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SOOOOOO Ready.....
Old 05-15-2011, 11:29 AM   #1
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SOOOOOO Ready.....

.... I think,

I've been working in my current position for 18+ years. It's with the State. My previous position was very similar and that was 8+ years. So, I've been BORED for 26 years for the most part but felt it was my obligation to have steady income for my family's sake. However, the kids have been gone from the nest for years and my wife and I just met with a fee only financial planner, the BIG QUESTION being HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? I never worried about it but my wife has not been able to sleep at times worrying about it, for no good reason that I can see.

Before I give you the answer let me first say that I've been working a side business for over five years part time. I told the advisor that my goal was to retire and develop my business so that I have complete control over what I do, when. It's basically training so I can do it completely on my own, when I choose.

We've very frugal and, after looking at all the numbers.... drum roll..... she said, I can retire NOW!!! I'm 57 (next month) and have no plans to sit on my duff but I'm excited about the possibility of no longer being bureaucratized to death all the time and dealing with everyone's problems.

This was yesterday so I'm not totally comfortable with giving up the security of 26 years of conditioning and having to restructure my life... but it may grow on me!

Brad
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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I'm Right There With Ya

BradMM - that's good news. I think I understand your what you're experiencing. DW and I had a similar discussion with a fee only advisor on Friday. We sensed we have "enough" and the CFP confirmed our plan.

So now I just have to do it. It's a little scary after working 5+ days a week for all these years. I just turned 52 the two weeks ago and DW will be 49 this year. What are we waiting on?

So BradMM... let's do it! Ready... Aim... FIRE!
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #3
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I think finding this forum was PERFECT TIMING for me!
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:27 PM   #4
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This was yesterday so I'm not totally comfortable with giving up the security of 26 years of conditioning and having to restructure my life... but it may grow on me!

Brad
Just do it! It might be scary at first, but it will grow on you. You will adapt and soon you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. Security is overrated, especially if you're not happy.

As for concentrating on your business, if that's what makes you happy, do it. Don't let anyone question your idea of retirement. I "work", but I love what I do now and really don't consider it work. Actually, since I'm writing books, lot's of other people wouldn't consider it real work either.

As long as you are living for yourself, doing what you want, when you want is all that matters. Here's to a long and happy retirement.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:14 PM   #5
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I resigned from my job to spend more time with my mom who recently moved from Seattle to FL and into our apartment complex. I'm not completely sure I'm done working forever but I'm done for now and with each passing day (it's only been 2 weeks!), I find it harder and harder to imagine myself going back to work. All our ducks are in a row financially for this to be "it" but should the markets take another big dive, my plans might have to change. Hopefully, the dive doesn't occur until DH is 70 and can draw his max social security benefit! My emotions are a mix of euphoria and fear but I agree with flyfishvevada that at some point you just have to do it as time is passing very quickly.

I'm 52 and my DH will soon be 62. We are in good health so we were able to purchase high deductible health insurance and we also have access to low cost healthcare at the VA. What is your plan for health insurance?
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:27 PM   #6
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I mentioned that I work for the State. So does my wife. So, we're both already covered for life for health insurance. The premiums are going up and the coverage is sliding a bit but that's probably true all over.

I'm 57 and she's 62 so she'll be eligible for Medicare before me but we're both in good health. I work out (usually swim, some weights) regularly.

I will have a pension and I'm fully vested. She's faculty so they have a different plan that will be more impacted by "the market." We've both fully contributed to our 403b's (like a 401k but for govt) for years as well as the Roth IRA's I created. I was also buying stock but we bought a lake house last year (cash) with those funds to try to diversify. The house we live in has been paid off for years, no car payments, no consumer debt. In fact, we flew to Hawaii and back one year for free because of credit card frequent flier miles... since we always pay it off, it didn't really cost us anything.

I could conceivably make as much with my (now) side business but I'm not sure how much I will work to build it. Oh, I also have an SEP IRA for my business but it's pretty new.

B
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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Congrats BradMM!

Go for it, enjoy the semi-retirement, and good luck with the business!
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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Congrats!! Enjoy it when you take the plunge. Don't let doubt and worry spoil it.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:25 AM   #9
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I mentioned that I work for the State. So does my wife. So, we're both already covered for life for health insurance. The premiums are going up and the coverage is sliding a bit but that's probably true all over.

I'm 57 and she's 62 so she'll be eligible for Medicare before me but we're both in good health. I work out (usually swim, some weights) regularly.

I will have a pension and I'm fully vested. She's faculty so they have a different plan that will be more impacted by "the market." We've both fully contributed to our 403b's (like a 401k but for govt) for years as well as the Roth IRA's I created. I was also buying stock but we bought a lake house last year (cash) with those funds to try to diversify. The house we live in has been paid off for years, no car payments, no consumer debt. In fact, we flew to Hawaii and back one year for free because of credit card frequent flier miles... since we always pay it off, it didn't really cost us anything.

I could conceivably make as much with my (now) side business but I'm not sure how much I will work to build it. Oh, I also have an SEP IRA for my business but it's pretty new.

