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Old 01-12-2019, 07:28 AM   #1
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Introduction

Greetings

My name is coloradophotobug in Colorado Springs.

I am currently employed as an Advanced Collections Specialist with an internet cable and phone company. As of March 8, 2019 the local call center will be closing so I will be either employed part time or retired. Due to the economy and what would be my social security income, I realized a long time ago that I will never be able to completely retire.

In the past I had a full garage workshop and developed good skills in making handcrafted pens on a lathe. About 2 years ago we downsized and currently have the upper floor of our home leased out. This pays our mortgage.

Currently I am developing my skills as a photographer and have received recognition from gurushots.com and viewbug.com

For quite some time, I have been ready for a change and researching the pros and cons of early retirement, waiting until my full retirement age or retiring early.


I have just under 60 days to review my options and move forward. I am looking forward to interacting with others in this forum
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:45 AM   #2
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Welcome to e-r.org!

You may not have noticed, but we generally don't use our real names around here. I suggest that you edit your original post accordingly... your call, but just sayin.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:50 AM   #3
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How old are you? How far are you from SS ? Do you have any assets to support an early retirement.

Are you able to keep your current job or is a lay off eminent?

We will need more info to help you.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:56 AM   #4
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
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greetings... a layoff is definite... effective Mar 8

I can retire now at age 62.5 however I will not get my full retirement since I am four and a half years away

I have 47K in my 401K
We have downsized, live in a small apt off the garage and lease out the upstairs so our mortgage is covered indefinitely.

Complete retirement is not an option for now so part time work is in my future. I am a proficient photographer and currently working on selling some of my artwork
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradophotobug View Post
greetings... a layoff is definite... effective Mar 8

I can retire now at age 62.5 however I will not get my full retirement since I am four and a half years away

I have 47K in my 401K
We have downsized, live in a small apt off the garage and lease out the upstairs so our mortgage is covered indefinitely.

Complete retirement is not an option for now so part time work is in my future. I am a proficient photographer and currently working on selling some of my artwork
Does the 47k represent your total investment assets?
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:16 AM   #6
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My wife has about 20K. Our home is worth twice of what we owe. The only other assets would be home furnishings
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:20 AM   #7
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Once you and your wife are at FRA, will your Joint SS income be sufficient to cover your expenses?


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Old 01-13-2019, 07:25 AM   #8
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How hard is it to make money from being a artist photographer? Maybe members who have tried can post their experience?
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:25 AM   #9
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My wife is at FRA, I have just over 4 years. I knew a long time ago that part time work would be a reality.. which is why I have been working on a couple of hobbies that would allow me to possibly generate extra income
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:33 AM   #10
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Is photography a pleasure hobby for you, or more just a skill to bring in part time income?
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:52 AM   #11
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it is a skill that I am attempting to use for generate extra income. I have done weddings in the past but those leave me exhausted
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:54 AM   #12
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It can be competitive which is why I rarely "leave home without it"... I never know when I might just happen to be in the right place at the right time
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:50 AM   #13
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Welcome, thanks for posting, and good luck! I look forward to hearing the advice here for someone in your shoes (likely, a lot of folks out there potentially reading but nor posting), as opposed to the "I have $4 million in my 401k and cash, and want to know if I'm ok to retire" posts.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:03 AM   #14
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How much do you spend annually? How much would each of your SS be now or at FRA? Have you played around any with FIRECalc?
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradophotobug View Post
My wife is at FRA, I have just over 4 years.
You might want to be particularly careful regarding when you decide to start claiming Social Security benefits.

Spend some time using https://opensocialsecurity.com/. Explore different claiming options. Be sure to check the Advanced Options checkbox and choose "assumed age at death" in the Mortality Tables list to see what would happen based on your lifetime and spouse's lifetime.

When things are tight, making the right claiming choice is even more important.

Quote:
I knew a long time ago that part time work would be a reality.. which is why I have been working on a couple of hobbies that would allow me to possibly generate extra income
When I retired, I worked part-time for a while. It was actually quite a lot of fun.

The local economy in my part of the country these days is such that I could walk down the street, turn in to any business, and have a part time job on the spot. Hopefully, some combination of hobbies and other work will work out well for you.

Good luck!
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:22 AM   #16
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Welcome. This is a great place to be and to learn from.
Assuming you will be getting unemployment as you are being laid off. It sounds like you also have rental income on your home?
With Approx 60 k saved at age 62, with a possible 30 year retirement, does not sound too feasible to me. Definitely check out firecalc.
Hope to hear more of your story.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:48 AM   #17
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Will you have access to health insurance if you work for yourself? Not sure where you live but Starbucks offers HC to partime employees.

I am assuming your wife is currently collecting SS. What will you do when one of you passes and only 1 SS check is available. Can you live comfortably on 1 SS check?
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:22 AM   #18
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There are a lot of smart people on this forum which means there are also a lot of alternatives and differing opinions. But, you can learn a lot and figure out what works for you if you pay attention. Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradophotobug View Post
... In the past I had a full garage workshop and developed good skills in making handcrafted pens on a lathe. ... Currently I am developing my skills as a photographer and have received recognition from gurushots.com and viewbug.com ...
SCORE's reason for existence is to provide free mentoring to people with small businesses or those wanting to go into business. SCORE is sponsored by the SBA.

Your local SCORE office is here: https://coloradosprings.score.org/ In addition to one-on-one mentoring, there are classes available like this one: https://coloradosprings.score.org/co...s-1-6-detailed

I'd encourage you to take advantage of this freebie.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:57 AM   #20
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There are a lot of people on here with tons of money but also a number of people with much less means that have retired. I continue to work part time because I love the work but also like the extra money. Luckily my husband’s and mine small pensions do not go away when one of us dies. You really need to look at what you spend and what you need to bring in. We also take advantage of happy hour food and drinks. For instance one day we went to a movie for $5, happy hour food and 2 big beers for $23. I know all the deals where we live. We also take 1 or 2 big trips/year. When you have less money you need to plan more but I enjoy finding the bargains. Definitely file for unemployment.
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