Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

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Icecakes
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Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Icecakes » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm

Pardon in advance the ramble. Long time lurker and my increased job dissatisfaction makes me ponder retirement earlier than previously thought.

I am frankly looking for financial objective advice (can we do it) and career advice (is this feeling normal?)

Spouse and I are in our early 50's. 53(me), and 52
Income today: $110k and $120k (me)
Total assets at fidelity and vanguard: $2,800,000 in low cost 3 fund portfolio
Asset mix is 60/40
Children: grown and out on their own (hopefully and lovingly for good)

My wife wants to slow down and work part time and likely can, with benefits at about half her pay. My current company is being sold and I seriously doubt I will get the same income as an operations manager as I do now with my age. It depresses the heck out of me.

We don't carry debt and have a house almost paid off ($75k left)

We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton. I want to pull the trigger now on retirement but don't know financially if it is realistic and emotionally feel my career is a disappointment and likely is over. Part of me wants to retire, the other part of me thinks I will go out of my mind being bored. Part of me is scared with income dwindling I will be so fearful spending money I will live a miserable existence.

I don't know what I am asking for here aside from the financial aspect of can we do it? I suppose I am curious if anyone else has had mixed feelings of ending their career this way and if they have any advice for me.

One option is to try and work another 2-3 years at a reduced income and then wrap it up.

Hope this post makes sense.

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prudent
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by prudent » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:34 pm

Welcome to bogleheads!

Are your Fidelity/Vanguard assets in a taxable account?

Icecakes
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Icecakes » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:46 pm

About 60/40 tax deferred to taxable

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VictoriaF
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:50 pm

If you had paid your house debt, you'd have $2.7m net assets. At a conservative 3% withdrawal rate you'd have $80k/year until you started collecting the Social Security. How would that compare to your current annual expenses?

A bigger question is what would you do about your health insurance if both you and your wife had retired?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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iceport
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by iceport » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:56 pm

Welcome, Icecakes. This is a huge, life-altering question, so your anxiety is normal. The biggest financial question is probably pinning down your expenses.
Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton.
Is this an estimate of only your normal, recurring living expenses? Does it include health care costs? And does it also include the large, infrequent expenses we all must deal with — both anticipated and unforeseen? In other words, does that $100k also include things like major home repairs/maintenance, car replacement and major repairs, and maybe an allowance for unforeseen emergencies? And finally, does it factor in all anticipated taxes?
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

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Watty
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Watty » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:35 pm

Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
It depresses the heck out of me.

We don't carry debt and have a house almost paid off ($75k left)

We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton. I want to pull the trigger now on retirement but don't know financially if it is realistic and emotionally feel my career is a disappointment and likely is over.
A couple of things;

1) "Depresses...disappointment.." You might consider getting some counseling to help work through what is going on.

2) "pull the trigger".. If that means bailing out early then you should really consider sticking around to see how this company sale works out and there could be a nice severance package. While there are often layoff after a sale companies are rarely bought just to liquidate them and it is possible that your job could even turn out to be better after the sale.

3) Spending $100K a year with $2.8 million dollar portfolio is about a 3.6% withdrawal rate. Given that your wife will continue working part time and you will get Social Security some day then a very "back of the envelope" calculation makes retirement look financially possible.

There are all sorts of qualifications, assumptions,and a huge grain of salt but academic studies have shown that in the past somewhere around a 4% would have been safe in the past for a 30 year retirement.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Safe_withdrawal_rates

There are lots of details to work out but financially you look fine to me.

Katietsu
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Katietsu » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:36 pm

If you had paid your house debt, you'd have $2.7m net assets. At a conservative 3% withdrawal rate you'd have $80k/year until you started collecting the Social Security. How would that compare to your current annual expenses?
I hesitate to comment on this since there are so many people here that have really delved into safe withdrawal rates. However, wouldn't this (3%) be overly conservative since withdrawals would be reduced significantly once social security starts?

Otherwise, I would take a deep breath. You are in a good position where you have options. Many in your situation with your income have saved substantially less assets. I would explore all options including staying with the same company, retiring, turning a hobby into a part time business, etc.
Last edited by Katietsu on Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gryphon
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Gryphon » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:36 pm

You're in about the same place I was last year - 53 and no longer satisfied with the job after 31 years. I decided to go for it, and retired in January. I certainly had moments in those final months where I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but so far it's been great. No problems with boredom, I find myself some days wondering how I'll find time to do all the things I want to do.

