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Old 09-26-2022, 12:04 PM
 
11,298 posts, read 12,309,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I retired at 57 from a public sector job with 37 years of service. Worked part-time for a bit for a few years after, but it was easy work and paid well and I could more or less work what hours I wanted to. I will not file for SS until I am at FRA. My pension is sufficient. I would have gone out at the earliest possible time at 55, but my boss dangled a promotion and a chunky raise to stay for the extra two years.

My younger sister worked at various office jobs before going back to school and getting a degree in software engineering at 46. She has a good job in the private sector, but she is 61 and won't be able to retire until she hits FRA in the SS system. I feel bad for her. She is struggling still with some aftereffects of COVID, and her husband was just diagnosed with bladder cancer. He is already retired and eight years older than she is. He is going to be getting treatment, but she is worried that they will never be able to enjoy retirement together.
Maybe your sister can find a way to live off of her husband's pension? Did he choose the spousal benefit option? I totally understand wanting to hang in there at her job for 6 more years until she reaches FRA but, she's right, if she does that she may never have a day of retirement with her husband. It's a tough call either way. Did she qualify for any pensions or put any retirement money into her 401Ks at those various jobs she had?

I ask that because I earned a pension at an office job that I had worked at for about 10 years or so. It's not huge but it'll still be nice to have. Plus, I did put away money in my 401K before I left work to be a SAHM.

The other option, of course, is downsizing to a smaller house. If they have a fair amount of equity in their home, they may be able to sell and pay cash for a smaller home and invest the rest of the proceeds.

I know that you didn't ask what she should do but I really do feel for her situation and the choices she has to make. Not easy.

I'm with you on retiring as early as we feasibly can.
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Old 09-26-2022, 12:15 PM
 
6,501 posts, read 2,908,129 times
Reputation: 9003
Quote:
Originally Posted by whateverblahblahblah View Post
I was planning on retiring in 5 years or so, but now it looks like it will be more like 10 years since inflation has shot up and the stock market has gone down the toilet. From what I've read, it looks like things will suck for at least the next couple of years, possibly longer, especially if the economy craters. About a year ago, I penciled in 2027 for my retirement year but that just isn't happening unless a miracle occurs.

I've hated working for decades. I hate waking up at an ungodly hour, fighting traffic for 3 hours a day round trip, staring at boring things that I don't care about on a monitor for 8 hours a day, and wearing a fake smile around bosses and coworkers who I don't particularly like and would rather not deal with.

I've been in a bad mood lately, but I figure it's beyond my control, so why worry about it?
I fully retired in 2020, at the age of 60, and the inflation/recession does not change anything about my retirement decision, since I do not live off of market investments, but I retired on laddered fixed annuities with a lot of room for inflation (ie, new annuities are kicking in every 5 or so years, to compensate for presumable inflation of 4% per year for 30 years. The inflation has been double of my projection in the last two years, which has still not affected me much because I do not rent my housing but own it, I don't keep a car but live in a large city which is totally walkable plus there is public transportation, I don't eat out anyway, am single so do not spend too much on food etc. ongoing household expenses, and, due to Covid, have not had a chance to spend on my sole somewhat costly interest, ie, international travel).

But anyway, I keep coming across more and more articles about the present market situation resembling the market downturn of 1966... ie, after a 20-year run of high market earnings, the market turned down and then stalled starting in 1966, after which stocks did not regain their value until 1982. It would not have been great to retire in 1966 & count upon living off of the stock market, but then, social security provided pretty well in 1966, plus a lot of people had pensions, so investing for retirement wasn't generally a thing as far as I understand (I did not live in the US at that time, plus in 1966 I was 6 years old, pretty far from retirement concerns :-).

Anyway, I am not concerned about the market situation. I like frugal living regardless of economic conditions (could theoretically live fairly normally off of soc security only), every year I need one less year's worth of resources to support myself (since I am one year closer to death), I will need even less $ per year after the age of about 85 when I stop traveling, I do not need to leave a legacy, and I will start taking soc security at 70 to maximize payout at the very advanced age if I reach it. The market does not really concern me.

