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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 07-07-2003, 12:59 PM   #41
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

To edhurst: Make sure to look for buyout opportunities. I was able to get $25K for retiring (about $17K after taxes). That was a big enough incentive for me to delay retirement for a few months.

Visit the OPM website for everything official, but not for rumors: www.opm.gov

I had lived a retired life, so to speak, (at home, not on the job) for about a year before I actually did retire. I was very sure that the finances worked out. I was very sure that there would be plenty of interesting things to do throughout my retirement. I was not concerned about any projects. I just wanted to be sure that the normal, day to day routine would be satisfying.

It is.

Have fun.

John R.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 07-07-2003, 05:20 PM   #42
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

to edhurst;

I retired this year after 26 years with gov't.
I am glad i retired this year, but every one's situation different.
If you can live on pension and 4% of your savings then retirement is good possibility. health insurance is a must.
Part-time work you enjoy is another way to supplement income and adds structure to the early part of retiring. good transition activity.


good luck

earlyout
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 07-08-2003, 05:08 AM   #43
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Re. health insurance, this has been my biggest ER
problem. In an effort to help others avoid one of my
mistakes, a brief history. When I semiretired 10 years ago, I signed up for some individual coverage in case
of disasters ($10,000 deductible I think). Then for various reasons I switched it around many times.
Once an insurance company folded. Several times I
just piggybacked on my wife's coverage from her job.
The problem was that every time I went back into the market (wife laid off or whatever) I was older and my
health history was longer. Thus, I became less and less
attractive to insure even though I think I am generally
healthy. Usually COBRA was not an option for us
as we simply could not afford it. If I was a bit closer to
age 65 I would just wing it. With 6 years to go I don't have the guts. Bottom line; I should have stuck with
my original company regardless of what seemed like
better deals to be had. Jumping all around really messed us up.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-06-2003, 10:45 AM   #44
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi; I am actually reintroducing myself. I signed onto this board quite a while ago but have not been very active on it. I have been a frequent contributor to/reader of the Retire Early Home Page on the Motley Fool, but that board is starting to wear a little thin these days what with many of the "off-topic" posts. I recognize a number of posters here from TMF. (I am also trying to learn how the mechanics of this board differ from TMF, so bear with me if things are a little hosed up at first.)

I've been retired for good for about 3 months now; my retirement was particularly "early" in that I was in the Navy for 28 years after college and then worked (with a few multi-month breaks) for about 7 years before hanging it up for good. I'm still trying to get a handle on retirement expenses (although so far things seem to be going pretty well.) I plan to do volunteer work a couple of days a week starting next month and otherwise enjoy myself until my wife decides to stop working. (She will not "retire" because she hasn't had enough years in the work force.)

For a number of years I have been a very big fan of Dory's retirement calculator; I can't tell you how many times I ran scenarios through that before deciding to pull the plug.

In any event, I suspect I will be participating a little more here.

jtmitch
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-06-2003, 06:26 PM   #45
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi:

I am RHm in Florida and am ready to retire now but have three teenagers at home. I have a significant passive income via real estate but just can't seem to pull the plug on work. I own my own company and make significant money through it.

I am a little worried that I would be bored to tears if I didn't have a job and that instead of saving $$$ like we do now, I'll have to spend a large part of my passive income.

Basically, I joined this board just to kind of "feel out" what others are saying/doing. Loved Atlas Shrugged.

RHM
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-06-2003, 07:49 PM   #46
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

RHM,

What activities do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? - If not, you would be bored to tears.

There are some folks that live for the endless activity of work, lunches with co-workers, beers and socializing with co-workers after work. If most of your friends are work related, this is another indication that you would miss work.

On the other hand, if you spend a lot of your work day thinking about other activities and spend a lot of your free time with friends outside of work. And work does not present a challenge to you anymore, you may be ready to retire.

The first year of retirement is a challenge for most of us (my experience and my friends) - You think that retirement might be like an extended vacation, but it is much different. You have to be content with down time. A lot of people are type "A" and addicted to years of mostly useless activity.