It does help to have some plan for what you'll do in retirement - travel, hobbies, etc. If you don't have any plans yet, I'd spend some time thinking about it before leaving your job. Otherwise you probably will find yourself bored.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:47 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:36 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:50 pm
If you had paid your house debt, you'd have $2.7m net assets. At a conservative 3% withdrawal rate you'd have $80k/year until you started collecting the Social Security. How would that compare to your current annual expenses?
I hesitate to comment on this since there are so many people here that have really delved into safe withdrawal rates. However, wouldn't this (3%) be overly conservative since withdrawals would be reduced significantly once social security starts?
The 4% SWR was evaluated for 30 year in retirement, whereas the OP and his wife should assume having at least 40 years in retirement. Also, today's markets are record high and are more likely to decline than they were a few years ago. Furthermore, if the OP and his wife stopped working now, their Social Security would be lower than if they had 35 years of credits. Thus, they will have a larger gap between the Social Security and their needs.

Withdrawal rates are not a science, they are affected by many factors most of which are not predictable.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

dfitz247
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by dfitz247 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:57 pm

Pat yourself on the back sir and walk away. Congratulations, your the definition of where every 25 year old hopes he is someday!

runner540
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by runner540 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:02 pm

Looks like you and your spouse have done a good job building a very nice nest egg over your careers. Especially if wife keeps working and has benefits, I think you are fine. I second the suggestion to see if you can stick it out until after the sale. If you are an ops manager, they may need you and offer a transaction/retention bonus and/or severance when they eventually let you go. You don't have to, but worth considering. If you used to like the work, you could also consider doing some consulting work on a part time basis.

moneywise3
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by moneywise3 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:06 pm

You can very easily retire

victw
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by victw » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:39 pm

iceport wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:56 pm
Welcome, Icecakes. This is a huge, life-altering question, so your anxiety is normal. The biggest financial question is probably pinning down your expenses.
Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton.
Is this an estimate of only your normal, recurring living expenses? Does it include health care costs? And does it also include the large, infrequent expenses we all must deal with — both anticipated and unforeseen? In other words, does that $100k also include things like major home repairs/maintenance, car replacement and major repairs, and maybe an allowance for unforeseen emergencies? And finally, does it factor in all anticipated taxes?
Determine your expenses. Everyone sees the big stash - does a quick SWR and says yippee for you bud. (Yippee.)
But you said you have $230k in income a year. Are your expenses really only 100k???

I had a mental calculation of expenses in my head. We recently did a back of the envelope calculation and I was off by 10%. It might be worse. But we aren't willing to work longer and will batten down the hatches as needed. If you have been the pay yourself first types like we were you might think you have a better handle on this number than you actually do.

Take your time - keep reading here. You do have solid ground and have set yourself up nicely to make good decisions.

Vic

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Watty
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Watty » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:49 pm

victw wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:39 pm
iceport wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:56 pm
Welcome, Icecakes. This is a huge, life-altering question, so your anxiety is normal. The biggest financial question is probably pinning down your expenses.
Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton.
Is this an estimate of only your normal, recurring living expenses? Does it include health care costs? And does it also include the large, infrequent expenses we all must deal with — both anticipated and unforeseen? In other words, does that $100k also include things like major home repairs/maintenance, car replacement and major repairs, and maybe an allowance for unforeseen emergencies? And finally, does it factor in all anticipated taxes?
Determine your expenses. Everyone sees the big stash - does a quick SWR and says yippee for you bud. (Yippee.)
But you said you have $230k in income a year. Are your expenses really only 100k???

I had a mental calculation of expenses in my head. We recently did a back of the envelope calculation and I was off by 10%. It might be worse. But we aren't willing to work longer and will batten down the hatches as needed. If you have been the pay yourself first types like we were you might think you have a better handle on this number than you actually do.

Take your time - keep reading here. You do have solid ground and have set yourself up nicely to make good decisions.

Vic
You also need to consider your expenses at different ages. I have seen relatives that naturally slowed down by the time they were in their mid 70 and were still in relatively good health. At that point their spending dropped a lot since they didn't want to travel or even eat out much even though they could have afforded to spend more,

Olemiss540
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Olemiss540 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:16 am

Watty wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:49 pm
victw wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:39 pm
iceport wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:56 pm
Welcome, Icecakes. This is a huge, life-altering question, so your anxiety is normal. The biggest financial question is probably pinning down your expenses.
Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton.
Is this an estimate of only your normal, recurring living expenses? Does it include health care costs? And does it also include the large, infrequent expenses we all must deal with — both anticipated and unforeseen? In other words, does that $100k also include things like major home repairs/maintenance, car replacement and major repairs, and maybe an allowance for unforeseen emergencies? And finally, does it factor in all anticipated taxes?
Determine your expenses. Everyone sees the big stash - does a quick SWR and says yippee for you bud. (Yippee.)
But you said you have $230k in income a year. Are your expenses really only 100k???

I had a mental calculation of expenses in my head. We recently did a back of the envelope calculation and I was off by 10%. It might be worse. But we aren't willing to work longer and will batten down the hatches as needed. If you have been the pay yourself first types like we were you might think you have a better handle on this number than you actually do.

Take your time - keep reading here. You do have solid ground and have set yourself up nicely to make good decisions.

