Financially Independent young - why not retire?

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Shorty
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Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Shorty »

Please help me consider an unusual retirement "use case" where guaranteed passive income already exceeds lifetime expenditure. Are there wealth targets that make sense prior to "retiring"? This is projected 3 years out. I have a few coworkers in roughly similar scenarios. Intuitively, it feels financially "wrong" to retire early, but I can't articulate why. This feels like the "1st world" problems of a "trust fund baby". I've never thought of myself as taking a FIRE approach.

Details: ~42 y/o couple, dual retired military with some level of VA disability. No children.
Passive income: $5.5k/mo taxed, $6k/mo tax free, inflation adjusts. No risk of losing until death of both of us. Many dual retired military couples have higher numbers.
Current and projected expenditure: Very comfortable, selectively frugal lifestyle. $9k/mo. Predict $5k + "rent" outside current HCOL area.
Benefits: Decreased life expenditure with 100% VA disability (even 50%) - medical covered for life, property tax exempt, vehicle registration, free parks passes, veteran discounts, etc. Varied by state.
Assets: ~$300k retirement (>50% ROTH), ~$300k taxed/cash. Own everything, no debt. Estimate another $200k. Will sell expensive condo in HCOL area first (conservatively project -$50k to neutral, could make $).
Long Term Goal: LCOL/rural living. Might do the RV thing for a few years. Either way is cheap. Might do a few long cruises, which is the only anticipated expense exceeding passive cash flow, and could "budget shop". Might "travel" as nomads for a few years - cheaper than passive income.
Want to avoid: Traps that increase expenditure toward/past passive income (e.g. expensive home, vacation home, boats, etc).

Why work (besides enjoyment)? Emergency fund is there already. All I can come up with is to own a house outright in order to decrease expenditure cash flow. Any other justifiable reasons to build wealth? Meaningful targets? Feels odd - I "reverse calculate" as a ~4-5M+ NW without much in the way of assets. We have strong credit, not sure if this kind of "income" would count if we need it. It's fine for a VA loan for a home.

Work: Entering the grind, I could realistically cover all living expenses, save $50-100k/yr, pocket/invest the entire passive income, plus asset growth as long as I work. I'm actually excited about entering the workforce. This post is really about the possibility of that turning sour.

Not working: We can easily live below our passive income. Travel. Volunteer. Do meaningful things. Not counting on "side gigs", but that's always an option. In a pinch, both DW and I are pretty employable (experienced medical & IT). This will atrophy over time as we inch our way toward social security. We both have advanced degrees and remaining "GI Bill" eligibility which would pay us to pursue additional education. Humm - MBA for "fun"...just to not work..? Or a degree in something interesting. Nice option for "later".

My intuition says that building wealth for as long as I can stand is the sensible strategy. Besides paying off a house, I can't think of many good reasons to work- maybe children or helping family? Using 25-33x calculation for increased cash flow does not appeal. Lump sum e-fund appeals. If I really wanted more cash flow, I could get a government job and work toward pension #2. Also, I feel like I can afford significantly greater investment risk with the extra money (small % of "portfolio" and necessities covered), but why am I compelled to do so? Comments on working: 0, 5, 10, 15 more years?
sailaway
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by sailaway »

You list a lot of things you could do, but not what you actually want to do.

So, what do you want to do with your time? That is what your pensions have bought you: the opportunity to choose.
livesoft
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by livesoft »

Many people retire at your ages under similar circumstances. I don't see any issues here.
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n8healer
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by n8healer »

The question you pose is not a financial one. As posted by sailaway, your issue relates to figuring out what you want to do. You write that you are excited about entering the workforce. You can do that and then quit if it does turn sour. Work can be challenging, satisfying and meaningful, not always soul sucking. I don't know if a list of pros and cons about work in general is going to help you. Is there a specific work you might want to do? With your education benefits is there something you might want to train for? Or not. It is going to be a gut level decision.
humblecoder
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by humblecoder »

If you and your spouse are both on military pensions, I assume you have given 20+ years of service to our country (thank you!). So in my mind you've earned the ability to do what you want, and have no reason to feel guilty for that.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by JoeRetire »

Shorty wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:45 pm Why work (besides enjoyment)?
"Enjoyment" is a worthy pursuit.
I'm actually excited about entering the workforce. This post is really about the possibility of that turning sour.
"Excitement" is a worthy pursuit?

