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Old 03-08-2015, 10:13 AM   #21
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Guilt ? you can scratch that of the list.

If you still enjoy the job , keep at it a couple more years and build a larger nest egg ( first time I have suggested "one more year"to anyone ). Things and life can cost more than planned , and nobody knows what inflation will be like for the next 30 or so years you will likely live. The miracle of compounding applies to inflation too.

I retired from Local gov. at 55 , only 12 years service. Small pension. Left only because I began to hate the job , and needed time to do eldercare.

If you can find PT work post retirement , that pays decent , that's a good plan IMO.

Things don't always work out per plan.

Welcome to ER.

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Old 03-08-2015, 10:20 AM   #22
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I assume the OP might be hoping for some talking points to defend himself, but that's just feel good stuff - it's unlikely anyone will change their views. So it really doesn't help much, except maybe for a moment.

No one can make you feel guilty, only you can do that. Others can't make you happy, sad, or anything else - but it's a lesson that takes time to grasp and learn.

No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:43 AM   #23
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I too am the youngest of 4 children (and the only boy which adds to the pressure). I understand the "guilt" issue. I am retiring July 1 of this year. When I told my sisters and mother, they were shocked and surprised. They assumed I was going to work for someone else after 22 years at my current employer. Since I told them, the oldest decided to retire, the youngest decided to stay out of the j*b market (she was laid off and has been taking time off to care for our mother) and my middle sister has been semi retired for several years. I was expected to work for 5-10 more years. I don't think that I actually felt guilty, but I felt bad about leaving a good income while my youngest sister couldn't find a j*b at all.

Enjoy the fruits of your own labors.

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Old 03-08-2015, 11:10 AM   #24
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Wow, thanks to all of you for your positive feedback, this is definitely the place to get some incredible support for ER. Here are the answers to the questions some raised:
I am retiring from the feds (forest service).
Social Security: My FERS pension includes $29,800 annuity & $10,700 SS supplemental, which ends at age 62. I can choose to start SS then ($1660/mo) or delay to get more $ later.
Health Insurance: Regaining long term health ins coverage was the main reason I came back to the feds. My cost is $135/mo. and it will remain the same after I retire.
Housing situation: Rent vs Buy is a debate that has plagued me for my entire career. Iíve owned 6 homes and each time I spent all my spare time and money on maintaining/remodeling, just to sell in less than 5 years, thus barely breaking even financially. Being single with modest needs and no idea where I want to settle down or if I even want to settle down, I feel it just makes more since to rent. I know interest rates may go up, but buying a house is a huge financial commitment I donít want to rush in when I am not ready. If and when I buy, Iím targeting AZ since it is close to family and MX and no snow. My budget will depend on my savings, but likely $150,000-200,000.
Why rent year-round when I am traveling for most of the winter? Good point. While on sabbatical I tested going without a US home for 3 years. I had a fulltime rental in MX at a whopping $200/mo, and stayed with family and friends in the US 8 mo/year. Being highly introverted, it didnít take long before I started to feel like I was going crazy, I never really felt Ďat homeí. Plus moving all the time was a real hassle and spendy. I am willing to pay an extra $3000/year to know I have a nice place that I can return to whenever I need some cave time.

Thanks again and I am looking forward to joining you all on the other forums.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:23 PM   #25
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You are in a good spot. I agree that renting is the best till you decide where you want to be(at our house we always add, when we grow up).
Folks who deride you for leaving fire fighting at such a tender age do not understand what a physical, hard, dirty and dangerous job it is. It is not for the faint of heart.
Just keep an eye on your bottom line and savings. Keep up with what's going on with SS, right now, the conventional wisdom is for single folk to claim at 62, that may change but you have years to figure that out.
You have earned your retirement so enjoy it. No apologies!
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:41 PM   #26
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You're in a good place and have no reason to feel guilty about anything. You paid your dues so enjoy the benefits. I'm also INTJ, retired 12 years ago at 52 from law enforcement with 29 years and bit of time. No one tried to make me feel guilty about it, and really, with some very rare exceptions people don't want 60-year-old firefighters or police officers out there.

Agreed with the others that financially you're good to go. More as an exercise in self-assurance I offer this list of questions. I think you'll find you have good answers to all of them.

Some Important Questions to Answer Before Asking - Can I Retire?
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:43 PM   #27
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Living in a fire zone I greatly appreciate the work that forest firefighters do. It's a tough job. You can be justly proud of the lives and property that you have saved. You deserve to enjoy your retirement guilt free.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:45 PM   #28
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Oh - you eventually get over it.
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:51 PM   #29
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You have no reason to feel guilty, you've earned this by years of hard work in a dangerous and demanding job. However, I think it's unavoidable that some of your family and friends will be jealous, and some will try to make you feel bad just to make themselves feel better about their choices. There is nothing you can do to change that, so either avoid the topic (or avoid them) or just ignore their comments.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:46 PM   #30
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I would just say to whoever, "I'm sorry my life doesn't suck. I feel really bad about it." Then eat a bon-bon and take another sip of champagne.
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:48 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I would just say to whoever, "I'm sorry my life doesn't suck. I feel really bad about it." Then eat a bon-bon and take another sip of champagne.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:57 PM   #32
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My 65 yo BIL got laid off several months back. BIL & SIL have lived enough of a higher lifestyle that they aren't in a position to retire. SIL was about to retire when lay off hit so she's still at it. BIL is "consulting" but I don't know if he's getting any assignments. If so, SIL hasn't told DW about them.