I have a bit in a growth stock mutual fund (my only market holdings), which I converted to Roth on down-market days in 2019 and particularly March 2020, but I don't intend to touch that for 20 years, so it is of no concern that the fund has crashed (the fund manager is managing that, presumably to fill the fund with stocks that are likely to survive the crash & grow again when the market returns to life. I don't know when that may be, but I don't worry about that, since I had invested only the bit of money that I will never strictly speaking need, and can afford to lose it completely). That's just my personal approach.

I don't know how many people have financial regrets about early-ish retirement - it seems nobody who posts here has that regret. I think I share with many other posters here the experience that our spending in retirement, at least in our 60s and 70s, seems to be lower than we expected, even factoring the inflation in the budget. Retrospectively, I could have retired ten years earlier, ie, at 50, and still would have been financially okay. I think your SPENDING patterns matter more than the market, or anything else, for your financial satisfaction in retirement. So, in the end it matters primarily what you need to SPEND in order to be happy - how much you have matters only in relation to how much you like to spend.

Last edited by elnrgby; 09-26-2022 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 09-26-2022, 12:21 PM
 
Location: East Bay, CA
75 posts, read 31,021 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by whateverblahblahblah View Post
I was planning on retiring in 5 years or so, but now it looks like it will be more like 10 years since inflation has shot up and the stock market has gone down the toilet. From what I've read, it looks like things will suck for at least the next couple of years, possibly longer, especially if the economy craters. About a year ago, I penciled in 2027 for my retirement year but that just isn't happening unless a miracle occurs.

I've hated working for decades. I hate waking up at an ungodly hour, fighting traffic for 3 hours a day round trip, staring at boring things that I don't care about on a monitor for 8 hours a day, and wearing a fake smile around bosses and coworkers who I don't particularly like and would rather not deal with.

I've been in a bad mood lately, but I figure it's beyond my control, so why worry about it?
The performance of the stock market may be out of your control, but your career is not. I know ageism may prevent you from getting a job you like better, but have you tried? Have you talked to any of the local head hunters?

What if you "retire" in 5 years, but get a part-time job? Wouldn't that still be better than 5 more years of that soul-sucking job? Have you looked into an online side hustle? Maybe it could eventually replace most of your day job income.

Have you thought about what you're going to retire to? You should be retiring to something, not just to get away from a job you hate.
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Old 09-26-2022, 01:24 PM
 
1,728 posts, read 1,028,624 times
Reputation: 3396
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnrgby View Post
I fully retired in 2020, at the age of 60, and the inflation/recession does not change anything about my retirement decision, since I do not live off of market investments, but I retired on laddered fixed annuities with a lot of room for inflation (ie, new annuities are kicking in every 5 or so years, to compensate for presumable inflation of 4% per year for 30 years. The inflation has been double of my projection in the last two years, which has still not affected me much because I do not rent my housing but own it, I don't keep a car but live in a large city which is totally walkable plus there is public transportation, I don't eat out anyway, am single so do not spend too much on food etc. ongoing household expenses, and, due to Covid, have not had a chance to spend on my sole somewhat costly interest, ie, international travel).

But anyway, I keep coming across more and more articles about the present market situation resembling the market downturn of 1966... ie, after a 20-year run of high market earnings, the market turned down and then stalled starting in 1966, after which stocks did not regain their value until 1982. It would not have been great to retire in 1966 & count upon living off of the stock market, but then, social security provided pretty well in 1966, plus a lot of people had pensions, so investing for retirement wasn't generally a thing as far as I understand (I did not live in the US at that time, plus in 1966 I was 6 years old, pretty far from retirement concerns :-).

