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Hi, I Am 57 and 1/2
Old 05-07-2016, 10:49 PM   #1
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Hi, I Am 57 and 1/2

I've been a lurker here and I have appreciated all the insight and information made available from everyone here. I really respect those here who have saved to retire on your own investments. I have worked for county government for just over 25 years and have a defined benefit pension in which I have paid 50%, as well as my own investments.

I will be 57 1/2 in June, next month, and I am considering retiring from my job. I thought I would stay until I was 59, but I want to leave for reasons delineated below. I have no debt; house and cars are paid for. I have no wife or children. I can retire at this age with just my pension of $71,000, or 83% of my net income. The net deducts the cost of health insurance and taxes. Based on my own person goal, I can augment that to $75,000, or 89% with a small draw down from my investments that will take me to my SS FRA. I have lived at LBYM. The SS calculator says I will receive another $24,000 at my FBA, so at 66.8 I will have a gross income well above what I receive now. According to Quicken, my expenses this last year, including painting my house, have been $29,573; so I have saved nearly 50% of my net income.

I used to like my job as a county assistant department head. But, five and a half years ago, a new department head was elected who, in my experience, is a paranoid, arrogant, narcissistic, idiot, who has learned nothing about what we do. I'm not a doctor, so I cannot diagnose, but I would put money that his narcissism rises to the level of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). He has created such a toxic environment, that all of our other managers have left, and lesser staff want to. Of course, that is why I want to retire, too!! My BS bucket is overflowing!!

FireCalc says I have a 100% probability of success to meet my goals.
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:07 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are good to go.
you don't mention it, but hopefully you have at least $20K in regular savings/investments, and more in tax deferred ones like IRA/ROTH/401K etc.

Your pension sounds pretty sweet, and means your savings don't have to be too high.
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:09 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

You do not mention the size of your other investments, but based on your 30k expenses and pension of $71k/year you're sooo ready to enjoy your earned retirement if your pension is secure. In addition your SS almost covers your yearly expenses when it's time to draw it. You might consider delaying your SS to let it grow until you're 70 y.o. if long-life runs in your family.

Best of luck!! Oh, and description of your boss sounds hilarious. You must be made of steel or you're Mother Theresa to have survived so long there...
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:12 PM   #4
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sunset should be asleep by now unless you're way way in the east...it's 12.10 am...gotta sleep myself.
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57 1/2
Old 05-08-2016, 03:51 AM   #5
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57 1/2

I agree, go ahead and pull the trigger.

A year later, you will wonder why you waited so long.

Good luck.
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Old 05-08-2016, 04:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tbirdluvr View Post
I used to like my job as a county assistant department head. But, five and a half years ago, a new department head was elected who, in my experience, is a paranoid, arrogant, narcissistic, idiot, who has learned nothing about what we do. I'm not a doctor, so I cannot diagnose, but I would put money that his narcissism rises to the level of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). He has created such a toxic environment, that all of our other managers have left, and lesser staff want to. Of course, that is why I want to retire, too!! My BS bucket is overflowing!!
Been in your exact position. Some things are just not in your control. No point in staying to go down with the ship when you have a very comfortable lifeboat. In your shoes, I would take all the steps to max out your pension and jump.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:19 PM   #7
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Pull the plug (and/or trigger). You are ready financially and the job is not worth it.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:41 PM   #8
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Agree with everyone else - based on the info you provided you will be in great shape! Turn the page!
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:17 PM   #9
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+1 .... you are set financially... there is nothing to be gained from staying longer other than aggravation. Set yourself free!

Or for fun, retire and then do the county and your colleagues a favor and run for your boss' job. You can always decide not to run for re-election after the jerk has been cleared out of the way.
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:30 PM   #10
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You can always decide not to run for re-election after the jerk has been cleared out of the way.
I like the way you think....

Tbirdluvr you are set for launch.

The only possible flaw I can think of is an inadequately funded pension. Many counties are in good shape there but many are not and it is something you want to be aware of before making the final decision.
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:44 PM   #11
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If he has the job I think he has, it used to be a technical job and it was quite common throughout the state for the assistant department head that had come up through the ranks to be appointed toward the end of the incumbent's last term. That made it possible to run as an incumbent. It's hard to get an incumbent out, unless there is some very serious and public wrong-doing.

The elected position became a political one when term limits left a lot of career politicians looking for a job. That and the dollars involved changed everything and ruined the job for supervisory and management staff when political associates were appointed to new "at will" management positions to whom they had to report.

My advice is to take the money and run.
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Old 05-08-2016, 06:08 PM   #12
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You've won the game. Don't go in on Monday.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:12 AM   #13
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I thank you for all or your responses to my situation. You have all been so positive. My family and friends also tell me the same thing.
I concluded a divorce in 2012 that drained a lot of my finances. But, I paid her off so my pension is all mine. I have recovered about $125,000 in savings, so far, but my primary asset for retirement is my pension, in which I paid 50% and my employer paid 50%. Based on my actual expenses, I expect to continue saving money even while receiving my pension. I come from a frugal family, so LBRM is a trait I cannot escape.
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If he has the job I think he has, it used to be a technical job and it was quite common throughout the state for the assistant department head that had come up through the ranks
You are quite correct. I spent 12 years working in the technical ranks, and in 2003 was promoted to administration. It was a completely different job and I had to learn it with no one to tell me how to do it.
In 2010, I ran for election and campaigned for the office, but the wise voters decided to elect someone who knew nothing compared to someone who had twenty years of experience. Go figure? This is why government works so poorly. If your drain was clogged, would you hire a plumber with 20 years of experience or someone who had to read Plumbing 101 while doing the job?
Nevertheless, I really appreciate the advice to just take the money and run!
My biggest challenge now is pulling the trigger. I've been reading posts about OMY, and I can understand about their feeling. After our lifelong indoctrination about going to school and then getting a job, and then having a regular paycheck, it is really hard to resign from that.
I appreciate all your encouragement!
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:58 AM   #14
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tbirdluvr - it sounds like you have done the numbers and look fine. While OMY is nice for extra $$, your stated pension payment vs expenses have plenty of room.

Another way to consider, you are making a career change and the new position pays "$71,000, or 83% of my net income". The reduction in current pay is due to the reduction of effort and stress. It's an excellent trade off =)
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
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............
My biggest challenge now is pulling the trigger. I've been reading posts about OMY, and I can understand about their feeling. After our lifelong indoctrination about going to school and then getting a job, and then having a regular paycheck, it is really hard to resign from that..............
It is your life, but once one becomes keenly aware that it is finite, it is harder and harder to spend it doing something stressful when the alternative is to kick back and enjoy it to the fullest.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:55 AM   #16
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If you are with FCERA, my only concern would be how well funded the pension is. All of your eggs are in that basket. 1937 Act counties vary in their funding levels, and I'm not familiar with FCERA.
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