Was going to put this in the "children" thread below; but my situation is a bit of a twist (very late parenthood + very early retirement). I'm 50, and retiring this August after 25 yrs gov't service, including 22 federal law enforcement (civil service pension with COLA). We have 3 kids, last born when I was 47; now aged 3, 6 & 9. We're invested pretty well with rental property (4 3-family and 1 single family, almost all paid off); our own home (70K home equity note only remaining) and about 400K in TSP, IRA, UGMA accts.)
Although I gave it a good try in the last couple of years "tracking" expenses I have to say my financial planning came to this: "Net pay seems to cover things, though I can't quite figure out what they all are; and when they stop deducting TSP, TSP catch up, retirement, state tax the net of my pension check will be pretty close.....so....OK!" (I also say a prayer of thanks to my late Uncle John for urging me to take the civil service test.)
However I realize that leaves out some big expenses in future (kid's school and possibly elder - that would be us - health related expenses). I am taking the view this is not worth working til mandatory retirement at age 57 to pile up more money for.
I have a few nagging questions, like, can I do 70K worth of 72(t) "substantially equal" TSP withdrawal from 50 - 59.5 then stop (let rest of money sit in TSP) and avoid early w/d tax penalty? (and would it be a good idea - I would be doing it to pay off 70K remaining on residence). Also, how much to ramp up life insurance to compensate for taking a lesser spousal benefit, and for how long? Also, is it worth trying to shift some $ to Roth IRAs? Long term health are...arggh...scratch that question, don't even want to think about it now, seems too evolving, lack of clarity everywhere.
My larger general question is just seeking some advice, comment, encouragement on the joy (
) of displacing -- I mean supplementing -- the "at home" spouse; parenting 3 youngish kids; and time/money to enjoy it all. My mother suggested taking the kids out of school and living on a sail boat for a year. I reminded her I hadn't been fond of sailing since I tipped a boat over at age 10 at the town summer rec program. But I would be open to something out of the ordinary for a family experience. (Another reason to retire now, I keep hearing "they won't want to do anything with you soon.")
(yes, we have a reverse role marriage in that I've been the worker for pay since our first was born and my husband quit to be the "at home" parent)