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Hi all, just call me confused, looking for help.
Old 08-03-2009, 09:11 AM   #1
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Hi all, just call me confused, looking for help.

I may be in the wrong place but I would appreciate any insight into my problem.
Hope I make some sense, had a hard time getting any sleep last night.

I'm a 58 year old business owner (power sports for over 30 years). My wife (70 years old)is still working part time (maybe for another year or so) She is collecting SS and will be needing to start withdrawals from her retirement IRA in about six months, if I understand the rules. (will be talking to my cpa this week)
She is in the medical field and enjoys her work and the part time nature of it. (It's low stress and no physical work) Her work is our source of medical insurance, she also has medicare as secondary for herself.

The economy over the last year has taken a toll on my business, as well others in my field (and most other business's for that matter) We have barely met expenses some months, others I have dipped into reserves. I am at a point that I am thinking about ending the slow bleeding of my savings.
I have my doubts of a significant upturn withing the next six months. If I thought things would change, I might hold on a bit longer.

I know I need more information but here are a few facts. Our yearly household expenses are about 25000 - 30000. We have no debt (2 ten year old cars and home paid for - no credit card debt) We each have a Roth IRA and she has a traditional IRA from a rollover 401 and she presently is still contributing to a 401 at her work. (Her rollover IRA is 75,000 & her current IRA is 90,000)
I need some clarification about her requirements on making withdrawals soon, like I said meeting with my cpa is soon.

She brings home about 2500 per month between SS and her work. Theoretically barely meeting our expenses.

I know this form's main subject is "early retirement," I think my situation a bit different, but just feel the need to talk to some smart folks.

With a business liquidation (maybe an additional 40,000) we would have approx 350,000 including our retirement savings accounts.

I know I will need to find some source of income myself, although at the moment I do feel over whelmed at changing my life after over 30+ years, feeling a bit lost.

I would like some other peoples thoughts on our general situation. Can we get by for a while, until I can come up with some additional income to supplement our retirement accounts? Do you think something part time would be sufficient? I know I have left out a lot of info but thanks in advance for your time and any help you can give us.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:57 AM   #2
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Hi Sam. (I fixed your title).

Seems like you have answered your own question, when you said that

Quote:
She brings home about 2500 per month between SS and her work. Theoretically barely meeting our expenses.
Plus, you did acknowledge that you will need a new source of income. Still, I can understand your reservations. Have you tried FIRECalc? it is a free retirement calculator (link at the bottom of the page).

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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Hi Samtex, and welcome.

A question -- what will you do for health insurance for yourself when your wife retires? That's been a very important factor for most of us in our planning.

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Old 08-03-2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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You don't mention what your SS will be. Can you live and DW live on your and her SS? If so, then you have $350K to get to SS. That is more than enough money even if you have to supplement with your own health insurance (assuming no unusual health problems). Based on the fact that you drive two 10 year old cars and your home is paid for, I assume you LBYM and have a good handle on daily expenses. From what you have said, I really don't see any major problems.

By the way, what part of Texas?
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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Welcome , Since you have been in business for so long couldn't you turn your knowledge into an online business of some sort ?
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:54 PM   #6
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Welcome , Since you have been in business for so long couldn't you turn your knowledge into an online business of some sort ?
I have thought it would be good to be able to utilize my knowledge in some way.
I haven't come up with a way to cash in on it though. Iv'e been preoccupied trying to decide whether to ride out the storm or seek shelter.

Any thoughts about income producing blogs / sites? Although I am a Internet addict, I haven't thought about generating income, other than selling off excess inventory via Ebay etc.

To be honest, I have been put off by some of the erroneous information found on the Internet. I have seen so many customers do stupid things based on what some idiot said. You must take everything with a grain or two of salt.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
You don't mention what your SS will be. Can you live and DW live on your and her SS? If so, then you have $350K to get to SS. That is more than enough money even if you have to supplement with your own health insurance (assuming no unusual health problems). Based on the fact that you drive two 10 year old cars and your home is paid for, I assume you LBYM and have a good handle on daily expenses. From what you have said, I really don't see any major problems.

By the way, what part of Texas?
That is a good point. I suppose I have been too close to the problem and can't see the forest. Depending when I take SS, it would be 900 - 1250.

What is the general thought about taking it early or later? I guess it's best to wait if you don't need it, depending on how long you plan on living
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:05 PM   #8
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Hi Samtex, and welcome.

A question -- what will you do for health insurance for yourself when your wife retires? That's been a very important factor for most of us in our planning.

Coach
That is another hurdle, I have been putting off. I was thinking about a catastrophic policy but haven't looked lately. I figured that if I found something today, I would just have to research it again in a year or two, when I actually will need it. From what I have heard, it is hard to find something that doesn't jump out of site quickly.

