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Is there a checklist?
Old 11-21-2011, 08:05 PM   #1
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Is there a checklist?

My question is only half rhetorical.

My wife is about 3 years out from a (state) government pension. I'll retire about 2-3 years later. We've got the money thing analyzed to death and we should be well positioned, assuming no major financial crises in the next few years. We've already mostly shifted to a balanced AA.

We've figured out where we'll live (Hawaii) and have a place there.

We're fairly young, late 40/early 50.

My question is, what other things should we be looking into thoroughly and planning for? Is there a checklist somewhere?

What are the things that those of you who have already retired early look back on and think "I wish I'd thought about that more carefully?"
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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Is there a checklist somewhere?
Yep.

How do/did you prepare for ER?

See post #9...
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:18 AM   #3
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Yep.

How do/did you prepare for ER?

See post #9...
How the heck do you, Nords, and a few others pull these old threads out of the aether? Good search skills or just good memory?

Edit: engineers?
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:26 AM   #4
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How the heck do you, Nords, and a few others pull these old threads out of the aether? Good search skills or just good memory?
I suppose a little of both. In this case it was from memory.
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Edit: engineers?
Not me! As my sig line indicates, I was a liberal arts major.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:27 AM   #5
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Not me! I was a liberal arts major.
That sure explains a lot...
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:32 AM   #6
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That sure explains a lot...
Yep, things have to be explained to me a lot, too...
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:37 AM   #7
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Yep, things have to be explained to me a lot, too...
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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How the heck do you, Nords, and a few others pull these old threads out of the aether? Good search skills or just good memory?
Edit: engineers?
We have good memories for the search terms, and we usually know where to start searching!

After you answer the question five or six times, and write a "best of" or "FAQ Archive" post, and then refer posters another dozen times or so... it eventually gets burned into your cerebral cortex. And in my case I turned that particular post into a part of "The Military Guide".

What really surprises me is how old some of these posts are (it seems like it was only a few months ago, and they're from 2005) and how much the membership has turned over since then (some good, some not so good).
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
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Thanks, and that is clearly an excellent post and very helpful.

But it was largely focused on the "leaving a job" aspect of ER. I think I have that part at least mostly thought through. Though it is still 5 years out so I don't have the letter written yet. My job is "seasonal" in the sense that we are very busy for a couple of months every year and I've already started thinking through the ramifications of my timing - maybe swinging some consulting work for a while for example.

I guess my question about a checklist was more about things I may not have thought about that came up for others. The money considerations have been thought through to death, writing my resignation letter is a few years out. But is there anything I ought to be doing now or within the next couple of years?

My wife's pension wants us to go to a presentation when she is 5 years out, which we will (though she's already closer).

In our case it may be as much about a move to Hawaii as it is about ER. But the moving checklists I find are always so trivial (get power turned on...file a change of address...etc.)

Are there any big things we ought to be thinking about while we still have 5 years to prepare? Because time seems to fly at this ripe old middle age.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #10
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Are there any big things we ought to be thinking about while we still have 5 years to prepare? Because time seems to fly at this ripe old middle age.
Not that you haven't already mentioned as having well in hand or having already considered.

Well.......wait...... there is one thing. Are you enjoying life now? After the five years passes and you're retired, will you look back on these years as good years that you made the most of and enjoyed? If not, well, you're making a mistake.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:01 PM   #11
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The only advice I can think of is to keep quiet about your plans. In the excitement of planning for retirement, you may find that attitudes about you will change if they think you're checking out soon.

BTW - thanks Nords for the checklist. One item in particular struck home - buying a new car while I'm still employed might be a smart move.

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Old 11-22-2011, 05:26 PM   #12
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One item in particular struck home - buying a new car while I'm still employed might be a smart move.
Be careful with that. Remember if this isn't the best time to dump your current car, you can still set the money aside while you're working and then buy the new car using that money when you're ready to unload your current ride.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #13
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The only advice I can think of is to keep quiet about your plans. In the excitement of planning for retirement, you may find that attitudes about you will change if they think you're checking out soon.

BTW - thanks Nords for the checklist. One item in particular struck home - buying a new car while I'm still employed might be a smart move.

Nui
Thanks. I'm definitely keeping quiet. There are a few "short timers" around here and no one seems to treat them much differently. Except they never get to go to the big technical conferences (drunken junkets) that the rest of us attend every year. I like the junkets so I'm not sayin' a word until I'm on my way back from my last one. (Wow, is that unethical?)

In my wife's case it's a whole lot more open. She's a professor so she's already made it known that she won't be around to teach certain classes in a few years. They are already planning that far out which is an odd feeling!
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #14
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Be careful with that. Remember if this isn't the best time to dump your current car, you can still set the money aside while you're working and then buy the new car using that money when you're ready to unload your current ride.
+1

I did that - - set the money for my new car aside while working, and didn't even consider it as part of my portfolio for ER.