Vic
You also need to consider your expenses at different ages. I have seen relatives that naturally slowed down by the time they were in their mid 70 and were still in relatively good health. At that point their spending dropped a lot since they didn't want to travel or even eat out much even though they could have afforded to spend more,
And consider that bogleheads won't typically blast through their retirement savings at some preset percentage they defined at 52 even though they hit 75 and their balances are progressing downwards unsustainably due to a long bear market, etc.

Worst case, OP hits 75 and pulls back on the reigns a bit and withdraws 80k (inflation adjusted) + SS due to an unforseen drawdown. I know I would make that tradeoff, and hope to have that decision when I am in my eaarly 50's....

cas
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by cas » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:37 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:47 pm
Furthermore, if the OP and his wife stopped working now, their Social Security would be lower than if they had 35 years of credits.
Victoria
Just as far as gathering information before making a decision ... are you familiar with what Victoria is talking about with the 35 years of social security credits? And about SS "bendpoints"? If you want to brush up on how eventual SS payments are calculated, Michael Kitces had a good article recently on how SS is calculated and how early retirement can affect it.

"The Impact Of Early Retirement On Projected Social Security Benefits" https://www.kitces.com/blog/calculating ... etirement/

Judging from the single data point of your current salaries, it may end up that early retirement wouldn't have much effect on your eventual social security payments, but it really depends on previous salary history. It might be good to know one way or the other.

westrichj312
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by westrichj312 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:52 am

OMG - retire, you will be fine and ahead of 98% of the world. Remember you both will not be living forever!

bigred77
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by bigred77 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:07 am

Katietsu wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:36 pm
If you had paid your house debt, you'd have $2.7m net assets. At a conservative 3% withdrawal rate you'd have $80k/year until you started collecting the Social Security. How would that compare to your current annual expenses?
I hesitate to comment on this since there are so many people here that have really delved into safe withdrawal rates. However, wouldn't this (3%) be overly conservative since withdrawals would be reduced significantly once social security starts?

Otherwise, I would take a deep breath. You are in a good position where you have options. Many in your situation with your income have saved substantially less assets. I would explore all options including staying with the same company, retiring, turning a hobby into a part time business, etc.
I agree with you that 3% is overly conservative in this case.

If they pay off the house their expenses decrease by the amount of their mortgage (although that could be offset by health insurance, I don't know if that was included in the 100k figure, hopefully it was).

With incomes like that I suspect they could both retire today and still collect about 50k a year in SS if they defer till 70. I obviously don't know their previous work history.

4% is perfectly fine. 4% is more than fine when it's only for 17 years and then SS replaces 50% of that income. They can both retire today if they want provided they address health insurance premiums in their 100k annual budget.

tampaite
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by tampaite » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:24 am

Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
Pardon in advance the ramble. Long time lurker and my increased job dissatisfaction makes me ponder retirement earlier than previously thought.

I am frankly looking for financial objective advice (can we do it) and career advice (is this feeling normal?)

One option is to try and work another 2-3 years at a reduced income and then wrap it up.
My thoughts: You can retire today if you want. However, I'd like you to plan your future so, work for another 1-2 years, let the income continue to roll-in and then wrap it up.

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iceport
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by iceport » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:29 am

victw wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:39 pm
iceport wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:56 pm
Welcome, Icecakes. This is a huge, life-altering question, so your anxiety is normal. The biggest financial question is probably pinning down your expenses.
Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton.
Is this an estimate of only your normal, recurring living expenses? Does it include health care costs? And does it also include the large, infrequent expenses we all must deal with — both anticipated and unforeseen? In other words, does that $100k also include things like major home repairs/maintenance, car replacement and major repairs, and maybe an allowance for unforeseen emergencies? And finally, does it factor in all anticipated taxes?
Determine your expenses. Everyone sees the big stash - does a quick SWR and says yippee for you bud. (Yippee.)
But you said you have $230k in income a year. Are your expenses really only 100k???

I had a mental calculation of expenses in my head. We recently did a back of the envelope calculation and I was off by 10%. It might be worse. But we aren't willing to work longer and will batten down the hatches as needed. If you have been the pay yourself first types like we were you might think you have a better handle on this number than you actually do.

Take your time - keep reading here. You do have solid ground and have set yourself up nicely to make good decisions.

Vic
Exactly. Excellent points all.

It's easy to have blind spots on real life spending needs. I saved a relatively high percentage of my gross income for many years, and automated the savings with before tax deductions and direct after tax deposits to accounts dedicated to retirement savings. So when it came to estimating retirement spending needs, it initially seemed like a cinch: just look at the pay stub deposits into the checking account and factor in taxes. Thankfully, I realized in time that I had gone for many years on end without any major expenses, making no car purchases, deferring house maintenance, taking no expensive vacations, and having no unforeseen emergencies. So these expenses needed to be estimated and accounted for separately. And they can be huge additions to retirement expenses, even when smoothed out into annual averages.

