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NYS teacher with 3-6 years before FIRE
Old 06-04-2017, 01:57 PM   #1
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NYS teacher with 3-6 years before FIRE

Hello, Any fellow teachers out there thinking about leaving the profession early? I have 24 years in and would need 6 more years to leave with a good pension at age 61.5. Currently paying for our kids' undergraduate, 2 years of tuition left. No debt, own our home outright and have about 450k in index and Roth funds. Just not sure if I should leave money on the table by leaving early, work is getting really stressed out. The only big expense is tuition which will be done in 2 years, after that I don't know if I can keep this hectic work stress going. Is living with less money and less work stress a good tradeoff. Would just sucking it up and pushing through to 6 years be the bette option because money always provides security? Also, I am the major breadwinner in the home, husband earns very little so my social security will be much higher.

Thanks for reading! Karen
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:03 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

Individual opinions will vary of course but the consensus seems to be that bailing early to ease work stress is well worth it.

When I retired we moved from the Washington, D.C. area with it's high traffic levels and the stress that goes with it and moved to WV, only about an 80 mile difference but culturally a world away. In so doing we left a pile of money on the table and of course there were many discussions about whether that was a good idea.

About six months after the move we went to visit my sister, then living in northern Virginia, and the first thing she said when she saw us was "I haven't seen you two look so relaxed in years".

We had the answer to our question.
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:04 PM   #3
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What do you gain from staying? Without knowing how significant it is - hard to provide opinions. What if you provide (spending - pension)/investible savings as a % this will give better perspective. You could give a range based on your current to 6 year projections.

Are there other things you could do to speed up your vest or decrease your stress? Like becoming a sub or doing summer school instead of regular year? Edit: I like the idea above - maybe moving to a more relaxed school district (especially if you would like to relocated in retirement).
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NYS teacher with 3-6 years before FIRE
Old 06-04-2017, 02:26 PM   #4
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NYS teacher with 3-6 years before FIRE

If you leave early does your reduced pension start immediately? How about health care? Do you have a good handle on your expenses? What type of withdrawal rate will you need before SS starts? What will your WD rate be once SS starts? School is almost over for the year. Perhaps you will be able to destress over the summer. If not could you take a year's sabattical? Or how about a transfer? These are some of the questions you should try to answer for yourself. Your stress seems quite evident, but retirement can bring its own stresses if you are not prepared.
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by klanders30 View Post
Hello, Any fellow teachers out there thinking about leaving the profession early? I have 24 years in and would need 6 more years to leave with a good pension at age 61.5. Currently paying for our kids' undergraduate, 2 years of tuition left. No debt, own our home outright and have about 450k in index and Roth funds. Just not sure if I should leave money on the table by leaving early, work is getting really stressed out. The only big expense is tuition which will be done in 2 years, after that I don't know if I can keep this hectic work stress going. Is living with less money and less work stress a good tradeoff. Would just sucking it up and pushing through to 6 years be the bette option because money always provides security? Also, I am the major breadwinner in the home, husband earns very little so my social security will be much higher.

Thanks for reading! Karen
61.5 isn't that early. At that time you will have a pension and be close to SS age. Hard to say what the market will do but lets say you have $500K in investments at that time. That gives you $20K/yr from investments plus your pension and SS which you did not provide details for. If those three income sources will cover your expenses then any contribution from your husband is just extra for a rainy day.
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Old 06-04-2017, 02:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pj.mask View Post
What do you gain from staying? Without knowing how significant it is - hard to provide opinions. What if you provide (spending - pension)/investible savings as a % this will give better perspective. You could give a range based on your current to 6 year projections.

Are there other things you could do to speed up your vest or decrease your stress? Like becoming a sub or doing summer school instead of regular year? Edit: I like the idea above - maybe moving to a more relaxed school district (especially if you would like to relocated in retirement).
Thanks for quick response. So I basically would not be able to invest in my 403b at 24k per year, also my pension would be approx 54% vs 60% of my final average salary. I live well below my means and I would have health care for myself (not husband or daughter) until I am eligible for Medicare at 65. I don't want to take social security until 67 if possible as well.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:12 PM   #7
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If I assume you make about 53-58k and you are putting 18k away for retirement and pay maybe 5k tax - you would be living on $30-35k a year?

The lower your salary the more attractive retirement looks because after your retirement savings, you live on a smaller % of your salary (and pension replaces 54-60% of that).

I wouldn't work 6 more years for a 10% increase in pension. I suspect you have enough money to retire based on your current expenses. If I were in your shoes I would probably retire and look to pick up substitute teaching every so often to offset/cover your husbands health care (if you are the sole provider) until SS kicks in or as fun money (Vegas!).

