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To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-09-2005, 10:50 AM   #1
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To Retire or do Something Else?

In about a year and a half I have a couple of life choices to make. I'll be 61 years old by then and can either retire or seek employment in a field which I enjoy. Here are the basic facts;

Home (in MA) is paid off, worth something over $550K.
Own the lot next to my home. Value is in excess of $250K (similar lot, on the other side of my home, went for $245K two years ago)
No other debt to speak of.

When I'm ready to make this change my retirement income will be around $95,000 per year, plus SS ($10K or so) in a couple of more years.

Should I sell my lot, buy a second home (for about $350K) down south (my wife and I love this particular community situated ten miles south of Savannah), and travel back and forth (north and south) with the seasons?

I'd have around $350K in a roll-over IRA, which I would let sit for several years before touching same.

Or;

I'm very qualified to take a position with the Federal government in one of their training facilities. Pay would be between $80K~$120K, depending on position available. Thus, I'd be earning somewhere between $180K~$220K a year, quite a bit more than I've ever earned before. The place I'm looking to work at is in Brunswick GA, about seventy miles south of Savannah. There are some lovely communities there (my wife an I visited the area and like it). I'd enjoy the work, although I am aware that the summers down in that part of the world are not terribly pleasant. We'd sell the house and buy a home in the $550K range, which is very nice down there. There'd be no mortgage. We'd keep the building lot to either; build on it some years in the future when I really retire, or, sell it sometime in the future.

Hoping to use this forum as a sounding board and to help me clear my head. Thanks.
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-09-2005, 11:41 AM   #2
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

Rich,
I'm just courious - what area or type of job is it that would pay 61 yo between 80 - 120K a year? It must be in an area that has a shortage or qualified people. That is a pretty good salary from the Federal Gov't and it will go a very long way in Georgia.
You don't have to respond to this question if you don't feel comfortable doing it...

Your social estimate of 10/year looks low - you would most likely be at the top end of the scale.

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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-09-2005, 01:02 PM   #3
 
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

Try this link:

http://www.fletc.gov/

Click on FLETC JOBS in red, at the top of the page. You need certain miniumum qualifications to even be considered.
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-09-2005, 01:05 PM   #4
 
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

>>>Your social estimate of 10/year looks low - you would most likely be at the top end of the scale.

Stopped paying into the system when I left one job (1990) for another that doesn't take out SS. I've got 26 years of "substantial earnings" so I won't take too bad a hit from that "windfall earnings" provision for folks who retire with a seperate pension.
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-09-2005, 05:34 PM   #5
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

Hi Rich,
You may be able to exclude the gain on the house and the lot if you sell them at the same time, up to the $500,000 maximum. I believe I remember a similar situation when I was practicing as a CPA, but it has been a while and, afterall, I am retire 8), so consult a CPA. Anyway, you might want to check it out.

BTW, the weather down south is pretty hot in the summer, but if you are near the water, it is not bad. You may have to get used to the humidity though.
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-09-2005, 06:22 PM   #6
 
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

Speaking of "hot weather down south". I lived in the DFW area from June, 1994 to June 1998 and then retired. I loved the hot weather. It never got hot enough to bother me, and that includes getting over 100
for a week straight, which was not uncommon. Plus, the humidity wasn't even close to Illinois in August. Anyway,
I never owned a boat while I was there. When we
were thinking about a permanent move to Texas,
I went boat shopping (big boat) and was told if we planned to overnight at all we needed A/C. Living
up north, that had never crossed my mind. It's a moot
point now, as when we go it will be strictly as
snowbirds. We'll still have a boat, but the A/C won't be needed.

JG
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-10-2005, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

Quote:
Hoping to use this forum as a sounding board and to help me clear my head. *Thanks.
It's not really a question we can answer for you. What it seems to come down to is do you want to retire to a very good pension income or do you want to keep working? If you have things you want to do that aren't the job then you won't be happy working. If you've got nothing else that you want to do with your time then you might not be happy retired.

There's very little in the way of number crunching needed unless your lifestyle can't fit within $95K / year. You may have to take a small (~$100K) mortgage on the second home (cost of the home minus the sales price of the land). That should be easy to handle on the income you've got unless you're butting up against it with spending.
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-10-2005, 12:15 PM   #8
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

Rich, simplify the equation. Remove the money factor, which you seem to obsess over in your post. Would you be happier doing the work or doing something else?

I've left a *lot* of money on the table because I've got things I enjoy doing more than work. It was a no-brainer for me.
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-10-2005, 05:56 PM   #9
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

Rich,

You have enough money. Finance should not be an issue. You just have to decide if this is what you really like to do. If so, go for it. If not, you should ask yourself -- what are the real reasons for working?


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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?
Old 01-10-2005, 06:02 PM   #10
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Re: To Retire or do Something Else?

I enjoy what I do, but I've been at it (in various assignments) for over 35 years. My wife and I like where we live now, but don't care for the winters (south/east MA). I'm just torn between stopping work and doing the "snowbird" routine or trying my hand at something similar to what I've been doing but a bit less strenuous, in a part of the country which doesn't know what the word "snow" means. As an aside, the various views and suggestions I've found in this site (I've been lurking for some time now) have proven most useful.
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