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Old 05-09-2014, 07:40 AM   #1
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Who am I now?

I retired 6 months ago at 59. I have a home in Ohio and bought a second home in Florida. I called the water utility in Florida to have the bill put in my name and the nice lady asked me what I do for a living. When I said I no longer work, she told me I owed them a $300 deposit. I was a little miffed and she said they could check my credit and remove the deposit but I would have to do that in person. I did the credit report and all is well but it made me think. I have never been one to associate 'me' with my job. My career was a means to an end and that end was ER. Society and the business world associate people with their jobs. Now that I don't work how do I identify myself with the finance and credit companies? Am I an entrepreneur or am I self employed? On the credit check paperwork in Florida I wrote I was self employed and my company is called FIRE. I got a kick out of it. I have a pension coming when I'm 65 and will take my SS at 70. How do I maintain my credit rating or is it even necessary?
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:00 AM   #2
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You maintain your credit rating by paying bills on time. I don't believe being employed is a factor in maintaining a credit rating. Just use your credit card(s), etc, and pay them on time.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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On the credit check paperwork in Florida I wrote I was self employed and my company is called FIRE.
I like it!

The issue of what to put on forms when not working any longer has been discussed here before. I think you've found an answer.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:17 AM   #4
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You maintain your credit rating by paying bills on time. I don't believe being employed is a factor in maintaining a credit rating. Just use your credit card(s), etc, and pay them on time.
+1

It can be tricky at times when you don't have a job and have to prove a recognized income stream.

When we rented a house for 7 months in 2011 over in England I thought we were going to have to pay in full up front because I don't have a credit rating at all over there and was retired, but I was fortunate to have a pension so was able to scan in a monthly advice and send them a copy of it by email which they accepted.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:27 AM   #5
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Booo View Post
I retired 6 months ago at 59. I have a home in Ohio and bought a second home in Florida. I called the water utility in Florida to have the bill put in my name and the nice lady asked me what I do for a living. When I said I no longer work, she told me I owed them a $300 deposit. I was a little miffed and she said they could check my credit and remove the deposit but I would have to do that in person. I did the credit report and all is well but it made me think. I have never been one to associate 'me' with my job. My career was a means to an end and that end was ER. Society and the business world associate people with their jobs. Now that I don't work how do I identify myself with the finance and credit companies? Am I an entrepreneur or am I self employed? On the credit check paperwork in Florida I wrote I was self employed and my company is called FIRE. I got a kick out of it. I have a pension coming when I'm 65 and will take my SS at 70. How do I maintain my credit rating or is it even necessary?

This is why I wonder if I should buy a "retirement" home now while I am doing OMY. I assume I'd get less flexibility in getting a home loan when I don't have a job. And writing FIRE as my job may backfire once they call up a fire department in the city to verify my employment .
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:29 PM   #7
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This is why I wonder if I should buy a "retirement" home now while I am doing OMY. I assume I'd get less flexibility in getting a home loan when I don't have a job. And writing FIRE as my job may backfire once they call up a fire department in the city to verify my employment .
I brought up a similar question a few months back, theorizing that it would be easier to buy my next home and get a mortgage on it while I was still working. However, a couple members said that as long as I could show some kind of income stream (dividends, capital gains, etc) and an ability to pay, I should be okay.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #8
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This is why I wonder if I should buy a "retirement" home now while I am doing OMY. I assume I'd get less flexibility in getting a home loan when I don't have a job. And writing FIRE as my job may backfire once they call up a fire department in the city to verify my employment .
I found that the bank my wife & I applied to for refinances on two rentals did chafe a bit at my lack of a job. My wife is still engaged with her business and the bank made the decision to qualify us on her income alone. I had the impression that without her income, that in spite of heavy assets and yet a small dividend stream, we may have had some problems. I did not bother to ask the hypothetical question, though.

Paying the bills keeps the credit golden as said above.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:12 PM   #9
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It is kind of sad that the utility/bank/other have to identify you by your job. I have said numerous times over many years: I work to live, not live to work.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:22 PM   #10
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It is kind of sad that the utility/bank/other have to identify you by your job. I have said numerous times over many years: I work to live, not live to work.
Dr's offices too. Spent too much time with specialists this year. Everyone wants to know your occupation. I'd say retired, they'd look at my age, always some comment.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:29 PM   #11
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I found that the bank my wife & I applied to for refinances on two rentals did chafe a bit at my lack of a job. My wife is still engaged with her business and the bank made the decision to qualify us on her income alone. I had the impression that without her income, that in spite of heavy assets and yet a small dividend stream, we may have had some problems. I did not bother to ask the hypothetical question, though.

Paying the bills keeps the credit golden as said above.
Several months after I lost my j*b in 2010, I tried to refinance my 5.75% mortgage to the going rate at the time (IIRC, around 4%). Even though I had severance and a hefty savings, I could not refinance. It really irritated me that I was continuing to make the much higher payments, yet the banks didn't think I could "afford" a payment that was hundreds less. The government programs in place to help people with their mortgages did not include helping unemployed people.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:39 PM   #12
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Although the ability to borrow may be impacted by retirement, the credit rating won't. The credit rating is only one part of the loan approval. My credit rating is excellent although I show absolutely no employment or work history at all. Maybe my almost 35 years with the same large company are prehistory in origination.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:44 PM   #13
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This is why I wonder if I should buy a "retirement" home now while I am doing OMY. I assume I'd get less flexibility in getting a home loan when I don't have a job. And writing FIRE as my job may backfire once they call up a fire department in the city to verify my employment .
I'm planning that strategy right now as I am OMY myself. Although I currently don't need it my equity line expires next May. The bank has sent me the warning letter about my whopping $700 balance and the expiration. I plan to either renew or check out my local bank before ER as I don't see getting the best terms or any terms later.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:49 PM   #14
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I wonder if they would count my Roth conversions as income if I apply for a loan since on the Form 1040 it is shown on the same line as pension income.

Silly perhaps, but since in many cases their screens are form over substance I suspect they would and I could just provide them with copies of my 1040 as documentation.
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