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Old 02-06-2015, 08:51 PM   #1
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It Happened!!

MLK day, a Monday was my last day at w*rk after 36.5 yrs!! I was offered the standard severance package which consisted of 1 yrs. salary, 3 mo. health insurance at the current rate for me, DW and DS. After that, COBRA at the full price is.......$38k/yr.!! Guess we'll be shopping for cheaper plan pretty soon. COSTCO seems to have some pretty good rates. I turned 61 recently and have enrolled in our J&S pension plan which will replace roughly half my salary starting this month. We will roll over 401k to Fidelity soon as the dust settles. Plan is to combine Pension with severance pay to live on for about 2 1/2 yrs. to let our tax deferred grow. We'll see how it looks early next yr. as to taking SS at 62 or wait til later.
We spent 1 1/2 hrs. w/ a Fidelity planner (free) on the phone. He suggests using 80% of our assets in diversified, self-managed accounts with the rest in fixed and variable annuities for stability. We tend to shy away from the annuity strategy in favor of more conservative investments where we don't part with a chunk of assets that disappear upon our demise although both of us are in good health. All in all, the Fidelity RIP, FireCalc and all the rest give us 100% success into our 90's using our target spending rate.
We will put house on the market within 30 days and try to figure out where to move to. Oregon or Wash. are on the list. Son goes off to College in the Fall. Almost 3 weeks into retirement and loving it!!!
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:10 PM   #2
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Congratulations, Sheldon!
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:29 PM   #3
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Congrats!

But stay away from that annuity! I don't know why Fidelity always pushes those for a new retiree. Happened to me too when I first retired.

You already have a pension covering half your salary! And then you'll have SS kick in at some point. You've already got the "three legs of a stool".
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:15 PM   #4
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Congrats!
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:08 AM   #5
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Huge congrats!
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:56 AM   #6
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Congrats Sheldon. Looks like you are pretty much set on your retirement. The Cobra at $38,000/yr looks like a shocker though..
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:10 AM   #7
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Congratulations!
I would be wary of any financial planner who recommends variable annuities.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:34 AM   #8
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We have a Fidelity 401(k) plan. Their idea of "diversified" is to use lots of expensive funds. Our idea of diversified is to own all the stocks and bonds in most of the world which can be done with just 3 low-expense-ratio, passively-managed index funds found at Fidelity or elsewhere.

I had a colleague who thought Fidelity was doing him a great service when he retired and charging him only 25% of his sustained withdrawal rate per year.
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:59 AM   #9
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Congrats. If you are dissatisfied with your FIDO rep's advice maybe you should roll over to Vanguard instead. Call them and see what they recommend.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:16 AM   #10
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Congratulations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Congrats. If you are dissatisfied with your FIDO rep's advice maybe you should roll over to Vanguard instead. Call them and see what they recommend.
The Vanguard CFPs seem to all recommend the standard Total Stock Market Index, Total International Stk Index and Total Bond Fund. No annuities in their mix. The one I talked with didn't have a strong negative position on putting in small cap, emerging markets and REITs. He just pointed out that I was over weighting these asset classes in my portfolio. This was my intent so I still have them.

I looked at Fidelity and decided I liked Vanguard more. I've not had any issues.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:43 AM   #11
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My company flipped out in 2008, and retired most long time employees over 55. Best thing that happened to us.

Only downside was that they made us take our Fidelity 401K's they'd been paying the expenses on and roll them over to a Rollover IRA with us paying the fees. .75 basis points on a $100K IRA account is $750 per year and that's charged whether they're even profitable. Not all Fidelity mutual funds have performed well in recent years--you have to research them carefully to make sure you've purchased the right funds.

Fidelity doesn't push the IShares ETF's available through them, but .15 expenses is many times less than their mutuals. Fidelity also has some of their ETF's at very low expenses. All my new money's going into them.

