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The rubber has hit the road: time to decide...
Old 05-21-2020, 09:48 AM   #1
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The rubber has hit the road: time to decide...

Well, I am officially at a crossroads. At the decision point where life will change for me one way or the other.

I was laid off in mid-April. I had planned to quit in October to start ER (just turned 50 ) after bonus payout and when the stock market was high. Then COVID came and hit my portfolio pretty hard. I thought I had better start looking for another job, out of concern for a prolonged fall in the stock market and uncertainty about what will happen with the ACA. Working for two more years would postpone having to touch the portfolio, and since I didnít finish all my preventative checkups - hello, colonoscopy! - before being let go, I thought having employer-based health insurance in case of serious problems would be better to have than an individual plan.

Lately, though, Iíve been thinking about how stress-free it has been to sit at home. No work pressure. No silly corporate-speak. No know-it-all boss with 10 years less experience and knowledge than me. No deadlines. And when the house sells, the opportunity to go back to friends in my former state, at least for a while til I make permanent relocation decisions (still prefer west coast but want to see if real estate prices come down first).

I received a job offer today. It requires relocation but an easy one, less than 6 hours away. Not a place Iíd want to be permanently but is fine for 2 years. If I quit in less than 12 months, Iíd have to repay 100% of relocation, 50% if I left in 13-24 months. Itís not a great relocation package so I donít think 50% is a big deal if I couldnít get through two full years. Compensation is not what I was making, but is still very good. Very good PTO and health coverage. Not a great 401k but I wouldnít plan to be there long enough to reach vesting.

I said I would give an answer on Tuesday. Thereís another company in the mix but I donít think Iíll get an answer on that before I need to decide on this offer. I know that job has a third interview round anyway.

I guess I will finally find out how much of a risk-taker I am. Because thatís really what it comes down to. Iíd be lying if I said extra income wouldnít be nice; Iíd like to buy a new bed, and a new wardrobe now that I have lost weight. And I wanted to go to Europe next year, assuming itís safe to travel then. And I guess thereís a part of me that doesnít want my career ended on a layoff. Iíd like to end it on my terms. But I am ok financially. If I could sell my house for $450K net, my portfolio would be approximately $3.35M. Itís truly the health insurance situation. My family has a history of colon cancer and polyps, and I have fears that I will have issues and would be uninsurable if ACA fell through. Thereís one other worrisome medical issue that the doc didnít seem too concerned about but Iíd like another opinion.

Itís going to be a long weekend of soul searching. I hope I can figure out the right choice for me.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:55 AM   #2
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Is the job one that you would enjoy, or would you just be doing it for money. If it's something that wouldn't suck too bad- I'd go for it. But if it's a job you end up feeling dread every work morning... I'd wait for a better opportunity.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:07 AM   #3
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Suppose you took that job, worked a year or two, and then retired. What would you do about health insurance at that point? Something that I have noticed is that while my health costs were almost nothing in my 30's and 40's, they increased rapidly as I grew older. If it's not a colonoscopy, there's cataract surgery, joint replacements, or worse.

If it was me, I'd take the job and work until I had a good plan ready to go that included access to good, stable health insurance coverage in retirement other than the ACA. Maybe the ACA isn't that bad; you'd know more about that than me. But I keep hearing negativity about it. It didn't exist when I was planning my retirement.

How is one to do this? "There are a million ways to skin a cat", as the saying goes. For me it was to take a low paying, somewhat boring federal job and work at it for several years beyond when I was otherwise financially independent (until I was eligible to retire with access to lifetime medical coverage). But it's your retirement so you need to figure out a plan that works for you.

YMMV!! But that's what I'd do. "If it was easy, everybody would do it" (another old saying, this one from a friend).
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:14 AM   #4
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Most likely your spending is much lower than you even thought. 6 months can't make that much of a difference. Your 2020 income might be high due to the bonus and partial year pay. For 2021, you could manager you income so the ACA premiums are reasonable.

I would say "this isn't the job" because you have to relocate (bad time to relocate) and because it isn't where you want to be. Don't go farther from where you want to be for a job you will limp through for 2 more years.

Figure out healthcare through 2020 and then crunch numbers to see how 2021 might look being retired.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:15 AM   #5
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Age 50 is young.
Not including your house, your net worth is $2.9 M, which is a good sized amount.
I'm not sure travel to Europe or anywhere will be "safe" as no vaccine will have been distributed by then.

Do you know exactly how much money you have been spending per year ?
Do you know what SS will pay you ?

