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Starting my descent to ER...Am I missing anything?
Old 08-29-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
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Starting my descent to ER...Am I missing anything?

Hello everyone! I've been browsing the Forum for a couple of years and dreaming of ER. Well, the time has finally come. I am looking at ER on 9/30/09. Even though I am very confident with the plan, I wonder if there is a rock I've failed to overturn.

I am 53yoa and DW is 44. We have 3 kids (14,11,10), and practice living BOM. I have over 35 years of combined state and local government service (including 3 yrs. military purchase). Because each retirement system honors the service in the other, I am eligible for 2 separate lifetime pensions, one of which is COLA. Combined, I will gross $5,435 per month or net $700 more per month than I currently do. This arrangement includes 100% joint survivor for one pension and a guaranteed payment term of 15 years for the other. In other words, I'll receive the combined $5,435 for life, but if I die before 68 yoa, my wife gets $2,475 per month for life, and $2,960 per month until I would have turned 68. At 62, Social Security will add about $1,500 per month, and I also have a 401K with about $25K. I plan to beef-up the 401K with part of the extra $700 monthly pension. Also, I will receive fully paid health insurance until Medicare kicks in at which time the coverage will be secondary. I also have a $400K life insurance policy.

DW is a tenured professor (17yrs), and makes $80K per yr. She has a self-managed retirement plan (index stock/bond funds) that has about $150K, and is funded one-half by her and one-half by the university. She plans to work full-time for about 12 more yrs. At 62, she'll get about $1,700 from SS. She has $500K life insurance. She'll also get fully paid health insurance until Medicare. We owe 95K (9yrs) on our mortgage and have $8K in home improvement debt; no car payments. All 3 kids have a prepaid college fund, which covers tuition and fees. As each one enters college, we'll continue using the the payments to the fund as well as current private school tuition payments to cover room, board and books. Any additional expenses will be paid either by each kid working or a loan for which they'll be responsible.

I plan to spend my days being a chauffer to the kids, accompanying them to their dental/doctor appts, and heavily involved in their school and extracurricular activities. Of course, I'll also free-up DW from most of the errands, shopping, etc. If time permits, and if I get restless, I'll get involved in local government/political issues as well as increase my volunteer time at church. And, oh no, if that doesn't fill my time, I may be driven to take on a part-time job. Of course, any part-time job will be on my schedule and will not interfere with my duties to kids/DW.

Thanks in advance for your feedback. Looking forward to being a regular poster.

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Old 08-29-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your pending retirement. Also, welcome to the stay-at-home-dads club. Although I think in my former employed life I contributed greatly to society, I find that contributing my time to my kids is much more satisfying.

Good luck with that involvement in local government and politics thing. I'm much more involved with such things in retirement, but I prefer to do it at a distance if I can (televised public meetings and email work great). W*rk provided too much time in close proximity to politicians and I think I've developed an allergy.
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it. - Andrew Jackson
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:55 AM   #3
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Budatx, it looks to me like you're in great shape for retirement. Congratulations! Assuming your wife is maximizing her retirement contributions it seems like you should be able to build up sizeable additional retirement assets over the next twelve years.

Something I'm sure you have considered -- because of your wife's relative youth she is likely to survive you by a good number of years. That is something to consider carefully in your financial planning.

Best wishes, and I hope your retirment is wonderful!

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Old 08-30-2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Your plan looks sound to me. Congratulations.

Only thing to add, which you may already have considered, is that pension-heavy retirements are great while you are both alive but don't "automatically" leave an estate for your two children. Your life insurance provides a step in that direction, but even though you can live nicely, I imagine you still have some serious estate planning and conservation of assets for the young'ns. Sounds like there's enough room to accomplish that, only that it might need to be explicitly addressed (or has already been).

Enjoy your new life.
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:02 AM   #5
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Budatx, Congratulations! What a great position for you and DW to be in. You have both planned well and are clearly ready for this great change in lifestyle. Since I am still w*rking, I love the see posts like yours that illustrate the payoff.
You may enjoy/benefit from developing a RE checklist, such as several other successful FIRE folks have posted on other threads. Also "Work Less, Live More" by Bob Clyatt is worthwhile to help you be sure you have reviewed your status from all angles. For example, what if DW decides to RE too. Are your covered? Are you culturing your off the j*b activities so you can enjoy them in RE?
It is all good stuff...
I hope you will continue to post here and share your experiences as you enter into RE.
Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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Also, welcome to the stay-at-home-dads club. Although I think in my former employed life I contributed greatly to society, I find that contributing my time to my kids is much more satisfying.
Congratulations on your ER!

For the stay-at-home dads lke me, what exactly are yall contributing to the kids? I'm very new to this, and so far I'm dropping off and picking up, cooking, helping with homework some (DW is a librarian and way smarter than me so she's better helping them with school), helping out with school sports, taking them fishing and riding motorcycles and stuff, but I feel like I should be doing more and teaching them some valuable lessons.

What are all you stay at home dad's doing with the kids? Is it too early to teach them about money? My two boys are 10 and 12.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:09 AM   #7
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Thanks to your pensions, it sounds like you are in very good shape.

Your post says what your income will be, but does not spell out your average monthly expenses. However, if you are immediately eligible for pensions that will pay you net $700 more per month than you currently earn on the job, presumably you will have more than enough.

And of course you are carrying no debt, right?
"To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive". Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage (1878)
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