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Old 10-25-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Sequim, WA
786 posts, read 1,908,913 times
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Considering your outside interests, I think it's a no brainer. If I were you, I would retire and transition to enjoying life with your other interests. As you know...the one thing you can't save is...time.

Your situation reminds me a little of my own. However, instead of nothing to do, I was involved in too many projects, getting pulled one way and the other, and I was fed up with the politics I had to deal with at the upper management level I had been in for nearly 20 years. People around me couldn't believe I was really retiring (and I was 55 years old), because it was so obvious I could improve my financial situation by working another few years.

It sounds like you have pretty simple tastes...as I do. My pension is not too far short of reaching six digits, and I still have my 401k intact. My house is paid off...and I haven't had a car payment in 25 years. That all sounds pretty close to your situation.

I retired 4 1/2 years ago and haven't looked back. I will admit retirement hasn't been exactly what I envisioned...but then, as John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making plans."

Retire and enjoy your life...
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:15 PM
 
174 posts, read 258,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgoodwx View Post
Considering your outside interests, I think it's a no brainer. ... It sounds like you have pretty simple tastes...as I do. ...
I think those are two critical components in any analysis. It's amazing to me how many peoples' view of retirement is, "I wouldn't know what to do with myself." I find myself thinking 25 times a month, "Now if I were retired, I'd have the time to really enjoy this."

And it's also amazing to me how many people regard maintaining their current lifestyle, or even upgrading it, as critically important. I can see tons of waste in my current, reasonably frugal lifestyle and really feel that I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to buy back the time I now spend at the office.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:26 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,225 posts, read 14,950,662 times
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I don't know what you think you will need beyond $44K per year, but it sure seems like a no-brainer to me. How on the planet you couldn't live a very comfortable life at that income level is quite perplexing to me. Your basic monthly expenses are health insurance, utilities, car insurance, groceries and whatever luxuries you wish. If you can't live in a no-mortgage house on nearly $4K a month, then getting an extra $500 month by working for more years is not going to help.

Who knows what your health will be in 4 years. Live now. Being miserable for the next 5 years makes no sense to me. I don't get how you think either of you cannot live on your social security and other retirement benefits. Good grief, most people I know won't have a quarter of your retirement assets/income.

So your choice is to be miserable, perhaps die before you retire; or retire now while you still have the ability to enjoy it. My husband makes far less than you and we are retiring in less than a year - he'll be 56.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Sequim, WA
786 posts, read 1,908,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Venerable Bede View Post
I think those are two critical components in any analysis. It's amazing to me how many peoples' view of retirement is, "I wouldn't know what to do with myself." I find myself thinking 25 times a month, "Now if I were retired, I'd have the time to really enjoy this."

And it's also amazing to me how many people regard maintaining their current lifestyle, or even upgrading it, as critically important. I can see tons of waste in my current, reasonably frugal lifestyle and really feel that I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to buy back the time I now spend at the office.
I know a number of people who are still working...and I would never recommend retirement to them. Why? Because they have no passion outside of their work life, and they wouldn't have a clue what to do with all that time. My brother-in-law is one of them, but he retired about 9 months ago. He recently told me he hates retirement, and he was asking me how I can stand it?

It helps that my wife and I enjoy very simple, low-cost fun. Our idea of a great vacation is to take the camper (with our solar panel) to a USFS campground, and hang out for a week hiking, mountain biking, reading, writing, and playing cards or board games in the evening. Those things just don't cost all that much...
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,590,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Venerable Bede View Post
Social Security of about $21,000, defined benefit state pension of about $44,000, very conservatively invested nest egg of about $140,000 that produces 3.5% interest, paid-off house in excellent condition and zero debts. My little 40 mpg car will be two years old with about 40,000 miles on it, and I’ve been stockpiling retirement clothes to such a degree that I probably won’t have to buy any for 15 years. So basically, an income of $69,000 for my wife and me with no debts or family obligations.
There is not a thing any of us would need to say after reading the sentence in bold.

Retiring with 69K, which is more than $5000/month after taxes, with no bills but utilities, car, and insurance, and you need to ponder if it were a right move?

You have no need to touch your nest egg and still live comfortably, travel when you wish (not around the world on first class flights every year, but to almost anywhere your heart desires) and have leftover money each month from your pension and SS.

Many people live and/or retire on a fraction of that, among them are my husband and I. We travelled extensively to all parts of Europe and the Pacific Islands during the first six years after retirement, though we've slowed down a bit in the last four years to concentrate on the US, Canada, Central and South America. We manage that on our much smaller pension -- about 40% of yours.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 10-25-2011 at 04:34 PM..
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,590,817 times
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Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
I don't know what you think you will need beyond $44K per year, but it sure seems like a no-brainer to me.
Actually, the $44K is only his pension. When $21K of SS is added to the pension, the total will be $69K. And he's waffling. <shaking head in bewilderment>

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 10-25-2011 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:03 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,075 posts, read 9,543,766 times
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One thing I don't see discussed here is health insurance for you and your wife. Can you afford to cover that yourself?
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
5,302 posts, read 4,407,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Venerable Bede View Post
I think you misunderstood me. I am fully vested in my pension that will pay at least $44,000 per year for the rest of my life. Continuing to work in the system for another 3-4 years would increase it to perhaps $50K.
You'd be CRAZY to continue in this job. Every minute you spend there is a moment spent not living your life and enjoying it. You are wasting 12 hours of every day of your life by working when you don't have to and don't enjoy it--that leaves very little time left over.

You will probably find that after taxes, you have just as much discretionary income AFTER you retire.

Most of us don't have the choice to walk away from hell and actually live our lives. Don't waste it. You've been handed a winning lottery ticket--don't even CONSIDER wasting another day by not cashing it in.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,590,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddstray View Post
One thing I don't see discussed here is health insurance for you and your wife. Can you afford to cover that yourself?
His wife is covered ("she remains eligible for free health care and social services in Belarus"). He will pay $1000/m for himself.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:40 PM
 
174 posts, read 258,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Wanderer View Post
His wife is covered ("she remains eligible for free health care and social services in Belarus"). He will pay $1000/m for himself.
Well, actually, $1,043 per month is medical and dental for me and my wife under the plan offered through our state pension system. That will be by far my biggest non-discretionary expense in retirement. My wife did come up with the idea to leave her off the plan because she can always get free care in Belarus - but I'm not that much of a beast. "Free health care" in Belarus means things like root canals with no anesthesia (she's had several), endoscopies with no anesthesia (she's had that), and being put on a public bus and sent home within hours after a hysterectomy (also that). They do have private clinics that are cheaper than the U.S., but overall it's a system you'd use only if your sole alternative were Certain Death. We're healthy enough that I'm almost tempted to just buy some sort of catastrophic coverage and wing the rest until we reach Medicare age, but that does make me a little nervous.

Thanks to all for the encouragement. I really don't think I'm waffling - just curious to see what others' reactions were and whether anyone thought I was overlooking anything big. I think that if you've basically been an average working person and are about to pull the plug, it's almost inevitable that there's at least a little voice saying, "Wait! You're making a big mistake! It'll be a much better decision in three years!" Especially since the society we live in almost conditions you from infancy to think this way, as though it's almost immoral if you actually retire before you're too decrepit to enjoy yourself.
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