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Anyone else here forced to retire and scared to death?
Old 08-29-2016, 10:10 AM   #1
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Anyone else here forced to retire and scared to death?

I have been reading the posts on this board for months and am shocked how many people have retired after years of great career success and expert and wonderful skills regarding financial planning. Many posters are so proud to tell the world that they only take 2% or less out of their portfolio every year and expect to give millions to their family upon their death.

I don't think this the real world.

The real world is someone like me. Struggled to save money, had bad investment choices, and were forced to retire when they were fired from their job and due to lack of job opportunities for sixty one year old men with white hair who look and feel like they are 70, are sitting at home waiting for Social Security to become available in 2017. (I am going to be 62 in October 2017)

Any support for someone who was forced to retire early and only has $300K saved?
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:23 AM   #2
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The people on this board tend to be more affluent than the average population. Most work/worked jobs paying well above the national average and saved a high percentage. That's not the norm for the overall population. I know plenty of people who worked their whole lives and retired on less than your 300K. You may have to move to a lower cost area and cut back on some luxuries but SS plus $300K is very doable.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:24 AM   #3
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Sorry, it is the real world for me.
That does not mean it was all easy street, in fact far far far from it.
(homeless 20 yrs ago).
But I took each setback as a sharp pointed lesson to educate myself, be smart about what I do as I needed to survive.

To get help/support more details are needed.
Explain where you have your $300K saved.
Why did you struggle to save money ?
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
Sorry, it is the real world for me.
That does not mean it was all easy street, in fact far far far from it.
(homeless 20 yrs ago).
But I took each setback as a sharp pointed lesson to educate myself, be smart about what I do as I needed to survive.

To get help/support more details are needed.
Explain where you have your $300K saved.
Why did you struggle to save money ?
My $300K portfolio is 60% VTI and 40% BND.

Why did I struggle to save money? ANSWER: Lots of layoffs and firings during my career due to my outspoken eccentric personality and long periods of unemployment.

Since I lost my career job 9 months ago, I have applied at hundreds of places and got no where, even at Walmart.

I currently rent with six months left on the lease. I am single and don't have any friends or family I can depend on.

Right now I am burning through cash but when I get Social Security at age 62 next year I will have an income of $2500 a month with about $1250 in Social Security and $1250 in 5% annual withdrawals. A figure almost impossible to live on in very expensive Fairfax VA.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Forced to Retire View Post
My $300K portfolio is 60% VTI and 40% BND.

Why did I struggle to save money? ANSWER: Lots of layoffs and firings during my career due to my outspoken eccentric personality and long periods of unemployment.

Since I lost my career job 9 months ago, I have applied at hundreds of places and got no where, even at Walmart.

Right now I am burning through cash but when I get Social Security at age 62 next year I will have an income of $2500 a month with about $1250 in Social Security and $1250 in 5% annual withdrawals. A figure almost impossible to live on in very expensive Fairfax VA.
What is your housing situation? Do you have a paid off house or could you downsize. If you rent then you will likely have to relocate or get a roommate. Have you tracked your expenses? It's very important to know where your money is going especially if things are tight.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:40 AM   #6
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My FIL (now deceased) fit the description of the OP, except he was laid off in his late 50's. He got by surprising well. Looking back it amazes DW and I, because we know how little they had about $250K saved, plus SS and a tiny pension from a megacorp. In fact, when I go on a frugal rant, DW reminds me that her parents retired with very little and didn't starve. On the other hand, FIL never traveled anywhere and mostly watched TV while feeding his dog potato chips.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:53 AM   #7
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I pull way over 2% and feel comfortable with it. Look into other Withdrawal plans. I'm counting on SS to cover minimum living expenses later on.

I have family members living on SS alone and they enjoy their lives, they just don't travel much or eat in restaurants often. Paid off houses helped a lot. I have former co workers in even worse situations than yours and they're making it. One fellow loves golfing, so he moved to Myrtle Beach and picked up a 10 hour a week minimum wage gig that lets him play free at three different clubs. Happy as a clam but always broke, way happier living on about $20k a year than he was working at $100k.

If you can't afford the lifestyle you're living you may have to change your lifestyle. You may find the new one more full filling.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:58 AM   #8
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I guess you could stay in Fairfax (I used to live near there) but yes, it is a high cost of living place to be. Any chance the owner where you rent would let you break the lease given your circumstances? No harm in asking, the worst they can do is say "no".

Lots of places are cheaper to live. If there is nothing tying you to where you are then there's no reason not to move and lots of reason to do so. $5k/month will buy a nice, but not luxurious, lifestyle in lots of places. But as you note Fairfax is not one of them.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forced to Retire View Post
My $300K portfolio is 60% VTI and 40% BND. .....
Right now I am burning through cash but when I get Social Security at age 62 next year I will have an income of $2500 a month with about $1250 in Social Security and $1250 in 5% annual withdrawals. A figure almost impossible to live on in very expensive Fairfax VA.
You probably need to rethink that level of withdrawals as well as where you live. Firecalc gives you a 46.8% success rate with $300k savings, $30k/year of spending, 60/40 AA, $15k of SS starting in 2017, etc.). If you can reduce your spending to $25k a year in today's $ then your success rate increases to 95%.

