Hello! I'm starting over here. I have been mostly absent while I've spent the time from my initial 'hello' post in 2011. Two things have changed since I initially looked into ER from the 'can I afford to retire early' viewpoint: 1) now it is my wife who will be retiring early, not me
. This happened because I was finally able to engage her into the planning process. 2) I recalculated the entire plan to get my wife the largest survivor benefits should I pass first.
Consequently, the DW will go at age 56 (in 1.5 years). I'm looking at going at a couple days past my 65th birthday (5 years from now). She makes less than me (and also less than any male doing the same work as her), so I will work longer to sock away more money. She would quit now, but if she can stand another 1.5 years, she gets paid for half of her unused sick leave. She has a 401a and a 457, but no social security or pension (she is employed by a City government). She will have about 290K in her retirement plans when she retires. I do get social security and a pension (FERS), but the pension is cut by 50% for the survivor benefit, so I do not want apply for social security until I'm 70 so my wife will have a larger survivor benefit from that. At age 65, my pension should be about 3K per month, and if I wait for social security at 70, that should be about 3K per month also. That leaves DW about $4,500 per month in survivor benefits.
So what to do for income in the 9 years between when she retires and my age 70? I'll try to work for half the period, and then I do get the pension after that. Then there is her retirement savings. The current plan is to drain her retirement accounts over that 9 years. That is the only way we can afford to put off social security until I'm 70. and, she is concerned that wall street will crash the economy again (with no bailouts next time, so all the accounts would disappear), and wants to get her money into FDIC accounts ASAP after retiring. Then, if I can work to 65, I will have 230K in my retirement account for when we are over 70.