Originally Posted by Beryl
The good news is that our company sponsored investment company confirmed that I can do so whenever I want and do not need to work.
I've joined this group to better prepare for leaving as soon as feasible. I'm holding out until 55 or when I offered a "pink-slip" settlement.
- Reduce company stock holdings via charitable donations instead of using cash
Health care - the investment company estimated $551/month out of pocket because I should prepare for the worse. I pay NOTHING now and currently of good health needing (no meds). Do I really need to prepare for that much in health care?
Unknowns - Every retirement calculator results in me dying with $1-2M. I could relax but I'm concerned that there is big "unknown" out there. What are the unplanned issues most people face after retirement?
Scams - There are a lot of folks out there who looking to cheat boomers who have worked long and hard. I currently have identity theft insurance and think I need an independent estate manager. What ways should I protect my assets?
I'll second the comment that you look like you're in fine shape. A few comments/questions:
1) Pension - I presume it's fixed? (doesn't get any increases/bumps from inflation or any other metric?) Is that the pension you'd get if you leave tomorrow, or if you hang out until age 55?
2) SS - What is your SS estimate? You can try the web SS calculator at the SS website (Social Security Online
) to get a more exact estimate if you were to retire tomorrow. Between SS and your pension, you probably have all of your expenses covered without any part-time income or portfolio income.
3) Health Insurance - In addition to health history, WHERE you live will impact your premiums almost as much as how healthy you are. It can easily double (or even triple) depending on which state you're in. Try one or two on-line instant health insurance websites for quotes to get a feel. (blue cross/blue shield Blue Cross Blue Shield Association - Better knowledge for healthier lives
or assurant health Health Insurance Plans from Assurant Health
). Be careful since you're planning on spending half in one state, half in another: make sure whatever policy you have will have decent coverage in both areas, since you're almost equally likely to have a health care need in either place with a 50%/50% time distribution (and out-of-network costs can sometimes really soak you). Try a quote based in each state you're thinking of living in to compare. I'm a big fan of high deductible health care plans if you're in good health (do a forum search for a "Health Savings Account" or HSA).
4) As far as "unplanned issues" go, while this 30-year young FIREee hopeful can't comment on personal experience, just remember that once you have the basic needs (groceries, heat/A/C, basic car, insurance, taxes, home upkeep) covered, the rest is all discretionary...just like when you're working.
5) Donating your stock - one option you have for your stock is to set up a Donor-Advised Fund. It works by accepting your contribution (cash, stock, mutual funds, 50 year aged Beev3r Cheese wheels) in the current year, giving you the tax write-off in the current year, and then letting you decide how the assets are invested. You can then donate the funds to any 501(c)(3) recognized organization as you wish on your own schedule, with the funds growing in the meantime. You can also search the forum for a recent "Donor Advised Fund" or "DAF" thread or two.
6) Scams - are you mainly referring to an 'adviser' taking advantage of a client, or outright theft? If you know a few basics and keep your money with a reputable firm (like Vanguard/Fidelity) and gleen a few basics from the forum, you'll have more financial knowledge than 95% of the rest of America.
If you're referring to outright fraud/theft, a good dose of (un)common sense and an awareness that there are people out there trying to get any information they can should keep you safe and sound, such as:
--Check on-line accounts frequently (once every week or once every 2 weeks)
--Don't leave paper statements lying around (better yet, do everything electronically)
--Don't use public computers for financial information
--Keep your financial information and basic information (mother's maiden name, credit card numbers, SSN, etc.) private. Don't underestimate how far your voice carries when speaking on the phone, or how easily you can glance over someone's shoulder or look at the screen next to you while someone's typing in a password, or click on that e-mail from your bank that asks you to log-in to 'verify your information'.
Who is the insurer for the 'identity theft insurance'? What does it cover?
Do you have a basic insurance policy with a General Liability umbrella ($500k up to several million)?
What services would you be looking for an 'independent estate manager' to provide?