I would also guess things are topsy turvy with Obama's going ons.
Hard to plan but that is something on my list.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:43 PM   #9
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If it's an option, take retirement today itself and sell everything off.
Move to one of the Asian countries such as Phil, Thailand, India.
They have great health facilities, plus you and your wife will be able to go see the world and enjoy the rest of the years.
These are your golder years, don't waste them after money. You have already traded your entire life for money, now is the time to go and enjoy and live life to the fullest.
With 350,000 USD, you can live like a king in any of these low cost countries, you can afford good car, full time driver and full time maid.
I live in Mumbai with almost the same amount that you have, except that I was retired 3 years back at the age of 33. We are in high cost city, Mumbai since we feel our kid needs a better education. If it wasn't for our kid, we would have moved to a smaller cities in India or even go and spend a few years in other asian countries.
The trick is you go and stay at different places for min 1 year before moving to different place. That way it won't be too much hassle of travelling, plus you can enjoy and see around and learn more about the place. Memories of such journies will last forever.
Every second as it passes by can never be bought back, once the time is gone it's gone, you can't buy it back no matter how wealthy you are. So enjoy your life to the fullest. Stop having sleepless nights. Make the decision, and I bet you will never regret.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samtex View Post
I may be in the wrong place but I would appreciate any insight into my problem.
Hope I make some sense, had a hard time getting any sleep last night.

I'm a 58 year old business owner (power sports for over 30 years).
Could you explain what power sports are, and what you business was?

It sounds interesting.

Ha
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:34 AM   #11
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I can relate to some of your experience. Within the last 5 years I moved into a full-time job with a major corporation, after 25 years of self-employment. I went through two extreme downturns. The last one was the 2001 tech collapse and recession. I struggled to find new business until 2005.

The recessions are true transformations of the economy. What happens after the correction is life-changing for many small business owners. You can choose to blame the current administration, or do as I do: look at the long-term trends. The last two recessions result from excess and greed. We have great prosperity, but then there is a large pop, and die-off. Things grow back, but not in the same way.

Have you tried looking at your skills, and assessing what you can do? For instance, are you involved at all in the repairing side of these items? That might tell you where new business can be found.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Samtex View Post
I
Hope I make some sense, had a hard time getting any sleep last night.

My wife (70 years old)is still working part time (maybe for another year or so) She is collecting SS and will be needing to start withdrawals from her retirement IRA in about six months, if I understand the rules. (will be talking to my cpa this week)
.
Samtex,

By all means, check with your CPA but I don't think your wife will need to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) till 2010. Congress suspended the RMD in 2009 because of the devastation in people's retirement accounts, caused by the stock market crash.

Good luck - I seem to be sleeping badly of late also, don't know what's going on.

Amethyst
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:04 AM   #13
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Could you explain what power sports are, and what you business was?

It sounds interesting.

Ha
We are in the motorcycle / atv / scooter / watercraft business.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:08 AM   #14
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I can relate to some of your experience. Within the last 5 years I moved into a full-time job with a major corporation, after 25 years of self-employment. I went through two extreme downturns. The last one was the 2001 tech collapse and recession. I struggled to find new business until 2005.

The recessions are true transformations of the economy. What happens after the correction is life-changing for many small business owners. You can choose to blame the current administration, or do as I do: look at the long-term trends. The last two recessions result from excess and greed. We have great prosperity, but then there is a large pop, and die-off. Things grow back, but not in the same way.

Have you tried looking at your skills, and assessing what you can do? For instance, are you involved at all in the repairing side of these items? That might tell you where new business can be found.
Target, Although I mentioned the current administration, it was in reference to the ongoing healthcare debate. I meant at the present, everything is a bit up in the air as to what the future of healthcare will be like. I certainly don't blame Obama per say for the recession, other than he is a part of the system. There is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides of the political isle, as well as wall street and the housing market.

I will keep more critical comments of the current administration to myself, however. I don't believe this is a political thread and don't wish to crank up a political debate. I have found those are rarely productive.

As far as my skills set... I'm involved in all aspects of the business. From dealing with payroll, financing, order processing, dealing with state and federal agencies, licensed insurance agent as well as having a pretty good mechanical ability to diagnose problems.

We have always tried to provide the best in service. However, it seems many people wish to either attempt repair / do maintenance themselves or take it to some other independent person. In many of those instances, they actually end up spending more money and at times, still have the same problem.