The bottom line is that while we Bogleheads are great at parsing the huge body of research into sustainable withdrawal rates, a far bigger uncertainty in this thread is the true spending need of the Icecakes couple.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

carolinaman
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by carolinaman » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:38 am

You have received some good advice here, but I recommend you engage a fee only financial planner to help develop a plan for you to determine viability of immediate or near term retirement. This is too important a decision to make, and it may be irreversible, to make on the fly. More detailed planning and analysis is needed.

An important aspect of your decision is what your expenses will be in retirement. Your expenses will change to some degree. Work related expenses will go away, but new ones will arise, like health care, increased spending on hobbies and activities, travel, etc. This is highly variable depending on the individual, but you should be able to develop a reasonable estimate.

A planner could help you develop a withdrawal strategy that minimizes taxes. You are in a good position to do that with your mix of taxable and pre-tax savings. They can also help you with health care and other aspects of retirement planning. Your situation is not necessarily an either/or situation as there are variations to take that might help. For example, if your wife slows down to part time with benefits, that could solve your health care issue as long as she works. You have the option of continuing to work once (or if) your job is eliminated. Do not underestimate your ability to get another decent job. You are young enough to get another good job. I worked in government IT and hired several seasoned managers around your age in my career. You have enough saved that if you and your spouse choose to continue working a few more years, you could have a very comfortable retirement. Best wishes.

bradshaw1965
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by bradshaw1965 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:54 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:47 pm
Furthermore, if the OP and his wife stopped working now, their Social Security would be lower than if they had 35 years of credits. Thus, they will have a larger gap between the Social Security and their needs.
Trying to get my head around this. If you get to the second bend point with lifetime earnings at around $2.1 million it seems like the 35 years credits are less important?

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VictoriaF
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:57 am

bradshaw1965 wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:54 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:47 pm
Furthermore, if the OP and his wife stopped working now, their Social Security would be lower than if they had 35 years of credits. Thus, they will have a larger gap between the Social Security and their needs.
Trying to get my head around this. If you get to the second bend point with lifetime earnings at around $2.1 million it seems like the 35 years credits are less important?
It depends on how the OP and his wife have acquired their $2.8m.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

bradshaw1965
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by bradshaw1965 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:02 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:57 am

It depends on how the OP and his wife have acquired their $2.8m.

Victoria
That makes sense. I'm really asking a general SS question, for prospective early retirees it seems like getting to the second bend point is more important then the 35 years? Just getting started in even considering SS so I could be missing things.

fishandgolf
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by fishandgolf » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:06 am

Does not the 55 Rule apply here..........at least until he/she turns 55? If so, that means an additional 10% penalty for the first couple of years. Not that it's a bit deal but if it applies, you need to plan that into your tax rate.

victw
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by victw » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:07 am

fishandgolf wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:06 am
Does not the 55 Rule apply here..........at least until he/she turns 55? If so, that means an additional 10% penalty for the first couple of years. Not that it's a bit deal but if it applies, you need to plan that into your tax rate.
More wiki to the rescue
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Substan ... c_payments

72t/SEPP withdrawals make access to tax deferred funds before age 55/59.5 very doable.
I'm surprised this still comes up on the forum.

Vic

btenny
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by btenny » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:38 am

I retired at 52 with less than you have 18 years ago. It worked out fine. So I am sure you have enough $$. But are you really emotionally ready to stop working? So the only question you need to answer is if you want to stick around your work for the new owner to help them. They will want your help but like you surmise, they will probably bring in new people. So eventually your job will change a lot and maybe even go away.

If I were you I would set back at work and tell them you will help them as much or as little as they want. Be as cooperative as possible. See if you can develop a good attitude about the changes. You might find fun in the new setup and want to stay long term. But if not the new people for sure will have to give you some sort of nice severance package. So do not just quit.

So I think things will work out fine. You have had a great career and raised some good kids and made a lot of money. That is amazing success. Better than 98% of the world!!!!! Pat yourself on the back.

Now you just need to think and plan what you want to do in the next chapter of your life. Keep working? Travel? Golf? Fishing? Non profit? Church? There are just tons of choices and activities to mix and match to make a great retirement or semi-retirement fulfilling.

Good Luck.

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boomer
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by boomer » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:26 pm

Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
Pardon in advance the ramble. Long time lurker and my increased job dissatisfaction makes me ponder retirement earlier than previously thought.

I am frankly looking for financial objective advice (can we do it) and career advice (is this feeling normal?)

Spouse and I are in our early 50's. 53(me), and 52
Income today: $110k and $120k (me)
Total assets at fidelity and vanguard: $2,800,000 in low cost 3 fund portfolio
Asset mix is 60/40
Children: grown and out on their own (hopefully and lovingly for good)

My wife wants to slow down and work part time and likely can, with benefits at about half her pay. My current company is being sold and I seriously doubt I will get the same income as an operations manager as I do now with my age. It depresses the heck out of me.

