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Re @ 53/59?
Old 07-24-2017, 05:19 PM   #1
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Re @ 53/59?

Hey gang..

Would appreciate a quick sanity check on my plan.

Need to RE soon before current job results in me not making it another year above ground.

Me - 53, 54 later this year.
DW - 60 later this year.

Divs from CDs & Savings will cover 30% of yearly expenses.
Divs from Investments cover another 30-35% (our portfolio is pretty focused on dividend paying balanced and bond funds plus some individual stocks, but also has some pure growth components).
No pensions. (Still amazed how many of you have pensions. Wow).

That leaves 35-40/yr% to cover until we get to SS.

Savings and stocks (eg: current company RSUs for both DW and me) will cover that easily, with plenty remaining.

Net remaining by the time DW goes on SS @ ~65 will be 40X+ expenses. At that point (assuming SS is still here and paying what we expect), we'll have 85% of expenses covered each year.

It SEEMS we are golden. But I can't quite convince myself to make the leap.

I'm super analytic by nature and have spreadsheets on top of spreadsheets proving this all out. It's math. Not psychology. I realize this. Yet, I'm terrified to pull the plug.

Reasons being:
  • Healthcare - who in the world knows? It's amazing that HC can be $20K+/yr for 2 people, with $6K+ deductibles - EACH. SERIOUSLY?
  • Sequence of returns - very fearful of this..I might be able to RE TODAY, but a 50+% drop will freak me out. Mathematically, we'll be fine. But psychologically not.
  • SS - another "who knows"? I can easily cover the next 5 years and probably the next 40. But it sure would be nice to have at least a little confidence that the $50K or so/yr we have coming will actually materialize at some point.
I'm a pretty seasoned investor and have been at this for a while. So, I know all the 'standard' WR rules and can conclusively prove beyond a doubt that WE. ARE. FINE. Yet, I keep plugging away - every miserable (and, oh, how they are SO miserable) day after day. (My job totally sucks - I make good $$s but it comes at the cost of my health and sanity, for which NO amount of money is worth it).

DW had a near fatal heart attack a couple of years ago. Makes me focus on the here and now and maximizing our remaining time together.

Would appreciate some encouragement / poking holes in my plan.

Thx..
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:30 PM   #2
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I just arrived here (we are 54/61) with the same concerns!
Doingitwrong in Texas

I have spreadsheets too.
I think being able to manage money is what got us here and life is too short.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:51 PM   #3
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Two other salient things to add..

Got laid off for the first time EVER 10 years ago, at the height of the meltdown. It took a year for me to find anything decent - and then the next 10 have been nothing but tumultuous and unpleasant. So, the fear in voluntarily leaving a good job that's paying very, very well is high - that I'll never find anything comparable again..IF I need it. My fallback plan (if you can call it that) is studying to be a FA - and taking the CFP exam. That'd be very interesting and something *I* can control. But you need to work for >3 years after passing before you can become a true CFP, and who would hire a 54 YO with zero experience in that space?

We have several things coming up (RSU vests, bonuses) that make working through next Feb (for me) and Dec (for her) very financially compelling. As in, gets us another year or two of funding AND HC. Then, we're at 55 and 61, with only 4 years to buy Obambicare for her and 10 for me before Mediscare. So, my "dream date" for retirement is next Feb. Hers is EoY. Yet we can't seem to make it another day, let alone another week/month/quarter.

My gut says "suck it up and get to February", THEN pull the plug. But Feb seems 10000 years off at this point and I'm candidly not sure if I'll live long enough to make it at this rate..
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:12 PM   #4
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Need to RE soon before current job results in me not making it another year above ground.



DW had a near fatal heart attack a couple of years ago. Makes me focus on the here and now and maximizing our remaining time together.

.
Run as soon as you can for the retirement door. You might not be 100 % sure of how things will shake out, But your 2 sentences above are reason enough for me.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:45 PM   #5
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Yeah..I hear ya. Plan was for DW to never go back to work after her heart attack..she did, though, due primarily to the instability in my job (changing every year or two - sometimes not by my own choice) and the need for HC coverage.

Her gig has been very stable..30+ years at same MegaCorp. Me? 4-5 jobs in the last 10 years. Really fun - not.

