Laid off - 59yo - advice please

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bogglejs99
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Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by bogglejs99 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:02 pm

I would appreciate any input with regard to my situation.

I'm 59 and was laid off in March. I work in a field that favors 20 year olds... so job search is not looking good. Not sure I'll be able to get one; I'll hopefully be able to bring in $10k - 15k annually doing freelance work. I had been planning to work full-time till around 65.

My annual overhead is around 50K (between rent, insurance, and the basics). Single, no kids, no debt, don't own a house. I live in California.

So, I'll have an approximate $35K - 40K annual shortfall that I'll have to withdraw from investments.

Not sure if I'm missing a trick with regard to portfolio allocations, where to best withdraw from, etc.

Any other overall advice would be greatly appreciated, thx.


Bank:
CD at 2.3%: $200,000


Regular IRA:
VOO - $112,000
VTI - $32,000

Misc Stocks: around $2,000


Roth IRA:
VFIAX - $40,000
VTI - $17,000
VOO - $35,000

Misc Stocks: around $30,000 (mostly GOOG and AMZN)


Taxable Account:
VTV - $6,400
VTI - $24,000
VOO - $37,000
VFIAX - $70,000

Misc Stocks: around $45,000 (mostly GOOG and APPL)

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Watty
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Watty » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:10 pm

Check out this web site for a suggested Social Security claiming strategy.

https://opensocialsecurity.com/

I didn't add up your figures but just eyeballing the numbers it looks like you have in the ballpark of $500K which is a lot of money but not really enough to easily retire when you are 59. If you can't find more work in your normal field you probably need to get whatever sort of job you can to have more income coming in. You can likely get health insurance with many jobs.

I knew two people that worked in IT that were laid off in their 50s and they ended up working as school bus drivers as a bridge job to retirement. At least around here they are always looking for school bus drivers and it comes with good benefits and you get summers and school holidays off.

You may get better responses of you edit your post to add the names of the fund that you have instead of just using their ticker symbol, you can use the icon with a pencil on it to edit your post.

fru-gal
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by fru-gal » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:21 pm

I'm sorry this happened to you.

I was laid off in my fifties also, and it was impossible to get a job in my field. I had more savings and said, the hell with it, I'll just retire. That was a mistake. If I could do it over again, I'd take pretty much any work, which has the significant advantage of preserving savings AND the earnings those savings can bring in over decades. That's a lot of money when you take into account compounding.

Also look at cutting your expenses.

When that CD matures, look at depositaccounts.com to find the highest earning CDs in your area. Credit unions often have better rates on CDs than banks.

What about health insurance? Perhaps you qualify for insurance under the affordable care act (Obamacare.) I think losing a job is an event that means you can sign up outside the open enrollment period.

b42
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by b42 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:22 pm

Welcome to the forums.

For your taxable holdings, do you know what the cost basis is and potential capital gains/losses you would incur if you sold? If you end up with a very low income for this year, it may make sense to sell these first (such as the individual stock holdings) up to the point where you would pay 0% capital gains tax.

jacksonm
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by jacksonm » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:23 pm

bogglejs99 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:02 pm
Single, no kids, no debt, don't own a house. I live in California.
It would have helped if you added up the figures for us so we didn't have to.

But I figure it's around $650k. My parents retired on around $300k and lived well. My Dad was around the same age as you.

4% SWR + $10-$15k from freelancing won't get you to the $50k you need but when you factor in your SS check whenever you decide to take it, maybe you aren't far from where you want to be.

Have you considered relocating? You could live like a king somewhere like Costa Rica on a lot less that $50k.
Last edited by jacksonm on Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:28 pm

Considerations:

1. How are you paying expenses now? Savings? Unemployment?
2. Are you seeking employment outside of your field?
3. Would you settle for "any job" to pay the bills for now and look for a better job while working?
4. It would be better to keep your existing portfolio intact and re-establish an income stream asap.
5. Have you trimmed and cut monthly expenses drastically?
6. Have you looked for employment outside of the area you live in? Another state?
7. Would you consider relocating to another state if employment opportunities were more fruitful there?

j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

megabad
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by megabad » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:43 pm

I wouldn't give up on the job search. If you are mobile/flexible this should help. Also if you are mobile/flexible, moving to a lower cost area might help with living expenses if you can do the freelance work from anywhere.

