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Old 06-11-2020, 09:26 AM   #61
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My plan was to retire between 51 and 55 depending how much money I felt comfortable with. I was laid off at 51 with severance/unemployment equaling about 2 1/2 years worth. So I decided to retire at 51.
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Old 06-11-2020, 11:37 AM   #62
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I retired in 2013 at 52, when the magic number first appeared in my spreadsheet. I probably could have retired 5 years earlier at 47, but that was 2008. The financial world was imploding. I made some rather lucky defensive moves in the portfolio early in 2008, so we sidestepped much of the carnage. But it was still a spooky time to be thinking about ER.

In addition, I wanted the plan to work assuming no SS. Seems kind of dumb now. But I guess that was my "pad" and I spent 5 years building it up.

But perhaps most importantly... at 47, DS had just started college and DD was still in high school. They would overlap for a couple years and we were paying for college out of regular cash flow.

So, despite a fairly toxic work situation, I slogged it out to 52 when DD had only one year of college left and the financial meltdown was fading into the history books.
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WR: 2.7% SI: 2 pensions, some rental income, SS later
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:45 PM   #63
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I was driving away from my CPAís office after being told the capital gains taxes on the trailer park Iíd sold in 99 was $40,000 to fed & $18,000 to state when I saw a brand new border patrol suburban pulling up to the light. I thought I probably just bought that for the feds.
On the way home I stopped at a grocery store just south of Tucson and saw our tax money being scammed through the system.
I decided to quit my full time job, sell all my rentals and stop participating. Not anything negative but you can only take advantage of someone so much before the donít want to play anymore.
It was 2000 and I was 34yo. I wish I would have wised up sooner.
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Old 06-11-2020, 03:38 PM   #64
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I was fired in 04. Not fire, but let go after my 3rd back operation.

I was not prepared at age 49, but made the best of it. My DW worked a few more years, but living below our means and investing saved us. Eventually I qualified for SSD and that was a big help that mostly got invested. It also helped that the times were right market wise.

Now we're worth much more than those rather bleak years. And while we're not rich we do well enough, and are no longer stressed.

While my story is not typical here, it does give me a unique perspective and it's somewhat amusing to read of others struggling with the big decision, while sitting on a huge (to me) nest egg.
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:18 PM   #65
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Our state was hit by the great recession a cpl yrs later than most. The previous owner's son took over the co and was somewhat of a spoiled playboy that put many of his unqualified buddies in higher positions not to mention that the company was already yrs into the politically correct crap where every employee gets a first place ribbon. The position I was in was to fix problems which was an ok job until all the above mentioned set in. I was absolutely miserable and although despised working there, I had never been without a job that worked many, many hrs a week. DW could see it and said your done! I could have stayed but let things evolve. I was 45 yr old. Now I believe I could have left sooner but not sure I had the maturity to leave sooner. Blessed beyond belief by the good Lord!
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Old 06-12-2020, 11:02 AM   #66
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Megacorp opened the escape hatch with a Voluntary Layoff in 2016 (I was 51), of which, included a severence package, and still qualified to take pension at 55. DW and my 401k/savings were overfilling, and just needed to meet the pension rules to pull the chute. Well, VLO was the rip chord that enabled that. DW was offered the same VLO one year later, and her package included healthcare for both of us until Medicare kicked in at age 65.

Here we are 4 years later in retirement bliss with both pensions started, and a 1% withdrawal rate from investments/savings.

+ Neither one of us defined ourselves from our job. It was just a means to an end.
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:07 PM   #67
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Fidelity has another good retirement calculator that anyone can use. You have to at least create a basic guest account but don't have to have any financial accts with them. It has some more conservative scenarios than FIRECalc so if you pass on most conservative scenarios, retiring might work out for you.
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:09 PM   #68
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Short answer, I found this site!

Longer answer, DW is/was a school teacher, and I retired military with a good after mil. Retirement job. We bought a lake lot and built our retirement home with the idea we would weekend for several years. We lasted less than one Year and it was information, and discussions here that Allowed it, along with an increasing desire to never leave the back deck!
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Old 06-13-2020, 09:33 AM   #69
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Great stuff everyone!
I am envious of the healthcare benefits for some of the early retirees, that is the big factor keeping me working (for now).
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Old 06-13-2020, 09:59 AM   #70
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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?

At age 47, I thought about a life plan for my spouse and myself that accounted for FIRE, Medicare, RMDs, when to draw SS, and other financially significant milestones. Admittedly, desired asset levels was a moving target because the cost of paying for healthcare before Medicare was a large unknown. My crystal ball said age 57 would be the approximate age when I would be midway between lean FIRE and fat FIRE. But the long bull market took me to the fat FIRE asset level at age 56, so I gave 6 months notice in 2017 and retired Dec 2017.

