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Can I Retire At 51 ? **Update**
Old 04-14-2015, 04:35 AM   #1
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Can I Retire At 51 ? **Update**

Can I Retire At 51 ? **Update**
This is my second post regarding retiring early. The 1st was in June of 2013

Can I Retire At 51 ?

I was having a terrible time at my job. Not only were the hours horrible, but we were going through a major transition that was not going well at all.
At that time, I just wanted out. PERIOD!

Had I left at that time, not only would I have had to wait until age 55 (2017) to begin collecting my pension, but I would have been penalized 4.8% per year that I was away from age 62.

4.8 x 7 = 33.60% penalty. Because of this, I would have had no choice but to roll my 401k into an existing IRA & begin drawing funds early using the 72(t) SEPP method.

Luckily for me, shortly after posting the original thread, things began improving @ work. The hours were/are still miserable, but with the job itself going much better, I was able stick it out & now, come June 1st, I'll be able to collect my full pension. No penalties!

I'm now 53 years old, work in the private sector (manufacturing) & have no existing medical issues.
Will retire on or around June 1st of 2015 (Pension 104.00% funded as of last report)


I'll now list my income, future income, monthly living expenses, & current assets.

I don't think I'm overlooking anything.
Please reply if you think I am.


Monthly Income Starting July 1st 2015
Pension $3,000.00 Per Month
Dividends $1,100.00 ' ' *The dividends are all from my 'taxable' brokerage account at Fidelity*

Total $4,100.00 Per Month
$49,200.00 per year




Future Income 001: I'll turn 59.5 In June 2021

401-k - 240k as of today
IRA - 30k as of today
If I assume an annual return of 5.00% per year, these 2 would be worth around 361k by 2021

This would be another possible income stream. (If I Needed It At That Time)




Future Income 002: January 2022: When I turned 60, I could begin drawing a smaller pension from the original company (before we merged with my present company)
$284.00 Per Month




Future Income 003: S.S. 2024 Age 62 $1,300.00 Per Month

Total $5,684.00 Per Month
$68,208.00 per year *Without any 401k or IRA distributions*
*Also not counting any future dividend hikes*




Personal lifestyle/monthly living expenses & Misc info

Lifestyle: Very simple & inexpensive. Have plenty of things to keep me busy. Sometimes more than I care for. This will improve after retirement.

Home: Roof, Siding, Windows, Furnace & AC, all new in the last 8 years.

Healthcare: This of course, is the biggie nowadays & I am not covered after retirement: I've done a small amount of research on the 'affordable care act' AKA obamacare. Don't like what I've seen/heard …….so far

As it stands now, I've decided to purchase 'COBRA' insurance when I retire.
This is the exact same as my present coverage & includes medical, dental, & vision. There's substantial co-pays in many instances, but I can live with that.

This is available for 18 months after retirement @ a cost of approximately $650.00 per month.

So I wouldn't have to worry about dealing with obamacare until December 2016. Hopefully some of the bugs will have been worked out by then.



Monthly Cash Flow/Expense Summary:

4,100.00 - 25% Taxes ($1,025.00) *Hopefully my taxes will be less than 25% but I want to err on the high side*
3,075.00 - 650 Health Ins **On the bubble as far as being able to itemize** 15.00%
2,425.00 - 370 Car Pmt & Ins *No Car Payment At This Time* But plan on buying a used toyota sr-5 before winter
2,055.00 - 365 Groceries & eating out
1,690.00 - 300 Utilities *Electricity, City, Natural Gas, Cable TV, Internet, & Phone

1,390.00 - 200 Property Taxes & Homeowners Ins
1,190.00 - 200 Alcohol *I still frequent a favorite bar (more often after retirement ?) & have friends over, especially during football season.
990.00 - 136 Miscellaneous *B-days, Printer Ink, Stamps, Lawn Care, Co Pays, Tax Software, Snow Removal, Batteries, DVD's, Etc
854.00 - 85 Automotive = Gasoline, Antifreeze, Bulbs, Oil, Tires, Repairs, Etc
769.00 - 50 Charity

719.00 - 35 Personal Items = Haircuts, T-paste, TP, Deodorant, Shampoo, Detergent, Scotch Pads, Clothing, Dish Soap, Vitamins, Etc
684.00 - 24 Casino & Other Gambling
660.00 - 0 Big Ticket Items * Washer & Dryer, Stove, Etc*

Summary: A Surplus Of $660.00 Per Month, Or $7,920.00 Per Year






In my Fidelity brokerage account, I have a mix of dividend paying stocks, etf's, reit's, & mutual funds.
The portfolio is geared toward 'income' that I will use to supplement my pension.

