Hi All, New Member here. A little about me:
Currently 55 and married, no kids. I retired at 53 (7/11/14) from a long career in international business. My wife is 66 and she retired in Feb. 2014 and is collecting SS.
2013 was a terrible year for me. My dad and mother-in-law both passed away and I had 4 good friends (including two subordinates) also pass away suddenly. I had always wanted to retire early and that year was the mental tipping point for me. It was a total surprise to my wife when I announced I was leaving the company, and I agreed to find some consulting work to keep busy and keep her happy.
Financially we are very fortunate. My dad left us 4 rental homes in North Carolina; and, my wife and I were able to purchase three other homes in North Carolina to add to the property management portfolio a few years ago when the market bottomed out. Our 7 rental properties bring in about $10.5K per month in rental income.
Because we don't have kids, we were also able to save a lot in our 401K accounts. Our strategy was to save as much as possible and maximize my wife's 401 since she would be able to draw from it immediately. Both of our companies also offered stock options that also enhanced our portfolios. Our home in California also has been very good to us and has doubled in value since we bought it in 2003 for $590K.
Many years ago we met with a financial consultant who told us that we would need to have at least $3M in net assets to retire early. With my Dad's $800K contribution in property, we exceeded that amount in late 2013. At that point I really couldn't see the reason for fighting traffic every day to go to a job that I had totally burned out on.
My consulting practice went well for the first year, but in 2016 I had some health issues that took me away from work for awhile. In September I had a huge heart attack. As a result, I am now fully retired. My hobby is [electronic] music and I have a beautiful studio that keeps me well occupied. The coolest thing about retirement is the freedom from the rat race. I've stopped watching, or surfing, the news as opposed to my past life when I obsessed about it. I feel much more self-actualized and in-control. My relationship with my wife is much better too.
I am here because I want to learn more about tax minimization strategies in retirement, and maybe pick up some tips on investing. We have a lot of tax-deferred savings and thanks to the depreciation on our properties we are making a very low taxable income for now. That will change in a few years, so we want to withdraw as much as practical from these accounts while we can to take advantage of our low tax rate.
Thanks for listening and for letting me be part of your community!