Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Too Much Good News to Handle
Old 01-13-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 11
Too Much Good News to Handle

First off, I apologize for the lengthy introduction. I have been reading this forum for a few months since I will be eligible for retirement through my employer on July 1st. I have found that there is a wealth of information here and hope to gain from using and contributing.
2010 is looking to be a momentous year for me. I am 57 and have never been married. However, more about ten years ago, I met a wonderful woman while on vacation rafting through the Grand Canyon. We began a long distance relationship a year of so later and have continued sharing holidays, vacations, and visits as frequent as possible. We are 570 miles apart, me in Ohio, she in PA. The good news is that we were engaged last year and will be getting married in October 2010. She recently retired from a long term teaching position at a community college. She has one son with wife and two small kids in CA and they are great to me.
To make things more complicated, it appears certain that my employer will offer an early retirement incentive at the end of this month. There will be a decent incentive based upon years of service and would be effective April 1, so I would just have to wait until July 1 to start getting my pension.
We both will have decent pensions and both have followed the 401k route to establish retirement funds, so finances should not be a problem, but want to manage the resources effectively.
So, I am facing retirement, marriage, and need to find a common home location all at the same time.
The request that I would make is for others to provide recommendations on resolving many of the issues that we will be facing so that we can better lay out a plan going forward. I want to take advantage of what I see as the best time of our lives.
Here are the issues that I see on the list in no particular order:

1) I have been an engineer married to my work forever. The career has been good to me and challenging to say the least. I am worried that the day I retire that there will be this huge vacuum not going to work and will have trouble filling up the days. Need feedback on what others have done to adjust. Did you ever find the need to go back to work just to be fulfilled? Or, can I hope to celebrate the good fortune and turn the page?
2) Would like recommendations on how to handle finances. Should we merge all accounts etc? I envision having a joint account to place all normal pension income to pay routine expenses, joint ownership in home and other major assests and still maintain separate investment accounts.
3) We both have homes with no mortgage to worry about, but need to decide on where to retire and how to handle existing property. She, and escpecially me, have always liked to vacation and travel the Western US. I had worked in Flagstaff years ago and have always liked the Northern Az area, so it is on the list for consideration as a retirement location. We are thinking of both keeping our homes temporarily and heading out to Flagstaff and rent for a while. At the same time would be looking for other locations that may be preferred. Would like input on steps to get a retirement residence and sequence to sell off existing property, downsize etc. Also recommendations based upon experience for other Western US locations for retirement.

So, I am blessed with good news, and overwhelmed at the same time.

Thanks for reading and your insight!
__________________

__________________
Chalupadrop 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 01-13-2010, 09:39 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
In reply to your questions:

1) Fill the void - one way or another. Find whatever works for you. Where I work there are a few who just can't seem to stay away. They retire and then we see them back here - The Zombie retiree's.

Take a look at Ernie J Zilinski's book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor ". That book really hits the nail on the head on finding yourself in retirement. http://www.amazon.com/How-Retire-Hap...3397214&sr=1-1

2) The money thing. I have been married a long time and we are still struggling a bit with the money thing. Everyone needs to have some spending money they don't have to rationalize to their partner. Joint accounts/separate accounts - It's up to you. I suggest you have a number of conversations with you partner on this issue and all of the big financial issues.

When you have a joint account and the spouse makes some big (or small) purchases that you think are dumb, exactly how would that make you feel? And vice versa. Or if one of the partners can't spend the money fast enough and the other is a saver or frugal, then tensions will arise. Separate accounts may (or may not) lessen the tension. Somehow though there needs to be some fairness in cash flow regardless of who earned the money.

3) Sell one house - buy the new one. Sell the other house


- The biggest issue I had when getting married after being single a long time was just having someone around all the time. You need a plan to have time and hobbies to yourself. Ditto for the spouse. Otherwise you drive each other crazy.

- Good luck, and keep us posted as to what happens
__________________

__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
You soon to be wife may also want to make sure that her children are provided for to some extent when she is gone. The two of you might want to discuss a prenup for those kind of issues.

I would ease into combining the money, as you both become more comfortable with each of your styles.