I guess what I am saying, in today's world, many look at the perceived cost and not at the actual cost or value of a product. It can also be argued that my short coming was not marketing our "product" (service) better. Frankly I don't know. Over the years there has seemed to be a startling decline in "thinking" customers. For every one customer looking for quality and value, there are a hundred that are only looking at price. Some companies like Wal-Mart have benefited greatly from this. People seem to have ultra short attention spans and memories. Gee, do I sound bitter?

I will certainly miss many of our customers and regret that they may have problems getting proper service. Some have become good friends but at the moment they seem to be in the minority compared to the ones that want something for nothing.

Target, you are quite correct at looking at trends and needing to change.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:06 PM   #15
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We are in the motorcycle / atv / scooter / watercraft business.
Then you're in the business of selling fun! I just bought a 2008 Suzuki C09T last December. The dealer I bought it from says his staff is down to four from nine two years ago so you're certainly not alone.

How is the maintenance side of the business? Is that something you could emphasize more since sales are in the toilet? Just from my own perspective, I ride the bike any time weather/load permits (5,000 miles on it now) and commute to work on it most days. As the mileage builds, other than oil changes and replacing light bulbs the dealer will be doing most maintenance on it.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:03 PM   #16
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Target, Although I mentioned the current administration, it was in reference to the ongoing healthcare debate. I meant at the present, everything is a bit up in the air as to what the future of healthcare will be like. I certainly don't blame Obama per say for the recession, other than he is a part of the system. There is plenty of blame to go around, on both sides of the political isle, as well as wall street and the housing market.

I will keep more critical comments of the current administration to myself, however. I don't believe this is a political thread and don't wish to crank up a political debate. I have found those are rarely productive.

As far as my skills set... I'm involved in all aspects of the business. From dealing with payroll, financing, order processing, dealing with state and federal agencies, licensed insurance agent as well as having a pretty good mechanical ability to diagnose problems.

We have always tried to provide the best in service. However, it seems many people wish to either attempt repair / do maintenance themselves or take it to some other independent person. In many of those instances, they actually end up spending more money and at times, still have the same problem.

I guess what I am saying, in today's world, many look at the perceived cost and not at the actual cost or value of a product. It can also be argued that my short coming was not marketing our "product" (service) better. Frankly I don't know. Over the years there has seemed to be a startling decline in "thinking" customers. For every one customer looking for quality and value, there are a hundred that are only looking at price. Some companies like Wal-Mart have benefited greatly from this. People seem to have ultra short attention spans and memories. Gee, do I sound bitter?

I will certainly miss many of our customers and regret that they may have problems getting proper service. Some have become good friends but at the moment they seem to be in the minority compared to the ones that want something for nothing.

Target, you are quite correct at looking at trends and needing to change.
By all means call it as you see it. You have a stake in the health-care debate. Mine is a little different than yours.

For instance, in my business I experienced a phenomenon where the technical became very un-technical. Sounds much like your experience, in fact. The businesses I supported had no techs on staff. Instead of paying a decent buck for the correct fix, they'd assign the technology to somebody who was good at computers (lol).

So now I use my writing skills, and earn a decent living, with lots of security. You too have skills that can be applied in new business opportunities.

Have you talked to any of the good customers, and asked them what opportunities they see out there, what needs are not being met?
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:20 PM   #17
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Then you're in the business of selling fun! I just bought a 2008 Suzuki C09T last December. The dealer I bought it from says his staff is down to four from nine two years ago so you're certainly not alone.

How is the maintenance side of the business? Is that something you could emphasize more since sales are in the toilet? Just from my own perspective, I ride the bike any time weather/load permits (5,000 miles on it now) and commute to work on it most days. As the mileage builds, other than oil changes and replacing light bulbs the dealer will be doing most maintenance on it.

Thats a good bike. I just tell my customers to check the air in the tires every week, be sure to use a motorcyle oil, 10-40 (Suzuki is good oil), use a factory oil filter and read your owners manual. The 1st check up was at 600 miles, 2nd one at 4000 and the third is suppose to be at 7500 miles.

It's also a good idea to use a fuel injector cleaner every few months. If it sits much over the winter etc. - try to charge the battery about once a month. If you put something like plastic, rubber etc under the side stand, the battery will also discharge slower when sittting on concrete.

Happy riding
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:39 AM   #18
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First thing I bought was a new tire pressure gauge. The oil changes have been done on schedule - that first one is crucial - and I keep a battery maintainer on it (Optimate IV) when it sits for more than a week. I bought the service manual to see what I can do myself and what I should keep my grubby mitts off of.

Hadn't thought of the fuel injector cleaner - I'll keep that in mind. It won't sit for months on end in the winter. I bought a bunch of cold weather gear and I'm good for 40 and above.
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