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sspribyl 07-17-2011 12:34 PM

Mid 40's looking for soft retirement in 8yrs, 9 months and 23 days
Hi All,

Hubby and I are so glad we found this site. He is 46 and I am 41 and we have been working diligently to save/invest/prepare for retirement at any age and just realized we can do it sooner than expected. We are crazy-frugal...don't even use dryer sheets...and live a rich life on coupons, deals, frequent flier miles, etc. Hubby's kids are 17 and 18, living with their mom and child support will end in less than two years. WhooHoo!

I own a real estate company, and worked it full time for six years, now just work it on the side. Like my husband, I now have a full time corporate job in managing eCommerce Fraud-a booming trend. We have one home paid off and three rental properties, fortunately all with equity and great renters. We hope to sell the one with least equity and have three homes free and clear in the next four years provided our income stays the same, which seems likely as we don't factor in bonuses, stock options, etc. when we calculate numbers.

I say "soft retirement" in 8 years, 9 months, and 23 days as that is when hubby is eligible for medical benefits in retirement, and when we will begin doing work we enjoy and can make our own schedules. I love real estate, there's just not steady enough money in it right now and he loves photography, reselling, and odd jobs...both of us can leave those lines of work for 3-4 months a year and come back to them.

We will be reverse snowbirds, living in AZ for nine months of the year and traveling during the hot summers. We want to get a lot of travel under our belts by the time we are 65, as we really saw our parents slow down (travel-wise) after that age. Hopefully a retirement community will provide plenty of fellowship and fun after 65. Our "soft" retirement will pay for the extra travel.

At soft retirement, we will have approx 750k in retirement and the above homes with no debt. We will have writeoffs from the real estate business and rentals, so our taxes will be managed well.

Our biggest questions:
1. Is there a calculator somewhere that will help us factor in monthly income from our rentals in retirement? And factor in the value of the rental home itself?
2. Does anyone have experience with reverse mortgages? or 1031 exchanges?
3. Looking for a great website that will detail how medicare works with our insurance.
4. How does one factor in a soft retirement?
5. Does anyone have recommendations on annuities? Are they good/bad?
6. What's the best cash vehicle for until we reach 59 1/2?

Really excited about becoming FIREd, and it makes us reevaluate everything we spend money on. We have had the security of great benefits and security from corporate jobs...just don't want to leave too soon...but really are tired of corporate political rat race.

We have plenty of time to adjust, so any feedback or suggestions are much appreciated!

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