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Old 08-13-2017, 08:14 PM   #1
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Hi All,

I've been lurking here for a while (I lurked a while and created an account in December and lurked a while longer).

I've read so much here that I am able to predict responses to some of the "can I retire yet?" inquiries. You've all taught me well; at least I hope you have!

We are engineers at ye olde Megacorp. DH is 58 and I'm 57. We haven't always made decisions that maximized our ROI, but we've always worked hard, lived below our means, used credit wisely, and been incredibly lucky. Lucky that we had parents who never had any extra money, but encouraged us to get all we could from our education. Lucky that we both went to a local college on academic scholarships (that's where we met). Lucky that we kept our grades high enough to have all 4 years paid for. Lucky that we worked hard and got good raises. Lucky that megacorp paid for advanced degrees. Lucky that we have always salted away $ in the megacorp savings plan with matching $. Lucky that early on we took a free investment class offered and started salting away more $. Lucky that we never got laid off during many big rounds of layoffs. And lucky that we own a house in a place we've dreamed of retiring to (snagging that is a whole 'nother story).

We are looking at pensions that will cover more than 1/2 of our expenses and our stack is more than 30X the remaining (worst case) expenses.

Our kids are both thru college (with no debt) and have their real jobs. They are both local for now, but who knows where they'll each wind up. We've already budgeted for their weddings (son and daughter are each getting the same chunk of change).

We own the house we're living in (paid off this year). We plan to sell it and move to the dream house and get away from winter! The dream house is 1/2 paid for. It is within walking distance of the beach on a lake on an island. Taxes are high and insurance is high (and expected to go higher), but we've got it all in the numbers.

We can COBRA our medical insurance for 18 months and after that we'll be shopping for insurance. Our pensions are large enough that even should the healthcare picture then be similar to the healthcare picture now, we will not qualify for any ACA subsidies, so we have ponied in a pretty huge number for that. If it is an option at the time we'd probably prefer to get "old fashioned" insurance to cover the big stuff.

We're engineers so we've analyzed this a gazillion ways. We've run firecalc loaded with all the worst case assumptions (losing 1/3 of the pile the day before we retire, megacorp pension estimate being off by 25%, SS at FRA with a 25% haircut, expenses being unbelievably high forever) and we still get 100% success. We've got spreadsheets on top of spreadsheets and they all look good too.

So it looks like we're ready, but we're not "ready". There is some work to do to get ready.

The house we're headed to is in great shape (we've owned it for almost two years and it was in good shape when we got it and we've put a lot into making it ready for full time living). The house we're in is full of 25+ years of stuff and we don't want to/need to take much with us. Some stuff is easy to let go of, other stuff has sentimental value and is tougher; it won't fit in the new house (3000 sq ft vs 1900 sq ft). This makes it a difficult task that we are dragging our feet on.

The current house also needs updating, but we need to decide how much to do or not. We are not big DYI people and some big things need to be done, so it'll be all about deciding how much pay someone to do, pay a real estate agent, deal with inspections, etc vs. selling to flippers and walking away. The net I've been using is pretty pessimistic.

We also need to work on AA; that'll take some work because the AA we have now (too much on one place) has done phenomenally well and DH wants to stick with it.

We're looking at Class of 2018; that's both exciting and scary.

It is great to have a place to learn and discuss early retirement!

OnIslandTime
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:29 PM   #2
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Congratulations and welcome. It seems like you have done all the planning you might ever need, and now it's time to start executing the plan. Every plan has unexpected details and yours is sure to run into your share, but it sounds like you are as ready as you can be. Next up is enjoyment.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:57 AM   #3
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Congratulations and welcome to the forum.

We downsized when we FIRED. While it was emotionally difficult to part with possessions, it has been liberating and overall a positive experience.

FN
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:13 AM   #4
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Congrats and welcome! Sounds like you are more than set and need to "just do it".
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:49 AM   #5
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Who was it that had that luck vs preparation quote? Anyway, the attitude of being thankful is absolutely the right place to be if you believe "winning" is primarily about being happy. I hope the new place isn't a big decrease in deep social connections, or if so, you're the kind that can strengthen and build those.

Doing AA can be a PITA when you have several 401k's, several IRA's and several Roths, but I'm sure the spreadsheet person you are, you at least know where you're at. Or if you need a starting point: Asset Allocation Spreadsheet on Google Drive
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:40 PM   #6
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Welcome. It sounds like you are well prepared. Like you, I was an obsessed engineer and ran every calculator I could get my hands on: firecalc, quicken lifetime planner, i-orp, financial engines, Fidelity retirement planner... Reach asked different questions and it made my plan more solid. That made this engineer brain more confident to pull the trigger.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:51 PM   #7
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"And lucky that we own a house in a place we've dreamed of retiring to (snagging that is a whole 'nother story)."


I want to hear this story
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Update
Old 03-27-2018, 08:45 PM   #8
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Update

I just added myself (and DH) officially to the Class of 2018..last day at megacorp will be 5/31!

Both of our kids are getting married in the fall, so logistically we'll be here until the weddings are over then we'll head to year-round summertime.

In the meantime, we'll be figuring out how to divest ourselves of the house we're living in and contractors will be finishing up some repairs/remodeling on the house that we're headed to. We suffered a broken pipe and lots of water damage there. As we were whining about it our neighbor from down there said, "don't look at it as a disaster, look at it as a chance to upgrade." So we added a nice chunk to the insurance settlement and we're upgrading the flooring (to wood look tile plank), having the place re-piped, replacing the really really cheap kitchen cabinets and adding some more kitchen storage.

I feel like a kid who just can't sit still in class anymore because summer vacation is just around the corner!!!

