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Old 08-04-2014, 08:19 PM   #21
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To expound further, it seems to me that the two biggest and possibly problematic mandatories are health care and housing. Consider that un-subsidized health care can cost upward of $2000/mo, and mortgages are typically in the $1500-$2000 range. Having either of these would definitely upset my FI apple cart.

I'm a little dated on health care, not sure what ACA has done for/to us. I have Tricare, which is both a great deal, and "you get what you pay for", so I can't fully appreciate having to get health care off the market. I do know that friends having to rely on the 'great deal' that was COBRA were strapped by it.

I do think that paying off ownership of at least one residence (most preferrably, the one you live in) is imperative to getting control of expenses, and that is something we might have a bit more control over. We underbought as young parents, paid it off, and are still living very comfortably and happily in it. I joke that the next house we buy will be the one-story job with wide doorways for the wheelchairs...

With those two mandatory expenses under control, our FI picture is very different than it would be otherwise.

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Old 08-05-2014, 07:25 AM   #22
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You have a 90% on Fire Calc and you are including Social Security and a deferred pension already to get to that number.

Everyone is at a different place on the risk-reward curve. But I would say, NO, you are definitely not in a position to retire. By almost any measure, expected future returns are less today than over the history that FireCalc covers. It's not like you have to work much more to greatly increase your future financial security. My guess is your likelihood of failure is more like 33% (with today's low expected returns for both bonds and stocks) if you spent a fixed percentage forever like Firecalc assumes.

I retired very early (age 41) with the determination to live frugally if I really had to. I was so burned out on my job and career. But I would simply not take the risk you are contemplating when you don't have to and the alternative is not very difficult.

I would suggest reading Bill Bernstein's latest book, it will scare you straight.

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Old 08-05-2014, 07:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by kramer View Post
Everyone is at a different place on the risk-reward curve. But I would say, NO, you are definitely not in a position to retire. By almost any measure, expected future returns are less today than over the history that FireCalc covers. It's not like you have to work much more to greatly increase your future financial security.
I agree. I also left earlier than expected due to ugly politics, but I was 61 (had planned to work till 65) and had been above FIRE level for quite awhile. You can resolve to throttle back on impulse spending, use grocery coupons, cut down on restaurant meals, etc. but Stuff Happens, especially in old age. Transmissions die, you need hearing aids (not covered by Medicare and the good ones can cost thousands of $$), etc. I just had 2 dental implants completed. They were $5,000 each. They were started when I was still working and the insurance coverage maxed out at $1,500. Surely they're not a "need", but they really enhance the quality of life. DH and I love to travel but he just turned 76 and he's over 6 feet tall with a creaky back and some health issues and long-hauls in Coach are out of the question. It just takes too long for him to recover. I work hard to use airline miles and credit card rewards plus a small pile of cash to get us to Europe in Business Class every once in awhile. Last month we shamelessly squandered $100 for 2 airline club passes during long layovers in both directions when we went to Alaska. I'd hate to have had such a tight travel budget that we couldn't make that choice. You're making a decision now that has implications 40 or 50 years out, and if you realize at age 70 that there's a risk of outliving your savings, it may be hard to go back to work.

Take some time to get over the emotional baggage of not leaving on your own terms (and good luck with the lawsuit), but consider picking up another job.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:42 AM   #24
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Hi ShadowBloom. How long has it been since you were laid off? And how long do you think you will take before you make a decision about whether you want to return to the work force?

And like you, after the shock of the termination wears off, I think I will need to create some type of structure in my life.

Is your profile set up for private messages?
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:15 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ShadowBloom View Post
"That's the other thing I'm finding. I don't miss working, and there are lots of things I want to do instead of it, but I miss the structure work gave my days. Having a job automatically means a large part of the week is planned. Without that, I felt a little lost at times. I'm trying to plan out my week in advance now, with one or two priority tasks committed for each day (and a "task" can be taking a walk and sitting in the park). I hope eventually it comes more naturally.
One thing I worry about, with having too much free time, is that I might feel the temptation to start expanding tasks to where they fill up more time. For instance, I've noticed that since my uncle retired, when he cuts the grass over at Grandmom's house, he'll do about half of it one day, and the other half another day. It takes about an hour and a half, riding around on the tractor, to do it all at once. Two hours, max, if you let the grass get too tall, and have to cut it more slowly, or the tractor starts throwing the mower belt, getting clogged, etc. I've cut it in as little as an hour, if it's been a dry spell and the grass hasn't grown too much.

Well, yesterday, I cut my grass. My yard can easily be split up into three parts: the part around the house, which wraps around behind the garage, the part on the other side of the driveway, which is in front of, and on the far side of the driveway, and the "back field", which is about 1/2 acre of grass out in back, on the other side of the creek, surrounded by woods on three sides, and the neighbor's yard on the fourth. Gotta admit, that as soon as I was done cutting the first part, by the house, I was tempted to call it a day, put the tractor up, and leave the rest til later. But, I decided to push on through, and had the whole thing cut in about 90 minutes.

I hope that, as I get older, my uncle doesn't become a bad influence on me!
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:50 AM   #26
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A few good reasons not to do it all at once:
1) One avoids possible overuse injuries. Gardening can be addictive but as one gets older the back is perhaps a little less resilient.
2) Doing a bit at a time is my time honored way to eliminate avoidance behavior i.e. taking care of a task by saying to myself "I'll just get into it a bit and then complete it over a period of time". Helps with tasks you don't like that much. Divide and conquer.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:51 PM   #27
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Hi Nico, you can PM me.

It's been a couple months. I'm taking the summer off for sure. There are some unusual financial events happening for me in the next couple of months. After they settle I'll know how much I really have. I'm hoping I'll also know what my real monthly expenses look like by then too. I'm planning to do another rerun of multiple calculators and also speak to a financial advisor at that point and will come up with some long-term plan then. For now I'm trying to decompress, destress, and enjoy life in ways that weren't possible when I was working.

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