lost job - can I retire now

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lost job - can I retire now

Postby xsas » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:15 pm

Hi all,

Lost my job today. However, I'm hopeful I can retire now. I’ll be 57 at the end of the year and feel that my total nest egg may be big enough to start my retirement now. This is my first posting, but I've been reading this blog for awhile and I value your opinions and would appreciate your thoughts on my situation. Do you think I can retire?

After looking at my monthly spending, I think I can live on 35-40K a year. I'll receive about 1300/month in SS in 10 years, and I have a cash balance account from a past employer that will become an annuity when I'm 65, paying me 1000/ month. Its value is not included in my total nest egg below, but should be around 120,000 by the time I'm 65 years old.

Thank you very much for your thoughts and ideas.

Personal info: single, no kids.
Debt: none, house is paid off. Car is 12 years old and running great
Taxes: Federal 25%, State 5.3% (MA)

nest egg - about 750K

Roth: 120,000
Vanguard health care 45%
vanguard tsm 45%
vanguard tbm 10%

RO IRA:133,000
Vanguard: GNMA 20%
500 Index 70%
International growth -10%

Fidelity balanced: 260,000

TIAA-CREF - 90000
Traditional 55%
Real Estate 45%

Individual account at Vanguard: 110,000
Limited term tax exempt 70%
tax managed small cap 10%
tax managed international 10%
mid cap index 10%

I forgot about my IBonds, have about 34,000
Last edited by xsas on Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby rixer » Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:49 pm

I could do it.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Clearly_Irrational » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:03 pm

xsas wrote:Lost my job today. However, I'm hopeful I can retire now. I’ll be 57 at the end of the year and feel that my total nest egg may be big enough to start my retirement now. This is my first posting, but I've been reading this blog for awhile and I value your opinions and would appreciate your thoughts on my situation. Do you think I can retire?


Firecalc says 92.2% chance of success, for me that would be way too low. Depends on how flexible your spending requirements are.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby dad2000 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:15 pm

Sorry about the job loss. If this was unexpected, have you thought about what you'd do with all your free time? If not, I'd consider working at least part time for a few years if possible.

I think your nest egg is on the borderline, and having just a little income for a few more years would make it must closer to a sure thing.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby mathwhiz » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:18 pm

If you were laid off and qualify for unemployment, you should file for benefits the first thing Monday morning. Then make an effort to find comparable employment in order to collect unemployment benefits until exhaustion.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby patriciamgr2 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:03 pm

Sorry about the job situation. One important point: do you have health insurance (e.g. Cobra) that can span the period until your state's PPACA marketplace is open? Please be sure to include health insurance premiums, total deductible amounts & vision/dental in your retirement budget; even if you're in perfect health, it's too risky to go without insurance.

If you'll need to replace the car, include that as a lump sum expenditure in your budget in 2-3 years & budget for repairs before then. Have you lived on this amount of money in the past? If so, you may be able to identify areas where you could cut back further in the event of a few bad years of market performance early in your retirement. I'd run the revised budget through a few retirement calculators so that you understand what inflation increases, market losses, etc. will do to your sustainability.

I haven't run the numbers. I second the earlier poster's suggestion that you look for another position (& absolutely apply for unemployment). Even a few more years of working will improve your odds of success.

Also, I wasn't clear on whether the Fidelity & TIAA-Cref money would be available to you without penalty before 59-1/2. You need to identify from which accounts you will withdraw living expenses. [I'm probably too conservative, but I like to have any money I plan to withdraw within 3 years in principal-protected assets (e.g. money market or CDs, etc.)--not in risk assets]

Best Wishes

P.S. I notice that you have positions in GNMA & REITs-I'm sure other forum members will comment on your investment portfolio. I'll just make one narrow comment: please be sure you are comfortable holding whatever portfolio you decide upon for the long-term (including, for example, interest-sensitive positions through any rate increases). When there's no paycheck coming in, it can sometimes be harder to "stay the course" & that is a key to success over the long-term.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby freebeer » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:53 pm

Clearly_Irrational wrote:
xsas wrote:Lost my job today. However, I'm hopeful I can retire now. I’ll be 57 at the end of the year and feel that my total nest egg may be big enough to start my retirement now. This is my first posting, but I've been reading this blog for awhile and I value your opinions and would appreciate your thoughts on my situation. Do you think I can retire?