I experienced a great sense of relief. The timing felt right. There was so much changing in healthcareóthe ever-increasing government regulations, the electronic health record with its data-mining and punitive financial threats, the ever-rising costs of maintaining certifications to practice medicine, additional special taxes to higher income individuals to pay for the ACA, coupled with lower government reimbursements for my services. Like Arizona1 said earlier, I decided it was time to stop playing the game.
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Old 06-15-2020, 09:43 AM   #71
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We have not yet pulled the trigger but talk about it all the time. My wife (teacher) and I (business owner) have the means to retire today but enjoy what we do and are ok going OMY. Ironically, COVID has been a real eye opener as far as FIRE. We have been living at our shore house for the last 3 months working remotely. We always planned to retire here, but now not so sure. Granted, the weather has been lousy and everything is closed, but some weeks feel like a month long. Also, we love to travel and were planning on one trip/month in retirement. Who knows what the future of travel will hold? I don't know if it's quarantine fatigue or what but I'm more confused about FIRE now than I've ever been. I'm 57, DW is 56.
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:00 AM   #72
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Always an interesting topic when it comes up. My plan was to retire around 55 but I enjoyed my work and was very involved in all aspects of the business I stayed till I was 58.
How I finally made the decision to retire was my wife saying one day, that you know you could of retired years ago, why are you still working. Lol

That got me running running numbers and found this site a year before I finally did it. It was the best move I have ever done and wish I would of done it when I was 55 instead of waiting. The thing was I was having fun enjoyed going to work and doing my job.
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How did you decide to FIRE?
Old 06-15-2020, 10:17 AM   #73
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How did you decide to FIRE?

How did you decide to FIRE?

- Planned to retire after private pension eligibility at 57.
- At 57 I decided to keep working as long as work was not too bad
- By age 58-59 my new bosses were laying off many and getting mean in order to boost division profits and their profit-sharing bonuses
- Work became difficult due to deteriorating culture and fear of layoffs
- 59.5. Decided to go
- My employer really changed over the prior 20 years from so-so to worse
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:13 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by 4nursebee View Post
Great stuff everyone!
I am envious of the healthcare benefits for some of the early retirees, that is the big factor keeping me working (for now).
Same here. I definitely would qualify for ACA subsidies and it is really not a money issue. The problem is too many descent doctors (especially PCP) in SF Bay Area where I live do not accept anyone with insurance from marketplace or Medicaid. It really scare me out of any retirement, not just early retirement.
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Old 06-15-2020, 03:31 PM   #75
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I planned to retire by age 58 but due to health issues (medication made me drowsy and light headed while constantly working on construction sites of 6' to 12' ladders) needed to retire at 55.
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Old 06-16-2020, 04:28 PM   #76
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We reached our 33X spending goal 2 years ago. I was ready to FIRE last year but DW was not. She just turned 51 and I am 57. Thankfully she is now ready and we resigned 2 weeks ago and agreed to stay on thru Labor Day to assist in transition. Then we are FREE !!!
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:15 PM   #77
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I had been getting more disillusioned over the past 18 months after changes of leadership and direction by the company. I continuously ran the numbers and knew that I could leave, which after a while makes it harder to convince yourself to stay. I really enjoyed my boss and was very loyal and not wanting to leave and let him down. Then one morning at a weekly staff meeting, everything changed. Senior leadership showed up at our staff meeting and began informing us of changes to the group and told each of us which new manager each of us would be working for effective immediately. It was like choosing up teams for kick ball at recess. I had been so close to informing my manager before that I was leaving, so I made the decision that day to give my notice to the new manager. I did not want to start over in another group at age 59 1/2. My last day is 10 days away.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:53 PM   #78
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I had been getting more disillusioned over the past 18 months after changes of leadership and direction by the company. I continuously ran the numbers and knew that I could leave, which after a while makes it harder to convince yourself to stay. I really enjoyed my boss and was very loyal and not wanting to leave and let him down. Then one morning at a weekly staff meeting, everything changed. Senior leadership showed up at our staff meeting and began informing us of changes to the group and told each of us which new manager each of us would be working for effective immediately. It was like choosing up teams for kick ball at recess. I had been so close to informing my manager before that I was leaving, so I made the decision that day to give my notice to the new manager. I did not want to start over in another group at age 59 1/2. My last day is 10 days away.

Thatís exciting! Congrats. I can feel the relief in your post. Very much the same restructuring is happening at my workplace for the second time in 9 months, except it is all being done by exhausting and surreal Zoom calls this time instead of ham-handed intranet posts and talking points handed down to bewildered managers. Sometimes I start to care a little watching it all unfold across the Zoom faces from my garage office, but then I catch myself and walk inside to have a smoothie with my wife and cats. I leave in July after my severance gets settled.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:28 PM   #79
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Planning worked out and I have showed that spread sheet to my children to get them thinking the same way. Starting early is the key.
Very cool! How have your kids reacted?
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Old 06-17-2020, 04:59 AM   #80
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I turned 59.5........
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