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New to forum---retirement-ability?
Old 07-17-2019, 07:42 AM   #1
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New to forum---retirement-ability?

Hi there--I'm 65, a widow, and can retire next year. Before my husband died, we didn't do much in the way of saving (he liked to play!). So I've been stoking up the 401 K and other things the past few years. Hope it's OK to share details here, but I need some advice from people who have retired. I'll have about $1850 in SS income if I retire at 66. I have about $95K in the 401K, $14K in Roth IRA and about $20K in regular savings. I could probably work an extra year or two and bank that money, but I love to travel and also do some part-time missionary work, so I really would like to have more than 4 weeks of vaca per year to do that in. I keep coming back to the fact that time is more precious than $, but then again I do want to be able to provide for myself in later years. What do you think of survivability on the money I've set out above? Currently I am renting an extremely reasonable place ($600/month which includes utilities). Thanks!
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:56 AM   #2
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jrhodda, if you haven't already seen it, take a look at this: Some Important Questions to Answer Before Asking - Can I Retire?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:20 AM   #3
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With a 25 year retirement and a 50/50 AA, it would appear that your maximum spending is ~28k yearly with a 95% success rate in Firecalc.
What are your projected retirement expenses?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:40 AM   #4
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Probably around $1570, if I factor in a car payment (which I don't currently have). That includes Medicare and a supplement, which I do have. Thanks! (PS--what is AA? - sorry, I'm new to this)
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrhodda View Post
Probably around $1570, if I factor in a car payment (which I don't currently have). That includes Medicare and a supplement, which I do have. Thanks! (PS--what is AA? - sorry, I'm new to this)
AA = Asset Allocation. In Dtail's post he is referencing an asset allocation of 50% stocks and 50% bonds.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:57 AM   #6
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Probably around $1570, if I factor in a car payment (which I don't currently have). That includes Medicare and a supplement, which I do have. Thanks! (PS--what is AA? - sorry, I'm new to this)
Depending on your supplement you could have extra medical. But with your DH deceased and I'm sorry for your loss, it seems that when turn 66 you can claim a survivors SS on your DH's account and let your continue to grow until you are 70. You must be FRA for this to work out.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:27 AM   #7
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Check your "net" SS income after government Medicare deduction when planning. -$130/mo?

When we decided to retire, did many, many spreadsheets to get details. Firecalc and other retirement calculators are great, but the devil (or angel) is in the details. We also looked at a fallback plan... probable part time or alternate employment income if it became necessary. Never used, but it was a psychological buffer.

Admire your volunteerism. Are there parts of what you do that could produce a small income? ie. ... a friend who had always provided foodbank support, now receives a small salary as a part time manager of the local team. Pays for his travel/entertainment expenses.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:26 AM   #8
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Everyone here was new once

Welcome to my favorite forum on the net.

Your financial ability to retire depends on what you find after you do some straightforward arithmetic (how much you've got saved-or-coming-in-the-future vs how much you will spend) as well as some statistical guesswork (future inflation, investment returns, life expectancy). These are answers which can be calculated, within some acceptable probability ranges, using some tools such as FIREcalc and Gumby's Important Questions. Other responders already have given you links to those tools, so I'll go in a little different direction and ask you more questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrhodda View Post
Hi there--I'm 65, a widow, and can retire next year
Could you clarify what event occurs next year which would enable you to retire then instead of today or five years from now? Is there some employee benefit that kicks in, e.g., insurance or pension? Or is that when you'll hit some personal financial milestone such as paying off some debt? Perhaps you have a work contract which will expire at that time?

Quote:
What do you think of survivability on the money I've set out above?
Currently I am renting an extremely reasonable place ($600/month which includes utilities). Thanks!
Will you be able to continue living in your home, and will it remain extremely reasonable, for a long time? What would happen if, for example, you took a much longer missionary journey than your current vacation allotment permits? Is it suitable for aging in place?

Be assured that precise answers to my questions aren't as important as going through the thought process, because doing so will probably spur some additional questions you'll want to consider. Good luck, and once again Welcome!
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:33 AM   #9
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Depending on your supplement you could have extra medical. But with your DH deceased and I'm sorry for your loss, it seems that when turn 66 you can claim a survivors SS on your DH's account and let your continue to grow until you are 70. You must be FRA for this to work out.
Why can't she collect survivors NOW and let her ss grow until she is 70? This is survivor's benefit, not spousal. Why would she have to wait until FRA?
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:39 AM   #10
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Depending on your supplement you could have extra medical. But with your DH deceased and I'm sorry for your loss, it seems that when turn 66 you can claim a survivors SS on your DH's account and let your continue to grow until you are 70. You must be FRA for this to work out.

