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Hi from another happy retiree.
Old 10-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #1
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Hi from another happy retiree.

Hi, I retired 8 years ago at 51 after my j*b was eliminated. This was a couple months after the Indian I trained to take over part of my j*b returned home. But it all turned out great! I didn't realize at first that I COULD retire but I did a lot of number crunching and penny pinching and home cooking and now 8 years later - here we are! We stay so busy! My husband, Lord willing, will draw social security in a few months!!!!!!
I think a lot of people could retire if they did the same as we and if they have retiree health insurance.
Several years have passed since I was previously a member of this forum. When I first retired I often visited this site.(I had dialup and DSL then - UGH!) I particularly found this forum helpful because back then I was embarrassed that my husband and I retired so young. It made me feel guilty to be so happy! But here was a great place to find like minded people and good advice. I'm happy to be back!
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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Welcome back. Happy that it has worked out well for you. I am newly retired (6 months) at age 55 and so far have no regrets. I too remember the days of dial up and DSL.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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Welcome back! Glad to hear you've had 8 great years. Tomorrow is my last day at work and I am beyond ready. I'm 59 and have probably been gearing up for this for the last & years. My dh has been retired for 3 years and we are leaving Friday for our first RV post retirement trip.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
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Welcome back, and glad to hear you are enjoying retirement so much!
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:49 PM   #5
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Like you, me and my husband stay so busy! It's like there is not enough time in the day. It's kind of scary because it seems time is going by much too fast. Do you find that after eight years that things have mellowed to a slower pace and have you found a way to manage your time? Anyway, glad you are happy.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:32 AM   #6
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Hi and welcome! So when you retired what was your situation? I am 51 and planning to go in 2014 but struggling with it. Thanks. --Nomad
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:22 AM   #7
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Congratulations, Rena!
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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Hello,Co2012. You're right - after 8 quick years we have mellowed out. I still hate to feel like I've wasted a day but I don't anymore keep a paper log of what I did each day (well, maybe I DO keep a mental one.) I' hope you're enjoying your retirement too!
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:24 AM   #9
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Nomad4Hire, I hope you ARE able to retire next year. First , I would suggest that you pay off all your bills and keep a log of what your expenses are for a year. You might want to keep a separate tally of discretionary spending on items such as eating out and vacations - spending that could be reduced (forget saving on gasoline - you'll want to run around some in retirement and you won't be able to just drop in for an appointment on the way home from w*rk ). Then look at how much you can draw from pensions and, in the future,social security and how much money you'll need to pull from savings and retirement accounts to fill in the gaps. You may come up with several options of how to make it work.
Oh, also, some expenses come around every 10 - 20 years - cars, roof and heating and air systems. Be sure to have money set aside for these according to the age and condition of each and the timeline of your cash flow.
I call our retirement plan the Tarzan Plan - we sort of swung on one vine until we got to the next. We lived very frugally on my husband's small pension, my unemployment, his back vacation pay and my severance for the first few years. Then at 55 I was able to draw a small pension. My husband's social security will come next. My pension runs out when I'm 65 so I'll wait until 66 to draw social security. This way we're getting a little 'bump up' every few years. We knew when we retired we'd need a new roof, car, and heating system within 5-7 years so we put money back for these before we even considered retiring.
You also need to look at how taxes affect the options you come up with. Do you know that if your income during early retirement years is meager enough, it might be advantageous to convert some of your IRA money to a ROTH IRA? The money you convert is available tax-free and penalty free 5 years after the conversion regardless of your age. (I'm not a financial or tax expert - you may want to consult one.)
One thing we didn't count one was medical expenses. We're both healthy but I'd guess in the past 8 years we've spent $10,000 on copays, deductibles and coinsurance. And that's with GOOD insurance. And did I mention dental expenses
Another thing I didn't count on was COOKING SO MUCH!! This saves a lot of money and of course is convenient but it's a good thing I somewhat like to cook. Hope you and/or you wife do too!
I hope it works out for you!
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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Thank you much for sharing. We're debt free, no mortgage, and trying to decide if we want to give FIRE a try now, or maybe slowdown by going part time. Either way, were both very ready. Like you, I am concerned about insurance. We think we have an understanding of our costs, expenses for the coverage, etc., but we are planning for the unknown med costs. Did your expenses drop when you retired? And have you seen a leveling out of expenses versus increase?

The other thing we are wondering about is inflation and whether the estimates are real....meaning will 3 percent per year be an actual, or just the best estimate.

Again, thank you. Best wishes in retirement.

--Nomad
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:33 PM   #11
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Ps. We both love to cook, but also enjoy a great night out too!!
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:46 PM   #12
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Another thing I didn't count on was COOKING SO MUCH!! This saves a lot of money and of course is convenient but it's a good thing I somewhat like to cook.
In our case that sorta backfired. We got into cooking a lot but the trouble was we then ate a lot and gained 20 lbs. each and were looking at having to buy all new clothes. That wasn't supposed to happen.

