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Wow, who knew.....figuring out early retirement would be so complicated!
Old 06-03-2014, 11:04 PM   #1
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Wow, who knew.....figuring out early retirement would be so complicated!

Wow, I'm 59... we have a nice home in Ohio and a beautiful condo in SW Florida, no debt...$1.2 mil saved....but trying to find my way is much more complicated than I thought it would be!!

Do I take SS at 62 or Full retirement age of 66? Hum.......if I take it early....I can't really do much part time (like sell real estate) as the government isn't to thrilled with you making a normal living. I'd have to buy health insurance which looks to be quite a chunk of cash. Or be miserable and stay in my high pressure job...which is around $125k and full benefits as long as possible. I'd really like to be done with corporate life at 62 and enjoy my winters in Florida.

Another eye opener is tracking your expenses. Have you reallynlooked at everything? I did....oh crap! Thinking I'm in great shape with no debt is really a misnomer. Real estate taxes and condo fees on two places is about $15k a year. What is crazy to me....is an expense most of us never had years ago, but is now a necessity......Internet, cable, and cellular costs! Yikes....about $3,500 a year! How did this happen people? So, being debt free.....not really. Of course I have no mortgages or car loans, but real estate taxes....utilities, cell phones, Internet, and cable take a huge chunk out of our budget. Add groceries and Christmas...birthdays.....oh my.........can you guys just send me a check!!!!!!

I could cut back.......oh come on.....can I really? No cell phone? No Internet? Cable? Seriously........no cable? Who can do that? What about Rubino's? Its the most amazing pizza...have to have it at least once per week!

Help......
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:35 PM   #2
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I know how you feel about expenses. Even being single, it took me a few years to scale down on home and cars but still having hard time budgeting the rest of the bills. At certain point, you just have to plan with an annual budget which includes basic necessities and remove anything you can do without and see how it goes. If something you absolutely need, add it to the budget. Hopefully, it works out and you still get to enjoy rest of the life.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Floridatennisplayer View Post
Wow, I'm 59... we have a nice home in Ohio and a beautiful condo in SW Florida, no debt...$1.2 mil saved....but trying to find my way is much more complicated than I thought it would be!!



Do I take SS at 62 or Full retirement age of 66? Hum.......if I take it early....I can't really do much part time (like sell real estate) as the government isn't to thrilled with you making a normal living. I'd have to buy health insurance which looks to be quite a chunk of cash. Or be miserable and stay in my high pressure job...which is around $125k and full benefits as long as possible. I'd really like to be done with corporate life at 62 and enjoy my winters in Florida.



Another eye opener is tracking your expenses. Have you reallynlooked at everything? I did....oh crap! Thinking I'm in great shape with no debt is really a misnomer. Real estate taxes and condo fees on two places is about $15k a year. What is crazy to me....is an expense most of us never had years ago, but is now a necessity......Internet, cable, and cellular costs! Yikes....about $3,500 a year! How did this happen people? So, being debt free.....not really. Of course I have no mortgages or car loans, but real estate taxes....utilities, cell phones, Internet, and cable take a huge chunk out of our budget. Add groceries and Christmas...birthdays.....oh my.........can you guys just send me a check!!!!!!



I could cut back.......oh come on.....can I really? No cell phone? No Internet? Cable? Seriously........no cable? Who can do that? What about Rubino's? Its the most amazing pizza...have to have it at least once per week!



Help......

You are a few years older than I with similar salary and savings. I also live in Ohio. I love To visit FL, but I'd not consider owning a condo when renting is so much cheaper with no real estate taxes or upkeep. I have high speed internet, cell, data, Roku, an HD antenna that gets higher def than most cable, Netflix streaming, Apple TV and use Redbox and throw Internet TV from cable channels onto my plasma with apple airplay. I pay almost nothing for this entertainment. My company bought my iPhone and pays my Verizon bill, my wife's company gives us a monthly internet/data disbursement (she sometimes works on her laptop or tablet at home- so they need to pay their share) that pays the cable internet and her phone.

We might shell out $500-$750 per year for all that ourselves. I have no mortgage either, but $4,400 per year in property tax on one home. So your $18.5k is my $5k. Your need to control expenses. Cable TV is old school. What you say your paying for your cable bundle amounts to almost $300/mo! That is crazy expensive. Your bleeding bad and you need to stop feeding the leeches.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:48 PM   #4
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Hey Al, I'm in Columbus area as well. I have Apple tv....will have to check into this more. My company does give me $150 a month for Internet and cell. But that will go bye bye if I quit at 62.