Thanks for that! I know his was far less than mine, but this may work well if I continue to work full or part-time for a while.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:40 AM   #11
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Why can't she collect survivors NOW and let her ss grow until she is 70? This is survivor's benefit, not spousal. Why would she have to wait until FRA?
..


That's a good question and from the experience of a close friend it's the growth aspect of her own SS that might be in jeopardy...just check and double check...

the OP didn't mention survivors benefits which can be extra money.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:42 AM   #12
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Thanks for that! I know his was far less than mine, but this may work well if I continue to work full or part-time for a while.
You need to work with SS on this as you don't want to come out short. Start reading up on the rules.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:46 AM   #13
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Welcome to my favorite forum on the net.

Could you clarify what event occurs next year which would enable you to retire then instead of today or five years from now? Is there some employee benefit that kicks in, e.g., insurance or pension? Or is that when you'll hit some personal financial milestone such as paying off some debt? Perhaps you have a work contract which will expire at that time?

Will you be able to continue living in your home, and will it remain extremely reasonable, for a long time? What would happen if, for example, you took a much longer missionary journey than your current vacation allotment permits? Is it suitable for aging in place?

Good questions, and they do spur some thinking. Next year I'll be at full retirement age, so that's why I'm thinking of retiring then. I know working longer, I could sock some more money away, but I just keep thinking that time is more important than money. Of course . . . I don't want to have to live under a tree either (unless it's maybe somewhere tropical).



I think I could continue to live in my home---I found a screaming deal in my area, a rental that is very small, but just $600 including utilities. So far they'd like me to stay--probably because I pay on time. I've thought, too, about eventually letting that go and doing longer-term missions, but it's such a good deal I hate to give it up. When you say "is it suitable for aging in place?" are you talking about staying longer wherever I do the mission work? I've thought about that---I often go to Russia for that, and my friend there would like me to come for a longer period. Have been to Uganda, and I love the people there. Just haven't really explored staying long-term, and I do have kids and grandkids here, so . . . things are kind of in transition!



To throw in another wrinkle, I do full-time paralegal/research work from home, so I can often do that elsewhere. If they'd like me to stay a while after FRA, it's possible I could work at least part-time elsewhere.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:13 PM   #14
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Aging in place is your home suitable if you develop physical problems. How many steps to get in, wheelchair accessible, etc.
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Aging in place
Old 07-17-2019, 01:06 PM   #15
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Aging in place

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Aging in place is your home suitable if you develop physical problems. How many steps to get in, wheelchair accessible, etc.
^^^ What she said
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Aging in place
Old 07-17-2019, 01:35 PM   #16
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Aging in place

When my own parents retired many years ago, it was their dream to leave the large city and move to a house in the mountains. They built their retirement house on a mountaintop with lovely scenic views, surrounded by woods and streams and wildlife and fresh air... everything they always dreamed of.

At age ~60 and in good health, living in their bucolic paradise was eminently satisfying. But by the time they hit ~75, my folks could no longer manage the elevation changes. Climbing stairs was hard enough, let alone mountain trails.
When storms felled trees across their mile-long driveway, it became too difficult to clear them out with the chainsaw. So mom and dad had to sell out, downsize again, and move to an ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood.

It broke their hearts to have to leave their dream house, but they had no choice. The mountain house wasn't suitable for aging in place.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:01 PM   #17
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Welcome. One thing that I think would be very helpful to your analysis is to closely track your expenses in the coming year. Then work with a retirement budget and consider any expenses that may change in retirement - any expenses that may go down when you're not working, but also expenses that go up due to travel, healthcare etc.


Understanding a realistic budget based on actual experience is very helpful in determining if you have "enough".
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:19 AM   #18
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Are your mission trips fully funded with airfare/food/housing transportation taken care of by the proposed mission, or are you footing the bill for some or all of these expenses.

If fully funded, it may be cheaper to be gone (doing mission work) for an extended period overseas each time, and possibly sublet your apartment to a friend/family member/trusted associate to help with expenses.

I just threw these questions out there for the braintrust to chew on, not really knowing how mission work is accomplished, and the logistics surrounding them.
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