The $ amount in individual holding varies from over 60k in JNJ, to only $1,732.75 in Colgate.

Stocks:
Apple Computer AAPL
American Water Works AWK
Bank Of America BAC
B&G Foods BGS
Cinemark Holdings CNK

Colgate Palmolive CL
Conoco Phillips COP
Consolidated Comm CNSL
Crown Holdings CCK *No Dividend*
Johnson & Johnson JNJ

Kinder Morgan Energy KMP
Kraft Foods KRFT
Eli Lilly LLY
MMM MMM
Student Transportation STB

Verizon VZ
Wisconsin Energy WEC

ETF's:
iShares International Select Dividend IDV
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation VIG


Mutual Funds:
Fidelity Select Medical Equip & Systems FSMEX
James Balanced Golden Rainbow Cl A GLRBX

REIT's:
National Health Investments NHI
Realty Income Corporation O

Other
UBS Bloomberg CMCI Silver USV






Assets: As Of April 12th 2015

Fidelity Brokerage Account $464,782.00 *Taxable*
Vanguard 401-k $239,129.00
Home Equity $100,000.00
ESPP $87,552.00 *Employee Stock Purchase Program*
Fidelity IRA $27,948.00
Checking $3,000.00
Debt ZERO

Total $922,411.00





My Summary:

I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity.
I'm going to miss my co-workers terribly, but it's something I have to do.


Steve
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Can I Retire At 51 ? **Update**
Old 04-14-2015, 05:58 AM   #2
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Can I Retire At 51 ? **Update**

Sure you probably can retire but don't get angry but let me remind you of the obvious - the longer you delay your retirement the better off you'll be. The pile grows the fastest as you get older. Any change you could reduce your hours? Like go to 4 days a week? (I'm 60, My son is a sophomore in HS so I'll pull the plug in a year - yeah late start.) .

I'd like to see you with a bigger cushion. There is no rush to retire as you get more and more prepared/ able to retire work just doesn't seem as stressful.

There was a time I thought hey I'll quit and them drive a bus to supplement my income for a while. Could that work for you? The reality of Ocare premiums have me not rushing to quit that job so fast. My portfolio is much like yours but for some time I steer clear of individual stocks... IDV, DVY and a few other dividend funds are the ticket.. Safety through diversification!

What ever your choices good luck and via con dios...

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Old 04-14-2015, 06:15 AM   #3
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With a 3K a year pension and another almost $500K in your taxable account you are good to go. Assuming you aren't too far off in your budget and with a $600 month cushion even if you budget is off you should still be ok.

I think $650 for a 53 year old for insurance is quite high, so given that you are healthy, you might really want to look at catastrophic insurance policy.

The one really nice thing about Obamacare is you do get a chronic medical condition you can always switch to a more comprehensive policy the next year.

Welcome (soon) to early retirement.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:17 AM   #4
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A different take.

Maybe- delay your pension to 65, live on your divs and drawdowns.
Get almost free health insurance since your income is low to age 65.

Also reduce income further by investing in growth stocks, not dividends. Sell shares with LTCG for zero taxes as needed for income.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:36 AM   #5
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I love the update. Nice development on your pension availability. You seem to have everything covered.