I'd change jobs tomorrow if I could. But at 53 that becomes really, really difficult. I have at least 3 friends/coworkers all 50+ who are super experienced and can't find a single gig. Frightening. So, I do feel trapped - even though we are FI and likely able to retire tomorrow. The thought of being wrong - and being one of them - is terrifying..

If it wasn't for the uncertainty around HC (OK, and SS..and sequence of returns and facing another 2008 or worse after the huge run-up), I'd be gone tomorrow.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:29 PM   #6
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We both retired 3 years ago, DW was 59.5, I was almost 53...... We are living off of 401k Rollover from DW, as well she is drawing her SS. I started my pension draw this past March at 55....... We live on aprox 110k per year.... If need be, I will draw from my 401k rollover after 59.5, and will begin my SS at 62 ..... I refuse to pay $1450 per month for healthcare..... We are self pay now, and we joined Christian Healthcare Ministries..... I do worry about HC
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:53 PM   #7
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Need to RE soon before current job results in me not making it another year above ground. [....]

I keep plugging away - every miserable (and, oh, how they are SO miserable) day after day. (My job totally sucks - I make good $$s but it comes at the cost of my health and sanity, for which NO amount of money is worth it).
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So, my "dream date" for retirement is next Feb. Hers is EoY. Yet we can't seem to make it another day, let alone another week/month/quarter.

My gut says "suck it up and get to February", THEN pull the plug. But Feb seems 10000 years off at this point and I'm candidly not sure if I'll live long enough to make it at this rate..
Wow. Just ... wow. Those are some really strong statements. I've listened to a lot of people who hate their jobs and are stressed out by their jobs, but few have put them in as strong a terms as that.

You're saying you feel like you can't make it another 6 months, or your job will kill you.

My god, what do you do for a living, and what makes it so hard?

I disagree with this: "It's math. Not psychology." I think it's psychology, not math.

I think -- and this is just me speculating here, so feel free to toss it away if I'm wrong -- that you're depressed and overwhelmed, and you're perspective is being skewed by that, so that everything seems dark and impossible, impending doom and catastrophe.

Chances are you will not die in the next 6 months. Maybe see your doctor, tell him how stressed you are, have him look you over. Any chance you could take some time off? Does your employer offer EAP counseling services? You need some relief, support, and perspective, I think.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:05 PM   #8
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:19 PM   #9
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Wow. Just ... wow. Those are some really strong statements. I've listened to a lot of people who hate their jobs and are stressed out by their jobs, but few have put them in as strong a terms as that.

You're saying you feel like you can't make it another 6 months, or your job will kill you.

My god, what do you do for a living, and what makes it so hard?

I disagree with this: "It's math. Not psychology." I think it's psychology, not math.

I think -- and this is just me speculating here, so feel free to toss it away if I'm wrong -- that you're depressed and overwhelmed, and you're perspective is being skewed by that, so that everything seems dark and impossible, impending doom and catastrophe.

Chances are you will not die in the next 6 months. Maybe see your doctor, tell him how stressed you are, have him look you over. Any chance you could take some time off? Does your employer offer EAP counseling services? You need some relief, support, and perspective, I think.
So..yes - saw Dr several times for the stress (and candidly, depression which is getting pretty severe and almost debilitating). She prescribed some meds and suggested she write a leave of absence order..the meds make me a zombie, so took them once and haven't touched since.

I've looked into EAP. Actually submitted a request through the program for a referral. Went to one Dr. and did not like him or his office at all (long story). That was that..

I work in high tech sales. But - and here's the twist - people in my own company compete against me and others in my role by promoting our business partners instead of our own services. It's really maddening..we're given a (huge, almost unachievable) goal, and my entire company aligns against us and promotes our competition (our "partners") because they feel they need the partners more than they need us to grow their CORE business (different products than I sell). Long story and hard to describe without getting way too specific, but that's the gist. It's essentially doomed to failure from the get go even though I was one of the top performers last year.

It's increasingly hard to be motivated to do my best (and I've always been a high performer) wondering IF I will have a job in a quarter (typical Sales..make your numbers or you are gone - even if we all actively compete against you), let alone next year. In the meantime, the money has been very good - and the RSUs make it even better.

Just had some re-org changes this week that make it even more likely that this is not a long term gig. So there's now the added pressure of wondering if the old glue horses like me will just be shot at the end of the day in the back of the pasture anyway.

