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To COLA or Not
Old 06-06-2018, 04:07 AM   #1
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To COLA or Not

Hello friends. I have a Decision to make. Here it is:

Should I

1. retire now at 55 with a 25% reduced pension AND a 2% COLA for life

or

2. Wait until 60 and get a larger pension but will never receive a COLA.

What do you guys think? I would appreciate your perspectives on this.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:23 AM   #2
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What is the value of 5 years of additional freedom?

As a wise member has said, "when you have won the game, there is no reason to run up the score."

Looking at your total assets, have you won the game yet? Or do you need another 5 years of earnings? To me, that is the real question.

Welcome, by the way.
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
What is the value of 5 years of additional freedom?

As a wise member has said, "when you have won the game, there is no reason to run up the score."

Looking at your total assets, have you won the game yet? Or do you need another 5 years of earnings? To me, that is the real question.

Welcome, by the way.


Thank you Bruce! Yes. I do believe I have won what spoils I will need.... Freedom is definitely a key factor for me.

Thank you for the Welcome and for your perspective!
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:12 AM   #4
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With the COLA, in under 10 years you have caught up anyway, and had 5 more years of pension and RE. Take it now.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:17 AM   #5
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With the COLA, in under 10 years you have caught up anyway, and had 5 more years of pension and RE. Take it now.


Hi DrRoy.
Yes. It comes out to just under 11yrs to recapture the reductions. Plus, after only 7 years, I plan on taking my SS benefit at 62 also so yes, I agree with you! Take it now!

Thank you sir!
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:41 AM   #6
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Once I had enough I walked away from SERP vesting that would have significantly increased my pension if I had stayed 3 more years. I have not regretted the decision. If anything, I wish I would have retired earlier but maybe that is the result of strong markets since fire.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:57 AM   #7
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Well said! Thank you!
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:05 AM   #8
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I'll be a bit more blunt than my colleagues on this form. Since you are FI, leave now and "don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya!"

Go now. Money is fungible; time is finite and definitely unknown.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:21 AM   #9
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Thank you Red Badger!
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:39 AM   #10
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As others have pointed out in about a decade you will be getting the same dollar amount and will then start pulling in more for the rest of your life. The break even will take about three years since you will be be getting 75-85% over the first five years that will more than make up for the 25% until you catch up. This one seems like a no brainer.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pompanobeach View Post
1. retire now at 55 with a 25% reduced pension AND a 2% COLA for life

2. Wait until 60 and get a larger pension but will never receive a COLA.
That's a strange combination.

Why would you get a COLA now but not later?
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:51 AM   #12
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As others have pointed out in about a decade you will be getting the same dollar amount and will then start pulling in more for the rest of your life. The break even will take about three years since you will be be getting 75-85% over the first five years that will more than make up for the 25% until you catch up. This one seems like a no brainer.


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Old 06-06-2018, 07:53 AM   #13
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It comes down to timing. The contract changes just as I turn 55.
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:08 PM   #14
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Without knowing anything about your financials, other than the pension (nothing about your budget or assets, or whether you'll receive SS benefits), this one's hard to evaluate. If you have enough assets to cover expenses (you're already FI), then get out now, and enjoy life! Hopefully, you have a plan on what you'd like to do in retirement!
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To COLA or Not
Old 06-07-2018, 05:15 PM   #15
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To COLA or Not

Thanks for your reply HNLBILL. Finances could be better but good enough. I figure even if I get a small part time job, it would still be for better than working in a stressful job. Been there 30years. I think it’s time to go! Also, I’m not in Florida yet but will be as soon as I wrap things up!
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Old 06-07-2018, 05:40 PM   #16
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Also, I’m not in Florida yet but will be as soon as I wrap things up!

Pompano Beach is right next to our winter home in Hillsboro Beach!
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Old 06-07-2018, 05:46 PM   #17
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Pompano Beach is right next to our winter home in Hillsboro Beach!


I love going down Hillsboro Mile!
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Old 06-07-2018, 05:57 PM   #18
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I love going down Hillsboro Mile!

We have an 8th floor condo on the beach that we just remodeled. Love it there!
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:03 PM   #19
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We have an 8th floor condo on the beach that we just remodeled. Love it there!


Mine is on the Intercostal Waterway in Pompano across from Beach. It’s the only place where I can “unstress” my life!
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:07 PM   #20
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Mine is on the Intercostal Waterway in Pompano across from Beach. It’s the only place where I can “unstress” my life!

The southeast coast of Florida does relieve stress. With the remodeling, we only got to enjoy about a month there this year. We’ll head down in November again with no remodeling to worry about. IMG_2142.JPG
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