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Please allow me to introduce myself - you know the rest of the song.
Old 11-30-2015, 02:19 PM   #1
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Please allow me to introduce myself - you know the rest of the song.

Okay,

I signed up a few months ago and have found this sight to be a real great resource. I think I'm ready for a peer review.

I'm 59 1/2, DW is 56.

So, I work for a mega-corp (once a small company, but with some many acquisitions, mergers, etc. we are a giant). I've been here for 25 years!

Every day I'm here is somewhat of a mental struggle. Lots of in-fighting, power struggles, etc..too much "noise' not relating to the overall objectives of the firm. Also, lots of hours. There were lots of recent layoffs, and I would have been okay with a severance package...but now I'm left here to pick up the slack for those who departed.

I run a division of the company, and they pay me well ($190K), with good benefits. I'm at the OMY syndrome, but I could definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm also a part-time professor, so I make some extra money doing that.

DW is in sales (no benefits), and her annual income ranges from $25,000 to $60,000. Kids are on their own and self-sufficient.

Net worth right now is $2.1 million, and that includes my house which is completely paid off. So, $1.65+ without the house. I'm going to reassess my portfolio, but I'm probably 70% in equities, 15% bonds, 15% cash.
No debts, except for a tiny HELOC of $7,000 at 2.24%. I max out on 401K, HSA, ESPP's, etc. we live under our means. I'm rebalancing, to reduce exposure.

So, I'm here for you to hit me over the head with a 2 X 4, if I work one day at mega-corp after 61. That's 17 months down the road, in May 2017. Better yet, I would really prefer to bow out right after I turn 60. (beginning of May 2016).

I would continue teaching part-time and I could add to my involvement there. Not a big deal and that's complete enjoyment for me. Wife will continue in her sales career that she loves. From these jobs, combined we should be able to pull in between $40,000 to $75,000 a year and hopefully this would not have a major impact on our portfolio. We have some other potential ways to produce some income, but I'll keep that on the backburner for now.

I'm thinking if I go to 60, I would probably have a net worth of $2.2m and at 61, a net worth of $2.4m Also, we live in NJ which is expensive, and we'd like to downsize and buy a 2 BR condo for the next 5 years and free up some $200,000 in cash. Eventually, we will move out of the area, that is more tax-friendly and cheaper.

We would like to hold off on SS until I turn 70 (and wife reaches her FRA at 67). We would be collecting over $60,000.

I believe we can live comfortably on $75,000 a year. If we earn $70,000 it's practically a wash. If we only earn $40,000, I don't believe the extra $35,000 we pull from our nest egg would be detrimental if we can earn 3% on the average returns (I'm thinking 6%, but I want to be very conservative).

So, what do you think? Can we pull it off? Thanks so much.

One other side note..the job has taken me away from things that I enjoy doing. In fact, for instance, I used to be a marathoner - no interest in doing this again, but I'm not in real good shape anymore and struggle to do just 2 miles. I also had some minor health issues over the past 6 years - kidney stones, angioplasty, and on meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol. This plays into my equation

(the header for those of you that don't know is from "Sympathy for the Devil".
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:26 PM   #2
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Welcome! It certainly sounds like you're mentally ready and have things you want to "retire to". Also congrats on doing a good job of saving.

The main questions I have are about your estimated living expenses. You say you think you can live ok on 75K, but it's not clear if that is sort of a guesstimate or if you've really tracked living expenses carefully and adjusted for any new costs (such as increases in health care etc). I'd definitely advise you to carefully track for a period of time.

Also, even if DW enjoys her job, will she continue to enjoy it if you're retired? If you're counting on her salary for expenses, consider what happens if she gets envious of your retirement life style and wants to join you.

I look forward to hearing more from you as you approach this next stage!
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:36 PM   #3
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Hello Alvin and Welcome! I would suggest you run your finances through Firecalc to see where you stand. That's a widely used first approximation.

If you want more detailed models you could try cfiresim and i-orp.

After that, you could follow the path we did and purchase ESPLanner. This is much more precise than the above models, and includes good estimates of taxes and social security for each year. That's what we used for social security timing and Roth rollover tax minimization planning.

There's also a thread here about "things to do before you retire". I'm sure someone will send you a link.

Best of luck to you. Sounds like you want to go before your health deteriorates. That's what my wife reinforces to me. I have lots of international travel, stress, etc., so I understand some of what you are living through.
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:38 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=ImThinkin2019;1663191

There's also a thread here about "things to do before you retire". I'm sure someone will send you a link.[/QUOTE]

I think that thread is bookmarked in the FAQ's forum.

