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Can I Go????
Old 10-31-2019, 07:11 PM   #1
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Can I Go????

I am 56 and am ready to retire. I have had some health concerns of late - nothing chronic but enough to make me realize I want to enjoy some of my years of retirement as healthy as possible.

In NJ I can retire at 25 years with no penalty if over 55. I will have to pay a percentage to my medical (according to NJEA it looks about $100 a month). My husband is already retired (he is 65). I think it makes sense for me to go.

We have run some numbers and it seems like we will be able to make it. I am just worried about having enough.

I should also say we have a senior still in high school - He will be going to college in the fall. We are not planning on any loans to help with college - he is working on scholarships, state schools etc. And we have a 20 year old daughter still taking community college courses living at home.

Any other retired teachers? Any others with age gap between husband and wife? How did you handle retirement decision?
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:53 PM   #2
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Congrats on being close to retiring. We have a son who still lives at home, and just graduated trade school as a diesel tech, and a daughter who got married 2 weeks ago. There are always hidden college, (and high school) costs that just must be absorbed by the parents, as well as wedding costs. Make sure you can cover all these hidden costs in the next few years, otherwise, it sounds like you are ready.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:36 PM   #3
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so many people on these boards talk about having retirement savings in the millions.
we certainly don't and it scares me.
after calculating pension, DH social security, small pension, dividends and some money from out 350K retirement fund, we figured out we could pay the bills and survive.
After reading here, it seems we may not have enough.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:40 PM   #4
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Have you tried putting your numbers through the Firecalc retirement calculator found on this site?
There are many here who can assist with any questions.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:51 PM   #5
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It may help to run through the questions here: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ire-69999.html
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rathgar View Post
so many people on these boards talk about having retirement savings in the millions.
we certainly don't and it scares me.
after calculating pension, DH social security, small pension, dividends and some money from out 350K retirement fund, we figured out we could pay the bills and survive.
After reading here, it seems we may not have enough.
What about long term care? Emergency fund, etc.? Check out IMOLDERNU's thread, 23 years of frugal retirement:

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ent-62251.html

It can be done, but the question is whether the gain is worth the potential pain. Either way, you're giving up time for money, or money for time. Such is the quintessential dilemma here.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:40 PM   #7
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I think you need to look at your income versus your expenses. Many on here aren’t fat Fire.
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Old 11-01-2019, 05:28 AM   #8
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Both of us retired as teachers about 7-8 years ago. My wife made it easier when she came home one day and told me she put in her notice to retire the following month. I followed the next year when I started having major medical issues. However, we had been preparing the previous 25 years with saving/investing, paying off the house, and taking care of present and future medical needs. We also lived on one income and saved the other for quite a number of years. Like a few others here we tend to wear suspenders with a belt and prefer to make sure of our numbers as best we can.
Firecalc is a good place to start as well as understanding your budget. Spend a few weeks reading posts here. Read posts starting a few years back and learn to recognize those members who have consistently given good advice and direction that fits into your mindset. Although we were given some inheritance we haven't used it and it will go to the children. We didn't plan for any money other than what we had saved for ourselves.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:00 AM   #9
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Are you able to share any additional insight / numbers on expected expenses, income, assets, etc? Hard to answer the original question without that kind of detail.

Either way, definitely recommend looking closely at actual expenses (preferably tracked to a good level of detail over at least a year or two) vs income, including a "fudge factor" to cover any unexpected major expenses. Then, determine how you're going to cover those expenses via pensions, SS, dividends (if any) and savings draw-down..

You'll find a lot of people happy to help here.

Best of luck!
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
It may help to run through the questions here: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ire-69999.html
++1
These are great questions to review.
I also ran and re ran our budget for the previous 5 years.
DH and I both have pensions, and social security and have made sure our budget/spending fits within that amount. However, when I ran our pensions through an annuity calculator, it was an eye opener to see the value needed to purchase.

Our savings is for LTC, or other issues as we age, or for occasional splurges.
We do not have millions saved.
We have a happy life.
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Old 11-01-2019, 01:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rathgar View Post
I should also say we have a senior still in high school - He will be going to college in the fall. We are not planning on any loans to help with college - he is working on scholarships, state schools etc. And we have a 20 year old daughter still taking community college courses living at home.
Don't forget the military options to pay for college, ROTC scholarships, etc.

If he joins the NJ National Guard tuition is covered at state schools:

https://njarmyguard.com/tuition

Though from that page it appears NJ does require Guard members to have undergone both basic & advanced individual training (both together now called initial entry training) before receiving those benefits.

Even if he doesn't win a ROTC scholarship, Army National Guard members can join Army ROTC via the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) & receive both their Guard drill pay & ROTC tax-free annual book plus monthly cash stipend once contracted by ROTC, IIRC, usually the beginning of their sophomore year.

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/si...m-rotc-4139867

Though enrolling in the above needs to be coordinated through the college's Army ROTC department before signing a Army National Guard commitment.
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:45 PM   #12
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My mom retired as a teacher and only had a few more years with dad before he passed unexpectedly. Something to be said for "time" vs "money"..
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