Anyway, I am not concerned about the market situation. I like frugal living regardless of economic conditions (could theoretically live fairly normally off of soc security only), every year I need one less year's worth of resources to support myself (since I am one year closer to death), I will need even less $ per year after the age of about 85 when I stop traveling, I do not need to leave a legacy, and I will start taking soc security at 70 to maximize payout at the very advanced age if I reach it. The market does not really concern me.

I have a bit in a growth stock mutual fund (my only market holdings), which I converted to Roth on down-market days in 2019 and particularly March 2020, but I don't intend to touch that for 20 years, so it is of no concern that the fund has crashed (the fund manager is managing that, presumably to fill the fund with stocks that are likely to survive the crash & grow again when the market returns to life. I don't know when that may be, but I don't worry about that, since I had invested only the bit of money that I will never strictly speaking need, and can afford to lose it completely). That's just my personal approach.

I don't know how many people have financial regrets about early-ish retirement - it seems nobody who posts here has that regret. I think I share with many other posters here the experience that our spending in retirement, at least in our 60s and 70s, seems to be lower than we expected, even factoring the inflation in the budget. Retrospectively, I could have retired ten years earlier, ie, at 50, and still would have been financially okay. I think your SPENDING patterns matter more than the market, or anything else, for your financial satisfaction in retirement. So, in the end it matters primarily what you need to SPEND in order to be happy - how much you have matters only in relation to how much you like to spend.
I think you are exactly right. If your spending is under control, you likely are in good shape.

Personally, I retired 18 years ago at age 42 and do not regret it. About a decade ago, I sold enough equities to create a cash fund that would last the rest of my life. I was able to make a good estimate of the amount needed knowing what my expenses were at the time, and what my SS check would be at 62. I’m pretty sure I’ll never need to sell another stock the rest of my life, other than for RMDs. Good thing, cuz my equities have gotten hammered, just like everyone’s. Single and childless though, so no worries about heirs.
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Old 09-26-2022, 04:15 PM
 
7,868 posts, read 5,580,391 times
Reputation: 21860
OP, I do not know your exact financial situation, but if it helps at all, most people adjust to whatever amount of money they happen to have when retiring.

So if possible, you could just go ahead and plan to retire in 5 years which is what you planned, and hopefully (if possible) just adjust to the money you happen to have available.
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
79,643 posts, read 73,482,777 times
Reputation: 101393
Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
Maybe your sister can find a way to live off of her husband's pension? Did he choose the spousal benefit option? I totally understand wanting to hang in there at her job for 6 more years until she reaches FRA but, she's right, if she does that she may never have a day of retirement with her husband. It's a tough call either way. Did she qualify for any pensions or put any retirement money into her 401Ks at those various jobs she had?

I ask that because I earned a pension at an office job that I had worked at for about 10 years or so. It's not huge but it'll still be nice to have. Plus, I did put away money in my 401K before I left work to be a SAHM.

The other option, of course, is downsizing to a smaller house. If they have a fair amount of equity in their home, they may be able to sell and pay cash for a smaller home and invest the rest of the proceeds.

I know that you didn't ask what she should do but I really do feel for her situation and the choices she has to make. Not easy.

I'm with you on retiring as early as we feasibly can.
I am not sure exactly what her husband's retirement income consists of, but no, they would not be able to live off of whatever it is. My sister owns the townhouse where they live, he does not. She already has at least a 45-minute drive to work so that they'd be in a less expensive/high property tax area. This is a second marriage for both of them. They got married about five years ago but have been together about 20. She has one adult child, he has two. He was a tax accountant and still does some work at tax time, but I know he had a convoluted financial mess in his past. His ex-wife is a lawyer, and I believe SHE gets a piece of a pension of his. My sister maintains a 401K of her own.

Trust me. She almost died last year from COVID, has the same genetic kidney disease my mother had, and if there were some way she could retire today, she would.
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:20 PM
 
1,647 posts, read 862,675 times
Reputation: 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by whateverblahblahblah View Post
I was planning on retiring in 5 years or so, but now it looks like it will be more like 10 years since inflation has shot up and the stock market has gone down the toilet. From what I've read, it looks like things will suck for at least the next couple of years, possibly longer, especially if the economy craters. About a year ago, I penciled in 2027 for my retirement year but that just isn't happening unless a miracle occurs.

