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Old 01-03-2007, 07:13 AM   #1
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Hi

Hello from Savannah, GA.

I have been looking into retirement for a couple of years and stumbled onto this forum a few months ago. The following personal info is mostly about money because that's what DW and I are most concerned about right now.

I'm 57, DW is 54, both in good heath. We both work for the local gov as professionals and have earned solid, though not extravegant, pensions. She becomes eligble for early retirement this Nov (@55) and I'm good to go now. We're looking at pulling the plug about the end of this new year. At that point, our combined pensions will be about $48K (pretax). Plus we are eligible to continue our low cost health insurance program as retirees.

We have lived frugally and have accumulated about $750K in investments and have another $140K in house equity. This doesn't count Social Security, though we're elegible at maybe another $12k each, if it's still there when we reach that age.

On the expenditure side, we spend about $46K a year for general, non-capital (like a cash car replacement) expenses. It also excludes P&I on the house mortgage. This is a three year expenditure average that doesn't vary more than about $1,500.

The plan we are looking at is to sell out here and move to a cooler climate, off the coast; maybe NE Tennessee. We'd use the house equity and maybe another $100k from the investments and by a house there for cash (so no more P&I).

So, as far as I can tell, this looks like a pretty good position. The pensions will bear the weight of our "normal" living expenses. 3% to 4% out of the remaining $650k investments can add a good cushion.

Obviously... this biggest question I have is have I missed something? The next biggest question is will we suddenly find a ton more things to spend money on.... once we are free?
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Re: Hi
Old 01-03-2007, 08:55 AM   #2
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Re: Hi

Welcome to the board, Joss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joss
Obviously... this biggest question I have is have I missed something? The next biggest question is will we suddenly find a ton more things to spend money on.... once we are free?
It's hard to screw up a plan where your pension income starts off bigger than your expenses. In the long term, will your investments be staying ahead of inflation?

As for spending more in ER, it depends on what brings you value. Many ERs find that they don't spend much in their daily activities, or start off with a small initial outlay (like a couple longboards) and work with that.

Of course Jarhead has aligned his entire portfolio to support his golf game-- he used to have a golfing problem but now he spends enough money to enjoy it...
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Re: Hi
Old 01-03-2007, 03:18 PM   #3
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Re: Hi

Sounds like you are in FAT City. Having a couple of large pensions that pay you a fixed amount month after month for the rest of your life puts you in a place a lot of us wish we could be in. You only need to tap your retirement account for 1% in order to achieve complete financial independence. As a result, you don't have to worry about the ups and downs of the market. Check out my posting for a different type of view.
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Re: Hi
Old 01-03-2007, 04:39 PM   #4
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Re: Hi

One thing i hope you consider is to have survivor benefits on both those pensions .
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Re: Hi
Old 01-04-2007, 07:49 AM   #5
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Re: Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
As for spending more in ER, it depends on what brings you value.
That pretty much says it all, doesn't it.

Moemg, yes, we are absolutely going to include survivor benefit choices with the pensions.

Scared, I read your opening post on the other thread and am glad my life is not that complicated. Just going through this process has surfaced that a person really needs two things. The first is available to everyone, but not commonly constructed by many. That is the fully accurate picture of your current expenditure pattern. This plots where you are what that currently costs you.

The second, which one assumes is guided by the first, is how much you will need... once your whole life changes due to retirement. To me, this is the hairy part.



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Re: Hi
Old 01-04-2007, 08:14 AM   #6
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Re: Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joss
The second, which one assumes is guided by the first, is how much you will need... once your whole life changes due to retirement. To me, this is the hairy part.
The personal experience of the majority (but not all!) ERs is that it takes less. However travel can be done very expensively (as well as very cheaply) and some find that their spending temporarily pops in the first few months of ER as they get caught up on home & vehicle maintenance.

I'd say that the vast majority of people contemplating ER fear that they don't have enough and would prefer to work for "just one more" of whatever. When those people ER, they wonder why they waited so long and what they were worrying about.

The best way to test-drive your own personal situation would be a prolonged vacation or sabbatical. There are several threads (search for the keyword "sabbatical") on doing one.
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Re: Hi
Old 01-04-2007, 09:17 AM   #7
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Re: Hi

You're reading my mind Nords.

I am 98% satisfied that we're set and more is just guilding the lily. I've looked at the numbers for "just one more year", too... and the next one after that. It's nice but it really doesn't help enough to make it worth it.

Right now... I picture myself as in the starting blocks and impatient to begin the "rest" of my lifetime. New places, new people, new skills, new knowledge... so much world and so little time. It's like standing at the edge of the internet.... poised to leap into its rich, infinite, new world - only this is real life, not the internet.

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