Firecalc says 92.2% chance of success, for me that would be way too low. Depends on how flexible your spending requirements are.


It also depends on how you feel about longevity risk. Firecalc's 7.8% chance of failure is during a nominal 30-year period of retirement. Even though you're prospectively starting early, if you're male you probably only have 30% chance of living to 87. So your chances of being alive and broke by 87 are significantly less than 7.8%, plus you have SS backstop so you wouldn't really be "broke".
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Clearly_Irrational » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:03 pm

freebeer wrote:It also depends on how you feel about longevity risk. Firecalc's 7.8% chance of failure is during a nominal 30-year period of retirement. Even though you're prospectively starting early, if you're male you probably only have 30% chance of living to 87. So your chances of being alive and broke by 87 are significantly less than 7.8%, plus you have SS backstop so you wouldn't really be "broke".


Actually, I adjusted the time span to account for that, added in his two expected income streams along with their dates and selected a reasonably conservative 50/50 portfolio. I used the average of his spending range at $37,500/yr.

You have a point about lifespans being unpredictable is well made, I would take a look at the average age of death of your relatives for some indication as to how long you might live.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby snyder66 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:07 pm

Would you consider a part time job, doing something you enjoy?
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Watty » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:08 pm

I'll receive about 1300/month in SS in 10 years, and I have a cash balance account from a past employer that will become an annuity when I'm 65, paying me 1000/ month.
......I think I can live on 35-40K a year.




A very oversimplified back of the envelope calculation;

8 years of spending $40K a year until you are 65 is $320K

If your current $750K does not earn anything then that would be spent down to $430K. (750-320)

A 4% safe withdraw rate starting at 65 for $430K is $17,200 or $1,433 a month.

$40K a year in spending is $3,333 per month.

Less the 4% withdrawal is $1,900 (3333-1433)

Less the $1,300 in social security is $600 (1,900 - 1,300)

Less the $1,000 a month pension is a surplus of $400 ($600 - 1000) (but this does not account for inflation)

My gut feel is that it is very doable but there is not a large margin of safety since your expenses might be higher than expected or you might start off your retirement with a few bad years of investing returns. It would be best to find some part time work or a side business until social security starts. Even $5,000 a year in income until you start social security will make the numbers look a lot safer.

If you can get through the first few years and your expenes and invesmtents are doing OK then you might be in a better situation to stop working completely when you are 60 or so.

A few things;

1) Go to the social security web site and double check that your estimate is assuming that you stop working today. Often it is quoted as if you will keep working until you start social security. Your social security is basically calculated on your highest 35 years of earnings so if you have some years in that 35 years with low or no income then you may get less social security if you stop working now. You will still have a large nestegg so you might want to delay when you start socual security.

2) Read up on the income levels of the affordable care act for the various levels of support. Having enough income to be above the level that would put you into Medicaid looks like a good target to me since you might get better healthcare with a private plan and you would get a large rebate.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby JoMoney » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:19 pm

If you "retired" what do you want to do with your time? I'm also single with no kids and have had trouble answering this. I've considered that I might cut back to part time employment in something low-stress, but will probably work at something until I can't work anymore. Having the financial security where you don't HAVE TO do anything is one thing. Sitting around doing nothing (or making bad habits like all the elderly I see in Casinos) is another...

"When your unemployed, there's no vacation..."
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby EternalOptimist » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:44 pm

I think so. For me it would be what is your health cost? I retired 2+ years ago at 61 and things seem fine. Your home presumably will give you cash if you need it some day. Go for it, life is too short to have regrets.
"When nothing goes right....go left"
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby joe8d » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:49 pm

NO, for a lot of reasons.Sign up for Unemployment Insurance immediately and do all you can to find a full time job.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:00 pm

joe8d wrote:NO, for a lot of reasons.Sign up for Unemployment Insurance immediately and do all you can to find a full time job.


