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Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 09:28 AM   #1
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Year One

This weekend I celebrated the first anniversary of my retirement. For those of you who may be interested, here are a few observations:

- Actual withdrawal was 4.3% of our portfolio vs. a planned 4.5%. (FYI, both DW and I are living entirely off our portfolio, not yet drawing SS or a small pension.)
- Thanks to the performance of our conservatively invested portfolio, we are up almost 3% since retiring, after subtracting our first year withdrawal.
- We experienced a higher than average number of household repair/appliance replacement bills, exceeding our budget for those items by approximately 50%.
- The unexpected cost were more than offset by the fact we did less travel than planned, primarily due to DW going back to w*rk full-time as a daycare provider for our three grandsons. (That started 6 months after I retired. Probably just a coincidence… :). FYI, she is paid almost enough to cover the cost of her daily commute.
- Prior to retiring, I made a list of 43 projects I wanted to complete. I’m less than half way through the list and it seems much less of a priority now than when I compiled it.
- Thought I might be challenged to find ways to entertain myself, especially after DW returned to w*rk, Didn’t happen. Found out I’m really good at doing nothing.

I think my most pleasant surprise was how easy the adjustment to retirement was for me. No doubt a good market year and being inherently lazy were key factors to my success. Even though it isn’t a large disappointment, the only real negative I saw in year one was the lack of freedom to travel due to DW’s decision to keep the grandsons. Kinda hard for me to grouse too much about that, and it won’t last too long…I hope.

All in all, it was a very good year.
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 09:56 AM   #2
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Re: Year One

Congratulations, REW! You've set a blistering pace, though, and I hope you're able to cut back without feeling that you lack fulfillment. I don't think you'll have many new observations over the next three years!

I'll begin my fifth year on Wednesday. Pretty much the same experiences as yours, augmented by a smartly-recovering retirement portfolio. The Kaderlis finished their 15th year in January and I feel like a newbie alongside their record. Jarhead is starting, what, his 20th or 21st? He should be studied by ER demographers but it probably feels too much like real work.

I believe that the ER contrast is enhanced when those workplace reminders keep popping up.* Spouse is starting 29 days of active duty at PACOM tomorrow, and she's noted the similarity between your spouse's job & working with flag officers.* (Of course your grandsons will probably mature with time.)* She's mentally tightening up the rigging & battening down the hatches, and you can almost see her upper lip stiffening. She's kicking it off with 11 consecutive workdays, half of them unpaid, so this should get very interesting by the end of next week.* We've already had several stimulating conversations on the topics of "What are you working for again?" and other masochistic résumé-enhancing projects.* This time she's agreed to a "no whining" rule but I'm certainly not gonna try to enforce it... although I'm allowed to remind her that she volunteered for whatever it is that she's whining about.

In honor of her sacrifice, I've agreed to get to work on several nasty items from my own list of 43 things that I've been putting off home improvement projects.* I think I still have the better part of the deal.
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 09:58 AM   #3
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Re: Year One

Your comments are appreciated!* I start ER in about a month and my situation sounds very similar to yours so I read with great interest!
Quote:
-* Actual withdrawal was 4.3% of our portfolio vs. a planned 4.5%. (FYI, both DW and I are living entirely off our portfolio, not yet drawing SS or a small pension.)
So, to paraphrase, your actual spend was up modestly over plan.* Home maintenance over budget but travel under budget netting to a slightly over budget year. *We're also jumping in with No SS or pension for a few years. *Yikes! *Close your eyes, hold your breath, leap!
Quote:
-* Thanks to the performance of our conservatively invested portfolio, we are up almost 3% since retiring, after subtracting our first year withdrawal.
Managing to avoid the dreaded "down market in the early years of retirement" syndrom!* Excellent and congrats!
Quote:
DW going back to w*rk full-time as a daycare provider for our three grandsons.* (That started 6 months after I retired.* Probably just a coincidence… :).* FYI, she is paid almost enough to cover the cost of her daily commute.
We have three grandkids too.* The oldest is developmentally delayed, mild cerebral palsey, and jumping in and helping seems to come naturally to us.* That will be a significant factor in retirement plans.* Pay = hugs and kisses.* Valueless at the grocery store but priceless when received!
Quote:
All in all, it was a very good year.
That's fantastic REWhaoo!* Congratulations and please do an occassional update.
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 10:15 AM   #4
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Re: Year One

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Spouse is starting 29 days of active duty at PACOM tomorrow, and she's noted the similarity between your spouse's job & working with flag officers. (Of course your grandsons will probably mature with time.)
One other key difference: my DW can send the little boogers to time out. Too bad your spouse isn't going to have the same capability

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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: Year One

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
So, to paraphrase, your actual spend was up modestly over plan. Home maintenance over budget but travel under budget netting to a slightly over budget year.
In reality, our net actual spend was modestly under plan. The savings from reduced travel more than offset the increased home maintenance costs.

Come on in, the water is great.

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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 10:24 AM   #6
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Re: Year One

REWahoo!:
Quote:
This weekend I celebrated the first anniversary of my retirement.
Congratulations!! You see, that didn't hurt at all, now did it? Some said it would be painful, but you are living testimony to a fairly easy transition!* And it gets easier with practice.* *8)

YAY for you both!

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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: Year One

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
In reality, our net actual spend was modestly under plan.* The savings from reduced travel more than offset the increased home maintenance costs.

Come on in, the water is great.