Early Retirement FAQs - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:45 PM   #5
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Welcome Alvin.


Not only is your thread title from the Stones but I recognize Alvin Tostig from the Elton John song Levon. Alvin Tostig has a son today... (Hopefully yours are all grown)


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Old 11-30-2015, 03:02 PM   #6
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Your most important first step is to get a more confident handle on how much you need to live. For a top-down view, look to your take-home pay for the last 12 months less any after-tax savings you did or do a bottoms-up analysis of your spending from analysis of your credit card charges and bank activity.

What will your health insurance be if you quit at 60 or 61? I understand that NJ health insurance is quite expensive. While you won't qualify for subsidies because your income will be too high, you may qualify for catastrophic coverage which is somewhat more affordable.

Also, your expenses need to include provisions for periodic car replacements, major home repairs, travel if any, etc. so $75k may not cut it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:10 PM   #7
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The OP's numbers work (at least they better, since mine are similar and I'm quitting next month). Past a certain point though the issues with ER are more psychological than financial. If you and your spouse are comfortable with it then why not?

Moreover, as someone who - like the OP - once participated in a life-defining athletic activity that just fell by the wayside as work took greater control of life, I'd say get out now before work entirely "lays your soul to waste".
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:01 PM   #8
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Saw the title and the Stones started playing in my head.

Thanks for the flashback.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:27 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond!!!

I'm going to do another assessment of my annual expenses...I did one not too long ago, and I thought my figure was conservative. Certain expenses will go away, others will pick up like ACA. I'll need a better estimate on that.

I'll run my numbers through Firecalc when I get a chance. I did use other tables - don't recall which (maybe Vanguard, Fidelity, AARP), and it looked okay.

Some clarification on my points above. I'm also going to be assisting/teaming DW in her sales job....she has wanted me to join her. It may end up be half time at most...without the pressure/stress I have today. Again, I didn't include this in my income projections just to be ultra conservative. I also have some passive income opportunities in real estate.

Regarding SS...my plan is to take it at 70 and 67 for the wife. But that's not cast in stone either. Depending on my situation, I may take it a lot earlier.

I'll report back periodically and contribute to the boards from time to time!

Also, yes, to our keen observer who knew that Alvin Tostig, my pen name here, is also the central character in that great early classic song by Elton John - Levon!
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:39 AM   #10
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For ACA premiums a good place to start is healthsherpa.com or your state website (or healthcare.gov if your state does not have a website.

Also, see the attached article regarding how you may be able to buy catastrophic coverage even though you are over 30 if the lowest cost bronze plan exceeds 8% of your income. This is what we are doing and it works well where we live because health insurance premiums are not age-rated.

Obamacare: How affordable is health insurance after the Affordable Care Act? | NJ.com
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:21 AM   #11
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Alvin,
Welcome to the forum. Looks to me you are good to go anytime you want. Since you and your wife will doing things you love I will give you a line on a song about retirement. " Job So long!!! It is funny how the money comes when your doing what you love!! "
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:48 AM   #12
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Welcome Alvin! Sounds like you are close to joining the Class of 2016! One thing you may want to do is consider what time of year might be best to leave your j*b given bonuses, pension, options, taxes, health insurance, etc. Sometimes a few weeks or months can make a big difference. We'll do our best to keep you out of OMY once you set that date.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:55 AM   #13
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Just checking back. So for the past few months since I joined this site, I've been floating different ER dates in my head based on work stress, health, net worth etc. It ranged from as early as May 2016 to as late as May 2018. There were reasons for both of these dates and other dates in the middle.


In fact, as mentioned earlier, with my company being acquired in the last 18 months, I was still hoping for a buyout, but my company appears to like me (boo!) for now, so that's not happening. The more generous packages offered to employees are still valid through the end of this month...then it get sharply downgraded.
So I'm not hopeful that I'll be one of the lucky ones.

Finally, I felt that if I presented it on this website, it would force me to take this more seriously as people will check in from time to time to see if it's real. So I'm setting May 2017 (14 months for now) for ER. Not as early ER as many on this board, as I'll be 61, but good enough for me. I hope I don't get caught in a OMY syndrome.


I'm going to be watching very closely the ACA in terms of the election. That would likely be my best option as I have some pre-existing conditions. I'm not sure what the alternatives for me would be if it is eliminated.