In your situation, you are going to need to work in terms of exacts, not approximates. You need to know how much your SS will be at 62, FRA, and 70 and when you are going to claim. You need to know what your exact income will be for 2019 and 2020. Main reason is that you need to stay under the ACA subsidy limit for income if you can help it since health insurance would likely be extremely expensive for your prior to 65.

As soon as you determine how close you are to ACA limit, I would probably tax gain harvest as much as possible up to the lesser of this limit or the top of the 0% LTCG bracket. This is where I would withdraw first. If I have room left in the 12% bracket after that, I would probably go to tax deferred withdrawals. Then I would consider banks/Roth etc. Just my two cents.

HomeStretch
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:43 pm

Welcome and sorry to hear you were laid off.

I suggest you edit your original post using the pencil icon to the format suggested in “Asking Portfolio Questions” per the link below to receive more/specific advice.
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asking_ ... _questions

Few comments/questions:
1. Are you receiving severance and benefit continuation?
2. Have you filed for unemployment?
3. Are you aggressively job searching? Reaching out to your network, updated Linked In profile, updated resume, practicing interviewing skills, enlisting recruiters, open to moving, updating skills, etc.?
4. Have you figured out your best option for healthcare coverage from now through Medicare eligibility at age 65? ACA subsidies can help keep expense down.
5. Does your annual expense estimate of $50k include income taxes, healthcare costs and lumpy expenses like new car, etc.? Have you reviewed expenses to see if they can be reduced?
6. What is your estimated annual social security at age 62, FRA age and age 70?
7. Do you have a pension?

Your current portfolio of $650k is not enough to generate safe withdrawals of 3-4% per year to cover your expenses if you only earn $10k - $15k per year. You need to earn more or reduce your expenses. I suggest you earn enough to delay claiming SS until age 70 as SS income is indexed to inflation.

You didn’t say what your desired asset allocation is. It looks like you are roughly 70/30 equity/cash. It’s fine to keep some cash (maybe 1-2 years of expenses net of income) but you have 5-6 years in cash. I suggest any remaining cash balance be invested in a potentially higher earning total US bond fund when your CD matures.

Best of luck. Please update as you work through this.

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Wiggums
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Wiggums » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:03 pm

Sorry this happen to you.

What type of work are you looking for? How is the job hunt going?

My SIL got payed off at 51 and she has a lot less than you. She is not in a rush to look for a job. :-(

Topferment
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Topferment » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:19 pm

Sorry about the layoff. Would highly recommend relocating to a lower cost area. Your CD savings alone can buy a decent house outright in many areas of the country. If you are not doing so already drive an older cheap reliable car, no payments and cheap taxes/insurance. If you can't find a decent job in your field find anything that provides medical insurance. If you're in good health high deductible HSA plans can be a good option.

IMHO you're way over weight US large cap equities and at risk for another setback. Would recommend a more diversified asset allocation. Long term treasuries (TLT) work wonders during big sell offs. Check out https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/ to see how different allocations perform over time.

Best of luck to you.

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CyclingDuo
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:59 pm

bogglejs99 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:02 pm
I would appreciate any input with regard to my situation.

I'm 59 and was laid off in March. I work in a field that favors 20 year olds... so job search is not looking good. Not sure I'll be able to get one; I'll hopefully be able to bring in $10k - 15k annually doing freelance work. I had been planning to work full-time till around 65.

My annual overhead is around 50K (between rent, insurance, and the basics). Single, no kids, no debt, don't own a house. I live in California.

So, I'll have an approximate $35K - 40K annual shortfall that I'll have to withdraw from investments.

Not sure if I'm missing a trick with regard to portfolio allocations, where to best withdraw from, etc.

Any other overall advice would be greatly appreciated, thx.


