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Old 08-18-2017, 08:20 PM   #21
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I was depressed. A man told me to read a chapter of the Bible everyday and go to church on Sunday. I did and the depression left me.
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:01 PM   #22
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I guess you were caught off guard. I know how you feel. I think financially you are ok. You need to think about doing something interesting to fill your time
No to consumerism, Living a simple life, enjoying the experience - not the material stuff
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:20 PM   #23
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Would she change her mind about downsizing, though, if it comes to a financial pinch? You aren't there yet, and with luck, won't ever be there, so no decision needs to be made yet. It's just something to have at the back of your minds, if the need presents itself.

Count me among those who say "treat the depression," same as you would pay a Dr. to treat any other serious ailment. As you wisely note, your decisions may not be as well-thought-out while you're depressed and anxious. And good luck with the job search...I can't even imagine the fear and frustration you must be enduring.


Originally Posted by Cantwaitanylonger View Post
I could live in the duplex but wife won't. We are in our dream house that we built 10 years ago. .
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:35 PM   #24
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I find it helpful to follow the old saying, hope for the best, plan for the worst. With the financial picture you laid out, I would make a plan that if I didn't find a new job in X days, I agree with the other posters to look for lower cost and lower property tax housing, whether that was moving into the rental or some place else. By making that one change you could cut your expenses and concurrently increase your retirement income by moving some of your current home equity to investments.

I don't think it is unusual to be depressed after a job loss. You might have to work through the various stages of grief and one of those is depression.
Even clouds seem bright and breezy, 'Cause the livin' is free and easy, See the rat race in a new way, Like you're wakin' up to a new day (Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether lyrics, Alan Parsons Project, based on an EA Poe story)
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:15 PM   #25
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I want to thank everyone for the awesome responses. It helps to hear from others that care. The duplex is worth about 200K. I could sell the house, buy a smaller one for around 300K and cash out 500K. That would solve everything and I could probably retire and do the handyman thing. The house is on a lake and I always pictured my future grandkids coming over to enjoy this place. I'm not sure I want to give up that dream yet.

I agree with the idea of a plan and have been thinking of the following (Worst Case Scenario):

Take 4% of 850K for the next 10 years until SS at FRA. That gives 34K/year. (probably worst case is I end up with 850-340=510K in 10 years) I would have to think of something for the next 2 years to not pay a penalty, probably a job of some sort.
Duplex yields 12K/year
Wife gets 10K/year
I somehow make 20K/year (i will probably make much more than this)
Total = 76K

At FRA, wife's SS plus my SS plus downsize house plus whats left of the 850K = my remaining nut.

This plan actually gives me some hope.
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:43 PM   #26
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Also, exercise every day even a 45 min walk! Gives you energy and positive outlook! Add some weight lifting (free weights) and it will help a great deal! You tube will give you all sorts of workouts!! I do squats, planks, weights for my arm toning (triceps, biceps) and jumping jacks. I also do water aerobics and play water volleyball 4x a week. Another suggestion is to take an exercise class or join a team or group (bowling, poker, ping pong, golf) or take lessons or class. Keep your mind busy and interaction with new people is helpful. I have to interact with others daily with classes or groups or I get stir crazy!

Once you are home full time, you realize the social part of work is missing. It then requires you to take action to fill in the social part.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:24 PM   #27
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It happened to my Dad at your age and he never got over it to enjoy retirement. It is important for all your future to use all help available.

Do not save on the wrong end. Get depression evaluated and treated. Not treating it well may cost you more, like divorce, bitterness, addictions.

If you want to go back to work look for a consultant. Like outplacement paid by yourself. I did it once to get out of a job and it worked like magic. It paid for itself in one year.

Do sports and get out of the house for it. Get fit.

Treat your wife well. Take your fair share of housework. Learn to cook some decent meals.

Keep track of expenses in detail and writing. It is easy to treat yourself too much as you 'deserve it'. Reduce unnecessary cost and stuff and make your wife a member of the team. A $ saved is more than a $ earned.

If you do it right the job loss can be a blessing in disguise.

Take care!
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:09 AM   #28
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In regards to your financial position, I think you're fine. More than $900K in tangible assets plus some real estate? I pulled the trigger at 53 with not much more and I've been pleasantly surprised at how much I could actually draw each year and still have a legacy.

