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Old 12-01-2014, 09:32 PM   #21
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Change cell phone carriers, cut back cable/internet packages, change my landline from ATT to a low cost VOIP service... we are our own service providers for cleaning, yardwork, and home maintenance. All of that allowed a smaller budget to retire.
Plus every $1 in expense cuts is worth more than earning an extra $1 because of taxes, commute and job costs. And cutting $1 off annual recurring expenses means cutting $30 to $50 dollars off of 30 to 50 years (however long your retirement plan goes out to) of total retirement funding needs.

There are many things we did out of habit or because of marketing that we are questioning now. Like I've started buying thick reusable and washable food storage bags. They have those on Amazon. Over the long term things like that are real money savers over disposable bags, and they are better for the environment, too.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:11 PM   #22
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I cannot comment on your financial situation or your financial requirements in retirement.

I retired at 59. Looking back, it was right for me. We have made positive changes to our lifestyle, downsized and travelled extensively to satisfy our bucket lists.

One of my former colleagues who took early retirement, but at a later age than me, recently passed away only four months after his early retirement. Another did not get the chance, he was diagnosed with early onset dementia at age 60/61. It makes me realize that time is fleeting. Time for us to do what we want to do. Yes, I could make more money working or consulting but there is just not enough time for me.

So, looking back, and looking forward, it was right for me. Everyone has a different perspective, values, and financial landscape. But, the sand continues to flow through the hourglass.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:08 AM   #23
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If the condo is a second home and you live where it is cold in the winter I would work longer to figure out how to make that happen.

My wife and I retired at 58, 1st winter in AZ spent one month, 2nd/3rd spent two months, this winter we are staying for 3 months.
If you talk to other retirees this in not uncommon. I know several who spend six months in there winter home.

We are still renting but trying to figure out how to buy something.

Here in South Dakota it turned cold three weeks ago but it is bearable because we know that in another 3 weeks we will be heading where it is warm.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:43 PM   #24
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My question: how did you decide "enough is enough" and pulled the trigger? Was there a "sweet spot" where working longer wouldn't really improve your retirement numbers significantly?
The decision for us wasn't really numbers-driven since I have a COLA'd pension (yes, I'm a financial dinosaur - three-legged stool). And actually when I retired my net take-home pay went UP a small amount! I liked my job a lot but was tired of bureaucracy and having to plan life around traffic.

But our household income took a big hit because DW quit her federal job at the same time and we moved from near Washington, DC to West Virginia for the better quality of life not having to plan our daily lives around traffic. We thought it would be easy for DW to get another federal job - she didn't really want to quit working entirely - but that never happened. We could have stayed near DC and I could have easily had a job with one of the Beltway Bandits federal contractors making north of six figures and DW would have been at or near six figures herself in a few years. We did agonize over that decision for a while but then six months later when my sister said "you two look more relaxed than I've seen you in years" we knew we had made the right choice and gave it no more thought.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:33 AM   #25
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.. I've pretty much committed to working one more year, maybe I'll stay three ... I'll be 58, does that still count as early retirement?
Yes, 58 is considered ER!

Staying just for a couple of years can boast your retirement income by a significant amount is definitely worth it.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:01 AM   #26
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Almost everything I have read in this thread is based on the assumption of how much you will have to spend going forward in your life based on having great longevity.

If you knew that you would be diagnosed with something like a stage 4 cancer 5 or 10 years from now how would that effect your decision? If not cancer, ALS, Parkinsons, crippling stroke or heart attack?

My mother, a school teacher was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at age 61, radical masectormy leaving her right arm crippled, she died at age 63.

An older friend with whom I commuted to work with every day for 3 years who was seemingly in good health, not over weight etc. waiting until he turned 60 in late September to retire on Oct 1st. The following January 15th he went to the ER with a severe headache. While there he had a massive stroke and almost died. He survived but talks with slurred speach, wears an eye patch because of vision problems and walks with a walker and no longer drives. These are two examples of bad things happening to people close to me. I could provide others but don't think I need to.

Think about the chance of being crippled or dying long before reaching 90. It happens to a lot of people and it could happen to any of us including you.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:54 AM   #27
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Almost everything I have read in this thread is based on the assumption of how much you will have to spend going forward in your life based on having great longevity.....
Think about the chance of being crippled or dying long before reaching 90. It happens to a lot of people and it could happen to any of us including you.
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best !

You can't plan long term with potential short term assumptions. What happens if you end up healthy ? Who want's to be 80 and totally broke, looking for handouts ?
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:17 AM   #28
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I made sure I had 100% with Firecalc (steady spending, not Bernicke), Fidelity RIP, Financial Engines, i-Orp, cfiresim, and every other calculator I could get my hands on.
Same here !
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:47 AM   #29
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I spent a few years getting very confident on my budget. My retirement budget is based on my working budget with adjustments - no longer contributing to 401k, SS, or medicare, but now paying full freight on health care. Once I was sure of the budget, I wanted a cushion... Not as big as Live and Learn - I put aside $100k that's not part of the retirement nest egg (vs his/hers $300k). But I made sure I had 100% with Firecalc (steady spending, not Bernicke), Fidelity RIP, Financial Engines, i-Orp, cfiresim, and every other calculator I could get my hands on.
Nothing like having 100% confidence for a situation that has less than a 10% chance of happening but who am I to talk?

