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Hi from Texas; one year into FIRE
Old 08-20-2016, 08:34 PM   #1
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Hi from Texas; one year into FIRE

After reading posts for a couple years, and few brief replies, I think it's time to become an "official" participant. I retired last summer at 59 after 35 years in healthcare; starting with 5 years in the Army. My DH of 41 years isn't ready to join me in my life of leisure and wants to go the distance, retiring in 2 years at 66. Our assets include owning our home on an acre in a small town about 20 miles from large city, a second home in San Antonio (lived in and maintained by one of our three adult kids and spouse) a car, truck, Airstream and Explorer to tow it. We like to go glamping at one of the many lakes or rivers in our region with our two dogs.

We feel about as prepared financially as we need to be. I have $1.5M in three retirement funds untouched after a year. DH has $1M; his military retirement pay of $36K/year, which we get now, along with Tricare medical and dental. It does have the survivor's benefit and we both have long-term care insurance. He has another small pension of about $4K/year which he'll start with SS when he retires at 66. I plan to start SS at full retirement in 6 years. We're comfortable with our asset allocation, discussing and adjusting 1-2 x a year. We have always LBYM and don't expect this to change in retirement. We plan to begin transferring retirement funds to post-tax accounts at the end of each year, based in our annual income, working to avoid high tax brackets, starting this December.

I learn something new every time I read posts on this forum. It was also a huge influence in my decision to retire last year. Two other things that helped, was a week long "dollar challenge" before retiring, followed by both of us tracking every penny spent for a month. I then sorted to essentials and non-essentials (pet expenses, convenience and ready to eat foods, gifts, entertainment, car and truck, glamping, ect). It was comforting to know we would be sheltered, warm, fed, have one vehicle and Airstream and still have enough left after combined pensions for our beloved pets, Internet, and a few other "wants".

I know you'll let me know if I missed something significant and thanks to all for the great forum!


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Old 08-20-2016, 08:52 PM   #2
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Welcome as an "official" participant! As many will tell you, it's the expense side of the FIRE equation that trips many people up. In some ways, I think couples easing into retirement have a better opportunity to make course corrections if their estimated income/expenses are off. Tracking expenses can give you considerable pease of mind, but I think a period of a year or more is more appropriate.

Again, welcome!
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:23 AM   #3
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I agree with Robert that tracking expenses for a year or even multiple years is ideal, however if you are a year into retirement and haven't touched assets you are probably all set. Do you know yet what SWR his retirement will require after factoring in SS and small pension? And how much of that wd will be replaced by your own SS a few years later?


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Old 08-21-2016, 12:32 PM   #4
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Nice intro, Sanstar! Sounds like your transition into retirement has been smooth, and hopefully all will continue to go on track for you. Glad that the forum here has been helpful to you - it certainly was for me, also.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:45 PM   #5
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Good to see another retired person on board!
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Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertf57 View Post
Welcome as an "official" participant! As many will tell you, it's the expense side of the FIRE equation that trips many people up. In some ways, I think couples easing into retirement have a better opportunity to make course corrections if their estimated income/expenses are off. Tracking expenses can give you considerable pease of mind, but I think a period of a year or more is more appropriate.

Again, welcome!

Agreed, Robert with tracking over time. We have used Quicken for years and do get a summary of money in, money out year-over-year in broad categories. However, it wasn't capturing the level of detail to determine what was a controllable (want) expense vs an essential (need) expense. For example a trip to the grocery store captured total spent there but doesn't identify how much of that spend was for pet foods and toys, beer, K cups, ect... Same for gas; how much for each vehicle, since I consider more than one a want. Hence the one month micro tracking foe a snapshot- just in case the stock market tanked, SS went away and I was beyond being able to work. Thank you for taking time to review and comment on my plan. I know you're right about expenses so am thinking the monthly micro tracking might be an annual exercise. This, combined with the broader Quicken totals, will give us a clearer picture of outgoing funds.


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Old 08-21-2016, 03:40 PM   #7
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Welcome from another Texas citizen.


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Originally Posted by Sanstar View Post
a second home in San Antonio
Hope your second home in SA is okay with all the flooding in the area.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:32 PM   #8
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Welcome and you seem easily ready financially from what you have posted, That's half the battle. The other half is being mentally ready and you at least seem ready. Hope things go as smoothly when you are both retired as this changes home dynamics. Good luck.
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:10 PM   #9
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Welcome to being an "official poster". It sounds like your planning and saving have paid off with a nice retirement plan, congrats!

Since you're one year into ER, was there anything unexpected you found during the start of your retiremen?
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:27 PM   #10
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Congratulations. Retirement is way cool.
I'm in my 6th month, and it has been an adjustment, but a pleasant one, that becomes more pleasant as I accommodate myself to the reality that I don't have to answer to anyone (except DW, and she's pretty lenient with me).

Enjoy!
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:33 PM   #11
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Welcome!

I'm curious if you have done the analysis to determine whether delaying SS to age 70 might be beneficial to you. With your substantial assets, you clearly don't need to take it earlier, and the increased benefit provides longevity insurance, in case one or both of you live to a very ripe old age.

Particularly with couples, delaying SS to age 70 for at least one of you assures you that you will have the larger payment if one of you lives well past the other person. The surviving spouse only gets to keep one SS payment, so by delaying SS to 70 for one of you, you get the benefit of the bigger payment as a survivor benefit.

Run the numbers and see what you think before you make any decisions.
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:36 PM   #12
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I'm curious if you have done the analysis to determine whether delaying SS to age 70 might be beneficial to you. With your substantial assets, you clearly don't need to take it earlier, and the increased benefit provides longevity insurance, in case one or both of you live to a very ripe old age.

You're right, we don't expect to both need SS at 66 and go back and forth on this. DH is pretty set on starting his at full retirement. The one thing that weighs on my mind is that my mother died at 69 of natural causes. I hope my lifestyle, different from hers, will make a difference, but I don't know how much lifestyle trumps genes. DH has much better genes - his father is 91 and still going strong. I thought I'd start SS at full retirement and probably put most towards post-tax investments.


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Old 08-22-2016, 05:45 PM   #13
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Since you're one year into ER, was there anything unexpected you found during the start of your retiremen?

Katiek,
The first thing I didn't expect was that I'd be sleeping a solid 12 hours a night...every night for the first 6-7 months. Secondly, time just flies. Every day is full, I stay busy and just love it! Finally, I haven't done a single thing on my Post - Retirement Project list.
Thanks for asking!


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Old 08-23-2016, 11:10 AM   #14
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Sounds like you're catching up on some well deserved rest, Sanstar!
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:17 PM   #15
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Howdy form a fellow Texan. We are not there yet but chugging along. 6-10 more years!


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Old 08-24-2016, 08:05 PM   #16
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Another fellow Texan, we always wanted another home on the river but have not made that happen. We are in NB several times a year.
Congratulation on your retirement


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