We don't carry debt and have a house almost paid off ($75k left)

We anticipate our annual expenses to be $100k and eat out a ton. I want to pull the trigger now on retirement but don't know financially if it is realistic and emotionally feel my career is a disappointment and likely is over. Part of me wants to retire, the other part of me thinks I will go out of my mind being bored. Part of me is scared with income dwindling I will be so fearful spending money I will live a miserable existence.

I don't know what I am asking for here aside from the financial aspect of can we do it? I suppose I am curious if anyone else has had mixed feelings of ending their career this way and if they have any advice for me.

One option is to try and work another 2-3 years at a reduced income and then wrap it up.

Hope this post makes sense.
Well financially, you will be fine. I'm with others that say hang in there and see if you can adjust to the new company, and if not maybe you can get laid off and get severance and/or unemployment. Probably don't want to just quit at this point.

Emotionally, I felt the same way that you do when I retired at 61 from a job that had been unfulfilling and unpleasant for a while. I had always planned to work at my job until I was 65. It was jarring when I realized that for mental and physical health I needed to retire.

It took me about a year, even though I was very busy with projects and family, to get over the fact that my career had ended and to be able to say that I was truly retired! It's disappointing when your career ends before you want it to. If you end up getting laid off, it will take a while for you to get over it. So just expect that. You may want to find a second part-time career for a while. I am happy now that I retired and intellectually I know it was for the best. However, I still have some lingering feelings about how it went down.

delamer
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by delamer » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:06 pm

One spouse continuing to work part-time awhile the other is fully retired is a scenario that needs to be discussed carefully. If your wife continues to work it will probably limit your ability to travel and do other things together. It also can be a good way to ease into spending more time together. But you need to talk it out.

Clearly you have enough money to stop working, particularly if your wife brings in income and health insurance. You could both stop working now with your assets, but it would take more careful planning and maybe some cutting back on expenses.

In either case, think of your portfolio in two parts -- part one is what you need to spend from it to get you to Social Security claiming and part two is what you have left to supplement your Social Security once those benefits are coming. And you need to make both parts are funded adequately.

(You will take a reduction in your Social Security if you have less than 35 years of earnings. But you can get an estimate on the ssa.gov site of your future benefit if you stop working now.)

Icecakes
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:20 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Icecakes » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:18 pm

I am very appreciative of the feedback thus far. In the days since posting I have done a lot of thinking and continue to do so.

The work situation is dreadful and starting over to a degree in my 50's is not where I ever thought I would be, but here I am. The decision to retire this way professionally is what is so upsetting to me.

I need to get into a better place mentally. I likely need to hear of those who have found other fulfilling work at my age. My perspective may be jaded.

My wife and I now discuss both working part time.

MP173
Posts: 1806
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by MP173 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:51 pm

The economy is rolling along pretty well and unemployment is at 4% range. Nearly everyone who wants to work is gainfully employed.

You are using very emotional words describing your current employment situation. That is not healthy.

Full employment + dissatisfaction with current position = time to review new opportunities.

Perhaps you will not make your current salary, but at this stage of your life, given your financial situation, it is not exactly necessary.

Do not be miserable in life if you can help it.

Ed

basspond
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:01 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by basspond » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:46 pm

Your attitude has a lot to do with priorities. Don't know your non-financial goals, but your household income is about 300% more then the US average. The last several years of my career weren't that great, but like in a marathon, even though you are hurting, when you see that finish line (and you weren't going to win) it gives you an unbelievable boost!

Icecakes
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:20 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Icecakes » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:37 am

MP173 wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:51 pm
The economy is rolling along pretty well and unemployment is at 4% range. Nearly everyone who wants to work is gainfully employed.

You are using very emotional words describing your current employment situation. That is not healthy.

Full employment + dissatisfaction with current position = time to review new opportunities.

Perhaps you will not make your current salary, but at this stage of your life, given your financial situation, it is not exactly necessary.

Do not be miserable in life if you can help it.

Ed
Thank you. I mean it. This really hit home with me and the irrationality of some of my thoughts are becoming clearer.

msk
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by msk » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:29 am

Anyone embarking on early retirement queries, nervously, whether he is doing the right thing. I wanted to retire at 45 but was too nervous, finally pulled the plug at 55. Now 73. In retrospect I waited too long. I suggest a quick check on your tax records and investing/savings record over the past 3 years can give a lot of reassurance. $230k income less taxes less savings will give you the amount you actually spent. Check out the past 3 or 4 years. I suspect you will relax quite a bit regarding your financial outlook following immediate retirement. You did not accumulate a $2.8million pot (+house) accidentally... Unfortunately there is always the illusory attraction of working one more year to build up a pension or SS, round off at $3million, etc. But you are wasting one more year that you could have spent on the beach in Tahiti or wherever, that you will not feel like doing when you are 70+. Growing old is much harder than most of us anticipate. Your health WILL deteriorate... As somebody said, a surgical procedure during your 50s, some minor surgery during your 60s, some major surgery during your 70s, awaiting death during your 80s. Inevitable. Just creeps up on you. Go forth and play while you can :beer

