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Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 03:13 AM   #1
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Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Hello from Savannah GA,
...Time for me to log in. I have been reading here for several weeks. I like what I have read and admire the willingness of people here to share information.* I have seen several excellent threads that have made me readjust my thinking about life and FIRE.
...I and my wife are both 53. I retired from flying Chinooks in the army in 93 and went back to college to get a degree in nursing. I have been working parttime nights for the last ten years on an ortho floor in a level 1 trauma center. In case that sounds impressive it is actually messy work in what is commonly called the county hospital. I like the work but find that it intrudes too much into my play/hobby time. My wife teaches economics and psychology in a public high school and is working on yet another advanced degree. She likes her job and plans to keep at it for another 5 or 6 years. Our kids are grown and on their own. The house is paid for and we are debt free. Our expenses are small compared to our earnings and so we have been saving for early retirement for a long time.* Trouble is compared to many of you I am already too late for an "early" retirement. I could have retired some time ago but*mrsjclarksnakes would have been difficult to live with if I was doing nothing* and she was working. She could start collecting a pension next year and does agree that after that she will be working solely because she wants to and I can retire and not have her too PO'd at me. With my current pension and her pension*after she retires we will probably not need to take more than 1 or 2 percent each year from our IRAs, 401s, 403bs, savings etc. Both our pensions are/will be inflation adjusted and I see Social Security as a further hedge against inflation. We are both healthy and active. Tricare (retired military) health insurance covers us both and is cheap.
....I am ready for you good people to deflate my bubble and tell me what I should do differently to enjoy a nice retirement.
Life is good!
jc
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

I bet your DW will enjoy your retirement if you take care of all the garden / home chores....
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 07:11 AM   #3
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Holy mind shift Batman! - to paraphrase the ancient TV Series.

I was canned at 49 in 1993 and became UNEMPLOYED! My brain viewed early retirement as 63 in those days.

Don't underrate the mental adjustment. Took awhile to realize I had the financial resources and the ability to do 'nothing in particular' all day - aggressively - heh heh heh.

Let's see - unemployed, private investor, took a temp job for about a year, small pension at 55(I are an 'official" retiree), she said screw you and retired a little over a year later also(I'm a bad influence).

Moral - it's great - BUT each of us has some old work routine/habit patterns/mental additudes to readjust.

Come on in - the water's fine.

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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

jc,

Maybe you should figure out something to do that doesn't look like 'doing nothing'. Is there something (less messy) you have seen in your work that you might be able to do part-time or as a volunteer? Make order out of disorder somewhere? Do research for doctors in an area of interest? There are always important things that get put off because someone is too busy. You could always organize golf tournaments.

Ed

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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
She could start collecting a pension next year and does agree that after that she will be working solely because she wants to
I'm in a similar situation. I was always the cook, but when I retired I also became the driver and handle other chores that are a pain in the b**t for the employed. DW now finds having a house boy is a great value. She is also starting to see the good side of ER 8). What was to be 3 or 4 more years and then part time, is now more like 2 years and out.
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 07:36 AM   #6
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I'm in a similar situation. I was always the cook, but when I retired I also became the driver and handle other chores that are a pain in the b**t for the employed. DW now finds having a house boy is a great value. She is also starting to see the good side of ER 8). What was to be 3 or 4 more years and then part time, is now more like 2 years and out.
As the working wife (though part time, semi retired) of an ER spouse, I agree that an ER spouse is "great value." He too was always the cook, but having all the other things done as well is darn nice. I do most of the yard stuff, but that is because it is my hobby.
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Looks like you have it made in the shade.* 8)* Go for it Bubba!
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 09:52 AM   #8
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

JC, I can't burst your bubble. It seems to me you two have managed life better than most, contributed more than most to society, and have earned what sounds like a great retirement. I'm looking forward to your contributions to the forum.

Have a ball, and keep the boss happy!

