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Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 10:48 AM   #1
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Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Hi,* I'm 48 years old wishing to retire but scared to.* I am single, never married, and currently in a career that is very unfulfilling.* I have the "golden handcuffs".* Job pays 160K.* *Assets include a fully paid off home worth at least 500K.* 401(k) contains 230K and rollover IRA another 130K.* I have a muni-bond portfolio worth 265K wich generates a little over 1000/month of tax free income, a little over 200K in cash giving me CD rates of about 4%, and individual stocks worth around 250K.* I am in the money with stock options for about 300K and sell 50-60K blocks every January.* My 401k and IRA are split about 60% stock mutual fund and 40% cash and bond equivalents.* The stock mutual funds are split among large cap, mid cap and small cap with a little company stock and a very small portion (<10%) assigned to aggressive growth.* I contribute about 25K a year to the 401K split 55/45 in favor of stocks vs bonds/cash.* I don't dabble in foreign investments.* I am able to save nearly 60K a year in cash.

Sounds good but I was burned in 2000 and live on pins and needles hoping that I don't take a hit again.* My recovery has been supurb.* There is an early retirement option at 55 where I could get about* 2000/month, but will remain constant after SS kicks in (company reduces amount allocated by SS).* I really don't know if I can stay in my present job for 7 more years and feel as though life is passing me by.* Family members have advised me not to quit (a layoff and severence would be another matter).* Being single I would have too much free time on my hands and get bored is what I am told.* I do have a hobby but too much of that with no people interaction is not a good thing.

If I was to put all assests into tax free munis (not including 401k and IRA) I could get 3000/month triple tax free.* I guess I could live on that.* But you have to think about medical insurance.

Problem is I do not have a plan so I keep trodding along.* Regardless of assets you need a plan. I am afraid to take the plunge now.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

The best advice I can give you is to read this board for a few months. If you don't take the plunge then, you never will!

You're clearly ready financially, you just need a little moral support.

Welcome!
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 11:28 AM   #3
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp465
Problem is I do not have a plan so I keep trodding along.* Regardless of assets you need a plan. I am afraid to take the plunge now.
Welcome to the board, Jay.

You sound like you have the assets and the LBYM parts already figured out.

Perhaps you should start with a library or paid copy of "Work Less, Live More".
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 01:14 PM   #4
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Jay, have you done much travelling, possibly visits to other areas may make your work time more fulfilling

Listen to your family, they want what's best for you.

ER is not for everyone, take a month off if you can, that would give you a taste?
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximillion
Listen to your family, they want what's best for you.
When I read that kind of "advice" from family members, my reaction is "hogwash".

They're not ERs, so how the heck do they know what's better for Jay? They may want the best for him but that doesn't mean that their advice is any good.

If they really had his best interests at heart they'd subsidize his leave of absence or cover his job for him. Then Jay could make up his own darn mind without their interference...
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Welcome aboard, Jay.

Financially speaking, I believe you are more than ready to forever quit your unfufilling job/career.* I think you know that too, but you need some assurance from third, objective parties.

That's the easy part.* The harder part is your concern about what to do with your free time.* I see two scenarios:

1)* "Free own time" vs "miserable time in an unfufilling career".* No contest in my mind.

2)* Any 48yo person, pulling in 160K a year, is worth a lot to society.* Should you find yourself bored in retirement, why not volunteer your time teaching, managing, planning for uncountable charities here in the US or around the world.* You will be interacting with plenty of people, including other volunteers.* God forbids, you might even meet that elusive mate of yours too (assuming of course, that's what you want.)

Best of luck to you.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Yup ... a severence package would unlock the golden hand cuffs and make the decision a no-brainer. Always easier when the decision is made for you.

But ask yourself "what would be different in 7 - or 17 - years". An extra grand or two a month would not pursuade me to hang around. It'll be the same questions - same decision - only many, many, years later. No one can ever give you back time.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 03:41 PM   #8
 
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

You're scared to Retire!

