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Hello! FI and assessing RE
Old 01-12-2019, 06:25 PM   #1
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Hello! FI and assessing RE

46 with 2 pre-teen kids. FI covered: 3% of non-retirement assets covers 6 digit budget and have college funds established. Very grateful to be in this position after always living below means and strong (dual) income.

Have found this site very helpful. Nice to learn from others.

Big question for me is when to RE. Wife stopped working few years ago. My employer has become mega-corp and no longer fun. Has always been 50-60 hour weeks. Add in 35% travel and too much transformation and acquisitions. However, strong relationships with team, in midst of big project, annual comp is still meaningful to net worth and kids have me tied down.

Welcome advice or experience from folks who walked away abruptly from this pace at young age. How did it go?
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:03 AM   #2
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What about healthcare for your family of 4 if you stop working now? You will need to cover HC for 19 years?
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:08 AM   #3
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What about healthcare for your family of 4 if you stop working now? You will need to cover HC for 19 years?
+1
Can you manage income for tax subsidies for ACA medical coverage?
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:13 AM   #4
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My budget includes provision for health insurance for 4. If I consider all my financial assets (incl. 401k, IRA), comfortable budget is only about 2% burn rate. That is a bit my conundrum, more net worth always helps but fortunate to be in a good FI position.

I'm more concerned about going from 20+ years of working a lot to an abrupt stop. I wouldn't pursue work at another mega-corp, but after some time off may pursue work of some kind.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:26 AM   #5
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Sounds like you need to think through the non financial aspects of retirement. Do you have stuff you wish to do, but never had time to do it?
Even though you have soured on your job, is there still an ego boost from the job, which will go away?
With 2 pre-teens, I assume travel would be limited to when they are off from school.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:00 AM   #6
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Ernie Zelinski's book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor" is a good tool to help you think through the next phase of your life.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:02 AM   #7
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One option is to change jobs to something still full-time but less demanding. Probably lower income as well, but sounds like that's not a problem.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:51 AM   #8
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What a great problem to have! There are some great suggestions here already and here are a few more:
- would it be possible to go part-time with your current company?
- what are your non-w*rk passions and how might you spend more time on them if you weren't dealing with the corporate grind? (non-profit gigs, hobbies, etc.)
- could you take a mini-sabbatical (3-4 weeks) and try out what life would be like after ER?

Don't minimize the opportunity to be more involved with your kiddos while they are still youngish - those years never come back. Probably my biggest regret about sticking with the corporate life until they were in college.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:10 PM   #9
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Ernie Zelinski's book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor" is a good tool to help you think through the next phase of your life.
I just picked up this book. Thanks for suggestion.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:16 PM   #10
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What a great problem to have! There are some great suggestions here already and here are a few more:
- would it be possible to go part-time with your current company?
- what are your non-w*rk passions and how might you spend more time on them if you weren't dealing with the corporate grind? (non-profit gigs, hobbies, etc.)
- could you take a mini-sabbatical (3-4 weeks) and try out what life would be like after ER?

Don't minimize the opportunity to be more involved with your kiddos while they are still youngish - those years never come back. Probably my biggest regret about sticking with the corporate life until they were in college.
I agree. Good problem to have. Part time won't work. When I signal a change, I'll need to move on.

The two week holiday period is best time of year to "practice" as work traffic slows down. That is a bit of wake up call as it's nice to go several days stress free.

Time with kid's is one big factor. I get little now and could have a lot. My youngest would benefit from help with homework, discipline, etc.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:32 PM   #11
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Don't minimize the opportunity to be more involved with your kiddos while they are still youngish - those years never come back. Probably my biggest regret about sticking with the corporate life until they were in college.
+1000

I retired early at age 50 with one and three year old boys. Work life was pretty stable but having married and started a family later than most, I realized I was being handed the opportunity to be a very real time part of my sons' lives. This journey has overshadowed any joy of my former career.

While I consulted the first two years, worked in a CPA firm (degree is in engineering) during tax season for over 15 years, I always had the flexibility to be there and support all their activities. I've been the volunteer treasurer for six of their activities over the years, soccer coach and/or team manager for maybe six years.

Fast forward 19 years, it was the right decision for me to trade suits, business travel, and priorities to be a soccer Dad (complete with minivan). Now they are both very competent college young men.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:35 PM   #12
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Welcome! With pre-teen kids, I think this is your best last opportunity to have more time to spend with them. Once they become teens, they may start their path to independence, and will be busier with friends, sports, and school activities, and wanting to spend less time with the folks (on average). Since you've got the financial bases covered, I'd seriously figure out how much time you/your family needs together, ER, and enjoy life. But, it doesn't sound like you have any real raison d'ętre besides work and family. In my thinking, you'll need something once your kids hit their mid-teens!
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:45 PM   #13
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It sounds to me that at this point the only thing working longer accomplishes is to make the government and your heirs richer.

See if you can downshift to a less travel and lower stress role within your current employer. I was able to convince them that 50% of pb4uski was better than 0% of pb4uski.... I got 50% salary, 50% bonus, 50% of vacation and 401k match... and same health insurance as a FTE (all company policy). I did agree to dial it up to 80% for 9 months for a special project that a client of the firm wanted me for and then shifted back to 50%.