So we had to retrain ourselves on the proper outcome for that.
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:08 PM   #13
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In our case that sorta backfired. We got into cooking a lot but the trouble was we then ate a lot and gained 20 lbs. each and were looking at having to buy all new clothes. That wasn't supposed to happen. So we had to retrain ourselves on the proper outcome for that.
That's funny!!! Save money on meals only to spend on bigger clothes. Always a dilemma! --Nomad
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #14
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Heeheehee! I know what you mean, Walt24! I think I've gained 5 pounds but when you're short, that's a lot! I was supposed to start all this exercising when I retired, you know.......
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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Welcome back. Happy that it has worked out well for you. I am newly retired (6 months) at age 55 and so far have no regrets. I too remember the days of dial up and DSL.
Some of us are still stuck on DSL.....
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:55 PM   #16
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Hi, Nomad4hire. Except for eating out, our expenses didn't drop significantly after we retired. But we didn't spend all that much eating out when we were working - if you don't count breakfast at work, some lunches out, dinner out a time or two during the week and then..oh, the weekends! And vending machine cokes.. I think we save about 5,000 a year eating at home. We eat out about once a week now (use coupons if we can.)
We've also had to delay some remodeling so we've 'saved' money on that.
Our medical and dental expenses increased though. Heehee. For example -one morning of the second year after we retired, we were planning our day - beautiful day- I was so exuberant that I was dancing around and fell down the stairs! I ended up having surgery to put in screws and then surgery 2 years later to take them out...copays, deductibles, coinsurance twice. We've had other unexpected medical things to come up too and of course, we have to pay some on those dumb diagnostic tests for people over 50, and on and on.
After we got a respite from the medical stuff, our dentist retired and our dental costs skyrocketed with the new guy. I had to have a root canal - took 2 tries - first paid the endodontist who failed and then the dentist who was successful and then paid for a new crown. YIKES! Fortunately I now have 2 dental insurances (I'll drop one when the expenses let up - probably after every tooth in my head is crowned!!!)
As far as inflation goes...I don't know. Gasoline has been the 'biggie' since we retired. I DO know you need to plan for inflation in the future. But I can also tell you this, a recession is not necessarily a bad thing for someone on a fixed income. It will affect your money in the stock market and your home value - but if you're 'spending money' is not in the stock market and you're not planning to sell your home soon, you can almost be happy about a slow down.
(Sorry this was so long.)
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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Extremely helpful! Thank you for taking time to explain. We are really very similar in challenges. I am 51 now and am teetering on FIRE versus part time. Both should work, but I like part time better.

I am glad you responded. Thanks again.

--Nomad
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:46 PM   #18
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Hi, Nomad4hire. Except for eating out, our expenses didn't drop significantly after we retired. But we didn't spend all that much eating out when we were working - if you don't count breakfast at work, some lunches out, dinner out a time or two during the week and then..oh, the weekends! And vending machine cokes.. I think we save about 5,000 a year eating at home. We eat out about once a week now (use coupons if we can.)
We've also had to delay some remodeling so we've 'saved' money on that.
Our medical and dental expenses increased though. Heehee. For example -one morning of the second year after we retired, we were planning our day - beautiful day- I was so exuberant that I was dancing around and fell down the stairs! I ended up having surgery to put in screws and then surgery 2 years later to take them out...copays, deductibles, coinsurance twice. We've had other unexpected medical things to come up too and of course, we have to pay some on those dumb diagnostic tests for people over 50, and on and on.
After we got a respite from the medical stuff, our dentist retired and our dental costs skyrocketed with the new guy. I had to have a root canal - took 2 tries - first paid the endodontist who failed and then the dentist who was successful and then paid for a new crown. YIKES! Fortunately I now have 2 dental insurances (I'll drop one when the expenses let up - probably after every tooth in my head is crowned!!!)
As far as inflation goes...I don't know. Gasoline has been the 'biggie' since we retired. I DO know you need to plan for inflation in the future. But I can also tell you this, a recession is not necessarily a bad thing for someone on a fixed income. It will affect your money in the stock market and your home value - but if you're 'spending money' is not in the stock market and you're not planning to sell your home soon, you can almost be happy about a slow down.
(Sorry this was so long.)
Awesome real life information. Glad it was "so long". I've run a number of calculations, discussed my situation with two VG FP's, and decided FIRE 12/14 is a definite go. Will run and use thereafter ESPlanner in early 2014, but FIRE is definitely a go now. Stories like yours are very helpful because I've planned for all of the contingencies you mentioned. Appreciate the sharing.
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About parttime
Old 11-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #19
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About parttime

Nomad4hire, I have some advice about part time work too!
I like the idea of part time work because you would have the best of both worlds! It's a good balance of more time off and money. But-- you probably don't want to take much time off between the day you retire and the day you start part time. I've seen people plan to go back to work but the longer they're out of work the less they want to go back and so they don't. This is especially true if they're planning to go back part time to the same position they left. But part time is a great idea.
Another thing is you will want to determine how much money from your part time wages you'll actually get to keep after taxes. This is especially true the first year you retire if you are given any type lump sum payment for unused paid leave, severance, etc. If you get any of those you might want to retire at the end of the year and start the part time job the first of the next year.
I hope all works out well for you!!!
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:29 AM   #20
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I have been unable to respond - sorry! Your insights are very helpful. I am struggling with the decision. But your information helped me a great deal. I will know for certain on Friday if part time is an option.

Take care!
--Nomad
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