We're all Scared to go back to Work!
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 04:11 PM   #9
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp465
Family members have advised me not to quit
my workaholic family would have had me on the job till i was 10 years in the grave.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 05:01 PM   #10
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Hi,

The part of retirement that really scares me is the disposable income reduction. Giving up 160K a year? I would need to trim down on the luxuries like the 60K Benz. The bond market (most likely the 30 year yield) is likely to have higher interest rates in the future, so waiting a while may pay off.

The funny thing is that I really don't think I have enough to retire. What is enough? I think I need something to push me over the edge. There is that miniscule chance that a family of my own bodes for the future but I am not counting on it.

Hindsight is 20/20. When interest rates were unusually high in the early 80s I could have locked into 30 year Treasury strips in an IRA that had fixed maturities for as little as pennies on the dollar. They were not callable and it was possible to stagger the maturities on a monthly basis. What that meant is that a fixed dollar amount would mature every month. A monthly $200 investment would likely bring you a 4 or 5K maturity value. You would pay the taxes at maturity. Lower interest rates require a larger monthly investment. Not a bad strategy, a guaranteed monthly income. For the 20 somethings on this board I would recommend looking into this. The only bad thing is the 4.5% interest rate versus the 13% rate available in the 80s.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 05:13 PM   #11
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp465
The funny thing is that I really don't think I have enough to retire. What is enough? I think I need something to push me over the edge.
If you hang around and read enough posts, you will see the "push" may come from the death of a close friend or family member, or from a health crisis. Not a particularly cheering thought, but unfortunately not an uncommon occurance.

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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 05:17 PM   #12
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Jay, ordered a fully loaded Benz, then accepted the fact that it would be vandalised , cancelled the order, stuck with my 10 year old Volvo.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 05:44 PM   #13
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

J,
read my posts - you sound like me.

June can not get here soon enough
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 08:32 PM   #14
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Well I went through 9/11 and lost my dad in 2002. At that time I was losing my shirt also. My reaction was to tune out on my job after I lost my dad. I ramped up on a long desired hobby, stopped working late hours after I realized I was not appreciated. The consequence. I am told I am not motivated at work, will never get promoted, etc. But I do not suffer from stress like a lot of others and I don't care what "they" think anymore. When 5 o'clock comes I am out the door and forget about the job. Lucky for me a lot of my portfolio bounced back.

No more losing of family members for me. The event to trigger something is a layoff or package deal. Funny thing, today there was a major incident at work that may have long range consequences (good or bad .. who knows). On the day I joined this forum. Could you believe that, 4PM today. I'll wait and see. So many others are nervous and I could give a rats ass.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 09:30 PM   #15
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

From 1939 to 1941 the Nazis bombed tthe crap out of my country, I lost one Brother , 6 months old, my Dad was evacuated from the Beaches at Dunkirk, 911 is just a blip on the Radar Screen , move on.

Sorry Yanks, 2,000 does not equate to almost 3,000,000.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 10:07 PM   #16
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Jay,
* * *To do a complete financial analysis a look at your expenses will be necessary.* From your post it looks like you have $75,000/yr in expenses, however this number includes the taxes (both income and FICA) on your $160,000 salary plus any taxes on your protfolio income.* The taxes paid in retirement should be much less therefore requiring smaller yearly expense amount.*
* * *On the income side it looks like your portfolio value is ~$1,375,000 not including your house.* Using a SWR of 4% (which by firscalc had a 100% survival rate for 30 years, 99.2% survival rate for 40 years, and a 97% survival rate for 50 years) this portfolio will produce an inflation protected $55,000 yearly withdraw.* If you are willing to sell your house you can get at leaset another $20,000 from that $500,000.
* * *Bases on this quick look you have enough to go now.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 10:08 PM   #17
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Quote:
From 1939 to 1941 the Nazis bombed tthe crap out of my country, I lost one Brother , 6 months old, my Dad* was evacuated from the Beaches at Dunkirk, 911 is just a blip on the Radar Screen , move on.