As far as the depression goes - snap out of it. Yes, it's that easy. Just snap out of it. Go work out like a previous poster suggested, it will do you good. Join some local clubs, get to know some people, take a road trip somewhere, enjoy yourself. Do some grocery shopping and cook what you bought. Mow the lawn, spray the weeds and spend some time just looking at how good your lawn looks. Rent or download some of your favorite movies and kick back with your favorite beverage. Spend all day in bed with your wife. Forget about working or finding another job and spend a couple of weeks piddling around the house instead. Reflect on what you have and what you are able to do going forward. You'll soon realize how the bucket called life isn't large enough to fill with everything you want, so make best use of the time.

You'll be fine.
ER'd 6/1/2014 @ age 53.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:56 AM   #29
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I had a similar situation in 07/08, at your age. The RE crash/economy destroyed my business and I limped into semi-retirement at 62. Looking back, I believe I was depressed also.

Here is the advice I would give my 57 year old self in retrospect:
1. Do not assume the situation is temporary, it may not be. (your DW may be thinking that currently). You might never make that kind of money again.
2. Do not borrow money to keep up your current standard of living. I had peers do that since the RE crash was a "black swan" in our area of the country. (No one thought it would last longer than 18 months.) Many went bankrupt from debt.
3. Likewise with the 401-k/retirement savings.
4. Consider taking any job when the severance/unemployment runs out. Low cash flow is better than no cash flow.
5. If you are still unemployed after 6 mo. or so, consider downsizing or relocation to a lower cost of living area-or both. Don't want to give up dream house? Rent it out until things improve-you are an experienced land lord, so no sweat. We did that while living in a cheaper home for 3 years.
6. Make a "worst case" plan that includes downsizing, getting Obamacare instead of Cobra, self employment, cutting expenses to the bone. Be prepared to exercise the plan if things don't improve in 6 mos. or so.
7. Find a way to make it to 62. Then, when you have the option of one or two SS checks, the pressure will be off.

BTW, if #6 happens, it is a good time to begin w/d from qualified plans. You should be in a much lower tax bracket. Re-invest in taxable investments. Don't spend the money.

Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2017, 04:07 AM   #30
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Thank you again for the comments. It really does help to know that complete strangers will take the time to think thru these detailed instructions. I have read and completely considered every post numerous times.

The depressing thing to me is that I have applied to a number of jobs that were a perfect match for me and I am getting summarily rejected. I am sure it is an age thing.

I do have a Planet Fitness membership and have been working out daily. It does provide a great escape and I do feel better while exercising. I am willing to work any job during or before the UC runs out. I am trying to stay busy but it is difficult with the depression. I have to use a "one step in front of the other" mantra to keep moving forward.

I know that the house downsizing thing sounds like a slam dunk solution and I am not ruling that out by any means. My wife is also open to that. I just feel that it would be a rash decision so soon into this issue. If nothing changes in 6 months, it will be an easy decision.

If I keep my earnings low enough, I can get some pretty low cost ACA insurance. That is an option that also gives me hope.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:05 AM   #31
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Been through the same, hang in there! I did not address the underlying mental health/self-esteem issues (I am my job! lol) and focused exclusively on $$$. As a result I made some pretty stupid decisions. I agree with you that not making major decisions when you're feeling down. is a good idea. For me, in hindsight, I should have dealt with the depression, whatever the cost, first. Best of luck to you.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:26 AM   #32
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The first thing I would recommend is to have a heart-to-heart with yourself about the source of your depression. Is it because you miss the work? Or is it that your financial plan has been derailed?

As John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making plans." It appears that your worst case scenario, financially speaking, is that you may have to abandon your dream of retiring to the lake home. Which sucks. I get it. It really would suck. But you may be a long way from having to do that.

If you don't want to retire, don't. Keep looking, and you'll find something that may not be the job you had, but then, if you've spent the last years dreaming about early retirement, maybe a change of scenery on the job may be just what you need to keep you going a few more years so your financial plans can and your dream of retiring on the lake can come true.

Best of luck, and keep us posted on your success!
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:33 AM   #33
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Yes, it can be depressing when you realize you've arrived at an age where age discrimination is actually something that can happen to *you.* Because there is nothing you can do about it, no way to control the calendar (the exercise does help though).

But, speaking as someone who was once quite involved in hiring (as a manager - not from the HR end) it may also be nothing but the (bad) luck of the draw. Someone else got there first, had the right connections, made the right impression. I don't know if you are getting interviews, but they can be such a cr@p shoot...especially if it's one of those "group interviews" where they all get together and talk about you later on. Sometimes these can almost degenerate into fights, as some people want you very badly while others want someone else!

Numbers game - just like a salesman, gotta keep knocking on doors. We need an emoticon of someone holding a torch "We are pulling for you."

