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Old 03-01-2010, 06:33 PM   #21
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Emulated or emulating my parents retirement process?

For the most part, no. I love my parents and respect them for who they are now (they will be retiring soon in their mid 60s), but they made a lot of mistakes in their 20s and 30s. They did not seriously begin their careers and savings until their late 30s. My father's greatest flaw is he does not have a financially ambitious bone in his body (in other ways though, this is his greatest strength, he is extremely calm and laid-back). My mother's greatest flaw is she spends so much time worrying about the little things, or what she has no control over, and in doing so neglects thinking about important things (this has improved, it was affecting her health at one point). Their spending mindset is very different from mine. They are good people though, so I get along with them very well.

I am essentially a left-brained person in a right-brained family, a very frugal person from a family that struggles to hit their budget each year. Even within my extended family, there is no one with an engineer/doctor/lawyer/accountant/financial analyst background. Nothing wrong with that, but I had to learn a lot of things on my own.

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Old 03-01-2010, 06:50 PM   #22
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My Mom was a nurse but unlike me she only worked until she had her first child . I worked in nursing for forty years . My Mom loves to shop for clothes and I have to admit so do I . My Mom still manages her money at 93 but she is much more conservative than me . My Dad was a hard steady worker so I was I . My parents always watched their money mainly because they did not have a lot . I am probably too careful with my money not because I have to be just because I am .

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Old 03-01-2010, 10:48 PM   #23
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Not emulating either one. Dad died at age 62 before he could retire (who wants to emulate that?) and Mom retired from a secretary job at NIH. She was a SAHM until I was about 13 then went to work in part to pay down cc bills Dad had run up. It took about five years to pay them off and there was a big family celebration when they were all paid off. Perhaps that's one reason I'm so sensitive about not paying cc interest - I resolved never to go down that road.

Mom stayed in the paid-for house for about 10 years after retirement and then moved to an independent living/continuous care facility at about age 71 where she was independent for about 11 years. I didn't worry much if it took three days to reach her on the phone because that just meant she was out running around and doing stuff. The last six months of her life she did need assisted living and that was a huge relief to me and my sisters that she was in a place where that help was available.

Perhaps that's why I'm more open to that when I can't mow the grass any more because it worked out well for her. Otoh, the guy next door is 78 and he still cuts his grass with a walk-behind mower so "God willin' and the creek don't rise" that will be a while.

FIL is a whole different story. I WILL NOT be the pita to DW that he is being to his family. At 83 he is barely financially solvent and insists that he cannot move from the house that he's lived in for the last 30 years. In one sense I can see his perspective. He says "the hardest thing I ever had to do" was take his father to a nursing home and he sees an independent living/continuous care facility in that context, not comprehending that what is available now at a price he can afford if he sold the house is not the same thing as a nursing home was 40 years ago. He could move there for cash and have just under $100k left over, which given his otherwise fairly frugal lifestyle should be plenty. So nobody knows how that will pan out. My suspicion is that we'll find him at the bottom of the stairs some day. But maybe that's better for him than what he thinks is worse.

DW's closest sister is making noises about moving to one of the Carolinas when she retires and I've told DW that it would only take about half an ounce of arm-twisting pressure to get me to move there too. When we sell, in the comments section of the real estate listing I want to write "Snow thrower conveys. Ha ha ha."
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:51 AM   #24
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Not me, father passed away just as he was eligible to retire. Mom is nearly 90 and lives near other family but is active so that's good. Her financial situation isn't great but with help from the kids (financial or otherwise), she does well. She did a bit of traveling after my dad died but isn't generally interested in getting out a lot these days other than locally- I'm only 54 and not much interested in getting out more than locally either so maybe more alike than I thnk?
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:24 AM   #25
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Dad retired at 67 and is now 74. He didn't want to retire but was offered a year's salary to go "early". He took it, knowing that the next round of layoffs were about 6 months off, and he would be offered a deal again with lesser benefits (6 month's salary) if he delayed.

My folks are very frugal. We are not "very" frugal, but we are "relatively" frugal compared to others in similar income situations. My folks invested in CDs and savings accounts. We invest in stocks and bonds with a little bit of REIT mixed in. My folks don't like to travel much anymore and in fact have done only a very little travel since dad retired. We like to travel, although I travel so much for work that I am getting a bit tired of it. They are very happy with their life and simple lifestyle.

DW's dad lost his business to bankruptcy at age 70 and died three months later. DW's mom has no money except for the equivalent of social security and we have to help her out from time to time. So the certainly did not enjoy their retirement.

We expect to enjoy FIRE, like my folks, with a bit extra in financial means, and a bit more flexibility to enjoy some travel.

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:40 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Just wondering how many of you either emulated or are emulating your parents retirement process? Has anyone learned from their parents and are determined not to make the same mistakes, or to do it right like they did?

