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Old 10-25-2011, 05:06 PM
 
491 posts, read 599,234 times
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The one thing I would wonder is how much do you live on now. If you have been making 109k a year and you only have a 140k nest egg you haven't saved much, IMHO. I personally would keep a very detailed account for a while and see where the money goes. Are you willing to give up those things?

For me, I could easily live on 69k, but that is a very personal thing. I would live on that budget for at least 6 monthes and see if I could really do it.

Have you spent any time on the Retireearly boards? They have quite a bit of info that you might find helpful.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:30 PM
 
519 posts, read 704,075 times
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just do it!
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,769,401 times
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I come down on the side of the majority here. Money isn't everything, and once a person is fairly decently fixed financially for retirement, as it seems you are, it makes sense to put your own enjoyment of life first. I can understand your hesitation because just another two or three or four years will sweeten the retirement pie considerably, but only you can judge your dissatisfaction at work and balance it against a somewhat reduced, but still quite adequate, retirement.
PRO: 1. You are miserable at work.
2. You have other interests in life and would probably really enjoy retirement.
3. Retirement finances seem adequate, i.e., you will be quite comfortable but not rich.
CON: 1. Waiting a few years will result in really super retirement finances.

I don't know if my simplification into those four points divided into two categories seems accurate to you, but if it's even close it may help to think of it that way.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:47 PM
 
1,215 posts, read 1,358,251 times
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Go for it. Be thankful that you have an option that won't drastically change your lifestyle. Many people don't have that option. May you be blessed in your decision.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,529,524 times
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Ended up hating my my last year in my job, pulled the plug at age 62 before originally planned and financially optimum and have neither ever looked back nor regretted doing so. What price piece of mind?
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Prescott Valley,az summer/east valley Az winter
2,042 posts, read 3,631,883 times
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the question I have is can you live a few years without drawing SS?

I found myself retired and found that although it was tight I could live for a while without drawing, waiting made a significant difference in what I would draw. You can in fact retire (not work) without starting your SS, and sometimes waiting can improve your living down the road. Just something to think about. Maybe just do some work ( you are a lawyer, there are oportunities) parttime to supplement income for a few years. With income from your (state) retirement you wouldn't need much~ at least crunch the numbers~ you claim to have the time
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:05 PM
 
174 posts, read 258,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Blue View Post
The one thing I would wonder is how much do you live on now. If you have been making 109k a year and you only have a 140k nest egg you haven't saved much, IMHO. I personally would keep a very detailed account for a while and see where the money goes. Are you willing to give up those things?

For me, I could easily live on 69k, but that is a very personal thing. I would live on that budget for at least 6 monthes and see if I could really do it.

Have you spent any time on the Retireearly boards? They have quite a bit of info that you might find helpful.
A fair point, but I happen to know that my 457 plan balance is among the highest at the county and higher than the national average even for my "elderly" age group. Bear in mind that I started at literally ground zero 15 years ago. In that time, I have managed to save the $140K, purchase and pay off a house, take out a home equity line to remodel the house and pay that off as well. So I view myself as doing not too badly under the circumstances. Beyond that, $109K seems like obscenely more than I need. Although I don't splurge on big-ticket items, I make utterly no attempt to conserve on food, clothes or anything like that and still seem to have enough left over at the end of the month to buy a refrigerator or TV or whatever. I prepared what seemed to me like a very conservative (realistic) budget and found that at an income of $69K I'd have in the neighborhood of $27K in truly discretionary income, even after factoring in taxes and the outrageous cost of health insurance.