As a sub you dont have to do lesson plans or probably deal with a lot of the administrative BS that may be causing dissatisfaction with your job.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:23 PM   #8
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If I assume you make about 53-58k and you are putting 18k away for retirement and pay maybe 5k tax - you would be living on $30-35k a year?



The lower your salary the more attractive retirement looks because after your retirement savings, you live on a smaller % of your salary (and pension replaces 54-60% of that).



I wouldn't work 6 more years for a 10% increase in pension. I suspect you have enough money to retire based on your current expenses. If I were in your shoes I would probably retire and look to pick up substitute teaching every so often to offset/cover your husbands health care (if you are the sole provider) until SS kicks in or as fun money (Vegas!).



As a sub you dont have to do lesson plans or probably deal with a lot of the administrative BS that may be causing dissatisfaction with your job.


Thanks for your reply PJ. My pension would be about 45k, would love to live on that and not touch my investments or start social security for a while. The issue is cost of living in suburbs of NYC-property tax is a big bite, about 10k per year. And frankly, we're not ready to move from this area and downsize. Just joined this forum to hear from experienced folks who walk the walk. And blowing off steam about the stress of the job--the advice about summer to recharge and the choice of leaving with less is a good place to be. I will have to look harder at the % differential of staying the full 30 years vs less (I believe it would be higher than 10%). Thanks for your insights. Karen
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:44 PM   #9
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I left the state at 58 instead of 60 so took a 8% cut plus I left behind the extra money my pension would have grown for those 2 years. It was worth it. Then a job teaching a online college class fell into my lap which I love and it pays well. So I work very p.t. which is perfect.
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:37 PM   #10
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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I left the state at 58 instead of 60 so took a 8% cut plus I left behind the extra money my pension would have grown for those 2 years. It was worth it. Then a job teaching a online college class fell into my lap which I love and it pays well. So I work very p.t. which is perfect.


What an ideal situation. I hope to line something up like that should I decide to go earlier than the full 30 years.
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Old 06-04-2017, 05:07 PM   #11
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Many colleges pay terrible so I was very lucky. Also since I teach online I can do it from a cruise ship or in Europe on vacation.
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:13 PM   #12
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if you have good genes and feel lucky stay till your 70, personally i would leave after this semester and enjoy your life.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:58 AM   #13
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Thanks for your reply PJ. My pension would be about 45k, would love to live on that and not touch my investments or start social security for a while. The issue is cost of living in suburbs of NYC-property tax is a big bite, about 10k per year. And frankly, we're not ready to move from this area and downsize. Just joined this forum to hear from experienced folks who walk the walk. And blowing off steam about the stress of the job--the advice about summer to recharge and the choice of leaving with less is a good place to be. I will have to look harder at the % differential of staying the full 30 years vs less (I believe it would be higher than 10%). Thanks for your insights. Karen
I like to look at net numbers, if the 45K is after the 15% (or so) taxes then I guess I would walk. NYC is expensive, and I would think the teaching alone must be beyond stressful?
-You did not mention if you are married, if so, that would being up the income instead of pulling from investments?

In any case, I think you could find a adjunct position and give up the stress :-)
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:38 AM   #14
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Welcome to the forum!

Individual opinions will vary of course but the consensus seems to be that bailing early to ease work stress is well worth it.

When I retired we moved from the Washington, D.C. area with it's high traffic levels and the stress that goes with it and moved to WV, only about an 80 mile difference but culturally a world away. In so doing we left a pile of money on the table and of course there were many discussions about whether that was a good idea.

About six months after the move we went to visit my sister, then living in northern Virginia, and the first thing she said when she saw us was "I haven't seen you two look so relaxed in years".

We had the answer to our question.
Walt,

I resemble your maneuver. I made my move from DC. To the Carolinas at age 40 and never looked back. Albeit, this region has picked up so much population growth in the last 16 years, I'm quite happy that it is at the tail end of my career.

Within the year, no more rush hour traffic, no more getting up before dawn, no more putting up with the J😡B, etc. Yep, I have plenty of time to get more years in, but it is just not worth it to me. Two interesting observations came about when I weighed my pros and cons of retirement:

1. I acknowledged that no amount of money would ever be enough. Hence, one more year will not make a material difference.

2. I've never spent more than I made. Hence, I just need to take my monthly bottom line number that I receive nowadays after taxes and all deductions and live off that in the future. It's ironic that it equates to 4 percent of my investments. I'm not even including SS and a 32k a year pension that I will receive at age 60.

Michael
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