Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Some Sunday Night thoughts (blues)
Old 11-11-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: chicago burbs
Posts: 559
Some Sunday Night thoughts (blues)

Just a little background about me.

- Married 52 years old, married DW is 49 and one child who is 14.

- I work for large (megacorp) company, employed as a manager. Been with the same company for 18yrs. Will be eligible for a Non-Colad pension of approx. $9,000 per yr and subsidized healthcare at age 55. However, very bored with job plus the office is very Dilbert-like (i.e. unnecessary meetings, buzzwords etc...)

- Wife works part time for library. No benefits. She could take or leave her job as well.

- We have a 15 yr mortgage at 4.75% and are 4 yrs into it. $90,000 balance. House worth about $550,000. No other debt.

- Presently have $75,000 in a 529 plan for our son's college expense.

- In addition, we have approx. $250,000 in taxable (mix of MM and MFs) and about $950,000 in tax deferred (401k and various IRAs). Overall mix is 50% equities, 25% bonds and 25% cash. Of the equities, 30% is in int'l funds. Almost all funds are with Vanguard (including 401K).

- We presently spend about $75,000/year.


I realize the prudent thing for me to do is work (suck it up) the next 3 yrs at my present employer so I qualify for the pension and the subsidized HC benefits. However, I am not sure I can handle my job for another 3 yrs as it has become brain numbing. Unfortunately, a day does not go by without me thinking of being free of this place. Sometimes, I (along with my wife) wonder if we should just quit, down size our home and just FIRE (or maybe find part time jobs we both enjoy).

I would think alot of people are in our shoes or have been. Any thoughts or musings would be appreciated on this cold Sunday evening.

Thanks,
__________________

__________________
golfnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-11-2007, 10:22 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
Ok, so I'm 49 and DH is 53. I've been so called retired for about 9 years and hubby has 18 months to go until he can be pension and medical eligible.

There hasn't been a flippin' day that goes by that we don't think, oh the heck with it. Cash it in, pick up and take off! But then reality sets in. DH knows that if he leaves now after being with the co for 22 years, he would regret losing those benefits with just a year and a half to go.

Reaching for that "magic 55" has been tough because we have endured many sh*t storms the past few years and wonder if it's all worth it. At this point we think it is.

So we just close our eyes and dream of the day in 2009 when we can say, "we made it"!

Maybe.

__________________

__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 10:59 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnut View Post

I realize the prudent thing for me to do is work (suck it up) the next 3 yrs at my present employer so I qualify for the pension and the subsidized HC benefits.
Do you totally lose the health care if you don't make it to 55? How much is subsidized? This is probably a big factor. Could you COBRA for 18 months to 'bridge' the gap, cutting your time in half?

The pension, if you would just not collect until 55, only means you need to draw an extra $9K for three years. Probably not such a big deal.

For the rest, run FireCalc. Will you be spending $75K in retirement - more, or less?

If you do decide that you just need to stick it out, there have been some threads recently about coping with it, so it's not quite so dreary, or can even be turned around to being a positive. Use up vacation/sick time, start a count-down - all sorts of ideas.

Good luck - ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 10:59 PM   #4
Moderator
bssc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,934
Hi and welcome to the boards

Well, one purpose of the Young Dreamers forum is to discuss these things. I have three months to go with MegaCorp but at least they have been keeping things interesting in a good way.
__________________
Angels danced on the day that you were born.
bssc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 11:05 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
growing_older's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,608
I also feel trapped sometimes by my job and wish I had a way to escape earlier than what my plan says. Maybe if I cut expenses unreasonably. Maybe if I sell my house and tell kids living in a tent is a fun adventure. Maybe if I get fantastic investment returns. Maybe if I ignore some of the worst political infighting it will ignore me too.

I always come back to just a short while longer (years) and stay the course. If it was only weeks (or even a couple months) I'm sure the wait would be just as excruciating but perhaps more bearable since crossing off days would seem like more progress towards a finish line. Crossing off days when there are hundreds left doesn't seem as much of a positive experience.

Sunday nights can be hard, knowing Monday I'll be right back in the thick of it. I do find I am less engaged than some others and have a bit of perspective they lack. For me getting out IS going to happen much sooner than it will for many (most? all?) the other rats in the maze. It makes some of what goes on more bearable.