Bank:
CD at 2.3%: $200,000


Regular IRA:
VOO - $112,000
VTI - $32,000

Misc Stocks: around $2,000


Roth IRA:
VFIAX - $40,000
VTI - $17,000
VOO - $35,000

Misc Stocks: around $30,000 (mostly GOOG and AMZN)


Taxable Account:
VTV - $6,400
VTI - $24,000
VOO - $37,000
VFIAX - $70,000

Misc Stocks: around $45,000 (mostly GOOG and APPL)
Sorry to hear that, bogglejs99. I can empathize having been through it myself a year ago when I got the news one day before March 1st, 2018. Immediate steps to do after a layoff in your 50's have been captured in a 2 part series by Pete the Planner (from his blog) were suggested in this thread which you might want to read as there are a lot of excellent suggestions from the article as well as fellow Boglehead members...

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=273092#p4384691

Sounds like you will want to dive in and find more replacement income to help fill that gap due to your shortfall. My best advice - having gone through it myself - is to quickly move through the feeling like a victim phase and into a phase of reinventing yourself and what you can do for income going forward. Each month you wait to find whatever replacement income you can find in and out of your field is a month wasted, so I urge you to dive in! :beer
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." ~ Steven Wright

MindBogler
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by MindBogler » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:41 pm

+1 to the advice to broaden your job search to other locations. You should be able to find work if you don't limit your geography.

mtmingus
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by mtmingus » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:54 pm

jacksonm wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:23 pm
bogglejs99 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:02 pm
Single, no kids, no debt, don't own a house. I live in California.
Have you considered relocating? You could live like a king somewhere like Costa Rica on a lot less that $50k.
At least relo to a low cost region before SS FRA and while you are still healthy and mobile. Come back to the states if necessary at senior ages.

megabad
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by megabad » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:08 pm

mtmingus wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:54 pm
jacksonm wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:23 pm
bogglejs99 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:02 pm
Single, no kids, no debt, don't own a house. I live in California.
Have you considered relocating? You could live like a king somewhere like Costa Rica on a lot less that $50k.
At least relo to a low cost region before SS FRA and while you are still healthy and mobile. Come back to the states if necessary at senior ages.
I would point out that there are a number of states within the US where the median income is far less than $50k. I don't see that leaving the country is a necessity.

sawdust60
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by sawdust60 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:10 pm

Is the layoff an opportunity for early retirement? One way is to reduce costs.

How much could you reduce your rent? Check into HUD-Sponsored Senior Housing Programs. There are apartments where maybe half are reserved for elderly and/or low income. It can be quite difficult to find a vacancy when you need it, so that is why you should start the search. Perhaps you will find some under construction. Perhaps an opportunity to be a leasing agent or apartment manager.

While you have a good amount of savings, you may still qualify for subsidized low income housing. It is the earnings from the assets which are added to your earned income, pension, etc. -- in lieu of the specific earnings on your assets, they might use a formula such as: Assets x 2%

So your subsidized rent at 30% of income might be something like this:

Freelance or other job 15,000
Assets x 2% = 10,000
Total 25,000
x 30% = 7,500
or 625/month

And that amount might include some utilities.

usagi
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by usagi » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:07 pm

The first thing I would consider is leaving CA for a lower cost state and possibly consider leaving the U.S. In many countries you can earn (if legal) a decent amount for the locale teaching English and if "working" is not a legal option you can barter English lessons for goods or simply barter in general thus greatly reducing your cost of living. I had a buddy who went to several countries and claimed he essentially paid rent (except one place that gave him free rent in exchange for English classes) and utilities but all his food and restaurant tabs were covered by bartering English lessons. You are young yet and the way you write comes across as unencumbered, so the world is your oyster. I would really explore getting outside the U.S. There are so many options.

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tc101
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by tc101 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:19 pm

I agree with the previous post about teaching English in a foreign country. I did this when I was younger. I expanded my world view in a way that I have appreciated ever since. I was in IT for years and am now retired. I enjoyed IT but I'm glad I did other things also.