Sorry Yanks, 2,000 does not equate to almost 3,000,000.
I have already moved on. *This was in response to an event likely to trigger a change in my personal situation which I described as a change in job outlook. *Simply stated I do not wish a repeat of events to trigger a retirement. *If we aren't carefull next time it could be 3,000,000. *I am well aware of what happened in WWII and for that matter what is happening around the world today. *
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 10:11 PM   #18
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Maximillion,

Where do you get 3M?

I'm sorry about you family and realize that much of Europe and East Asia was devastated by WWII which the US avoided but it looks like you are off by an order of magnitude on your statistics!

One source shows British battle deaths at ~360k and another shows total deaths at ~390k. *Of course if you are keeping score the USSR wins at some where between 6M and 20M deaths. *Britain is way, way down the list.

MB

Country *Men in war *Battle deaths *Wounded
Australia *1,000,000 *26,976 *180,864
Austria *800,000 *280,000 *350,117
Belgium *625,000 *8,460 *55,5131
Brazil2 *40,334 *943 *4,222
Bulgaria *339,760 *6,671 *21,878
Canada *1,086,3437 *42,0427 *53,145
China3 *17,250,521 *1,324,516 *1,762,006
Czechoslovakia * *6,6834 *8,017
Denmark * *4,339 *
Finland *500,000 *79,047 *50,000
France * *201,568 *400,000
Germany *20,000,000 *3,250,0004 *7,250,000
Greece * *17,024 *47,290
Hungary * *147,435 *89,313
India *2,393,891 *32,121 *64,354
Italy *3,100,000 *149,4964 *66,716
Japan *9,700,000 *1,270,000 *140,000
Netherlands *280,000 *6,500 *2,860
New Zealand *194,000 *11,6254 *17,000
Norway *75,000 *2,000 *
Poland * *664,000 *530,000
Romania *650,0005 *350,0006 *
South Africa *410,056 *2,473 *
U.S.S.R. * *6,115,0004 *14,012,000
United Kingdom *5,896,000 *357,1164 *369,267
United States *16,112,566 *291,557 *670,846
Yugoslavia *3,741,000 *305,000 *425,000
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 10:25 PM   #19
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Quote:
Jay,
To do a complete financial analysis a look at your expenses will be necessary. From your post it looks like you have $75,000/yr in expenses, however this number includes the taxes (both income and FICA) on your $160,000 salary plus any taxes on your protfolio income. The taxes paid in retirement should be much less therefore requiring smaller yearly expense amount.
On the income side it looks like your portfolio value is ~$1,375,000 not including your house. Using a SWR of 4% (which by firscalc had a 100% survival rate for 30 years, 99.2% survival rate for 40 years, and a 97% survival rate for 50 years) this portfolio will produce an inflation protected $55,000 yearly withdraw. If you are willing to sell your house you can get at leaset another $20,000 from that $500,000.
Bases on this quick look you have enough to go now.
OK, let's get this thread back on track. No more WWII, etc.

This is an interesting point. The key here is preservation of the portfolio. Remember I cannot touch that 401k money for 11 years. I don't think my outflow would be anywhere near 55K. Most likely around 25-30K. I will let events pan out at work given today's events. I will not act in haste. This forum is very helpful.
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now
Old 03-21-2006, 10:42 PM   #20
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Re: Hi, Scared to Retire Now

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayp465
OK, let's get this thread back on track.* No more WWII, etc.

This is an interesting point.* The key here is preservation of the portfolio.* Remember I cannot touch that 401k money for 11 years.* I don't think my outflow would be anywhere near 55K.* Most likely around 25-30K.* I will let events pan out at work given today's events.* I will not act in haste.* This forum is very helpful.
Actually you can touch the 401K (without penalty) by rolling it into an IRA and using substantially equal withdraws, however you don't have to touch it if you are willing to take all of your withdraw from your other assets.* Which way you choose will affect the amount of income tax owed.
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