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Old 02-23-2014, 05:22 AM   #21
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I am new to the forum and I am looking for advice. I am a 46 year old Police officer with a pension plan. I am eligible to retire after 20 years of service at 50% of my salary. My pension plan includes a 3% compounded COLA for life. I estimate my 1st year pension payment to be around $33,000. I have 15 years in and would to retire as soon as possible. I have the option of using one year of my accrued sick time to effectively stop working after 19 years. I would receive a weekly paycheck using my sick time for the 20th year. I also have the option of working the 20th year and receiving a lump sum of the accrued sick time which I estimate to be $66,000. I also receive family health care until age 65 with a Medicare supplement after that. I am leaning to retiring after 19 years as I will be 50 years old and I have had enough. I believe that I will have enough in my 457 plan to supplement my pension and enjoy the same standard of living without all of the headaches. With a 50% pension with a compounded COLA, I only need to replace about 30% of my pay as I no longer will have to pay SS, pension contributions, healthcare co-shares or union dues. I realize that I may be leaving 66,000 before taxes on the table and could defer about $35,000 using the 457 catch up provision to add to my retirement portfolio. In summary, I would like to hear some thoughts if it is worth it to leave a year early or would I be better taking my accrued sick time in a lump sum after my 20th year. Any advice or thoughts are appreciated.
You're not mentioning expenses. Got everything paid for? House, cars, etc. What's your expectation for expenses in retirement? If you have kids, are they fully launched in life, or are there college or other expenses for them? Just do the math.

(It was really hard for me to stay on once I had the idea I could retire in my head. I told myself "if i have just three bad days in a row" .... well, it didn't take but six months for that to happen. Still, I managed to make it 30 years, but I started young. Fortunately I had been reading ER Forum & a few other things for several years which helped get me ready.)
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:29 PM   #22
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Thank You everyone for your responses. A lot of good ideas and thoughts for me to ponder the next few years. I am very impressed with this forum.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:28 AM   #23
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Mack 44: Another retired copper here. Forty-one years total in two depts (+20 NYPD, retired as a lt., +20 small town chief of police). I'd hang in that last year, keep putting in all you can into your 457. A year isn't that much and that extra money should grow nicely over time.

Best of luck,

Rich
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:52 AM   #24
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Mack,
I'd like to hear your decision.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:38 AM   #25
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In summary, I would like to hear some thoughts if it is worth it to leave a year early or would I be better taking my accrued sick time in a lump sum after my 20th year. Any advice or thoughts are appreciated.
We had a famous politician here that said quite frequently to reporters: "We'll solve that problem when it poses itself"

To me it seems you'll have about four more years before you need to decide anything. See where you are then in terms of life energy and finances.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:26 AM   #26
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Thank You everyone for your responses. A lot of good ideas and thoughts for me to ponder the next few years. I am very impressed with this forum.
I retired in January, 25+ years Federal LEO at age 49. Pension is COLA'd and I get just slightly over 50% of my base pay. I eliminated all debt except for the mortgage payment which I refinanced to a lower rate.

My retirement take home was sufficient after deductions (survivor benefit, health insurance, taxes) to cover all the bills with a little on the side for saving/investing. My thinking was if needed I could get a part-time job to make additional money or tap my Thrift Savings Plan which it like your 457 plan with annual payments. Lowes and Home Depot always need seasonal employees if you need a little cash without a full time commitment to a job.

You need to look at your situation and choose based on what is best for you. If you do decide to go, I'd work that last year and take the lump sum cash payout and use what you get after taxes to build up an emergency fund or pay off as many debts as you can.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:22 AM   #27
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Could you have worked longer and gotten a bigger pension?
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