+1 I'd sign up for unemployment and start looking for a new job. It's one thing if you are completely unemployable or unable to find any work, but you won't know unless you try.
"Luck is not a strategy" Asking Portfolio Questions
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby IlliniDave » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:33 pm

xsas wrote:Hi all,

Lost my job today. However, I'm hopeful I can retire now. I’ll be 57 at the end of the year and feel that my total nest egg may be big enough to start my retirement now. This is my first posting, but I've been reading this blog for awhile and I value your opinions and would appreciate your thoughts on my situation. Do you think I can retire?

After looking at my monthly spending, I think I can live on 35-40K a year. I'll receive about 1300/month in SS in 10 years, and I have a cash balance account from a past employer that will become an annuity when I'm 65, paying me 1000/ month. Its value is not included in my total nest egg below, but should be around 120,000 by the time I'm 65 years old.

Thank you very much for your thoughts and ideas.

Personal info: single, no kids.
Debit: none, house is paid off. Car is 12 years old and running great
Taxes: Federal 25%, State 5.3% (MA)

nest egg - about 750K

Roth: 120,000
Vanguard health care 45%
vanguard tsm 45%
vanguard tbm 10%

RO IRA:133,000
Vanguard: GNMA 20%
500 Index 70%
International growth -10%

Fidelity balanced: 260,000

TIAA-CREF - 90000
Traditional 55%
Real Estate 45%

Individual account at Vanguard: 110,000
Limited term tax exempt 70%
tax managed small cap 10%
tax managed international 10%
mid cap index 10%

I forgot about my IBonds, have about 34,000


Sorry to hear of your plight. You could probably do it but you'd right on the edge. You'd have to be really confident in your living expense estimate and have some margin in it. On the surface it would be cutting it too close for me. If you're just tired of working full time the idea someone else mentioned of working part time at something you might find fun that could offset some of your expenses would help leave more of your nest egg intact until 67. I'd suggest you at least keep an open mind regarding some sort of employment if possible.
Don't do something. Just stand there!
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby xsas » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:50 pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question, you have given me a lot to think about.

I want so badly to retire, however, I do agree that I need at least 1 more full year and then perhaps a few years at part-time work. My original target nest egg
was 1 million and I think I will stick with that goal for now.

So, yes, I will consider less stressful full-time/ part-time employment. It's hard to keep up with the 20, 30 and 40 year olds in a competitive work place.

I will apply for unemployment first thing on Monday. I will also spend more time thinking about your advice.

Some responders brought up the question of having things to do in retirement. My list of activities is so long, hiking, biking, birding, getting a dog, oil painting, tend to my garden,
reading, a little travel, and best of all, napping.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby HomerJ » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:56 pm

joe8d wrote:NO, for a lot of reasons.Sign up for Unemployment Insurance immediately and do all you can to find a full time job.


What are those reasons?
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Caduceus » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:11 am

Sorry to hear about the job loss.

Calculating the sustainable withdrawal rate is the easy part; estimating what your true retirement expenses would be the hard part! We have only half of the equation with the listing of your assets. How confident are you with the 35k-40k retirement expense estimate? I would say that the big things to consider as part of this amount would be 1. taxes (is this a pre-tax or post-tax amount? What are you estimating to be your annual taxes?) 2. Health care expenses (does this include insurance premiums and deductibles/out-of-pocket healthcare expenses?) and 3. non-recurring expenses (do you have a system for setting aside some funds for infrequent but expected expenses like repairs for your house, replacement of big-ticket items, like a car, or a fridge every now and then?)

And yes, unlocking the value/equity in your home can serve as a buffer for unexpected longevity risk. But I would feel more comfortable knowing that it's there but not factoring it into the calculations.

So many people don't have anywhere near your level of assets and they retire, so surely it can be done (just to keep things in perspective). It must feel so good to either be already there or to be so close. Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby mlebuf » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:21 am

In addition to looking at the financial picture, you may want to take a look at this site:
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/does- ... espan.html

The main positive in your financial picture is that you have only one mouth to feed. That gives you the luxury of being flexible when it comes to deciding how much to spend in a given year.

