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Am I nuts?
Old 09-29-2012, 06:31 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Am I nuts?

Hello All,

It is a pleasure to join this board. Lots of great information and great folks.

About me:
I retired from the military in 2008 and have been working as a federal civil servant for the last 4+ years. Due to some significant life events (SLEs) I have decided to escape leave the confines of federal employment when I turn 51 if not before (I am 50 now).

I am single and live below my means.

My plan is to take some time off to clear the fog of work. Eventually return to school, since I have a benefit that will pay for all of it to include a tax free housing stipend ~14K annually.
I am also a musician in which I make some side income from and would like to expand that area of my life.

My co-workers at the federal prison place of employment think this is insane but I feel at this stage of my life it is time to go and pursue other things in life.
The question: Are my co workers correct? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, FOAD

My financial landscape is as follows:
Current expenses:
~$13.8 K annually (this includes 3.25% mortgage PITI, utilities, cable, cell phone, auto insurance and health/dental insurance)
No Debt besides the mortgage.
~Military pension (cola adjusted) ~28K (which ~6K is tax free)
Future income:
SSN and small federal pension.
~$40K TSP (401K)
~80K Roth
~60K Brokerage account
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:43 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,081
Do you get military health benefits to go along with your military pension? If you'll be happy having $28K/yr to spend for the rest of your life then go for it. I would retire in your position with a cola'd military pension that was more than my living expenses.
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:01 AM   #3
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Location: Sheltered in place
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Let me see if I understand. You have enough income to cover your expenses and in addition a small nest egg. You will also get a pension later in life. You want to go back to school and have a benefit to do so. Then you want to spend time doing things you've dreamed about instead of continuing the grind. Your coworkers think you're crazy and you want to know our opinion.

Your coworkers are insanely jealous. How can it be a mistake to follow your dreams? What are you waiting for?
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:14 AM   #4
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Posts: 1,085
Your pension is about twice as much as your expenses, so you seem to be in good shape.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Location: Sarasota, FL & Vermont
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Your expenses seem very low. I assume you eat. Occasional vacations? Any entertainment? Car repairs, maintenance, replacement reserve?

Nonetheless, as Michael says if health care is covered and you can live on ~$30k a year it looks like you'll be ok.

Not to mention that you'll have an additional $14k of housing stipend coming in during your studies.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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Posts: 7,320
Double check your expenses. That is pretty low. I was surprised by just how much we spent in gasoline alone last year! (courtesy a quicken report). Also, as someone else mentioned, be sure your medical is covered. I think it is as you are full career military, but be certain. It could be why you didn't even mention it. (For those of us without health benefits, we have to consider very large cost loads for this.)

Aside from that, I'd keep the discussion away from your co-workers. There will be envy there and you won't get good answers. I'm struggling with the same issue myself, trying to work on my plan to eventually cut the cord sometime in the next 5 years. First thing I learned was to not bother with this discussion at work.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Are you returning to school for training in a future career ($$), or just for fun?
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:00 PM   #8
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Location: midwestern city
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Welcome to the forum, 50oneanddone.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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