRECalc shows me to be 100% even at 7% annual inflation, but I lived through the late 70's with 10+% so who knows what will happen.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum. I agree with Gumby above--explore the non-financial aspects of early retirement as well.
Congratulations on your level of savings! As far as college savings go, is the $150K for both kids? Do you plan to pay for everything for them? Are they going to relatively inexpensive state schools? $150K won't pay for 4 years at a private school for one kid (speaking from experience here ). But, wow, you have plenty of savings to cover anything over the $150K you have allocated to college costs.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #8
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Congratulations, you're FI by most reasonable measures. That makes retiring early one of many options, but only one. An encore career is another.

You probably won't find many other early retirees to "play" with, your friends may all still be working. I'm not ready to regularly hang out with 70-somethings yet. Something to consider, but not a deal breaker.

You didn't mention your work. IMO if you still enjoy your work at all, you should not quit or retire just because you're FI. They are not necessarily linked. Some may say, 'what are you waiting for,' but that reflects their views, not necessarily what's best for you. Unless you just can't stand your work (where that line is varies), I would not consider retiring. Odds are you will be retire for a long time when you start that chapter. Best of luck, and congrats again on reaching FI, one of the best gifts you can give yourself/family.
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:46 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Yeah, state school for both. Oldest has already decided on that. In addition to the $150K for both kids, I bought a Texas Tomorrow contract for both, which pays for required tuition and fees at any state school for 4 years. So, I think I'm good with college. Hopefully, we'll get some scholarships also.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:54 AM   #10
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Welcome cmv. I'd say you definitely have more than enough $$ to ER. Question is are you mentally prepared for it. If you are just beginning to think about it, from my experience it will take some time and serious reflection before you can convince yourself you are ready and able.

I wish it was different as many of us struggle with this question. When the time is right you'll know it. Money won't be an issue.

Good luck.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:48 AM   #11
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Thanks for the comments. I'm certainly not ready to pull the plug right now, so I'll keep running the rat race for now. Do I love my job - not really - but I don't despise it either. It's all of the corporate BS that comes along with it that I hate. I'm an engineer, but my real desire is teaching. I tutor kids in math/science all of the time, and I absolutely love it. I would not mind continuing to work, but work at something I really have a passion for. I don't have to solve the problem today, but I do need to think about options some more.

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