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Ten more year syndrome?
Old 02-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #1
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Ten more year syndrome?

Damn, I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to retire.

We put our house on the market last spring and rented a townhouse 30 miles away. Our lease is up at the end of next month and the house hasn't sold, so we are moving back. The house is paid for, but we want to retire in the city and are tired of the commute. I feel like I'm taking a big step back. In addition, I was using money for early retirement savings to fund the townhouse, so I've lost a year of savings.

Like most everyone else, my 401ks and IRAs are way down.

The biggest road block to my early retirement may very well be high inflation though. I'm under the Federal FERS system, I can go early at age 56 (~4 years from now), but I won't get the COLA on my pension until I'm 62. With the increase in the national debt, I'm thinking we could get hit with really high rates of inflation. That could seriously erode the value of the pension. If I continue to work, I will get cost of living increases so my future pension will rise with inflation.

OTOH, I have no debt, a pretty secure job, a wonderful life partner, health, savings, etc. My job isn't horrible, and I like my coworkers, but I'd rather have my freeddom.

I am very blessed in life and I am thankful for a lot of things. But, when you work toward a goal and see it slipping away it's a bummer.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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Sorry to read that your retirement plans are on hold! That has to be so depressing.

There are so many factors involve - - the housing market, the stock market, and so on. Maybe it would help to reconsider your plans year by year, one step at a time.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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Your house may be worth less but are the houses you are interested in buying in the city also considerably cheaper? Maybe it is a wash if you are buying replacement property, making it worthwhile to drop your price.
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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There are so many factors involve - - the housing market, the stock market, and so on.
And another huge factor, at least right now: the ability to go back and get another job if it turns out you're not emotionally, financially or psychologically ready for retirement after all. Retiring into this job market is a major commitment given the slim pickings out there if you pulled the trigger too soon (unless you're a nurse or something like that).
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies.

Want2Retire, I agree. I need to stop counting the years. I've read in prison the best way to survive is to not count. What it must mean is to get involved in life and enjoy the present as much as possible.

Martha, my partner and I are discussing dropping the price again. We are buying into a higher priced market, but it's all relative. My partner's Dad passed away, so she's going through a lot right now. I'm thinking we might move back for the short term and work on the house while we are living there. There are some inexpensive things we can do to help make it more attractive. We could also rent the house and either rent something cheaper or take a mortgage out and buy.

Ziggy, I'm in the IT field. You are right, when I retire, I want to make sure I never have to return to the work place. I have a high paying job with good benefits and I doubt I'd be able to replace my current situation. I'm still about four years away from eligibility.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
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Helen , Sorry to hear about your possible retirement delay but that is so far ahead in the future why worry about it now . Things can change . Real estate can pick up . The market can get better . In the meantime enjoy the things you do have . I was always thinking and planning about the future but after a few unexpected life changes I decided to just live in the here & now .Anything can happen and does in the future.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:34 PM   #7
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Thank you, Moemg. You are absolutely correct. I seem to have these moments of dispair though.

This has been a heck of a decade financially. At least during the high tech meltdown there were areas of stability. Now it feels like everything is crumbling. Maybe this is an exercise in realizing what is really important in life.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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Maybe this is an exercise in realizing what is really important in life.

and it is not money ! You have soo much a great partner , a home and a decent job if the worst thing that happens is you have to work a few more years you are incredibly lucky !
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:53 PM   #9
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and it is not money ! You have soo much a great partner , a home and a decent job if the worst thing that happens is you have to work a few more years you are incredibly lucky !
Yes, once again I totally agree.