Some things to think about
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-07-2003, 04:56 PM   #47
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Welcome RHM. I've read Atlas Shrugged about 10 times
so far. Am kind of the real life John Galt, with the one
major difference that I am never coming back.

In re. "being bored", I am a certifiable Type A (some
would say just plain certifiable). Fully retired for 5 years
now, I have not been bored a minute. Every day is loaded. Of course sometimes I just loaf, so in that sense I have returned to my youth when doing nothing was doing something. Anyway, I continue to cut back on my activities. If it is not enjoyable on some level
I try to avoid it.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-10-2003, 04:34 PM   #48
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi Cut/John:

I really don't have any hobbies per se but I do own a small boat that I occasionally use. I have considered getting a car to fart around with/restore as I have owned a few sports cars in the past. Also, I have pissed away a lot of money on boats over the years.

After last night I HAVE decided to cut back..slowly at first but accelerating significantly within the next 2-3 years.

I HATE to travel for business and asked my wife to take a 3 day trip with me to Boca for business. She informed me that she would NOT go that she wanted to become more "independent." Hell, I pay all the bills, she hasn't worked in 15 years. I pay for her hobby which is kayaking which, admittedly, is not expensive to persue but it really struck a nerve when she refused to go on this trip. She has been on exactly two business trips with me in 15 years.

I've decided that I too need to become more "independent." I grew up on the water and love boating and as previously said, pissed away a lot of money on boats. I've now decided to piss away a lot more money on a boat as I am going to start cruising the ICW in the next year or so, hopefully.

As you can tell from the tone of this post I am highly irritated and since I initially posted, I am going to step back and examine my life. I have no plans for the Big D but I've been busting my nuts building a business and accumulating assets for my family. My kids college educations are funded and I am in a position to fully retire now but I am going to ease into it. Over the course of the next few months I am going to examine my life and put ME first for a while.

John, my 14 year old daughter bought Atlas Shrugged to read on a trip out west this summer. I warned her that it may be difficult for her to digest at this point in her life and she hasn't gotten far into the book. I am going to abscond with that sucker tonight and read it again.

Regards to all,

RHM
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-10-2003, 06:03 PM   #49
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

RHM

My 2 cents. 'Atlas Shrugged' is a very tough read for most people. If it didn't fit so well with my views
I may not have ever struggled through it. I have been
married for 34 of my 59 years. It ain't easy. You gotta
keep working at it. At least I do.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-12-2003, 07:15 AM   #50
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Another 2 cents. Having ER'd back in 1993, we found going from two jobs to being mutually underfoot is an ongoing adjustment but it's worth it.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-28-2003, 11:22 AM   #51
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Re: Introduce yourself here!


Hi, Salaryguru here. Some of you might remember me from TMF days before they went over to the dark side. I have spent some time on the MSN Retire Early boards since then. I achieved FIRE this past April (age 49) but am still using a couple of safety nets at this point. 1) I am able to take advantage of my company's group medical insurance plan till November 2003 so I haven't had to start paying those monstrous medical insurance premiums yet. And 2) My wife will be working till the end of August 2003 so we are still increasing our investment portfolio and not having to live off of it yet.

Back in the late 90's I had set a target date for FIRE of April 2001, but after US economy setbacks starting in April 2000, I decided to hang on till my portfolio stopped it's apparent freefall. I expect my initial withdrawal rate to be ~3.5% and I have lots of interests that have been keeping me very busy. So far, I'm extatic with my early retirement and waiting anxiously for my DW to join me.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-28-2003, 01:12 PM   #52
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi salaryguru,

If you are going to have to come up with your own health insurance after your work coverage runs out, don't wait too long to get the process started. It can take up to 2 mos. with filling out forms, sending them in, the underwriting process, then the questions the underwriters will have can require you getting in touch with doctors offices to have copies of requested records faxed to the underwriters, then more waiting for the underwriters OK, then waiting for the insurance package - whew! And that is if it is successful. If not, all that elapsed time was lost.

