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Newby - Paranoid it's not enough to call it quits at 53
Old 04-12-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
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Newby - Paranoid it's not enough to call it quits at 53

Hi all, my nickname says it all, my job is quite literally killing me. My wife and I both grew up in large families where there was often times not enough to eat. Decisions were often made between going to a doctor or heating the house so we both learned the value of a dollar and how to live on less.

Now to my current dilemma, I have reached a milestone I set for myself for retirement saving. In addition, in another two years will be eligible to start collecting a pension of around 51k. Without living an overly extravagant lifestyle what are the experts thoughts on being able to call it quits from their experiences. Any info or comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:11 AM   #2
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Run FIRECalc at the bottom of the page and report back with your findings. Don't forget health care costs.

I'm sympathetic. My job was killing me, too.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:17 AM   #3
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Hi and thanks. Did run and even contributed I liked my results so much! Based on my inputs it shows 100% success, still doesn't knock the blue collar "work until you die" mentality which I was ingrained with or the concern of "is that really accurate?!?!"
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #4
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How safe is your pension? If it isn't rock solid, do you have a plan B? The median household income in the U.S. is around 50K so it certainly is enough to live at least a middle class life in not high cost of living areas of the U.S.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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Looks like you have your bases covered. You may want to play around a little with FireCalc. Since you are so young, you could use a 40 year (or even 50 year) retirement period instead of the default 30 years. What if your expenses go up after retirement? And as travelover said, don't forget health costs.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
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I retired 2 years ago (54). Pension only $18k and with almost $800K in funds. As has been pointed out a couple of times, I may have pushed it a little bit to go that early.....but it's doable. Our plan was to be able to spend $48k a year if we needed to....but actually plan on it being under $40K a year. Questions....
1. kids?
2. health insurance
3. house paid for?
4. how much do you spend?
5. where do you live? my area is reasonably cheap.
6. how much $$ do you have saved?

For us.....health insurance through the govt....just over $300 a month. No kids now. We plan to spend less than $40k a year, and can go considerably lower without a problem. We live in a cheapish area. House paid for.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:27 AM   #7
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State government, about as safe as any. Even without it though the firecalc simulator gives me a 94.6% chance of success, hence my paranoid in the title.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:31 AM   #8
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congrats on having such a nice dilemma!
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:33 AM   #9
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Hi and thanks. Did run and even contributed I liked my results so much! Based on my inputs it shows 100% success, still doesn't knock the blue collar "work until you die" mentality which I was ingrained with or the concern of "is that really accurate?!?!"
Hey killingme, welcome to the forum. Hope you can stick around.

Your comment is SO true. If I hadn't stumbled on this forum, I would have planned on working until I drop. Learned so much here.

Good luck in your decision. I'm still in OMY (One More Year) syndrome, so I have work myself to do.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the input, it's great.
Kids - no, we are dinks (dual income no kids)
Health Insurance - budgeted 1k/month if that is off base let me know
House-paid for
spending - 50K/year health care through work
Where I live - one of the tax u 2 death states, Conn. But will relocate
Saving/investments 1.2m with a 51k pension

We live well below our means because we both know want and currently want for nothing. As far as longevity, I'ld sign up today for 30 years based on family history
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:36 AM   #11
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Have to say finding this forum is a Godsend
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:55 AM   #12
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If I were in your situation.....I would move to a cheaper area....and there are plenty of them(there are some posts on that subject)...your pension alone gives you more than we spend....and your savings on top of that?....and you can keep your expenses down....done deal.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by killingme View Post
Hi and thanks. Did run and even contributed I liked my results so much! Based on my inputs it shows 100% success, still doesn't knock the blue collar "work until you die" mentality which I was ingrained with or the concern of "is that really accurate?!?!"
Congrats. Nothing you don't already know but the big unknowns for most of us are:
  • future health care expenses
  • future real returns/sequence of returns (hopefully nothing worse than any period since 1871, FIRECALC data)
  • living too long
You have to decide how those (and other) variables will play out, what margin of safety you need to sleep at night (some of us want 200% success, others are fine with 75% if not less), and what your plan B moves are if things go South. Going back to work at age 75 or some advanced age isn't impossible, but it's difficult and probably less lucrative than what you have now. Best of luck...
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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Hi. I'd love to be in your position with 100% success likelihood and a pension !

My plan is to retire this year, at age 50. All of the calculators give me an 85 - 90% chance of success to age 90. Is that enough ? I hope so ! I'm a bit worried about the money but I know my job is leading to ill health (IBS - not fun). To keep myself from freaking out too much I will probably try and find a job to make $500 a month so that I don't drive myself crazy with the first unexpected car or house repair bill !

It took me awhile to make a final decision to leave Megacorp this year , but I figure I can live on SSI alone by the time I'm 80 or 85, and if its not the "idea" retirement by that age then it will be only because I had 30 years of retirement under my belt !
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:24 AM   #15
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One thing I haven't figured in at all is social security, that to me is the great unknown so better not to count on it from my vantage point. Means testing would probably knock us out of it anyway
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:54 AM   #16
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One thing I haven't figured in at all is social security, that to me is the great unknown so better not to count on it from my vantage point. Means testing would probably knock us out of it anyway
We use 50% of SS estimates, though most projections suggest 70-75% is worst case for anyone age 50± or above. IMO it's not necessary to plan on nothing, though many of us run our plans without it at least to see how we'd fare.

If SS is 0% at some point in the future, we're probably facing a lot of other problems that would be impossible to plan for...
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:39 PM   #17
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Welcome, and thanks to all above who gave their input. This helps the others at a similar decision point, like us. We also get 100% success using firecalc with a fair degree of margin. It really helps to hear how others have navigated the process.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:51 PM   #18
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One thing I haven't figured in at all is social security, that to me is the great unknown so better not to count on it from my vantage point. Means testing would probably knock us out of it anyway
I'm in the camp that believes SS will never go away, at least in my lifetime, although benefits are not going to be what they are now. Even the younger generations are not going to want their parents moving in with them.

Anyway, you can get an estimate from SSA at Retirement Estimator
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:11 PM   #19
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State government, about as safe as any. Even without it though the firecalc simulator gives me a 94.6% chance of success, hence my paranoid in the title.
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One thing I haven't figured in at all is social security, that to me is the great unknown so better not to count on it from my vantage point. Means testing would probably knock us out of it anyway
So, are you saying you have a State Pension and Social Security, and even without that income FIRECalc gives you 95% odds of success?
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:11 PM   #20
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I use 67% of what the SSA for Social Security calculator gives me.

Killingme - you're well on your way. Double check and triple check your numbers, use a few different calculatos, and ER when you're comfortable doing so. In the meantime take your j*b one day at a time and keep thinking to yourself "It's ok - I can leave when I'm ready !"
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