Why would it turn sour? And if you are financially independent and it turns sour, you have options that most don't.
Humm - MBA for "fun"...just to not work..? Or a degree in something interesting. Nice option for "later".
Why later?

I really enjoyed getting my MBA (nights and weekends while holding down a full time job and raising two young sons). Taking course can be a lot of fun.
My intuition says that building wealth for as long as I can stand is the sensible strategy.
It's sensible, but what would you do with that additional wealth if you are already financially independent?

As others have stated - find out what you actually want to do first. Then you'll likely determine that you already have the funds to do it and can make your decision accordingly.
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7eight9
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by 7eight9 »

I don't see a good reason not to retire.
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beernutz
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by beernutz »

It appears you certainly can retire. To me the main issue is do you want to.
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Topic Author
Shorty
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Shorty »

Cool, cool - thanks! Just making sure that I'm not missing any major category of risk factor. I think owning a home outright would be helpful.

Other than that...we need to decide what we want to do.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Scooter57 »

You won't know what you want to do until you are out of the rat race and have some time to feel your way towards what you truly enjoy after testing various possibilities. You may not feel it now but you are still young and have decades of effort ahead of you. Relax for a while and you will probably get bored and come up with something new that makes life feel good.
fullplay2024
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by fullplay2024 »

You have my vote to retire. Cheers :beer
Van
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Van »

I retired at age 51. I've never regretted it. However, it might not be for everyone. Are you the type of person that needs to be busy doing something generally considered "useful" most of the time? If so, retirement at a young age might not suit your personality. As for me, I am pretty good at doing "nothing" particularly productive. I read, I play golf, I help my wife take care of our small, 12 acre, horse farm, I keep up with current affairs, especially politics and I keep up with what my children are doing via email and messaging.
novemberrain
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by novemberrain »

Having served in the military, you have certainly earned the right to retire. And financially , your numbers make sense for retiring now. As you calculated, it is the equivalent of a $4.5M portfolio which most people would agree is a reasonable FIRE number.
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desiderium
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by desiderium »

You undoubtedly have a wealth of skills and experience; at your age you likely have a good deal of energy left as well. You may find your life is more satisfying if you commit to something meaningful. On the other hand, you have no need to bother with unsatisfying employment. I would start by taking out the financial considerations and give yourself a good long time to find your niche.
Lucky2Invest
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Lucky2Invest »

Property Tax Exempt?

Just curious, how does the Property Tax Exemption work? Are you exempt from paying all of it forever, no matter where you move? Don't get me wrong, you and all veterans deserve that and more, I just didn't know this and think it's cool. Are you pretty high up to receive that benefit or is it a basic benefit for all veterans?
Point
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Point »

Sounds like you ought to retire and enjoy things a bit more.

One question: how are pensions if one person predeceases
the other? Will that impact the surviving spouse negatively?
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

Don't you want to experience a life near the beach in the San Diego or Orange Counties in SoCal? Warm and inviting blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. A decent house there may easily set you back $3-5 millions.
sailaway
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by sailaway »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:19 pm Don't you want to experience a life near the beach in the San Diego or Orange Counties in SoCal? Warm and inviting blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. A decent house there may easily set you back $3-5 millions.
Or, you could have the lifestyle on about half what the OP currently spends. For us, that includes the boat.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

sailaway wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:23 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:19 pm Don't you want to experience a life near the beach in the San Diego or Orange Counties in SoCal? Warm and inviting blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. A decent house there may easily set you back $3-5 millions.
Or, you could have the lifestyle on about half what the OP currently spends. For us, that includes the boat.
True and doable, but you have to come up with $3-5 millions first.
sailaway
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by sailaway »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:31 pm
sailaway wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:23 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:19 pm Don't you want to experience a life near the beach in the San Diego or Orange Counties in SoCal? Warm and inviting blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. A decent house there may easily set you back $3-5 millions.
Or, you could have the lifestyle on about half what the OP currently spends. For us, that includes the boat.
True and doable, but you have to come up with $3-5 millions first.
Evidently, I am doing it wrong!
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by flaccidsteele »

