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Would you retire early if . . .
Old 09-16-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
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Would you retire early if . . .

You are 42 and your wife is 32. You have a high stress job (which you would love to discard) and your wife enjoys her $35k per year and 40 hours per week. You currently have no children but may have one child in the very near future.

Collectively, you have saved and invested to the tune of $1.55 MM and have a small pension many years down the road. Your home is worth $550k and has $340k left on the mortgage.

FIRE Calc shows an 88% chance of being able to spend $80k per year (but this figure can be cut drastically if the home is downsized, which is likely). With your wife keeping her day job for many more years, the withdrawal rate will be under the $80k need. If social security actually exists down the road then the picture is rosier.

I am wrestling with this scenario. The pragmatist in me says "relax, you have nothing to worry about. Do it." The part of me with the herd mentality says "keep marching," you have a "good (paying) job, so keep at it." Thanks for any input you might have.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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What are the chances of simply downsizing your job to one that you would enjoy more? You're "almost there" but it looks at this point finding a job - any job - that you would enjoy regardless of pay might be the best route to go.

The high stress job may kill you so that needs to go soon.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:06 PM   #3
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Walt -- I am currently pondering a position within my brother's company which would come with much less stress. I figure if I can plug away and make $50k a year for the next 10 years, then that may be wisest for the long haul.
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:26 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be really comfortable with 88%... especially at your age. How many years did you put in firecalc. Do you know that the longer the run, the more cycles it drops... so it's useful to run it for your actual planned retirement (50 years?) as well as for some shorter runs (30 or 25)...

There are a couple of members here who did retire with similar numbers... not sure if they had mortgages, though.

Does your wife's job provide health insurance? Do you have a plan if she decides to join you in retirement?

I started obsessing about ER when I was your age - but had less saved than you... It took me another decade to get to where I was comfortable to pull the cord, financially.

Good luck in your decision process.
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #5
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42 and 32? Nope, not a chance I'm quitting with that mortgage and a young wife with a ticking biological clock. Find another, less stressful job, and keep on keeping on for another decade at least.
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Old 09-16-2014, 06:47 PM   #6
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Looking at your numbers, and having just ER'ed at 42 myself, I would say no, probably not prudent at this time.

That debt....
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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I pulled the plug in January with numbers and whatnot not too far from yours (albeit with 2 kids already here). I did so knowing that I was probably OK dollar-wise, but that due to my relatively young age I needed to be open to the right opportunity. So I had 9 months off and now I am about to start a 1 year contract job that was pretty much dropped into my lap by a buddy. I get to work from home 100%, travel minimally and negotiated a generous rate of pay (hey, I don't need the job so meet my price). When the year is up, it will be playtime again, at least until the next plum comes along.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #8
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42 and 32? Nope, not a chance I'm quitting with that mortgage and a young wife with a ticking biological clock.
+1
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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I think that you are in a position to quit the high stress job but perhaps not retire completely. I think that you two should try to make enough money to cover your expenses and let the untouched nest egg compound for a few more years.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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We have much in common: first, we're Colts fans; second, we appear to be the primary breadwinners intent on retiring early (around 42 for me); third, we're probably close to the same financial boat (at least when I hit 42) including mortgage remaining (our home value will be a bit higher) and total saved. Big difference is that I should have a sizable pension at that age. That's what would prevent me from retiring in your exact situation with those numbers - a lot of my income will be as "guaranteed" as it gets, whereas you'll be open to a lot more risk right after retirement.

Does your wife want to continue working? Have you thought about "downsizing" your job?

My wife may keep working and I may ER. She loves her job for the most part and makes healthy money. We could easily manage on her income and my pension without touching savings, but the goal would be to have more time together so not sure how long that would last.

Maybe part time as others suggested?
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:34 AM   #11
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Thanks for all of the thoughtful replies. Downsizing job/stress and home to the point of no mortgage/debt at all appears to be the winner. Plug away for the next 10 years and ER.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:50 AM   #12
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Coltsfan; Despite Firecalc's 88%, a withdrawal of more than 3%, at your age would be considered very risky. That would give you $46,500 plus your wife's salary. Are you suggesting that she would have a child and continue to work, while you stay home? I can't imagine the wife would go for that, but different strokes for different folks.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:53 AM   #13
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She will continue to work; I will have money coming in from a couple of side projects. The aim for 10 years would be to minimize (preferably zero) withdrawals from the portfolio.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:38 AM   #14
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Coltsfan; Despite Firecalc's 88%, a withdrawal of more than 3%, at your age would be considered very risky. That would give you $46,500 plus your wife's salary. Are you suggesting that she would have a child and continue to work, while you stay home? I can't imagine the wife would go for that, but different strokes for different folks.
At least and stay in the marriage very long. And what will op feel as a man, when his wife goes off to work with her breast pump and teary eyes and the baby screams?

Ha
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:54 AM   #15
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Hilarity ensues
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:10 PM   #16
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Find a new job/career. I think you need a few more years of income to be safe, and I think you're more stressed from your job than ready to retire.

I recently read through What Color is your Parachute so I could rethink my job and what I want to do in life. (I'm 39). It really made it clear that I like helping people, and I like making things, neither of which I'm doing in my current job. I used to help people, but my job changed a lot in the last year, which has increased my dislike for it.

I'm going to be starting a home business making food, which will help fill my desire to make things. If it takes off, I can get out of megacorp.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:26 PM   #17
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Find a new job/career. I think you need a few more years of income to be safe, and I think you're more stressed from your job than ready to retire.

I recently read through What Color is your Parachute so I could rethink my job and what I want to do in life. (I'm 39). It really made it clear that I like helping people, and I like making things, neither of which I'm doing in my current job. I used to help people, but my job changed a lot in the last year, which has increased my dislike for it.

I'm going to be starting a home business making food, which will help fill my desire to make things. If it takes off, I can get out of megacorp.
Meekie - I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I have heard of this book but have never picked it up. Many thanks.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:26 PM   #18
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I would sell the $550K house and take the $200K equity and buy a very nice house for around $175K. Indianapolis has some very reasonable houses in the $150K-$175K range. If you did that then I would say you could retire. Don't rule out doing some contract work or other part time work if it comes available.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:42 PM   #19
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I would sell the $550K house and take the $200K equity and buy a very nice house for around $175K. Indianapolis has some very reasonable houses in the $150K-$175K range. If you did that then I would say you could retire. Don't rule out doing some contract work or other part time work if it comes available.
Aaron - we are going on the market with the oversized home very soon then looking to put equity into a 200-275k spot. You are correct in saying that Indy has some very affordable homes. I am absolutely doing something new and of my choosing -- when I think "retire" it is from Megacorp not from working in general. I desire freedom and flexibility above all else with those 50-60 hours per week. I guess I could have been clearer up front on that point.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:09 PM   #20
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Meekie - I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I have heard of this book but have never picked it up. Many thanks.
I recommend What Color is Your Parachute? too. 25+ years ago I took a page from it and although I did not change employers, I did persuade my employer to create the job I wanted, for which of course I was perfectly and uniquely qualified.

It took three years (this was government after all) but worked like a charm. For almost a decade I was feeling "I can't believe they're actually paying me to do this!"
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