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Victim of My Own Success
Old 06-19-2010, 04:44 PM   #1
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Victim of My Own Success

Hello folks. I've lurked around this community for several years and find all kinds of great information and encouragement from the participants. For this I say thank you.

I've always dreamed of ER and hoped that after a 20 year military career I would be able to comfortably retire if I chose to do that. Well, I've been retired from the military for 5 years now and I think I may have reached that goal.

Here's my asset profile:

- Wife (#1 Asset)
- $800K Cash
- 36K/year COLA adjusted Mil Retirement

I'm 48 years old and have my dream job in a major west coast city. That is the problem. My wife and I would love to move back to the east coast. But I currently have a job that I love with an annual income of 210K. It's this fact that makes it hard for me to chose ER and make the move back east. Complicating the decision are 3 kids (9,12,14). I've alway lived WBMM and would have no problem doing without some the luxuries of life we can now afford. One thing I do consider is college for the kids. Personally, I never considered that an obligation of mine and figured if our kids truly wanted to go to college, they would find a way as my wife and I did many moons ago.

So, my dilemma is basically would you give up a job you love with great income in a location that really doesn't feel like home. Or would you make the move with the subsequent reduction in income. Using 4% rule, I figure we're looking at about 68K spending per year. (800*.04 + 36K) By and large this would be tax free with 3 kids and living in a no-income tax state.

This is basically a "Your Money or Your Life" philosophical question. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Nano
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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Looks like you have all the money you'll ever NEED. Question is do you have all the money you'll ever WANT. Personally, if I had your assets, I would already be retired.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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I suggest living on your retirement budget (68k) for a year and see if you're happy before you leave your job.

As far as the children go...well, I don't have any, but I think if a parent can put money back for a child's education, the parent should do so. At least some money so the children won't have huge loans to pay back when they graduate.

Just my thoughts....

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Old 06-19-2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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Very few West Coast cities where you might find a $210,000 salary are not capable of giving more pleasure than most humans could stand.

And, it is way easier to raise teenagers coming from a position of strength and prestige. You love your job, you have a great wife, you make good money-this is a no brainer. You can always make frequent visits east if family is the draw, likewise if it museums or some such. If it's weather, I have no suggestions.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NanoSour View Post
(snip) So, my dilemma is basically would you give up a job you love with great income in a location that really doesn't feel like home. Or would you make the move with the subsequent reduction in income. Using 4% rule, I figure we're looking at about 68K spending per year. (800*.04 + 36K) By and large this would be tax free with 3 kids and living in a no-income tax state.

This is basically a "Your Money or Your Life" philosophical question. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Nano
I think I'd be inclined to look for some way to have the cake and eat it too. For example, could you do your job via telecommuting?
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:21 PM   #6
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You have your dream job, it pays well. You have sufficient resources to visit the East coast anytime.

What is crucial to your happiness?

I am concerned that you could be seeing your hometown in the East coast through rose tinted glasses. Before committing to a move that would entail loss of your income, perhaps you could consider a sabbatical, or, as ky has said, telecommuting for a while.

One thing you don't want to do is to burn your bridges and discover you now hate it back on the East coast!
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoSour View Post
- Wife (#1 Asset)
- $800K Cash
- 36K/year COLA adjusted Mil Retirement

I'm 48 years old and have my dream job in a major west coast city. That is the problem. My wife and I would love to move back to the east coast. But I currently have a job that I love with an annual income of 210K. It's this fact that makes it hard for me to chose ER and make the move back east. Complicating the decision are 3 kids (9,12,14). I've alway lived WBMM and would have no problem doing without some the luxuries of life we can now afford. One thing I do consider is college for the kids. Personally, I never considered that an obligation of mine and figured if our kids truly wanted to go to college, they would find a way as my wife and I did many moons ago.

So, my dilemma is basically would you give up a job you love with great income in a location that really doesn't feel like home. Or would you make the move with the subsequent reduction in income. Using 4% rule, I figure we're looking at about 68K spending per year. (800*.04 + 36K) By and large this would be tax free with 3 kids and living in a no-income tax state.

Nano
I think you need to crunch the number more.

Prepare a budget (with projections) and cash flow projections.

You don't mention a home (and equity) either.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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I suggest living on your retirement budget (68k) for a year and see if you're happy before you leave your job.
This was suggested to me at one point, but sometimes that won't work because the retirement budget requires being retired to be able to retire. Often, there can be great expenses involved in work or where you have to live to have the job.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:44 PM   #9
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I think I would do some number crunching to see how it would look. Just remember:

If Mama is not happy, No one is happy!

It doesn't matter how much $$ is there.

Tomcat98
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:48 PM   #10
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This was suggested to me at one point, but sometimes that won't work because the retirement budget requires being retired to be able to retire. Often, there can be great expenses involved in work or where you have to live to have the job.
This is true...adjustments have to be made.