Nine "in-office" days left before I resign/retire.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:15 PM   #30
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:30 PM   #31
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What happens if you end up healthy ? Who want's to be 80 and totally broke, looking for handouts ?
If you go back and read the OP's 1st post he stated he has 100% in FIRECALC for 35 years (taking him/her to age 90) starting at $70K a year. Based on that odds of him being broke at 80 are rather slim but odds of him being dead or crippled before then much higher.

I guess the fear of running out of money is greater than the fear of running out of life. In my experience the older you get the more you see your plan working the greater the fear of running out of good health or life becomes.
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:38 PM   #32
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Nothing like having 100% confidence for a situation that has less than a 10% chance of happening...?
...
This. Absolutely this.
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:00 PM   #33
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My question: how did you decide "enough is enough" and pulled the trigger? Was there a "sweet spot" where working longer wouldn't really improve your retirement numbers significantly? I'm not asking when you think I should retire, but I'm curious what was the final deciding factor for you? Many thanks in advance!!
I used many of the calculators on-line but never fully trusted them. (although I did like FIRECal) So financially speaking, I decided to retire when my personal spreadsheets indicated that I had enough (plus some) to live in the style I wanted without having to invest in what I considered higher risk investments. (my "main" investments are of very low risks and lower returns.) I've never practiced living below my means but I do try with live within my means (lower 6 figures). I wanted to be able to live/spend in retirement the same way I did in the final ~10 years that I worked. Once I reached that number, I still worked a few more years before "pulling the trigger" (OMY syndrome)

I've been retired almost 3 years now and I'm really surprised at how accurate my financial spreadsheet projections have been "so far". YMMV
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Old 12-03-2014, 02:05 PM   #34
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Nothing is for certain (except taxes and death). Took me awhile to talk my DH into retiring. He is turning in his resignation/retirement paperwork tomorrow. He is a little scared..told him after reading on this website he will feel FREE after he hands it in.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:29 PM   #35
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...My question: how did you decide "enough is enough" and pulled the trigger?...I'm curious what was the final deciding factor for you? Many thanks in advance!!
I remember exactly when & why I decided. I was floating on a lounger in our lake with DW, having a cold brew, and I suddenly realized, "I don't have to work; I've had enough and we have enough".

My work responsibilities were going to be significantly increased (China plant) with no additional compensation. So, it wasn't driven by our financial situation, but by undesirable changes at w*rk.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #36
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:45 AM   #37
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I was fortunate. I had a great work career and very much enjoyed my job...except for the last three years.

My decision came at the intersection of two axis and one event.

My job satisfaction was going downhill quickly. But our financial situation was going the opposite direction. We no longer were concerned about having enough money to retire.

The event...I was lucky. I was downsized and the golden handshake gave us two years of salary/benefits which translated into four/five years of living and travel expenses. Ran, not walked away and could not even consider working in my previous (IT) industry again. The job satisfaction had been wrung out of me by Megacorp. Besides, we are too busy doing what we want to do.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #38
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I am finding that as my "date" approaches I'm getting more and more ready for it to happen. I was planning to retire in the middle of 2014 until I ran what would happen to my income taxes. A lump sum payment I'll get would have added about $60,000 to my income tax bill in 2014 over what it will do to me in 2015. I decided to hang in there for the principle and principal of the situation. I shudder at the thought of writing a six figure check to the IRS. My job isn't hated. It just seemed like it was time to stop working for the grandkids.

I've got 8 "in-office" days left until 5 Jan 2015 when I'll resign. After that it's whether I agree to two weeks or six weeks to transfer project assignments or finish things up. I don't plan on going past six weeks and would prefer to leave 5 Jan.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:58 AM   #39
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I am finding that as my "date" approaches I'm getting more and more ready for it to happen. I was planning to retire in the middle of 2014 until I ran what would happen to my income taxes. A lump sum payment I'll get would have added about $60,000 to my income tax bill in 2014 over what it will do to me in 2015. I decided to hang in there for the principle and principal of the situation. I shudder at the thought of writing a six figure check to the IRS. My job isn't hated. It just seemed like it was time to stop working for the grandkids.

I've got 8 "in-office" days left until 5 Jan 2015 when I'll resign. After that it's whether I agree to two weeks or six weeks to transfer project assignments or finish things up. I don't plan on going past six weeks and would prefer to leave 5 Jan.
Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:45 PM   #40
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I qualified last May at 55, but waited OMY because the financial slack rapidly improved with one more year of market returns, contributions, and savings. DW is four years younger, wants to move to the West Coast (where the DSs are working), and also wants to work for at least 4 more years; she does not take to idleness well.

I can semi-retire at 40% of salary, so I'm taking the glidepath next July since combinging semiretirement and 5% withdrawals from my retirements funds (3% withdrawal rate from total) substitutes for my current salary.
DW will get a bonus in March to pad taxable account, and we can pay more than all expenses on my income and withdrawals if necessary.
If the retirement funds continue to go up for another year or two, then we'll look at DW moving to part-time consultancy and my retiring full-time, since we're about 15-20% away from either fully retiring at close to current generous expenditures (we've done several expensive trips per year and bought a car in cash this year) or at/over the mark when SS kicks in.

Each situation is different, but as you are contemplating we decided to do a version of OMY or (OM halfyear) given the increase in lifestyle made possible. I also have to figure out what to do when not working at all; working 20 hours/week sounds like a hobby.
Good luck with your decision.
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