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Should He Stay or Should He Go
Old 07-03-2007, 08:59 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Should He Stay or Should He Go

I am 53 yo fed govt worker with 32 years of service. I will be eligible for retirement in August of 08. My husband is also a fed worker, 54 yo, and eligible to retire in November of this year with 36 years of service. We have been making plans for the past five years to retire the first week in January after he becomes eligible, with me taking an "early out" and paying a 2% penalty on my retirement benefits. Our luck, my organization has been offering "early outs" every year except this year so that does not appear to be an option now. Now we are trying to decide if he should retire as planned, or continue to work until I'm able to retire. We've paid off all our debts (with the exception of our mortgage), our kids education has been paid for, and our pension will include health and life insurance. Our work commute is approximately one hour each way (100 miles round trip), which makes for 11-hour work days not to mention the fuel expenses. We are both ready to retire. We have both been saving our leave time in order to "cash it in", sort of like a retirement bonus. If he retires this pay year as previously planned (we're looking at 3 Jan 08 ) he can cash in approximately $17k in leave time and it will be on 08 taxes. We should be in a lower tax bracket in 08 if he retires then. If he waits for me to become eligible, that figure will be approximately $13k for him and $16k for me; however, we will be in a higher tax bracket. If he retires in 08, I'll still be making the commute; however, it might just help ease us into retirement with me still working while he is retired. I guess what we're trying to decide is this...should he retire when he is eligible, or wait for me? I'm not so sure I would wait for him if the tables were turned so I'm looking for some sage advice.
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:06 AM   #2
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I retired in December from a job that also had a 100+ mile r/t commute. Aside from any of the financial considerations, giving up that commute alone was well worth the decision to retire! I had driven that route for five years and while I thought I was on auto-pilot, I couldn't believe how less stressed I felt once it was just a memory!

Congrats, BTW, on getting to this point of your journey...(no pun intended)...and prepare to enjoy the rest -- and the best -- of your life!
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:27 AM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Hi. I am retired fed govt. also. I left in December 2005 and I have not missed work a nano-second. I too saved my leave time for an entire year (even had some "credit hours" to cash in) and got a check for $18,600.00 after taxes. Sorry to hear that "early out" is not an option for you this year. That's a bummer. From a purely objective standpoint, your husband should retire as soon as he can, no questions asked. But the real issue is, you have to really evaluate how you are going to feel getting up every morning and traveling 100 miles roundtrip, while your husband remains in bed and otherwise enjoys himself every day. You may not think so now, but resentment can build up over time. So if your sure you "won't mind" him being home every day while you work, then tell him to retire. You need to really communicate on this issue.
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Old 07-03-2007, 11:28 AM   #4
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DH should bail out and cash in his time. You won't really like continuing to to work while he is enjoying retirement, I know I didn't while I was in that situation. You have a plan and did not get to where you are now with out some discipline so you can put up with it for a year. Besides, with him not working maybe he could pick up more of the load at home to soften the blow a bit. Just think of just coming home after a hard day at work and just putting your feet up knowing that the chores and errands are done. I could hang like that for a year.
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How about a compromise?
Old 07-03-2007, 11:30 AM   #5
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How about a compromise?

How about he retires on 3 Jan 08 and becomes your personal chauffeur until August 08 when you retire?

2Cor521
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Plan "B"
Old 07-03-2007, 05:55 PM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Plan "B"

With two Federal pensions that include COLA's I would be tempted to have DH retire as soon as eligible and then if I was you I would use as much of my leave as possible and cut into the 2% penalty and then retire. You will forgo the "lump" sum but cut into the penalty. I don't think you will want to work/commute when your husband is retired. You would be saving a couple hundred dollars a month in gas alone plus any other costs associated with your 100 mile commute such as wear & tear, parking, etc....

If you use up your leave and miss work you can always go back to finish up. This is a way to 'hedge" your bet.

Best Regards,

Edgar
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:25 PM   #7
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If he keeps working until your retirement date, you could throw the extra $ at the mortgage or go on a nice second honeymoon.
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by margaritavillebound View Post
I am 53 yo fed govt worker with 32 years of service. I will be eligible for retirement in August of 08. My husband is also a fed worker, 54 yo, and eligible to retire in November of this year with 36 years of service. We have been making plans for the past five years to retire the first week in January after he becomes eligible, with me taking an "early out" and paying a 2% penalty on my retirement benefits. Our luck, my organization has been offering "early outs" every year except this year so that does not appear to be an option now. Now we are trying to decide if he should retire as planned, or continue to work until I'm able to retire. We've paid off all our debts (with the exception of our mortgage), our kids education has been paid for, and our pension will include health and life insurance. Our work commute is approximately one hour each way (100 miles round trip), which makes for 11-hour work days not to mention the fuel expenses. We are both ready to retire. We have both been saving our leave time in order to "cash it in", sort of like a retirement bonus. If he retires this pay year as previously planned (we're looking at 3 Jan 08 ) he can cash in approximately $17k in leave time and it will be on 08 taxes. We should be in a lower tax bracket in 08 if he retires then. If he waits for me to become eligible, that figure will be approximately $13k for him and $16k for me; however, we will be in a higher tax bracket. If he retires in 08, I'll still be making the commute; however, it might just help ease us into retirement with me still working while he is retired. I guess what we're trying to decide is this...should he retire when he is eligible, or wait for me? I'm not so sure I would wait for him if the tables were turned so I'm looking for some sage advice.
Retire now, you guys are in great shape, don't get greedy on us now!
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:58 PM   #9
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:27 PM   #10
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I must be missing something....if he can retire at 55 with full pension (must be CSRS) and can cash in 17k worth of annual leave, what would be the reasoning for him to keep working until you retire in August? Money-wise, I don't see any benefit. If you can retire in August 08 at less than 55, assume you are also CSRS, then I don't believe there's any advantage to him continuing to work until you retire. I'd say max out his leave lump sum & enjoy your freedom. I'm also CSRS, but unfortunately still have 5 yrs to go. As said above, 2 generous cola pensions, great health care bennies, tell ya what, ask your husband if he'd like to trade with me and I'll take his place in retiring this year, and he can go to work in my place for the next 5 yrs LOL! Best of luck in retirement, hope to be there one day.
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He should retire ASAP
Old 07-05-2007, 11:38 AM   #11
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He should retire ASAP

I'm just a lurker here and still have a ways to go to FIRE. However, I'll give my 2 cents anyway. I think he should retire as soon as he is eligible. Then he could enjoy himself and also do all the household chores so that your life would be much easier than now. You'll also have something great to look forward to while you work the last 1-2 years.

For about 3 years, DH was only working 2 days a week while I worked more than full-time. I was only a little jealous. And when he took care of all the housework, including cooking and cleaning, then it became much more bearable.

On the flip side, if he stays because of you, he might become resentful very quickly. Of course it all depends on the personality. Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:12 PM   #12
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Without doing in depth math it seems that you are financially able to both 'pull the plug'. From a non-financial point of view, I doubt that you would regret the decision either. ? what are you waiting for?
The 'don't get greedy' piece of advice is a good one.
Assuming you have something that you are FIREing 'to', then the next question should be ... what paperwork do you need to fill out to make this happen. Best of luck to you on your decision and the future.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:34 AM   #13
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. My husband and I have talked it through and he will be retiring when he is eligible this year. I may hate getting up early while he is still tucked in bed, but it will be nice to come home to a clean house and dinner waiting on the table!
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