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Want To Retire But Anxious About Actually Doing So
Old 10-11-2016, 10:55 AM   #1
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Want To Retire But Anxious About Actually Doing So

Hi, Iím Kelly. I just found you guys and Iím looking forward to learning from the people who have been there and done that.Also hope to make some positive input as I go.
Iíll be 62 in November. Kids are grown with homes and families of their own.We have six grandchildren, 3 locally and 3 more 8 hours away.The wife babysits the youngest who is four three days per week
I went to work in the nuclear industry when I was 19. I left in 2006 with a full pension at age 52 and worked full time in my own photography studio.We did very well in that until the recession caught up with us in 2009 and the income started dropping.We fought hard for four years trying to bring it back but it wasnít to be (technology is killing that business.)
We were doing okay but I was down because our only source of income was the pension with a little photo business money coming in. The wife wanted to do some things and get some things that I just could not afford so I felt that I was not a good provider.
In 2013 I went to work for a bank. I enjoyed the work and it brought in enough income to fill the gaps but it wasnít a lot.We were getting by and there was some left over for extras but I still didnít feel like a good provider.
In mid-2014 the plant where I had worked was shut down and a contractor hired for decommissioning. I was called and asked to come on board as a manager to oversee stabilization which I accepted and am currently working.Earlier this year, one of our major projects lost its funding so right now thereís not a lot going on and frankly, Iím bored.
The wife really wants me to retire and I would love to, but I want to travel for 2-3 months at a time and she doesnít want to leave the grandkids so Iím a little worried about what I would do, especially during the winter. She says she can keep me busy in the summer but I know thatís yard work and I donít want my life centered on the house and yard.
Our retirement assets are in Roths, IRAs, 401k and some cash. Last month the retirement assets hit $1M.We have an emergency fund and savings in a local bank of about $110K.A couple of weeks ago we visited with our financial planner who had run a FERC calc and it came back at a 99% success rate.
One big reason for my hesitation is that now, between my salary, my pension and her Social Security, we are making more money than we have ever made in our lives and we are doing some really fun things with it. We are giving to charity like we never have before.Weíre helping out our kids.We both like baseball and can buy the best seats in the stadium.We just got back from Napa Valley where we bought all kinds of wine.Weíre taking a month long cruise to Australia and New Zealand in February.
At the same time we are positioning for retirement. Weíre piling up cash for car purchases; need to replace a couch and our 20 year old refrigerator; replacing the windows in the house in the next few weeks; and in general, trying to take care of all the big ticket items before we pull the plug.Having money is fun, especially when I look back at those lean years between 2009 and 2013.I donít want to go back to that.
My other issue is that although I am bored with my work today, our contract runs out in July 2017. There may be an extension that would run it out until October but that would be about it.A new 5-year contract is being bid and Iím thinking I may want to be involved in that work.At least to stick around to see what my part in it would be; but another part of me doesnít know if I can continue to be bored in my job for another 10 to 13 months.
We had decided early this summer that I would retire next March. Even counted the days for the countdown; but my anxiety level went up until I told the wife that I was going to see this contract through.So right now weíre just floating but still laying the groundwork.Hopefully someone on this forum has lived this and can advise.
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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Stratman, welcome. Lots of knowledgeable folks on here. One thing you will hear from this crowd is to fully understand (and track) your expenses. Some will also tell you to get rid of your financial planner.


Best of luck.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:24 PM   #3
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What is the FERC Calc? I'm wondering if it's a calculator I haven't tried yet.

Welcome!

As Bigdawg suggests - you don't know if you have enough unless you know how much you spend. So you'll need to figure that out.
- Is your pension COLAd?
- Is your wife a similar age (for planning, longevity reasons this can impact a retirement plan.)
- Will you qualify for SS? (You mentioned nuke career... was it for a government agency, or was it private sector with SS earnings?)

As for going off on 2-3 month trips... When my dad first retired he did several multi-month trips without my mom. They were trips that she had ***NO*** interest in doing. (4wd, kayak and bike up to alaska then down along the continental divide... camping along the way.) He got that out of his system then they settled into doing trips that both were interested in.

As for keeping busy in retirement.... some people have an issue with it - I don't.... books, putzing around doing chores, walking around the neighborhood and at the beach... all pleasant, all free.
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:35 PM   #4
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Kelly,
Welcome to the ER forum!

I have to tell you that you will not receive constructive advice until your share your annual budget or your current expenses with the board if this is your main issue of posting here.
After reading your introduction, all I got is that you have $1.1M in retirement portfolio and you enjoy spending money. So, you have to start with expenses first. If you don't want to share, you can run FIREcalc yourself and you'll get an idea. Disclosure: I haven't run FIREcalc myself yet as we're still in the accumulation stage and I don't think we can be more frugal than we are currently...I'm way past eating Ramen noodles almost every day.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:22 PM   #5
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FERC is probably an autocorrect from FIRE, as FERC is a widely used acronym in the power industry (both FERC and NERC actually).
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:35 PM   #6
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Some people just have a hard time getting mentally prepared for retirement. You may be one of them despite getting yourself fiscally prepared to hang up the job.