I've hated working for decades. I hate waking up at an ungodly hour, fighting traffic for 3 hours a day round trip, staring at boring things that I don't care about on a monitor for 8 hours a day, and wearing a fake smile around bosses and coworkers who I don't particularly like and would rather not deal with.

I've been in a bad mood lately, but I figure it's beyond my control, so why worry about it?

If one year of the market being down 25-30% causes you to extend your expected retirement by 5 years then in no way were you financially set up to retire in the first place.
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:22 PM
 
Location: WA
1,917 posts, read 1,083,801 times
Reputation: 4474
Posted numerous times, my husband had an accident at work, age 40, building engineer. Income cut by two thirds; myself, part time file clerk. Two sons, 12, 15. We managed. Husband looked healthy, no short term memory, walked with a cane.

Could not work outside the home, I worked full-time for three years. We were able to move to lower COL state (Northern California to. WA) where he/we lived till he transitioned to Heaven, age 65.

? What are your priorities, spending a little less, being some what content OR being miserable to earn a few more shekels, dollars, euros ?
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Old 09-26-2022, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
1,901 posts, read 961,002 times
Reputation: 4495
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocafeller05 View Post
You got that right. Even if I have to live in a park model home for a few years I’m retiring early!
I bought 1 of those homes last year. Now I get to spend my retirement living in a resort with beautiful beaches 2 miles away.
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Old 09-26-2022, 06:03 PM
 
422 posts, read 200,489 times
Reputation: 1050
Quote:
Originally Posted by whateverblahblahblah View Post
I was planning on retiring in 5 years or so, but now it looks like it will be more like 10 years since inflation has shot up and the stock market has gone down the toilet. From what I've read, it looks like things will suck for at least the next couple of years, possibly longer, especially if the economy craters. About a year ago, I penciled in 2027 for my retirement year but that just isn't happening unless a miracle occurs.

I've hated working for decades. I hate waking up at an ungodly hour, fighting traffic for 3 hours a day round trip, staring at boring things that I don't care about on a monitor for 8 hours a day, and wearing a fake smile around bosses and coworkers who I don't particularly like and would rather not deal with.

I've been in a bad mood lately, but I figure it's beyond my control, so why worry about it?
Everybody's situation is different of course but my experience has been that we see these big, scary figures surrounding retirement that are unfounded. I mean, you need X million dollars to retire or something? I'm going to toss the bull**** flag on that.

Mrs. and I have the house paid off. We have the cars paid off. We don't carry credit card debt. Taxes are reasonably low. Now let's talk about medical. My teacher retirement's insurance limits my out of pocket to about $7K per year. Her insurance is along those lines. Insurance doesn't guarantee health so we could die, but it wouldn't be too expensive.

We figure at this point our major liabilities are the house (repairs etc.) and the dogs. I don't mention the boys lightly---vets are expensive and if their lives were on the line, well, they're our children. We don't lead an extravagant lifestyle, but we aren't eating ramen every night either. Overall I think if you're a low debt kind of person, you can make retirement happen more easily than you might think.

Maybe that's the big question: what kind of things do you need money for? Going to take lots of first class trips, eating at Michelin star restaurants? I pick up little part time things when I feel like it, so there's a little mad money available if you want it. I should make it part of my signature or something, but you can earn almost $20K per year before social security starts docking you, so if you're a little short or want some mad money or whatever, go for it.

But don't think you need a new car every three years. Or a new wardrobe every fall. Hell, you have to downsize.

Wasn't it the philosopher Prince who remarked,

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything'll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

'Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You're on your own


?

OP if you're so stressed you die of a heart attack, you aren't going to have much of a retirement.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXJhDltzYVQ
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