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Ready to call it a day in 2020 or less
Old 04-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #1
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Ready to call it a day in 2020 or less

Hi everybodyóIím also one of those year-or-so lurkers. Iím 51, single no kids. I own no property but have zero debt. I own a 9 year old car with less than 20,000 miles on it (I use public transportation, mostly).


I come from a small town, moved ďto the big cityĒ (Pittsburgh) back in 1990 & my goal for the last few years has been to retire on my 59th birthday or maybe a little sooner. All I want is to find a small place back home & be near family and old friends. I came from some pretty humble beginnings which prompted me to save as much as possible, but itís not like I have an investment portfolio or anything.


My current gross income is 58K, but Iíve been tracking my expenses for the last 3 years (I love Mint.com) and surprisingly it's only been around 20K per year. Iím not naÔve enough to know it will always be that low though.


I have 224,000 in cash savings (which I add around 15K a year), 150,000 in my 401K (which I contribute 10% my employee matches 50% up to 6%) and 30K in a Cash Balance Plan (which grows about 4K a year).


I plan on collecting social security at 62, but thatís still 10 years away. But like most of the people here, I donít WANT to work into my sixties. I havenít used FIRECALC but I have used the AARP & MSN Money calculators, both tell me I can probably retire at 58-59 with a bit more money than what Iím spending now (in fact AARP says I can retire even earlier) but Iíll believe it when I see it.


Anyway, just wanted to say hi to everybodyóa good group of smart, friendly people!
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:36 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
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Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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Welcome. 20K/yr is easily doable in your time frame. I'm also planning to retire by 2020 or earlier. I would say...rather than keeping everything in cash, have some invested in low-cost index funds.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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Thanks guys--and Retire2020, I know it's kind of wasteful to have over 200K sitting in a savings account (earning 0.85% interest), I've been thinking lately about maybe investing part of it.

Just that in my thirties, I had most of my savings (at the time) in a Vanguard 'Pharmeceutical' fund & it drove me a little nuts, the swings daily. Ever since then I've been a little phobic about that 'money under the mattress'. Still, I know it's not doing me a lot of good there.

PS. Oh I plan on having more than 20K a year when I retire (I want to do more stuff & I'll have to worry about health insurance...)
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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Welcome. If you live simply, then you have a plan. Congrats.

I have one suggestion. Pay attention to the health care discussions on this forum. Various titles include "Obamacare" and "PPACA", etc. Do some planning.

You'll need some plan for health coverage. With your expected income, you should be squarely in the subsidized area of ACA. But it bears close watching from you.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up Joe, I will do that. (That's been a big concern of mine.)
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:14 PM   #7
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Roth IRA. You will need to control your taxable income from 59 until Medicare until 65 so your HI PPACA/Obamacare) premiums will be manageable.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:29 PM   #8
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Heyy_Joe, why a Roth IRA? I appreciate your input but was thinking if I do the standard 3-4% withdrawl from my 401K & use a percent of my savings account (until Social Sec at 62) my taxable income would be low enough to get that possible subsidy...

I really am glad I found this board. When I try talking about this stuff elsewhere, I just get blank stares or it pushes people away!
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:57 PM   #9
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Countryboy...just posted this in another thread. Below are current FPL. If you can keep your income(MAGI) below 45K, you'll get subsidy. Please keep in mind that this level increases every year.. Who knows, it may be around 60K when you decide to pull a plug in 2020.

Household Size 200% 300% 400%
1 $22,980 $34,470 $45,960
2 31,020 46,530 62,040
3 39,060 58,590 78,120
4 47,100 70,650 94,200
5 55,140 82,710 110,280
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:00 PM   #10
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Can you take some tough love? You DO have a financial portfolio. It is not as big as it could or should be because while you had most of it tied up in cash over the last three years the market has sprinted ahead leaving you and your cash sucking wind. While that was happening the inflation rate has been very low but still has been robbing value from that cash lots faster than it is earning interest. Furthermore, your numbers do not quite add up. If you have income of 58K and expenses of 20K and are putting 15K into the cash account and 10% into the 401K that comes up a little short. You seem to be missing 17K which is probably quite a bit more than just your income taxes. Do you have any idea where the missing money went? Welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:22 PM   #11
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retire2020, thanks for posting those numbers! I definitely need to read more up on this, the subsidy looks promising. (I spent some time earlier today on ehealthinsurance looking at some different plans for my older self & sure was surprised at those high monthly rates.) Someone at my office just commented the other day that it's ironic we work for one of the largest healthcare outfits in the state, yet no 'retiree health insurance'...

And jclark, I can take some toughlove! Trust me, more and more I'm seeing my savings account doing a whole lot of nothing, I've been looking at some Vanguard funds today too. As for my numbers not adding up, I may be banking a bit more than 15K annually but certainly not 17K more...but 58K is my salary, 10 percent goes to 401K, 20K to living expenses. (I've got around 11K in my checking too.)
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:39 PM   #12
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Just wanted to say thanks for the feedback & inspiration here; a few days ago I got my monthly bank statement for my savings account, saw the interest I'd earned this month (around 145.00) and felt like a real fool.

I opened a personal account with Vanguard, read up on the various funds and based on my age & paranoia about "unstuffing that mattress", made a minimum investment of 3 thousand dollars into their 'LifeStrategy Conservative Growth Fund'.

I also increased the percentage withheld for my 401K from 10 to 12 percent so I don't have as much extra cash to just stick in the bank.. I really should've done that sooner.

Now I'm just wondering how much of that 225K savings I want to move out of the bank and into that fund...

Anyway, thanks again for the feedback & good info here!
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