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Newbie from NM, 3 years until FIRE'd
Old 09-23-2013, 09:07 PM   #1
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38Chevy454's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Tijeras (Albuquerque), NM
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Newbie from NM, 3 years until FIRE'd

Wanted to say hi and introduce myself. Glad I found this forum and the great knowledge here. Been reading like crazy and figured I should sign up. Try to contribute if I can and also be able to ask specific questions for help. Nice to see a lot of folks that think like I do.

Name is Terry and live in the east mountains of Albuquerque. I like being out in the country a bit, have 2.5 acres here with modest 2000 sq ft house and a large detached shop garage. No kids, except the 4 dogs.

Will be 50 in 3 months, planning to retire at 52.5, when my current job assignment is supposed to end. Work as an engineer on nukes, yes the kind that make big mushroom cloud. 26 years out of college and want to be able to work on my hobbies and enjoy doing what I want to do. Been working full time since 15, with part-time during school. I joke that I had a J-O-B scholarship, paid my own way through school and graduated with essentially zero debt. Ready to enjoy the fruits of my labor over the past 35 years.

Married for 20 years and my wife plans to retire at same time I do. Wife is an RN. Together we have near $700K in mostly 401k/403b and self-directed IRA type accounts, and about $300K in a taxable account - could not avoid that with old house sale proceeds. Current house has some mortgage, but just letting it ride with 3% interest and working full time. For now I can get higher return on investment than the 3% cost of keeping the mortgage, so maxing out allowable pre-tax savings. Will pay mortgage off once not working, just to have minimal expenses and the peace of mind knowing it is free and clear. No car payments or other debt, feels nice to have the extra to save.

I work on old cars and trucks for hobby, mostly hot rod style. Not into restoration so much, but do have a couple original cars. I can actually make some decent money buying, fixing and selling the old cars if I had more time. That would be some nice extra cash when retired. We also have an RV and plan to do a lot more travel trips with that. Run a very small home based business, mostly for tax write-off; certainly the $3K/year profits before the tax savings are not enough to retire on.

So while we are certainly not without some financial concern, I think approx 2.5 years from now we will have enough to retire. I will get about $25K/yr pension, so only need to tap the savings a conservative amount to maintain an approx $60K/yr spending plan (not including the extra car hobby cash). Any SS will just be extra.

I will be honest that I think about retiring every day, and would do it now if I could, but need the extra time for pension and to build up time to offset some of the health ins costs that (for now....) are included with pension. In my perspective the most successful person is the guy that dies the day he runs out of money. I have no plans to leave a big amount behind for that Brinks truck in the funeral procession

I used to have a handle on life....... but it broke!

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #2
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Posts: 15,369
Welcome to the boards, Chevy. Your plan sounds like you have put thought into it re income and expenses in retirement, and you will be good to go in 2.5 years. It is good to have a chunk in the taxable account IMO for getting out early and it may make a difference subsidywise if you will get health insurance on the ACA exchange.

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Old 09-25-2013, 04:43 AM   #3
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Lititz
Posts: 21
Hey Chevy, we are the same age and in a similar position financially. I turn 50 in 6 months. Our yearly expenses are equivalent and I also am looking forward to spending time on my hobbies which center around cabinetmaking and golf. We will be going from 2 houses to one in Florida, can't wait! The only difference is that I have 2 kids to put through college, but I have that accounted for (state school education).

I think I am going to hold on to 55 though. I left my job at MegaCorp this year and am working for a lot less money at a non profit, so I feel somewhat semi-retired already, at least compared to the stressfest I used to deal with. I made the decision to trade a few more years doing something I like vs something I hated.

Its great to hear stories about someone close to me in age and financial position, gives me confidence in taking these steps.

Best of luck!
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