OP I retired in my 40s and one reason was seeing my pay land in my account and sit there not needing to be used. At a certain point, there was no point

Try working. Maybe you’ll like it or maybe you’ll also get bored collecting something that you never use 🤷‍♂️
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
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Shorty
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Shorty »

Thanks for everyone's perspective! I appreciate all the support to military personnel - it's very nice. Previous generations dealt with very different circumstances. I have found service to be fulfilling, but over time the deployments away from family can be draining - not unlike some of the isolation we've experienced this year with COVID.

- Thank you for the validation that I'll be in a good place and positive examples of young retirement. This is a comforting fall back option.
- I'm ready to enter the tech workforce. I'm not worried about being marketable with my education, experience, certs, and skills. It's nice to not "need" a great job right away. I'm concerned about burnout given my personality. I've made a career out of rotating jobs (and moving) every 2-3 years.
- We don't have a lot of lofty goals to build wealth for. My wife is very into horses, which carry significant financial (and responsibility) intimidation to me. Not something we've seriously considered, but would make her very happy. She likes hard work. She's volunteered with horses before.
Lucky2Invest wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:06 pm Property Tax Exempt?

Just curious, how does the Property Tax Exemption work? Are you exempt from paying all of it forever, no matter where you move? Don't get me wrong, you and all veterans deserve that and more, I just didn't know this and think it's cool. Are you pretty high up to receive that benefit or is it a basic benefit for all veterans?
The property tax exemption varies by state/county/city. It has nothing to do with rank or time in service. It's typically state laws with support from cities. These most often apply to veterans rated at "100%" VA disability, which does not carry the meaning that you probably assume. There are small benefits for lesser disability ratings. Most states give some benefit (exempt up to an amount). Going through a list, the following offer a "full" exemption: FL, NE, VA, MO, MI, and HA. Others have value limits, etc. All have some strings attached. They minimally require the property to be your primary residence with various criteria. Also, some states exempt some to all of military retirement pension from state income tax (federal tax applies). The sum of these perks makes a big difference for veterans to choose a state like FL, beyond the "usual" retiree perks.

Point wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:12 pm One question: how are pensions if one person predeceases
the other? Will that impact the surviving spouse negatively?
Uncle Sam takes care of veterans well :-). There is a "Survivor Benefit Plan" option, which is the default for married retiring service members. I may get the raw numbers wrong, but the concept should be correct. The pension value is decreased by some amount to protect the widow, who would receive up to 55% of the annuity income stream for the rest of their life. I also have a life insurance policy, which is part of any planning. My use case is a little different because of dual military, which is much less frequent but happens - we each have our own benefits. Anecdotally, I believe that spouses must be married for > 10 years in order to be eligible (I may be confusing retiree ID cards, other benefit sets, or the spouse claim to half of a retirement upon divorce).
JoeRetire wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:26 pm
Humm - MBA for "fun"...just to not work..? Or a degree in something interesting. Nice option for "later".
Why later?
I really enjoyed getting my MBA (nights and weekends while holding down a full time job and raising two young sons). Taking course can be a lot of fun.
Wow - [hat tip to you]. I earned my MS while working full time as well. It was fulfilling, but a bit much...without the kids. I don't feel up to a full time program right now, let alone balancing multiple things. I imagine this will change. Every so often I get an "itch" to go back to school. My wife loves education and is super supportive either way.
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:19 pm Don't you want to experience a life near the beach in the San Diego or Orange Counties in SoCal? Warm and inviting blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. A decent house there may easily set you back $3-5 millions.
Not sure if this one is a joke given my LCOL long term goal and "want to avoid expensive homes" comment in OP. The last thing I want is a $3-5M house (short of having an additional passive $200k/yr...not my desire and largely the point of the post was to avoid being forced into a life-long "rat race"). I've spent plenty of time in San Diego (and on the inviting blue waters of the Pacific Ocean). Very nice indeed! I'm on the other coast now in the NCR. I might add that my wife would love to buy a plot of land in Alaska and live off the grid - some of those places don't even have established roads, let alone power/water. That's a bit intense for me, but should convey her preference.
Last edited by Shorty on Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Sandtrap »