I'm going to find that link here that has the class of 2017 in it and add me to the group.


One last thing that helps me sometimes get though the days here - remember the movie Shawshank Redemption. Sometimes at the end of a bad workday, I'll you- tube the last 3 minutes of that movie - Andy Dufresne and Red on the beach in the Mexican Pacific. Very peaceful and definitely a stress-buster!
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Old 03-04-2016, 01:36 PM   #14
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Glad to see you making progress!
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimandthom View Post
Saw the title and the Stones started playing in my head.

Thanks for the flashback.
+1

I missed this thread the first time around.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:36 AM   #16
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Have you considered proposing to management that you be offered a severance under the current more lucrative scenario? You may be surprised by the response. There may be reasons why your company might do so at this time that are unrelated to your worth and value to the company.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:13 PM   #17
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Alvin, we have slightly more net worth, 1.7M + 2 houses - 200k loan. We're (DW and I) are 58 years old and retiring this year in September with a plan to live off of 85 - 90k. DW has pre-diabetes and I am a bit out of shape and overweight. Your body changes fast at this age and I think you can afford to retire now and really kind of need to judging by what you said about your health.

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Old 11-28-2016, 03:32 PM   #18
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Wow, it's been a whole year since I joined the discussion here, and my last update was in March.


I feel I'm just about ready to ER. I'm actually shocked that I'm one of the last few left standing in my MegaCorp, because just about everyone else at my level were terminated or fled. That's because we were the firm that was acquired a few years ago ..the firm that acquired us of course has the majority of people still employed and in power.


So, I never got an offer of a severance or buyout and I'm still here. In fact, there is another major reorganization and I'm being retained, at my salary, with less authority. Every day is pretty unbearable, as the people (like myself) of my firm that was acquired by MegaCorp have no power, are constantly disrespected, etc.


So here is where I'm at. I'm looking to leave ASAP - but I'm trying to hold out until early January (2017). I'll be 60 3/4 years old. There are some minor perks if I stay until 2007 - one being that the company does not match your annual 401K unless you are employed on 12/31. So, why give the satisfaction, in my case, of the company not giving me my $6000?


I'll be paid for a ton of vacation time never used. About $42,000 gross...and some will be apportioned to my 401K and HSA. I'll also look into COBRA versus the ACA as the company offers COBRA to those over 60 to continue on the company plan for 18 months. I priced that at $15,000 per year for my family. It will be significantly less when my son turns 26 during that time.


The only caveat is that there are 3 other smaller companies interested in me. One is basically a guarantee, the other two are decent possibilities. These are people in the industry that have known me for a long time, and who I have worked with in the past and who I would enjoy working with.


However, I feel that I need to decompress first from the negative experience over the past few years. I want to see if these 3 firms may be interested in me as a part-time gig. That is a more rational possibility.


The updated finances are as follows...$1.9 million in cash, equities, and bonds. also my house worth $430 K. So, $2.3 plus total. No debts. Wife still working in real estate and we will draw income from that. I'll continue to teach as an adjunct, and make some money. And perhaps dabble in real estate also or consult part-time, so I think we will be fine. I ran FireCalc a few months ago, and believe we are going to be okay based on the numbers I plugged in (98- 99 percent success rate).


Also, I had a little bit of a wake up call regarding my health. I also witnessed a co-worker my age, doing ER, then immediately have a very debilitating health issue. So, I think that is sending me a clear message to leave.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:52 PM   #19
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My response would be...what are you waiting for? Any time you work now you can never get back. Good luck with your decisions and happy holidays.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alvin Tostig View Post
Wow, it's been a whole year since I joined the discussion here, and my last update was in March.

...

Also, I had a little bit of a wake up call regarding my health. I also witnessed a co-worker my age, doing ER, then immediately have a very debilitating health issue. So, I think that is sending me a clear message to leave.
I always find it very interesting to read posts where the OP gives periodic updates. So thanks for keeping us updated along the way.

I am starting to believe more and more, that one of the huge reasons to retire early (once someone hits FI) is for health reasons. The cost of healthcare is rising enormously each year. And, I just learned about the enormous cost of Nursing/Long Term Care from a friend. One of the best thing people can do to invest in their financial future and to enjoy life in general as they get older, is to remain in the best shape they can. Unfortunately, when we are working we tend to not exercise nor eat as well.
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