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Old 06-17-2019, 09:58 AM   #61
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Topics like cybersecurity and keeping yourself from being hacked and using credit cards with fraud protection are not retirement-specific issues; they are issues every adult who transacts, has a computer and/or smartphone, pays with credit or ATM card, needs to deal with regardless of whether they are working or not working. It's not related to age or being able to retire.

Don't let those items be something that gets added to the to-do list before one can retire. They are unrelated. Important, yes, but unrelated to being able to retire.

Keep it simple.

You can retire when you have amassed enough in your savings/investments + any pension + expected social security to fully cover your expenses over a 30 or more yr time span, while staying invested with an allocation between 40% or more, on average.

Worried you won't have enough? Don't retire until you do have enough. Think you need a bigger cushion? List out every big expenditure you think you'll need/want to cover. Include things like trips, eating out at expensive restaurants x number of days a month, a house remodel, purchase of future vehicles, a boat, whatever it is you want to have and decide you can't be without. Add that into the nest egg total needed before pulling the plug and retiring.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:14 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by 24601NoMore View Post

We use randomly generated strings of gibberish for those, and a password manager with strong encryption to manage it all..of course, it makes for some interesting conversations when you have to call in to a CSR..

Also suggest using something non-obvious for your login ids. I have one financial institution that insists on email for login id..I'm closing that one ASAP..
If it's a gmail login, you could use the + trick. first.lastname+random@gmail.com will still come to your first.lastname gmail account, and presumably someone would have to type in first.lastname+random instead of first.lastname to get your login ID correct. I haven't tried this myself.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:52 AM   #63
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I have one more hurdle early next year that causes worry. I will turn 70 and move from the late DW's social security account to my own. That will be a major portion of my retirement funding so I hope it all goes smoothly.
Good luck! I think it usually goes pretty smoothly but it's always a relief when you see the new, larger monthly deposit hitting the bank.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:56 AM   #64
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Today was my last paycheck. Stepping off into the great unknown!
YAY!!! And now, the BEST part of life begins. Or at least, that is the way I feel about my retirement. Nobody bossing me around any more except ME. Naps, doing what I want with my time, having fun... it's a great life.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:27 PM   #65
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OK, the references to the party and so on threw me off. Who knows if your neighbors are living on the edge, or have all received nice inheritances? Doesn't matter to you one way or the other, unless of course a neighbor ends up in foreclosure, bringing down everyone's property values.

Home repairs sure are a big bite, as is the ability to upgrade your current house to the standards which will allow you to sell in your particular market. Notice I said "allow you to sell," not get as much as your neighbors would get. Have you talked to some real estate agents to get a good idea of the upgrades you really need, and how much your home may sell for if you make those? Some realtors are more straightforward than others, so look for those who strike you as particularly analytical...they usually come up with the lowest most realistic price Then build those costs into your pre-ER budget, bite the bullet, and do the things.

Good luck! Whatever you do, wipe the word "desperately" from your vocabulary, as everyone in the real estate world can smell desperation from the next county.

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The biggest thing for us is that our house is approaching 20 years old, and things that will be fairly expensive to repair are starting to go kaput..so, we're looking at some big (roof - $15K+..floor repairs [flood] - $5K+, potential new driveway as current drive is cracked and sinking in spots - $15K+) repairs. Plus, we never intended to stay here as long as we have and are desperately looking to downsize into our 'retirement home' as current house is essentially a McMansion in an M-HCOL area, and it's pretty expensive on recurring costs (all in, $20K+/yr in property taxes, insurance, utilities and ongoing house-related costs). So, while we do have a plan that pays the bills, those repair expenses are like a cannonball or two hitting the broadside of the SS Early Retirement..

