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Gentleman Of Leisure In The Making
Old 06-11-2017, 09:55 AM   #1
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Gentleman Of Leisure In The Making

Hi Everybody,

I've grown over the years to despise the field I'm in, which is a shame because I love the work I do. I'm desperate to free myself, and I find myself checking our NW on a daily basis (well, really, only when the markets are up) and running numbers obsessively, looking at different scenarios.

My DW doesn't mind her job and likes many of the people she works with, so she's not in as much of a rush. She wants to retire early if possible, but she isn't desperate.

Whenever I make a half-joke about retiring "tomorrow", she assures me that it would be fine with her. It's encouraging that she'd be fine with me RE while she toils away at work for another five years, but I don't know if the numbers work considering my/our age. I'm hoping to get some feedback from you good people.

Here's our situation:

- Me: 50; DW: 52; no kids, no heirs

- NW is 26-27X our annual expenses (both fixed and discretionary); roughly half of NW is in taxable accounts, the other half in tax-sheltered accounts.

- Our discretionary expenses include two overseas vacations a year and occasional toys (I've taken up the guitar and bought myself two guitars with at least one more in the planning; DW is an avid photographer who likes to upgrade her equipment every so often) - so there's room to cut back if we hit some bumps along the way. Taxes are included in our expenses. We have no real deductions, so we pay a lot in taxes. Assuming I RE, our income will be cut by less than half, so I assume that'll mean we'll pay less in taxes.

- DW, who plans to work until 2022 makes an annual income that doesn't quite cover our annual expenses, so we'll have to tap into our resources, if only a little bit; I'll encourage her (not that she needs it) to continue contributing the max to her 401k.

- DW will collect a modest pension with COLAs starting in 2022; DW will get employer-provided healthcare, however, it's pretty crappy. Most doctors don't participate in the plan, with only emergency hospitalizations fully covered. I have a pre-existing condition which occasionally requires two specialists.

- We live in a high cost-of-living area with no plans to move; we live in a high-rise condo with a magnificent view; home is paid-off.

- No debts

- My field is such that once I'm out, I'm probably out for good - there's really no going back.

- I'll most likely be the recipient of a substantial inheritence, but that isn't included at all in my Firecalc inputs; I'm planning as if I'll get nothing

Firecalc says I can go now (100% success) while DW slaves at work until 2022. I've assumed no social security in my inputs. Firecalc's results say our lowest portfolio balance may be slightly less than our current NW.

Would love to hear any thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:09 AM   #2
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Why does your DW plan to work until 2022? I wonder if she thinks it is too soon for the two of you to retire. Or, maybe she believes you two need more money to support your retirement dreams.

Maybe these guesses are wrong, but either way it sounds like the two of you have very different desires and goals.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:15 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Why does your DW plan to work until 2022? I wonder if she thinks it is too soon for the two of you to retire. Or, maybe she believes you two need more money to support your retirement dreams.

Maybe these guesses are wrong, but either way it sounds like the two of you have very different desires and goals.
She's staying until 2022 to get the pension and healthcare (as crappy as it is). She wants RE too, she's just not desperate like I am.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:30 AM   #4
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I stayed working for the healthcare benefit, also. DH retired before me. It was really difficult going off to work while he was home. Luckily, it was only for 6 months before I could join him. However, I was also more than ready to leave the workforce.
Before you retire, make sure your wife will be Ok trudging off the work for the next 5 years!
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:24 AM   #5
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I would never retire before the young wife. Too much possibility for marital discord.
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:07 PM   #6
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If your DW says go for it, I say do it! I semi retired at 50 (in 2008) with just a little part time work over the years. DW (59) continues to work (part time) even though she doesn't need to. I've told her she can quit many times and we'd most likely make it fine, but I think she likes the work environment and her friends at work. Like the OP, I was desperate to get out of megacorp and haven't regretted my decision one bit. Fortunately, my DW has never once said anything about me getting out of the rat race and she actually encouraged me to do so.
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:15 PM   #7
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Go for it. You've done well, saved well and you're debt free.

Sounds as if you're prepared--with hobbies, etc.

When it's time, it's time. If other opportunities open up after ER, you have the option to go back to work.
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:28 PM   #8
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Assuming you have health care covered until MediCare, I'd say go for it. Your DW may decide she actually DOES want to retire once she see you much you like it. Good luck and remember that YMMV.
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Old 06-11-2017, 12:39 PM   #9
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For your wife to be working 5 years after you... that's the only potential trouble spot. I get wanting to stay for a pension especially if she isn't unhappy there. So that's not going to change. I knew I would not be happy with my DH retiring before me, and was holding out for RIF/severance. However, he went part-time for our last year and that was no issue.

When you say "she assures me that it would be fine with her." Your use of the word Assure makes it sound like she means it. Your use of the word Fine ...hmmm, less so. Might be time for a real good sit down chat about it.

Given you are almost certainly going to RE before her, whether 5 years or 5 months earlier, it would be very smart of you to do things like all the cleaning, all the cooking, grocery shopping, etc., so she has no errands on weekends and comes home from work with nothing needing to be done!
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:20 PM   #10
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When spoken by a woman to her husband, the word "fine" usually means anything but.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:24 PM   #11
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DH retired several years before me (not by choice - disability) and it was not an issue for us. The fact that it wasn't a choice may have made discord less likely, but we were very conscious about deciding how to re-allocate household duties which I think was the more important factor. I did continue doing all the cooking (for my own health and sanity as much as anything) but he did pick up a number of things that helped out a lot. He also was a very active volunteer for those years, which was good for both of us.

