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Hi Everyone. I Owe you a World of Thanks!
Old 03-27-2011, 06:24 PM   #1
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Hi Everyone. I Owe you a World of Thanks!

Hi everyone:

My name is Carla and I plan to retire at the end of December 2011. I am 59 (nearly 60). Iíve been lurking on this forum for the past five years when I thought I would be retiring early. My workplace has a thirty and out policy so you can retire at any age. I was hell-bent on retiring at that thirty year mark. I never dreamed that there was anything anyone could say to make me change my mind. And then something happened. I found this forum.

I was in for a rude awakening. I did not have enough money! (I probably still donít but oh well). Ready or not here I come! (or go?) I was struck by how much many of you have accomplished and felt a mixture of embarrassment and envy that I had not done as well. I, personally, have never made a lot of money so that goal of having at least a million to retire on has never been a reality for me.

Because of you and your wisdom, my reality looks a whole lot better than it could have. Thanks to you, I delayed my retirement for five more years and will have 35 years of service. Those five years just breezed by. It has made a huge, huge difference in my retirement pay and other accounts. I took some advice learned here and saved more money; changed a few other things and now I can retire, not in luxury, but can retire without fear. I least I think so and I do understand I don't have a lot of money but I think I can do this. Please tell me if Iím wrong and if not what I should be doing (anything except working longer. If I have to drag myself into that office another year, I going to flip out and thatís real).

I will have a lifetime monthly retirement check of $3,100 with a 3% yearly cola, After taxes and health insurance, I think I should have about $2,100. My husband gets a SS check of only $1000. We get about $1,300 for two rentals. To cover maintenance, insurance and property taxes on the rentals and my home, I plan to put the $1000 SS away in a separate account to cover it.

My expenses, if I pay my house off , will be at most $2000. I have no debt except my mortgage. I owe $19,000 more on it, at 3.1% interest. I wonder if I should pay it off. If not, that will add $382 more a month to my expenses.

So at present we can live only off my pension (excluding large purchases). I do have about $250K in 403 b Accounts, 250K In real estate, 50K in the bank which is earning me practically nothing. I keeping thinking I should move some somewhere else but have no idea where and how much. I do have the option of moving money into my existing 403b account. I have not done so as I was looking for something safe that pays more than the 3% I am now getting. There is another company offering me 4% but that's another discussion.

I also have a small, very part-time Ebay business which earns me about 500 to $1000+ a month (another tip I picked up here five years ago to help earn money towards my retirement.) When I retire, Iím pretty sure Iím going to give that upótoo much work. But if I need money that will be an option.

Again, you have my sincere thanks. Sometimes people on forums do not truly comprehend the difference or impact they can make in a life. You helped me (a lurker) when I was about to probably make the biggest mistake of my life.

PS: Please excuse any grammatical errors in this post.

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Old 03-27-2011, 06:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum Carla. That's a nice first post. Glad you got the confidence you needed. Sounds like you have prepared and are on your way. I'm sure others will be here shortly to discuss further. Good luck .
Officially retired........Class of 2011
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #3
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Hi Carla. I also like your intro very much. You write very well. I hope you enjoy your hard-earned retirement. You sound like an ambitious lady what with a 35 year career, landlord and eBay.
I lived in Columbus for a year in the mid-eighties when my husband was a fellow at OSU (we rented an apartment in the Victorian Village area). I worked part-time on campus in one of the libraries. It was a great year among friendly people, and I only wish we could have stayed longer.
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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You are doing great!

Now..."what are you gonna do all day?"
I have outlived most of the people I don't like and I am working on the rest.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:40 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Carla.
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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Old 03-28-2011, 01:27 AM   #6
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What a great story! I wish you + DH all the best for your retirement!
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:59 AM   #7
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Welcome! You are in better financial shape than many people your age. Congratulations.

A pension with a cola is an enviable asset!

