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Hi I am Richard
Old 07-15-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
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Hi I am Richard

This is a great site. I was referred from a book I'm reading (FI and R). I'm not sure if I really qualify as ER as I am leaving the military after 24 years. I have an 8 and 6 yr old and my wife plans to start working in about 2 years as a nurse part time. My military retirement has a COLA to battle inflation which is a big help to stay on top of my only big expense. (new home)

I was happy with my time in the saddle, but I'm a little tired (age 51) and grew tired of the politics of leadership. I look forward to more than those desperate Saturdays and Sundays off to do things I like to do.(photography, painting) I'm wondering how the dynamics of home life will change and after traveling all over, how will it be to live in the same house for more than 3 years--I'm looking forward to it.
I'll take any advice about budgeting (I'm keeping all my investments in full swing-300K) for another decade, then pull all into annuities since the house will be paid off. 12 months till final out.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:29 AM   #2
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Welcome Richard, and congratulations on figuring out you don't have to work until you drop.

Only one question at this point: with a military pension and SS, why on earth would you deliberately lose access to your investments by tying them up permanently in annuities? Why limit your options...
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Welcome Richard. Thanks for serving. That excellent COLAed pension is well deserved.

As an Army brat, I want to thank you for your kids. If you don't like moving around just think how it is for kids. Melding into a new school every few years is not so much fun.

+1 on the annuity. Put that decision off for a decade and you should realize that you do not need an annuity.

For budgetting we track everything (everything really) in Quicken. We have done it for years. In the beginning it opened our eyes to some bad spending habits. Now it just help us see the patterns in our spending. We know which months we will fall short (income < spending) and where we will make up. And it help us work as a team. YMMV
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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Richard,

I am not as anti-annuity as some on this board (or, as pro-annuity as a small handful); but, please make sure you completely understand the implications for your situation before going that route. While I do not know you situation in detail, my initial reaction is the same as REWahoo's to your plan.

Aside from that, congratulations and thank you for your service.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks everyone for the welcome words and advice. I guess I better do some more research on the annuity issue. I had the thought that a steady flow of income would make budgeting easier and provide a cushion against market swings but maybe I haven't read the small print. That's part of the problem with work --I almost need to schedule vacation time to really go over the details. I know some folks who locked in a MetLife annuity on 150k to pay out 2k monthly and after 2008 the same 150k was going to pay 988.00!? So he was market proofed sort of) But I better do more reading on this issue. THX for the heads up.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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Hi DocF/Richard,

Welcome to the forum.

Thanks for your service. I had considered serving at one time but decided to stay in the civilian world. I can't exactly say why I steered away from military service but somehow I decided it just wasn't for me. I'm pleased that you and so many others choose that route.

+1 on knowing the details of the annuity. You have time to put that to the side and think about it. Your $300k will likely be worth much more in 10 years so that may change your current thinking.

Regarding budgeting... Not many people actually budget in the classic sense of the word. Some do, but many track their expenses and use that to help them understand where the money goes and how they can change their spending habits. DW and I do it religiously - we track every penny. The simple act of recording expenses in a pocket notebook on a daily basis changed our spending immediately. Once a week I take time to put all the information in Quicken so I can put the numbers in categories. Presto! From that I can see over 10 years of data and essentially we have a budget for the next year.

If you have some time for reading you and your wife might consider reading Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. This book helped DW and I FIRE.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:21 PM   #7
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For budgeting I highly recommend YNAB which is You Need a Budget.

Personal Budget Software - Finance Software for Windows & Mac
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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Hey Richard,
I can relate! Coming up on 25 years in the Army, and similar feelings.
I agree, stay away from the annuity. Far better ways (in my opinion) to generate income Maybe a few rental properties, or a dividend paying index fund, or a nice basket of dividend stocks. With aCOLA'd pension, you can be a bit more risk tolerant

I also reccommend a budget...it really helps give you confidence on your decision to FIRE. I use a simple excel spreadsheet. I've heard YNAB is helpful, but I'd rather do it myself

Best of luck!
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:28 PM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Mentored!

I really appreciate having you all mentor me on these issues--Retiring is a Big Deal! It's hits me more each day, less than 1 year now. The kids' education is squared away. Texas really is good about taking care of "in-state" tuition and I have 529's that to be honest will likely not be necessary because of the Texas College Initiative. (What will I do with these?) I also gave my post 911 GI -bill to the kids. They have a much better launch pad than I ever did-- Boy Howdy!

I will be spending a lot of time gleaning info from this site. I feel like making a donation-- this is great info! Helps keep the stress in check!
I can imagine watching a movie on a Sunday, checking my watch like "Oh crap I got a get up early!" then going, "oh yeah, I don't have to work tomorrow!!!!!! Hard to imagine.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocF View Post
I can imagine watching a movie on a Sunday, checking my watch like "Oh crap I got a get up early!" then going, "oh yeah, I don't have to work tomorrow!!!!!! Hard to imagine.
You'll get used to it.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:19 AM   #11
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Welcome, Richard, and thanks for your service.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocF View Post
I can imagine watching a movie on a Sunday, checking my watch like "Oh crap I got a get up early!" then going, "oh yeah, I don't have to work tomorrow!!!!!! Hard to imagine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
You'll get used to it.
You definitely get used to it. Some more quickly than others. DW says my transition was like a light switch - one day I w*rked, the next day I didn't. Now we do things during the week that w*rking folks can't take advantage of - it's amazing - there really is life after w*rk.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
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Also congrats to you, Richard. I just retired 3 months ago at 61, and like you I felt tired of working throughout my career. 30 years in IT was enough for me. My financial situation is similar as yours.

The decision I made was to take SS next year at 62, keep my nest egg as intact as possible, and live off SS and pension (as much as possible in my frugality). Probably a psychological thing for me.

My advice is to keep those investments in full swing (as I'm also doing), but as others mentioned reconsider that annuity strategy.
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