I just figured out what the first number in your line items refers to--a running subtraction of the monthly total income. Duh, I need more coffee.
Quote:
Monthly Cash Flow/Expense Summary:

4,100.00 - 25% Taxes ($1,025.00) *Hopefully my taxes will be less than 25% but I want to err on the high side*
3,075.00 - 650 Health Ins **On the bubble as far as being able to itemize** 15.00%
2,425.00 - 370 Car Pmt & Ins *No Car Payment At This Time* But plan on buying a used toyota sr-5 before winter
2,055.00 - 365 Groceries & eating out
1,690.00 - 300 Utilities *Electricity, City, Natural Gas, Cable TV, Internet, & Phone

[etc., etc.]
Maybe pay cash for the car and invest the car payment each month?

Your surplus can be your contingency fund for unexpected expenses.

Congrats!
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:52 AM   #6
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I do understand the hassle of obtaining affordable health care, but at your age it makes a big difference. I think you might be able to do a lot better then 650 a month with substantial copays..this is for one person correct? You will need to research all this stuff when your COBRA runs out anyway. I'd start looking at all the numbers now and not wait the entire 18 months. It's by far the best way to try and maximize income without cutting lifestyle. We buy our own insurance (self-employed) and while it's a hassle, you have to be on the alert for better prices. OC has made this easier as you can pretty much swap policys and companys at will during open enrollment with no health history questions.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:34 AM   #7
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Just $24 for Casino & Other Gambling per month? It would just last for a few minutes at casinos.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:05 PM   #8
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Have you run your numbers through Firecalc?
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:39 PM   #9
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With your nice taxable kitty, you can manage your income to great advantage in the years between retirement and Medicare.


It is a bit of lightning rod around here, but I would suggest at least running the numbers on deferring SS.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:51 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the comments/suggestions

There's probably an explanation for it, but I was surprised no one mentioned municipal bonds ? I've been researching these for awhile now & it seems they would be a good way to limit my taxable income ?


ATTN Raymond:
" Any change you could reduce your hours? Like go to 4 days a week?


No chance.


"I'd like to see you with a bigger cushion"

I would too, but I'm convinced I have enough.


"Quit and them drive a bus to supplement my income. Could that work for you?

I've considered part time work, but drive a bus ? No way


"My portfolio is much like yours but for some time I steer clear of individual stocks"

I've been investing in individual stocks since 1993. I'm no Buffett, but I've done well






ATTN klifp:
"I think $650 for a 53 year old for insurance is quite high, so given that you are healthy, you might really want to look at catastrophic insurance policy"


Agreed. I've been exploring alternative policies.





ATTN jim58:
"Maybe- delay your pension to 65, live on your divs and drawdowns. Get almost free health insurance since your income is low to age 65.


I have considered exchanging some of my dividend stocks for growth to lower my income for tax & healthcare insurance reasons, but delay my pension ? No, I wouldn't be willing to do that.






ATTN Bestwife:
"Maybe pay cash for the car and invest the car payment each month?


Interesting idea. Thanks





ATTN ivinsfan:
"you might be able to do a lot better then 650 a month with substantial copays..this is for 1 person correct?


Correct


"I'd start looking at all the numbers now and not wait the entire 18 months.

I actually started researching late last year






ATTN flying away:
"Just $24 for Casino & Other Gambling per month? It would just last for a few minutes at casinos.


The $24 is just an average. I made a simple spreadsheet & started keeping track on Feb17th 2014.






ATTN MBAustin:
"Have you run your numbers through Firecalc?


No I haven't. If memory serves, someone also mentioned this in my original thread. Is it something available at this forum ?






ATTN LRDave:
"With your nice taxable kitty, you can manage your income to great advantage in the years between retirement and Medicare.


Exactly

"It is a bit of lightning rod around here, but I would suggest at least running the numbers on deferring SS"

I'll run the numbers, but not until the date is a little closer. (almost 9 years away) And who knows, by that time they might have raised it to 63-64 & made the decision for me
Criminals
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:35 AM   #11
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Here's the firecalc site: FIRECalc: A different kind of retirement calculator
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by growerVon View Post
Thanks for posting the link.
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:10 AM   #13
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Does the pension have a COLA? 30 years of inflation with no COLA and the pension won't be worth much.

On a lighter note, when you have the guys over for the football game, have them bring the booze. You'll be stocked up for a long time. 😃


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Old 04-15-2015, 05:48 AM   #14
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The only problem I see is you're not spending any of your principal

This seems to be a common problem among forum members - switching from being a saver to a spender. It may take years to get over this affliction - better start working on this problem now.