I did participate a bit on the Early Retirement boards, but the folks there seem absolutely OBSESSED with money and to regard retiring at 52 with a nest egg of $5.3 million the norm. Not exactly my crowd. That's why my nest egg is invested in an absurdly conservative fund with a guaranteed 3.55% return - I don't want to even have to think about that sort of stuff.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,134 posts, read 9,105,896 times
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I think, along with the others, you should write that letter of resignation NOW. You will feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You will wake up in the morning with a delightful sense of peace and will have more sunny, happy days than you can imagine. Its only a job; it isn't who you are. Some people must have a job or they have no sense of self. I believe you are not one of those types. You will be happy and you will have enough. Peace to you.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:03 PM
 
491 posts, read 599,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Venerable Bede View Post
A fair point, but I happen to know that my 457 plan balance is among the highest at the county and higher than the national average even for my "elderly" age group. Bear in mind that I started at literally ground zero 15 years ago. In that time, I have managed to save the $140K, purchase and pay off a house, take out a home equity line to remodel the house and pay that off as well. So I view myself as doing not too badly under the circumstances. Beyond that, $109K seems like obscenely more than I need. Although I don't splurge on big-ticket items, I make utterly no attempt to conserve on food, clothes or anything like that and still seem to have enough left over at the end of the month to buy a refrigerator or TV or whatever. I prepared what seemed to me like a very conservative (realistic) budget and found that at an income of $69K I'd have in the neighborhood of $27K in truly discretionary income, even after factoring in taxes and the outrageous cost of health insurance.

I did participate a bit on the Early Retirement boards, but the folks there seem absolutely OBSESSED with money and to regard retiring at 52 with a nest egg of $5.3 million the norm. Not exactly my crowd. That's why my nest egg is invested in an absurdly conservative fund with a guaranteed 3.55% return - I don't want to even have to think about that sort of stuff.
Looks like you have thought it thru well. Like I said, you have a lot more to live on in retirment than I do and so far I have done just fine. From what you've said you should do fine. There is a wonderful world out there
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,755,029 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Venerable Bede View Post
What I meant by the "ten year thing" is simply that, with a retirement income of $69K, a $140K nest egg and zero debts, I can't imagine having a financial problem in the next ten years under ANY scenario (short of one of the doomsday collapse-of-the-entire-economy scenarios). It's difficult for me to see that I would have a problem even if I did live to be 80 or 85, but I suppose that's possible. My attitude has been that I'm not inclined to stay on the work treadmill for the best remaining years of my life - society can figure out what to do with me when I'm 85, if I live that long. The point about Belarus was simply that this is where I would LIKE to be and hope that my wife will agree that this would be fun; in no way do my current plans hinge on a return to Belarus.

What I find interesting is the point about continuing to work and allowing SS to ride. The "little better" place that I'd be in would indeed be little, it seems to me. As I'm sure you know, if one takes SS at 62 vs. Full Retirement Age, there is no net difference (i.e., actual loss) until age 75. So again I'm faced with the conundrum - do I continue to work, perhaps sacrificing the best remaining years of my life, for a potential payoff that won't pay off at all until I'm at least 75?

I'm sure my thinking is influenced to a considerable extent by the fact that dragging myself into my current job is such a soul-killing experience. But I'm also influenced by the fact that, notwithstanding the actuarial tables, my daily perusal of the obituaries tells me that an AWFUL LOT of people die at 58, 61, 64 and so on. I think the critical question for me, and anyone else, is "When is enough enough?" When my $69K income would be better than the average retiree's, my $140 nest egg is better than the average retiree's, and no one could possibly have fewer debts or live in a cheaper area, I have a hard time seeing that continuing to work in order to increase my income to $80K and my nest egg to $180K is worth sacrificing potentially the best remaining years of my life. But I do take everyone's point that finding a less soul-killing work situation would perhaps be a good middle ground and less of a "sacrifice" on my part; my thinking here has been in the vein that I'd like to really retire with no thought of future work - and if fate happens to lead me to something that I actually find more interesting and enjoyable than doing nothing, so be it.

I think it is time for you to move on to your new life.

I would try to negotiate an early retirement from your present position. Not that you will get one, but try it anyway especially if you know where all the skeletons are buried. They might just be willing to pay you to get lost.

You will have to work out health insurance issues. Maybe work it into the above early retirement discussions.

Retire, collect your retirement pay and collect SS at age 62.

I would then go out and find a little something to do just to keep myself occupied and make some throwaway income. Teach, work at a legal help society, etc. You might consider a small. private law practice that specializes in those needing legal work/advice concerning the county. Again, those skeletons might help............LOL
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