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Nearly Time to Retire
Old 11-06-2007, 02:42 PM   #1
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Nearly Time to Retire

Hi everyone-

I've been following the threads on this board for several weeks and find many that have application to my current stage of life. In less than a year I turn 60 and will hopefully be able to retire - if not fully, then at least not have to work full time.

My situation is not unique by any means, but fewer and fewer people will be in it in future years. I was able to retire with a full defined benefit pension at 55 and then went to work as a consultant for a company as a full time employee. Defined benefit plans are going the way of the dinosaur and my children (all adults on their own) will likely never have one.

The problem I am encountering is the old "when to call it quits" blues. I've run the FIRE program dozens of different ways and it looks like my wife and I will be able to survive economically unless there is a total collapse of the stock market. Right now we live pretty well, but once we have to live strictly off my pension (my wife has none except for SS) and our 401Ks, we will have to exercise some real restraint.

So the decision come down to working and living a better lifestyle or getting out at 60 and doing less with less. Going PT would help, though I would then be a 1099 employee and take several hits I am not exposed to now.

That's my situation. Not a bad one to be in, but, nevertheless a hard decison to make.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:40 PM   #2
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Welcome restonham. I think that the decision to retire depends a lot on how much you enjoy (or hate) working. If you are still having fun, continue to work by all means. But if the grind is taking away from your quality of life, you can probably retire on less than you'd expect, as others here have done.

Reading old posts will give you a pretty good idea of what other folks are actually living on, successfully.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
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Welcome restonham--
DH and I are facing the same dilemma right now--and we have decided we hate w#rking enough that we'd rather cut back on our lifestyle, rather than stick it out in the w#rkplace. We also have three (!) defined benefit plans--but each of them only pays a few hundred dollars a month. We have to make up the difference out of our savings and investments. We live pretty economically (we're cheap) and so we could easily live on that....but... by retiring early, we will have given up our ability to buy stuff whenever we want, and travel whenever and wherever we want.
I guess it is up to each person to decide where the balance lies--which is more important to you: getting your freedom from w#rk or playing it safer and having a bit more to spend. But it sounds like you are FI already, now you have to decide on the RE!
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:07 AM   #4
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The questions of "how much is enough" and its cousin, "just one more year" are questions that only you can answer. How much do you enjoy your w*rk? What else do you want to do? How much does w*rk interfer with doing what you want to do? Can you reduce expenses? Do you want to? Are you willing to downsize and/or relocate? Lots of dicussion on these and related issues here, so there is lots of food for thought. We look forward to your views on these issues.
I would not have anyone adopt my mode of living...but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead. Thoreau, Walden
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:26 AM   #5
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Restonham, welcome.

You might want to take a look at this from our FAQ section:

Lots of good information in that collection of threads.
Numbers is hard
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
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Welcome Restonham.

You are making a tough decision. I know, my wife and I retire in 40 more days and we were faced with the same situation. We could work longer and have a better lifestyle or retire now and trim back a little. In my case, I know how much money we have, but I don't know how much life we have left. I would have more regrets dying early with a lot of money than if I outlived my money. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:53 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your comments and advice. I know we can do this, it's just hard to cut the cash flow pipeline. I did go to the FAQ on how much is enough and it's clear that having a defined penion that's sort of indexed to inflation makes the difference. If we had to depend only on 401Ks and SS (in a few years), I don't think we would consider this before 66 and full SS eligibility. Our current plan is to both go part time at the end of June and then start spending the 4 or 5 months of winter in a warmer climate where our kids live.

I plan to do a lot more reading on this site over the next several months as well as trying to figure out the best investment mix so we don't become so risk averse that we get hurt by inflation.
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