Hello all. I've been lurking on this site for a week or so and found lots and lots of interesting discussions and good information so I decided to join.
About me: I plan on pulling the plug on paid employment Jan 1, 2010 so I am in final countdown mode.
I'm a long time govt. employee under the old system which I am always glad I stayed in. I will turn 55 next month and will be eligible for retirement then. I'm staying til the end of the year out of pure greed as it will end up getting me another $20k.
I'm a single woman, no human kids but an assortment of fur-kids and in generally good health. I paid off my house in 2007 and have been saving all that money since. I've been living on less than my net retirement annuity will be since then too, so I feel confident that the finances will work well. My savings are pretty conservatively invested since I have a secure pension. About half is in various cash accounts which I know financial planners don't think is a good thing.
All my savings are planned as gravy or a pad for those inevitable surprises so the hits of late 2008 didn't impact my plans. I've worked up detailed budget spreadsheets over the last 5 years and extended them out 5 years into retirement to get a good handle on how my finances will work. Every month, I adjust them according to my expenditures so they are an on-going picture. This also has me confident my plan will work for me.
In my spreadsheets, I assumed no belt-tightening and added in some vacations/trips. I calculated my taxes using my pension and assuming similar rules to the last tax year. In reality, I could be more frugal if I needed to be. My retirement budgets leave about 25% take-home net unaccounted for - which I think will be a good pad and I get the full social security COLAs on the pension.
My annuity will be 58% of my current gross but the net income is only 15% less than I take home now. My immediate plan after I retire is to spend about $30k and a year doing all the remodeling my house needs that hasn't managed to get done while working full time with long commutes and getting rid of all that junk I haven't used in 20 years.
After that, my time will be spent on hobbies, visiting my numerous family members, some general roaming for fun and figuring out where exactly I want to spend the rest of my life. It probably is not here but here is ok for a while (MD). I've also been thinking about different travel scenarios for my roaming - among them a small trailer that I could pull with my car.
I don't have specific questions for right here but will join discussions in the other sections. So, hello to all. (I love the FIRE acronym - one of the first things I looked for is what that stood for.)
I am really looking forward to having every day be a Saturday!