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Seattleite intending to retire mode$tly at 62 and 55 now
Old 06-15-2014, 09:29 AM   #1
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Seattleite intending to retire mode$tly at 62 and 55 now

Thanks for allowing me to join this group. I'm looking forward to learning more from my peers.
I'm 55 years old. My husband is 65 and retired 3 years ago when he was unable to find work. He took his minimum SS.
I've got a great retirement plan at work and am plugging away at adding to it, maxing out the 457. My employer, being government, doesn't pay into SS, but requires a 10% deduction into a 401(a), which it matches with 12%. I've got about $500K in these two plans.
In addition, we have $100K in stocks and about $100K in IRAs.
Not much cash on hand.
We have 12 years left on our $200K mortgage, which is at 3% interest. I know it's not a good idea to take our investments and pay off the mortgage, but it sure would be nice to not be paying that $1700/month when I retire.
I had cancer three years ago, which provided the opportunity to re-prioritize. I've set the goal of retiring at 62, even if it means living very modestly. We don't live extravagantly, by any means. One car, small house, quality time is friends and family, etc.
That's my story!
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:48 AM   #2
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Welcome. I am sure you will learn a lot here. I certainly did.
Have you run some numbers through FireCalc to see if you can survive in the worst possible case history might toss at you?

I am curious regarding your government job that does not require SS payments. That can be a dangerous trap as people in places like Detroit have found out. Is the pension well funded, at least 80% and hopefully more?
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:44 AM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks for the reply, Chuckanut. My work retirement is not a pension, per se, but two retirement accounts. One is mandatory (401a) and the other is voluntary (457). My understanding is that this is not unusual for government agencies.
I'm on the agency's Retirement Plans Committee and am not concerned about not paying into SS. I will get SS at some point b/c of employment prior to where I am now.
Yes, I've run numbers through FireCalc, which was enlightening. I'm hoping I'm not foolish to think I can retire at 62!
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:58 AM   #4
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OK, so you have some control over the accounts and future politicians can't say "Gosh, we made a mistake to promise you what we did. The money isn't there so we are cutting back by xx%. Good luck going back in time and revisiting your decision."

IMHO, the best retirement deal in the future will be the one the employee owns and can control.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:06 PM   #5
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Make sure you know how the offsets to SS work before you count on SS benefits.
Have you self-directed your accounts so far so you know what you want your asset allocation to be?
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemming View Post
Make sure you know how the offsets to SS work before you count on SS benefits.
Have you self-directed your accounts so far so you know what you want your asset allocation to be?
Good point. This can reduce SS payments beyond what they would normally be.
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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You are doing great, stay the course.
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Old 06-15-2014, 04:55 PM   #8
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Regarding SS, since my husband's already taking his, I plan in the next year to visit the local SS office and make sure I'm completely up to speed on what my options are.

And yes, lemming, I've self-directed my accounts at work. It's pretty sweet, no charges for moving funds from one mutual fund to another, though the options are limited. When I retire, I can keep my investments there and continue to not be charged management fees.

The retirement fund management company we use allows us to move money in the 457 (voluntary retirement account that I max out each year) to Ameritrade, where there are many more choices.
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:51 PM   #9
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Do you mean Ameritrade or Ameriprise? I don't see how you transfer to Ameritrade- it is a stock brokerage portal. Check out the Ameriprise threads in a search and keep out of their clutches.
Hi! Ameriprise client needing advice...
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Hi Lemming:
I mean Ameritrade. Through my retirement plan, which has a limited number of mutual funds to choose from for both the 401(a) and 457, I can transfer funds from the 457 to Ameritrade to purchase mutual funds there. It's all at my own risk, of course.
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