This forum has been a tremendous help in actually convincing us that we are ready and that we can and should just do it. Since I announced at work (early February), I've pointed several people at this forum and at firecalc. I'm hoping that they get as much out of both as I have.

Thanks, all!
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:12 AM   #9
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Welcome.
Did the same when a water pipe broke in our basement years ago. Actually relocated a wall and installed a full bath (plumber did the heavy lifting). Worked out to be a 50 cents on the dollar remodel with insurance company help!
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Old 03-31-2018, 06:27 AM   #10
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Welcome and congrats! To celebrate, I have a special Dad Joke just for you:

What's a pirate's favorite letter?

You'd think it'd be "R", but it's the C.

LOL!
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnIslandTime View Post
I just added myself (and DH) officially to the Class of 2018..last day at megacorp will be 5/31!
So...today is 5/17...still on track for 5/31!? Excited for you...a new chapter and adventure awaits!
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnIslandTime View Post
I just added myself (and DH) officially to the Class of 2018..last day at megacorp will be 5/31!

I feel like a kid who just can't sit still in class anymore because summer vacation is just around the corner!!!

Thanks, all!
Yaay for you and your DH. My wife and I just celebrated on April 1, three years of ER and we STILL feel like we've been locked all night in the candy store! Sometimes just a sudden cool breeze on my face in the summer while sitting outside on a Tuesday afternoon makes me deliriously happy!

-BB
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:27 AM   #13
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Congrats and welcome to the free zone!!! Knowing you are ready is like part 3 of the Shawshank Redemption - the tunnel is dug; you've just got to set the warden up and then make your move.

Again, welcome to the Free Zone - it's a lot more fun here!
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:33 PM   #14
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Update: We are on track for last day of work 5/31...we both pushed the final "yes, I'm really retiring" button this week. My co-workers had our boss call a meeting on Wednesday on the pretense of discussing staffing changes...it was a ruse to get me in the room and give me some nice gifts that my coworkers had pitched in to buy for me. Thursday we had company provided cake and ice cream. These activities were early because two other coworkers were leaving town for other megacorp jobs and they wanted to be around to help celebrate my retirement (so nice!).

We are heading to our southern abode on June 2nd for a month, then back home for wedding activities (both kids getting married in the fall), and house emptying and selling activities. Hoping to be relocated to our island home before the snow flies.

My program manager asked if I was nervous about retiring as the date gets closer. His wife has recently quit her job in order to juggle life with taking care of a house and three kids and they are still nervous about the finances, he said. I told him that we've analyzed it a lot (it's what engineers do) and we should be fine, but that it is a bit scary. The feeling is a bit like the last day of school and the first day of school all rolled together. But just like the beginning of a new school year, after a little while we will settle in and realize that all will be fine.

Working, being busy with some minor health issues (PT for a hamstring injury for me and a minor surgery for DH) and getting ready to be gone for a month it almost seems unreal that when we return that we won't have to go back to w*rk.

Have fun!
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:12 AM   #15
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Congrats! As an engineer myself, I know all too well about analyzing things.

One parting shot from me: your good grades in college were not luck! That's hard work.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:55 AM   #16
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School's out for summer. School's out FOR EVER!!! -- Alice Cooper
DH and I are officially retired as of yesterday!
Today is Day 1 and tomorrow we're off to a month of island time!
We've inspired several friends to seriously take a look and get on to planning for their own early escapes.

Have fun.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:33 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by OnIslandTime View Post
School's out for summer. School's out FOR EVER!!! -- Alice Cooper
DH and I are officially retired as of yesterday!
Today is Day 1 and tomorrow we're off to a month of island time!
We've inspired several friends to seriously take a look and get on to planning for their own early escapes.

Have fun.
Congrats!
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:17 AM   #18
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Amazing!! Well done
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by OnIslandTime View Post
The house we're in is full of 25+ years of stuff and we don't want to/need to take much with us. Some stuff is easy to let go of, other stuff has sentimental value and is tougher; it won't fit in the new house (3000 sq ft vs 1900 sq ft). This makes it a difficult task that we are dragging our feet on.
First of all, congratulations! I highly recommend "Rightsizing Your Life" by Ciji Ware, for ways to downsize. She does a really good job of handling the emotional aspects of letting go as well as the practical, including places to donate/repurpose just about anything. For large collections, for example, she recommends keeping a few special pieces. My own experience is that almost anything listed as Free Stuff on Craigslist and put at the end of your driveway will disappear.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:07 AM   #20
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We downsized after retirement. We had 20 plus years of stuff, plus some of our children's storage items, plus unopened boxes from a previous corporate relo that we had never opened.

It was a challenge. We decided to paint the interior in prep for selling. Four bedrooms up, two down, and lots in between. As we cleared a room for painting we also decided on what to keep (very little).

The process took seven months. We did a least three passes at getting rid of things before we got serious about it. Then we got ruthless. Two things we discovered. The first was that our children really did not want any of our things. Second, the market for larger, home size furniture was small. It had been replaced by a market for smaller furniture.

Ours was different. We downsized from approx 3600 sq feet into an 8 X 8 X 16 PODS container. We stored everything for a year, travelled for 8 months. This was actually a benefit because it put a real constraint on what we could keep. Looking back, we needed the discipline of that constraint.

Looking back, it was one of the best things we did. It blew the cobwebs out and we changed our lifestyle. We subsequently rented for four years prior to buying back into the market. Would we do this again. Absolutely. Especially the unemcumbered 8 weeks of travel.

We gave away a lot of items. One good thing we did was to place them (serveral times) in one area of the house. We told people that if they wanted anything they had to pick up before a certain date. After which a charitable organization would be picking it up. We stuck firmly to this. Lots of people say they want this or that but never get organized enough actually pick it up. Five years later we are still getting rid of some items of furniture that made their way into that storage container!
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