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Old 03-10-2017, 03:49 PM   #1
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Ready to retire, but...

Hi all,

Been reading these forums for several months now and appreciate the contributions all y'all have made to improving my knowledge in this area.

I'm 59 and eligible to retire from our "Uncle" at the end of 2017. Financially, I'm ready. All of the various calculators show that I can maintain my current lifestyle in retirement barring a macroeconomic catastrophe in this country (at which point we all would have bigger concerns I'm guessing).

However, I'm risk averse. By working another 2 years I can increase my pension by $500+ per month. I can add another $60,000 in contributions to my TSP, another $13,000 to my Roth IRA, and another $60,000 or so in "non-retirement" savings. Intellectually, I know that I don't really "need" the additional funds BUT I'm finding it hard to walk away from that sort of 2-year plus up.

Thoughts?

TIA,
Lumpy
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Old 03-10-2017, 03:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Lumpy View Post
Hi all,

Been reading these forums for several months now and appreciate the contributions all y'all have made to improving my knowledge in this area.

I'm 59 and eligible to retire from our "Uncle" at the end of 2017. Financially, I'm ready. All of the various calculators show that I can maintain my current lifestyle in retirement barring a macroeconomic catastrophe in this country (at which point we all would have bigger concerns I'm guessing).

However, I'm risk averse. By working another 2 years I can increase my pension by $500+ per month. I can add another $60,000 in contributions to my TSP, another $13,000 to my Roth IRA, and another $60,000 or so in "non-retirement" savings. Intellectually, I know that I don't really "need" the additional funds BUT I'm finding it hard to walk away from that sort of 2-year plus up.

Thoughts?

TIA,
Lumpy
Hi, and welcome.

I'm a federal retiree and faced a similar dilemma when I retired at age 61. I went ahead and retired, and you know what? I have been to busy having fun, enjoying retired life, and being happy to ever think about the extra money I could have had, if I had waited until age 62.

I did make sure that I would have enough money to live on at age 61. If you are pretty sure about that, I suspect you will never lose any sleep over what was left "on the table", so to speak.
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Uncle Lumpy View Post
...

However, I'm risk averse. By working another 2 years I can increase my pension by $500+ per month. I can add another $60,000 in contributions to my TSP, another $13,000 to my Roth IRA, and another $60,000 or so in "non-retirement" savings. Intellectually, I know that I don't really "need" the additional funds BUT I'm finding it hard to walk away from that sort of 2-year plus up.

Thoughts?

TIA,
Lumpy
This is indeed risk averse--but only as to finances. There are other risks, such as physical deterioration, illness, death in 2 years.... AND, there is the certainty that you will forfeiting probably the best two physical/health years of your retirement.

If you have enough, it is less risk averse to quit.
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:27 PM   #4
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You've obviously tallied up what you could "get" by continuing to work for another two years. Have you tallied up what you're "giving up" by continuing to work for another two years? Things like:

2 more years without any of the stress or headaches of work.
2 more years without having to commute to work.
2 more years of getting up when you want to instead of when you have to.
2 more years of being able to do just about anything you want (reasonable things )any day of the week.
2 more years of enjoying your life while you have your health and mind.
2 more years of making memories in retirement.
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:39 PM   #5
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Of course, we are a somewhat biased bunch here, but I fully agree with the others: the REAL risk is missing out on your life (once you have hit your numbers solidly).
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Lumpy View Post
Hi all,

Been reading these forums for several months now and appreciate the contributions all y'all have made to improving my knowledge in this area.

I'm 59 and eligible to retire from our "Uncle" at the end of 2017. Financially, I'm ready. All of the various calculators show that I can maintain my current lifestyle in retirement barring a macroeconomic catastrophe in this country (at which point we all would have bigger concerns I'm guessing).

However, I'm risk averse. By working another 2 years I can increase my pension by $500+ per month. I can add another $60,000 in contributions to my TSP, another $13,000 to my Roth IRA, and another $60,000 or so in "non-retirement" savings. Intellectually, I know that I don't really "need" the additional funds BUT I'm finding it hard to walk away from that sort of 2-year plus up.

Thoughts?

TIA,
Lumpy
I understand your dilemma. I think the same way sometimes. But then I remember, by that same logical, why not stay three more years? Or four? Or five? Oh yeah, because I don't want to do this anymore and have other interests. Bingo!

If anything, be semi-retired.
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Old 03-10-2017, 05:05 PM   #7
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If I had a pension like you do I would be out ASAP! Unfortunately, neither my husband or I have one and then there is the medical insurance issue, so we will probably have to wait until we are using walkers.

I say go for it. No time like the present. Enjoy your life!
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Old 03-10-2017, 07:55 PM   #8
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Dear Uncle Lumpy,

Perhaps you need to collect more data. You have your finances straight; excellent! But clearly it's not a sufficient condition since you're still undecided.

Ask yourself why you would want to leave your j*b. For example, is it taking a physical toll? Is the commute becoming intolerable? Have all the people you were friends with departed? Has the BS bucket finally overflowed? There are good reasons to retire and there are bad reasons.

I know this is a forum that supports and encourages ER, but all of the folks here want more than anything else that our ERees wind up happy. Don't retire before you're mentally ready just because someone else thinks you should.

