Finger problems......put the post below in the wrong spot. Reposted as a new topic.
Greetings folks, great site, great stories....
I've hidden in the bleachers the past 6 months selfishly feeding off all the great advice/stories that others have shared, so it's time to pay my tab....
I'm approaching mid forties and currently examining retirement options, which I will likely exercise in the next 1 - 5 yr window. I've recently read a number of books to help me with the decision, of which most were focussed on the issues/financial aspects of retirement. The one exception was "Tuesdays with Morrie", which offers some great wisdom on what's important in life. The information on this forum has also been very influencial in shaping my courses of action.
So here's my situation: (noting that my ultimate goal is to FIRE as soon as possible, stop working for 'the man', and do leisure/volunteer work, or menial part-time work for enjoyment (golf course marshall!!)
Currently in my 26th year of military service. Current job is less than fulfilling, but routine/workload offers a great work/life balance. Could leave now (at 43) with a 48K (COLA) pension, or plug on and increase pension by approximately 4K a year (factoring in cost of living increases in base pay). Leaving now would make things tight financially (3 yrs left on mortgage, 3 teenagers, DW nets 2K month income, 50K savings, no debt except mortgage). Conclusion, if I leave, there's no FIRE, and other employment will be necessary.
To reach FIRE, I think the following option makes best sense: Complete 30 years of (unfulfilling) service (in current location, with no risk of move), receive 68K pension (COLA). We would be 48/49 yrs old, mtg free (350K house), 150K in non-registered savings, DW continues making 2K month net doing p/t work. Pension, DW's income, and interest from savings (assuming 6% rtn) would net us approx 7K a month. Our current monthly expenses (not including mtg) average 4K. DW enjoys her work and will likely continue working part-time until 55-60 (taking off a few months each winter to go south).
In regard to expected expenses in the future: we live modestly with no glitzy or extravagant lifestyle needs. I have travelled extensively (as military pilot), and sick of it, and wife has no great travel aspirations. We'll take a hit with the kids college/university education, but I think we have enough buffer between savings and monthly income to meet education costs. When kids leave home, our intent is to downsize homes and pocket approx 100k, live in Vegas for 3 months during winter (Jan-Mar) and spend the remaining time near family/friends. The "manufactured homes communities" have also caught our interest as a possible future option - (great social community, simple homes, and cheap cost/upkeep).
In summary, I'm looking forward to reaching FIRE status within the next fire years. Sucking up a few more years of unfulfilling work seems to be a reasonable compromise to FIRE with enough of a financial cushion to live comfortably.
Looking forward to any advice/comments........