Life is short. What would you really like to do?
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

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Watty
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Watty » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:21 pm

California is a big state and many parts of it are not crazy expensive.

Topic Author
bogglejs99
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by bogglejs99 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:35 pm

Thank you all so far for comments, all appreciated (a number that I hadn't realized/thought about). Sorry initial format of my post was off - will adjust. In the meantime, here are some quick answers to various (hopefully all) questions:

- No severance

- Currently receiving unemployment, runs out in a month or so. I've paid remaining expenses from bank account so far (10K spent so far - CD matures this month, taking 40k out to have for coming year).

- Aggressively searching for job (and improving skills in my field to try to increase likelihood of same-field employment). Not yet searching in other areas (will re-evaluate around January).

- Currently on ACA health coverage (ACA is currently covering over 50% of cost). Hoping I can keep receiving substantial subsidies, using dividends/interest and/or Regular IRA withdrawals as posted income (in addition to freelance income) to qualify.

- This year's income will be in mid-30s (including unemployment, amount already earned, freelancing and dividends/interest).

- I believe the $50k estimate includes 'all' the basics, including the above ACA coverage and income taxes. By and large, I'm not a spender. Only meaningful way to reduce expenses (by around 12K) would be getting a room mate. I'm resisting this, hoping I won't have to... it's a big life change for me, but will re-visit it seriously around January.

- Haven't really considered moving to someplace like Costa Rica, etc... but maybe should look into it.

- Overall, my current location is the best one for my career, but am open to relocating

- Have to look into the specifics of SS at 62, FRA and 70, will have those answers soon

miket29
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by miket29 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:02 pm

bogglejs99 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:02 pm
My annual overhead is around 50K (between rent, insurance, and the basics). Single, no kids, no debt, don't own a house. I live in California.

I'll hopefully be able to bring in $10k - 15k annually doing freelance work.

So, I'll have an approximate $35K - 40K annual shortfall that I'll have to withdraw from investments.
Others have estimated your total assets at $600K, so at 4% withdrawal rate that can give you $24K/year. Add $15K to that and you have $39K. BTW the 10-15K freelance seems low; the minimum wage in CA is $12 so if you just got a minimum wage job it would be $24K/year.

This leaves your shortfall at about $26K since if you want to spend $50K/year then your income in CA needs to be $65K. Use https://smartasset.com/taxes/california-tax-calculator to estimate Fed + CA taxes

I don't have a lot of great suggestions. If you can find a job that pays $40K/year then you can stay in CA, otherwise you probably need to relocate to a lower cost state, at least for a few years. If when you turn 62 and your eligible to start collecting SS then the situation changes a bit. Suppose you can get $24K/year from that, add the $18K (using a 3% savings withdrawal rate, a safer number since you are in a precarious situation and don't want to outlive your savings) and you have an annual income of $42K. Figure out the taxes on it, then find a place where you can live on it and perhaps supplement it with part-time work.

lawman3966
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by lawman3966 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:21 pm

One additional thought on the odd job front: some people now teach English over the internet, usually for Chinese students. The ads promise some promising income levels, which I can't vouch for. However, it's worth checking out.
My brother does this work in Canada, likes it, and appears to significantly contribute to his monthly expenses with it.

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willthrill81
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:27 pm

I'm sorry to hear about that.

I don't believe that anyone has mentioned it, but check immediately on how much your unemployment benefits will be, how long they will last, what you need to do begin and continue claims, etc. You might be pleasantly surprised during this hard time.

I'm guessing that your skills are in some kind of tech. You could very well get a job in a different area, perhaps a different state, that would easily provide you with your needed income. $50k for someone with good tech skills isn't difficult at all in many areas of the country. And a different state could be significantly less costly to live in as well. It's generally a lot easier to move when you're single and don't have kids than otherwise.

The 'Pete the Planner' series, mentioned above, on suddenly getting laid off was very good, and I would highly recommend it too.

