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Old 05-25-2014, 03:52 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by BBQ-Nut View Post
How much time do I need to give my 401k plan administrator to start periodic withdrawals?

Who else besides my supervisor do I give notice of resigning for purposes of benefits?

Is it better to wait until the end of the year to max Megacorp 401k matching?

Should I also wait until the beginning of the 2015 to make any after tax sales to possibly benefit from lower LTCGs?
RE: Taxes. When I retired we donated a slug of appreciated securities to a donor advised fund while my tax rate was high (last working year). I put about 10 years worth of our normal charitable donations in since I knew our tax rate would be much lower for the next 10 years.

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Old 05-25-2014, 06:02 PM   #22
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Here's a good checklist: How do/did you prepare for ER?

Numbers is hard

Although rare, it is possible to read something on this forum you don't agree with and simply move on with your life

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:10 PM   #23
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Many of the things I did in the ~18 months leading up to my ER in late 2008 have been mentioned already. But I'll mention all the things I did anyway.

(1) I knew I was going to lose my dental insurance coverage so I made sure to get some costly (and postponed) dental work done before I lost it. This included a crown and 2 wisdom teeth extracted.

(2) I was working only 12 hours per week in my last 17 months so I had little down time from the one main project I was working on. In that time, I automated and simplified several of the programs I oversaw. This became more critical when a key coworker in another division retired 4 months before I did, leaving nobody with expertise in running my programs around. Similarly, I made sure to write up documentation for my many existing programs to hand off to someone else.

(3) It took me a few weeks to get all the paperwork relating to cashing out my ESOP and rolling over my IRA set up. This included getting a medallion signature for the ESOP's proceeds and a notary stamp on something else. I also needed an account number for my Rollover IRA even though I had not deposited anything into it yet.

(4) I made sure to keep email contacts with my HR contact and payroll contact in the event I needed to contact them after I left. That did happen with the HR rep.

(5) I had a large pile of scrap paper at my desk, so I took piles of it home in the weeks before I resigned. I would use it to print on the back (blank) sides for anything not critical (which is most of what I print). That pile of paper lasted me until a few months ago, or more than 5 years!

(6) I made sure to suspend my pretax mass transit deductions a few weeks in advance because I would not be able to redeem them the following month after I left. Similarly, I made sure I had no leftover, unused train tickets or fares left on my automated fare card.

(7) As for the timing of my departure, I wanted to make sure it came after I got my April bonus. I knew I wasn't getting any ESOP shares in December so that was no longer an issue. That left me with more freedom to leave before the commute (the thing I hated the most about working) became lousy with the onset of the winter.

(8) I made sure to clear out all of my personal emails from my various email folders.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:38 PM   #24
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If you plan to roll over your 401K to an IRA you might want to check which funds can be rolled in kind vs. cashing out.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:15 PM   #25
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Here was my checklist.

* Annual expenses < 3.5% WR? Checked!
* Children off payroll? Checked!

Off I went.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:08 PM   #26
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If you have a pension, find out what it takes to get the monthly payments started or to get the lump sum. My company required something like 60 days to process a pension request, so don't wait until the last minute if you need a payment the month you retire.

Do you have enough cash saved up for living expenses when the paycheck stops? How many months/years of expenses do you want in a liquid stash like a savings account before you need to tap your investment accounts? You may want to redirect part of your final few months of paychecks to build up your cash reserves.

Decide if you need to adjust your 401k contributions based on your retirement date. If you're retiring before the end of the year, you may want to increase your contributions to hit the max by your retirement date.

If you have an HSA with employer contributions, check into its rules to see if you want to adjust your contributions.

Save a copy of your co-workers' email addresses, at least for those you may want to contact later. Establish professional connections in LinkedIn.

Prepare your farewell email in advance so on your last day all you have to do is hit 'send'. This gives you time to word it properly to not leave out anything important and to avoid saying something you may regret. Decide in advance who you will be sending it to.

While you still have access to the company's intranet, are there any HR documents you want copies of? Benefit plan descriptions that you may need to refer to after you've left?

Originally Posted by W2R View Post
6. Things to do. Make a list of a dozen or two things you really want to do in retirement. You will probably file this away and never use it, but if you need it then it will be there for you. Mine is still sitting on my computer desktop, untouched. I may NEVER learn Spanish or take up piano again, at this rate.
THIS! I spent plenty of idle time during my last few months of work creating my retirement todo list. Nine months in and I haven't looked at it yet!

Grow older, not up
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