Enjoy your retirement.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
Can I Retire At 51 ? **Update** This is my second post regarding retiring early. The 1st was in June of 2013 Can I Retire At 51 ? I was having a terrible time at my job. Not only were the hours horrible, but we were going through a major transition that was not going well at all. At that time, I just wanted out. PERIOD! Had I left at that time, not only would I have had to wait until age 55 (2017) to begin collecting my pension, but I would have been penalized 4.8% per year that I was away from age 62. 4.8 x 7 = 33.60% penalty. Because of this, I would have had no choice but to roll my 401k into an existing IRA & begin drawing funds early using the 72(t) SEPP method. Luckily for me, shortly after posting the original thread, things began improving @ work. The hours were/are still miserable, but with the job itself going much better, I was able stick it out & now, come June 1st, I'll be able to collect my full pension. No penalties! I'm now 53 years old, work in the private sector (manufacturing) & have no existing medical issues. Will retire on or around June 1st of 2015 (Pension 104.00% funded as of last report) I'll now list my income, future income, monthly living expenses, & current assets. I don't think I'm overlooking anything. Please reply if you think I am. Monthly Income Starting July 1st 2015 Pension $3,000.00 Per Month Dividends $1,100.00 ' ' *The dividends are all from my 'taxable' brokerage account at Fidelity* Total $4,100.00 Per Month $49,200.00 per year Future Income 001: I'll turn 59.5 In June 2021 401-k - 240k as of today IRA - 30k as of today If I assume an annual return of 5.00% per year, these 2 would be worth around 361k by 2021 This would be another possible income stream. (If I Needed It At That Time) Future Income 002: January 2022: When I turned 60, I could begin drawing a smaller pension from the original company (before we merged with my present company) $284.00 Per Month Future Income 003: S.S. 2024 Age 62 $1,300.00 Per Month Total $5,684.00 Per Month $68,208.00 per year *Without any 401k or IRA distributions* *Also not counting any future dividend hikes* Personal lifestyle/monthly living expenses & Misc info Lifestyle: Very simple & inexpensive. Have plenty of things to keep me busy. Sometimes more than I care for. This will improve after retirement. Home: Roof, Siding, Windows, Furnace & AC, all new in the last 8 years. Healthcare: This of course, is the biggie nowadays & I am not covered after retirement: I've done a small amount of research on the 'affordable care act' AKA obamacare. Don't like what I've seen/heard …….so far As it stands now, I've decided to purchase 'COBRA' insurance when I retire. This is the exact same as my present coverage & includes medical, dental, & vision. There's substantial co-pays in many instances, but I can live with that. This is available for 18 months after retirement @ a cost of approximately $650.00 per month. So I wouldn't have to worry about dealing with obamacare until December 2016. Hopefully some of the bugs will have been worked out by then. Monthly Cash Flow/Expense Summary: 4,100.00 - 25% Taxes ($1,025.00) *Hopefully my taxes will be less than 25% but I want to err on the high side* 3,075.00 - 650 Health Ins **On the bubble as far as being able to itemize** 15.00% 2,425.00 - 370 Car Pmt & Ins *No Car Payment At This Time* But plan on buying a used toyota sr-5 before winter 2,055.00 - 365 Groceries & eating out 1,690.00 - 300 Utilities *Electricity, City, Natural Gas, Cable TV, Internet, & Phone 1,390.00 - 200 Property Taxes & Homeowners Ins 1,190.00 - 200 Alcohol *I still frequent a favorite bar (more often after retirement ?) & have friends over, especially during football season. 990.00 - 136 Miscellaneous *B-days, Printer Ink, Stamps, Lawn Care, Co Pays, Tax Software, Snow Removal, Batteries, DVD's, Etc 854.00 - 85 Automotive = Gasoline, Antifreeze, Bulbs, Oil, Tires, Repairs, Etc 769.00 - 50 Charity 719.00 - 35 Personal Items = Haircuts, T-paste, TP, Deodorant, Shampoo, Detergent, Scotch Pads, Clothing, Dish Soap, Vitamins, Etc 684.00 - 24 Casino & Other Gambling 660.00 - 0 Big Ticket Items * Washer & Dryer, Stove, Etc* Summary: A Surplus Of $660.00 Per Month, Or $7,920.00 Per Year In my Fidelity brokerage account, I have a mix of dividend paying stocks, etf's, reit's, & mutual funds. The portfolio is geared toward 'income' that I will use to supplement my pension. The $ amount in individual holding varies from over 60k in JNJ, to only $1,732.75 in Colgate. Stocks: Apple Computer AAPL American Water Works AWK Bank Of America BAC B&G Foods BGS Cinemark Holdings CNK Colgate Palmolive CL Conoco Phillips COP Consolidated Comm CNSL Crown Holdings CCK *No Dividend* Johnson & Johnson JNJ Kinder Morgan Energy KMP Kraft Foods KRFT Eli Lilly LLY MMM MMM Student Transportation STB Verizon VZ Wisconsin Energy WEC ETF's: iShares International Select Dividend IDV Vanguard Dividend Appreciation VIG Mutual Funds: Fidelity Select Medical Equip & Systems FSMEX James Balanced Golden Rainbow Cl A GLRBX REIT's: National Health Investments NHI Realty Income Corporation O Other UBS Bloomberg CMCI Silver USV Assets: As Of April 12th 2015 Fidelity Brokerage Account $464,782.00 *Taxable* Vanguard 401-k $239,129.00 Home Equity $100,000.00 ESPP $87,552.00 *Employee Stock Purchase Program* Fidelity IRA $27,948.00 Checking $3,000.00 Debt ZERO Total $922,411.00 My Summary: I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity. I'm going to miss my co-workers terribly, but it's something I have to do. Steve
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't see any allocation to Fixed Income. Am I misinterpreting that you are 100 percent in equities? If so, regardless of your income in retirement which seems adequate, you would have an extremely risky portfolio. Just my 2cents.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post

