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Old 04-17-2016, 08:45 PM
Location: Ohio
1,217 posts, read 2,350,472 times
Reputation: 2214


If I were you I'd ask myself "What would I do if I knew I only had 5 years more to live".

Financially, if you decide to retire, it would make better economic sense to live off your savings rather than take SS early (earlier than age 70 to be exact). The reason is that every year you do not take SS your future SS check increases more than your current savings increase. I've heard figures between 5 and 8% which is a "safe" investment unlike anything you can get for personal savings.

I understand your need for security as a single but you are probably better off in that way because you won't have to take care of an aging/ill spouse and single women live longer healthier lives than married women.

You are the only one who can live your life.
Retirement is not heaven for everyone but I love every minute of it and I am not collecting SS yet.
Like the book says "Your Money or Your Life". (Look for it in the library).
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:02 PM
659 posts, read 324,724 times
Reputation: 1974
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful and insightful comments. Attitude Check in full progress!

Perryinva--I did not use retirement (untaxed) money to pay off my house. I paid Capital Gains income tax plus had other investment income to pay taxes on for 2014. Like I said the 29K to pay taxes came from my bonus, not out of my savings, which I got a month before April 15 so it didn't bother me to pay it. My state charges a hefty tax in addition to the Federal. Plus there was money left over to take my family on vacation and also save some money. I am not sorry I did it, there are pros and cons and to paying off a mortgage and to me the peace of mind was priceless. I live in an expensive area and to be worried about a mortgage with an uncertain job situation is not a position I want to be in.
Newbie--the 35K a year included money for vacations. I do have a budget and I looked at it again tonight and decided 40K was more realistic. But I truly have no debt and don't like to buy stuff anymore; trying to declutter my life.

Thanks to your advice, the plan right now is to ride it out, relax my attitude, continue to do a good job at work, and save $6000 a month. In 6 months I can retire with some healthcare benefits. I've got a 2 week vacation scheduled for end of June in Greece so I will look forward to relaxing.
I can probably find a decent job. I worry too much. I don't have the hobbies to fill my time except reading. I really just like to adventure travel--that costs money.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:20 PM
5,426 posts, read 3,446,805 times
Reputation: 13699
If it's any consolation, you are one of the last people who should be worrying, and worrying yourself sick at times.

You have it made! If things do happen to get too bad or uncomfortable at work, you can quit!

You have plenty of resources to maintain yourself and not work.

I would say cultivate gratitude.....and also maybe try really hard to interest yourself in some new additional hobbies and avocations.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:57 PM
6,439 posts, read 3,069,385 times
Reputation: 5853
Sounds like you are in great shape financially.

If you want to keep working rather than retire, that's a different thing.

First, many people find themselves in your situation. If you don't move up to the next level, you inevitably find yourself working for people that you don't mesh with or are just plain nuts.

In my last two years, I had a pact with my friend, "don't let them make us care". In other words, we did our jobs, gave them what they wanted and laughed all the way to the bank. No more taking a stand and fighting for it. It just wasn't worth it. Slight difference was that we knew we wanted to retire in 2 years. Still, you could adopt that attitude as others have advised.

If you know you want to keep working, start looking seriously for a new job. Easier to find one when you already have one. Higher level with another biotech firm? Maybe you cant be a psych nurse in a hospital, but what about a rehab facility, group home, assisted living facility, nursing home, etc. What about private duty nursing? What about a doctors office....probably not great pay as they are notoriously stingy, but would you have insurance and/or enjoy it. Maybe a professional recruiter could find something for you, especially at your salary level.

As for being bored in retirement. I retired at 55 and no way am I bored. But, I also am married and also have a lot of interests. Start now developing interests other than reading. Join stuff until you find something that is enjoyable to you. Build a stronger support system. Don't wait until you are retired.

Stop reacting to your boss. Yeah I know easier said than done, but it can be done. Good luck.

BTW, a meeting with a financial planner might put your mind at rest and also make sure your plans are financially prudent.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:24 PM
6,439 posts, read 3,069,385 times
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I forgot the obvious. If you like reading find a book club that will expand your social circle.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:25 PM
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,265,616 times
Reputation: 4451
In the case you describe, you are saying that the increased tax hit was due the unrealized CG taxes. So then there is no tax hit due to paying off your mortgage, except where you would be in a higher tax bracket now, vs maybe a lower one later, if you paid STCGs vs LTCGs. The trade off of no mortage interest paid for more than half your loan must be weighed against taxes paid. In virtually every scenario, if you can afford to pay cash for your house, which you in essence did for the last half, and still maintain a healthy savings, which you have, it is the smart move. LTCGs are easier on the budget than STCGs, but STCGs have a way of disappearing, and you just took the profit and put it to work. Nothing at all negative about that. You previously worded it as if you knew it was not smart but peace of mind was the primary reason. Holding on to equities that may or may not convert to LTCGs is a risk decision.

Don't worry, you are in better than just ok shape.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:29 AM
Location: Pac. NW
2,021 posts, read 1,521,621 times
Reputation: 3601
You could also sell that 400k house sometime down the road and downsize. But I doubt you'll need to.

Quit that damn job. The whole point of saving and investing is to have options. I wouldn't care enough about a miserable job to argue with anyone, I'd just bail.
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:06 AM
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
1,827 posts, read 2,616,516 times
Reputation: 2887
OMG in my opinion you won't be bored at all..you will enjoy life and find time for hobbies classes volunteer work. Life is meant to be celebrated...celebration should start today!!!! Woooooohoooooo
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:16 AM
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
1,827 posts, read 2,616,516 times
Reputation: 2887
How do you live on $700 per month? Between taxes, insurance, phone, electric, tv , internet, cell, how do you keep expenses so low? Food, gas, house maintenence, hair, nails....I could go on and on and I live a simple life!!!!!! My house and car are paid for but I could never manage on $700. a month!!! Share your secrets!!!!!
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:41 AM
30,072 posts, read 47,320,143 times
Reputation: 16023
If you really want to stay in that house and area you might consider a reverse mortgage--especially as you don't (apparently) have heirs you might want to inherit...
Scott Burns who has written an investment column for decades and has site --Assetbuilder-- with his articles has come out last several months with articles about the viability of reverse mortgage for "some" people...
They are more cost effective than in the past and do provide a certain longevity support to other assets/income in retirement...

He is normally a Boglehead type of advisor---low cost funds, index funds, broad market and long term investing so for him to recommend reverse mortgage is probably worth investigating...
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