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What would you do if..........
Old 01-11-2009, 04:31 AM   #1
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What would you do if..........

What would you do if on Monday morning (assuming you're still working), you suddenly couldn't work anymore or were laid off/fired/disabled/lost license etc. How would you suddenly make due with what you have for the rest of your life? This question is particularly directed at those without golden parachutes/pensions and not quite at social security age. Do many folks ever consider this possibility or circumstance?
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:41 AM   #2
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I think about this frequently. My wife still would have a job, and we can LBYM with just her working. But I would lose about $400k I have in company stock. I'd have to figure out a way to replace that part of the nest egg.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:11 AM   #3
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My 22 yrs of active duty military is comforting (pension0. Also $450k nest egg and life long medical. I guess I'm very fortunate. Had to live a tough 22 yrs including 6 months in Honduras, 6 months in a tent in Croatia, and 12 months in a hut in Afghanistan.

5 months to retirement. Can't wait.
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:06 AM   #4
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How would you suddenly make due with what you have for the rest of your life?
This assumes that you can never work again. Why would this be the case if one was laid off/fired/lost license? Also, I am disabled and work full time. I was lucky that I could still do the same job but, for those that can't, most state governments help disabled people to retrain to manageable careers. If a disability prevents working, you will qualify for SS disability (assuming you pay into SS) which, while not much is something.

Spousal income is important when this happens, another reason to consider more than love when one marries.

I have observed that the younger employees coming in are more savvy with financial planning. They are saving at an earlier age.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:08 AM   #5
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What would you do if on Monday morning (assuming you're still working), you suddenly couldn't work anymore or were laid off/fired/disabled/lost license etc.
Same thing I do now- squander time on E-R.org.

Ha
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:41 AM   #6
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:07 AM   #7
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It would depend on whether the reason was disability or not. If I were unable to work due to disability, my disability insurance would kick in after 6 months. Since it would be tax free, it would just about replace my current annual expenses. If I were not disabled, I would take some time to "find myself" and would probably start part time consulting. I would also move somewhere warmer.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:15 AM   #8
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I am only working part-time now, so there would be little change for us. No golden parachutes, no pension, not even close to SS age. But I do have one thing that is extremely helpful: my spouse is working full-time. But our income would drop by more than 50%. We would simply stop contributing the max to our 401(k) plans, so her salary would cover our expenses. And we would sign up for the health plan offered by her company.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:00 AM   #9
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Disability insurance if that were the cause. Otherwise, I would look for an alternate vocation or, more likely, become a house husband while DW went back to work.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:13 AM   #10
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Sometimes I wish that exact scenario would happen. DW would love it as she wants to move to the west coast and I have no doubt that is what we'd do. Not sure if I'd get anything from MegaCorp, but should be able to maintain a retirement income of about $65K at 4% SWR of current assets.

It's doable right now, but currently making a very good income at a job I love and that's the kicker.
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:47 AM   #11
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I'd be screwed. And all you guys who say you have working wives with benefits to pick up the slack can just stop rubbing it in.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:31 AM   #12
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I don't have a spouse to depend on, but I am FI and just working until November, when I qualify for lifetime medical.

Being a federal employee, it would probably take an act of Congress for me to lose my job Monday morning. Even if I did, I would probably have a lot of opportunities to continue working at some other federal job for the few days left until I retire. That might require relocating, but I would have to do it. I would just take a suitcase and my laptop, drive there, and rent a studio apartment there until November. I would sleep on a blow-up bed from Wal-Mart.

But let's assume that somehow I lose my job and there isn't another job for me.

First, I would probably CELEBRATE MY RETIREMENT!! I'd sign up for COBRA, which I believe lasts for 18 months and would take me to age 62. By that time, I would have sold my house (I hope) and I would be living in Missouri. I would then sign up for whatever high deductible medical I could find. Missouri has a high risk pool, if necessary by that time. At 65 I would sign up for Medicare parts A, B, and D if they still exist.

Since insurance/Medicare would be more expensive, I would have to make room for it in my budget or else do without. But going back to work? I wouldn't even think of it unless it was another federal job from now until "ER-Day".
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:39 AM   #13
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We could afford to semi-retire right now, so our income could be cut by 60% and we'd still be OK (maintain our current lifestyle until we can fully retire at 60-65). It opens up a lot of options, including one of us could stay home permanently or the two of us could get lower paying jobs.

