I'm a bit tardy in posting my intro here on the forum. I've kicked this can down the road quite a bit for a number of reasons. But now I'm going to tackle this.
I'm 45 yrs old, retired Air Force (April of this year) and an airline pilot. The airline career is going into the toilet with the economy and high fuel prices, and I'm probably going to be laid off (furloughed, in the parlance of the industry) by the end of this year (very early '09 at the latest). It'll probably be years before a recall will happen so I'm probably done with it good. I've also been having some back problems so that's also putting this career in jeopardy.
When all this started to become apparent back in May, I wrestled with what the heck I was going to do. I didn't really look forward to having to remake myself at this point of life and am not real enamored of the idea of moving and taking a job in the DOD as a civilian,, which would be the most likely way to go at this point in life.
So I started to really assess my financial situation and think about ER. I'd been piling up cash over the last year or so due to the uncertainty that comes with being in the airline biz (and my ongoing back problems), so as I looked at my assets & allocation I realized I was sitting at a good starting retirement position. I slowly started to think that it was feasible and am now convinced that it is and am looking forward to it.
Setting up a Buckets of $ strategy, but still haven't decided on the number of years to cover with B1 & B2. I plan to lean to the aggressive side since I feel able to stomach the risk and can afford to, due to a COLA'd pension underpinning me.
I have a 41+K (gross) military pension and health care coverage that comes with. By the time I get the heave ho from the airline I'll have about a 400K portfolio (not including the house). No debt other than 88K on the mortgage.
We live a modest life in rural Missouri, which brings with it a low cost of living, low property taxes (about 1K) and suits us just fine. We're pretty much homebodies so we don't need to travel, go out to eat, or other high cost pursuits.
My prospective basic budget almost fits within the pension so I don't expect to have withdraw more than about 2-3% or so. Occasionally more for purchases such as a car, roof replacement, etc.
I'm still considering finding something (or things) to make a bit of money (10-15K/yr) to augment things and give us some cushion, but I'll feel that out over the next year or so. The nice thing will be that there won't be pressure to do so and I can pick and choose as I see fit. I guess that's semi-ER though, eh?
Time will tell.
Looking forward to learning lot's more here.