And it is possible that an ins. co. that looks good on the internet may not insure one of your family members. Regardless even if it was the same ins. co. that you had a group plan with at work, that "knows you". At work, you're protected in a group plan. Buying it yourself, you're a suspicious individual.

The bar is different on the individual plans. You could be rejected outright even before submission if someone exceeds the ins. co. personal policy arbitrarily set BMI chart maximum. Not all companies use BMI, but a common one does! Also expect underwriters to put a pre-existing condition no payment for x years clause on any item they very well see fit to (even if it was resolved in the past).

I guess what I am saying is start early to avoid unpleasant surprises and running out of time. You can always set the effectivity date of the coverage out into the future. You can be in great health, and they will still find something to pick at. I think it's just the nature of it. They are trying to predict your future, and seem to be doing it using a sicker general profile.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-29-2003, 02:24 AM   #53
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hey salaryguru! In my quest for affordable health
insurance post ER, I was very frustrated to spend
big chunks of my time and then wait, only to be rejected.
Two different times I came back to companies which had once insured me and was turned down, even though my health siituation was basically unchanged. To be clear, I don't feel anybody should be forced to
cover me. Plus, the all the insurance in the world is useless if you can't pay the premium. As usual, with
hindsight I would have handled this much differently.
Good luck.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-29-2003, 05:29 AM   #54
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Don't do this! I self insure. No house insurance - 7.5 miles from the nearest levee over water - no medical for me (she and my mother have medical) - I have reasonable health and so far it's not renting too much space in my brain (worry).

If you want a trip in frustration go in with a sprained wrist and tell them you live in a fishing community and pay cash for everything - not checks, CC, insurance - just cash. The story could fill pages.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 08-29-2003, 02:30 PM   #55
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Another option -- if you were in the service, sign up for VA care. 1000% better today than it was 20 years ago -- easily on a level with "civilian" care from my observations.

Free if you have a service-connected disability, or a reasonable co-pay otherwise:

Quote:
Prescription copayment charges were established by Congress. The charge is $7 for each 30 day or less supply of medications provided on an outpatient basis for nonservice-connected conditions.

Outpatient - The copayments will be based on primary care visits ($15) and specialty care visits ($50).

Inpatient - Congress determined the appropriate inpatient copayment should be the current inpatient Medicare Deductible Rate ($840 in 2003) for the first 90 days that you remain in the hospital plus a $10 per diem charge.
In 2003 (for the first time ever) they stopped signing up veterans whose income exceeded some level -- high $20s to low $30s I think, depending on area. No idea whether they will open it up again for 2004.

But those already in the system didn't get dropped -- they were grandfathered.

It costs nothing to sign up, so sign up if eligible even if you don't use it. You never know!

Dory36
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:50 PM   #56
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Just Registered

I have enjoyed lurking in the background and reading all of your posts. Decided it was time to register and contribute, if I can. I have a plan in place to retire in 8 years at age 55 (hence GoAt55). By then the kids will be done with college, house will be paid for and I can draw on my pension. It is nice to find an online community that shares my feelings on early retirement and financial independence.

After reading Your Money or Your Life my Wife and I have spent the last several years eliminating debt and learning to live below our means. We've made over the debt hurdle as we've paid off everything but the house and dont plan to borrow ever again. But we still occasionally struggle with buying decisions as our wants still sometimes overtake our common sense.

2 problems I struggle with:
Not living fully in the present and wishing it was 8 years from now... I want to be retired NOW.

and, although I'll be FI at 55, I take a 40% reduction in my pension by taking at 55 instead of 60. So... although I can go at 55 and be comfortable, if I waited to 60 I could be extra comfortable. Even though I know I value the extra 5 years of retirement more than the additional $'s, this issue still eats at me.