Congratulations! Take some trips and see where you want to land.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,826
Welcome to the Early Retirement Forum. I have some suggestions, and I won't be offended if you ignore any that don't seem like a good idea to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop View Post
First off, I apologize for the lengthy introduction. I have been reading this forum for a few months since I will be eligible for retirement through my employer on July 1st. I have found that there is a wealth of information here and hope to gain from using and contributing.
2010 is looking to be a momentous year for me. I am 57 and have never been married. However, more about ten years ago, I met a wonderful woman while on vacation rafting through the Grand Canyon. We began a long distance relationship a year of so later and have continued sharing holidays, vacations, and visits as frequent as possible. We are 570 miles apart, me in Ohio, she in PA. The good news is that we were engaged last year and will be getting married in October 2010. She recently retired from a long term teaching position at a community college. She has one son with wife and two small kids in CA and they are great to me.
I would suggest living in the same community for a year before marrying, if possible. It can't do any harm, and you could spend more time together on a day-to-day basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop
To make things more complicated, it appears certain that my employer will offer an early retirement incentive at the end of this month. There will be a decent incentive based upon years of service and would be effective April 1, so I would just have to wait until July 1 to start getting my pension.
Great! Does this mean that you plan to quit work in April? This would give you a few months to adjust to retirement before tackling the other life changes that you have mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop
We both will have decent pensions and both have followed the 401k route to establish retirement funds, so finances should not be a problem, but want to manage the resources effectively.
So, I am facing retirement, marriage, and need to find a common home location all at the same time.
I think that you have already guessed my next suggestion: that you need to space these out a little bit. I would allow at least six months to adjust to retirement and to get your house ready to sell and on the market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop
The request that I would make is for others to provide recommendations on resolving many of the issues that we will be facing so that we can better lay out a plan going forward. I want to take advantage of what I see as the best time of our lives.
Here are the issues that I see on the list in no particular order:

1) I have been an engineer married to my work forever. The career has been good to me and challenging to say the least. I am worried that the day I retire that there will be this huge vacuum not going to work and will have trouble filling up the days. Need feedback on what others have done to adjust. Did you ever find the need to go back to work just to be fulfilled? Or, can I hope to celebrate the good fortune and turn the page?
Given the fact that you see some difficulties ahead in adjusting to retirement, I would suggest allowing six months to a year to do so before you marry. Do not expect your new wife to fill that huge vacuum in your life for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop
2) Would like recommendations on how to handle finances. Should we merge all accounts etc? I envision having a joint account to place all normal pension income to pay routine expenses, joint ownership in home and other major assests and still maintain separate investment accounts.
Before you marry (which I hope can wait for a year or so after you retire) you can discuss this with your fiancee. Remember that marriage is not just a romantic/religious arrangement, but has tremendous financial implications and in the minds of some, could even be considered to be more of a financial arrangement than anything else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop
3) We both have homes with no mortgage to worry about, but need to decide on where to retire and how to handle existing property. She, and escpecially me, have always liked to vacation and travel the Western US. I had worked in Flagstaff years ago and have always liked the Northern Az area, so it is on the list for consideration as a retirement location. We are thinking of both keeping our homes temporarily and heading out to Flagstaff and rent for a while. At the same time would be looking for other locations that may be preferred. Would like input on steps to get a retirement residence and sequence to sell off existing property, downsize etc. Also recommendations based upon experience for other Western US locations for retirement.
I have no suggestions for Western US locations. I think the idea of not selling and going for a trip out west with her is a great idea. I would suggest you consider it to be a pleasure trip and don't look at houses yet - - just look at locations and enjoy her company.

Sequence would be:
1) Determine city or town in which you both wish to retire
2) put present homes on the market
3) rent in retirement location for a while until you have determined the neighborhood in which you want to live
4) complete sales of present homes
5) then start looking at houses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop
So, I am blessed with good news, and overwhelmed at the same time.

Thanks for reading and your insight!
I sure don't blame you for feeling overwhelmed. These are monumental life changes and few would find tackling all of them at once to be any less than overwhelming. My main suggestion would be to SLOW DOWN. I am thinking that you have the rest of your lives ahead of you, and your marriage would be more meaningful if you are not feeling rushed or pressured to marry so soon. Consider getting to know one another on a day-to-day basis first.

I retired in November, and my dear friend and companion, Frank, and I had always planned to sell our houses and move to Missouri. But just getting our houses ready to sell is a lot of work, and the housing market is not improving yet in our area. Last week we discussed delaying and not putting our houses on the market for a year or two until the market improves. He will retire in late February, and he will need some time to adjust too (like you, he has been an engineer all of his life). He lives here, so delaying is not as much of a problem for us as it could be for you, though.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 11:03 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
Welcome to the forum.

