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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-25-2004, 12:05 PM   #1
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Hi Brit,

Could you supply a few more details?

--How much do you have in financial assets?
--How is it invested?
--Is 400 hours doable, or will it make you miserable for the next two years?
--Is the pension indexed?
--There are two of you, correct? Does your partner have a job and plan to work for awhile?

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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-25-2004, 12:19 PM   #2
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Hi Brit,

To me this is a no-brainer. Get those 400 hours! If you have to hire a detective to get some sh*t on someone, do it. You need and want and deserve that pension and health insurance.

It is very hard to deprive a really determined guy of what is due to him.

Mikey
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-25-2004, 03:22 PM   #3
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

.Brit:
I do not think we have to worry about you.

You stated you had $500,000 in assets, home paid for, and no debt. At worst you have a $l4,000. pension.
Your home in So. Calif should be worth a bunch.
You should be better off than probably 90% of early retirees.
I used to live in So. Calif., so I know how materialistic and money oriented that place can be, but believe me, you have plenty of assets to support the two of you.
I would sell my overinflated real estate, take the tax free equity, tell your employer to place it where the moon don't shine, and get out of Dodge. (If you moved to a less expensive area, you should be home free.
Regards, Jarhead
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-25-2004, 03:29 PM   #4
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

It appears that your pension and $500,000 will likely provide $30,000 per year for 30 years per FIRECalc. Plus you have your wife's income and social security. If you haven't, you'll want to get an estimate of your SS retirement benefits and factor that in to the FIRECalc equation. If you include SS you'll probably have an income of more than $40,000 if you leave now. On the other hand, the penalty for leaving two years early is brutal. Plus, thirty years may not be enough.

I'm leaving early at the end of this year, but the penalty I pay is far less. But I will take a big hit, that's for sure. I've just decided that it isn't worth it. I'd rather have the extra 2 1/2 years of my life. So I know what you're going through. Good luck!
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-25-2004, 03:35 PM   #5
 
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Brit,

I think Jarhead has some good advice. About 3 years ago when I retired at age 50, my boss gave me a 'new plan' for my job. I thought it over for about 2 days and then gave him my 'new plan' which was retirement - you should have seen the look on his face.

If this job change involves your dignity, there is no use groveling to the end for a few more dollars. You may have enough now and can get out with your dignity intact.

When I look back at my situation, it was the right thing to do. My old Boss and 4 of my cohorts were fired 2 weeks ago and did not get a retirement party like I did.

I did do a 'Victory Lap' around work last week, when I went to lunch with a few of my co-workers.
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-25-2004, 09:48 PM   #6
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

I think the above comments and your plan sound pretty good. That 12k a year hit to pension is pretty severe, but you should have enough to live on even if you take it. Staying or leaving is a real tough choice with the work environment you described. Good luck which ever way you decide.

One thing I do when I don't like either of two options is look for a third. Are you sure you don't have a third choice, of a deferred pension if you leave now? Some early retirees have a choice of waiting to age 65 to draw a pension or drawing a reduced pension immediately. Maybe that is better?

You might also want to talk to a lawyer specializing in retirement issues. There are some limits on what they can legally do to deprive you of pension benefits. I know the area is quite complex, and while many laws favor the employer, there are some on your side. I know ERISA does prevent the lowering of pension benefits you are already eligible for.

Wayne
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-26-2004, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Quote:

Also the side question is that I may have to go back to England in a few year anyway to take care of my aged parents. I cannot bring them here as I cannot get them medical insurance at there age.
Hello Brit,

I think you have had some good advice from others. And I agree with wzd that you should check with a lawyer on the extent to which you can be screwed by your employer -- there are all sorts of restrictions that may work in your favor.

One other question -- I wasn't quite clear why working freelance for 2 years would preserve your pension, assuming the pension was employment based?

And a more personal comment: I'm also a Brit by birth, although a US citizen. We are about the same age, and my parents are also approaching the point where it would be nice to have someone close by to deal with emergencies. So I have been considering a move back, as well.

Leaving aside the recent exchange rate glitch (I hope it's just a glitch) it seems to me that you can live modestly in the UK with less income than here in California. Medical costs are much lower, of course, council tax in most places is a lot less than property tax in most urban areas, you don't have to buy expensive earthquake insurance, etc., etc.

You've probably gone through these calculations yourself, but it's something to consider.

Peter
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-27-2004, 12:50 PM   #8
 
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Hello Jarhead. I think you have your head screwed on pretty straight, especially not venturing south of
Sacramento . I knew on my first visit that it was no
place for me. Re. your story about your mortgage
banker friend, pretty sad. Sometimes I think
people reading my posts might see me as fixated
on my own mortality. Just trying to squeeze as much
in as I can folks. Here is some perspective:
Back when I was an avid hunter here in Illinois,
we had 2 friends who hunted with us
regularly. They both died in their 40s, one from cancer,
one in a plane crash. My neighbor and fishing buddy
in Michigan checked out at 56 (heart attack). My
hunting pal during my Texas years also went at 56
(heart attack again). The guy who founded the company
I worked for in Texas was a friend. He was also killed in
a plane crash at age 42. So, if I seem a little fatalistic and
morbid at times, I hope you all will cut me some slack.

John Galt
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-27-2004, 01:12 PM   #9
 
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

John Galt,

Not at all! - I agree with with you on this one! I think you need to live each day as if it were your last! - Because someday it will be!

That is exactly why I proposed the question of "what would you do if you knew you only had 5 years left?" A very accurate premise! - Because in the Grand scheme of Life on this Planet (4 billion years), 5 years and 50 years are moments apart.

It should get you thinking - And
not how you could live longer, because you do have to face your own mortality! The sooner you face it, the sooner that you can start living. Whether it's 5 years, 5 days, or 5 decades - No one knows for sure.

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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-27-2004, 03:15 PM   #10
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

13% will be difficult to do, Brit. The advantage is, because of your pension, you could get risky with your current assets and go full tilt with an index fund and maybe make it. I wouldn't try it myself.

Is this a company pension or union pension? If they cut you before 60, will they save money? It sounds like they already have made such a slimy move by cutting your hours instead of outright laying you off, thus saving severance money.

Some states will allow you to collect unemployment if you get reduced hours, btw.
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-27-2004, 03:21 PM   #11
 
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Brit,

Quote:
total of 13% then why stay working for the next 2 1/2 years when I could be spending the time learning to invest to get this return.
Not sure I understand all the details here, but if you would like to earn a 13% return - don't quit your day job just yet!

13% is a huge return and most folks here are happy with 3 - 5% above inflation. At 5% we are truly elated in this day and age.
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-27-2004, 03:39 PM   #12
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Brit:

Last word on this from me. I have changed my mind from the original advice, to stay on the job.
In order to retire early, you have to have the proper motivation.
Anybody that retires early gives up a lot of extra dollars.
In my case, I was at the top of my game, and left at age 49 with no pension or health ins. (If I would have continued to work until 55, I would have at least doubled my net worth.(Not important at all to me).
So my advice is don't retire early unless you can do it without eating your heart out about what you gave up.
Regards, Jarhead
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-27-2004, 05:38 PM   #13
 
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Yeah Jarhead, I left at age 49 and at the top of my game. And like you with no pension plus I had to find my own health insurance. Not only could I have made a big pile of money had I continued, but I turned down one of the most lucrative job offers of my life to ER. Regrets?
Not a one.

John Galt
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice
Old 01-28-2004, 05:05 AM   #14
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Re: Need the groups opinions/advice

Bottom of my game-shoved out the door via layoff and looking for a job at age 49 when it dawned on me - I didn't need one. That was 1993.
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