Have you tried running FIREcalc without her pension and healthcare benefits to see what impact giving that up would make? If you are still in good shape, that means she could ER before 2022 if she decided it was the right thing.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:36 PM   #12
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I would never retire before the young wife. Too much possibility for marital discord.
Yep - same here. I couldn't retire long before DW. And she made it clear that I couldn't. But she and I were both ok with me working part time for a few years before we both retired in the same year.

Maybe OP can get a part time gig while his DW is still working.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:42 PM   #13
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One of the many reasons why my brother is still working. His wife may not like all the free time he may have. Possibly mischief.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:49 PM   #14
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Almost 3 % of the people aged (52 your wife's age), dont make it to 57. its 2.825%. retire now. you have no heirs.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:51 PM   #15
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Thanks to everyone for the feedback thus far.

Regarding doing the chores (cleaning, shopping, etc.), I've already thought of that and have no problem doing so. I'm more of a clean-freak than she is and don't mind scrubbing the toilets and vacuuming. Cleaning is definitely up my alley. Cooking, however, is her thing and, fortunately, she really enjoys it. I'll have time to learn if I retire.

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Have you tried running FIREcalc without her pension and healthcare benefits to see what impact giving that up would make? If you are still in good shape, that means she could ER before 2022 if she decided it was the right thing.
When I ran FireCalc prior to my original post, I included her pension. The expenses I used were our current expenses which includes the additional taxes we're paying that would otherwise be cut due to the cut in income, and includes the work-related expenses (I have a long commute that I drive which has tolls; lunch that I buy every day, etc) that would also be cut once I retire. My rationale was that the expenses I used should include health insurance.

When I ran FireCalc a second time just now, I did not include her pension, and it still shows 100% success, although with a much smaller lower-bound portfolio balance. If she were to retire earlier in 2021 instead of 2022 and with no pension and no healthcare, then success falls slightly to 99%. In 2020 - 98%. In 2019 - 96%. And in 2018 - 94%.

I just don't know if I'm being conservative enough in my planning for healthcare.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:02 PM   #16
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I think you already know that financially, you're fine. If you are using current taxes as an estimate, you're over estimating taxes by quite a bit. Model you expected distributions & DW's income in Turbo tax to see what your taxes will be. I assume you've looked at health insurance costs for yourself or do you get that through DW?

You need to figure out what you're going to do with your time after ER. Will you be fine with DW at work? What will you be doing while DW is at work? Discuss that with DW. The more you both talk about the details and the uncertainties, the better. For example, if you want to travel, will DW be fine with it. Length of trips, distance from home? budget? alone or with a mistress? (Just kidding)... but that's what I mean. Go into details. Like you said, once you do this, there's no going back to your profession.

I'm in year 10 of ER but DW and I ER'd at the same time.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Vincenzo Corleone View Post
Thanks to everyone for the feedback thus far.

Regarding doing the chores (cleaning, shopping, etc.), I've already thought of that and have no problem doing so. I'm more of a clean-freak than she is and don't mind scrubbing the toilets and vacuuming. Cleaning is definitely up my alley. Cooking, however, is her thing and, fortunately, she really enjoys it. I'll have time to learn if I retire.



When I ran FireCalc prior to my original post, I included her pension. The expenses I used were our current expenses which includes the additional taxes we're paying that would otherwise be cut due to the cut in income, and includes the work-related expenses (I have a long commute that I drive which has tolls; lunch that I buy every day, etc) that would also be cut once I retire. My rationale was that the expenses I used should include health insurance.

When I ran FireCalc a second time just now, I did not include her pension, and it still shows 100% success, although with a much smaller lower-bound portfolio balance. If she were to retire earlier in 2021 instead of 2022 and with no pension and no healthcare, then success falls slightly to 99%. In 2020 - 98%. In 2019 - 96%. And in 2018 - 94%.

I just don't know if I'm being conservative enough in my planning for healthcare.
Sounds to me like you are definitely good to go. Sounds like DW is ok with the idea, so I say: pull the plug.

Only you (and her) can gauge how serious she is when she says OK, and I won't say there isn't POTENTIAL for discord, but my DW retired 4 years before I did, and I can honestly say that I never had any second thoughts about it. So, it can definitely work fine
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:14 PM   #18
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My wife still works. I don't. In our long marriage, sometimes she didn't work. She likes working now. I am on her employer health insurance. She contributes the maximum to her 401(k).

We do all sorts of vacations: together and separate. I go on backcountry camping, skiing, canoeing, cycling, or whatever with my friends. She goes with her friends. Sometimes we go together. That's always been the case from the day we were married (and before we were married, too).

As far as chores go ... we have maids and still share other chores or do them together.

None of our married friends are chained to each other.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:19 PM   #19
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Maybe OP can get a part time gig while his DW is still working.
That is a definite possibility. I'd be open to a low-stress, close-to-home proximity job whether full or part time.
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:23 PM   #20
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My husband went part-time into his own consulting business when I was still working full time, and I was just fine with it. Projects would come and go for him. It simplified our lives and he took on many of the house chores, bill paying, etc. It was quite a relief to me as my high-paying job was getting more intense. And honestly it would have been fine with me if he hadn't been working at all.

When I retired, though, I told him he should give up his consulting business because otherwise we wouldn't be able to travel together whenever we wanted. He was a bit surprised at first, but it didn't take him long to agree, as he always wants to travel with me.
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