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Old 02-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by PERSonalTime View Post

Congratulations Cassie! We've got about the same number of days in ER. Isn't it great? Each day it seems like my working life fade farther and farther from my memory and this "new reality" is becoming my new norm.
Thanks PERs.....My pension was deposited into my account today. It's an interim amount, however, it is more than what my bi-weekly checks added up to for a month use to be. Not bad...retired Jan 3, get 1st interim $$ Feb 3....and it felt like I was on vacation all month...38 years of working is paying off! Woohoo
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:20 PM   #42
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Oh, I forgot about an unexpected payout I received when I first left my company in late 2008. Besides my last paychecks (I left in the middle of a pay period so I received 2 paychecks, one for 2 weeks and another for one week), I received a payout for some unused Paid Time Off (PTO) I did not know I even had (it's a long, twisted story as to why I had it). I was so surprised, I asked my HR contact if it were a mistake because I did not want them to come after me later for cashing a check I was not supposed to have received. My HR contact said I was entitled to it so at least I had my CYA if they changed their mind later. The check was for $1,100 so it was not a trivial amount.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 02-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #43
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I'm just the opposite Dreamer. I won't work a part time job because of the WEP. SS takes over 6%, Medicare for which I am already vested is almost 1.5 %. Throw in my 25% fed (28% if I made more than 10k) and 6% state plus gas, I'm lucky to get 50 cents on the dollar in a PT job, so I decided I will not do it. Once I ran my earnings through SS calculator and saw that my projected nearly $500 a month SS check was reduced to a little over a $100, I determined I would have to work 20 more years of SS work to make it worth my time to draw anything so I decided I will pass.
You are much smarter than I am. I figure that I am probably only earning $5.something an hour after I take all of that out. I do receive an end of year bonus and a contribution to my 401K once a year also. I wish that my social security check would be a little over a $100.00, but it will probably be more in the $50.00-$60.00 range. This is the reason that my family can't understand why I am working. To tell you the truth, it probably has more to do with the insecurity I felt growing up so poor and having my parents leave us kids when I was 11 yrs old. I never ever want to be a charity case again. Even though I know that I should have plenty of money to last me the rest of my life, I keep thinking that I need to do just a little bit more to make sure that I can rely on myself. I play head games with myself all of the time. Bottom line, I really should not be wasting my time with the part time job, but I probably will.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:32 PM   #44
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You are much smarter than I am. I figure that I am probably only earning $5.something an hour after I take all of that out. I do receive an end of year bonus and a contribution to my 401K once a year also. I wish that my social security check would be a little over a $100.00, but it will probably be more in the $50.00-$60.00 range. This is the reason that my family can't understand why I am working. To tell you the truth, it probably has more to do with the insecurity I felt growing up so poor and having my parents leave us kids when I was 11 yrs old. I never ever want to be a charity case again. Even though I know that I should have plenty of money to last me the rest of my life, I keep thinking that I need to do just a little bit more to make sure that I can rely on myself. I play head games with myself all of the time. Bottom line, I really should not be wasting my time with the part time job, but I probably will.
If it puts the mind at ease then it's worth it. I did start out working PT for the first 3 years after I retired. It helped my transition mentally to full retirement plus the pay was good enough to overcome the taxes. But now that I have let my skills deteriorate to $10 an hour pay or less, it is easier to save a dollar if needed than it is to earn it!
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:53 PM   #45
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My last day of work was the last day of the month and also my last full paycheck. The next day, I got my first pension check. Great feeling!
Congrats, but you retired one day and got your first pension check the next? How did that happen? Did you work for a mega-corp or governmental agency?
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:53 AM   #46
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Congrats, but you retired one day and got your first pension check the next? How did that happen? Did you work for a mega-corp or governmental agency?
I got my first pension check a couple of days before my last day. Retirement was effective July 1, 2002 and the direct deposit slip came in the mail a few days before that. A pretty nice one too, since it included not only the retirement but about six weeks of unused leave time. And yes, it was a government agency.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:45 AM   #47
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I was happy of course and the urge was to think that money "magically" appeared. But in reality we paid in to the fund every month so now I feel like it's auto-decumulation.

Congratulations on crossing the finish line!
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #48
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I got my first pension check a couple of days before my last day. Retirement was effective July 1, 2002 and the direct deposit slip came in the mail a few days before that. A pretty nice one too, since it included not only the retirement but about six weeks of unused leave time. And yes, it was a government agency.
Walt34,

Thanks for the response. We're all very blessed to be ER'd.
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:32 PM   #49
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My first retirement check coincided with paying off my mortgage and the end of alimony payments to the ex-wife. It brought a few famous quotes to mind. "Free at last, Free at last, Oh thank God, I'm free at last!" also "Never again".
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:10 PM   #50
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My first retirement check coincided with paying off my mortgage and the end of alimony payments to the ex-wife. It brought a few famous quotes to mind. "Free at last, Free at last, Oh thank God, I'm free at last!" also "Never again".
Wow!