Rexindex
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Rexindex » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:43 pm

There are always options to work part time at something you may enjoy more. Semi retirement means some income, which can ease the stress of quitting work completely.
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” | — Simone Weil

mouses
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Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by mouses » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:12 pm

Icecakes wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:18 pm
I am very appreciative of the feedback thus far. In the days since posting I have done a lot of thinking and continue to do so.

The work situation is dreadful and starting over to a degree in my 50's is not where I ever thought I would be, but here I am. The decision to retire this way professionally is what is so upsetting to me.

I need to get into a better place mentally. I likely need to hear of those who have found other fulfilling work at my age. My perspective may be jaded.

My wife and I now discuss both working part time.
It is dreadful to go from being a valued employee to being expendable. Try to keep in mind that it's not you, it's the changing world. Often the world is actually changing for the worse. I was a software engineer, and now I see products going out the door of such poor quality that I would have been embarrassed to be part of that team. But that's life nowadays.

You haven't said if there's a possibility of a severance package that would be worth hanging around for.

There are non-profits that can likely use your skills. The pay would be less and it might be volunteer work, but you would have the satisfaction of doing good work. Is there some other field you'd be interested in taking courses to learn more about? I'm not suggesting this would pay as much, but I think you can still find interesting work. Maybe this is a chance to look at a fork not taken.

I would take a look at your spending and see if you can manage retirement, given what happens
with the part time possibilities. I would look at healthcare costs also. So you know what the numbers look like.

Lauren Vignec
Posts: 255
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:34 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Lauren Vignec » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:43 pm

Icecakes wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:18 pm
My perspective may be jaded.

My wife and I now discuss both working part time.
You may or may not see it this way, but these two sentences represent real progress.

You have plenty of time to make decisions, and you have options that other people only dream about. Keep going in the direction you're going, with the conversations and the reflection.

And take your time.

Levett
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Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: upper Midwest

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Levett » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:29 pm

I'm glad to see some focus on your emotional well-being.

Being anxious about retirement is one thing. Going into retirement feeling disappointed and depressed is quite another.

Some effective counseling can go a long way.

I sincerely wish you and your wife the best.

Lev

MarkVH0518
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:14 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by MarkVH0518 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:44 pm

Can you retire? Probably, but probably's not a good enough answer.
I'm with Victoria, 4% is not a SWR for a 53 year old couple.
Remember, retirement is self insurance for long life, but with only 2 individuals you don't have the advantage of statistical averages.

Since you are not yet committed I recommend a year of 'practice retirement'
During that year you should 'do' some of the things you might like in retirement.
In addition, you spend that year detailing your retirement expenses, preferably by trying to live within those expenses.

Here's what I recommend you do in the next year:
1) Calculate your anticipated Social Security income, this is a known so don't guess.
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/AnypiaApplet.html
and enter you and your wife's *actual* earnings. Play with the dates for taking the payments. 70 is often best, that not in all cases.
2) Get a real good estimate of expenses, preferably from the bottom up. Subtracting from your paycheck is not really sufficient.
I have all my account in quicken, so getting expense reports were quite easy. If you don't have quicken hopefully you can back calculate from
credit card statements and checking accounts. Then compare your bottom up number with the top-down, subtract from paycheck number.
Those number are supposed to match; hopefully they are close.
3) Now start a list of pluses and minuses to your expenses.
Minuses: Wage taxes, commuting expenses, work clothes, savings
Pluses: Medical Insurance (although I pay less with ObamaCare then the work coverage I had), Travel or other hobbies
4) Get a quote for ObamaCare for 2018. This will be an excellent estimate for medical insurance in retirement.
5) Use a tax program to estimate your taxes in retirement. Add these numbers to your expenses. (Yes, there's a bit of circularity here:
expenses, including taxes determine taxes, but you can get it pretty accurate in 2 tries.)
6) I recommend a SWR of 3.1% for couples at age 53. This is the number determined by Jim Otar. You can find him on the web and he's been
discussed in these forums as well.
Take your expense estimate and multiply by 32 (the inverse of .031); that will be the amount of assets you need, not considering SSI.
If your assets cover your expenses without SSI, you're DONE. If not, you will have to work a bit harder to determine your financial readiness.
7) Try some retirement activities or hobbies.
We took a long weekend and rented an RV in the Smokies. We loved the Smokies, but decided against the RV. Great thing to learn.
Since I was working from home, we did the snowbird thing my last year of work. Work was just email, IM and phone calls, no one knew
where I was. We've been wintering away ever since.
8) If you don't already, try some physical activity. Buy a used bike; take a yoga class. We love our YMCA.
9) Search Bogleheads for what folks do in retirement. The posts will make you laugh. Only a few of the folks are bored, and they find jobs.
It's just they don't choose those jobs based upon pay.

