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Update after 1 year of ER
Old 11-22-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
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Update after 1 year of ER

A year ago I called it quits, after my wife had passed away unexpectedly 6 months prior. Definitely has been the best decision I ever made! I've spent the last year focusing on getting fit by rock climbing, helping my 2 daughters navigate through the loss of their mom, and clearing out my house in prep for downsizing a few years down the road.

Between transporting my 8th grader to and from school, shopping for and making dinner, keeping up with house issues, and Ebay'ing / donating excess crap, I can't imagine how I'd be able to fit a full-time job in here. The days just fly by; never a dull moment it seems.

Financially it's going well so far. My investment portfolio, which had barely crossed a million a year ago, is nearing one and a quarter. My withdrawal's are pretty low, because I'm getting > $3k survivors benefits for my kids and myself. I may get a part-time job at the lifetime fitness where I climb, to give me a bit of extra pocket money.

Note to those with kids: Get your term life insurance! We had $200k on my wife and being able to payoff the house really helped with dealing with the loss. A definite factor in being able to quit and be there for my kids when I'm needed most. Fifteen bucks a month very well spent.

Physically, I'm in better shape now at 50 than I've ever been in the past. That has been an incredible positive in my life, more than I can put into words. Having time to go to the gym frequently, without having to 'squeeze it in' around work responsibilities, is wonderful.

Emotionally, while my job was not high-stress, I feel SO much more relaxed than while working. Don't underestimate the value of inner peace.

While my situation is different than most, raising my kids w/o their mom, I just wanted to check in and say I made the jump and I'm loving it. If you are on the fence, why wait? You never know when (like my wife at 46 years old) your number might be up.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #2
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I am glad things are working out. Must have been difficult. Agree that fitness is a real potential benefit of ER.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your update. You have a lot going on in your life and I'm really happy to see that you have made such progress over the past year! It's very inspiring to hear these kinds of stories.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:45 AM   #4
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I'm glad things have worked out so well for you and your daughters. Your planning in advance certainly helped. You are right, we never know how long we have thought most of us are probably planning a long, long life and trying to ensure our money lasts that long.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:46 AM   #5
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Thank you for your inspiring post and advice.

I wish you and your children a long, healthy life filled with love.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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So glad you posted this update. Your daughters have a wonderful father.
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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So glad you posted this update. Your daughters have a wonderful father.
+1
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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I'm so sorry about your wife. My first husband passed away at 38, you're right you never know.

I'm very glad to know that you were able to make such a great decision for yourself and your kids. Sounds to me that they have a great Dad.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:03 PM   #9
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So glad you posted this update. Your daughters have a wonderful father.
+2
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:13 PM   #10
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So glad you posted this update. Your daughters have a wonderful father.
+3
May God bless you!
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:14 PM   #11
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Thank you for the update and for the wisdom regarding life insurance.
And for the advice about seizing the day, because you never know.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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So glad you posted this update. Your daughters have a wonderful father.
+4

The rewards of LBYM and planning ahead can sometimes be reaped in unexpected ways. Thanks for keeping us posted and inspiring others.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:02 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the kind responses! I always thought my kids had a great dad, but then I'm a bit biased

- John
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:30 AM   #14
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Thanks for the update. It is good you were financially prepared for the unexpected which allowed you to there for your kids.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #15
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So happy to hear that you are loving no longer working for pay. Sounds like you have your priorities right. You gave some good information on the life insurance and not knowing how much longer we have in life. Thanks for updating!
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:23 AM   #16
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Excellent report Runch, and good advice on the term life insurance. With two adults working, until you are FI, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to some add some assurance you will reach FI without having to change your lifestyle. That's important when you are still raising kids.
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Condolences but congrats on portfolio growth.
Old 11-24-2013, 09:46 PM   #17
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Condolences but congrats on portfolio growth.

I note you said you are barely tapping your portfolio and I'm curious if, when you do, you tap taxable accounts or have decided it's worth it to pay the 10% penalty?
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #18
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All the best.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #19
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Thank you for posting your update. You are a true inspiration.
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:20 AM   #20
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.... If you are on the fence, why wait? You never know when (like my wife at 46 years old) your number might be up.
My parents died at 59 & 67. That was a big motivater in my determination to stick to my plan to retire before 50.

And yes ... the days do seem to fly by.
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