I would base it on, will your savings cover your spending per year at ~3% withdrawal rate ($87,000 before SS).
Finally where is your savings, as where it is located: IRA, 401K, Roth, taxable account, makes a huge difference in how much is available to spend prior to age 59.5.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:37 AM   #6
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Your OP had me on the fence until I got to this part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopycat View Post
...If I could sell my house for $450K net, my portfolio would be approximately $3.35M. ...
So with $2.9m, a 50 year time horizon and 60/40 portfolio, FIRECalc says that you could spend $98k a year with a 95% success rate. And then you have SS and the $450k house as the cherries on top. And from what you wrote I assume that you are single.

$98k plus SS is a darn good retirement income for a single person... I'd decline the offer and retire and start enjoying life on my terms.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Your OP had me on the fence until I got to this part:



So with $2.9m, a 50 year time horizon and 60/40 portfolio, FIRECalc says that you could spend $98k a year with a 95% success rate. And then you have SS and the $450k house as the cherries on top. And from what you wrote I assume that you are single.

$98k plus SS is a darn good retirement income for a single person... I'd decline the offer and retire and start enjoying life on my terms.
+1
Life is short. Think about it some more, but I would retire.
Even if the ACA goes away, any likely substitute would logically include pre existing conditions covered due to the current atmosphere.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Your OP had me on the fence until I got to this part:



So with $2.9m, a 50 year time horizon and 60/40 portfolio, FIRECalc says that you could spend $98k a year with a 95% success rate. And then you have SS and the $450k house as the cherries on top. And from what you wrote I assume that you are single.

$98k plus SS is a darn good retirement income for a single person... I'd decline the offer and retire and start enjoying life on my terms.
That was my thought too. The OP has plenty of money.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:17 AM   #9
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I am single, yes. But I would be such a great catch for a guy with a solid health insurance plan

Part of the reason for such caution IS because I’m single. I’m on my own. No kids, no husband. No siblings. It’s just me. Nobody else I can really rely on. If I somehow foul this up, there’s nobody I can move in with, nobody who can give me a loan or watch out for me.

I do understand the response about working til there’s something better than the ACA. But then I’d have to work til Medicare age. No thank you! I’m not a big risk taker but I’m willing to risk that at least some states will ensure that pre-existing conditions will be protected. And if not, I’m willing to go to a different country if necessary.

This will be an interesting weekend. My agent just called and there might be a buyer for my house. That would be awesome! But I won’t hold my breath.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Is the job one that you would enjoy, or would you just be doing it for money. If it's something that wouldn't suck too bad- I'd go for it. But if it's a job you end up feeling dread every work morning... I'd wait for a better opportunity.
I think Iíd enjoy the work. Itís well aligned to my skill set. Itís more the irritation of being in the corporate world again. Iím not a good fit for corporate life. Iíve never been the live-to-work type. Iím amazed and envious of people that think of their jobs as a calling. Iíve always viewed it as a way to pay bills, even in the few jobs that I sorta thought were ok.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:26 AM   #11
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Age 50 is young.
Not including your house, your net worth is $2.9 M, which is a good sized amount.
I'm not sure travel to Europe or anywhere will be "safe" as no vaccine will have been distributed by then.

Do you know exactly how much money you have been spending per year ?
Do you know what SS will pay you ?

I would base it on, will your savings cover your spending per year at ~3% withdrawal rate ($87,000 before SS).
Finally where is your savings, as where it is located: IRA, 401K, Roth, taxable account, makes a huge difference in how much is available to spend prior to age 59.5.
I have been spending $56K/year but that was when employed and had plenty of income arriving each month. And I was traveling and taking vacations. Iím somewhat thrifty, but I will pay for nice vacations every year or so.

For the past two months, Iíve brought the total down to $42K/year projected. I pay very low property tax right now but COBRA is high. If I move and rent, the annual spend will likely rise to $50K per year but thatís a quick estimate; rent would increase expenditures but house maintenance and property insurance would decrease. I simply canít imagine a lifestyle where Iíd be spending $75K/year, even with nice trips, unless there were unexpected medical costs (always a possibility).
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:22 PM   #12
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.... But then I’d have to work til Medicare age. No thank you! I’m not a big risk taker but I’m willing to risk that at least some states will ensure that pre-existing conditions will be protected. And if not, I’m willing to go to a different country if necessary. ...
I don't see pre-existing conditions as being a big risk. Medical underwriting is so unpopular that IMO it is unlikely that we will ever see it again for anyone who maintains continuous coverage.... IOW, I think it very likely that there will be no medical underwriting or pre-existing conditions exclusions for anyone moving from one plan to another. However, it may well happen for people who don't have coverage at all.