All the people I know who retired early have no regrets. I'm one of them and consider it a gift to spend my days doing whatever I wish. Everyday is Saturday.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby frugaltype » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:17 am

I would, besides collecting unemployment asap, look around for a job you enjoy, even part-time work. That's the difference between adding to your savings and depleting them for the next ten years or so, which is significant.

I opted for early retirement in your situation, although with a somewhat larger nest egg, when I got tired of being turned down for technical work because the job prospects for women my age in my field are, like, zero. I have a lot of things I enjoy doing, but I miss being productive, and volunteer work just does not do it compared to actual work. If I could find a non-paying scientific volunteer position where I live (none seem to exist), I'd hop on it in a minute
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby DouglasDoug » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:52 am

Congratulations. However, you did not say what sort of lifestyle you want to embrace after retirement. For all I know, you may want to join the Peace Corp, go live half the year in the Phillipines, or spend your idle time shopping in Neiman Marcus. Having no children or grand-kids will change the game for you and how you handle your savings. Good-luck.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby donall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:53 am

I echo the previous advice of collecting unemployment and accepting another employment opportunity if it presents itself. I would spend the time now to narrow down my expenses. Are expenses $35K or $40K?

You reside in MA, so I assume you will have access to good health insurance plans, even if not working. You may perhaps be eligible for a government subsidy for health care premiums next year

It is easier to add money now rather than later to ensure a higher level of success in retirement. If after a year or two you get a bad attitude while working, then easy enough to walk. The market is high now, so realistically there may be an adjustment to your total amount.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby hand » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:58 am

Have you considered anuatizing your nest egg?
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Call_Me_Op » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:14 am

Don't forget to factor-in Social Security. It will make a big difference in this case.
Best regards, -Op | | "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Einstein
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby stan1 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:59 am

Bogleheads.org posters are generally very conservative. Hundreds of thousands of Americans stop working every year with far less so yes it is doable.

1. I agree with looking for work and collecting unemployment for now, potentially transitioning to a part time job for the next 7-10 years.
2. Review expenses. With your house paid off and a list of low cost hobbies like hiking and birding, is the $40K/year requirement high? Could you adjust in a year where the stock market is down (postpone a vacation, no new bike)? Figuring out whether you need $30K or $40K/year is a big deal.
3. Consider family health history. Does your family have a history of living into their 90s with good health or a history of dementia with years of assisted living?
4. Since you are in MA you might have some health care options available that the rest of us don't have access to yet.
5. Make sure the house is right sized for a single person's simple lifestyle. There's no reason for a single person to be living in anything more than a 1500 square foot house (and many can get by with far less). Even if the house is paid off you still have to heat and maintain the whole house. If the house is older consider selling it and buying something newer to lower maintenance costs.

Making a few changes will improve the odds for success. Good luck with your job search!
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby jbreittling » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:48 pm

HomerJ wrote:
joe8d wrote:NO, for a lot of reasons.Sign up for Unemployment Insurance immediately and do all you can to find a full time job.


What are those reasons?


+1
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby thebogledude » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:54 pm

If you are single, do you have to withdraw 35-40K? I would see what the numbers look like at 25K and at 30K.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Mingus » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:52 pm

xsas wrote:
Some responders brought up the question of having things to do in retirement. My list of activities is so long, hiking, biking, birding, getting a dog, oil painting, tend to my garden,
reading, a little travel, and best of all, napping.

Thanks again for all your help.


You sound a lot like me. Replace oil painting with, woodwork and oiling and varnishing wood.
I doubt you will get bored. And napping serves many purposes. So many people just don't understand or make time for naps...

I second the votes for part time work though. Adds a little bit of structure to your life, and keeps you meeting new people. Plus, it can be something totally off the wall like working minimum wage at an art museum, or anything for that matter. Adds a little bit of earned income, structure, and new faces.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Mitchell777 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:46 pm

I think you are a bit short, but reasonable people will disagree on that question. Make sure health care is taken care of. I'd suggest finding a job with health care at least until the ACA shakes out next year and you can see how it works. I too could lose my job at any time. If I can get healthcare (after COBRA) I'll be fine, but healthcare does concern me with all the political infighting in regards to the ACA (NOT a political statement)
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby htdrag11 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:12 pm

Sorry about your job but I was in a similar situation 2 years ago at 58. However, I was more fortunate since I took an early retirement package with healthcare benefits. My networth is larger too. Like most folks here, your portfolio is on the borderline.