This list may seem intimidating, but remember I'm suggesting you take a year.
If it still seems intimidating, hire the fee-only advisor.
But now you have a list of items to check if they know what they are doing.

Best Wishes,
Mark

johnra
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:07 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by johnra » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:44 pm

I think you are looking at this backwards. The real issue is not the finances it is that things have gone sour in your work, but your work is (or was) what you liked to do. So design your ideal job, figure out what it would take to get it, and being financially independent, do it or get out, or at least divorce yourself emotionally, turn your job into a job (rather than a calling), take more time off or work part time etc. Remember that if you work at all, that is more income and benefits than if you don't work, -- put less emotion in it, or move on. What would you do if you stopped?--what would you volunteer at? anything at the schools or community college? You have a lot of expertise and wisdom--share it, teach it, counsel others.

User avatar
Jazztonight
Posts: 801
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Location: Lake Merritt

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Jazztonight » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:18 pm

Icecakes wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:18 pm
I am very appreciative of the feedback thus far. In the days since posting I have done a lot of thinking and continue to do so.

The work situation is dreadful and starting over to a degree in my 50's is not where I ever thought I would be, but here I am. The decision to retire this way professionally is what is so upsetting to me.

I need to get into a better place mentally. I likely need to hear of those who have found other fulfilling work at my age. My perspective may be jaded.

My wife and I now discuss both working part time.
In some ways, you're in a perfect situation. You can retire comfortably (financially) if you want to. My question to you is this: Why do you think you necessarily have to "find other fulfilling work" at this point? You can do anything you please! You don't really have to "replace" the work you were doing before. You can re-invent yourself. Try new things. Go back to college and study something different (that's what I did).

One of the things you said that struck me was that you eat out a lot. My experience was that when my wife and I were working full time, we ate out a lot. Now that we're both retired, we eat IN a lot, and go out for dinner 1-2 times a week, and not to very fancy restaurants.

Perhaps you can think about activities you've always wanted to do rather than replace your previous job with another job and live the same life you did before. Not sure why, with your new-found freedom, you'd want to do that.

Good luck going forward whatever you do.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

gtd98765
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:15 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by gtd98765 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:27 am

Icecakes wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:21 pm
Part of me wants to retire, the other part of me thinks I will go out of my mind being bored. Part of me is scared with income dwindling I will be so fearful spending money I will live a miserable existence.
I took a retirement planning seminar a decade ago and one thing has really stuck with me: it's better to retire to something than from something. You may want to spend some more time figuring out what post-retirement life for you would really be like.

Icecakes
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:20 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Icecakes » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:42 am

johnra wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:44 pm
I think you are looking at this backwards. The real issue is not the finances it is that things have gone sour in your work, but your work is (or was) what you liked to do. So design your ideal job, figure out what it would take to get it, and being financially independent, do it or get out, or at least divorce yourself emotionally, turn your job into a job (rather than a calling), take more time off or work part time etc. Remember that if you work at all, that is more income and benefits than if you don't work, -- put less emotion in it, or move on. What would you do if you stopped?--what would you volunteer at? anything at the schools or community college? You have a lot of expertise and wisdom--share it, teach it, counsel others.
There is a lot of truth in this. It is a small private company and there is no severance for me. I'm bitter. I never anticipated being unable to control the time I stopped working. I still may want to work a few years but am frightened at my age of not being able to find decent work.

Finding something I reasonably enjoy for a few more years when I can save some more and reduce some of the financial uncertainty of my retirement would likely help.

I completely underestimated the emotional transition of possibly stopping work, especially when much is out of your control as to how and when.

Wonderful advice from many of you, thank you and by all means keep it coming as it gives me a lot to think about.

fasteddie911
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 3:13 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by fasteddie911 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:16 am

It's very understandable what you're feeling, unfortunately many have gone through the same thing as well, you can talk to others about it and just find your own way to cope with it. However, you could also see it as a fresh start. IMO, you're FI, if you tapered down your expenses slightly I think you should feel even more comfortable (with your number). With a house nearly paid off, a spouse working part-time and SS looming ahead, you could just stop working completely and do ok, but it doesn't seem like you're ready for that. I'd think hard about what you really want to do in your life and try to construct your ideal life, whether it's continuing with your same job title, or doing something totally different, volunteering, working part-time, etc., income shouldn't be a significant factor anymore, imo.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 5873
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:24 am

It is certainly possible to get a new job in your 50's. I got my present job at 58 and with bonuses and profit sharing and a better 401k with a match (none at my last job), it's turned out well for me. There are indeed companies who only want to hire people 30 or younger and will push out anyone with a 5 in the decades column. Of course, things are not going to get better in these regards as there are plenty of new groups started up in 3rd world countries where pay is 1/5 what it is here and "coincidentally" the US based group is dissolved shortly thereafter.