The other thing is that our house is pretty basic compared to those around us..graduation-party neighbor's house is crazy nice (he's a builder, which helps - probably got everything at 40% less than I could get it for), as are most of the others on our block. Ours is nice from the outside, but we never put huge $$ into the inside - unlike many of the neighbors have. (Of course, I also wonder how able to retire any of them will be and if they are essentially just living paycheck to paycheck, or close to it..) Soooo, when we go to sell this albatross, we're going to have a hard time meeting buyer's expectations for the neighborhood and are going to be competing with other for-sale houses that are much 'nicer' than ours..plus, we bought at market peak and every house in the sub today is selling for FAR less than anyone paid for it..I'm going to take a very heavy financial hit when we DO sell it..so, having a big chunk of $$ to put back into it now (at least finish the basement, for example), would make it more competitive..

So, no - we don't care about keeping up with the neighbors..but we do need to do things that are pretty costly just to keep the house competitive and reasonably well put together for when we do put it on the market..

Big life lesson in hindsight..even if you can afford it, buying more house than you "need" can be a huge mistake. (We thought we were buying as an "investment"..whoo boy, did that turn out to not be the case, as house has gone DOWN - not UP - in value..) The costs go on forever..and ever..if there was one thing I could do differently pre-ER, it would have been being in our retirement house BEFORE I ER'd. We tried hard to do that, but have not been able to find what we are looking for in many years of looking (lots of land..privacy..much smaller but still "nice" house. Like looking for a purple unicorn - that doesn't exist around here, and DW wants to stay in the area and near her big family)..
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:45 PM   #66
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atmsmshr, this is off topic, but I am guessing that you worked at the FPL nuke plant on hutchinson island? My family and I used to go to hutchinson in the 60s. We would drive along a few miles and pull over and spend the day on the beach. There was no sign of any humans or buildings as far as you could see in any direction, and we would go all day long without seeing another person. I suspect it is not like that anymore!!!
Spot on observation for past and present! It's astounding to see the population and prosperity growth in the 33 years I have lived in the area.
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Finally made the jump to FIRE
Old 06-23-2019, 06:27 AM   #67
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Finally made the jump to FIRE

After 40 years in nuclear power, from 18 to 58, I am finally done smashing atoms. It was a career that has defined me and was part of my entire adult life.

An industry that had been a promising carbon free and inexpensive alternative to electrical power (not without controversy) is now in permanent decline in the USA. This is a pattern of economic forces so familiar to other industries. Very fortunate to have a career arc that spanned its zenith; providing me with intellectual challenge and my family with great benefits.

My abilities had peaked and I knew it, but did not let on. Memory not as sharp, stamina was waning, and stress was increasing. I had been the oldest manager for awhile - the previous majority burning out rather than retiring. My legacy knowledge was great for the position held, but mortality kept knocking at my thoughts. Following my internal decision to retire, I have lost 30 lbs since 1 April - the decision to become FIRE was such a relief.

My official retirement date is 1 August, but a large reserve of vacation got me leaving earlier. On Thursday I walked out for the last time from the security heavy and barbed wire fence line. My department had thrown a pot luck breakfast and then a lunch. The management team had a nice cake to say goodbye. Spent a day shaking hands and reminiscing. As expected, it was bittersweet- I will miss the people and challenges of problem solving but not the stress.

Now I have traded an office and 33 years at one power plant......

For the beach and unknown adventures with DW.

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Attached Images
File Type: jpg Last day at the plant after 33 years.jpg (93.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Beach.jpg (95.7 KB, 25 views)
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DW and I are 59/59. FIRE'd August 2019. Non-cola pension available but will remain untouched until mid sixties to grow, max SS for DH at FRA or 70. Mega retiree health available. IRA rollover from 401k Jan 2020 for NUA treatment. LTCG next few years. AA 40% stocks, 7% cash and 53% Intermediate Treasury fund. Rising equity glidepath.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:37 AM   #68
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For Cyber security, I have heard using VPN's when you are out and about protects traffic by encryption. Is this false advertising?
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:11 AM   #69
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After 40 years in nuclear power, from 18 to 58, I am finally done smashing atoms. It was a career that has defined me and was part of my entire adult life.

