Hello Wildcat! This story has been told more than once, but for those
who have heard it, please bear with us.
In 1990 I bought a small manufacturing company. It's
best days were behind it, just as mine are now. After
working very hard for 3 years I decided I wanted to "semiretire". I was nearly 50, many friends had died, and was tired of "busting my pick" to support a very high
consumption lifestye. We were LBYM (living beyond your means)
for decaeds. Many on this forum don't think that semiretirement is
"real" retirement. In any event, in August 1993
I shut down my company and over the next 5 years
I sold off most of the assets while I worked part time
and/or consulted on a contract basis. In 1998, I
went through a divorce and decided I could retire
completely even with only half of our assets. So, I cut
my lifestyle to the bone (total budget first year was
around 15K). I continued to convert any and all non-
income producing assets to investments which could
either be used (our house) or would throw off income.
(No lazy money!)
That process is pretty much complete now. I have 50% of
our net worth in real estate (some income producing)
and 50% in bonds/CDs/notes (no equities). SS kicks in
in Sept., 2006. If wife retires then (she works part time now) our income would continue at about its current level. Real estate provides inflation protection.
I went against the conventional wisdom and made it work. I do not recommend my path to others, although
with hindsight I can offer suggestions on opportunities
I missed. Those many years of livin' large and spending
without any thought to how it all might end didn't help.
However, I was just as guilty as my ex. It was quite a party though