To those reading this thread, please take the OP's situation to heart. This is why I firmly believe that making financial independence by age 55 should be an important goal for many. Layoffs like this are one of several reasons why, but there are many others.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

mtmingus
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by mtmingus » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:28 am

Jobs in a different state and 50+ issues:

a lot of recruiters will not even bother to call you

1) when they see your out of state home address;
2) when they see your lengthy experience even if you hide the year of your college graduation.

stan1
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by stan1 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:38 am

One idea: think about what your primary and secondary skills are (everyone has some). You may already have a resume that covers your career but you can also create a separate resume that focuses each of your secondary skills. If you work in IT there might be a niche for that software you worked on in the 90s and 00s that none of the 20-something want to touch but corporate America still has plenty of in their inventory.

stan1
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by stan1 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:43 am

mtmingus wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:28 am
Jobs in a different state and 50+ issues:

a lot of recruiters will not even bother to call you

1) when they see your out of state home address;
2) when they see your lengthy experience even if you hide the year of your college graduation.
Facts are facts but you can try to mitigate:
1) State on the resume you will relocate at your own cost, if you are
2) Don't list experience from the distant past on your resume that is no longer relevant or duplicates your more recent experience

Also on 50+ issues:
Use some of your time to exercise and stay healthy. Choose a modern hair cut. Make sure your wardrobe is current. Maintain a positive attitude. You can't change your age but there are things you can do to help communicate to people that you are young at heart.

Network with people you have worked with in the past.

Jags4186
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:47 am

mtmingus wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:28 am
Jobs in a different state and 50+ issues:

a lot of recruiters will not even bother to call you

1) when they see your out of state home address;
2) when they see your lengthy experience even if you hide the year of your college graduation.
At least for 2) cut the amount of experience on the resume. Doesn’t sound like the OP had an out of this world job and doesn’t need to make that much to get by. A $45k or $50k job fixes a lot.

I think suggesting the OP move to Costa Rica or whatever is ridiculous. Unless the OP has been planning for years to make an out of the country move it’s asinine to make that suggestion IMO.

OP I would strongly consider relocating out of California if that is possible. Perhaps near some family members if they live out of state. With a relatively basic lifestyle you only need a modest income. Look outside your field. If you can find another job, whatever it may be, your $600k if invested a little smarter and with some help from market returns could become $1,000,000 at FRA.

3-20Characters
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by 3-20Characters » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:05 am

If you’re fairly sure a job search in your field is fruitless, I say start building on that 10-15k per year in freelance. 10-15k is a good start. How do you like your chances of building on that? Get it as close to 50k as you can—either by building up your freelance prospects or some other form of employment. But even if you can’t match expenses with income, don’t underestimate the effect that income (practically any amount) can help your portfolio. So often I see people here gnashing their teeth about pulling the trigger. It’s not all or nothing. If they entertained the idea of some income at all to reduce withdrawals during the sequence of return risk decade, they could be semi-retired and feel much more secure about the long term. Another thing about doing totally different work (or just in different way, i.e., self-employed), you may find you like it.

As for relocating, unless it’s something that you’ve thought about and researched already, I’m against it right now unless it comes with a solid job offer at the new location. I think that if there’s one weakness to bogleheads’ advice is that often, we see life as moving pieces on a chessboard or numbers on a spreadsheet. You’ve had a shock and a disruption. You don’t need to add to it right this second. Figure out a way to make this work where you are, or relocate based on landing a job at the new location. Focus on income and don’t distract yourself with relocation, portfolio optimization and the rest of it. You can always consider relocation 6 months or a year down the road.

Good luck!

susleni
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by susleni » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:30 am

If you're willing to move outside the country, I would recommend joining the Peace Corps, if you can pass the medical screening. Their recruiters are targeting your age group, healthcare is covered, you can build new job skills, and you'd be at age 62 by the time it's over (recruitment period, plus 27 months of service). Thereafter, you could reassess and either "retire," work at a non-profit, or teach English overseas for a salary. (You'd be well qualified by then.)

