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HSS introduction
Old 04-09-2007, 10:57 AM   #1
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HSS introduction

Hi all,

I discovered this website and the FireCalc a couple of months ago. I am 49, soon to be 50 and have spent the last 25 years working / kissing a%* as a geoscientist for oil industry Megacorps. My personal situation is that I have a beautiful wife with a wonderful son less than 1year old (admittedly a bit foolish on my part to have a young son at my age). I have already set up a 529 for him and my relatively young wife is currently passing her medical boards, with a target of starting residency in 2-3 years. At that point she should be bringing ~40K of residency a year for 4 years with an obvious salary bump at the end of her residency when she becomes a physician. Call me unambitious but, I look forward to becoming a "house dad" while my wife stats her career.

During my last 25 years of indentured servitude for Megacorps I have managed to accumulate, despite a divorce 10 years ago, ~2.175 big ones (~700k in a rollover IRA/ 401 k) and the remainder in taxable accounts (not including home equity and 529). My portfolio is essentially all in no-load Mutual Funds/ Index Funds mainly with Fidelity, since I fully realize that I am not a savy investor. For the last 10 years I have maintained a consistent 55% equity/ 20% bond/ 25% cash split, even through the bull and subsequent viscous bear markets of the late 90's and 2001-2002.

In addition to SS, I also have a pension of ~60K a year coming in from Megacorps at the age of 66.

We are debt free with my somewhat modest home paid off, but we look forward to upsizing for a larger yard in the next couple of years. I anticipate, with the equity on our current home, that purchasing the new home new home wll take about 50 - 100k out of the nest egg. Our current expenses run about 60k / year, but should I FIRE in the next few months I expect to add about 5 - 7K/ year expeneses for med insurance for the 2-3 years before my wife starts residency.

I am now thinking about FIRE within the next month or two and have run numerous scenarios using both Firecalc and the ultra-conservative FIDO and am reasonably convinced that we can pull it off , as long we keep expenses under control. My dilemma is the "just one more year" syndrome because I am currently making about 250k/ year. But on the other hand, I am not getting any younger and I would like to maximize my time to enjoy my new family. I have several friends at other companies that are trying to lure me into their shop, even as a highly paid part-time consultant ($1600/ day+). I'm tempted, but I'm reluctant because I know that the rose-colored glasses will come off after a few months once I begin to notice the same silly Megacorps "Dilbert" stereotypes posturing and preening to get ahead.

Any thoughts or advice on my stuation before I free myself from 25 years of living in a Dilbert cartoon would be most appreciated... And I apologize for this run-on message and my unabated cynicism about the Megacorps workplace environment.

Cheers,
HSS

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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-09-2007, 11:47 AM   #2
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Re: HSS introduction

Welcome to the board, HSS. I split your post off to start your own introduction.

I'd also like to welcome you in advance to the small yet growing community of ER'd guys with working spouses! With the numbers you've posted and her income, I'm surprised you bothered to go to the office today.

If you're going to be your son's primary caregiver then you'll see enough behavior to remind you of Megacorp's finest. (There's probably a three-minute standup routine just on the topic of why changing diapers is like a day at the office.) I don't think you'll miss the work environment one bit...
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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-09-2007, 11:47 PM   #3
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Re: HSS introduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSS
Hi all,

I discovered this website and the FireCalc a couple of months ago. I am 49, soon to be 50 and have spent the last 25 years working / kissing a%* as a geoscientist for oil industry Megacorps. My personal situation is that I have a beautiful wife with a wonderful son less than 1year old (admittedly a bit foolish on my part to have a young son at my age). I have already set up a 529 for him and my relatively young wife is currently passing her medical boards, with a target of starting residency in 2-3 years. At that point she should be bringing ~40K of residency a year for 4 years with an obvious salary bump at the end of her residency when she becomes a physician. Call me unambitious but, I look forward to becoming a "house dad" while my wife stats her career.

During my last 25 years of indentured servitude for Megacorps I have managed to accumulate, despite a divorce 10 years ago, ~2.175 big ones (~700k in a rollover IRA/ 401 k) and the remainder in taxable accounts (not including home equity and 529). My portfolio is essentially all in no-load Mutual Funds/ Index Funds mainly with Fidelity, since I fully realize that I am not a savy investor. For the last 10 years I have maintained a consistent 55% equity/ 20% bond/ 25% cash split, even through the bull and subsequent viscous bear markets of the late 90's and 2001-2002.

In addition to SS, I also have a pension of ~60K a year coming in from Megacorps at the age of 66.

We are debt free with my somewhat modest home paid off, but we look forward to upsizing for a larger yard in the next couple of years. I anticipate, with the equity on our current home, that purchasing the new home new home wll take about 50 - 100k out of the nest egg. Our current expenses run about 60k / year, but should I FIRE in the next few months I expect to add about 5 - 7K/ year expeneses for med insurance for the 2-3 years before my wife starts residency.