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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 11:55 AM   #9
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Welcome to the board, JC!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
I like the work but find that it intrudes too much into my play/hobby time.
I hate it when that happens. Are you able to negotiate for management's choice of "part time or no time"? My spouse has been able to marginally improve her working conditions by telling her co-workers/bosses "Look, I'm happy to help here if I can enjoy the work, but I don't have to work. If you want me to work here then I have to be happy!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
My wife teaches economics and psychology in a public high school and is working on yet another advanced degree. She likes her job and plans to keep at it for another 5 or 6 years.
Man, that'd make me feel grumpy. I can't even teach econ or psych to our teenager, let alone imagine trying to do it to a roomful of them. I'm not sure that they have enough brain cells (or can lower their hormone levels enough) to pay attention, let alone process the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
Trouble is compared to many of you I am already too late for an "early" retirement. I could have retired some time ago but mrsjclarksnakes would have been difficult to live with if I was doing nothing and she was working. She could start collecting a pension next year and does agree that after that she will be working solely because she wants to and I can retire and not have her too PO'd at me.
The only "too late" is when you're dead. It would seem that surviving flying one of the world's oldest, largest, slowest, and most ungainly targets Chinooks for 20 years and acquiring lifetime affordable health insurance would give you the right to declare "I've done my part!" As your spouse, shouldn't she be happy for you? Or at least happy that you have an opportunity to pursue your interests and take care of the domestic front while she's slaving away? Wouldn't she worry about the effect of your workplace on your psyche and perhaps even your health?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
....I am ready for you good people to deflate my bubble and tell me what I should do differently to enjoy a nice retirement.
Life is good!
Let's see: health insurance for life, check. COLA pension, check. Extremely low withdrawal rate, check. Working spouse, check. Looks like you have all the bases covered!

If there's a problem, it's that your spouse doesn't seem to be available to enjoy ER with you. Hopefully that'll change when she's eligible to start pulling down her own independent pension. I'm not sure how my self-esteem would feel if my spouse was happier spending the day with a roomful of hormonally- & emotionally-challenged teenagers instead of having to spend time with me... but I'd have to agree that it would be her problem, not yours.
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 12:06 PM   #10
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Thanks for the welcome and nice comments. The one thing that I am having trouble accepting is just how easy it was for us to get here. It amazes me that so many hard working people I know are unable to consider retiring at any age because they have worked hard but have not worked smart. Many of them have little or even no savings and limited or no pension income to consider in the equation. I hear more people talking about credit card debt than saving and investing. What is the matter with these people?
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 12:31 PM   #11
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
Thanks for the welcome and nice comments. The one thing that I am having trouble accepting is just how easy it was for us to get here. It amazes me that so many hard working people jc
It's the pension and health benefits. Dinosaurs for the non-government non-military work force.

You paid your dues. Enjoy.
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 12:37 PM   #12
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
Thanks for the welcome and nice comments. The one thing that I am having trouble accepting is just how easy it was for us to get here.
I've lost several friends to aviation mishaps over the years. It always looks easy when survivors are the only people left to talk about it.

I think the military lifestyle also removes many spending opportunities. Sometimes work is just too busy for people to take the time to spend spend spend.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that the hard-working people's FICA taxes are going to fix Social Security & Medicare for the smart-working people!
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 12:51 PM   #13
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

I think the military lifestyle also removes many spending opportunities.* Sometimes work is just too busy for people to take the time to spend spend spend.
I found almost no opportunities to spend money at 400 feet going 4 kts to nowhere.
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-02-2006, 01:45 PM   #14
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

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I found almost no opportunities to spend money at 400 feet going 4 kts to nowhere.
Except for wardroom poker, although that put more money in my 1980s checking account than the sea pay did.

And, of course, for nominating the guy who'd be compacting trash for the troops during the Halfway Night festivities.

I truly regretted being provoked into declaring "There's not enough money aboard this submarine to make me spend my offwatch time smashing trash!" But I understand that the Recreation Committee funded three holiday parties from the grassroots surge of support for my position.
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.
Old 06-07-2006, 07:00 AM   #15
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Re: Too late, coulda and shoulda retired already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclarksnakes
...
Many of them have little or even no savings and limited or no pension income to consider in the equation. I hear more people talking about credit card debt than saving and investing. What is the matter with these people?
jc
Just that last statement alone makes you a good fit for this message board.*
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:01 AM   #16
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Update to this thread after being away from the forum for a couple years. DW and I are now 59 years old. I retired in september 2009. DW is still teaching. Her friends and co-workers refer to me as her trophy husband. She had a pre-retirement meeting with state teachers retirement guru a couple weeks ago and has decided she will retire at the end of next school year. The biggest problem for both of us is getting our minds around spending money rather than saving it. DW decided to stop making contributions to her 403B. Not as much sense deferring taxes now as when we were younger and thought we would stay in the poor folks tax bracket forever. We could get by on our pensions. If we wait till age 70 to draw SS which fits with our ingrained LBYM mentality we will also the same year have to start taking RMDs from IRAs and 403s and will have way more than enough income. We can take some out of IRAs and 403s each year from the time she retires till we start drawing SS just to smooth the income stream out a little. Alternatively we could start drawing SS for one or both of us before then. Life is good!
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:47 AM   #17
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Congratulations on your retirement, and thanks for checking back in to let us know.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:50 AM   #18
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Congratulations on your retirement, and thanks for checking back in to let us know.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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We enjoy success stories here, thanks for updating here. And congratulations on a plan very well executed!
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:01 PM   #20
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The update was nice to read. Congrats on your retirement.
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