The recruitment process can be a year-ish. If you choose to do this, I'd recommend moving to a LCOL area, and take the aforementioned freelance/school bus driver/substitute teacher route during the meantime.

Good luck.

deikel
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by deikel » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:49 am

Maybe just as a motivator and not any specific suggestion/advice

If you have an EE or ME background and don't mind the travel, then field support jobs are actually usually filled with folks that have kids out of the house already and at least in my area, experience and bed site manners count for a lot - aka we hire, quite intentionally, folks that are OPs age and willing to be road warriors

QC related jobs need attention to detail and experience and often benefit from older folks

Meaning, keep on looking for the right company that fits, they are out there, they might be smaller and not have the name recognition, but they sure do exist.

Companies that don't hire older folks on principle are downright stupid and are missing out on a lot of experience they could hire for reasonable price, head hunters that don't look for these folks are throwing away easy money and at a time when we near full employment that's an untapped market.

Yes, maybe you wont make your original salary, but you can do better then just minimum wage or consulting I am pretty sure...maybe don't look at the hipster IT places and have a look at the rust belt small companies (figuratively speaking)
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

cherijoh
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by cherijoh » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:53 am

bogglejs99 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:35 pm
Thank you all so far for comments, all appreciated (a number that I hadn't realized/thought about). Sorry initial format of my post was off - will adjust. In the meantime, here are some quick answers to various (hopefully all) questions:

- No severance

- Currently receiving unemployment, runs out in a month or so. I've paid remaining expenses from bank account so far (10K spent so far - CD matures this month, taking 40k out to have for coming year).

- Aggressively searching for job (and improving skills in my field to try to increase likelihood of same-field employment). Not yet searching in other areas (will re-evaluate around January).

- Currently on ACA health coverage (ACA is currently covering over 50% of cost). Hoping I can keep receiving substantial subsidies, using dividends/interest and/or Regular IRA withdrawals as posted income (in addition to freelance income) to qualify.

- This year's income will be in mid-30s (including unemployment, amount already earned, freelancing and dividends/interest).

- I believe the $50k estimate includes 'all' the basics, including the above ACA coverage and income taxes. By and large, I'm not a spender. Only meaningful way to reduce expenses (by around 12K) would be getting a room mate. I'm resisting this, hoping I won't have to... it's a big life change for me, but will re-visit it seriously around January.

- Haven't really considered moving to someplace like Costa Rica, etc... but maybe should look into it.

- Overall, my current location is the best one for my career, but am open to relocating

- Have to look into the specifics of SS at 62, FRA and 70, will have those answers soon
One of the biggest mistakes I saw made by people your age during the Great Recession was pushing off the hard decisions until it was too late. If you wait until January to start looking for a job in another location, you will have lost 5 months of search time. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot be simultaneously looking at jobs in your area and still be open to relocation now - especially if you are working with a recruiter. In fact you may widen the number of recruiters who might contact you. Just tell them you are open to relocation for the right opportunity.

If you aren't open to a roommate, what about a less expensive apartment? Rent in CA has got to be a significant portion of your expenses.

cncm
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by cncm » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:08 am

It doesn’t sound like you have a huge shortfall. I would look for any minimum wage job to tide you over while you build your freelance portfolio. I would rather do that than relocate to another state or even country as some are suggesting.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:11 am

Sorry to hear about that. Can you consider another profession or job? That might help keep your investments compounding longer and perhaps you could add to them. You may also be able to obtain health insurance.
John C. Bogle: "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by BeneIRA » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:26 am

If the only thing tethering you to that area is your job and you no longer have said job, then at the very least, move further away from town and get that cheaper rent. Even if it is five or ten miles further away and you are not prepared to make a bigger move, that is a small step you can take when your lease ends. As for the job, the issue is that the longer you're out of the workforce, the harder it is to get back in. Anecdotally, the same thing happened to someone I know who was 55. He still doesn't have a job years later. He has never been willing to take a lesser job just for income. He still doesn't realize no one is going to hire someone at his salary requirements at his age, especially someone out of the workforce for years.