I've pretty much followed their plan (military service and mutual fund DCA) - since they were very successful in accomplishing a comfortable retirement. Only thing different is that I retired 10 yrs earlier then they did (they had kids, I didn't). They could have retired earlier but wanted to continue to work and travel (they worked in Hawaii and Germany in Federal Service). They also benefited from a relatively large inheritance to keep them comfortable. As a registered nurse, I saw too many people die early deaths before being able to retire and enjoy the good life - and I think that was a major consideration for my decision to retire early.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:02 AM   #27
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I've not intentionally followed my parents lead, but strangely enough that's what happened.

I went into public education after seven years in private education and have remained there for the past 33 years. I will retire next year after 40 years in.

Both my parents worked in education in PA. PA has one of top 5 public school retirement systems in the country. While because of losses in the market fall they have fallen they still have 51 billion bucks in an untouchable system(been through the courts enough times that no one even tries anymore, and which went back to making its usual 8% in the market last year), so good enough for me. This may change for new people.

The retired and moved about an hour away. They has some investments and the price of the house they sold gave them a big additional nest egg. The got some inheritance. But then they went and bought shore property in NC which was recently reclaimed by the ocean. My dad died in 2004, and my mother sold her house and moved to a facility in Greensboro, NC, near my younger brothers.

I have the same system and almost the identical stuff. However, I got a good inheritance from an Aunt, and will DW will probably get some additional from her side of the family.

What I won't do is their not developing friendships in the new community. They just expected people to come to them and be friends. They didn't join in an activities, and gradually they got lonelier and lonelier. I plan to reach out more and more.

And of course, I'm not moving just an hour away but 13 hours away.

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Old 03-02-2010, 09:22 AM   #28
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My dad did not have a particularly succesful career in terms of income generated. However, my paraents could pinch a penney as well as anyone.
So, at 58 he took the plunge.

They were very nervous about the decision at the time ( 27 years ago).
However, it worked out fine.

They pinched pennies in their daily life but never felt it was a problem.
They traveled a bit, visited me and sister "up north" 2X /year, made some of the best friends of their lives and generally enjoyed themselves.

Dad checked out at 74 suddenly.
Mom is still going strong at 80- stils plays doubles tennis.
Amazingly, last year is the first time Mom had to draw down their modest principal- by about 1000 bucks.
It's been SS, CD's, and a very very modest $ pension that included health benefits.

I always said "if dad could make it work at 58, given my relatively successful career, i should be able to do the same. However, I'm not nearly as good a pinching pennies as they are/were.

Now, here I am at almost 56 being offered a decent package.
This is my month.
Mission accomplished w.r.t ER by/before dad @ 58.
The rest of the story remains to be told.
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:13 PM   #29
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I did learn about using COBRA as an 18-month bridge between being in an employer's group health plan and getting health insurance from another source. My mother, who was ill with Cancer at the time, advised my dad to retire in 1994 at 63 1/2 so he could pick up COBRA for 18 months until he (and her) would have continuous health insurance coverage via Medicare starting at age 65 as her medical bills piled up.

Sadly, this strategy did not become totally necessary for her because she died about 15 months into his COBRA period (after he retired, of course). But I used this tactic as a bridge in the middle of 2007 when I reduced my weekly work hours to a point where I became ineligible for group health coverage (and I protested vehemently). I did this knowing that I could very well retire at the end of the COBRA period because I did not want to have the worst of both workds - having to work yet buy my own individual health insurance policy. I retired in November, 2008, at the age of 45, with one month remaining in COBRA but had already lined up an affordable individual policy.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:01 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ken11 View Post
Now, here I am at almost 56 being offered a decent package.
This is my month.
Mission accomplished w.r.t ER by/before dad @ 58.
The rest of the story remains to be told.
Congrats and best wishes for a long retirement.

I'm similar to my parents in that I am frugal, but not as much as them. My Dad retired at 57 with disability benefits, but he really did not get to enjoy retirement due to rheumatoid arthritis. My Mom had a tough go as she took care of him. Dad passed in 2003 and mom is still going strong at 92. But I do all her shopping and running around for her.

I retired at 52 and do enjoy life. Don't get to travel much at this point as I need to stay close by. So I guess I am following pretty much in my parents foot steps. But that's OK, hopefully I will have some time on my side for travel and the like.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:54 PM   #31
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My dad took an early buy out from the Post Office at 53 about 17 years ago. He hasn't worked for a living since. It was tight, but he was always frugal (a quality I did not inherit and am only recently learning). Then about 5 years ago his 103 yo aunt died. He got about $300,000. He still lives simply, but its not nearly as tight. He has it planned down to the penny.

My mom retired in her late 50's from state government. She has worked two days a weeks since at the voter registration office. She has to work more during elections. She isn't as frugal as my dad (they are divorced 39 years). She worries about money and even though she only works two days a week, still seems to be in a full time work mentality sometimes. She also is taking care of my grandmother who has more money than God and is in decent health for a 94 yo. My mom complains she can't travel and do what she wants because she has to be here in case my grandmother gets ill or that she needs the money from her job. When you tell her she has options and that is her choice, she finds another excuse.

