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Ready to drop out of the rat race
Old 04-17-2015, 10:44 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: The Colony
Posts: 1
Ready to drop out of the rat race

I have been lurking on this site since January when I found the FIRECALC program from a link on the Retire Early homepage.

I am not sure why I need to do this, but, I need to tell my story. I will try to keep it as brief as possible. I graduated from college in the late 70's and took a job with megacorp. One of their recruiting spiels was we
have never had a layoff in our history.... A few years later, I watched the guy with the clipboard walk down the row of highwalled offices. He was offering everyone over age 55 with 30 years of a service a bridge to retirement. They were offering full salary and medical benefits until age 62.... (megacorp still trying not to have a layoff) I was shocked when not a person accepted the package, to a person they said "I can't afford to retire, I never saved a dime." I could not believe they even offered a seven year long severence package... WOW. I learned a good lesson here vicariously and started my own savings plan.

When I graduated from college, I was pretty much financially ignorant. I had to teach myself how to reconcile my checkbook... I fooled around and bought and sold some stocks and stock option contracts. I lost money on pretty much every trade. Thanfully, I discovered Scott Burn's columm in the business section of the newspaper. He is almost single handedly responsible for my money education. Thank you Scott.

Cut to the chase, I plan to retire at the end of the year. The stars have aligned, I turn 59 in May and the mortgage is paid off in August. FIDO's RIP program and FIRECALC both say that I can afford to retire.... Now I just need to take the leap.... 37 years at megacorp is enough. I plan to take the pension lump sum option. The lump sum is calculated using the interest rate from PBGC which has been moving lower so far this year. This is great as it would mean a larger lump sum. However, my plan uses the rate for January each year to calculate the value....

My question to the group is are there any tax (or other) gotcha's in retiring 12/31/15 versus 1/1/16? I would stay the extra day for the "free" increase of lump sum if it works out that way.

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Old 04-17-2015, 11:08 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 316
Originally Posted by 7850club View Post

My question to the group is are there any tax (or other) gotcha's in retiring 12/31/15 versus 1/1/16? I would stay the extra day for the "free" increase of lump sum if it works out that way.
My optimized situation would be to stay until at least 1/2/16 (unless I get laid off this year). Jan 1 is a holiday, and you get paid.

I have stock options to exercise and I do not want to do that this year since that would push my 2015 tax bracket higher.

I can contribute 401K to the max allowed for just one pay period, and get some company match.

I can vest some vacation time.

You see, I am going down my usual OMY justification and this can be a little addicted.
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