Once you signed up for unemployment, you should joined LinkedIn if you had not done so. To get your next job, you MUST use or create your network. Also, expect to make less in your next job, the new normal.

I would also revisit your current budget. We're dropping most of my cable services, as an example. Since both of us are retired/unemployed, we only own one car. It's not how much you earn, it's how much you spend that could hurt you.

Good luck.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby BrooklynInvest » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:32 pm

Three concerns:

Healthcare
Healthcare
and healthcare.

That said. Sorry about your plight poster. Been there. Unpleasant but not the end of the world . . . although it might seem like it. Unemployment benefits are your next step. Next next step is finding something. The good news is you've saved and invested well so I'd suggest the challenge is perhaps finding something enjoyable/part time even that allows you to avoid touching your nest egg for several years, versus at the same income level? Transition towards retirement?

Good luck,
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby BerkeleyChris » Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:31 pm

Hi, XSAS,

Sorry about losing your job. For what it's worth, I agree with folks about filing for unemployment, but I don't think you should decide right now about retiring or not retiring.

You have about enough, and that alone should make you comfortable.

Based on personal experience, I think you should: 1) be thankful that you are no longer doing work that you (my interpretation based on your thoughts on wanting to retire) didn't want to do anymore; and, 2) take the next few weeks/couple of months to totally clear your head and treat it like a job to get out there every single day and do the hiking, biking, birding, getting a dog, oil painting, tending to your garden,reading, and getting rest that you state as goals. Like put your TV in storage and don't read the news. After a month or two of doing this you are going to know that either you want to keep doing it and will find a way to do it very frugally, or you will be mentally ready to return to the workforce and will be amazingly calm, clear, and positive in job interviews.

A little over 5 years ago, I was feeling exceptionally burnt out and quit my job to move across the country -- with no plans for future employment, etc. I had no debt and had a nice bit of savings, but It was not exactly a safe move as it was right when financial institutions and most employers seemed to be collapsing and I am no where near as close to being able to retire as you. I was able to do it frugally, but I treated it like a job to get out there and have fun, and to be honest that little break was the best couple of months in my life and has served me very well going forward. After decompressing and then feeling totally free, I realized I wanted to go back to work, and I got the first job I applied for, which has turned out to be my dream job. I am absolutely certain that taking a bit of time for myself made a world of difference.

Anyway, I don't want to come across as Pollyannaish, but I really hope this turns out to be something positive for you.

Chris
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Mitchell777 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:04 pm

XSAS - just an afterthought. Are you sure about the 1300 per month in SS at age 67? Based on the amount you've been able to save and other comments in your intial post, $1300 a month at 67 seems low
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby mur44 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:14 pm

Have you included Individual Health Insurance premium
in your budgetary calculations? Even though Affordability
Care Act (Known as Obamacare) will make Health Insurance
affordable, it appears that you did not include these expenses.

If your health is very good, you may opt for a bronze plan.
Health insurance premiums rise much faster than CPI.
You will be eligible for Medicare benefits at age 65.

You should calculate monthly expenses say 10, 20 years
from today to ensure that your assets last longer than you.


Disclosure: I am a Certified Volunteer Medicare Counselor from NJ
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby xsas » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:09 pm

Mittchell777, you're right it is low. My monthly SS, if I continue to work until my full retirement age, would be 2,423, and at age 62 if would be 1,725. I'm not sure how to calculate SS when one stops working before 62.