I really envy those of you who enjoy or at least tolerate your jobs, as while I enjoy what I do, the company is actively working against me being successful. Plus, the culture is 24x7 full tilt like many companies of it's type and there is never any real 'downtime' away from it all. I unfortunately have zero time to pursue anything else and at 53 wonder who in the world would hire me even if I did. So I spend my weekends looking at spreadsheets trying to figure out how I can get out - and when.

HC keeps me working. Pretty much that, and that alone. I steadfastly REFUSE to pay $25K+ per year in HC costs out of principle and my desire to spend those hard earned $$s in better areas like overseas travel. Yet, my health is not great and DW has her own issues especially after her heart attack a couple of years ago.

Good times over here. RE can't come early enough. If the .GOV would ever fix this HC disaster, I'd be gone tomorrow.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:37 PM   #10
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....HC keeps me working. Pretty much that, and that alone. I steadfastly REFUSE to pay $25K+ per year in HC costs out of principle and my desire to spend those hard earned $$s in better areas like overseas travel. Yet, my health is not great and DW has her own issues especially after her heart attack a couple of years ago.

Good times over here. RE can't come early enough. If the .GOV would ever fix this HC disaster, I'd be gone tomorrow.
Have you actually priced out health insurance in your area or are you just assuming it is "$25k+ per year"? I just looked at healthsherpa and a bronze policy for two looks to be ~$1,000/month. That is the price of freedom... you're either willing to pay the price or continue slaving for da man. Your choice.

Check out healthsherpa.com
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:49 PM   #11
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Have you actually priced out health insurance in your area or are you just assuming it is "$25k+ per year"? I just looked at healthsherpa and a bronze policy for two looks to be ~$1,000/month. That is the price of freedom... you're either willing to pay the price or continue slaving for da man. Your choice.

Check out healthsherpa.com
Yes - priced out policies on the ACA site. Roughly $18K/yr for 2, with $6K+ deductibles each. Even worked out a plan to stay under the 4X FPL in "income" (pulling the rest from savings to not be counted in MAGI) to get some subsidies. That was my plan until it looks like Obamascare may go away and be replaced - hopefully by something that is FAR better.

Lots of uncertainty at the moment on HC. Once the dust settles on that it'll be far better.

Have some fairly significant incentives (RSUs, bonuses for both me and DW) coming up. After Feb a good chunk of these are done and ER becomes much better in terms of timing..thinking VERY seriously about pulling the cord at that point..but that feels like decades away the way each day has been going..
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:55 PM   #12
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So..yes - saw Dr several times for the stress (and candidly, depression which is getting pretty severe and almost debilitating). She prescribed some meds and suggested she write a leave of absence order..the meds make me a zombie, so took them once and haven't touched since.

I've looked into EAP. Actually submitted a request through the program for a referral. Went to one Dr. and did not like him or his office at all (long story). That was that..

I work in high tech sales. But - and here's the twist - people in my own company compete against me and others in my role by promoting our business partners instead of our own services. [....]
That sounds miserable. I wish I had some magic advice, but it sounds like a really difficult situation. Your company is putting massive pressure on you, giving you little/no sense of control, and actively undermining you. No wonder you're stressed, burned out, and depressed.

Can you ask your EAP if you can see someone else? Can you return to your doctor and tell him/her the med made you a zombie, let's try something different and lower dose?

Maybe more importantly, how about not "trying to do your best" right now? Obviously they don't give a sh*t about you. Why should you kill yourself for them? How about bringing your B game, instead of your A game? How about your C game? If you're an overperformer, your C game is probably a B anyhow.

Take some of the pressure off you -- that's the main thing. No need to press yourself. You need to ease up.

The worst they can do is let you go. Even then, maybe you'd be eligible for unemployment (I guess it would depend on the circumstances).

I'd try to ride it out for another 6 months, if the payoff is going to be important enough. "One day at a time," as they say. Keep your game face on, but your head down and your eyes on the prize.

Think about how nice it will feel when you cross the finish line. Man, you are going to be one happy retiree.
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:04 PM   #13
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Yes - priced out policies on the ACA site. Roughly $18K/yr for 2, with $6K+ deductibles each. Even worked out a plan to stay under the 4X FPL in "income" (pulling the rest from savings to not be counted in MAGI) to get some subsidies. That was my plan until it looks like Obamascare may go away and be replaced - hopefully by something that is FAR better.