An industry that had been a promising carbon free and inexpensive alternative to electrical power (not without controversy) is now in permanent decline in the USA. This is a pattern of economic forces so familiar to other industries. Very fortunate to have a career arc that spanned its zenith; providing me with intellectual challenge and my family with great benefits.

My abilities had peaked and I knew it, but did not let on. Memory not as sharp, stamina was waning, and stress was increasing. I had been the oldest manager for awhile - the previous majority burning out rather than retiring. My legacy knowledge was great for the position held, but mortality kept knocking at my thoughts. Following my internal decision to retire, I have lost 30 lbs since 1 April - the decision to become FIRE was such a relief.

My official retirement date is 1 August, but a large reserve of vacation got me leaving earlier. On Thursday I walked out for the last time from the security heavy and barbed wire fence line. My department had thrown a pot luck breakfast and then a lunch. The management team had a nice cake to say goodbye. Spent a day shaking hands and reminiscing. As expected, it was bittersweet- I will miss the people and challenges of problem solving but not the stress.

Now I have traded an office and 33 years at one power plant......

For the beach and unknown adventures with DW.

Atom
Congratulations! Welcome to the retirement club! It will be an adjustment, but the stress reduction is wonderful!
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:29 AM   #70
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Congrats, Atom!
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:36 AM   #71
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Congrats fellow Floridian.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:48 AM   #72
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Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of retirement!
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:43 AM   #73
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For Cyber security, I have heard using VPN's when you are out and about protects traffic by encryption. Is this false advertising?
It is not false advertising. A VPN can be used at all times, even when home. I use NordVPN (subscription) and it's easy peasy. I use mine 99% of the time. There are some sites (like my bank) where my VPN won't work but most of the time it works great.
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:25 AM   #74
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Congratulations atmsmshr! Which plant did you work at? I was at Kewaunee Nuclear from '82 to '96. I still know a few people working nukes, but most have been retiring, sometimes by choice and sometimes forced out
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:32 AM   #75
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It is not false advertising. A VPN can be used at all times, even when home. I use NordVPN (subscription) and it's easy peasy. I use mine 99% of the time. There are some sites (like my bank) where my VPN won't work but most of the time it works great.
Spot on of course. Essentially think of it as a private tunnel to your destination. it's far more difficult for the bad guys to see what you're doing and steal information.

It is fairly easy to do, but the majority of people won't. They don't want to sign up for a recurring bill and also deal with the one off sites that don't work (as you state). But, yes, much more secure!
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:49 AM   #76
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It is not false advertising. A VPN can be used at all times, even when home. I use NordVPN (subscription) and it's easy peasy. I use mine 99% of the time. There are some sites (like my bank) where my VPN won't work but most of the time it works great.
Thanks! I have ExpressVPN and just wanted to make sure I am not wasting my money!
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:23 AM   #77
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Congratulations atmsmshr! Which plant did you work at? I was at Kewaunee Nuclear from '82 to '96. I still know a few people working nukes, but most have been retiring, sometimes by choice and sometimes forced out
jimbee - St. Lucie plant. Shame that plants like Kewanee shut down.
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Old 06-23-2019, 11:54 AM   #78
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jimbee - St. Lucie plant. Shame that plants like Kewanee shut down.
Yeah, too hard for a single unit site to be economical, although the plant was in great shape. Dominion Energy had sunk a bunch of money into the plant before shutting it down.

NextEra bought Point Beach just a few miles down the lakeshore. If they would have also purchased KNPP, maybe the economics could have worked.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:40 PM   #79
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Congratulations on your retirement Atmsmshr! Here's to good health!
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:12 PM   #80
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Congrats! You start out each weekday morning saying, I am not going to work today. You turn the corner when you don't even think about going to work anymore, and work is no longer in your thoughts.
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