I am now thinking about FIRE within the next month or two and have run numerous scenarios using both Firecalc and the ultra-conservative FIDO and am reasonably convinced that we can pull it off , as long we keep expenses under control. My dilemma is the "just one more year" syndrome because I am currently making about 250k/ year. But on the other hand, I am not getting any younger and I would like to maximize my time to enjoy my new family. I have several friends at other companies that are trying to lure me into their shop, even as a highly paid part-time consultant ($1600/ day+). I'm tempted, but I'm reluctant because I know that the rose-colored glasses will come off after a few months once I begin to notice the same silly Megacorps "Dilbert" stereotypes posturing and preening to get ahead.

Any thoughts or advice on my stuation before I free myself from 25 years of living in a Dilbert cartoon would be most appreciated... And I apologize for this run-on message and my unabated cynicism about the Megacorps workplace environment.

Cheers,
HSS
HSS - I'm in a somewhat similiar situation as you. What's similar is a reasonably close income, projected expenses, and almost the same size nest egg. What's different is that I have to plan for a longer retirement (I'm in my late 30's), no pension, and my wife won't be returning to work anytime soon (at least not for anything lucrative).

I'm struggling to make a decision on FIRE too, but I'd be done in a heartbeat if I had those additional safety nets (spousal income, pension)...funny, I'm sure others were saying the same thing about my financial situation too - I guess it's all relative.

Best of luck with your decision
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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-10-2007, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: HSS introduction

Only advice I can give you is to go for it. It sounds to me as if you have sufficient financial resources to get you through, so enjoy life while you can.
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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-10-2007, 01:00 PM   #5
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Re: HSS introduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSS
... with a wonderful son less than 1year old (admittedly a bit foolish on my part to have a young son at my age).... Call me unambitious but, I look forward to becoming a "house dad" while my wife stats her career.
I'm in a similar boat, but both parents are stay-at-home. I like the idea of having a young kid at a relatively old age. You have a much better chance of actually imparting wisdom to your kid than the average 20-year-old parent. And you've had a chance to get most of the hormone-driven thrill-seeking behind you. Not to mention the fact that childhood development is really fascinating stuff, so there's plenty of opportunity for intellectual stimulation.

But, the foolish part you alluded to is that the kid is more likely to grow up without a father at some point. To me, that means it's imperative to make this your new full-time job. At least until the kid has a solid foundation and has fond memories of time together with you.
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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-10-2007, 01:17 PM   #6
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Re: HSS introduction

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
But, the foolish part you alluded to is that the kid is more likely to grow up without a father at some point. To me, that means it's imperative to make this your new full-time job. At least until the kid has a solid foundation and has fond memories of time together with you.
We all become fatherless at some point, unless we ourselves depart early. IMO HSS is young enough that he will almost certainly see his child well established in life before HSS checks out.

I was 41 when my last son was born. I never felt old or rushed, and my son has been established in his life and career for quite some time now.

The aspect of HSS story that bothers me is what his life as a stay at home Dad with a medical resident for a wife might be like. Young mothers married to medical residents usually have their share of problems and grievances, but they at least have the usual network of young mothers to commiserate with and seek support from. I think HSS could be embarking on a hard, lonely and possibly thankless path.

He clearly is OK with this, and I may have greater need for autonomy than most. But in ths situation I would keep my job, and juggle day care, grandparent care etc., etc. just like most young couples do.

Ha
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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-15-2007, 04:45 AM   #7
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Re: HSS introduction

HSS,

I would definitely RE. The finances look very good and the time with your new child is so important. When we started our family DW and I were on the same money (actually DW earned a little more) but she hated her job with a steel company so easy choice.

With her younger sister, it was the opposite way around in that she loved her job so the husband put his career on hold for 8 years until the youngest was at school.

He has absolutely no regrets whatsoever.
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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-15-2007, 07:34 AM   #8
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Re: HSS introduction

HSS, you don't mention your wife's student loans, but with your resources, perhaps that's not an issue.

Residency is a very stressful time (some residencies more than others) and your interest in being a full time Dad is a major advantage for your wife and son. Children of residents who work 80-100 hours per week and are shuttled around to day (and night) care or to grandparents often have little contact with their exhausted parents. When those kids get sick, everything falls apart. I seriously worry about the long term effects on their development. You have the perfect solution.

I have quite a number of female physician colleagues whose husbands are stay at home dads and it is becoming more common. If everyone is comfortable in their roles, it works very well for all concerned. Particularly if Dad is a good cook!
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Re: HSS introduction
Old 04-15-2007, 12:10 PM   #9
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Re: HSS introduction

Quote:
(There's probably a three-minute standup routine just on the topic of why changing diapers is like a day at the office.)
Having changed many diapers myself, I can definatley say that changing diapers is MUCH better than any day at the office. Double that if the office is in an oil company.

Pull the plug! You sound like the kid of dad who would enjoy seeing his kid growing up every day. Life is short.

Ed the Gypsy
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