Then, once I retired I was able to buy it as a retirement present from me to myself. For me it was lots more fun to buy the car in retirement, since I had plenty of time to read the manual and get used to it. Also it got no scratches from the parking lot at work.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:37 PM   #15
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Be careful with that. Remember if this isn't the best time to dump your current car, you can still set the money aside while you're working and then buy the new car using that money when you're ready to unload your current ride.
As I said, we'll be moving to Hawaii shortly after retiring. The plan is nominally to buy a new car to ship over. The idea of buying something new and breaking it in on a long road trip to Alaska and the Northwest just before moving is appealing lately.

But I've heard some interesting strategies for picking up cheap, lightly-used cars in Oahu when there are big deployments so that might be an option depending on the situation at the time (though I hope we aren't getting involved in anything then) -- maybe Nords can comment on that car strategy?
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:44 PM   #16
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Not that you haven't already mentioned as having well in hand or having already considered.

Well.......wait...... there is one thing. Are you enjoying life now? After the five years passes and you're retired, will you look back on these years as good years that you made the most of and enjoyed? If not, well, you're making a mistake.
Yeah, we're enjoying life now. But it also seems like we've just rounded third and are headed for home.

The reality is that we both like our jobs and will probably do them at least part time even after retiring (profane statement here I know). But being able to work half time or less and having more time to play, travel, etc., as well as living in paradise, is the real goal rather than escaping any current situation. But we've already spend enough time in Hawaii to know that getting motivated to go to work there is extremely difficult so that might all fly out the window by the third day.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:03 PM   #17
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But I've heard some interesting strategies for picking up cheap, lightly-used cars in Oahu when there are big deployments so that might be an option depending on the situation at the time (though I hope we aren't getting involved in anything then) -- maybe Nords can comment on that car strategy?
While you're talking to Nords, ask him why all the cars in Hawaii are white? It's very curious.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:43 AM   #18
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While you're talking to Nords, ask him why all the cars in Hawaii are white? It's very curious.
I bet it's because they began life as rental cars.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:56 AM   #19
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As I said, we'll be moving to Hawaii shortly after retiring. The plan is nominally to buy a new car to ship over. The idea of buying something new and breaking it in on a long road trip to Alaska and the Northwest just before moving is appealing lately.
But I've heard some interesting strategies for picking up cheap, lightly-used cars in Oahu when there are big deployments so that might be an option depending on the situation at the time (though I hope we aren't getting involved in anything then) -- maybe Nords can comment on that car strategy?
Considering that it'd cost you at least $1000 to ship a car here, I'd sell your vehicles on the Mainland and start over here. Craigslist & AutoTrader cheap used cars are plentiful even if you don't have access to a military base, and especially plentiful if you do have access to the base lemon lots.

Most military are transferred here with one vehicle. (That one vehicle is paid for as part of the transfer, but only one vehicle per set of orders.) They'll buy a second one for local transportation and sell it again when they transfer. So there's an active used-car market. Since cars don't leave the island as fast as the car dealers import them, I think there's usually an excess inventory that tends to cheapen the market.

I've heard that some new vehicles (manufactured in Japan) are cheaper in Hawaii than on the Mainland-- especially if they had to be configured for California driving standards. But with the advent of American manufacturing plants for Honda & Toyota & Nissan, that's probably not a big difference anymore.

Cars are used differently here than on the Mainland. If you're not commuting then you're only going to drive for surfing and errands. Even on the Big Island you may have a challenge driving more than 5000 miles/year. When I change my oil every six months the car sometimes has less than 1500 miles. Not much reason to beat up a new car when you can start with a depreciated vehicle and drive it into the ground.

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While you're talking to Nords, ask him why all the cars in Hawaii are white? It's very curious.
White reflects the sunlight better and is thought to help the car stay cooler. Not that any of us have any scientific research to back that up.

Gray & silver seem pretty common here.

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I bet it's because they began life as rental cars.
Never rented a white car-- anywhere!
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #20
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Thanks Nords. We've been going to the Big Island for several years and have a place there. We've looked around at cars just to have there to save the rental costs. But the prices are not that great in my experience. Friends have said exactly the same thing you did - that you can get great deals on used cars on Oahu and interisland shipping of a car is only a couple of hundred bucks. We've not shopped seriously for a new car on the Big Island but I've talked to a few people that bought new Nissans very cheap.

But part of the problem on the BI, especially on the Kona side, is lack of competition and selection. Anyway, we'll see how things look in 5 years. $1000 to ship from the mainland is nothing if I get a good deal here that saves me more. Plus, if I buy a used car in Arizona that has not been exposed to salty humidity for its for 5-6 years then the $1000 might just be worth it. We don't get the California-emission models here either so that extra expense is spared.
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