Periods of life and "self" transitions are awkward and difficult to project into the future.

In this case, it certainly seems you are at both a financial and life and "self" crossroads.

Realize that not everything can be ascertained on a spreadsheet nor calculated on a list of "pros and cons".
Financial independence and ability to "retire" (overused word) is just one thing to consider. It is, however, a great financially secure place that gives you more options going forward.

Take a middle road during this transition time.
Work part time in a profession of your choice. It need not be a permanent commitment or give too much weight. But, provides an anchor to what you've been used to all these decades.
While you are doing that, take time to evaluate, and plan a new life strategy going forward. And, "do" set the bar high, really high.

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You Know What I Mean
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by You Know What I Mean »

Thank you (and your wife) for your (and her) service. Congrats on doing a super job of planning, saving, and investing.

I think you will be in great shape should you both decide to fully retire, even if things don't work out perfectly. As a military retiree, I look at three levels of retirement income for my wife (not a military retiree, no separate pension) when I pass. One is the "best case," where all government benefits continue as is and where our portfolio is at its current level. The second is the "worse case," where benefits continue okay but the stock portion of our portfolio has dropped 60%. The third is my "worst case," where stocks have dropped 60% and the government has cut SBP and Social Security benefits by 25%. (I am not predicting that, but I think it could happen. At age 42 you are probably planning for 50 or more years in retirement. A lot could happen.) Even in that worst case, with your large assets and your flexibility on lifestyle, I believe you would still be in good shape.

On the other hand, since you are excited about work on the other side you might just try it after a few months rest. (I was a little too eager myself, and I ended up working a dozen more years, mainly to save/invest more.) You have the luxury of waiting for a job that really appeals to you!

Again, congrats to both of you on a job well done.
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Shorty
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Shorty »

One more random question - this one financial.

If everything is balanced, how much more money would you need to retire in a house for each $100k increase to cover property tax, maintenance, etc?

For example, to buy $1M more house, would you target $1.5M, $2.0M, etc. So the extra $500k/$1M would passively cover the difference in property tax and increased costs. What kind of multiplier makes sense? Or put another way, how much "extra home" would you be comfortable purchasing with an extra $1M. We're assuming everything else is covered and the purpose of the money is for a better home. No transaction costs.

This could help put into perspective the difference of working another 1, 5, 10 years.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by jm1495 »

When you win the game stop playing is a mantra that I've read here. It seems like you've achieved this. Without any additional expenses planned such as children. I'd say "retire" find something that you would enjoy doing for the enjoyment of it without getting paid. If it happens where you could get paid to do it even better!
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

In order to figure out the extra money you need for a house, you need to know what the actual costs are. I periodically check property taxes in my home town and in a specific town, known for low tax (no income, no sales tax). In some years, the rate in the low tax state was 6 times what mine is. So you'd certainly want to know this. In addition, big things I can think of include insurance and any HOA fees, if you must live in an HOA place. I'd think that if you're not working, you might tackle your own home repairs.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by flyingaway »

If my wife and I work for 10 more years, my younger son will be able to "retire" at around 40. I am sure he will just play computer games all day and every day.
bltn
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by bltn »

Just because you can retire doesn t mean you should. If you like your work or prospective work, then financial security is just one more aspect of having a degree of control in your life. Continued work that you like is as nice a way to spend your life as occupying your time with unpaid tasks you enjoy In retirement. And accumulating increased financial assets gives you increased flexibility.