If someone offers you a grocery store job at Whole Foods for $15 an hour tomorrow, which is their minimum salary, I am taking that job and working the 40 hours. If you only work 45 weeks a year, that is still $27,000 pre-tax, nothing to sneeze at. Whole Foods is just an example. Do something to bring in some income while continuing to apply for jobs and do work you actually want to do. You are not wedded to that $15 an hour job, it's just temporary. That $15,000+ will really help you by allowing you to hold off on withdrawing so much. The name of the game is make it to 65 to get that cheaper insurance. Best of luck.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by mariezzz » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:16 pm

Your total portfolio value is decent if you cut expenses. You didn't mention what your FRA SS is. It can be demoralizing to be in the situation you're in, but financially, you're in decent shape. Try not to be demoralized - use this freedom to do things you want to do (and likely couldn't do as much if you were employed).

I personally wouldn't suggest taking a minimum wage job (most people would be miserable), but you should be able to cut expenses (and thus draw much less from your investments) until you get a job. $50K is a good amount of money. You may not want to, but if you cut expenses down, could you live on $30-40k?

As others have said, broaden your search to employment areas where your skills would be valuable, even if paid less. I'm guessing you're in a tech area if 20-somethings dominate. If my assumption is correct, your tech skills may be valuable in a university research setting or non-profit. Look for work in areas that you feel would reward you in ways other than salary.

Essentially, you want to earn enough to cover your living expenses until you decide to claim SS, and ideally, get medical benefits.

If you own a home, you may want to consider its current value and your equity in it. You could consider moving to a lower COLA than CA. A lot of real estate markets are still strong now, but that could change.

You definitely don't need to move out of country - you could have a decent house and live on <$30K annually in many places in the US.

I'd also think about your asset allocation - is it appropriate for someone who is nearing retirement? (Looks like $200K in CD so your fixed income component is probably close, if not spot on.)

With the ACA, subsidies depend on your annual income, including unemployment. If you're not receiving subsidies up front, you may get a sizable refund when taxes are filed, depending on your 2019 income tax situation. Or, if you are receiving subsidies up front, you may end up paying some back if your 2019 income is high enough. You can estimate your 2019 income based on worst case scenario (no job found in 2019) and figure out what your tax situation is likely to be.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Godot » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:54 pm

usagi wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:07 pm
The first thing I would consider is leaving CA for a lower cost state and possibly consider leaving the U.S. In many countries you can earn (if legal) a decent amount for the locale teaching English and if "working" is not a legal option you can barter English lessons for goods or simply barter in general thus greatly reducing your cost of living. I had a buddy who went to several countries and claimed he essentially paid rent (except one place that gave him free rent in exchange for English classes) and utilities but all his food and restaurant tabs were covered by bartering English lessons. You are young yet and the way you write comes across as unencumbered, so the world is your oyster. I would really explore getting outside the U.S. There are so many options.
Agreed re: exploring moving out of U.S., though formal (i.e., in a school or for a company) English teaching in a foreign country is a lot easier gig to land for a younger person than a 59 year old. Many countries have a hiring cutoff of 60 yrs old. Could live well on savings in Central America or SE Asia.
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Mullins » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:58 pm

3-20Characters wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:05 am
I say start building on that 10-15k per year in freelance.
+1. Our culture has us ingrained on being so dependent on getting a job we forget how to make money. You have a marketable skills, knowledge and experience but knowing how to create a lucrative freelance income from that requires another set of skills which you can learn as you go.

That's likely to be far simpler, not as radical and more profitable than pulling up roots, selling off real estate and moving to a completely different country.
stan1 wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:43 am
Use some of your time to exercise and stay healthy. Choose a modern hair cut. Make sure your wardrobe is current.
This is smart. Some people might just not be helping their own cause if they think looking out of date or not groomed well shouldn't matter.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:56 pm

cherijoh wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:53 am
One of the biggest mistakes I saw made by people your age during the Great Recession was pushing off the hard decisions until it was too late. If you wait until January to start looking for a job in another location, you will have lost 5 months of search time. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot be simultaneously looking at jobs in your area and still be open to relocation now - especially if you are working with a recruiter. In fact you may widen the number of recruiters who might contact you. Just tell them you are open to relocation for the right opportunity.

