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Old 04-17-2016, 11:18 AM
 
659 posts, read 325,372 times
Reputation: 1974

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In 2014 at 56 I took 224K from my taxable savings to pay off my mortgage, due to real fears of losing my high paying job and being single. Thanks to the downturn in 2008, I still have not quite recovered what I originally paid for it and I also spent considerably to fix it up over the years and replaced all major fixtures and systems in the home. So I plan to stay in this home. Its worth about 400K. I did take a tax hit for paying it off--29K which I paid from my annual March bonus so it did not seem like a big deal. But I wanted to take my profits from my investments; and not lose them like what happened in 2008. Fast forward to now.

I have been with the company for almost 10 years, and am on my 5th boss. This last one came 1 year ago and we did not hit it off. I really tried but she came in with an attitude. I have done my job well over the years but the company has had no strategy or good senior management to accompany its growth. I am again worried about losing my job because she has told me I do not meet her expectations; and she also considerably reduced my bonus and other compensation. I am almost 58 and I doubt if I can get the kind of high paying job I have now. I AM SO GLAD I PAID OFF MY MORTGAGE; its the only peace of mind I have.

I have 0 debt, living expenses of $700 a month, a paid car with 70K miles on it; retirement plan savings currently worth 800K, cash money savings of 114K, mutual fund investments of 210 K; and vested company stock worth 250K as of mid June. In 4 years I can get $1958 monthly from SSecurity taking it early. In 7 years I have another small pension of $450 a month. Also qualify for reduced healthcare if I get to retire from my job in October, when I will have 10 years in.
I went to a major national fee based financial advisor for advice because the stress of this new boss is causing me to have cardiac issues (elevated BP and papitations)and depression. I was told I could retire now on an income of $35,000 a year if I do not want to find another job; and not to touch my retirement money until age 65. $35,000 a year is enough for me to live on, pay health insurance, car insurances, HO Insurance, and RE taxes, and go on an nice overseas vacation (my only vice).
My concern is going from a lifestyle where I can do what I want when I want (200K plus per year) and if I would be seriously bored so should I try to find one more job.
The advisor said my health is important , quit now, but I don't know what to do with the rest of my life. I live alone and I'm scared. My BP is under control with new meds for now.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:25 AM
 
5,397 posts, read 6,540,598 times
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Find one more job, even at a part time or low level. You will be so bored otherwise. Or go back to school

Rethink it when you take SS or dip into retirement funds
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
Reputation: 32309
Here's a novel approach: Instead of quitting in order to eliminate the stress which is causing health problems (the main worry seems to be about getting fired), why don't you eliminate the worry about getting fired by adopting the attitude that getting fired is O.K. because you have enough resources to retire now anyway, so if you get fired it's no big deal but is actually a relief. Yes, to would take a major mental effort to embrace such a radical change of attitude, but if successful, the change would allow you to inwardly laugh at your boss every day.

If you don't think that's possible, then I would say your advisor is correct. Your health IS important, VERY important. Chances are you will find something to do with the rest of your life. Think of that as a new adventure - trying some new hobbies, trying some volunteer work, etc. If those things don't work out, try others. Expect to hit some potholes and take some wrong turns along the way, but that doesn't matter because you'll be retired and you have resources.

Attitude is everything.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:55 AM
 
13,936 posts, read 7,422,661 times
Reputation: 25437
I'm just about to turn 58. I've had the whole job instability thing hanging over my head since I turned 50 when the Great Recession pushed my particular specialty to Asia. My numbers are similar to yours. I think if you look more closely at your numbers, you can burn more like $45K per year forever and it's mostly about how long you defer collecting Social Security. Personally, I'm not willing to dial back my disposable income to live on that but it's at least comforting to know that I'll have a roof over my head and food on the table for the rest of my life if disaster struck. The difference in my situation is that I telecommute. That makes the job instability stress much easier to deal with and I don't have the emotional investment in my job I used to have when I was doing metro-Boston tech startups. I also know I can find another job fairly quickly but it would likely be working conditions I'd prefer to avoid.... A commute from hell. An open floorplan office. I'm planning to work another 7 3/4 years but there's no way I'd suffer through that kind of job for 7 3/4 years.

If I were in your circumstance where your workplace turned toxic, I'd find another job even if it only paid 75 cents on the dollar. You already have sufficient net worth that you don't need to worry a heck of a lot about padding your retirement war chest. You look to have a low enough cash burn that you can probably bank 40% of your paycheck between a maxed 401(k) and saving/investing after tax money even with a 25% pay cut. You just need to keep the miracle of direct deposit going until you get closer to full retirement age where you have more like $80K+ in after tax disposable income.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:55 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,206 posts, read 1,350,381 times
Reputation: 6344
Since your company has a habit of changing it's management, maybe you can wait it out... a new boss should be coming soon. Add that to Escort's advice.

Money-wise, you appear to have done very very well. You should be proud of yourself.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:03 PM
 
2,635 posts, read 3,377,645 times
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You're in great shape. Nice job.

