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Obsessed w/Retirement
Old 08-02-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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Obsessed w/Retirement

I am female, 50 and single, and have been thinking about retirement for years but am recently obsessed because of retirement of two people in my office last month.

My plan had always been to retire when I get to a certain $ amt in my pension, invest $15,000 a year from that and get another job to pay my living expenses.

Now from what I read, it sounds like I would have to get two jobs or a variety of part time jobs to cover my living expenses, because workers over 50 just aren't hired.

Before I leave my current job though, I also want to do some fix-ups to my house - refinish floors, paint, re-d0 the kitchen, get some new windows, etc, so paying for that will take me past the point of the minimum amt.

My minimum retirement amount needed is $25,000, I would like to have $30,000. My current net is only about $26,000. I will not get a cost of living increase on my pension until I am almost 66 years old, and can continue my current health insurance. So the taxes and health insurance would only leave me about $19,000 if I left at $25,000. I live on about $19,000/yr now and use the extra $7,000 for extras like some house fix ups, savings account, new computer, etc.

My house is paid for, and worth about $200,000, and I have about $300,000 in cash, equities and retirement accounts. I don't want to touch any of that until i am closer to really retiring.

Any advice, suggestions, etc. You should all feel very flattered, as I don't usually put out my net worth even to those closest to me.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:39 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board, oh frugal one! ( You will find frugal2 & 3 & 4 on your left... )

I'm female, 50's, and obsessing too.

I would agree that you want to fix up the house out of current income, not out of your retirement money. If you are going to have to do anything major in the next few years - roof/boiler type stuff - budget now.

The "not get a cost on living increase until I am almost 66" part worries me - be sure to have an extra cushion around. You have probably noticed that the economy occasionally gets weird... IMO we are going to hit an inflationary period [ your mileage may vary]

When will you have done 35 years for SS purposes? If you have gaps - went back to grad school or something - you might want to do another few years - SS is figured on your 35 highest years.

Also, in terms of $$ allocation, the usual advice to single women is to delay taking SS until full age, or later if possible - we live longer, on average, than men, and the difference in the amount can make a considerable difference.

May I ask what you do for a living? Depending on what (and where), 50+ people can be valued employees, or not at all, if you are in an industry that imagines itself on the [gack] cutting edge of change [double gack]

ta,
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:43 PM   #3
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I suggest you use FIRECalc at the end of the page. It's the best retirement calculator IMO.

Welcome to the forum. We love to be flattered.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
Now from what I read, it sounds like I would have to get two jobs or a variety of part time jobs to cover my living expenses, because workers over 50 just aren't hired.

I will not get a cost of living increase on my pension until I am almost 66 years old....
These can really hurt you. I feel very fortunate - the pension I'm under they don't make anymore - 100% COLAs. I just got a $220/month (net) increase, my gross is up a tad over $6k/year in six years. I wouldn't have dared to retire without that.

"The Plan" when we retired was for both of us to get part time jobs to maintain social contacts, "something to do" etc. but that didn't work out. All but a very few part time jobs around here don't pay enough to justify driving to & from them, at best a break-even proposition.

So you may want to investigate more specifically (very specifically!) what part time jobs you'd take, where they are - commuting expenses? - and what the numbers are, to see if it will really work. If you break an ankle and can't work part time, will that put everything into a tailspin?

I agree with mews, that we are about to hit an inflationary period, the oil increases are reminiscent of the '70s and early 80's and the inflation that followed. But I'm a retired police officer, not an economist.

It took three years for me to decompress and decide to look for a job, and another three to find a job that I think will meet the purpose even though it is not ideal, but it does open other doors in a year or so.

So before burning any bridges be sure there's a net below.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:20 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Early Retirement Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
I am female, 50 and single, and have been thinking about retirement for years but am recently obsessed because of retirement of two people in my office last month.
That's certainly understandable. It's tough watching others retire, when you would like to retire too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
My plan had always been to retire when I get to a certain $ amt in my pension, invest $15,000 a year from that and get another job to pay my living expenses.

Now from what I read, it sounds like I would have to get two jobs or a variety of part time jobs to cover my living expenses, because workers over 50 just aren't hired.
Sometimes it can be a little more difficult to land an ideal job, but not impossible. A lot depends on the type of work that you do, since some occupations require more physical capabilities than others.

Depending on how much notice is required to retire from your present job, maybe you can find your next job while still working at this job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
Before I leave my current job though, I also want to do some fix-ups to my house - refinish floors, paint, re-d0 the kitchen, get some new windows, etc, so paying for that will take me past the point of the minimum amt.
Sounds like a good list of things to get done before you retire, so that you can pay for them and make up for the resulting dent in your savings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohfrugalone View Post
My house is paid for, and worth about $200,000, and I have about $300,000 in cash, equities and retirement accounts. I don't want to touch any of that until i am closer to really retiring.
Having a paid off home is part of my retirement plan, as well, since I don't want to have to pay a mortgage at that time.