Originally Posted by Cantwaitanylonger View Post

The depressing thing to me is that I have applied to a number of jobs that were a perfect match for me and I am getting summarily rejected. I am sure it is an age thing.

If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:37 AM   #34
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Apply for unemployment, and any benefits that are available. Even better if you got a severance package. You may find that life is easier than you think not working. You may get free healthcare too, as you have no income.

For some reason, people think they have to work. Once you get used to it, and understand all the public benefits, you will do just fine.

If you do the handyman thing, do it now. Do not sell the duplex. You can generate several hundred a week, if you hustle. Handymen make ~$35 to $50 an hour here. No one gives them a 1099 either. That is a higher take home hourly wage than you were making at the W2 job.
FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:46 AM   #35
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My Megac*rp is methodically laying off all the 50+ too. You are in good company.

From what I hear, a few have found jobs even after 1 year if they persisted. All hope isn't lost.

The ones that did best, however, also got on with life instead of waiting for the phone call or email, which may just be a rejection. Here's some ideas. You will fill time, make some money, and have some purpose:
- Work at the local sports arena. Our arena is having a job fair right now. Yours may too. You are in MSP, so you have this opportunity.
- You are handy. Look at Lowes, Home Depot, Menards. Maybe you'll continue that kick to the handyman business, or find out you hate handiness.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:11 AM   #36
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Many great suggestions here. I'll echo/modify a few:
Do at least one job search activity every day. When I was laid off years ago, the job search efforts took up a good portion of my the first few weeks. After a while, though, there was only so much "networking" I could do. But I made sure I did that minimum of one-job-search effort each day. This alone led me to feel I was still in charge of my life, and not a helpless victim.
Get out of the house every day, for one hour bare minimum.
Exercise (I believe you're doing that now).
Continue - or start - doing hobbies and other recreational activities you enjoy. The fact that you are unemployed does not take away your right to have fun.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:12 AM   #37
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I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Independently of the financial suggestions, I'd recommend keeping yourself at least moderately busy - exercise (walking, running, weights - whatever works for you but it sounds like you are doing that already), hobbies, keeping in touch with friends and family.

If there is anything you have always wanted to do but haven't had the time - you could think of this as an opportunity.

Hope it works out for you.
Budgeting is a skill practised by people who are bad at politics.
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:32 AM   #38
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I think my depression is from a combination of the following:
1) Feeling of uselessness (nobody wants me)
2) Feeling of anger (how could they do this to me)
3) Feeling of helplessness (why won't anyone hire me)
4) Concern over finances
5) Concern that I will need to give up my dream house
6) Concern over quality of health care that I can afford
7) Some concern over what others think of me (that loser lost his job)
8) Feeling that I have let down my wife and kids
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:35 AM   #39
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Step outside of the box and think about the top 5 things/skills people have praised you for. Then think about the top 5 things that you really enjoy doing (or you and your wife). Do the analysis that all us Engineers were trained for!

There has to be a job in there somewhere! May not be the highest paying job, but I guarantee it will be one that will make you want to get up in the morning!

Good luck and tomorrow WILL be brighter!
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:40 AM   #40
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While I would typically start with funding life comments, you have many of those already. But I will add one thing, I have not seen a spending budget which is a core piece in deciding most financial plans.

I was laid off 7 years ago. Well actually the facility I was at was being closed and all were laid off with a few being offered a relocation. The really interesting part was the dynamics of how different people handled it; anger, fear, loss, clueless, and even relief. I'm not talking a process, just the initial feelings. Note that anger, fear and loss can easily lead to depression.

What to do? Develop a routine for this phase of your life. This is necessary for most. One thing many miss about work is the structure it brings to life. Many need it, some don't.
Get regular exercise!
networking --
there is typical networking... and more. The goal is to extend your network, not just find a job. You're an engineer. So, check out a local tech incubator, check out maker spaces, maker meetups, etc.
If you're religious, get in some church groups.

Don't use these as "I need a job" completely. Meet people. Try to figure out what else your skills can be used for employment. See where it leads you. The more you learn and the broader your network, the more options you might see.

Just sending in resumes may be frustrating. When our facility was closed employers had resumes screened and most dumped either by HR or by a computer before HR. So avoid being alone and just submitting resumes from the corner of a room at home with little human interaction.

Keep your social interaction up. Note that the above is for your depression. You lost your job. You need to realize you did not loose yourself. You may find that you can ER and don't need a j*b, or not. Hopefully some of this will allow you to see places where your contributions will be appreciated and help with self worth.

Just a place to start. Remember these comments are from a somewhat introverted engineer... so I obviously don't have people skills
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