Worst case, there were some states that prohibited medical underwriting for health insurance even before ACA, so those would always be an option if thigs got too bad.

Quote:
...13 states (Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) have acted to preserve the ACA’s protections for their residents.
https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blo...on-protections

FWIW, currently a bronze level plan from BCBS of Vermont costs about $550/month.... with your stash you can afford it.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:31 PM   #13
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Itís going to be a long weekend of soul searching. I hope I can figure out the right choice for me.
A good rule of thumb in life is to ensure you're running towards something and not away from something.

From what you said, you're not running towards this job. You're running away from some insecurity around your health insurance.

You don't need the job or the headache of moving to a place you don't want to be.

I'd sit tight and look for something you want to do...or just manage your expenses and put your feet up. A way to hedge healthcare risk is to lower you SWR to create some more financial cushion.

Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:08 PM   #14
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So with $2.9m, a 50 year time horizon and 60/40 portfolio, FIRECalc says that you could spend $98k a year with a 95% success rate. And then you have SS and the $450k house as the cherries on top. And from what you wrote I assume that you are single.

$98k plus SS is a darn good retirement income for a single person... I'd decline the offer and retire and start enjoying life on my terms.
+1. pb4uski's summary is basically where I am, except that I'm married. If I were the OP, I'd just enjoy taking unemployment until it ends, and then you're FIRE'd!
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:25 PM   #15
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https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blo...on-protections

FWIW, currently a bronze level plan from BCBS of Vermont costs about $550/month.... with your stash you can afford it.
My stash, LOL! Let’s hope it stays a stash and doesn’t shrivel into a tiny little pile in the next couple years

Vermont is beautiful. And I believe it was one of the states that had guaranteed issue before ACA as well.

In addition to the list of 13, I know that a few others, including Ohio and Arizona, have been considering protections for pre-existing conditions. The list of 13 varies by level of protection - for example, some have community rating requirements, and requirements to cover certain illnesses and procedures, while some just say that insurers have to provide coverage, with little/no additional requirements. AZ’s legislation is that way. And I wouldn’t be surprised if CA enacts additional legislation given how much that state has done to bolster insurance coverage through Covered California. I do wonder about people’s abilities to pay if the subsidies disappear, but this thread is about me me me so I won’t keep going on about the ACA!

I would be leaning towards WA, OR, and maybe NV and parts of NM from that list. I can’t say for certain until I explore and visit to see what feels right. I love the coast but I also like warm, dry weather that would let me play tennis outside all year. I’m not opposed to TX, if guaranteed issue were ever passed there.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:28 PM   #16
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You’re all giving me some real food for thought here! The answer looks so obvious when I read through your answers. When you’re living through it, though, it’s so scary to let go. I really do appreciate all the guidance and advice; I read every answer very carefully.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:32 PM   #17
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I retired to Florida in 2017 at age 57.
I am very dependent on the ACA for medical subsidies, as it saves my brother and I 23k yearly in total.
However, there is no chance I would go back to work. If everything would go south, then I have a Plan B and Plan C in terms of change in lifestyle/COL area.

Yes sometimes in life, some risk is worth it and you sound like you are in great shape on your spending to investment portfolio ratio.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Your OP had me on the fence until I got to this part:



So with $2.9m, a 50 year time horizon and 60/40 portfolio, FIRECalc says that you could spend $98k a year with a 95% success rate. And then you have SS and the $450k house as the cherries on top. And from what you wrote I assume that you are single.

$98k plus SS is a darn good retirement income for a single person... I'd decline the offer and retire and start enjoying life on my terms.
This. Life after retirement is too hard to explain in words to convey how quite awesome it is.
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:10 AM   #19
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Your OP had me on the fence until I got to this part:



So with $2.9m, a 50 year time horizon and 60/40 portfolio, FIRECalc says that you could spend $98k a year with a 95% success rate. And then you have SS and the $450k house as the cherries on top. And from what you wrote I assume that you are single.

$98k plus SS is a darn good retirement income for a single person... I'd decline the offer and retire and start enjoying life on my terms.
Sigh - you just justified why I should retire now, too, although the situation is a bit different, two pensions and about half the portfolio...and the 100% spend rate with FIRECALC is more than $98K/mo....

I am also in the same boat as the OP - single, no siblings and an aging father....biggest expense would be health insurance until TRICARE starts in 3.75 years.....

As the OP said, it is hard when you are in it versus looking at it...
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:13 AM   #20
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This. Life after retirement is too hard to explain in words to convey how quite awesome it is.
+1. A big part of it for me is not having the Megacorp boss or customers constantly telling me what I have to do. I get to do that now (with some help from DW).
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