B
Looks like you're covered. SEE YA and congrats!
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:29 AM   #10
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I'm still uncertain even though the facts bear out the truth. My DW is really uneasy about the whole idea because she's a worrier by nature... now, didn't used to be. So, I've got to get her over the hump. Since she's faculty, she only HAS TO go up to school two days a week but she goes every day, all day, anyway which may be a good thing since she doesn't deal well with lack of structure.

BUT, if I don't get out of this job - been doing this meaningless stuff for 26 years! - I'll be very disappointed in myself for not taking this opportunity while I have it! It really does kind of boil down to finding "meaning" in my work life. Yes, I held jobs but I'm looking to do something meaningful TO ME before it's all over.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:39 AM   #11
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Will your retirement plans mesh with her "keep working" plans? If you want to travel, can you set it up so it's over her breaks and/or during time when she doesn't have to be on campus?

If structure is important to her, then you might need to take the initiative in providing it for retirement activities (at least the ones you want her to participate in). If she likes her job / needs the social interaction / wants to still work / etc / etc / etc but you don't, there's no reason you can't take the leap when your finances allow and then she join you later. Maybe her seeing you have fun will encourage her to jump in as well.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:08 AM   #12
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Brad,
Congrats! So the big question now is... Are you in the graduating class of 2011?

I am actually in a similar financial position. But the work environment is not too toxic here at the moment, so I have elected to hang in there until early 2012. I hope to accumulate a little more $ for a safer withdrawal rate plus a "play money" bucket. Also, I want DW to be comfortable too.

Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:47 AM   #13
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I'm still uncertain even though the facts bear out the truth. My DW is really uneasy about the whole idea because she's a worrier by nature... now, didn't used to be. So, I've got to get her over the hump. Since she's faculty, she only HAS TO go up to school two days a week but she goes every day, all day, anyway which may be a good thing since she doesn't deal well with lack of structure.

BUT, if I don't get out of this job - been doing this meaningless stuff for 26 years! - I'll be very disappointed in myself for not taking this opportunity while I have it! It really does kind of boil down to finding "meaning" in my work life. Yes, I held jobs but I'm looking to do something meaningful TO ME before it's all over.
I guess you need to present the situation in a way in which she can understand and calm any fears she may have. If you tell us what she's worried about maybe people here can help you to win her over to the FIRE frame of mind.

And if that doesn't work, you retire and let her go to work every day.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:58 PM   #14
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Love the thread! And love the title!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:16 PM   #15
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If you go to links above you will find firecalc. You can plug in all sorts of scenarios and it will give you the success rate of retirement. Play with it a little.

Also, do you know how much money you spend every year? For sure? That is a real biggie as many people really don't know. I would either track every penny (which is what we do) or do a rough calculation, figure out how much you earned, minus taxes and savings to get an idea. One of our friends said they lived on less than thirty thousand a year - but when they tracked for a few months realized it was much more than that.

having that info can help to convince you and your wife one way or the other if you truly have enough.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:50 PM   #16
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BradMM - DH slid (snuck) into early retirement nearly 8 years ago at 54 after we moved to an area with a poor labor market. He took over all the chores (yard, cars, laundry, pets, grocery shopping, cleaning, some cooking, kitchen clean-up). He wasn't collecting any retirement checks (and won't be for a little while longer) but he made it very easy for me to continue working until I recently resigned. His time doing this type of stuff was much more valuable to us than the wages from a low-paying job.

Would DW be more positive about you retiring if it meant less work at home for her? It's easy to get used to having no household chores!
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Ease Into Retirement
Old 05-25-2011, 06:20 AM   #17
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Ease Into Retirement

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BradMM - DH slid (snuck) into early retirement nearly 8 years ago at 54 after we moved to an area with a poor labor market. He took over all the chores (yard, cars, laundry, pets, grocery shopping, cleaning, some cooking, kitchen clean-up). He wasn't collecting any retirement checks (and won't be for a little while longer) but he made it very easy for me to continue working until I recently resigned. His time doing this type of stuff was much more valuable to us than the wages from a low-paying job.

Would DW be more positive about you retiring if it meant less work at home for her? It's easy to get used to having no household chores!
A few years ago DW and I decided she would work part time and I would continue full-time. That began our transition so now she is not working and I am considering resigning. DW has been doing many of the things mentioned above. That has reduced my stress level and it gives us more free time to enjoy life.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:16 PM   #18
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Love the thread! And love the title!
Sorry if I stole your thunder!
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:20 PM   #19
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Also, do you know how much money you spend every year? For sure?
Yep, DW is a CPA..... and CFE and some some other acct cert's and a HR certification and a PhD and ... blah, blah, blah...

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having that info can help to convince you and your wife one way or the other if you truly have enough.
It's an emotional problem, not a rational one. FEAR!
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:26 PM   #20
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Would DW be more positive about you retiring if it meant less work at home for her? It's easy to get used to having no household chores!
I tried to play that angle but (1) we live pretty simply so there's not a lot to do and (2) I do as much as I can - she doesn't want me to do some things!

Up until a couple of years ago, I was working my full time job, my side business and teaching university classes. I'm not teaching the classes so I've filled that time with other stuff. We bought (CASH) a lake house almost a year ago and I've been remodeling it on the weekends ever since. It was mostly a diversification of investments but hopefully will be a family gathering place.
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