I retired 8 1/2 years ago at age 58, and I honestly don't know how I had time to work anyway. I'm a do-it-yourselfer, and never stop building on my houses--or for those in need in times of trouble (floods/tornados).

Believe me that if you're in good health, you're going to find plenty of things to take your time. We've traveled so much and to so many places worldwide that the thrill of the trip is almost gone. Now, we try to give a little more of ourselves.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratman View Post
Hi, I’m Kelly. I’ll be 62 in November. ... We were doing okay but .... I felt that I was not a good provider.
Not a financial issue -- retirement / staying occupied is an adjustment
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exnavynuke View Post
FERC is probably an autocorrect from FIRE, as FERC is a widely used acronym in the power industry (both FERC and NERC actually).
Yeah I googled and saw FERC having to do with regulatory commissions... but Kelly mentioned the FA ran the calculator, so I doubt it was Firecalc.

Additionally, another new member mentioned FERC calc a few days ago. That's what made me think there was a calculator out there I hadn't tried.

I'll admit to being an ER calculator junkie.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:43 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
Some people just have a hard time getting mentally prepared for retirement. You may be one of them despite getting yourself fiscally prepared to hang up the job.

I retired 8 1/2 years ago at age 58, and I honestly don't know how I had time to work anyway. I'm a do-it-yourselfer, and never stop building on my houses--or for those in need in times of trouble (floods/tornados).

Believe me that if you're in good health, you're going to find plenty of things to take your time. We've traveled so much and to so many places worldwide that the thrill of the trip is almost gone. Now, we try to give a little more of ourselves.
Thanks Bamaman. Staying busy is the real issue for me.Weíve done all the calculations and money shouldnít be an issue.The pension and SS will take care of the monthly budget with a couple of hundred left over most months.We will have enough cash to take care of unexpected or big ticket items, including travel for the next 5-7 years so we wonít have to touch the nest egg for a while.Yes, we will probably cut back on the luxury spending, but I can deal with that.

Rodiís suggestion of traveling alone is one I had not considered but might be a possibility if there was something like that I really wanted to do. But my taste runs differently and I canít see myself enjoying a southern beach during the winter without her.She has her gig.She left the workforce in 2000 when a VRIF was offered so she could work our business full time.When grandchildren started arriving in 2007, it was a natural thing for her to help keep them 2-3 days per week and she really enjoys that.Once when I mentioned going someplace warm for 2-3 months during the winter she broke out in tears because she doesnít want to leave the grandkids.So one option is for me to keep working another 1-2 years until the youngest one is in full time school.That will keep me somewhat occupied and will allow me more time to pile up more cash although I donít really relish the thought of hanging around the work place that long unless something changes.

We are making plans. We will go to the gym together in the mornings.I like to bike so Iíll do that.We have a pool and like to entertain so weíll do that too.The property is on 2 acres so there is always something to do around the house.This past spring we bought an autocycle that is just a blast to drive and we want to get a trailer to take it with us to trips to the mountains and such.Summers shouldnít be an issue.I just donít want to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs in the winter.

Sorry if Iím rambling. Iím just looking for someone who has lived through a situation similar to mine who can tell me how they navigated through it.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:32 AM   #10
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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After I posted my last post, I looked at the last sentence and thought, "they are bound to be here. Go find them." So I have spent some time this morning looking at past threads on staying busy in retirement and there is a lot out there. If saw two posts that really struck me.
"Explore life" and "Don't plan anything...just be!"


So now I'm thinking that I'm over thinking this retirement issue. (Sorry, it's probably the engineer in me.) So the wife has her own gig...so what? I can still do my thing while she does hers. We don't have to do everything together (probably best that we don't!) Then I thought about what rodi said about his dad traveling alone. I could do that. I don't have to be gone for 3 months but I could jump on a plane and go to Vegas for a few days, play some poker then come home.


So what I have learned here is to not sweat the staying busy thing. Quit analyzing it, work the plan and when ready, pull the trigger.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:57 AM   #11
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I agree that you are "overthinking this retirement thing" in terms of occupying your time. Search "but what will you do all day?" on this forum for some funny and interesting threads on this. As an engineer, you are analytic and love to plan. In retirement, you need to relax and go with the flow. Most of us develop new interests or pick up old ones, and before you know it we have multiple circles of friends and too many things to do!
However, I do think you need to analyze your expenses and make sure your retirement will be financially sustainable.

BTW, rodi is a woman. She's also a retired engineer who likes to analyze, but is thriving in ER. In fact this forum is packed with engineers.
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:47 PM   #12
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.......... In fact this forum is packed infested with engineers.
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