I still find it difficult to find good investment advice. So many of the online services want to take a percentage of your money and then tell you to buy 10 or 12 ETF's in every product sector.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:45 AM   #12
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Congrats. Enjoy this new and best stage of life.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Congrats. If you are dissatisfied with your FIDO rep's advice maybe you should roll over to Vanguard instead. Call them and see what they recommend.
The trick is not to follow the investment advice from a Fido rep. Fidelity has a great mutual fund marketplace and plenty of low-cost funds, great customer service for guidance through the mechanics of anything, and a terrific web interface. I just ignore any investment "suggestions". They are a great resource for the true DIY investor.

If the bulk of my money would be in Vanguard funds, then using them as the brokerage makes sense.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:10 AM   #14
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MLK day, a Monday was my last day at w*rk after 36.5 yrs!! I was offered the standard severance package which consisted of 1 yrs. salary, 3 mo. health insurance at the current rate for me, DW and DS. After that, COBRA at the full price is.......$38k/yr.!! Guess we'll be shopping for cheaper plan pretty soon.
look quickly for the insurance. Open enrollment ends Feb 15th, but you should qualify for a special enrollment due to the job loss causing a loss of insurance. However, I believe this is a 60 day window. Cancelling your cobra will not count as a qualifying special event. So.... get your move on.

I'm not a costco member, so I could not look at all they offer. But from their site it looks like some of it may be the ACA plans. I think the bigger advantage with them is you have someone to help you sort through the options.

wait too long and you'll be replacing your cobra next year.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:52 AM   #15
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Congratulations. I would question their motive for recommending an annuity. Essentially, you will already have two, your pension and Social Security. You don't need a third.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:57 AM   #16
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If you are thinking of Western Washington for relocation, I would recommend you rent for a year or two. The gray skies can be a downer. I know, I lived there til I was 57! Left 2 years ago to roam in my RV and follow the sun. Never been happier!

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:09 PM   #17
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look quickly for the insurance. Open enrollment ends Feb 15th, but you should qualify for a special enrollment due to the job loss causing a loss of insurance. However, I believe this is a 60 day window. Cancelling your cobra will not count as a qualifying special event. So.... get your move on.

...

wait too long and you'll be replacing your cobra next year.
+1

A plan on the exchange may have a higher deductible, but overall may be much more affordable than COBRA.

Someone had posted a spreadsheet here last year that allowed you to compare the costs (premiums + out of pocket) for different policies at different levels of medical expenses. I couldn't find it with a quick search, but it is worth seeking out.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:15 PM   #18
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Fantastic! I am very happy for you.

What criteria are you looking at in your endeavor to relocate?
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:30 PM   #19
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Fantastic and welcome to the Pacific NW. Keep in mind the fact that we have several climates.. west of the Cascades the climate is moderate and wet in the winter; east of the Cascades is a high semiarid plateau, hot (for us) in the summer and (usually) cold in the winter. Active retirees in that area concentrate around Bend and Sunriver, Black Butte is much quieter.


On the west sides of the Cascades there are micro-climates. For example the north end of Bainbridge Island gets more storms than the south end because Mt. Olympus creates a rain shadow. Cliff Mass is the go-to meteorologist, his book is the NW weather bible. Cliff Mass Weather Blog
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:32 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the great replies and well wishes. I truly value many of your opinions on a variety of topics and it's always interesting to hear other perspectives on common experiences. We are frequent travelers to the PNW as my MIL lives on the OR coast. We have been to all corners of OR, WA and CA and many in between locales and have laws and in-laws scattered in all 3 states. We live in the SE US. I love the Willamette Valley (rich, lush, productive, wineries etc...). We stayed in Bend for several days last summer and we can just envision living there for many reasons. The only downside I see is the colder than average temps., although drier high desert type feel. Not fond of the Coastal rain, wind, cold water etc...or the drier Eastern Interior.
We definitely are not attached to the current locale and it's kind of exciting not knowing where we may end up. So many possibilities.
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