I was also able to dodge some onerous administrative tasks... I asked my boss once... you get 1,000 hours a year of my time do you really want to waste some of those hours doing this moronic task?
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WhenIsItTime View Post
My budget includes provision for health insurance for 4. If I consider all my financial assets (incl. 401k, IRA), comfortable budget is only about 2% burn rate. That is a bit my conundrum, more net worth always helps but fortunate to be in a good FI position.

I'm more concerned about going from 20+ years of working a lot to an abrupt stop. I wouldn't pursue work at another mega-corp, but after some time off may pursue work of some kind.
Congrats! FI lets you do what you want. I left mega-corp and went to a smaller firm and worked four days a week mostly from home. I did this for six years prior to FIRE at 53. This was a nice transition.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:25 PM   #15
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Welcome and congrats. I was in almost the identical situation 2 years age when I retired at 44 with 2 preteen kids. Retiring was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Adjusting was a breeze for me. I was working for megacorp but was working from a home office so the transition was easier. The kids keep me on a schedule as I manage all the meals, school drop offs and pick up as as well as extra curricular. It’s a blessing to be able to spend this time with them. They are already starting to want to do their own thing.

Intend to also get all they typicall household stuff done during the weekdays freeing up the weekends to relax as a family.

Someone memtioned Ernie zalinski book on retiring. His first book “the joy on not working” was instrumental in me pulling the trigger to retire.

I have gotten used to this lifestyle and can’t see myself going back to work. I spend my time exercising, working on hobbies and many household projects in addition to occasional tv and video games during the week between 9am and 2pm, which is my alone time.

The biggest challenge is being socially connected because everyone else I know still works. I keep in touch with some former co workers and regularly meet for lunch. I actually prefer to be alone and enjoy my solitude so that hasn’t been an issue. That my change when the kids are out of the house. My wife continues to work but will also probably retire at the end of this year.

Best of luck. Everyone handles the transition differently, but Ernie’s books can help guide you.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:38 PM   #16
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+1000

I retired early at age 50 with one and three year old boys. Work life was pretty stable but having married and started a family later than most, I realized I was being handed the opportunity to be a very real time part of my sons' lives. This journey has overshadowed any joy of my former career.

While I consulted the first two years, worked in a CPA firm (degree is in engineering) during tax season for over 15 years, I always had the flexibility to be there and support all their activities. I've been the volunteer treasurer for six of their activities over the years, soccer coach and/or team manager for maybe six years.

Fast forward 19 years, it was the right decision for me to trade suits, business travel, and priorities to be a soccer Dad (complete with minivan). Now they are both very competent college young men.
Thanks for this input. The trade you made is very tempting to me. Congrat's to you for your decision and success!
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:40 PM   #17
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Welcome! With pre-teen kids, I think this is your best last opportunity to have more time to spend with them. Once they become teens, they may start their path to independence, and will be busier with friends, sports, and school activities, and wanting to spend less time with the folks (on average). Since you've got the financial bases covered, I'd seriously figure out how much time you/your family needs together, ER, and enjoy life. But, it doesn't sound like you have any real raison d'ętre besides work and family. In my thinking, you'll need something once your kids hit their mid-teens!
Great advice on timing with kids! I do have many hobbies, so not too worried about keeping busy. Probably lost income potential is real concern.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:41 PM   #18
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Welcome and congrats. I was in almost the identical situation 2 years age when I retired at 44 with 2 preteen kids. Retiring was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Adjusting was a breeze for me. I was working for megacorp but was working from a home office so the transition was easier. The kids keep me on a schedule as I manage all the meals, school drop offs and pick up as as well as extra curricular. It’s a blessing to be able to spend this time with them. They are already starting to want to do their own thing.

Intend to also get all they typicall household stuff done during the weekdays freeing up the weekends to relax as a family.

Someone memtioned Ernie zalinski book on retiring. His first book “the joy on not working” was instrumental in me pulling the trigger to retire.

I have gotten used to this lifestyle and can’t see myself going back to work. I spend my time exercising, working on hobbies and many household projects in addition to occasional tv and video games during the week between 9am and 2pm, which is my alone time.

The biggest challenge is being socially connected because everyone else I know still works. I keep in touch with some former co workers and regularly meet for lunch. I actually prefer to be alone and enjoy my solitude so that hasn’t been an issue. That my change when the kids are out of the house. My wife continues to work but will also probably retire at the end of this year.

Best of luck. Everyone handles the transition differently, but Ernie’s books can help guide you.
My wife did this a few years ago and has similar comments. Maybe its my turn!
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:38 PM   #19
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"I'm more concerned about going from 20+ years of working a lot to an abrupt stop. I wouldn't pursue work at another mega-corp, but after some time off may pursue work of some kind."

The metaphor I'd use is like being at the top of a cliff and wondering if jumping off is really worth it. It's safe up there in those environs, you have your team as you say, and it's what you are used to. I'd just say it's something to think through. To me, it's a courageous decision to change direction, even though it all makes sense mentally.
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Old Yesterday, 05:33 AM   #20
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If I consider all my financial assets (incl. 401k, IRA), comfortable budget is only about 2% burn rate.

I'm more concerned about going from 20+ years of working a lot to an abrupt stop.
I agree that you need something to occupy your time in RE, but $ wise you are there. Get a hobby fast and pull the cord.
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