BTW - if you did a PV calculation (using your expected life) for pension and SS (income receivables) along with your other assets.... you are probably well above the $M mark!
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:15 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum Carla, I don't have much to add, but I know there is a lot of great information and help on this forum too. I have not retired yet, but I had a lot of the same questions.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:46 AM   #9
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Welcome Carla. You sound like you should be OK. Do you have SS coming when you turn 62 or is your pension it on that score? An additional SS check would be a nice insurance policy.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:06 AM   #10
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Welcome Carla , Very nice post . I am a fellow ebay seller .
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:40 AM   #11
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Carla, this is one of the nicest 1st posts I've read on this forum. You were wise to work those extra years because it put you in a solid position for retirement. Wish you all the best and hope to hear more from you!
I purr therefore I am.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:45 AM   #12
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Congrats Carla, great story. We all help each other, that's what's great about this forum.

I'd encourage you to sign up on this thread too where I seem to be the unofficial Moderator (that thread only).
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 50% equity funds / 30% bond funds / 20% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #13
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Hi Carla

Can you afford to lend me some money?

Seriously it is a great sense of satisfaction to hear from a lurker who changed their lives based on being here! I wonder how many others are gaining confidence by lurking?
For the fun of it...Keith
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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Welcome Carla! I think alot of what you said applies to me, too. We won't be the richest folks in town, but we don't live that way anyway. I've learned alot, just since joining in Feb. I hope you continue to post.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:24 PM   #15
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Welcome Carla and congratulations. How did you come up with "April Fool"? Thanks for not waiting until Friday to make your first post.

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Old 03-28-2011, 02:41 PM   #16
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Welcome, Carla. Like you, I have learned so much from this Forum. Enjoy your retirement. You deserve it!
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I Owe You a World of Thanks!
Old 03-28-2011, 04:11 PM   #17
Dryer sheet wannabe
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I Owe You a World of Thanks!

Thanks so much guys.

I just got home from work, so was unable to reply earlier. Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement. I feel really welcome, I do. I can't believe I am really on a board and people are actually talking to me. I've never had the nerve before. It feels good. I hope i'm doing this right. I'm confused about what to put in that title box if I'm replying to my own tread. Should I give it a new name or use the old one? I think I'm going to have to read up on how to do this. Anyway.

I'm so glad you think I'm on the right track. I really got scared when I read the tread if $25OK was enough to retire on because I knew that is all the money that I have. I thought, "Oh no, I'm still in trouble." To consider being at a million does that include pension and real estate and all assets? I thought I was suppose to count only my actual money. Even if it does mean that I would have a million I wonder how come I don't feel more excited? I think if I actually had the money in my hands I would feel differenly.

Someone asked why I chose the name April Fool. Why else? I was born an April Fool's baby. My birthday is April 1. I've been teased about it all my life.

I'm sorry but I don't know what that RV calculator is. I have tried to use a few calculator but I think I'm finding those complicated ones.

I will not get SS when I turn 62. Actually, I will collect from a school system and we pay into a different type of retirement fund. My husband got his SS when he turned 62 but he gets no pension. I tried to get him to wait until he was 65 but he would not do it. How do you like that? I worked five more years to get more money but he could not hang in there for three more.

Again thanks. I have so many questions and as always I know I can get help here. Please do not hesitate to make any suggestions you feel I may need. I'm the type of person who always listens and do follow advice, not blindly, but I do consider everything.

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Old 03-28-2011, 05:09 PM   #18
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Congratulations & welcome to the forum. Excellent first post.
Please continue to contribute to the forum. We all feel nervous about the first few posts, so don't let that hinder you.
(I leave the title box blank when replying to a thread)
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:27 PM   #19
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Welcome Carla. To address one of your questions -- you only need to put something in the title box when you are starting a thread (because it won't start the thread if you don't). If you are just replying to an existing thread, you can leave it blank. (although you can put something there if you like)
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:37 PM   #20
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Congratulations Carla,

Counting your lurking time you are an old-timer... compared to me!

Wishing you all the best.
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