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First Anniversary
Old 12-22-2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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First Anniversary

Yippee!!!

Today is the one year anniversary of my retirement. At least I think it is.

A year ago, I was on vacation from now (the Saturday before Christmas) to February 1, 2012 (which was my last day on payroll) so I've always thought of this as my retirement date rather than Feb 1.

It has been an interesting year - much better than I expected. I have really enjoyed my new found freedom. I got back into golf and played 2-3 times a week over the summer and won our annual family golf tournament (49th year). We plan to do a lot of skiing this winter. Yet, despite the increase in physical activity my weight/fitness are unchanged so that is something to work on next year.

Financially, the year has been much better than I planned for thanks to Mr. Market's 13.5% YTD investment returns. I feel like a cat eating a canary in that I "sat" home all year and my net worth still increased by over 10% (~13.5% return less ~3.5% WR). It has also been interesting going from accumulation phase to withdrawal phase, but I think I now have things set up the way I want and a withdrawal plan that I think will work well - but time will tell.

One thing that has surprised me is the tax planning opportunities that being retired provides. When I was w*rking it was just filling out the forms and paying what was due in that as a salaried person there wasn't much that I could do to affect my tax bill other than maxing out my 401k and HSA. Thanks to the 0% qualified dividend/CG rate for 15% bracket in 2012, I'll have 0 taxes this year despite realizing some significant gains and stepping up the basis of my taxable portfolio. It makes for a much more interesting "game".

I'll admit to missing my colleagues and clients, though we have kept in touch a bit. While I don't miss w*rk, I'll admit to some short periods of boredom but then something comes up.

Anyhow, a great year - and looking forward to the coming year. One thing we haven't done this year is travel, but DW is getting antsy so I think we'll be doing some traveling in 2013.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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I wish there was a "like" button. This time next year, I'll be here you are now. I hope things turn out as well.

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Old 12-22-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
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Congrats. An enjoyable post! May I ask your age ?
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:35 AM   #4
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Congrats. An enjoyable post! May I ask your age ?
57 now - so early (in my circles anyway) but not outrageously early.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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57 is early in most circles, except maybe here. I'm 58 and have been retired 5.5 years. Time flies when you are having fun.

Hope you enjoy your travels in 2013.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:26 AM   #6
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Congrats on a great 1st year of ER, PB! Meeting your first year ER financial goals must surely bring pleasure to you. Now relax and spend some money on yourself! After 3 years of ER, with a PT job, I think I have convinced myself I will be fine, so this year will be it for me. I plan increasing my golfing this year from 1-2 days to 5 days a week. Wish I could be hitting the slopes like you are this year, but I will have to sit it out this year as my GF doesn't have the vacation time this year. The only thing worse than not going for me, is going ahead without her, and catching the wrath from it when I get back.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Congrats, pb4uski. I have been retired for just over 4 years and I recall how that first year took a little getting used to but I no problems there!

I, too, saw over time how I had to pay more attention to the tax angle than before, from having to pay estimated taxes (and avoid penalties) to always looking for ways to minimize my tax bill. For example, I realized about a year ago that if I "bunch" my 4th quarter estimated state income tax payments so that one is in January for the tax year before and the next year's 4th quarter payment in December of the same calendar year, I can take the federal Standard Deduction in the year without either 4th quarter estimated payment, saving me several hundred dollars in taxes effortlessly. Always be on the lookout for such things.

Good to hear you are doing more skiing...............just remember to p-b4-u-ski LOL!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for the kind words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
....I plan increasing my golfing this year from 1-2 days to 5 days a week. Wish I could be hitting the slopes like you are this year, but I will have to sit it out this year as my GF doesn't have the vacation time this year. The only thing worse than not going for me, is going ahead without her, and catching the wrath from it when I get back.
If I golfed 5 days a week I think I would be catching a lot of wrath.

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.....For example, I realized about a year ago that if I "bunch" my 4th quarter estimated state income tax payments so that one is in January for the tax year before and the next year's 4th quarter payment in December of the same calendar year, I can take the federal Standard Deduction in the year without either 4th quarter estimated payment, saving me several hundred dollars in taxes effortlessly. Always be on the lookout for such things.....
I'll have to take a look at that.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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Nice report on year 1, keep it going in 2013 and beyond.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
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Congratulations on your "retire-a-versary"!
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Congratulations on your "retire-a-versary"!
+1

Happy Retire-a-versary
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
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Congrats ski! And thanks for sharing your observations, we learn from each other, one of the best attributes of ER.org IMO.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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....we learn from each other, one of the best attributes of ER.org IMO.
+1 I feel like I have a whole new set of virtual friends to learn from. It is funny, the anonymity of this forum allows me to open up about topics that I generally wouldn't easily discuss with my friends and family.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:07 PM   #14
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Congrats, pb4uski. May this be your worst year in retirement.

We have a new word. retire-a-versary, and so appropriate.

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Congratulations on your "retire-a-versary"!
+2

Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
+1 I feel like I have a whole new set of virtual friends to learn from. It is funny, the anonymity of this forum allows me to open up about topics that I generally wouldn't easily discuss with my friends and family.
+1
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:49 PM   #15
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Happy anniversary and a wish for many more great years of retirement.

I will be retired 3 years at the end of January and it's been great!
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:23 PM   #16
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Happy Retire-A-Versary !!! Loved the one year update. I look forward to following your ER experiences. Onward and upward !
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:12 PM   #17
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Gives us still working folks some inspiration! Thanks! 94 days to go!
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:10 PM   #18
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Happy anniversary and a wish for many more great years of retirement.

I will be retired 3 years at the end of January and it's been great!
It will be 3 years for me also in a few days (Jan. 1). Congrats, PB4USKI, and may you have MANY more happy years in retirement to come. I know that for me, each year in retirement seems to get better and better. My health and fitness is definitely much better than when I was working, thanks to reduced stress, eating a better diet, and getting more exercise. This year (2012), we had some unexpected fairly large expenditures which had me concerned for a bit, but we've been able to recover nicely from those, and things are now right back on track. Life is good........
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