I'd start looking for another job. A low key, lower stress job within your field. But stay at current job until Oct so you can grab that valuable health benefit for when you retire from that job.

Your retirement is secure. You can have a very nice future. Start relaxing.... Big money is not the most important thing.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:15 PM
 
536 posts, read 632,312 times
Reputation: 1473
Just a slightly different perspective: have you checked out your health with a specialist in cardiology? Don't just keep an eye on BP, have an echocardiogram and an expert evaluation. I did that and found out the BP issue I have was related to a heart valve problem and while stress didn't help it, stopping stress doesn't affect it much. Nothing to do with lifestyle or weight. The BP in many cases including mine is secondary to another problem.

If stress isn't making you sick, and you like to salt away savings (which you have commendably been doing all along), you can just wait the bad boss out without changing lifestyles. I have had a few toxic co-employees and bosses, and those who come on strong from the get go tend to burn out quickly, as it is never just one person they are toxic with.

If you check out OK except for BP (now under control) and want to make a serenity change, fine--but if you want to stay working and avoid retirement now, I would check the medical situation out as a first step, as many problems can cause high blood pressure. Best to act with full info about what you can change and what you can only medicate, whether or not you are working.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
1,362 posts, read 768,419 times
Reputation: 2428
Believe it or not, my friend, you are in a very enviable position. You've got 2 very big milestones coming up in the next 6 months (the stock vesting in mid-June and the Health Care Kicker in October). If you're asking my advice.........take the pressure off yourself. You can coast til October, maybe even stick around for your year-end Bonus.


Relax -- you've won this game. But, seriously re-think taking SocSec at 62, let it grow.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:29 PM
 
659 posts, read 325,372 times
Reputation: 1974
Thanks everyone to responding to my post. I just don't know what to do and have no one to talk to about this. Who knew retirement would cause such angst. You know, I didn't start saving at all until I was 31, when my mother's advice about saving finally sunk in. I've got resources and I will have to reinvent myself. others have done it at older than 58, but I have got to take control as my sadness is manifesting itself in physical symptoms. My health is important. I can get another job!

Escort--You are correct I should change my attitude and not obsess over this, my son actually advised me the same thing and said don't worry about getting fired just keep the paycheck going until its over. She won't put me out on the street. She can't harm me. I must remember I am in a position of strength. I keep getting books from the library about retirement and starting over and its only stressing me out.

Ansible90--I think this boss is here to stay although she may get sick of commuting in from another state Mon-Thursday. Shes the new golden girl at work. We are the same age, and its likely a female competition thing. I've not argued with her at all and have listened and done everything she has said. Shes simply cold and aloof, and interested in making herself look good. Likely she's laughing all the way to the bank as a VP.

GeoffD-I think you are also correct in that I will not know what to do with myself; and even a low paying job gives me something to do. I am banking $3000 every 2 weeks at present, and living on $500. I could make a lot less but I would want a job with health insurance as a trade off. I also think $45,000 is more realistic too, especially since I like to take vacations. So right now I am saving every dime in cash until the ax falls.

Theoldnorthstate--thanks for your advice. Back to school for a degree is not in the cards for me at my age. I already have an RN (active) and an MBA. I did refresh my RN license 4 years ago but after making several inqeuries I have found out its impossible to get a job as a nurse if you have no recent hospital experience. I work in the biotech industry. However, if I could get a job in healthcare I would consider another update. I'd love to work as a psychiatric nurse again.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,699 posts, read 4,427,152 times
Reputation: 11690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Here's a novel approach: Instead of quitting in order to eliminate the stress which is causing health problems (the main worry seems to be about getting fired), why don't you eliminate the worry about getting fired by adopting the attitude that getting fired is O.K. because you have enough resources to retire now anyway, so if you get fired it's no big deal but is actually a relief. Yes, to would take a major mental effort to embrace such a radical change of attitude, but if successful, the change would allow you to inwardly laugh at your boss every day.

If you don't think that's possible, then I would say your advisor is correct. Your health IS important, VERY important. Chances are you will find something to do with the rest of your life. Think of that as a new adventure - trying some new hobbies, trying some volunteer work, etc. If those things don't work out, try others. Expect to hit some potholes and take some wrong turns along the way, but that doesn't matter because you'll be retired and you have resources.

Attitude is everything.
I agree with this and had a similar situation. I made the decision that I would do my best and let my ridiculous boss decide my fate. After about a year I was laid off and qualified for unemployment. During that time I met all UEI requirements as far as sending my resume out for jobs, etc. but when I was contacted for interviews I held fast on my salary requirements (to equal my last pay) and never go an interview in the 18 months I was on UEI. But I started developing a part time consulting practice and for another few years until I qualified for early SSI (at age 62) I did some part time consulting when my UEI (unemployment income) benefits expired. It all worked out fine.

If you quit, you lose the oppty to get UEI.
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