If we both lose our jobs right now: we have enough in taxable accounts to cover 4-5 years of unemployment. That should buy us enough time to find other jobs. If for whatever reason it takes longer, then we would be in trouble. But if we are lucky enough to keep our jobs for another 2-3 years, then another option would become available: ER level 1, i.e. retire abroad.

In case of disability, we both have long term disability insurance: tax-free, COLA'd benefit until age 65 which would allow us to maintain current lifestyle until SS/Medicare kicks in.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:56 AM   #14
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If the aliens abducted all the renters and i couldn't get any more we would live on savings and interest income for several years, then PenFed CDs for a few more. Hopefully be able to sell the properties in that time to fund retirement. If we did have to carry the cost of the buildings sitting empty for 1-4 years that could easily shorten our necessary time to first property sale up to the 2 year mark.

If i was paralyzed but the renters still were out there wanting places to live then our cleaning & repair costs would go up, the gal would take on more of the tenant showings and strokings and the amount of $$ we squirrel away would go down a bit. Care of her Mom 1100 miles away would get more tricky, as would her very part time job at the dealership that gives us a place to buy group health insurance. She would probably get pretty overloaded - she's got a lot of capacity for overloading, but I better keep ticking along.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:14 AM   #15
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If the aliens abducted all the renters and i couldn't get any more
LMAO!! Calmloki, I'd say you probably have it made.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:39 AM   #16
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I could probably live off disability insurance if I got some roommates. If it was just being fired and not being able to get a job for a few years, then I'd have no choice but to turn to a life of crime and sell stereos packed with kidneys and ice on the black market.
But I'll probably be able to get a job.

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If the aliens abducted all the renters and i couldn't get any more we would live on savings and interest income for several years, then PenFed CDs for a few more. Hopefully be able to sell the properties in that time to fund retirement. If we did have to carry the cost of the buildings sitting empty for 1-4 years that could easily shorten our necessary time to first property sale up to the 2 year mark.

If i was paralyzed but the renters still were out there wanting places to live then our cleaning & repair costs would go up, the gal would take on more of the tenant showings and strokings and the amount of $$ we squirrel away would go down a bit. Care of her Mom 1100 miles away would get more tricky, as would her very part time job at the dealership that gives us a place to buy group health insurance. She would probably get pretty overloaded - she's got a lot of capacity for overloading, but I better keep ticking along.
I think in your case the question would be "What if all of your renters decide making meth in the kitchen is a great way to pay the rent and now you can't have any renters and it would be more profitable to sell your car than the property?"
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:51 AM   #17
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...I think in your case the question would be "What if all of your renters decide making meth in the kitchen is a great way to pay the rent and now you can't have any renters and it would be more profitable to sell your car than the property?"
No problem. Sell the car for the $2200 it would bring, buy seed corn, chicken wire, a heat lamp and (for speed) a couple dozen chicks. Plant the corn in the yard, raise the chicks, and start heading toward my new career as the biggest chicken & egg producer in town. We have a leatherneckPA who is showing the way right now - Who let the chicks out, oooh, oooh...
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:02 PM   #18
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Write a nice big check on the HELOC and deposit it in the bank on the way home. If I can still work, mount a serious job search. If I cannot still work make sure I qualify for those disability payments. If none of those pan out, reduce expenses, chart out a new minimalist ER budget, probably have to sell the house and get a cheaper one to wipe out the HELOC debt. Settle in to unexpectedly early version of early retirement. Quite a few retired folks I know started their retirements in a similar way. Perhaps not quite as prepared as they wanted to be, but able to make it work somehow.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:09 PM   #19
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Same thing I do now- squander time on E-R.org.

Ha
Yep - Jan 1, 1993, layoff, age 49. Learn to become a really cheap bastard and then later get a webtv and brag about it on an ER forum you accidentily find.

heh heh heh - 12k/yr my all time personal best cheap - never to be repeated. . It's hard to be humble when you were once really er - frugal??
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:27 PM   #20
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Ferco, that was my fantasy every day during my last few w*rking years. When I did the numbers and realized I was FI, the fantasy intensified. But it was not to be, I was not fully disabled, nor did I lose any licenses, nor did my empl*yer mercifully fire me, nor did he go out out business, etc., etc.; nothing outside of myself came to be to rip me out of the rut of w*rking. I had to pull the plug myself.

Retired four months and 11 days, but who's counting.
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