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Old 06-10-2020, 07:35 AM   #41
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Health and burn out. Both of us were healthy after a cancer and diabetes scare. DH exercised/diet his way out of the diabetes and I'm cancer free so far. And we got tired of schedules and having to mold our lives around others. We wanted less stress, freedom to travel on our own schedule and enjoy lazy stress free days at home. Our advisor at VG said go for it, you're in good shape. Here we are 6 years later.
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

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Old 06-10-2020, 08:27 AM   #42
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Interesting question. In hindsight, my decision process was pretty rapid. I worked in sales for 28 years and in August 2016, after turning 50, I was on a conference call and looked out my office window and thought "I don't give a crap about this". Next day I started looking at retirement calculators and was like '"OMG I might be able to do this very soon". My last day of work was January 6, 2017.
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Old 06-10-2020, 09:08 AM   #43
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I started focused saving in 401k when DD was born. I was 40 and could take out money penalty free for college about the time she would start. It turned out we could afford college for both kids out of current income when the time came. DW died when DD was starting her second year and DS his first. Shortly after DW's passing I made plans to retire when DS graduated and then move back to Colorado. About the time DS should have graduated and after about 5 weeks on vacation in Colorado and 3 weeks on day shift it was my turn to do a midnight shift. I could not stay awake. At 63 it was time to go. I put in my papers and retired a month later. Having saved a lot of money since the kids came along, FI was achieved and not a major part of the retirement equation. I withdrew enough from 401k each year in early retirement to bring my income up to what I would get with my SS when turned 70 (this year). Now living on pension and SS and not looking forward to the tax torpedo.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:29 AM   #44
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I was ready to go two years prior to going. I was however indifferent My employer had been downsizing for years so I decided to wait for a package.

It came, almost two years to the day. It provided just under the equivilent of two years worth or salary and bonus. We lived and traveled on it extensively for four years! Well worth waiting for. Plus a DB pension.

Much better than walking away with a thank you or a retirement event of some sort! Never looked back.
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:58 AM   #45
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We had hit our numbers in 2018 but the positions similar to mine at Megacorp were being outsourced so I held on until mid 2019 when I received a relatively sweet severance package. We were able to get some traveling in before the Corona situation but we cancelled 4 trips this spring and early summer due to it. We are healthy and safe. Loving life. Best of luck to all.
Class of 2019
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:06 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Been a while, but since you asked...

I told my boss I had to retire due to an acute medical condition known as "Anal Glaucoma" - I could no longer see my @ss showing up for work.

I qualified for pension at age 54 (30 years), but wasn't ready. It was a signal to start investigating. I attended several retirement seminars by the pension fund through work, met with def comp financial person for free, eventually found this site and really started digging in. Planned exit at age 60 due to specific retiree health insurance benefit.
Luckily, retirement time came a couple years after the BS bucket was overfilling. Knowing I was leaving made the last 2 years much, much easier.
Give a Man a fish, he will eat for a day.
Teach a Man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:23 AM   #47
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DW and I had been tracking our expenses for well over 10 years as well as paying down our mortgage, saving/investing... the general LBYM approach to life.

We felt like we could retire but wanted some reinforcement. We went for a visit to a fee-only financial planner who had provided some coaching over the years - they said go for it.

FIRECalc indicated a high degree of success for any of the several scenarios we entered. I know FIRECalc provides insight to historical data but DW and I think history has a way of repeating itself based on our situation.

We were sort of a OMY situation but not exactly. DW had "downsized" to a 3 day a week job so we were definitely on an early retirement plan. Then mega-corp offered a carrot we couldn't refuse - one year of medical insurance, several months of severance and a date by which you had to decide.

We knew we'd take the offer in a minute! But we held our cards close to the vest and laid out a plan over a 3-month period leading up to the "end date" mega-corp defined. On the last day to announce retirement I filled out the paperwork and two weeks later I was gone.

DW says the transition for me going from work to retirement was "like a light switch!" On day one of retirement we were ready to go. Haven't looked back and that was nearly 9 years ago.

A few suggestions:

1) Retire to something, not from something.

2) Have one thing to do every day - some sort of hobby, project, etc. Sometimes my one thing to do takes several days or a significant part of a day spread over a period of several days.

3) Consider a schedule/routine that creates a w*rk week and weekend framework. Most of us have w*rked for so long it's quite a change to switch to every day is Saturday. For DW and I we do our projects around the house during the week and have more downtime on the weekend. That makes a schedule that we're comfortable with and keeps us in a groove.
Dreamin' of Streamin'
FIRE'd at 52 on 7/8/11
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:57 AM   #48
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I was lucky in that the Air Force assigned me to my hometown. It was an awesome j*b, but of limited duration. When time came around for assignments, I knew that it would be a cold day in hell before I went ANYWHERE. For a few years, I had been saving about 50% of my paycheck, so it was pretty obvious that my pension would pay for our normal living expenses (we were a DINK household) so I retired.