I will retire at 43 from state service (same state, different department than mom). Part of that is due to my parents. They persuaded me to pursue the retirement once I began working there. I am glad they did. I will not be retired like either of them, though. My dad was living on very little money until the inheritance. He got about 50% pension on maybe half the money than I make (adjusted for inflation). I will have a much bigger pension.

I also won't be like mom. I will work part time, but only until I get the kids out of the house. I don't have the mentality that whatever money I have is not enough. I also won't let family issues get in my way. Not that I won't help my parents if the need it, but I won't use it as an excuse to not live my life. My wife feels the same. We won't be rich, but we won't be poor either, but we will do the things we want and live the life we want.

So the short answer is yes and no.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:19 AM   #32
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Can't follow in their footsteps. Dad had a DB and I don't.

My father worked for the Federal Government and retired with a very nice pension. Mother was a nurse and had no pension that I knew. They were frugal. We all learned that well.

Dad was always concerned that he couldn't tell his kids how to take care of their retirement because he never had to worry about it himself and didn't know how to do it outside of a DB pension. We all seemed to be able to figure it out ourselves, though, thank goodness.

Brother works for the state and will have a great pension, plus his side job, plus his investments (which he better not depend on as he is not the best investor).

Sister worked for a major bank forever and rose high up. Good pension. Thier track record as investors is spotty. They are retired and are OK.

Self is a gypsy engineer and moderately successful investor. (i.e., have not had many negative years. Like Warren Buffet says, the first rule is, Don't lose money.) When my first job was shot out from under me, I figured that I had better not depend on a pension. Later, I figured I better not depend on SS either, but I will have to.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:12 AM   #33
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In a way I have emulated my parents. We were poor and they both had to work for low wages. My father worked until his death at the age of 77 in 1976 and my mother died from cancer at the age of 62 in 1972 after fighting the disease for 12 years. Everything I am or have I owe to them. they taught me the value of hard work and frugality and the importance of integrity.
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:20 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Perhaps that's why I'm more open to that when I can't mow the grass any more because it worked out well for her. Otoh, the guy next door is 78 and he still cuts his grass with a walk-behind mower so "God willin' and the creek don't rise" that will be a while.
A 92 year old guy on my sister's street still mows his grass with a push type reel mower. He sharpens it too. Not only that, he sometiems mows the neighbors' lawns when they are away.

Very happy guy. He has been retired, and widowed, almost 30 years.

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Old 03-04-2010, 12:57 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Just wondering how many of you either emulated or are emulating your parents retirement process? Has anyone learned from their parents and are determined not to make the same mistakes, or to do it right like they did?

I hadn't even though about it, so thanks for the question. The answer turned out to be a surprise: I very much followed my parents. My dad retired at age 58; I waited until 63. He and mom had a condo in St. George, UT; my wife and I now have a vacation home in St. George, UT. My parents did church service abroad; my wife and I did church service abroad. My parents live full, active lives during retirement; my wife and I try to live full, active lives.

Yep, I followed my parents quit closely. How about you?
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:28 PM   #36
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My father retired at 55 from the state DOT with 78% of pay (cola) pension and free health care for life. He knew someone in motor vehicles and had a plates made with his initials and "55" on them about the time he was 40. I retired at 52 (had to beat dad) but with less generous benefits. I still have his plates.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:35 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
Just wondering how many of you either emulated or are emulating your parents retirement process? Has anyone learned from their parents and are determined not to make the same mistakes, or to do it right like they did?

I emulated my parents to some degree by their frugality and their abhorrence of debt. Beyond that I'm my own man.

My parents were quite frugal. They had to be. When my father was my age, he had been dead for 5 years. My mother lasted until she was 5 years older than I am today. When DM died (in 1992) she left a 7 figure estate, which is not bad considering she never worked "outside the home". Seems good for me, but with 6 siblings it gets diluted. DW comes from a similar background.

Be that as it may, we do treat ourselves now and again. Our early frugality allows us to do what we want now, although we sometimes wish we'd stared "pissing it away" a few years earlier. At any rate, our kids won't be (financially) disappointed when we croak.

It's kinda funny. I look at our kids and think "how can they piss their money away like that". Then I compare them to their peers and realize that while our kids may spend 99% of their incomes, they don't have car debt, or CC debt or any non-mortgage debt. One even has a few K in retirement savings.

Originally Posted by haha View Post
Very happy guy. He has been retired, and widowed, almost 30 years.

Is the last part the reason he's a happy guy?
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:56 AM   #38
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My parents are both retired on govt pensions. My dad also has been a stock investor since 1959. He retired at 67, my stepmom at 62. They could have both retired earlier but they decided to work at their jobs until it wasn't fun anymore.

They never made big bucks but their net worth is $3 million. Not too bad for a couple of teachers........

I'm not sure of the exact ER date. FI is quite near but as long as DW enjoy what we do, we'll keep going along. I am self-employed so I now have the flexibility I never had working for "The man"...........

Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)

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