I enjoyed my work, and retired about a dozen years after achieving financial independence, although I didn t realize it at the time. I just kept working and saving to be sure I would be ok in retirement, and in so doing, gained an increase in lifestyle. But the important fact is that I liked my work.

While I agree that time can become your scarcest commodity as you continue to work and accumulate, there are people who work until their 80 s and enjoy their life. You like your work. Maintain a balanced life with work and recreation, and continue work you like.
Fishing50
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Fishing50 »

I'm fascinated...you are in exactly the right time to ponder these decisions.

We're a year ahead of you retiring in 2022 at 52yrs old with a military pension and more investments than you. We already own our forever home in FL that will cost ~30% of the pension which is sustainable. We were FI in 2018, and stayed in due to a promotion and nice duty stations.

I see no reason to enter the grind, unless one of you continues service for another tour. One of you could do contract work while the other receives BAH and 2.5% pension increase each year.

Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)? DW and I have been talking about it for years, and she still hasn't decided. It will be a complicated decision for you based on lifestyle choices you make, considering the other dies on the first day of retirement losing that pension. For us, 50% of my retirement income would allow her no loss of lifestyle on the first day of retirement. I think we're already self insured, and I'd rather spend the premiums on gas for the boat which will allow investments to remain untouched. If I'm alive in 15yrs, she won't need 50% of the pension with full Social Security (SS) and moderate growth of investments. SBP payments continue for 30yrs. I'd rather have a less expensive term life policy.

Roth or Trad TSP? Should you maximize investments now or save cash? The answer lies in projected tax brackets and personal desires upon retirement. I'd guess you are in the 22% or 24% tax bracket now which means you can save that much with traditional contributions ($4,290 tax savings for $19,500 contribution). Your projected VA disability and taxable pension upon retirement are in the 12% bracket with room for about $40K in Roth conversions in 12% bracket which is obvious savings. I'd guess your combined pensions are in the 22% tax bracket like us. We've chosen Roth IRA in the 22% tax bracket now because the pension will put us in at 22%, and we have other traditional IRAs that can be converted if VA disability is favorable. You could also build a 6 digit saving account for expenditures. With no leave in 2020, I'll probably sell some leave at retirement to raise cash too. It's complicated...

Nomad or settled? This is probably the most important decision. You could accumulate wealth living a low cost lifestyle in a RV or as a nomad. My cousin spent a couple years in an RV doing remote design work and house/pet sitting with an online broker. They spent a winter in Australia and New Zealand bouncing between exquisite houses only paying for their food. I'd expect COVID has decimated that opportunity for now. If you wanna do RV, buy a cheap RV now and spend vacations in it. You'll find out if it's a good fit. You could also look for limited term, gig jobs in your field that allow you to experience numerous locations with a the opportunity for some income.

MBA is interesting! Move on campus after retirement an pursue a degree full time in the state of your choice (FL, TX, TN, NC, & SC are common choices among military retirees) while receiving BAH. Upon graduation you could develop the business of your choice with local alumni connections. You can take vacations now to locations of interest to narrow the field. Colonel Sanders famously began KFC with his first SS check. Your business could be a $1M horse farm.

$1M property is probably within reach. Preliminary analysis $1M mortgage would cost $4295 / mo which is 40% of your projected retirement income which doable without any business income. As a business mortgage, taxes, horses, tractors, vehicles, gas, feed, and even uniforms (logo clothes) become deductible business expenses against business income. Extended cruise vacations are probably not an option with this type of a business, but it could be a very lucrative rural lifestyle. Graduating with an MBA onto a $1M farm with a detailed business plan seems like a conservative option. You could rent a house in a rural area, and work for an established farm to learn about the business without any monetary risk. More risky, you probably have enough time to develop a good business plan to directly move to the farm upon retirement. Anecdotally retirees have a difficult time qualifying for a mortgage. You could buy the farm while still on active duty, and move onto the farm upon retirement to figure out the business.

