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Old 03-04-2011, 09:48 AM   #21
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Your husband should be proud of the planning you've done (I'm sure he is). He sounds like he would find something to worry about no matter what so I would say take his concerns out of the equation as you've probably addressed them in your planning already (e.g., debtfree, no mortgage, having $64K available without even touching savings, but living very comfortably on $35K --that should accommodate inflation for a while). It sounds like you have a wonderful life that you enjoy together--congrats!
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:57 AM   #22
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Ziggy +1

It's time to step back and enjoy life.
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:22 AM   #23
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Thanks for all the input. I think in some ways my husband has some valid reasons for concern, and I hear that. He is actually eligible for full retirement already, but has decided to work until 63 for a higher pension. I was going to probably work that long anyway, too. Both our jobs are very high stress, so if it hadn't been for losing some steam during the recent stock market problems, we might have retired even earlier.

How much of the pension is indexed? I'm not totally sure what you mean, but if it's something like COLA, this is a state of TX pension and occasionally the Legislature raises it, but not often. For the past few years, they have issued an additional payment once a year. However, this year, I don't see that happening. Luckily, our area's economy has been very stable in general. Houses still sell at the same prices or more, maybe a bit slower. Unemployment is under 5%. Since they don't often raise the pension payments, that is why my husband is choosing to work longer to get the higher payment. And that is why I was planning to keep contributing to savings. When we start withdrawing some at age 70, then it should help with increased costs at that time. For dire situations, we could sell our house and live at our daughter's in the suite they built for us.

I think y'all are right - I have to take the pessimism with a grain of salt. But then he's great in so many ways. He loves my children (his stepchildren) and raised them like his own. He is wonderful with the grandchildren and they love to go in his pickup with him to the recycling center, the dog shelter where he volunteers, walking our dogs, etc. We have good friends together, he's hilariously funny and witty, and we like to do alot together, except he doesn't like traveling much, so I go with friends/family. Seeing him with my (our) children and grandchildren makes me love him even more, if you know what I mean. So the doom and gloom, I can live with occasionally.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:46 PM   #24
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Ally, sorry for the confusion. Yes, I meant COLA.

I think a spouse's objections or fears need to be addressed in a positive manner, and this is especially important when retiring early. Translating broad fears about the future into specific financial risks helps. By focusing away from the fear and toward the consequence you think about outcomes, which enable one to plan for those eventualities and take measures to offset the risks.

There could be an exposure in Ally's situation because the pension income is not indexed to inflation, and one decade of high inflation followed by another of average would jeopardize the standard of living.

A way to deal with the objections and the risk (which is not unreasonable IMHO) would be to invest part of the savings in instruments that are effective dealing with inflation. For example, TIPS, commodity based equities, or both. Even some broad based equities. Given that most of the income is pension, this is not risky at all - in fact, quite the opposite. It protects the portfolio and also addresses the key fear.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:58 PM   #25
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Buy him a pallet of beans and a case of bullets for his retirement present, and let 'er rip. You're already there; unfortunately, it sounds like he may never be...
Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:46 PM   #26
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Thanks for the ideas. Westernskies, I just inherited a bunch of guns from my parents and my husband is very happy. Michael, I try to keep a good percentage of our 403 B in equity indexed and other equity funds. My tolerance for risk probably isn't what it used to be, but I still do it anyway for the reasons you said. Thus is a very interesting forum- thank you!
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:51 PM   #27
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I think you're already there too.

As for your husband's pessimism, I would treat his concern with the respect he would like. But then counter with the concern that life is short - you don't know how much time you have on this earth, and you don't want to find out too late that you worked too long when you could have been relaxing. (And if you are in a stressful job, stress doesn't help your health.)

Why not compromise? You retire early, and let him work a little longer!
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:19 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
Buy him a pallet of beans and a case of bullets. ......
+1. Heh.
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