Mur44, yes I estimate monthly health care premiums to be $700.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby jane1 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:39 am

Sorry about your job loss.
I think you should be okay to retire now as long as you have the mentaility to adjust your spending in the lean years. MA should be easier for health insurance. You might be eligible for healthcare subsidy next year onwards, which would reduce your spending. Based on how you manage your withdrawals, your taxes could be minimal. And with the house paid for, It certainly seems doable.
You can, maybe, give yourself a deadline of, say, 3 months to find a suitable job while collecting UI. And then decide.
Time and freedom are worth a lot, so if you are borderline, I would go for retirement. But if you are the kind, who will constantly be worrying (once retired) about not having enough money, you are better off accumulating more now, so you can feel free to spend.
Check out the Early Retirement forums, there is a wealth of information there. Also post on forum there.
http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Mitchell777 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:27 am

xsas - if you go to the SS site it will show you an estimate based on actual earnings. As I recall it also allows you to simulate different scenarios, one being if you stop work right now. I was surprised when I first checked it how little my SS went up if I worked until 62 (vs stop working in my late 50's).
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby exoilman » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:18 am

Your glide path timeline would be steep for me. Work at least part time till your head clears. And keep asking questions to the many bright minds here.

good luck
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby NoVa Lurker » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:09 am

BerkeleyChris wrote:Hi, XSAS,

Sorry about losing your job. For what it's worth, I agree with folks about filing for unemployment, but I don't think you should decide right now about retiring or not retiring.

You have about enough, and that alone should make you comfortable.

Based on personal experience, I think you should: 1) be thankful that you are no longer doing work that you (my interpretation based on your thoughts on wanting to retire) didn't want to do anymore; and, 2) take the next few weeks/couple of months to totally clear your head and treat it like a job to get out there every single day and do the hiking, biking, birding, getting a dog, oil painting, tending to your garden,reading, and getting rest that you state as goals. Like put your TV in storage and don't read the news. After a month or two of doing this you are going to know that either you want to keep doing it and will find a way to do it very frugally, or you will be mentally ready to return to the workforce and will be amazingly calm, clear, and positive in job interviews.

A little over 5 years ago, I was feeling exceptionally burnt out and quit my job to move across the country -- with no plans for future employment, etc. I had no debt and had a nice bit of savings, but It was not exactly a safe move as it was right when financial institutions and most employers seemed to be collapsing and I am no where near as close to being able to retire as you. I was able to do it frugally, but I treated it like a job to get out there and have fun, and to be honest that little break was the best couple of months in my life and has served me very well going forward. After decompressing and then feeling totally free, I realized I wanted to go back to work, and I got the first job I applied for, which has turned out to be my dream job. I am absolutely certain that taking a bit of time for myself made a world of difference.

Anyway, I don't want to come across as Pollyannaish, but I really hope this turns out to be something positive for you.

Chris


This is pretty close to my reaction. OP, while you didn't come out and say it, it sounds like you lost a job that you were looking forward to leaving anyway. I would apply for unemployment and start looking for something you really want to do, whether that's part-time or full-time, for a few years, but I wouldn't be in a huge rush to find the new job. Enjoy your low-cost hobbies and relax for a bit, while still putting out feelers.

I think the 92% firecalc estimate of success seems low for you, since you could ratchet down most of your expenses (other than health care, as many have mentioned) if necessary. A bit more money will help you rest easier, but you don't have to earn it all in the next year or two - you could take a year to be picky about your work options.
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Re: lost job - can I retire now

Postby Montrose » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:30 pm

I lost my job 4 years ago at age 55. I'm single, with approximately the same size nest egg as the poster. I collected unemployment and have looked for jobs that fits my qualifications and that I really want to do, but have not been hired. Somewhere along the line, I became OK with being retired if that was the way it was to work out. I've run my numbers and know how much I have to spend each year. I've found ways to manage my expenses and feel like my lifestyle continues to improve. I've ruled out part-time work, as I have a full plate with hobbies, helping my mother and volunteering. I don't see that the extra money would be worth the trouble, or will make much difference to my bottom line anyway. I'm enjoying my life very much. Sometimes I feel guilty when I see other people going to work, but other times I think about the enormous amount of time (of my best years) that I put in and the small amount of actual leisure time I had during my working years.

I would say look for a job and go back to work if you find something you would enjoy. Otherwise, do what I've done and make your numbers work. Enjoy the money you've worked all your life for. You've only got a short number of years you can continue to work and put it away anyway.
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