You have options...keep us updated! :beer
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Cruise »

Biggest reason not to retire young: Your brain may turn gelatinous.
sd323232
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by sd323232 »

Only get MBA or other degree if you willing to throw away that money, enerally never ever get degree for fun, just for something "later". Degree will only give you opportunity when you know there is opportunity. If you dont know what you want, degree will not help you.

Getting degree with no purpose is like driving somewhere you dont know, you simply will never get there since you dont know where you are driving to.
almostretired1965
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by almostretired1965 »

sd323232 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:20 pm Only get MBA or other degree if you willing to throw away that money, enerally never ever get degree for fun, just for something "later". Degree will only give you opportunity when you know there is opportunity. If you dont know what you want, degree will not help you.

Getting degree with no purpose is like driving somewhere you dont know, you simply will never get there since you dont know where you are driving to.
Normally I would agree, but if I follow the OP correctly, tuition is going to be covered and he seems to enjoy school, so I would consider this more like a hobby that might turn into a paying gig, but either way, he will have a good time with minimal if any out of pocket expenses.
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Shorty
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Shorty »

almostretired1965 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:44 pm
sd323232 wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:20 pm Only get MBA or other degree if you willing to throw away that money, enerally never ever get degree for fun, just for something "later". Degree will only give you opportunity when you know there is opportunity. If you dont know what you want, degree will not help you.

Getting degree with no purpose is like driving somewhere you dont know, you simply will never get there since you dont know where you are driving to.
Normally I would agree, but if I follow the OP correctly, tuition is going to be covered and he seems to enjoy school, so I would consider this more like a hobby that might turn into a paying gig, but either way, he will have a good time with minimal if any out of pocket expenses.
Yes to both. I tend to be cynical about higher education. However, I have a MS degree from a top program, valued in my field. Pursuing another degree would probably be best for “networking”. It would really be more of a “retirement hobby” since its fully funded. Feels wasteful, but that can only be transferred to DW, who has 2 advanced degrees herself and little motivation to work for $. She truly enjoys school - me, somewhat. No current interest in teaching or research. FWIW, a T10 MBA program should be achievable...or we could live where we like. Even if I could get into Wharton, is there value if you’re not planning on applying yourself? (Plus $50k out of pocket).

The education conversation feels a little silly. I’m at a solid place in my field. I don’t think another degree would make much employability difference out of the gate. Not inclined to start in a new field, but options are always nice. Point of this thread was to consider viability and opportunity cost of decisions to no longer work at a relatively young age - travel as a nomad or RV for a few years before settling to a rural/LCOL area. At that point school might save me from obsolescence :-)

I think I have my answer. Figure out what DW and I want to do. Many thanks for all the insightful feedback.
MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by MathIsMyWayr »

Shorty wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:09 pm I have a MS degree from a top program, valued in my field.
I don't want to be cynical, but today's MS degree is equivalent to a BS degree in the past.
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Shorty
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Shorty »

MathIsMyWayr wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:18 pm
Shorty wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:09 pm I have a MS degree from a top program, valued in my field.
I don't want to be cynical, but today's MS degree is equivalent to a BS degree in the past.
Very helpful. Thanks. Not unlike your prev $3-5M house comment.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by bottlecap »

The world is apparently your oyster. Do whatever you want. If you want to stay in your field, you’ll have to do something. If you don’t, you can do what you like. It doesn’t have to be a high pressure job or retirement. There’s plenty of stuff in between if you don’t "need" the money.

