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Old 05-31-2008, 11:31 PM
212 posts, read 752,701 times
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Have you had unexpected hardships like job loss or illness jeapordazing your early retirement plans at age 62 and have only short time to correct them.

Had plans for early retirement at 62 but after 13 yrs I was let go from a company with great benefits, then lasted 1 yr on another job, then out of work for 8 months, and finally started a new job not happy not suited for me, longer hrs, & stress. At age 57 I may not able to retire at age 62. It is tough to find a new job with poor job market and age bias. Anybody facing unexpected events and any suggestions

1)might need disk surgery within year if condition worsens-- be out 2-3 wks so will job keep me
2) combined 401k is only $330,000. I will also get mthly $800 pension from past job
3) spouse is 5 yrs younger employed & will still work when I retire.
4)mortage paid off in 2 yrs, but my co-op maintenance is $860 a month-- what amt in 5 yrs

Last edited by captnemo; 06-01-2008 at 12:20 AM..
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:51 AM
13,313 posts, read 25,546,272 times
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I think a lot of people have encountered 50s unemployment, and the ones I know have run through whatever retirement savings and other savings they might have had just to live while job hunting. All three people I'm thinking of got decent jobs, but it took over a year for each (and two are still looking).
To me, "retirement" is when you can afford to stop working, not an age. I realize that Soc. Sec. is only possible at 62, not earlier, but that's not the only time factor.
I wrestle with, if nothing unexpected/bad happens (and it always could), should I work up to the last minute to have maximum money, or should I stop as soon as I reasonably can (and would prefer to)?
If another person's finances are involved, of course that person's input is critical, too. Remember if you take early Soc. Sec., if your wife ends up with a spousal benefit, it will be permanently reduced by your taking it early (assuming her own benefit would be less). Also, just offhand, $330K doesn't sound like a whole lot for two people in retirement. Or maybe I've been reading too many Money Magazine articles.
Co-op maintenance sounds quite high. Are you in NYC? That's more than many mortgages. Maybe it's not the place to retire.
Good luck. These are hard decisions, and yes, things happen all the time that are not welcome.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:54 AM
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As far as I know, a job has to keep you for personal medical problems, especially if only 2-3 weeks as you say. Family Medical and Leave Act gives you up to 12 weeks (unpaid) in any given 12-month period of your company is of some specific size (I think 50 employees?).
If a smaller company, I'd think that they could hardly replace you with someone ready to go in a few weeks. Would disk surgery really require only a few weeks before recovery to work? That could be cutting it a bit close, but if the company is of the right size (look up FMLA) then the job is held for 12 weeks no matter what.
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:32 AM
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,110 posts, read 8,147,355 times
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Originally Posted by captnemo View Post
mortage paid off in 2 yrs, but my co-op maintenance is $860 a month--
Sounds like you have some choices to make here.

Most people never consider the "third option" (the first 2 being - 1. continue to work, or 2. retire and be poor). The third option, is to voluntarily lower your standard of living until it fits in with your income.

I agree that the co-op maintenance of $860 a month is far too high. You cannot retire and continue to pay that. Even if you could, it would go up sooner or later due to inflation. I know folks who pay less than $860 a month for rent or a mortgage!

Put all options on the table. This does not sound like a bad situation at all. If you would be flexible and consider selling the co-op for something a bit more affordable (and no maintenance fee), it sounds like you could do this with zero monthly payments. If you move to somwhere out of the cities, the taxes and insurance would be lower, too. If you get enough land to start a garden, you could offset food costs. There are many many ways to pare down monthly expenses. You need to look at them and decide which ones you can live with, and which you can't.

Also keep in mind that alot of your expenses will go away when you no longer work - things like commuting costs, lunches out, work clothing, cell phone (if required for work), and whatever expenses you now incur.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:07 AM
Location: WA
5,392 posts, read 21,385,099 times
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An industry decline and buy-out sidelined my plans just four years before a planned early retirement. The market decline of 2000 pushed the plan another few years.

Since saving and benefits are so critical I wound up working at half my old salary but it was better than unemployment. We moved and reduced expenses as much as possible. Restructered our portfolio to reduce risk and be more diversified. Still retired a little early but with somewhat lesser standard of living.

Keep your eye on insurance costs and the plan for long term income with any decision.

Good luck.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:32 PM
Location: West Virginia
12,432 posts, read 31,483,930 times
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In answer to your question...YES at age 45 I was disabled! Before I recieved my SSD I lost my home & everything!! Life can sure knock you for a loop..as they say the best laid plans.....
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:40 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
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an uncle went in for elective surgery (a pre-retiree 'tune-up') one month before 60, (his trigger point for LTC...)

got O2 deprived, 100 % disabled for 8 yrs now, can't talk, read, walk, eat...under full time care, his wife had to leave job to care for him, retirement projects got sold a few years ago to pay for bills, no settlement from hospital for 'forgetting' to plug in the monitor... life throws curve balls

I try to stay away from hospitals, but some of those trips aren't 'optional'

My dad got disabled at age 49, so I'm trying to 'beat-the-odds' (but faithfully pay my LTC)
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:40 AM
Location: Tennessee
34,669 posts, read 33,671,635 times
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I think it comes down to how you want to live your retirement. What do you want to do when you retire and where could you do those things for the least amount of cost? You know, if you want to travel, for example, and you can't afford to travel, except infrequently, you won't be happy. If you want to fish and garden, it may mean you could retire sooner.

Maybe you could use your vacation time for your surgery so the job will keep you.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:07 AM
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,573,689 times
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I would agree that you must get out of the high HOA community. We looked for a home in which we could pay cash for and had resonable HOA fees here in AZ. We will probably not stay here and downsize again in a few years. Property taxes and HOA fees will sink your boat. I am thinking Alabama in a mobile home might be nice after all. LOL
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:30 PM
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I think most of us nearing retirement have taken a big hit on our home values and investments in the last few years. Many can't even sell their homes now. And inflation is now kicking into high gear with fuel and food costs skyrocketing. I would imagine that millions are now contemplating a delayed retirement.
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