One thing I've found helpful is volunteering for lateral or oddball assignments. They aren't good career moves, so often there's little interest in them. But they need to get done, company does appreciate someone doing them, and they provide a little variety in an otherwise monotonous list of responsibilities (assuming that they are doable and not death marches). Doing even a good job long enough can get boring if it's always the same job.

When I can get a calm detached moment to think, I really do have a good plan. I'm getting out reasonably soon. I'm staying in just long enough to get my resources in good shape to last a lifetime. That's a prize worth working for! So off I go Monday morning for another round. At least there's a (distant) light at the end of the tunnel and I do know I am making progress.
__________________
growing_older is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 11:23 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 831
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
Just a little background about me.

- Married 52 years old, married DW is 49 and one child who is 14.

- I work for large (megacorp) company, employed as a manager. Been with the same company for 18yrs. Will be eligible for a Non-Colad pension of approx. $9,000 per yr and subsidized healthcare at age 55. However, very bored with job plus the office is very Dilbert-like (i.e. unnecessary meetings, buzzwords etc...)

- Wife works part time for library. No benefits. She could take or leave her job as well.

- We have a 15 yr mortgage at 4.75% and are 4 yrs into it. $90,000 balance. House worth about $550,000. No other debt.

- Presently have $75,000 in a 529 plan for our son's college expense.

- In addition, we have approx. $250,000 in taxable (mix of MM and MFs) and about $950,000 in tax deferred (401k and various IRAs). Overall mix is 50% equities, 25% bonds and 25% cash. Of the equities, 30% is in int'l funds. Almost all funds are with Vanguard (including 401K).

- We presently spend about $75,000/year.


I realize the prudent thing for me to do is work (suck it up) the next 3 yrs at my present employer so I qualify for the pension and the subsidized HC benefits. However, I am not sure I can handle my job for another 3 yrs as it has become brain numbing. Unfortunately, a day does not go by without me thinking of being free of this place. Sometimes, I (along with my wife) wonder if we should just quit, down size our home and just FIRE (or maybe find part time jobs we both enjoy).

I would think alot of people are in our shoes or have been. Any thoughts or musings would be appreciated on this cold Sunday evening.

Thanks,
Stick it out. Three years is nothing compared to the rest of your life. Subsidized health insurance is no little thing, it's worth waiting/fighting for. As is the pension. In the meantime, you could still consider downsizing, and using net proceeds to further shore up your portfolio and get totally debt free. Then at 55, you can re-evaluate from a much stronger position.

In these next three years too, you can also practice living on a retirement budget and seeing what works.
__________________
Dreams Worth Dreaming are Dreams Worth Planning For. I Spent a Career Planning for Early Retirement.
RetireeRobert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 11:52 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 193
Golfnut - it's a tough decision to make. Check the 'just one more year' thread in the best of the boards for more insight into indecision.

I personally hit FIRE earlier this year, but decided to hold out for another year or two. You mention the subsidized health insurance, and that's definitely a biggie. I dont' have any pension or benefits holding me back, but I figured out that each additional year of work at my current pace would allow me to spend about 7% more each year in retirement - for the rest of my life.

It wasn't an easy decision, I also spend each day thinking about life after work, but I decided that a couple more years to have 15% extra spending power the rest of my life was worthwhile (who knows if I'll change my mind tomorrow).

I guess the good news is that it sounds like you can make it work out either way!
__________________
skyline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 03:34 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 898
I'd be interested to know what the value of the healthcare subsidy is.

Generally, though, I side with the folks that say stick it out. The PV of that 9k/yr and healthcare subsidy is not insubstantial as a percentage of your total assets. I'd be inclined not to leave it on the table (easy for me to say, I know, I'm not the one putting up with your work situation).

I also think there are coping strategies, *especially* if there's a clear end date in mind. Even a little light at the end of the tunnel helps.
__________________
Money's just something you need in case you don't die tomorrow.
Maurice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 06:51 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,119
If you have a clear ending sight, 3 years. The medical is a big thing. I made sure my medical benies were in my court before I made my move this past jan.
__________________
newguy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 07:46 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,440
I would grit my teeth and stick it out. As others have said, use all your vacation and spread it through out the year to give yourself several breaks. Also think about the extra cash you can stash away for great trips when you do retire. Focus on your goals and the next 3 years will be much easier to handle.

Good luck!
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 08:44 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
Sandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 855
I will give a slightly different perspective. Hang in as long as you can if you can make it, great, if not bail.