Good luck in your plans, and I hope you enjoy participating in the discussions on our forums.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:41 AM   #6
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May go without saying but you've entered a community of people who are overwhelmingly like-minded toward 'retiring early' and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. However, there are also at least as many other people who would discourage you from retiring for many reasons, but you won't find many of them here. There are other alternatives aside from stay at your current employer/work or retire. It's a very good group here, but you have to recognize their generally pro-retirement (and even anti-work in some cases) bias. Best of luck...
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies and welcomes. I guess I should have qualified that I am looking to retire from Job 1, and do know that I will need to still work to support myself - but was looking to be able to invest the $15,000 from my pension for hopefully 10 years. It wouldn't be too practical to retire while I still have a lot of home fix-ups because now I have a lot of leave time, and I particularly would not want to take off and not be paid to have new kitchen cabinets installed or for a bunch of estimates. Plus the money.

mews...I will have my 35 years in SS this year. But those years when I made $1.35/hr during the summer weren't very profitable, I remember feeling rich at the time though. To think I worked all summer and only made $344.00, $525, $694, $802. I am an accountant and have my CPA - but took the accounting hours and passed the CPA at an older age. (30's) My degree is not in accounting. The accounting I do is not really relevant in the outside world - I work in government, and I think that most outside firms have a resentment towards the CPA designation being allowed for anything but audit and tax experience...impression I have gotten from snide comments made to me at continuing education programs. Another woman in my office passed the CPA a few years back, and she has had no luck in getting anything in the outside world. Not even an interview. She also has her MBA. She is my age. And I do not have an MBA. She has been actively looking for a while as she doesn't have as much time invested in my employer.

Midpack: I have thought of trying to replace about 10% of my income with part time H&R Block and then perhaps trying to start some websites for a bit of income (maybe $2,200 each). Then going to the technical college and taking payroll classes and bookkeeping and trying to get a job by that route - leaving out any information on the CPA of course. I figure I could make $8,000 less a year and still have the same take home since i won't have the pension, extra retirement account, and insurance, and lower taxes, of course. But I still might have to get a 2nd job on top of that because I might be lucky to make $12/hr. (Or to get the job - 50+ and all)

I had watched my investments increase 6 fold in the last 13 years - and was hoping to see that in the next 13. But considering I am down to 5 fold - the tides are going the wrong direction, but I would be thrilled with a triple.

The current politics in my office are not good. The new people are regarded very highly, but those that have been there longer are not very appreciated. It isn't an age thing, more related to who was there before the current manager started. One of the people who just retired had always planned to stay 30 years - but felt her self-esteem was being too adversely affected. Mine is already shot, not much left to lose.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:27 AM   #8
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I agree with Want2retire about looking for a job while you are still working - the way of the world is that it is easier to find a job when you have a job.

about the Soc Sec 35 - I'm in the same boat - because of some really low-paying years, I have 3 more to go for a 'useful' accumulation of 35 years. (I remember feeling oh-so-rich on summer job pay, too )

I was going to suggest the bookkeeping idea, but you got there first. A full-charge bookkeeper, or a payroll/HR person, can make decent money.

Office politics stink, but if you can see the door opening in the distance you will probably find that things bother you a lot less.

Ta,
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:16 PM   #9
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I finished an accounting degree @ age 40, passed the CPA exam soon after that and (knock on wood) have never had any trouble finding a job. Frankly I do think your first job out of school should be in public accounting, later moving to industry or government or whatever. Nothing prepares you like public accounting, and after those hours, anything looks better! Having said all that, should I be able to go p/t, the only thing I can think of right off the bat would be going back to public accounting. All the firms in my area (small, local) are so desperate for help that they will let you work as much or as little as you like.
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:07 PM   #10
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In our area, part time book-keeping jobs are not difficult to come by, and in many cases, you can find several small businesses that are looking for basic book-keeping and payroll services and build a client base by word of mouth. I have a friend that did this for a number of years, and she did not have a CPA, only a Quicken short-course and a lot of experience doing small business book-keeping.
Good luck--and welcome!
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:30 PM   #11
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Ohfrugalone you need to meet the ultimate cheapskate. Only do that which is necessary and get out.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:29 PM   #12
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Well Bubba, I guess I blew it - not my first mistake, nor my last I would say. I had good grades, 33 hours - only a C+ in Cost and a B+ in Individual Tax (everything else an A) - scores on my exam Law was the lowest with a 75, audit 91, the other two were like 83 and 88 - don't remember which was which. I only got 2 interviews. The one man was trying to figure out what year I graduated from high school. The other was a firm that did loads of travel - he told me about the job over the phone - I would get paid minimum wage - but every day was per diem. So I prostitute myself by staying at the same organization with the leave that would allow me to take my elderly mother to the doctor and 3 months of leave when we did home hospice. Oh and for that pension.

Sarah - thanks for the welcome - I first will have to get some experience in bookkeeping. Let's hope I can get hired to get some.

Pete - I hope I will meet the ultimate cheapskate and he will have more tips for me!
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