As a ER wannabe, I look forward to learning from those of you that have made the leap.
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Old 09-19-2003, 05:48 PM   #57
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Take it at 55. You may not be here at 60. I could have kept working and made piles of money. Would I be happier today? I don't think so. If I'd gotten serious
at an early age, I'd have retired even earlier. Not
complaining though, and I'll be in the SS office on my 62nd birthday.
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Old 10-14-2003, 11:13 AM   #58
 
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Hi Goat55 - your post looks like it could have been written by me - except the part about the kids and college - I'm childless. But everything else fits. I read YMOYL when I got divorced about 10 years ago, and have been dreaming of ER ever since. At that time (age 40), I had done absolutely nothing about retirement planning. But Joe Dominguez et al got me moving. I cut back drastically and started saving feverishly. The original plan was to go out at 50, but I'm there now, and still working. I'll blame it on the stock market (instead of where it truly belongs, squarely on my shoulders). So now I'm looking at 55 also. My pension will be enough at that point (and they'll pick up most of my health insurance premiums). Waiting longer would also make it more comfortable for me, without a doubt, but honestly it doesn't take much to make me happy (free time will do it) and sacrificing any more time is out of the question. The sooner I'm out of this rat race, the better. Like you, I have trouble being content in the meantime.

Best of luck,
Gib
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-14-2003, 11:26 AM   #59
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Gib,

Welcome to the Board! - You say you are not content now. Let me ask you a question. - If you were retired today what would you do ? Lot's of people say travel. If that is what you'd say, I say take the 2 week vacation now - I'll bet after a couple of weeks you're ready to come home.

After being retired for over 2 years now. I can tell you that life does not really change all that much. I was content working and am content now. I have a lot more time for my hobbies now and don't have to put up with the dreaded office politics. But really, I had a routine then and have a routine now.

You really have to ask yourself why you're not content now.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 10-14-2003, 12:59 PM   #60
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
If you were retired today what would you do ?
......
You really have to ask yourself why you're not content now.
Hi Cut-Throat,

I've asked myself the same question many times. But don't get me wrong - I don't mean to say I'm miserable or anything like that. I'm not. I'd just rather be not working at a traditional "job."

I remember this from when I was a teenager. The idea of getting up by an alarm clock, and trudging down to some place of employment where I'd spend the most productive and energetic hours of the day fulfilling the needs of someone else never appealed to me. But I went down that road anyway, since I didn't see an alternative.

I've been in the computer industry for the past 13 years. I enjoy it. I like computers and I like programming them, as well as troubleshooting them and their related software problems (my current job). What I don't like is the associated paperwork and red tape, the rigid work schedule, the politics, the necessity of prioritizing my activities according to the judgment of someone else (bosses), and the 40-hour work week (way too much time dedicated to "work").

Well, this is a subject that I could go on and on about. Maybe I'll just put down a few things I'd rather be doing (without a job):

1. Getting up whenever I feel like it (which would probably be early anyway, but without an alarm clock), and taking an afternoon nap.

2. Travel? Yes, definitely, but not constantly. I'd love to travel to some of the towns of my ancestors, to look for any traces they may have left. I'd like to trace the route of the pioneers as they came out west. I'd like to visit many, many places of geologic or scenic interest that I've never seen. I'd like to travel some in Mexico, Central and South America.

3. Getting in a couple of hours of exercise every day without feeling like working and exercising is all I can accomplish in a day.

4. Reading more, learning more, accomplishing more, and being more creative.

5. Yes, I'd still like to work with computers, but on my own time, at my own pace, and only on projects that interest me.

6. Writing. I've started a book and would love to have more time to spend with that.

7. Maybe I could FINALLY learn the piano, or guitar, or...??

8. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, so I'd love to be able to fiddle around more with household construction and repairs, car or motorcycle repairs, appliance repairs, etc. I do some of that now, but there's so little time...

9. And it would just be great to be able to have some flexibility with activities - to spend as much or as little time on them as I feel like at the time.

I hope I've explained myself well. It's sometimes difficult to put down in print exactly what one is feeling. Regardless, thanks for the welcome - this is a great site and I'm looking forward to trading ideas here.

Gib
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