My DH was in a toxic setting. I begged him for the past 2 years to get out, but he didn't want to walk away from $$. About 2 weeks ago he said he had to quit - and did. Those 2 years added a lot (pension and state deferred funds), but he still walked away from about $100K in accured leave and additional state deferred funds. He will get a small COLA'd pension, but we are not FIRE yet, and this is not enough (small kids still at home). Now, he has to get something ASAP. Not easy, and will probably end up doing something not wonderful, but brings in the balance of $$ we need for our plan - in a nicer setting. Difficult transition, but I am sure he will still be happier in the end.
__________________
I would not have anyone adopt my mode of living...but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead. Thoreau, Walden
Sandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 08:44 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
dex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
Just a little background about me.

I realize the prudent thing for me to do is work (suck it up) the next 3 yrs at my present employer so I qualify for the pension and the subsidized HC benefits. However, I am not sure I can handle my job for another 3 yrs as it has become brain numbing. Unfortunately, a day does not go by without me thinking of being free of this place. Sometimes, I (along with my wife) wonder if we should just quit, down size our home and just FIRE (or maybe find part time jobs we both enjoy).
Thanks,
If you survived this long you must be a good worker. I would say - stick it out but think about how you can dial back you emphasis on work and begin to transition to ER. You will be happier there.
__________________
Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living. - Jack Benny at Nat King Cole's funeral
dex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 09:00 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
so I qualify for the pension and the subsidized HC benefits.
Welcome golfnut

A few questions:
1) Do you know what the actual cost is of those subsidized HC benefits? Sometimes, the employer only pays a part of the actual cost - does HR publish what the retiree cost is?

2) Sometimes, if you vest in a pension (I'm assuming you're fully vested if you leave before 55), a company will let you roll over the cash value. Normally, this is only done if the cash value is <$5,000 (and you're fully vested). There might be a chance that they would let you roll it over if you leave now. Are the HR materials on a company intranet that you could peek at without raising suspicions ("Hello HR - could you tell me what would happen to my pension if I told you all to go to h*ll today?" )

3) Regarding the 'Dilbert' factor...what would you say are the biggest 3 frustrations with your job?

Now, imagine your workplace, but make it 10x as unbearable. What would be the 3 biggest frustrations then?

While every job will have its positives and negatives, ask yourself if those negatives of your current job are really all that bad? I guarantee you that it could easily be 10x worse. Don't let the BS get you down - simply laugh it off and know that you'll be enjoying the ER life in a short while.

Not only do you have subsidized HI and a bigger pension if you wait - you will also have 2 more years of saving up, and 2 less years that your portfolio will have to fund - making a 4% SWR even better than if you bailed now.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 09:34 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,019
I agree with the majority who advise hanging in there. Another suggestion: does your corporation have a confidential (arms' length) employee assistance program? If so you may be able to get some free and confidential counselling on how to deal with the BS.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 10:17 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
I'd recommend a detailed analysis of your expenses. Look at how much you'd spend if you downsized and moved to a cheaper place. That will help you decide.

Lots of people on this forum live on $35K/year or less and don't feel deprived.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 11:38 AM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 347
Golfnut. Looking at your ##'s you could probably retire tomorrow. Big ?? is health care. Explore your options in the state you live and compare to megacorp health care. Once you you make the decision to bail and have a plan you'll find your BS tolerance goes way down. After all what are they gonna do FIRE you?
__________________
USCG regulations say you have to go out. They don't say anything about coming back.
USK Coastie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 04:08 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
lightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 135
Golfnut, I can really empathize. If I can hang in there 4 more years I'll be ok to FIRE, but there was a recent 12 month period where I was absolutely miserable and thought about quitting everyday. I still do, but I'm not as miserable at the moment as my situation became somewhat more tolerable for me, and I'm hoping it will last a while. I also developed a coping mechanism of disengagement, where I have diecided just to do the best job I can with what I have, and shrug off things that were making me miserable that I could not really control. I don't know if it'll get me 4 years, but I'm going to try.
__________________
lightspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 05:41 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 541
I say of you can stomach it stick it out. A small pension and medical care is huge in the grand scheme of things. I will be eligible for a military retirement in a little over 2.5 yrs with all the medical. Just today I ran a quick back of the envelope calculation on what my "retainer fee" is is worth. At the current rank its about a $932K annuity on the current amount not counting the COLA'd portion. My guess on the medical it is worth $90k in premium savings plus whatever it pays out. In the last 9 yrs it has paid out over $500k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by growing_older View Post

