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Long strange trip to semi-ER in NC
Old 01-07-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
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Long strange trip to semi-ER in NC

I'm Kathryn, last of a soon-to-be-extinct breed: the local government employee eligible for full retirement with 30 years service.

I'm 54, as I hung in there 2 extra years. Starting July 2011, nobody can retire unless they're 55, regardless of # of years. DH is 59, could retire but loves his job most days, and it's a few minutes from the house. I'm giving up a grueling 2 hour commute to a workplace that is getting crazier by the day.

My numbers probably won't mean much...we don't have a huge FIRE account; we have 401Ks that are under $100K each, but no need to withdraw from them. An investment account with a couple of American funds, about $116K. $32K in regular savings. After Federal taxes come out, I'm getting $3050 a month, with SSA leveling. My health insurance is $590 a month-cheaper than going on DH's ins. DH grosses $92K a year. His retirement income would be about $5000 a month.

We owe $106k on our house, $10K on an equity loan, $10K on a car loan. We owe another $60K on a house we're planning to sell to a family member. No kids to support.

People have asked on another forum where the heck our money goes (I was grossing $55k until...um...last week). I spent 3.5 years getting a MA in social work so I could do temp and consulting work after ER. That was paid as I went.

Our oldest son died 2 years ago from lung transplant rejection-a lot of our disposable income went towards traveling to be with him, helping support him, wedding and funeral. He had cystic fibrosis and wasn't able to work the last few years of his life. We still saved and paid into our pension, but we put a lot of $$ into all of us enjoying his life. There's more minutia, but our income and expenses have been screwy over the years because life has been kind of screwy. I picked my retirement time to be now because the pension wasn't going to change much with another year or two work, plus the stress was increasingly crazy-making.

So...I'm trying to figure out what happens next, getting my house up to snuff, getting healthy (proper food, gym, walking), and going from a people-intense day to "me and the dog" days here in the rural foothills of NC, not a neighbor in sight. My main money concern is paying for the needed maintenance we've put off (like the $3000 tree removal estimate we got today).

That's my story in a big nutshell. I've enjoyed what I've sampled here so far and look forward to reading more.

K
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #2
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Welcome ! I also lost a son so I know what you went through . Does your or your husbands pension have survivor benefits ? That will be really important when you have a smaller nest egg .
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:34 PM   #3
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Welcome, Kathryn! Hopefully you'll be enjoying your days in retirement relaxing to make up for all of the 'craziness' you described.

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Old 01-07-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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Welcome. So sorry to hear about your son.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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Welcome ! I also lost a son so I know what you went through . Does your or your husbands pension have survivor benefits ? That will be really important when you have a smaller nest egg .
My pension choice gives him $1200 a month if I die. His pension and SSA will be about 2x what mine is, so that should give him a monthly income of $7k a month. He hasn't picked an option yet, but it will probably be a split that will be less per month at retirement (about $3500 or more) but that amount will be my survivor benefit.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:48 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard! Thanks for sharing your story. I think you will find a lot to enjoy and ponder here, I know I have!
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Welcome to the board. All the best with your retirement - you'll soon be wondering how you had time for work.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard! Thanks for sharing your story...
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:41 PM   #9
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"Me and the dog" in the foothills of NC--how idyllic that sounds, KW. Welcome to the boards and to the beginning of lots of me and the dog days.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:32 PM   #10
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Welcome.

My husband retired from a county job with 26 years. He would have gone to 30 if they would have kept him. His pension is a bit smaller than yours but it's all worked out well for us as our living expenses are low with no debt.

That 2 hour commute must have been awful, I hope you enjoy all those extra hours of FREEDOM! My DH was in social services so I thought he'd miss all the people interaction but it turns out he likes all the time with just me and the cat just fine.

Enjoy your new life!
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:44 PM   #11
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Welcome.

My husband retired from a county job with 26 years. He would have gone to 30 if they would have kept him. His pension is a bit smaller than yours but it's all worked out well for us as our living expenses are low with no debt.

That 2 hour commute must have been awful, I hope you enjoy all those extra hours of FREEDOM! My DH was in social services so I thought he'd miss all the people interaction but it turns out he likes all the time with just me and the cat just fine.

Enjoy your new life!
Maybe we hit our lifetime quota of personal interaction
I keeping meaning to call and get the latest scoop on interoffice drama, but just haven't found the time...
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:11 PM   #12
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I keeping meaning to call and get the latest scoop on interoffice drama, but just haven't found the time...
Well done.

In 4, soon to be 5 years I still have not gotten around to it.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:39 AM   #13
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Well done.

In 4, soon to be 5 years I still have not gotten around to it.
Come July it'll be 9 years (Wow!) and I still haven't.

Welcome to the forum!
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