That was almost 6 years ago and I have never been happier in life.

Originally Posted by FREE866 View Post
looked out my office window and thought "I don't give a crap about this".
I can relate. I knew that the AF was great for me, but at the point I bailed, I was quite over it all. I just didn't care anymore, and it wouldn't be fair to my fly buds to hang around while I was hating life.
FIRE'd in 2014 @ 40 Years Old
Professional Retiree
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:00 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by 4nursebee View Post
If you FIREd, how did you time quitting work with your desired asset level? Right away?
Wait a year for security?
Worked a few more years for some economic benefit such as a pension?

All options are on the table for me, not sure how to handle it.
I did all three. Having a job that I enjoyed made it easier.

Though I reached "Megacorp retirement eligibility" at 51, I had a "number" that I wanted my assets to get to, that all the various calculators/planners/financial advisors I used indicated was "safe" for our desired level of spending (that level was well above our required spending level).

Once the "number" was reached, I kept going until I had built a "buffer" beyond it. It was to both reduce my SWR to under 2.5% and to build up cash to avoid being forced to sell equities during market downturns. It was also to assume that I would not be forced to seek any type of work.

In concert with this, I also worked so that my pension (non-COLA) grew to a desired level. Its fastest growth was in the first years after I turned 51. It gradually slowed down. The expected annual amount grew a total of $20K from age 51-60. But from age 60 to 65 it would only grow to another $3K. With my assets it was not worth the wait.

However, since Megacorp was doing annual (and in some years semi-annual layoffs), I did not assume I could control the timing. I would have been fine from age 56 on, but I did OMY until age 58, at which time I established a 2 year "glide path to retirement" plan that amazingly worked out better than I expected.
FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - "This Happy Feeling, Going Round and Round!" (GQ)
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Old 06-10-2020, 03:17 PM   #50
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I liked my job but had been FI for a few years.

For me, it came down to the simple fact that life on earth is finite. Every additional year I chose to work is one less year of not working.

It just came down to that simple math.
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:23 PM   #51
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Being a Navy guy, I retired twice: once from the Navy and once from what I did after the Navy. People in the Navy had always told me that I'd know when it was time to go. I could have remained on active duty for another couple of years and increased my pension by another 5% to the max 75% of base pay. But, I'd found myself losing enthusiasm for about a year and knew the time was getting close. One day, after an intolerable meeting, I walked directly to the personnel office and submitted my retirement request to retire 60 days later. I enjoyed my Navy career but it was just time. (I was just over 50).

I had a somewhat arbitrary "nut" that I wanted to hit before retiring from my post-Navy "career". I ended up retiring at 58 when about 10% short of that number. As it turned out, my Navy pension and benefits and what I had socked away while in the Navy went further than I had expected. From a purely financial standpoint, I probably could have done fine working only about 5 civilian years, if that. But the larger cushion is nice too. I gave about a month's notice and have had no desire to return to the work force.
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:48 PM   #52
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My mega-corp decided for me when they laid me off, one of many layoffs that had been occurring for 6-7 years prior to mine, and continued for several years afterward. Welcome to business hostile California. Technically, I didn't start my pension for a few years until DW retired from her job in mid-2017.
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:23 PM   #53
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In 2006 I experienced severe pain from problems with my cervical spine and I knew Id better dig in for early retirement. At 55 I was eligible for Megacorp healthcare plan for retirees, so I set that as my goal. DW and I started meeting with a financial planner annually to see how we were doing. Shortly after we both turned 56 we hit our numbers and I gave three months notice at the beginning of 2013. DW chose to continue working even though she didnt need to, and joined me in retirement three years later. We are now three times our number with the long bull market, so things have gone well financially. Weve enjoyed traveling and helping the kids. Were now taking care of DFIL in our home who has cancer. But all our grandkids will be living near us by the end of next month, so life is good!
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:27 PM   #54
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I knew in my late 20's that I wanted to be FI by the time I was 55. With all the negative looks I would get if I said I wanted to be able to retire at 55, I convinced myself that I just wanted FI and the ability to tell MegaCorp to go pound sand if I wanted to. I didn't really thing about it again (though I saved a lot and LBYM) until I was 53 and between January and March of that year, 10 people had asked me when I was going to retire. At first I was shocked, "Surely I didn't look that old!" Then around April/May of last year I started to seriously consider the option and discovered this site. I dug into my finances and ran the various models, and found that we could do it, and like others here, could have done it a couple years prior. DW was not ready to retire, even though she is a couple years older than I am, so I set a date (April 30, 2020) that we could live with. April has come and gone, and I am still working (But tomorrow is my last day!), and DW is still struggling with the idea of retiring, though it looks like December 2020 will be her date.
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:41 PM   #55
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In 2008 Megacorp's original CEO retired and things started changing. I was already in aggressive contribution mode and doing ok but my assets were concentrated in Megacorp stock.