One thing I've found helpful is volunteering for lateral or oddball assignments. They aren't good career moves, so often there's little interest in them. But they need to get done, company does appreciate someone doing them, and they provide a little variety in an otherwise monotonous list of responsibilities (assuming that they are doable and not death marches).
This is where I am at. I take the tasks/TDYs that no one else wants if I think it will be fun and help pass the time. Last eval is complete before next promotion board, board sets this month, so it is what it is. If I make it great, if not I am sure we will be just fine. Of course I do get into that 1 or 2 more year zone from time to time if I get the one perfect assignment. I have been asked to go do it but I am not sure how the assignment gurus will react. I am not holding my breath.

Staying 1 - 2 more years would put us in such a better place financially I think. Of course if I get there do I have the same feelings to keep going on? Looking at ways to be in that same place w/o the 2 yrs is something I am working on now. Fortunately we have a lot of flexibility and I have some ideas.

I find it reassuring to talk to like minded people but it is hard when they are not around. It is easy to get into the grind and dread Mondays. Hang in there!

Tomcat98
__________________
JDARNELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 06:26 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posts: 831
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
Just a little background about me.

- Married 52 years old, married DW is 49 and one child who is 14.

- I work for large (megacorp) company, employed as a manager. Been with the same company for 18yrs. Will be eligible for a Non-Colad pension of approx. $9,000 per yr and subsidized healthcare at age 55. However, very bored with job plus the office is very Dilbert-like (i.e. unnecessary meetings, buzzwords etc...)

- Wife works part time for library. No benefits. She could take or leave her job as well.

- We have a 15 yr mortgage at 4.75% and are 4 yrs into it. $90,000 balance. House worth about $550,000. No other debt.

- Presently have $75,000 in a 529 plan for our son's college expense.

- In addition, we have approx. $250,000 in taxable (mix of MM and MFs) and about $950,000 in tax deferred (401k and various IRAs). Overall mix is 50% equities, 25% bonds and 25% cash. Of the equities, 30% is in int'l funds. Almost all funds are with Vanguard (including 401K).

- We presently spend about $75,000/year.


I realize the prudent thing for me to do is work (suck it up) the next 3 yrs at my present employer so I qualify for the pension and the subsidized HC benefits. However, I am not sure I can handle my job for another 3 yrs as it has become brain numbing. Unfortunately, a day does not go by without me thinking of being free of this place. Sometimes, I (along with my wife) wonder if we should just quit, down size our home and just FIRE (or maybe find part time jobs we both enjoy).

I would think alot of people are in our shoes or have been. Any thoughts or musings would be appreciated on this cold Sunday evening.

Thanks,
Adjust your attitude. Fix your eyes on the prize sitting there at the end of 3 years. It is so little time, you can do anything for three years.

I went through rough times starting about 5 years before my target date. And they were rough times 4 years and 3 years and 2 years out. But I had set my goal, made my plan, and I stuck to it and perservered. And I am glad I did. If I had tossed it in at 5 or 4 or 3 or 2 years, I would have felt like I sold myself out. And likely regretted it the rest of my life. Instead I reached my goal, I sailed through all the BS for those years, and now I have myself to thank for a GREAT retirement. And the retirement feels good, and the way I reached it feels good too.

Stick it out, don't let the BSers at work force you out or scare you out before you reach YOUR goal. Don't let them run your life. Run your life yourself. Their BS can't take that from you if you don't let it.
__________________
Dreams Worth Dreaming are Dreams Worth Planning For. I Spent a Career Planning for Early Retirement.
RetireeRobert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 06:46 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
Rustle up a DVD of John Wayne's She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - and start your X's on the calender/s going.

Time flies when you're having fun.

Rock up and smile - it scares the Hell out of them!

heh heh heh -
__________________

__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scott Burns on PBS Sunday & Sunday Telly FIRE and Money 4 06-26-2007 10:21 AM
Amazing Race All Star Edition starts tomorrow (Sunday) night on CBS bssc Other topics 5 02-20-2007 08:49 AM
Monday Blues laurence Young Dreamers 17 06-10-2005 09:43 PM
Sunday Night FIRE Dreams? REWahoo Other topics 4 05-23-2005 01:10 PM
Biker's blues John Galt Life after FIRE 3 02-27-2005 05:22 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:46 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.