Lots of uncertainty at the moment on HC. Once the dust settles on that it'll be far better.

Have some fairly significant incentives (RSUs, bonuses for both me and DW) coming up. After Feb a good chunk of these are done and ER becomes much better in terms of timing..thinking VERY seriously about pulling the cord at that point..but that feels like decades away the way each day has been going..
You can't pull the plug and retire if you are dead.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:10 PM   #14
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HC keeps me working. Pretty much that, and that alone. I steadfastly REFUSE to pay $25K+ per year in HC costs out of principle and my desire to spend those hard earned $$s in better areas like overseas travel. Yet, my health is not great and DW has her own issues especially after her heart attack a couple of years ago.

Good times over here. RE can't come early enough. If the .GOV would ever fix this HC disaster, I'd be gone tomorrow.
Wow, I feel your pain. I woke up one day and I found that I hated where I worked. It had been building up for years, very slowly at first, then the BS bucket filled much more quickly the last 6 years. Interestingly, this coincided with my last promotion. They wanted me to go management track but I ended up staying technical. The extra BS wasn't worth the trivial extra money.

One day, I figured that DW and I were close enough financially to retire. Like your, we had a 2-3 year plan, but I ended up bailing out within a year.

I had been working and achieving since I was 13 years old. I loved it for decades, but just hit the wall, completely burned out... I've been FIRE'd for more than 2 years, but my soul is still recovering.

Honestly, I'm glad you pulled in your retirement date. I hope you get out as soon as possible. Please, if you can AFFORD the healthcare you and DW need, get out quickly and move on with your lives. It sounds like you can afford to "waste" money on overpriced healthcare and enjoy traveling.

In the end, you have the financial strength to determine much of your own future. Obviously, there are always uncertainties, but given your strong finances, I don't see why waiting a few years would resolve any of this, especially re "healthscare" and the government. There are no assurances regarding your family's future health and the amount of quality time you have, especially time you have together while reasonably healthy.

FB
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:02 AM   #15
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...

HC keeps me working. Pretty much that, and that alone. I steadfastly REFUSE to pay $25K+ per year in HC costs out of principle and my desire to spend those hard earned $$s in better areas like overseas travel. Yet, my health is not great and DW has her own issues especially after her heart attack a couple of years ago.

...
This is short sighted. Yeah, it isn't fun to pay a line item of 25K for "insurance" that pays for a ton of stuff I (and maybe you) don't want. OTOH, you keep working at a job you hate, and which is apparently killing you, to pay how much in mandatory taxes to the Fed and state government each year?

I'm guessing the latter numbers are a whole lot bigger than 25K--even after reducing them for what you'll need to pay in taxes after retiring.

Just.Quit.Now.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:27 AM   #16
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The depression will not go away or might not even improve after you quit working.

right now you are not making good health care decisions ..one dose of meds means nothing, maybe your dose was a little too high or taking the meds for 2 weeks straight could lessen the zombie feeling, other drugs are an option. Are you going to a psychiatrist, you need that not a GP.

