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Old 12-05-2007, 10:23 PM   #1
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Hi Everyone. Great forum and a wealth of information.

A little about me...... I'm a 51 year old female and am hoping to retire by 55 with a COLA'd pension of around 68% of my current salary. I can probably live just fine off that since I currently save around 25% of my income, but just in case I need a few extras, I also have a nice 403(b) account that can provide another 20-25% (assuming a withdrawal rate of 3-4%). Medical, dental and vision insurance are provided in retirement for a minimal cost. I feel very fortunate for the retirement bennies I'll have available.

What I'm not so sure about is what my expenses will be in the future. I currently live a quiet, single suburban life but I've always dreamed of living in a high-rise condo in the middle of a bustling city. I want to enjoy all the amenities a large city has to offer (restaurants, theaters, museums, art galleries, etc). Of course I know I can cut back like nobody's business if I need to or even move after a few years if it's not everything I always wanted.....

My SO currently lives about 4 hours away and recently retired. He's hoping to sell his house and move up here within the next couple of years so I'll have some help with expenses (but I want to be careful not to get too comfy just in case..... been there, done that).

As for my current job, I still like it but I think I'd just like less of it. One of the best pieces of advice I've gotten off this forum is to see about cutting down your hours to help with burnout. I am happy to announce that as of Nov. 1, I am now an 80% employee (after 32+ years of 100%). I get every Friday off for a wonderful 3-day weekend. Life is good. This forum is GREAT!
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:41 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a good handle on your pension and savings. Congratulations!

Perhaps you can take a sabbatical or extended vacation, live (like a native, not a tourist) in a big city, sample the life you envision and see what it costs? You are right to be concerned about this... and also right that you can go back to your 'normal' pattern with the pension and savings you have, so why not experiment? Heck, maybe the big-city life is more expensive, but you can get a part-time j*b and make up the difference while being happier? Ultimately, it's about what maximizes your happiness.


On a completely different (and much less important) note, you may want to change your handle to 'La Loba'. Los Lobo is a male term (plus Los is plural while Lobo is singular). La Loba translates roughly to 'the she-wolf'.


Welcome!
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:54 PM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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On a completely different (and much less important) note, you may want to change your handle to 'La Loba'. Los Lobo is a male term (plus Los is plural while Lobo is singular). La Loba translates roughly to 'the she-wolf'.
Ha! Good call. I originally used that handle a few years ago on another forum that was mostly male and I didn't want to be the lone loba there. As for the "Los" part, that's just a screw-up on my part that I've learned to embrace over time. It's not a bug, it's a feature.....
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Old 12-05-2007, 11:29 PM   #4
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Yikes! She-Wolf...I like that...Spanish or English! Welcome aboard.

I am relatively new to this board myself, but this is the first time I have seen someone planning on going from a relatively low cost lifestyle to a much more costly one. I used to work on both coasts...a lot...in big cities. I absolutely loved NY (Broadway play$) and San Francisco, but I don't think I would want to live in either place...too many people for this southerner.

I think Tic Tock is right about sampling the big city life before taking the plunge. I'm anxious to see how your plans unfold!
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Old 12-06-2007, 12:33 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum

Sounds like things are under control. Got to know that there are a few COLA'd pensions out there. So, the big question will be when you take SS. There are plenty of opinions on that here.

Welcome again.
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Old 12-06-2007, 08:31 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum

Sounds like things are under control. Got to know that there are a few COLA'd pensions out there. So, the big question will be when you take SS. There are plenty of opinions on that here.

Welcome again.
I forgot to mention, I'm not eligible for SS or Medicare since I've never paid into either one except for a couple of early years in high school. I work at a university. When I was hired, SS wasn't an option. A few years later it was changed where everyone hired was automatically entered into SS. I had an option to join the SS ranks but I chose not to. My decision at the time was based on how it would effect my take-home pay. I'm still not completely sure it was the right decision but I do know it has allowed me to save a lot more in my 403(b), Roth, and other accounts.
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Old 12-06-2007, 09:38 AM   #7
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Los lobo, welcome to the forum!

You sound like you have things well in hand at the moment, and congratulations on moving to 80%. That sounds like a lovely way to begin your transition to retirement.

I share your interest in trying out the big city lifestyle, at least for a year or two. I'd probably rent rather than buy, since I do think I'd tire of it. I haven't investigated doing this at all, though. It does seem like it should be possible without totally blowing the budget -- after all, not all city folks are very wealthy!

Glad to have you aboard.

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Old 12-06-2007, 10:16 AM   #8
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Great to meet you! It's good to hear that things are coming together and congratulations on your new work schedule enjoy yourself.
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:32 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Los lobo, welcome to the forum!

I share your interest in trying out the big city lifestyle, at least for a year or two. I'd probably rent rather than buy, since I do think I'd tire of it. I haven't investigated doing this at all, though. It does seem like it should be possible without totally blowing the budget -- after all, not all city folks are very wealthy!
Coach
Thanks for the welcome and I'm happy to finally start posting.

I think the renting before buying makes a lot of sense and it's certainly something we've considered. I guess it'll depend on our situation when retirement comes.

As for "blowing the budget" in a big city, I don't think I'll really go crazy. I probably won't eat out any more than I currently do (which isn't much) but when I do want a special meal, I'll at least have lots of choices (and let's not forget the happy hour choices I'll have :-). Also, there's a lot of things going on in cities that are either free or don't cost much. Museums have free days, art galleries have free showings, and festivals, farmer's markets, wine tastings, or just people watching are a few things I'd see myself enjoying. Also, with all the public transportation available, we'll probably get rid of a car since we won't need two cars.
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