If you aren't open to a roommate, what about a less expensive apartment? Rent in CA has got to be a significant portion of your expenses.
:thumbsup

If I didn't have children and was in this situation, I'd have no qualms at all about living in my vehicle (or trading up to a larger one at least temporarily) and using a friend or family member's address on my resume until the situation stabilized. Many have voluntarily chosen to do this full-time and are seemingly very content doing so.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by fru-gal » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:14 pm

deikel wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:49 am
Maybe just as a motivator and not any specific suggestion/advice

If you have an EE or ME background and don't mind the travel, then field support jobs are actually usually filled with folks that have kids out of the house already and at least in my area, experience and bed site manners count for a lot - aka we hire, quite intentionally, folks that are OPs age and willing to be road warriors
When I worked in field support, we were on call 24/7. Sometimes I worked seven days a week for several weeks. That gets exhausting pretty quickly, esp. when it's a salaried position, no overtime pay.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:39 pm

Have you tried working with a recruiter?
John C. Bogle: "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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abuss368
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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:39 pm

Also don’t forget to work with your network!
John C. Bogle: "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by Jackson12 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:24 pm

Do you own a house or do you rent? I see you’re resistant to the idea of a renter but think your suggestion to revisit this is a wise one
You can screen tenants and if a renter has a job , you might see each other only sparingly.

There are also online jobs, working from home...age can be less of a factor because your employer may never meet you or conduct a brief phone interview . If you have the skills, tutoring is an option, perhaps in your home. In my area, tutors are in demand and get a decent hourly rate.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by sfmurph » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:09 pm

Don't move. Yet.

I think you have a good target at January. I'm in San Francisco, so know some of the local concerns. I would look at bus driving (needs a special license) or Trader Joe's or Starbucks as a bridge. If you're in software development or IT, know that other places in the world don't value that with salary like we do here. January is a good target. Know that September through November is the Fall season for jobs.

It sounds like you are renting. If you're in a rent-controlled place, that changes the calculation. Beware of the "Costa Rica fetish." At 59, you should still be working at what you're an expert at.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by 7eight9 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:58 pm

I read an article this morning on Marketwatch titled She’s 63 and living by the beach in Mexico on $1,000 a month: ‘I can’t imagine living in the U.S. again’.
Link to article --- https://www.marketwatch.com/story/shes- ... op_stories

The OP could certainly do something similar and never have to work again. Even if the $1,000/month is low - double it. The OP still is in great shape financially - especially since they will soon be eligible for Social Security.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:30 pm

7eight9 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:58 pm
I read an article this morning on Marketwatch titled She’s 63 and living by the beach in Mexico on $1,000 a month: ‘I can’t imagine living in the U.S. again’.
Link to article --- https://www.marketwatch.com/story/shes- ... op_stories

The OP could certainly do something similar and never have to work again. Even if the $1,000/month is low - double it. The OP still is in great shape financially - especially since they will soon be eligible for Social Security.
My MiL has been living on $1k of monthly SS benefits for the last 14 years. She lives in a LCOL area (in the U.S.), owns her own home, and is very frugal, but she's always been frugal, so that wasn't a hardship for her at all.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Laid off - 59yo - advice please

Post by StealthRabbit » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:04 pm

BTDT @ age 49

Stop the bleeding (control cash outflow)
Consider your options and objectives.
If you have a prop 13 exclusion ...keep the house !! (and live in it or rent it out if moving elsewhere) DO NOT sell a prop 13 property! Thousands of CA coworkers kept their CA prop 13 homes when relocating for High tech and most returned to CA for a CHEAP retirement.

Single and 59. Poof I would be gone in a heartbeat to a high paying temp job for next 5 yrs (like AK, Iraq, or Antarctica!)
YMMV

The longer you D-R-A-G this out, the more of a drag it will be.

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