I just walked away from a fat six figure job on 27 February that I could have done for years to come. No guilt. It was time to retire. Actually, it was about 10 years too late but that's water under the bridge.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane -- Marcus Aurelius
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:45 PM   #33
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Guilt is a negative emotion, get over it. It will only hurt you needlessly, as for your financial concerns take them seriously and only you can determine what is enough, but worrying about what other people think is for high school.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:46 PM   #34
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First off, congrats!

Financially I think you're sitting pretty. Between the pension and the savings combined with the low expenses, your ER should work out well.

As for guilt - I wouldn't worry about it. Just be humble when talking about your ER and your plans. Those closest to you should be happy about your achievements. It can't be much of a surprise for those that know you were working for the feds since government jobs are well-known to have decent pensions at the end of a career.
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (4, 10, and 11).
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:49 PM   #35
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Like you, I am in the process of winding down my career while my siblings are still working. They are not aware of this yet but will be later this year. They know that I am ESR, and have been for 18 months.

Guilt has given way to the realization that we all have choices in life. Sacrifices I (we) have made are coming to fruition now, but things could have gone south regarding our finances to the point where retirement was a long long way into the future. Although we are comfortable there is always some one with less than us and someone with more than us.

The fact that things have worked out for you, despite the down times you have described, are a result of choices that you have made in the past with your finances. This was not a given, and guilt should not be a factor when you have a plan that works.

Congratulations for thinking ahead!
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:02 PM   #36
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Ben Franklin retired in his early 40s. His greatest contributions to our country and the world came after his retirement. His inventions and experiments, his work in the Continental Congress, his diplomatic mission to France during the revolutionary war, all that occurred after he "retired."

Never, ever feel guilty about ER.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:28 PM   #37
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You have no reaon to feel guilty just enjoy retirement.
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:41 PM   #38
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Just a hunch, but I'll bet your net worth will increase in so called "retirement" and your spending will be less.
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:46 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by shelnut View Post
In 8 months I turn 50 and eligible to retire (FERS firefighter). INTJ personality type, the youngest of 4 siblings and the first one to retire. My pension will equal my sisterís fulltime income and about 80% of brotherís income. They think I am crazy to give up a well-paying, secure job. Half-jokingly referring to me as lazy, cheating the system and getting away with something I donít deserve. Co-workers (many living paycheck to paycheck) donít want to hear how I intentionally lived well below my means to ensure I could retire early.

In addition to the guilty conscience, Iím fretting over not I have enough money after retiring, which seems silly. If I never work again and my investments matched the inflation rate, I should have $45,000/year net until Iím 90 yrs old. Thatís $13,000/year more than what I am living on now. In 2008 I took a 4 year sabbatical (aka post-divorce, mid-life crisis, shortly after securing my 20 years as a firefighter), with no pension, small savings, no health insurance and no guarantee of any PT income. I managed just fine on $30,000/year PT income. Now I am expecting a pension that guarantees I can maintain my current spending in addition to a healthy nest egg and that same PT income potential and yet Iím worried about money. What the heck happened to me?

The Numbers:
Personal: Single (divorced in 2006 and no, he does not qualify to get any of my pension), no kids, one awesome dog, painfully frugal, fit and healthy.
Salary: $76,000 + $20,000 OT. Twice my needs.
Current expenses: $32,000/yr, $2650/mo (based on 6 years of religious tracking)
Debt: Zilch, zippo.
Savings: $120,000 cash, $300,000 IRA/401K (mutual & L funds). Yes, I should have more, but I am playing catch up after the divorce.
FERS Pension: $40,500 gross, $32,500 net after St/Fed tax and health ins. Includes COLAs.
PT Income potential: $20,000-30,000/year for 6 years.
Housing: I rent a 2 BR house w/ garage on 5 acres for $800/mo. Utilities inc.

Retirement plan:
Travel more. Road trips to visit family/friends, camping/hiking, exploring. I donít anticipate a significant increase in my expenses, except for car/moto gas & maint and 2-3 month cheap vaca rental.
A couple of months each winter in Mexico or other warm locale, camping or short-term rentals, as I did during my work sabbatical.
April thru October in current location to facilitate PT work which could be more that planned due to established work connections.
Keep renting, I know it seems silly to pay rent for a house Iím not using year around, but itís a great situation that would be hard to duplicate for the price. And I donít want to live out of a storage unit or a suitcase.
Initially, pull $6,500/yr. from savings to supplement pension for a total of $39,000/yr, $3250/mo. for $600/mo more than current.
Save PT income until reaching a cash total of $150,000+, likely to occur after 2-3 years. After that enjoy the rest of the income (or more likely, keep saving since I find it hard to spend money indiscriminately).
After age 56, consider using savings to buy a small place/condo where I can settle into full retirement. Or not.

Make sense?? See any wholes in my logic? Muchas gracias.
Sounds like you are good to go Shelnut, I'm aiming to get out in June. Like you I've felt a bit of guilt at getting out at 52. I've worked bloody hard for 35 years and invested sensibly, I can afford to do it. My only issue is getting my wife fully on board, I get the same old stuff about being too young etc. When I think about having the rest of my life free it just blows my mind! We have all earn't it on here, we've saved our hard earned money and done our time.

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Old 03-08-2015, 03:57 PM   #40
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Definitely live your life the way you want! Enjoy yourself!

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