Excellent advice so far. My two cents would be agree that you need to slow down and approach the marriage thoughtfully to make sure that actually living together is what you hope it will be. An excellent book on love and marriage is Amazon.com: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts (9780802473158): Gary Chapman: Books . A key aspect of his teaching is that we, as a species, have a set of blinders placed on us for about two years that kind of defines the "in love" experience. Separating long term compatibility from this brain chemical induced 24 month euphoria is the trick to a long term happy marriage.

I'd also second the thought of a prenuptial agreement for the protection of both of you. It defines expectations not only for daily living expenses, but also for passing on wealth to children from a previous marriage.

Congratulations and good luck.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 11:19 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
You soon to be wife may also want to make sure that her children are provided for to some extent when she is gone. The two of you might want to discuss a prenup for those kind of issues.

I would ease into combining the money, as you both become more comfortable with each of your styles.

Congratulations! Take some trips and see where you want to land.
X2....

Since she has a child and you do not... I would think she would want to provide for her child...


A lot of people forget about the "Bimbo"... they think 'my spouse will take care of my child' and leave all assets to them.... but then the "Bimbo" shows up when they are 75.. they get married and leave everthing to the "Bimbo".... it happens.... so, plan for the "Bimbo"...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 11:40 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,030
Welcome & Congratulations !
Marriage , Retirement & moving are all big life changes so you may need to space them a little but heck after more than ten years you should really know your wife to be . This could be a perfect opportunity to start a new life . Enjoy !
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 12:16 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,254
Just thought of something... and I am not an expert on this... but have you looked into the rules of SS?

I have read where someone marries later in life and loses SS for some reason... having to do with not being married for 10 years or something... maybe someone with REAL knowledge can post...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Quote:
I have read where someone marries later in life and loses SS for some reason... having to do with not being married for 10 years or something... maybe someone with REAL knowledge can post...
There is a cap on household SS payments. So if you are one of those highly compensated types it just may be that the net married SS income is less than the sum of the two single SS incomes.

The other little detail to consider is that joint married income can push you into higher tax brackets than for two single folks. That is the so-called marriage penalty.

Marriage is about quite a bit more than maximizing your after tax, after SS income. So even though it may not make perfect financial sense there are many unappreciated side benefits that will never make it onto the balance sheet.
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 12:51 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,254
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
There is a cap on household SS payments. So if you are one of those highly compensated types it just may be that the net married SS income is less than the sum of the two single SS incomes.

The other little detail to consider is that joint married income can push you into higher tax brackets than for two single folks. That is the so-called marriage penalty.

Marriage is about quite a bit more than maximizing your after tax, after SS income. So even though it may not make perfect financial sense there are many unappreciated side benefits that will never make it onto the balance sheet.

Oh... I agree marriage is more than financial.... but my sister knows someone who was a teacher who lost all SS benefits for some reason... she was married for many years, got divorced... then got remarried late in life... but her husband died before they were married 10 years... she did not get any SS from her dead husbands account... not sure why... also did not get any from divorced husband.... not sure why... SHE lost out by getting married big time... she said if she had known, they would just have moved in together....

Again... this is through my sister, so who knows what is true and what is fiction...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 01:20 PM   #11
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
Wow...a lot of opinions already posted here, so I won't add anything right now except to tell you congratulations and welcome to the forum.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 02:01 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,015
Welcome to the forum! And congratulations on your retirement and your upcoming marriage.

I second the recommendations already made by my fellow posters, especially the ones about considering how best to combine your assets (including a pre-nup arrangement), and spending some time renting or short term leasing in an area before making a purchase decision on a house/location.

Getting married, retiring, and moving are three of life's biggest -- and most stressful -- milestones. Facing one of them at a time can bring a great deal of stress; jumping into all three at once sounds IMHO nearly overwhelming. Good luck to you and your new bride...just take some time to work through all the details.

And know that this group of anonymous, but like-minded, strangers stand ready to offer you our best advice!
__________________
Achiever51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 02:25 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Oh... I agree marriage is more than financial.... but my sister knows someone who was a teacher who lost all SS benefits for some reason... she was married for many years, got divorced... then got remarried late in life... but her husband died before they were married 10 years... she did not get any SS from her dead husbands account... not sure why... also did not get any from divorced husband.... not sure why... SHE lost out by getting married big time... she said if she had known, they would just have moved in together....