However, many people think they can be satisfied living on a lot less but may find it's not much fun when it's put into practice.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:53 PM   #11
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If Mama is not happy, No one is happy!
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:26 PM   #12
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My wife...would love to move back to the east coast.
Quote:
Wife (#1 Asset)
You'd love to move, but you've got your job on West Coast. Wife would love to move, has she got something on West Coast that she loves (other than you)?
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:08 PM   #13
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Oh, life is so unfair. My heart goes out you for being placed in such a position. I would just die if I had to struggle with such a problem... East coast/ West coast... Hmmmm.

Wait! I live in Denver -- with no desire to be in either location... how does living in each coast differ? I have visited both and have missed noticing any large difference between them. (Well, the weather is much nicer on the West side but...)
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:17 PM   #14
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I kind of think that when the time comes to retire, you'll know it. You're still pretty young, with young kids at home, and have a dream job. I'd give it a few more years.

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Old 06-19-2010, 07:54 PM   #15
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I think probably not enough information.

I would be thinking about why you want to be on the east coast. Make sure that you are really right about this preference. Are you comparing current conditions? How long has it been since you've lived on the east coast? Things may have changed. That said, if that is really where you want to live then....

Do you have to retire to get to the east coast? That is, could you move to the east coast and work at a different (although possibly lower paid) job? One option might be to move to the east coast trying to live on $68k a year and get a job. If you don't like it or can't manage, then you would still be in the workforce.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:24 PM   #16
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This was suggested to me at one point, but sometimes that won't work because the retirement budget requires being retired to be able to retire. Often, there can be great expenses involved in work or where you have to live to have the job.
You are not a numbers person; are you?

You are not trying the invent the wheel. Other people have done it.
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Old 06-19-2010, 10:27 PM   #17
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You are not a numbers person; are you?.
I'm not sure what you mean? I'm not a mathematician but I have done a lot of spreadsheets and analzyed the numbers to death.

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You are not trying the invent the wheel. Other people have done it.
That is a little rude isn't it? No, what I said isn't inventing the wheel. It is nonetheless true that you can't always live on your projected retirement income when you are not yet retired. Of course, that isn't true for everyone but is true for some (and was for me for a variety of reasons).
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:47 AM   #18
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Welcome to the board, Nano!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoSour View Post
So, my dilemma is basically would you give up a job you love with great income in a location that really doesn't feel like home. Or would you make the move with the subsequent reduction in income. Using 4% rule, I figure we're looking at about 68K spending per year. (800*.04 + 36K) By and large this would be tax free with 3 kids and living in a no-income tax state.
This is basically a "Your Money or Your Life" philosophical question. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Dory36 used to say that you walk around the workplace with two buckets-- the FI bucket and the BS bucket. When your FI bucket is full, the BS bucket starts to fill very rapidly. So this dream-job "problem" may solve itself as your hedonic treadmill adjusts to your new FI.

The board's opinion on college educations covers the entire spectrum. My personal feeling is that the kids are less likely to boomerang back to the nest if they're bribed supported with the tuition to a state university. Room & board might be a nice touch, too, but anything beyond that is their problem. You might not want your kids to decide that a service academy or ROTC is a better deal than a student loan. But it's also a lot cheaper to just change the locks on your doors.

So once you solve the college-tuition issue (whichever solution you choose), then I'd walk into the boss' office and ask for their help solving your job-satisfaction problem. You like the job but have no reason to put up with the typical office environment, and you'd like to work part-time from your spouse's dream home.

Another option would be to take at least six weeks' ER vacation (12 would be an even better trial run) to see if you're really tough enough ready to handle the ER life. Then, when it's time to go back to work, you can reassess how dreamy that job really is.

Speaking of Dominguez, he always assessed the quality of his life (and its expenses) by deciding how many of his remaining life's hours he'd be willing to work for it...
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:48 AM   #19
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You are not a numbers person; are you?
Lacking tact at best, not called for in any situation. And it's not the first time these types of comments have been posted.

Dex, you have a nice life now.
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Old 06-20-2010, 08:09 AM   #20
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That is a little rude isn't it?
People with many backgrounds, generations and from many areas of the USA and world post here - styles differ. Openness to those differences can be enriching.

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No, what I said isn't inventing the wheel. It is nonetheless true that you can't always live on your projected retirement income when you are not yet retired. Of course, that isn't true for everyone but is true for some (and was for me for a variety of reasons).
The answer to the above is to prepare a line item budget. In that budget you would identify expenses as work related and estimated retirement expenses. You may have to estimate extra spending on the retirement side for what you would do with your free time (as if you were not working). Then track your expenses by the line items.

With a $210K income this should be doable.

You don't mention a home (and equity).
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