I think you're in a great place, personally. You will likely get some kind of layoff or severance and be able to get by simply by working part time. I very much look forward to being able to do this...."trying" a job I've always wondered about doing or perhaps going back to the lower pay, higher fun jobs I did when I was in high school.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

rrppve
Posts: 831
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:35 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by rrppve » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:03 pm

Here are two phrases that really helped me with early retirement.
Just remember that you can afford anything that you want, you just can't afford everything that you want. You have enough for splurges, just not all at once.
When people ask you what you do with all your free time, remember that you do anything you d--- well please.
Enjoy the good life 8-)

flyingaway
Posts: 1528
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by flyingaway » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:32 pm

We are at the same ages. We have a smaller portfolio and probably smaller expenses. We have been experiencing similar retirement anxiety. I just want to say that you are not alone.

flyingaway
Posts: 1528
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by flyingaway » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:45 pm

MarkVH0518 wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:44 pm
Can you retire? Probably, but probably's not a good enough answer.
I'm with Victoria, 4% is not a SWR for a 53 year old couple.
Remember, retirement is self insurance for long life, but with only 2 individuals you don't have the advantage of statistical averages.

Since you are not yet committed I recommend a year of 'practice retirement'
During that year you should 'do' some of the things you might like in retirement.
In addition, you spend that year detailing your retirement expenses, preferably by trying to live within those expenses.

Here's what I recommend you do in the next year:
1) Calculate your anticipated Social Security income, this is a known so don't guess.
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/AnypiaApplet.html
and enter you and your wife's *actual* earnings. Play with the dates for taking the payments. 70 is often best, that not in all cases.
2) Get a real good estimate of expenses, preferably from the bottom up. Subtracting from your paycheck is not really sufficient.
I have all my account in quicken, so getting expense reports were quite easy. If you don't have quicken hopefully you can back calculate from
credit card statements and checking accounts. Then compare your bottom up number with the top-down, subtract from paycheck number.
Those number are supposed to match; hopefully they are close.
3) Now start a list of pluses and minuses to your expenses.
Minuses: Wage taxes, commuting expenses, work clothes, savings
Pluses: Medical Insurance (although I pay less with ObamaCare then the work coverage I had), Travel or other hobbies
4) Get a quote for ObamaCare for 2018. This will be an excellent estimate for medical insurance in retirement.
5) Use a tax program to estimate your taxes in retirement. Add these numbers to your expenses. (Yes, there's a bit of circularity here:
expenses, including taxes determine taxes, but you can get it pretty accurate in 2 tries.)
6) I recommend a SWR of 3.1% for couples at age 53. This is the number determined by Jim Otar. You can find him on the web and he's been
discussed in these forums as well.
Take your expense estimate and multiply by 32 (the inverse of .031); that will be the amount of assets you need, not considering SSI.
If your assets cover your expenses without SSI, you're DONE. If not, you will have to work a bit harder to determine your financial readiness.
7) Try some retirement activities or hobbies.
We took a long weekend and rented an RV in the Smokies. We loved the Smokies, but decided against the RV. Great thing to learn.
Since I was working from home, we did the snowbird thing my last year of work. Work was just email, IM and phone calls, no one knew
where I was. We've been wintering away ever since.
8) If you don't already, try some physical activity. Buy a used bike; take a yoga class. We love our YMCA.
9) Search Bogleheads for what folks do in retirement. The posts will make you laugh. Only a few of the folks are bored, and they find jobs.
It's just they don't choose those jobs based upon pay.

This list may seem intimidating, but remember I'm suggesting you take a year.
If it still seems intimidating, hire the fee-only advisor.
But now you have a list of items to check if they know what they are doing.

Best Wishes,
Mark
Looks like I have done all the things listed here. The only problem is that my portfolio only satisfies the 4% rule, not the 3.1% SWR.
I would also recommend the OP to experience the retirement first. For us, we think the most challenging thing that we want to do in retirement but cannot do conveniently with a job is travelling extensively. So we started doing extensive travel since last year. We visited 10 countries last year, 9 so far this year.

sambb
Posts: 1804
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:31 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by sambb » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:08 pm

i wouldnt retire
I would consider that work is for the company or organization's mission, and not necessarily your happiness or fulfillment. If you have a good paying job, and you are good at it, then just work hard for the mission of the organization. All will be fine. Smile, you are in a good place and have positioned yourself well.

User avatar
randomizer
Posts: 711
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:46 pm

Re: Retirement anxiety- emotionally and financially

Post by randomizer » Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:36 pm

Your numbers look great to me. I'd just wind down slowly. Keep working a bit. Being active is important for health.

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