You didn't like the doctor or his office and so just gave up. I have a niece in the same boat and she has multiple reasons why she can't follow thought with meds and docs, but nothing every gets better. I suggest you make a massive effort to put your mental health first and try to get some help between now and Feb. Don't tell yourself that you will tend to your health after you retire, that's a delaying tactic. Your issue isn't money its getting your head in a healthy place. Good luck, believe me for my niece her parents took her to treatment as a senior in high school but she really wasn't on board and 3 years later things have only gotten worse for her. Not following through with the program is a function of depression so good luck moving ahead,
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:52 AM   #17
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Retiresoon: wow, I'm having flashbacks of my previous life as an engineering project manager at a MegaCorp. My metal and physical health were suffering due to the long hours, unrealistic expectations from upper management and the whole dysfunctional culture that come with a MegaCorp. I felt that I reached my FI number about a year before I left. Believe me, I understand it is very hard to walk away from the large paycheck, bonuses, RSU's, options and healthcare insurance. That's what I call jumping off the RE cliff. It is scary. Our MegaCorp would spread the bonuses and stock throughout the year so there was always "carrots" to get to. Not sure that was there purpose to keep unhappy people around, but I too would say, if I just stay long enough to get to that next bonus or batch of RSU's... If you start thinking about the amount of money you are leaving on the table if you leave you will probably never leave. If you have run the numbers and they tell you you are FI then the next step is psychological and only you can make that decision to jump off the RE cliff. I was only 6 months away from hitting the 75 rule which come with money for healthcare and being able to sell RSU's that were a year out. I was walking away from ~$100K, but after taxes it would have only been about $70K. To me that was not enough to keep me around because I had reach my FI number. If I was not at my FI number then I would of had to change my w*rk environment by finding a different j*b outside the company or taking a voluntary demotion to get into a less stressful position which could be viewed very negatively at review time.... I sounds like if you can stay until Feb'18 you will get a healthy payout which would help with your psychological buffer. That is only 7 months away. If you can slow yourself down and mental get yourself in a "don't give a sh*t" mode you could make it to Feb'18 for that "carrot". Yes, you will be a under performer to your peers, but It takes a long of time/process to fire people at a MegaCorp for performance issues due to legal concerns. This may be your best option if you really can not pull the trigger now to get yourself out of that toxic environment. Who know's maybe because you are a lower performer you will get offered a separation package which will include all of the extra bonuses that you are working towards... Hang in there and please make sure you are putting your health before money.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:54 AM   #18
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The depression will not go away or might not even improve after you quit working.......right now you are not making good health care decisions .....I suggest you make a massive effort to put your mental health first and try to get some help between now and Feb......Your issue isn't money its getting your head in a healthy place.
I think ivinsfan hit the nail on the head. Really worth reading that post multiple times.

As to your concerns with finances. Those can be relatively are straightforward analysis IMHO.

For example, the concern with sequence of risks. Take your situation and run it through Firecalc using a single run starting right before the 2008 bubble. That's a reasonable worst situation to consider. If results look ok ( you outlive your assets), I'd take that concern off the table with the exception that if things got even worse, may have to go to a backup plan "B" and cut expenses some.

The other concern is health care costs. Run another Firecalc case, this time running in the normal way (allowing it to run for all time periods). Include in your your expense level whatever you consider worse case for health issues. Or alternatively decrease your initial asset level by whatever amount you feel set aside would cover your needs. For either case run Firecalc and see if you have good odds (say 90%+) for outliving your assets.

IMHO, the financial stuff is realtively easy to evaluate such as looking at them in the above ways. But I think Ivinsfan's points are more important for you to consider.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:14 AM   #19
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No one gets out alive

Your story sounds like a horror movie. We in the audience want to shout at the screen, "Get out of the house now!" because we all sense that the murderer is in the next room and about to pounce.

The estimated cost of health insurance is the key obstacle preventing you from escaping your toxic w*rkplace, so consider an opposite perspective. If you were on death row and had the chance to buy your way out, would 25 large still seem like a lot?

Your wife's close call and your own despair cry out for change. Forget about finding another j*b. Your j*b is killing you, so get out now.

Did I interpret this accurately? You've got more than enough to carry you to 65, at which point you'll still have a 40x stash? You're good to go.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:03 PM   #20
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Just a word on health and insurance to all-
1. Buy, at least, a plan that limits your upside for out of pocket costs.
2. Don't over estimate your health.
3. Don't assume someone will provide life saving treatment outside of the ER.

We were freshly out of the military and in a moment of cost savings while attending college went briefly without health insurance. A few months following her release DW was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Fourteen hours in surgery, chemo, radiation, follow up surgery...$200,000+! That was 1995 dollars. It took a LOT of years to pay everyone and pay ongoing costs.
Nothing in life humbles you like begging for a doctor's staff to administer a chemo treatment you can't pay for at the moment.
I'm 54 and FIRING. But for this set back and all the out of pocket we paid over the year for her pre-existing conditions and increased premiums in the state poll, I might have fired at 45.
She's ill frequently (radiation induced small bowel disease) and has been diagnosed with bi-polar and anxiety disorder which resulted from her prior illness. This requires constant monitoring and frequent changes in meds.
She has 14 regularly fill prescriptions. 90 9MG Uceris retails for $6017; Blue Cross $25 (after much debate about it not being on formulary). She was in hospital three times in 2016 (small bowel obstructions as a result of abdominal adhesions and C-DIFF).
You only get ONE chance to get this insurance thing wrong.
Take a chance and pay for good health insurance.
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