You can look at how things you can do might affect your success rate at firecalc.com
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #10
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$5k/month will buy a nice, but not luxurious, lifestyle in lots of places. But as you note Fairfax is not one of them.
I believe the OP will only have $2500/mo to live on not $5000. Big difference. $2500 is enough to get by in a low cost area and $5000 is enough to live very well in low cost area. In Fairfax $2500 is very difficult to live on unless renting with roommates.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:05 AM   #11
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Yes, I looked up Fairfax and it is very nice and close to DC, yup expensive.

I would imaging it wouldn't be too hard to break lease as new tenants are likely fast.

Yeah, move somewhere cheaper where nobody knows you and try again.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:07 AM   #12
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What do you like to do? I would try to do that for a job (instead of Walmart). I'm thinking I would try to do the canoes at Disney World. Or you probably have enough to just hang out if that is what you like to do.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
I believe the OP will only have $2500/mo to live on not $5000. Big difference. $2500 is enough to get by in a low cost area and $5000 is enough to live very well in low cost area. In Fairfax $2500 is very difficult to live on unless renting with roommates.
You're right he's not on SS yet. My bad. I don't know about the other "$1,250 in annual withdrawals" that he writes about. I used to live not far from Fairfax and it is expensive to live there, or anywhere near D.C.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:22 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your situation.

My DM lived on about $1100 a month in SS and pensions. After she was forced out of her job at 62, she moved to a small town in Florida. The house was paid for and she had a bit less in savings than you do. The COL was very low. She was very happy there for about 25 years and never felt deprived. She got involved in her new community and found inexpensive activities to keep her busy and fulfilled.

As others have pointed out, expense management is critical.

Is there anyway that you could generate some income from a part time j*b or consulting gig? Could you start an on-line business?

Many people on this forum have suffered setbacks and worked to overcome them. Please keep reading and posting here. There is always a way to make it work.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:25 AM   #15
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You're right he's not on SS yet. My bad. I don't know about the other "$1,250 in annual withdrawals" that he writes about. I used to live not far from Fairfax and it is expensive to live there, or anywhere near D.C.
Actually what I meant was that he says he'll have $1250/mo in SS and $1250/mo in withdrawals from his $300K---5% is $15K. $15K/12=$1250/mo. So he'll have $2500/mo to live on when he starts getting SS.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:31 AM   #16
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Welcome. The people here tend to have self-selected to retire early, so you'll typically find people here have planned for a long time. But that doesn't mean there isn't good info for everyone. I agree that a 5% withdrawal rate is too high for the long run. If you don't have strong ties to your location, look for somewhere cheaper to live. Fairfax is lovely, but expensive. You'll be surprised how much you can save on rent, utilities etc. Or see if you can find a shared living arrangement - not only can you save on rent, but you may find people you want to befriend.

If you haven't already done so, check out other sites like Mr Money Moustache and Early Retirement Extreme - they have a lot of discussion on how to reach your goals while sticking to a budget.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:38 AM   #17
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First of all you need to leave the area. I live in Montgomery County and am counting the days I can get out of this disaster of a place...will be moving north to PA. You can drive 2 miles in almost any direction here and you will see a condo/apartment building going up. Its ridiculous...the infrastructure cannot handle all these people yet they just keep building. Good luck with that.

Move somewhere else. Do you like a warmer climate...head south. You can find places to rent anywhere outside of a major metro area for less than $600/month.

You have a decent amount of money saved. Once you start pulling SS you should be fine...assuming you get out of the DC metro area.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:53 AM   #18
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I don't think 5% is too high if retiring at 60+. Of course it depends on your expected life span. I think it's very unlikely i'll see 80 so I would take 5% at 61 like the OP plans to do.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:53 AM   #19
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Rent a room instead of apartment, Craigslist shows a lot of rooms available in Fairfax for less than $500 :
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...&max_price=500
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Old 08-29-2016, 12:06 PM   #20
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Rent a room instead of apartment, Craigslist shows a lot of rooms available in Fairfax for less than $500 :
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...&max_price=500
This. Since you don't have any family requirements (I am assuming this) then renting a room is an easy answer....and I wouldn't sweat breaking the lease very much. If you moved to a lower COL area, a room would be even cheaper. Also, in my suburb of ATL, there are lots of McMansions around where people rent out in law suites or very well appointed basements for much cheaper than you would get an apartment.

Sent via mobile device. Please excuse any grammatical errors.
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