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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by life2.0 »

Same struggle brother! Wife and I retired last year... very similar numbers. We had no plans to start new careers. "Is this it?" That's the question that led me into the military as a 20-something working in the civilian world 25 years ago. That same question has been showing up everyday for me as a relatively young retiree. Although I am glad to be done with the high stress career, and so grateful for the financial independence that it afforded me, i'm left to wonder... "is this it?" Short answer is "I don't know." Wife and I look at the future in much shorter terms now... as in "chapters." No more "forever" decisions... homes, activities, locations, etc. That has helped! Good luck to you and your wife... let me know if you discover any epiphanies!
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Cruise wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:51 pm Biggest reason not to retire young: Your brain may turn gelatinous.
This is totally nearsighted and vastly underestimates what people can actually do when financially independent. My rigorous corporate job where I make $200,000 a year is far less interesting and stimulating than what I have planned for my retirement at age 38. Do you really not have an imagination or a vision of what you could do if you didn’t have to work? For me, it’s doing more of what I already do outside of my corporate job. In most cases, if you have nothing more interesting than your job going on in your life, then you have more problems to deal with.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Cruise »

geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:36 pm
Cruise wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:51 pm Biggest reason not to retire young: Your brain may turn gelatinous.
This is totally nearsighted and vastly underestimates what people can actually do when financially independent. My rigorous corporate job where I make $200,000 a year is far less interesting and stimulating than what I have planned for my retirement at age 38. Do you really not have an imagination or a vision of what you could do if you didn’t have to work? For me, it’s doing more of what I already do outside of my corporate job. In most cases, if you have nothing more interesting than your job going on in your life, then you have more problems to deal with.
My business was causing my brain to turn gelatinous, so like you, I had a vivid imagination for my retirement. I've been taking university courses for the past six years and find it very stimulating to be studying once again as well as interacting with young (and old) students and professors.

So, my comment you quoted was for people who have not identified a retirement plan of action that keeps their brain healthy.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by MICKFI »

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! You are in a great position to make choices. I too am retired military (retired in 2005) at about your same age. I ended up going into the corporate world (not government contracting related). It has worked out well and I have built my networth to a level we can fully retire now if I choose. Our situation was different in that my wife was a SAHM and we have five kids. So, not working wasn't as much as an option for us at that time.

After the military, we moved to an area where I worked for a non-profit organization thinking that I had the flexibility of the military pension and I would like giving back and taking a breather from the high paced military life. Turns out that I hated it. The organization didn't have the culture to get things done. My type-A military background was not a good fit (even though my heart for the organization's purpose was there). I resigned after about a year and went to work for a Fortune 25 company where I used my engineering, management, and leadership background. We ended up relocating (this time on a corporate move, which is very nice). I did quite well professionally and financially. I enjoyed the challenge and became an expert in a particular area of engineering design and construction.

My regret is that we did not take 6-12 months to leisurely explore the country in an RV after I retired. I should have skipped working for the non-profit and spent my time making memories with the family on an epic road trip (We homeschooled our kids and it would have been a natural fit.).

So your question of should you work 0-15 more years is really a matter of you determining what your Life 2.0 will look like. It takes some time to figure that out.

Take some time off to catch your breath and get perspective. Keep your net work alive and build new contacts and then decide what you want to do. You have a lot of time to build a second career, or start a business, or just retire to your desired location. Enjoy the journey!
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Scooter57 »

I have seen a whole lot of people retire who were sure they would take courses, or write a book, volunteer, or learn to play a new instrument. A few did, the rest did not, which proved very confrontational to them. I knew several who went back to work part time because they had no idea what do do with all those empty hours.

What I noticed was that people who had been playing an instrument before retirement got more serious about their music and often started attending open mics. The people who had written long works for years either for work or as a hobby wrote books. The people who had always volunteered while employed kept volunteering. The people who had read nonfiction for fun and loved to learn new things while working took courses. The people who dreamed about these things but had never taken the first step to do them when younger did not.

You don't turn into a different person when you retire, you just get more time to do the things you already have been doing for fun. Sadly, for a lot of people, that is staring at a screen and eating. For the younger generation it may turn out to be playing video games and Instagram.

Me, I've been posting on forums since shortly after forums were invented, and so here I am, still doing it--and a couple of other things I did when much younger, including music.

Old dog, old tricks. But good ones.
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Re: Financially Independent young - why not retire?

Post by Sandi_k »

The risk most often cited is no access to decent health care coverage.

Do you and your wife have TriCare for Life coverage? If yes, you're good.
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