Low 50s, and am I "retired"? Well, I'm now not working hard!

NeilDH

Dryer sheet wannabe
Joined
May 9, 2024
Messages
19
Location
Schaumburg, IL
Hi, everyone. This is a really neat forum to find. My wife (52) and I (54) just ended about 30-year careers in newspapers after voluntary buyout offers kept coming; we finally took it. I believe I'm in the FIRE camp. I'm nervous just a few months in, but I've run our numbers countless times and used retirement calculators, and they're reassuring. (My favorite site is FI Calc.)

We have a portfolio of $1.9M, aggressively invested (I'd say in the 85% stocks/15% bonds range), plus $600,000+ in company stock that will be paid out over five years -- and we have to hope that stock holds its value over that time. Even if that company stock's value drops drastically, my and websites' calculations have us looking good, based on annual spending of around $100K or even a little more (that's total for the both of us, and includes health care), with the provision that we may have to reduce that spending a bit in really down-market years. No kids, btw.

I suspect also that at some point we'll have a little supplemental income. I'm working on getting credentialed in income tax preparation, and I suspect I'll pursue (or just get) a little freelance writing-editing work, too.

So while money is a healthy worry, now it's more about figuring out how to live this life. We certainly like the much-increased flexibility and freedom, while we work on finding our purpose, enjoying the time. It's totally fascinating to start reading some of your experiences. We never used the R-word "retired" on ourselves until other people did. Maybe I'm "semi-retired"? The term really doesn't matter; I know only that we're not interested in new full-time work and we're lucky not to have to be.
 
Welcome to the FIRE Forums. Please check back often and contribute.:flowers:
 
Welcome to the forum! We hope to hear from you often, and you enjoy your new "adventure."
 
Welcome. Glad you found us!
Hope to hear more from you over the years.
 
Congrats and enjoy your new found freedom. The DW and I will be joining the ranks next year, both @55.
This is a very friendly & helpful forum. I think in part because we mostly have a common way of thinking.
 
Congrats and welcome! Everyone here has been incredibly helpful and supportive.

I just celebrated a year transitioning away from the "full-time" and have found no end to the freelance consulting opportunities available.
 
Welcome to the forum, and to retirement.

I was 52 when I retired... I was worried more about losing structure to my day, than about money. So I took some classes at the local community college. 8am classes, 3 times a week. 3 semesters of Italian gave me structure while I transitioned. And I realized I didn't really need the structure.

My sister took an golden handshake from her school district, but was worried about money. She supplemented the pension/annuity that came with the golden handshake with substitute teaching and tutoring local kids in math. After about a year and a half she realized she didn't really need the $ and gave up the supplemental gigs. But it was a good transition mechanism for her.

I guess my point is - it's ok to be semi-retired/work gigs/add structure to help you transition. It's a big adjustment after years of working.
 
Welcome to the forum, and to retirement.

I was 52 when I retired... I was worried more about losing structure to my day, than about money. So I took some classes at the local community college. 8am classes, 3 times a week. 3 semesters of Italian gave me structure while I transitioned. And I realized I didn't really need the structure.

My sister took an golden handshake from her school district, but was worried about money. She supplemented the pension/annuity that came with the golden handshake with substitute teaching and tutoring local kids in math. After about a year and a half she realized she didn't really need the $ and gave up the supplemental gigs. But it was a good transition mechanism for her.

I guess my point is - it's ok to be semi-retired/work gigs/add structure to help you transition. It's a big adjustment after years of working.
That's great insight, rodi. Appreciate it.
 
I didn't find the transition difficult at all, but I ER'd at 55...wish I'd done it earlier! A former VP from my past company offered me some consulting work last week....it was awesome telling him I'm no longer interested in w$rking!
 
Welcome! I guess you can think of it as "freedom" more than "retirement" Why not have a part-time gig as consulting but keep your schedule open to do what you want, travel, volunteer...etc. We're no longer tied to working for income. Our investments are working for us. :flowers:
 
Welcome! I guess you can think of it as "freedom" more than "retirement" Why not have a part-time gig as consulting but keep your schedule open to do what you want, travel, volunteer...etc. We're no longer tied to working for income. Our investments are working for us. :flowers:
Yes, my money w*rks harder for me than I ever did! It's truly amazing. I still recall the first year I made more on my investments than I did with my salary. That was a VERY good year indeed.
 
Welcome! I guess you can think of it as "freedom" more than "retirement" Why not have a part-time gig as consulting but keep your schedule open to do what you want, travel, volunteer...etc. We're no longer tied to working for income. Our investments are working for us. :flowers:
This is excellent. Yes, one thing I do know is I want supreme flexibility, even if I do w*rk. Keeping the schedule loose -- yes! Especially as May is upon us and I like to enjoy the outdoors.
 
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