I have Time Warner for Internet and cable. Around $130 month. My Verizon is $183 for 3 smart ass phones.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:25 AM   #5
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There are ways to reduce your overhead and uncomplicate your financial life and still be happy. As Al in Ohio mentioned, renting might be a lot cheaper. Here are some reasons to not own a second home -

Second Homes... Part I

There are many past threads here on how to lower cable, Internet and cell phone costs. If being able to ER with less financial overhead is important to you, it can be done.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:40 AM   #6
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Congrats on the amount you've saved.

Read through the posts here and you'll find a lot of tips on how to live well while spending less.

However, you can't beat the math - if you want to quit in three years with the stash you have, somethings may have to go. The alternative is the high stress life of continued employment.

We found that tracking spending in detail changed our behavior. You identify the activities & acquisitions that do or don't have value to you in terms of satisfaction, fulfillment & enjoyment. And then you can trim in places and maybe add in others.

Welcome and all the best.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:56 AM   #7
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Hi FloridaTennisPlayer ... You left out many details but we all get the gist. Yes, in the 60's there was no cable tv to pay for, no internet to pay for, no cell phones, etc.
This depends on your values and priorities. If you want to FIRE and destress, or stay miserable in your high pressure job a few more years, is up to you. You can even sell the Ohio house, add to your stash, move to Florida full time and just maintain one property, etc., etc., lots of options. At a fork in the road This means you have a choice !! Best of luck

Rich
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:35 AM   #8
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I totally understand how you feel!
I too have two homes and the expense that goes with it. I spend money on cable, when it's bundled with security and internet what I must have, it's not that much additional expense. When you add in health care before 65, expenses really go up. So, you'll find this blog has two groups; those that have cut out the 2nd home, cable etc and those that believe that the additional expense is worth a couple extra years of working. I worked the extra couple of years because I "almost" enjoyed it. Now I shuffle back and forth between a summer and winter home.....I own both because I couldn't fix up a rental how I liked it and I believed the rent would keep going up, my 2nd home is paid for and yes I have taxes and condo fees but don't you think that the taxes and condo fees are part of the rent you pay? So, there is no right or wrong or best way to handle your challenge.....listen to what everyone has to say, talk to your family and do what's best for you. Good luck and have fun with whatever you decide!!!!!!
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:16 AM   #9
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When we had two homes we had satellite TV. We had four rooms - three at our main home and one at our vacation home and only paid for one location. I'm not sure it was totally kosher, but it worked. Today, you could do essentially the same thing with the mobile TV services if each location has a good internet connection.

A friend had a slingbox at his main home and slingcatcher at his vacation home and it worked well for him.

You'll find your taxes are much lower in retirement.

Also, your cellphone charges seem high. Once you are out of contract you can go with a bring your own phone service. DW and I pay $10/month for our smartphones. We us them modestly and $10 provides more than what we need at 4 cents a minute for voice, 2 cents per text and 6 cents per mb for data.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Floridatennisplayer View Post
Wow, I'm 59... we have a nice home in Ohio and a beautiful condo in SW Florida, no debt...$1.2 mil saved....but trying to find my way is much more complicated than I thought it would be!!

Do I take SS at 62 or Full retirement age of 66? Hum.......if I take it early....I can't really do much part time (like sell real estate) as the government isn't to thrilled with you making a normal living. I'd have to buy health insurance which looks to be quite a chunk of cash. Or be miserable and stay in my high pressure job...which is around $125k and full benefits as long as possible. I'd really like to be done with corporate life at 62 and enjoy my winters in Florida.

Another eye opener is tracking your expenses. Have you reallynlooked at everything? I did....oh crap! Thinking I'm in great shape with no debt is really a misnomer. Real estate taxes and condo fees on two places is about $15k a year. What is crazy to me....is an expense most of us never had years ago, but is now a necessity......Internet, cable, and cellular costs! Yikes....about $3,500 a year! How did this happen people? So, being debt free.....not really. Of course I have no mortgages or car loans, but real estate taxes....utilities, cell phones, Internet, and cable take a huge chunk out of our budget. Add groceries and Christmas...birthdays.....oh my.........can you guys just send me a check!!!!!!

I could cut back.......oh come on.....can I really? No cell phone? No Internet? Cable? Seriously........no cable? Who can do that? What about Rubino's? Its the most amazing pizza...have to have it at least once per week!

Help......
I have some of your angst, but not most. Nice home in NJ, no condo, no debt, enough saved to ER. However, I was terminated from job last month, and before that no work or pay for 12 weeks. Silver lining is that I had the motivation and the time to seriously look at SS and other issues.

I don't see a spouse mentioned in your post. For us, delaying so that she can get spousal benefits at 62 is the trigger. For you, if single, the trigger is taxes on additional income.