What a moment!!!!
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:48 PM   #51
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My first retirement check coincided with paying off my mortgage and the end of alimony payments to the ex-wife. It brought a few famous quotes to mind. "Free at last, Free at last, Oh thank God, I'm free at last!" also "Never again".
Great!

Just wondering, has anyone else paid off their mortgage?
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:46 AM   #52
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I just got my first full pension check this past Friday and was so giddy I could hardly stand it. I didn't have to look at my old boss' nasty face for a whole month and I got paid not to!!

It ain't a huge amount of money but it's huge enough for me - it has given me incredible freedom.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:18 AM   #53
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I retired from Fed service (CSRS) on 3 January (supposedly "the best day" for CSRS people). My agency closed me out a couple of weeks ago, but I've not heard from OPM, and can't get through on their phone line. I expected at least to get a CSA Number by now, if not an interim partial payment. My application was "vanilla," so I don't know what the hitch is.

Because OPM is not communicating, I'm filling the empty space with worrying and speculation. It is frustrating not to hear anything.

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Old 02-05-2014, 06:10 AM   #54
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I retired March 29, 2013 and received my first pension payment April 1, 2013. My last paycheck and vacation payout came a week after that. I was surprised when they didn't make me wait a month to start my pension, but I started the process early enough to make it happen. Life is good!
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:29 AM   #55
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Four months into retirement I had my severance money and my regular pension and was feeling pretty flush. Then a large amount was deposited to my account. I had forgotten that I had a profit sharing check due. It turned out to be five times the normal amount. I kept a spreadsheet of what I spent it on - new computer, wills for wife and I, home improvements - so I wouldn't later say where did it all go. Those were all things I needed to do, but being able to pay with cash, was incredible.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:29 AM   #56
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I retired March 29, 2013 and received my first pension payment April 1, 2013. My last paycheck and vacation payout came a week after that. I was surprised when they didn't make me wait a month to start my pension, but I started the process early enough to make it happen. Life is good!
There does seem to be a connection between one's retirement date within a calendar quarter and eligibility for receiving the first pension check soon thereafter. I recall when my dad retired in 1994 he was going to leave on July 1st but was advised to leave on June 30th because the earlier retirement date would not be in the third quarter, enabling him to receive his first pension check right away instead of waiting 3 months. Similarly, a coworker of mine (different company) was going to leave on October 1st (2003) but later changed it to September 30th for exactly the same reason.

So, good move for you to retire in late March instead of early April.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 02-05-2014, 10:00 AM   #57
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Great!

Just wondering, has anyone else paid off their mortgage?
We paid off our mortgage before retiring.

One reason we did, is that we paid with appreciated company stock, the same stock we were holding and hoping to appreciate more so we could retire early. It was a way to lesson the risks we were taking - if the company stock thing didn't work out, at least we wouldn't have to worry about the house payments and were debt free.

It all worked out, and having paid off the house meant we were able to put aside more each month as we waited to reach our magic number.

Of course we were taking a massive risk in the first place, but paying off the house definitely helped with the psychology.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:54 AM   #58
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Great!

Just wondering, has anyone else paid off their mortgage?
I paid off my mortgage in 1998, 9 years after I got it (and 6 years after I refinanced it, reducing my monthly payment by 40%). This was a key step on the way to my ER in 2008. Paying off the mortgage greatly lowered my monthly expenses to the point that only 1 biweekly (full-time) paycheck per month more than covered my expenses. Seeing that, I knew I could easily switch to working part-time (at the same company) which I eventually did 3 years later. After 7 years of working PT, including a second reduction in weekly hours worked, I had had enough of work altogether and stepped up my ER plan so I could quit the job in 2008.
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Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:02 PM   #59
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Great! Just wondering, has anyone else paid off their mortgage?
I already had an existing mortgage when I retired at 5%. I refinanced down to 3.785% on 30 year a couple years ago, as I still had about 22 years left on the mortgage at refinance. I can now pay off my mortgage, but I will not for the extended future. Even though this may sound contradictory, I would never refinance to extract money to invest in any way. I just refinanced the existing balance.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:38 PM   #60
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When I ERed back in late 2008, I cashed out the $300k I had in company stock and put it into a bond fund which pays me a nice, fat dividend check every month.
Mind sharing what the fund is?
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