Most importantly, consider what you want to retire to. Every extra day you remain at w*rk is a day you are forgoing doing something else that you might enjoy more.

As for the extra $$ you could stack by staying, consider the words of Mary Poppins. "Enough is as good as a feast." When you have enough, there's no need to stay another two days, much less two years. If the extra dough genuinely will make your life better, then stay on and bank it. If not, then go out now.

I look forward to reading about how, whatever you decide, it turned out to be the best decision for you.
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:09 AM   #9
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I made the decision to work the extra two years to age 62 but it has been hard and stressful. I have seven months to go and still have second thoughts about my decision. In my case, the increase in pension was more substantial and I wanted the money for travel and to move to a higher cost of living area. The extra pension and TSP savings have made me feel much more secure about my retirement.

As a compromise, you might consider working just a few months into 2018 and increase your monthly TSP contribution as much as possible. Use any annual leave cash out to fund the Roth IRA.
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
You've obviously tallied up what you could "get" by continuing to work for another two years. Have you tallied up what you're "giving up" by continuing to work for another two years? Things like:

2 more years without any of the stress or headaches of work.
2 more years without having to commute to work.
2 more years of getting up when you want to instead of when you have to.
2 more years of being able to do just about anything you want (reasonable things )any day of the week.
2 more years of enjoying your life while you have your health and mind.
2 more years of making memories in retirement.
Those are indeed good reasons to RE as soon as you are able. My RE is at the end of the month . I could have gone earlier, but until the last couple months the j*b was going OK. This YTD has been tougher and I am glad to go. The recent market runup along with the additional investment contributions has given me freedom to open up the spending side on some travel that I do not think I would have been comfortable doing otherwise. Everyone has to solve their own particular equation.
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:29 AM   #11
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You have got some great life experience advise from people that have been there and done that.

Just about two years ago I was asking myself the same questions. My employer wanted a year notice before I retired. So when I decided to retire it was another year before I was actually retiring. I had lots of time to mull and plan my next journey in life. I have been retired about 10 months now and I can tell you I also left a lot on the table but my time and freedom was worth more to me then all that money if I would have worked one more year.

It really comes down who you want to control your life for two more years. Good luck
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:10 AM   #12
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Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I've been strongly leaning towards retiring at 60 (probably 95%). I just need to come to terms with that part of me that is nervous about leaving money on the table. I think I'll (unfairly) blame my parents for that nervousness.

Best,
Lumpy
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:40 AM   #13
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Since I retired at 54....the last four years have been some of the best of my life.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:00 AM   #14
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The pile grows at x a month and x is a huge number. Yup I am there now but there is a an answer to that. Just how many days are left to sit in the sun? One thing is absolutely certain tomorrow there will be one less.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Uncle Lumpy View Post
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I've been strongly leaning towards retiring at 60 (probably 95%). I just need to come to terms with that part of me that is nervous about leaving money on the table. I think I'll (unfairly) blame my parents for that nervousness.

Best,
Lumpy


DW is a Fed and aims to get out 3.75 years (not that we're counting) from now at her MRA+10 (Minimum Retirement Age+10 years of service). She's proud of her service but has some other things she wants to do. We'll see what she thinks when, like you, she actually has the choice. I'm sure it isn't easy. Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Uncle Lumpy View Post
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I've been strongly leaning towards retiring at 60 (probably 95%). I just need to come to terms with that part of me that is nervous about leaving money on the table. I think I'll (unfairly) blame my parents for that nervousness.

Best,
Lumpy
I take longer vacation and off time as much as possible during the last two years. Plus get all your expensive traveling out of the way. Your attitude toward money changes once you retire. I know it did mine.
EDIT to add, use these two years to prep for retirement. I upped our dental plan for high coverage and had some expensive dental work for my husband. Get all the expensive stuff done out of the way if you can before you retire.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:11 AM   #17
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As a general rule, you can always earn more money - and save more - by continuing to work. Fast forward two years from now, and you can in essence re-write your original post. Since you are financially fine, the only issue is the emotional part. You should retire when you're emotionally ready. You will only confuse the issue with the I-can-make-more-money-if-I-continue-to-work rationale, as that logic will always be present.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:49 AM   #18
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As a general rule, you can always earn more money - and save more - by continuing to work. Fast forward two years from now, and you can in essence re-write your original post. Since you are financially fine, the only issue is the emotional part. You should retire when you're emotionally ready. You will only confuse the issue with the I-can-make-more-money-if-I-continue-to-work rationale, as that logic will always be present.
I've been wondering if I'm using the "leaving money on the table" excuse to mask my uncertainty about being ready to retire. Requires some more introspection on my part...

Thanks,
Lumpy
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:25 PM   #19
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I agree with all the comments that what are you giving up with the extra time working two more years?

One thing that you may be consciously or maybe subconsciously making the excuse for working more, besides the financial security, is you may not really have an idea what you want to do in retirement. That unknown or potentially even fear, is what drives you to do the secure thing and have the stability of the job and routine. I have said on many replies here, you may have a job to retire from, but do you have something to retire to?
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Old 03-12-2017, 03:55 PM   #20
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My biggest (maybe only) regret was working two years longer than I needed in my late 50's. No amount of money can get those (younger years) back.
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