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Home stretch
Old 01-07-2007, 04:36 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Home stretch

Finger problems......put the post below in the wrong spot. Reposted as a new topic.

Greetings folks, great site, great stories....

I've hidden in the bleachers the past 6 months selfishly feeding off all the great advice/stories that others have shared, so it's time to pay my tab....

I'm approaching mid forties and currently examining retirement options, which I will likely exercise in the next 1 - 5 yr window. I've recently read a number of books to help me with the decision, of which most were focussed on the issues/financial aspects of retirement. The one exception was "Tuesdays with Morrie", which offers some great wisdom on what's important in life. The information on this forum has also been very influencial in shaping my courses of action.

So here's my situation: (noting that my ultimate goal is to FIRE as soon as possible, stop working for 'the man', and do leisure/volunteer work, or menial part-time work for enjoyment (golf course marshall!!)

Currently in my 26th year of military service. Current job is less than fulfilling, but routine/workload offers a great work/life balance. Could leave now (at 43) with a 48K (COLA) pension, or plug on and increase pension by approximately 4K a year (factoring in cost of living increases in base pay). Leaving now would make things tight financially (3 yrs left on mortgage, 3 teenagers, DW nets 2K month income, 50K savings, no debt except mortgage). Conclusion, if I leave, there's no FIRE, and other employment will be necessary.

To reach FIRE, I think the following option makes best sense: Complete 30 years of (unfulfilling) service (in current location, with no risk of move), receive 68K pension (COLA). We would be 48/49 yrs old, mtg free (350K house), 150K in non-registered savings, DW continues making 2K month net doing p/t work. Pension, DW's income, and interest from savings (assuming 6% rtn) would net us approx 7K a month. Our current monthly expenses (not including mtg) average 4K. DW enjoys her work and will likely continue working part-time until 55-60 (taking off a few months each winter to go south).

In regard to expected expenses in the future: we live modestly with no glitzy or extravagant lifestyle needs. I have travelled extensively (as military pilot), and sick of it, and wife has no great travel aspirations. We'll take a hit with the kids college/university education, but I think we have enough buffer between savings and monthly income to meet education costs. When kids leave home, our intent is to downsize homes and pocket approx 100k, live in Vegas for 3 months during winter (Jan-Mar) and spend the remaining time near family/friends. The "manufactured homes communities" have also caught our interest as a possible future option - (great social community, simple homes, and cheap cost/upkeep).

In summary, I'm looking forward to reaching FIRE status within the next fire years. Sucking up a few more years of unfulfilling work seems to be a reasonable compromise to FIRE with enough of a financial cushion to live comfortably.

Looking forward to any advice/comments........
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Re: Home stretch
Old 01-07-2007, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: Home stretch

College, the kids could get part time jobs? Go to a state school??

You have a pension of 40+ now and the wife brings in 2k a month? Medical bennies??

If those are covered you sure look good to go anytime you want.

Hey it looks good. Plus you have EARNED it. Thank you my friend military service!
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Re: Home stretch
Old 01-07-2007, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: Home stretch

Quote:
Originally Posted by smickey
To reach FIRE, I think the following option makes best sense: Complete 30 years of (unfulfilling) service (in current location, with no risk of move), receive 68K pension (COLA). We would be 48/49 yrs old, mtg free (350K house), 150K in non-registered savings, DW continues making 2K month net doing p/t work. Pension, DW's income, and interest from savings (assuming 6% rtn) would net us approx 7K a month. Our current monthly expenses (not including mtg) average 4K. DW enjoys her work and will likely continue working part-time until 55-60 (taking off a few months each winter to go south).
Welcome to the board, Smickey.

I guess the good news is that you have a plan that works, and the numbers seem reasonable.

The bad news is that you'll be working to 30... but it sounds like you're pushing hard to pay off the mortgage and get the $$ numbers on your side.

I'm astounded that an assignment officer would leave you alone for another four years, especially if you know how to fly things around the desert, but if you're going to get to 30 without being forced to choose between family & career then that's great!
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Re: Home stretch
Old 01-08-2007, 10:15 AM   #4
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Re: Home stretch

Welcome to the board.

I pretty much like the sound of your 4 year plan, and my advice is that it is a good idea to be patient until your COLA income is comfortably above your current expenses.

With our ER (two years ago at 48, DW at 46), I have been a little surprised at how challenging it is to live on a budget that is similar what we lived on during our working years. We've found lots of things to do (that all cost $$) with those extra 40 (or in our case, more like 60) hours a week that were once devoted to the office. Not that I am complaining -- FIRE is a wonderful thing, to be sure -- just be aware that it can be more expensive than working.

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Re: Home stretch
Old 01-08-2007, 08:57 PM   #5
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Re: Home stretch

Thanks for the feedback folks.

Remediator, interesting to hear about your budget challenges after retiring. Gives me confidence that working a few more years to pad the pension is probably the best approach.

Nords, I serve in the Canadian military, and pressures to take new assignments are minimal during the late stages of a career, assuming your ok with being bypassed for promotion. Not an issue for me. Quality time with the family and geographical stability, particularly for our 3 kids, far outweighted the benefits of relocating to punch tickets for promotion.

Cheers
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