ATTN jim58:
"Maybe- delay your pension to 65, live on your divs and drawdowns. Get almost free health insurance since your income is low to age 65.


I have considered exchanging some of my dividend stocks for growth to lower my income for tax & healthcare insurance reasons, but delay my pension ? No, I wouldn't be willing to do that.
The problem is by taking the pension and divs you have 49k a year income. This will put you out of range of any subsidy so you will pay full price. And it will go up every year as you age. It will not be cheap. Since you can't get a subsidy you can stay in your dividend stocks, as the divs are probably qualified, so will would be good.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:54 AM   #17
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First off congratulations on getting to this point. You've done a great job and it does seems that you have the funds to carry you to the SS years.

Couple things that caught my eye are:

1) You mention 100K home equity with no mention of monthly mortgage payment. Is the house paid for?

2) I know you didn't request portfolio feedback, but from where I sit you are way too heavy in individual stocks. I'd like to see an asset allocation for your portfolio. I'm 51 and use a 55/45 AA with a Vanguard 3-fund portfolio as an early retiree. Consider the market taking another 50% haircut during your first 2 years of retirement and what impact this would have on your psychological well being. A bigger bond ballast may help you better weather this type of event. With your considerable assets at Vanguard, maybe you can speak with a financial advisor to take another look at how your assets are spread across asset classes.

Best of Luck,

Nano
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
Does the pension have a COLA? 30 years of inflation with no COLA and the pension won't be worth much.

On a lighter note, when you have the guys over for the football game, have them bring the booze. You'll be stocked up for a long time. 😃


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The pension does not have COLA
Good idea on the booze
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Al18 View Post
The only problem I see is you're not spending any of your principal

This seems to be a common problem among forum members - switching from being a saver to a spender. It may take years to get over this affliction - better start working on this problem now.

Enjoy your retirement.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:53 PM   #20
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Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't see any allocation to Fixed Income. Am I misinterpreting that you are 100 percent in equities? If so, regardless of your income in retirement which seems adequate, you would have an extremely risky portfolio. Just my 2cents.
I have about 27k in cash @Fidelity
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