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Back on board-- ready to hear some wise info
Old 08-15-2010, 06:46 AM   #1
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Back on board-- ready to hear some wise info

I was dabbling with FIRE in my early 50s and was told here that I didn't have enough then. I kept working for another 5 years and then got caught in a buzz saw job that I just couldn't take any more. I have been out for five months now, "enjoying" unemployment and exploring consulting. At some point, I need to make a decision what to do about unemployment and working-- plus what to do with my time!

Details: My net worth is $605K, house is $110 (net, worth $150K) of that. Of the financial assets, I can touch about $80k right now. The remainder is in stocks, REITs and annuities. I am single. I think I can do quite well on $35K a year, maybe less. I live in Cleveland OH where we say everything is cheap and easy.

My financial guy says I can make it to 2030 doing nothing. He says I never need to worry if I can make even $10K a year. But I see my 88 yo mom who has $10K to her name, now on HUD assistance and soon, Medicaid. Do I REALLY have enough?

Any idea about my situation? Do I need to keep working? If so, how much?

Oh and right now, I have to say I am not enjoying myself-- adjusting after 42 years of work is a bitch. Since I am not sure where I am financially, I am hard at work doing gig searching-- that ain't fun. The heat keeps me from (enjoying) my favorite activities-- hiking and biking., The time is dragging, I feel quite alone at times, and the lack of routine leaves me a bit lost and feeling useless at times.

Sorry not to be upbeat-- I realize this is a transition phase of retirement, so I am doing one day at a time. There are gifts and I can see and often experience them. But in between.....

Thanks for any words of wise wisdom!
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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If your expenses are $35K per year, then your $80K will last you just over 2 years. Then what? You have $495K now outside of the house. In two years that might be $425K after you spend down $70K, more or less depending on markets but don't count on them to help much. At the usual safe withdrawal rate of 4% this might give you $17K per year. Looks to be short about $18K annually. If you are near Social Security maybe that can cover part.

I'm not sure why you say you cannot touch your stocks and REITs.

I would concerned about running out of money in this situation and would want to keep working. Well, maybe not "want to" but would think I have to. If you do something part-time to cover the gap, you are in some ways committing to do that until something else changes.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
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Location: Colorado, USA
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Josh, two things to keep in mind -- Social Security and health insurance. Assuming you're covered, SS will provide some stable income at some point in your future. But there are folks who worry that you can't depend on SS. And you need to make sure you will have health insurance available and include the cost in your budget planning.

Depending on how adventurous you feel, you might consider moving abroad. For example, I often hear of folks living quite comfortably in Mexico on considerably less than $35K annually.

Best wishes!

"Comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come in America." President Richard M. Nixon, February 6, 1974
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #4
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Josh, I don't qualify as being wise, but I would say that what you have is a lot more than many unemployed people out there have to their name. It is enough for you to coast for a couple of years until the economy turns better (I sure hope and think it is sooner than that and have invested accordingly). Then, you can find some easy part-time work to make that $10K/yr that you talked about.

Enjoy your time off. Cheers!

PS. We visited Cleveland a few years back, happened to be in town during the Circle Parade. I did take some photos and posted one here a while back.
"Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities Can Make You Commit Atrocities" - Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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How much of this paying-for-retirement do you want to figure out on your own? If none at all and you want to have folks tell you the answer, then do not run calculators like FIRECalc: A different kind of retirement calculator and do not read Jim C. Otar's "Unveiling the Retirement Myth" and do not run his calculator at otar retirement calculator .

OTOH, if you want to be more informed and more in control, then ....
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