Yeah......oooops.........noticed that I had that backa$$wards right after pushing the post button.* So.......* even better!* You spent a little less than planned, had an up market in your first year and enjoyed yourself.* Man.....that sounds good!

I really got a kick out of the fact that your first year spending actual categories varied so much from your plans.........* I gotta admit I've been almost obcessed with planning my budget and I keep trying to remember that no matter how hard I plan, actual will not always exactly equal plan!* *

I just keep reciting "go with the flow, go with the flow............"*
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 10:53 AM   #8
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Re: Year One

Quote:
I gotta admit I've been almost obcessed with planning my budget and I keep trying to remember that no matter how hard I plan, actual will not always exactly equal plan!* * I just keep reciting "go with the flow, go with the flow............"* *
I think that is fairly normal behavior.* We as humans have to start somewhere. Personally, we find it easier to have a plan that we constantly change than having no plan at all. Something about having a plan fills that security need. Not only that, but having a plan, and then rebelling against it with an even better idea is somehow satisfying too.* Go figure!

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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 11:13 AM   #9
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Re: Year One

I look back on my list of stuff that i planned to do from 5 years ago.

Its good for a chuckle.
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 07:30 PM   #10
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Re: Year One

REW,

I remember when you were doing your count down, i'ts hard to believe that it's been a year already. I'm jealous!

The only part of my plan left is to sell my NY house. Not much luck so far, the market is really slow.
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 07:37 PM   #11
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Re: Year One

Congratulations REW!

It is hard to believe it's been a year - thanks for the summary, update, and encouragement!
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 08:00 PM   #12
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Re: Year One

Nords spake thusly:
Quote:
She's kicking it off with 11 consecutive workdays, half of them unpaid....
Doggies, boy! Good thing this is a short assignment! Intercst would not approve of unpaid overtime.

REW,

Congratulations! And thanks for sharing the trip with us. Some of us need a little encouragement, and it helps to hear from those who are there already.

Cheers,

Ed
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 08:02 PM   #13
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Re: Year One

Congrats on the anniversary!
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
...* Prior to retiring, I made a list of 43 projects I wanted to complete.* I’m less than half way through the list and it seems much less of a priority now than when I compiled it.
One mindset change I noticed is related to time and urgency. In the old days, while employed, my time hotizon always seemed to be well under a year for most things. *After ER, I've found myself contemplating projects, trips, etc that I plan to do in 3-5 years. Or if something I was thinking of doing this year didn't work out, feeling no particular angst, thinking rather that there's always next year or the year after, or beyond. It's almost like that whole timeframe was opened up.

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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 08:38 PM   #14
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Re: Year One

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Nords spake thusly:
Doggies, boy!* ** Good thing this is a short assignment!* Intercst would not approve of unpaid overtime.
Navy Reserve rules-- if you don't have a pay billet you can still volunteer to drill for retirement points but no pay. So at least this wipes out her drill weekends for the rest of the summer and theoretically shows that she's a hard-chargin' hot runner who deserves a pay billet for next year.

I'm still working on her understanding of the "unpaid overtime" concept... but just about every other Navy Reservist on the island in a "volunteer drill" position has been mobilized to backfill Army support jobs, so she's not complaining.
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 08:42 PM   #15
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Re: Year One

Quote:
Navy Reserve rules-- if you don't have a pay billet you can still volunteer to drill for retirement points but no pay. So at least this wipes out her drill weekends for the rest of the summer and theoretically shows that she's a hard-chargin' hot runner who deserves a pay billet for next year.
Wellllll........OK. It ain't 'unpaid', it is just 'deferred compensation'.

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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 09:15 PM   #16
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Re: Year One

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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Wellllll........OK.* It ain't 'unpaid', it is just 'deferred compensation'.* *
They cheer each other up by calculating how much each drill point is worth. At her pay scale & longevity, every drill point she earns today will pay her an extra 57 cents/month starting at age 60 for the rest of her life-- before taxes!

I think she's decided that she can file her retirement request at any time. However doing so before she's played out the last two minutes of the fourth quarter is somehow interpreted as "quitting", but if she does everything she can to stay in the game then she can look back with no regrets. One of her long long term goals is to earn more retirement money than she earned on active/Reserve duty. She'll give herself extra bonus points if she achieves that even after adjusting for inflation.

I'll have to remind her of those goals on her sixth or seventh consecutive day. But I'm going to stand well clear when I do that...
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Re: Year One
Old 05-29-2006, 10:15 PM   #17
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Re: Year One

Thanks for the update. It is very encouraging. My last day is 6/2 and I sure hope that I have an easy time with adjusting to retirement also. I can be pretty good at doing nothing also!

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Re: Year One
Old 05-30-2006, 12:47 AM   #18
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Re: Year One

Nords,

You got a tough cookie there. Be nice to her.

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Re: Year One
Old 05-30-2006, 01:19 AM   #19
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Re: Year One

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
You got a tough cookie there.* Be nice to her.
You bet. I'm outranked by just about every indicator.
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Re: Year One
Old 05-30-2006, 02:19 AM   #20
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Re: Year One

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
They cheer each other up by calculating how much each drill point is worth. At her pay scale & longevity, every drill point she earns today will pay her an extra 57 cents/month starting at age 60 for the rest of her life-- before taxes!
I came down with some crud that lasted for a week while I was acting commander. The only thing that kept me at work was OTC meds and my spreadsheet showing every day I came in sick was worth an extra 45 cents on my pension, plus COLAs, for the rest of my life.
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