I came to this conclusion during the high tech meltdown. I was really bummed about the market until a MRI showed an unruptured brain aneurysm behind my left eye. Suddenly the stock market meant nothing to me.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:15 PM   #10
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I was perhaps a year or two from ER a few years ago. The financial meltdown and accompanying uncertainty has pushed this out of my immediate time horizon. It has been a painful adjustment, but others here put it well: Focus on my many blessings -- ample savings, secure job, loving partner. Try to re-focus on the present, which is all we really have. I appreciate so many others with many backgrounds reinforcing these truths. They can be hard to remember in the daily crush.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:27 AM   #11
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I was perhaps a year or two from ER a few years ago. The financial meltdown and accompanying uncertainty has pushed this out of my immediate time horizon. It has been a painful adjustment, but others here put it well: Focus on my many blessings -- ample savings, secure job, loving partner. Try to re-focus on the present, which is all we really have. I appreciate so many others with many backgrounds reinforcing these truths. They can be hard to remember in the daily crush.
This is about where we are. We had talked and dreamed of "graduating" from the ratrace in June when DD graduates HS. The market kind of put that on hold, and with DD going to Hawaii for university, we've decided to stay put for a few more years. This way we can afford to visit her a couple times a year, and DS a couple times a year on the mainland. And yes, we are very grateful that we have ample savings and would be OK even if I lost my job (but at a more frugal spending level). We have each other, we are healthy, our home is paid for, and other than our penchant for travel to Hawaii, we have relatively simple tastes. My biggest problem, in all of this, is that I am a habitual counter...how many days/weeks/months until this or that. I have tried to slow down and enjoy it a little more (see my signature line) but its not easy.

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Old 02-15-2009, 01:31 PM   #12
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The biggest road block to my early retirement may very well be high inflation though.
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I am very blessed in life and I am thankful for a lot of things. But, when you work toward a goal and see it slipping away it's a bummer.
I think we are all feeling this way. It's definitely easier if one does not hate one's j*b and if it is in a recession proof industry. As I recall Helen, you are all in cash or cash equivalents, which kept things relatively stable during the crash, but will make you particularly vulnerable to hyperinflation should that occur. If you are indeed going to work for the next ten years, would this be the time to start DCAing into some (don't kill the messenger) equities?
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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Meadbh, I think you are confusing Helen with Helena, an entirely different poster.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:20 PM   #14
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Meadbh, I think you are confusing Helen with Helena, an entirely different poster.
Frankly, you all look alike to me. Seriously though, if you want to establish a brand, don't change your avatar that often. Most of the time, it's the only thing I notice as I scroll through the threads. I'm not a marketer, but unless you had a ValuJet of a brand, don't change too often.
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:22 PM   #15
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Meadbh, I think you are confusing Helen with Helena, an entirely different poster.
And how!
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:37 PM   #16
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OOPS.....apologies to Helen and Helena!

Now I need to go back to some of your previous posts to figure out who's who!

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Old 02-15-2009, 03:27 PM   #17
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In the last few months, I totally re-examined my retirement savings plan. My earlier estimates for retirement was wayy to optimistic. I postponed my target retirement year by about 8-10 years. (granted, I have a pretty long way to go)

Like others said, it's all relative. Looking at unemployment rates climbing, I am just glad I have a job, and am less worried about getting a bonus. The whole concept of early retirement is only a couple of decades old, and no one before then had killed themselves because they couldn't retire early. Or, look at other countries where entire towns are struggling because they only have a couple of factories whose sole purpose was to produce exports to the US or Europe. Don't envy them at all!

I know it's hard to feel that something you had was slipping away. Maybe this is a time to take things slowly and introduce more fun in life so as to make your work life sustainable. Things are much better for me now compared with 2 years ago, when I was obsessed with FIRE. Now I am more at peace. Still working towards it, but it doesn't deprive me of the fun of living in the moment anymore.
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:50 PM   #18
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Frankly, you all look alike to me. Seriously though, if you want to establish a brand, don't change your avatar that often. Most of the time, it's the only thing I notice as I scroll through the threads. I'm not a marketer, but unless you had a ValuJet of a brand, don't change too often.
I noticed a while ago my Great Dane avatar was gone, I'm not sure what happened to it. I'll have to find a new one.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:03 PM   #19
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Maybe this is a time to take things slowly and introduce more fun in life so as to make your work life sustainable.
That was my plan for last year! My partner and I decided to put our house on the market and move into the city (the house is about 40 miles outside of Portland). I thought a change would help, and it has. Unfortuantely our plans haven't work out as the house is still not sold.

However, the house is paid for and we have a lot of options. At this point we are probably going to move back to the house for a while. I do feel a bit refreshed from living in the city for almost a year now and not having to do that long commute.
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