Again... this is through my sister, so who knows what is true and what is fiction...
This bugged me so I looked it up in the SS handbook. The handbook says no problem if you remarry after the age of 60, you can collect on the prior spouse record. If you remarry before age 60 the handbook says:

406.3 How does remarriage of a widow(er) or a surviving divorced wife or husband before age 60 affect widow(er)'s benefits?

If you remarry before age 60, you will not be entitled to survivor's benefits, unless:
  1. Your subsequent marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment; or
  2. Your marriage occurred after age 50 and you were entitled to benefits as a disabled widow(er) or disabled surviving divorced spouse.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 03:33 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
This bugged me so I looked it up in the SS handbook. The handbook says no problem if you remarry after the age of 60, you can collect on the prior spouse record. If you remarry before age 60 the handbook says:

406.3 How does remarriage of a widow(er) or a surviving divorced wife or husband before age 60 affect widow(er)'s benefits?

If you remarry before age 60, you will not be entitled to survivor's benefits, unless:
  1. Your subsequent marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment; or
  2. Your marriage occurred after age 50 and you were entitled to benefits as a disabled widow(er) or disabled surviving divorced spouse.

Not sure what that means...

For more info... I do not think the first husband has yet died... so maybe she gets nothing until he dies and then gets survivor benefits... again, I am getting this second hand and was not paying a lot of attention...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 06:06 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
There is a cap on household SS payments. So if you are one of those highly compensated types it just may be that the net married SS income is less than the sum of the two single SS incomes.
According to the Social Security handbook section 731, the household maximum applies when both spouses are collecting on one person's earnings record. When spouses are each collecting on their own record their benefits are not capped.
__________________
FurBall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2010, 06:11 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,964
Like others have said, that's an awful lot to tackle all at once. I'd space it out if you could.

I am also an Engineer who worries about occupying my time. And I would echo the suggestion above to read Ernie Zelinski's book "How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free." The writing isn't great, but the content is. If nothing else, the "Get A Life Tree" is a great exercise. And it is not too soon to read it, don't wait until after you retire.

And as a wise poster here said recently, life happens in phases, and it should. Not only when you're working, but also when you retire. If you find yourself in a rut, I would think it would get old and stale eventually - which would lead to unhappiness IMO.

Best of luck, you have an awful lot going for you!
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2010, 05:30 PM   #17
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 11
Wow, thanks for all of the responses and advice. Alot of it makes great sense, so I will try to keep it in mind. It is very valuable to get feedback from others who have had to think about the same issues, helps to get my head on straight!
Thanks again, and I will keep reading this forum to absorb alot of the great info already out there.
__________________
Chalupadrop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2010, 06:57 PM   #18
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 710
Just my little two cents - I am assuming that you and your SO do not plan on children; is it then necessary to get married in order to commit to each other and share your life together?
__________________
Letj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2010, 07:29 PM   #19
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Letj View Post
Just my little two cents - I am assuming that you and your SO do not plan on children; is it then necessary to get married in order to commit to each other and share your life together?

This is an interesting question! Do you have specific reasons or know of advantages to NOT get married? I dont think the SO would consider that option, but would like to hear your thoughts. Also, if anyone has specific reasons TO get married, would be interested in that input also.
__________________
Chalupadrop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2010, 08:10 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chalupadrop View Post
This is an interesting question! Do you have specific reasons or know of advantages to NOT get married? I dont think the SO would consider that option, but would like to hear your thoughts. Also, if anyone has specific reasons TO get married, would be interested in that input also.
I think for one thing that our culture is too obsessed with marriage and sometimes we do it for no good reason except that it's the thing to do. Based on your post, I did not see a compelling reason to be married. You probably don't plan on a family and you are both financially stable. A piece of paper should not define your commitment to each other (think Barbara Streisand and Oprah Winfrey). I would assume that what matters most is the love and companionship of a significant other and a piece of paper is not required for that. I am married and have been since the age of 28 and we are rearing two children. I have been very lucky to find a soulmate and marriage made sense for us at the time in our lives to have children and build a future together. If God forbid, I become widowed, I would certainly want a companion but would not get married.
__________________

__________________
Letj 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
Good news/bad news REWahoo Other topics 3 12-12-2009 10:32 PM
Good News/Bad News RE: SS mickeyd FIRE and Money 38 08-05-2008 01:41 PM
Nords! - We have good news and bad news!............ Cut-Throat Life after FIRE 16 09-13-2006 02:26 PM
Good news/bad news kz Life after FIRE 16 09-06-2006 07:13 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:34 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.