I'd love to have a high pressure job, even at 100K. I know that would have a very nice impact on the next two years for my family.

I started seriously tracking expenses in 2005, so I have a very good idea of what we really need, and what is discretionary. Having access to numbers allowed us to sit down and make choices. I wanted to cut back cable one tier. My wife took my request and cut the bill in half, meaning she went much more than I wanted to. I can go down the list of expenses and make additional cuts. Cell phone plan is next. We have 3 on the plan, and I will soon lose my corporate discount. Chop chop chop!

Since you have the cash flow, cutting back on these discretionary items will take some self-motivation.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
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There are ways to reduce your overhead and uncomplicate your financial life and still be happy. As Al in Ohio mentioned, renting might be a lot cheaper. Here are some reasons to not own a second home -

Second Homes... Part I

There are many past threads here on how to lower cable, Internet and cell phone costs. If being able to ER with less financial overhead is important to you, it can be done.
That is an excellent point. My brother is 5 years older, and has been semi-retired for about 5 years. He downsized to a water-front condo as 1st home. Over time he and wife want to escape the cold NE winters. Did they buy in FL? No, they have rented for 2 winters, and will do the same next year.

We visited them in February, and met a few of his friends. They all want to buy in FL. They egg him on about buying. However, he is an accountant and had a sizable tax prep business, so he knows the real impact of buying. After evaluating a few properties, he had the significant numbers: insurance, taxes, fees, maintenance, utilities. He rattled off the costs and it was pretty obvious he wouldn't buy unless it made financial sense for them.

Before leaving he rented the house for next Feb/Mar.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:56 AM   #12
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Great point Target2019,
Not that I wouldn't like to have two homes, but two sets of taxes, maintenance......... I'll be happy to rent.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:04 AM   #13
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Two homes or even more are fine if you have the money, but if the second home means not being FI or able to retire from a stressful job, personally I would rather not have to work and just use something like VRBO for extended vacations.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:13 AM   #14
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I would like to have two homes also, but we will not ever get to that. I don't think we could manage it either.

We are very fun-loving and don't mind chipping in some labor, so we are available for extended mooching.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:19 AM   #15
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There is a poster who has 4 homes, and nice ones too. However, he is a decamillionaire. He has not posted for a while.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:32 PM   #16
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There is a poster who has 4 homes, and nice ones too. However, he is a decamillionaire. He has not posted for a while.
Too buys keeping up with his real estate.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:49 PM   #17
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Two homes or even more are fine if you have the money, but if the second home means not being FI or able to retire from a stressful job, personally I would rather not have to work and just use something like VRBO for extended vacations.

VRBO is one of the gems I learned about here. Those owners bend over backwards to make sure you have a nice place to stay. You can tell from their listings and interactions. I was at one last week and returning to another next week. I booked a beach one (returning) for the end of summer.

They have a nice app (doesn't everybody?).
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:49 PM   #18
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Too buys keeping up with his real estate.
You seemed to imply that posting here is a better pastime than traveling to/from his estates and surveying his big empire. It is a lot cheaper activity, I know that.
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:54 PM   #19
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Hey Al, I'm in Columbus area as well. I have Apple tv....will have to check into this more. My company does give me $150 a month for Internet and cell. But that will go bye bye if I quit at 62.

I have Time Warner for Internet and cable. Around $130 month. My Verizon is $183 for 3 smart ass phones.
I was paying $25 per month for Time Warner high speed 15mbps download for a year, but after the first year it went up to $37/month. My Verizon family plan is 4 GB data for about $240/mo with 3 smart phones and 2 not so smart phones. My company pays about half that and hers pays pretty much the there half as long as we both are working. Like you, benefits like that will be reduced when one, then both of us retires. We dumped the landline phone over a year ago. It was 90% unwanted sales jerks anyways. Friends and family got to the point where they deferred to our individual cells anyways. My kids each have their own cell phones too, so that made it an easier switch.

Once you ditch cable TV, you learn there are lots of alternative ways to put content on that TV screen. I have over 40 hours of content DVR'd on my over the air (OTA) Tivo box just waiting to be watched.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:00 PM   #20
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You seemed to imply that posting here is a better pastime than traveling to/from his estates and surveying his big empire. It is a lot cheaper activity, I know that.
One thing I have stared to factor in to our future housing choices is not just the dollar outlay but the opportunity cost of our time for upkeep and maintenance. This week I have to hire a contractor to do some repairs and it is a lot of work just setting up appointments to get competing bids.

If we lived in a condo someone else would be hiring the contractors while I could be on the patio in a lounge chair with a glass of wine and a mystery novel.
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