Megacorp allowed us to move some of our assets out of their control so I moved half and started self managing and trading. I was a monkey with a loaded gun but somehow managed to beat the market handily. Megacorp went downhill after 08; the culture became shark infested, I was just trying to stay low. Eventually everyone turned chickenchit and it all went to crazy town.

I was going hide for two more years and retire in 2014. The fear based culture became increasingly bad, my VP was terrified of his boss the CIO. He showed me his leadership skills at 14 hours into a system outage caused by the customer. The next day I scheduled a meeting with my Fidelity representative; his opinion was another 10 months contributions didn't mean much over my 40 year plan.

I knew my manager would be out of town a day next week so I would have to talk to his boss, the VP. We chatted, he expected me to hit him up for more money, not resign. He asked if I was interested in contract work. I politely declined. He was 50 years old and recently divorced expecting to work till 70. He was RIFFED the next pass.
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Old 06-11-2020, 01:30 AM   #56
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I have some golden handcuffs on and vesting about 20K per month in ISOs until mid 2022. It's a material amount and I will be 53 and I have told my wife that is when I hang up the high stress career.
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:18 AM   #57
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In college I learned thru the Magic of Compound Interest that investment returns would outpace my contributions after awhile. So, I invested early & stayed with it.

I enjoyed my mega corp job up until the point I was given an international project on top of my regular responsibilities. It wasn't fun. Then I came to the realization "I don't have to do this anymore"! Retired at 60: 7 years, 3 months and 9 days ago...
"It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating". Oscar Wilde
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:01 AM   #58
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This site made me a lot more relaxed and comfortable about making my retirement decision, even though I was not RE by default. My own home brewed plans really didn’t start until 2009 when the crash seemed finally over. Before that it was aways 2 steps forward, 1 step back, so I just doggedly kept saving towards a “save as much as I can for as long as I can and hope for the best”, knowing my pension & SS would always allow us to at least live ok. Pension & employer discounted HC were the big factors for me, timing wise, as I really didn’t have realistic date or even faith that I could put aside my estimated number, which would allow me to have an after tax equivalent of my salary for life. That meant age 60 at the earliest.

But I really did enjoy my work, so it wasn’t a problem until more & more family, friends & acquaintances died unexpectedly and the more typical “how many years left healthy enough to do stuff” became a lot more real. Then some good financial moves, (saving until it hurt, higher risk investing etc), the bull run, promotion, home appreciation sales, and suddenly I was staring at my number on the spreadsheet and I was 58. Of course, I knew that could go up & down, so I figured an extra 20% for safety and the OMY started. The ERPs came about every 8-10 years and we were due soon, so I decided either the next ERP or age 63 to decide.

An ERP at age 62 would have been perfect and it came at age 61 & 4 months, close enough. Been retired exactly a year, (getting full severance pay the whole time) and since practically everyone I enjoyed working with took the same package, my couple of friends still there said all the life was sucked out of the department now, & it’s mostly a paperwork nightmare of putting out fires. Glad I left, and we’ve been enjoying retirement except for all the cancelled travel plans.
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Old 06-11-2020, 07:24 AM   #59
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Perfectly timed topic so thank you for starting this thread. Still fighting OMY syndrome but my doctor is strongly advising I retire due to medical issues that have been getting worse due to stress. But really the BS bucket is full and I'm burnt out after over 30 years. I am not eligible with all benefits until next year so hanging on until then (age 56). DH is in a similar situation also planning to retire the end of this year or early next year at 56.

FIRECALC gives us 100% success with a very generous budget. Our pensions+FERS supplement then SS will cover 70% of our budget. Our TSP accounts cover the rest plus some splurging with a very conservative AA.

Still it's hard to switch our mindset and feel comfortable that we can live off our pension and savings even when all the calculators tell us we are OK. We have been tracking our budget closely for a few years and the numbers all work out even with travel and house repairs. Six of my coworkers have announced their retirement dates in the next year but I have been hesitant to announce mine 'just in case' I want to w*rk longer.

We will get there. At least we've narrowed our RE down to a year, right?
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:19 AM   #60
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Yea, and 56 is not old at all, so that’s still ER. Think of all the people that both cannot FIRE, or even worse (?) those that can and are totally unaware of, or paralyzed by fear to go. There is no doubt, knowing what I know now, that could I have all the benefits, income & portfolio I had at 60, @56 I’d have been gone. Yet at 56, that seemed almost impossible. (Of course I knew I was working longer to let DW retiRe early at 55). Good for you all. Golden handcuffs are a great description. Greed, fear & OMY drove me the last few years, so I am thankful the early out package came when it did. There was a bump to my pension was an unexpected bonus, so that helped.
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