56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

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Topic Author
Olya
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:36 pm

56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by Olya » Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm

Hello all,

My husband recently passed and I need to figure out my consolidated finances. I’m not sure how to move the finances forward or a strategy for organizing funds/accounts. Any suggestions and assistance would be very appreciated.

Situation: I live in a paid off small house in Florida with a small pension of $2,000/mth but my expenses (with med. Insurance) are around $3,600/mth. I need to set up my portfolio to fill in the gap-I’m not sure what allocation would be best for my situation. Also, I don’t know how to best allocate the funds among the available accounts. What would the bogleheads recommend?

Emergency: $50,000
Tax Filing Status: Single/ Widow
State of Residence: Fl
Age: 56
Desired Asset allocation: unknown (need advice)

Current retirement assets

Taxable
130k cash -for investing
49k Wellington

Her IRA at Vanguard
130,300k cash (118k Market Fund+ 12,300 random stocks) -need to invest
106k Vanguard Target Retirement Fund 2020
99k CD due 3/02/20, yield 1.81%
98k CD due 3/01/22, yield 2.33%

Her 457(b)
324k Trowepr Rtmt 2030 xx% fund name (TRRCX) (Exp Ratio: .67%)

Available funds
Funds available in her 457(b)
Vanguard Small Indx Inst (Small Blend) ( VSCIX) (.04%)
Vanguard MidCap Indx Inst (Mid-Cap Blend) (VMCIX) (.04%)
Vanguard Inst Indx Inst(Large Blend) (VINIX) (.04%)

Monthly Expenses Considered: $3,600
*food, taxes, utilities, maintenance, car maint, entertainment, clothes, household, travel : $2,400/mth
*MAJOR EXPENSE: Health Insurance-$1,200
*long term care?

Personal Notes:
*House paid off
*Have rental house with a loan
*Retirement pay of $2,000/mth

Questions:
1. Looking to fully redo allocation and investments. What would be a safe allocation for a 56 yr old woman? What resources should I research/read?

2. How can I best utilize the available investment choices? Do I need to reallocate in taxable to something besides Wellington? Suggestions for investments in IRA and 457(b)?

3. How do I work the maturing CDs into the overall portfolio?

4. How are people planning for long term care? I just don’t see how it can be affordable for most people and if it’s not affordable, what do most people do?
Last edited by Olya on Mon May 13, 2019 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LeeMKE
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by LeeMKE » Thu May 09, 2019 2:27 pm

Questions:
Are you working now? If so, how much will you spend toward monthly expenses, and how much will you be saving?
How do you save between now and retirement? (IRA, 457b, taxable)
When will you retire and begin withdrawing from your portfolio?

It looks like you are probably going to be fine. You just need to learn enough to be able to organize the assets for yourself and avoid being taken advantage of.

Congratulations, you are in a safe place. None of us have anything to gain by our advice -- which is not the case with folks who are probably approaching you with offers to help invest.

To Do:
Read about managing a Windfall on the Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Managing_a_windfall

Your portfolio looks like it was set up for an asset allocation of 60/40 or 50/50. There is no urgent need to do anything as the funds you are invested in are good from the Boglehead perspective. If you want to clean out the random stocks in your IRA, you could sell and add the proceeds to the Target date retirement fund.

In a few years, when the CDs mature, you will probably use that money for your monthly expenses. This really looks like someone carefully set up the portfolio so that you would not have to worry about managing it for a long time. Study now, and know that you don't have to make any big moves, but just get familiar with your new situation.

Welcome and sorry for your loss.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

btenny
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Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by btenny » Thu May 09, 2019 2:32 pm

Sorry for your loss. Getting into this stuff must be hard.

From your data I see that you have about $900K for retirement plus SS or husbands SS. Correct ??? That looks like enough to provide you with $36K per year in spending. So at the top level you have enough with your small pension to cover your expenses. But we need more data to help accurately.

Are you still working right now? If so are you covering your expenses with your salary? Do you want to retire now or wait till 2021? Will you have to retire then? Do you like your job? Can you go part time and stay working until you are 62-66? Please advise.

We need to understand your social security situation. What are you eligible to draw on your SS account? Do you know what your husband was eligible to draw on SS? Please advise.

Are there no other low cost and low er bond or stock funds in your 457 plan? That seems like a incomplete list. The TRP fund you have is reporting good returns and TRP in general is one of the better houses. But the fund has a high er and it a growth focus plus I do not know if it holds bonds like most Target Date funds. So more research is needed into alternates.

How much gain do you have in the taxable Wellington fund? What are your tax consequences if you sell and move that money to VTI?

Where and in what form are you holding your emergency $$?

What is the story on the rental real estate?

Please advise....

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Watty
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by Watty » Thu May 09, 2019 4:24 pm

Olya wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm
Personal Notes:
*House paid off What is the value of the house?
*Have rental house with a loan What is the value of the house and the loan balance and terms?
*Retirement pay of $2,000/mth Is this adjusted for inflation?

Olya wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm
My husband recently passed and I need to figure out my consolidated finances.
.....

What would the bogleheads recommend?
You need some time to adjust and it is frequently recommended to try to not make any big financial decisions for six months or a year unless there is an urgent problem. I don't see any urgent problems.
Olya wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm
*MAJOR EXPENSE: Health Insurance-$1,200
Once you are 65 and on Medicare those costs will likely go down a lot.
Olya wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm
1. Looking to fully redo allocation and investments. What would be a safe allocation for a 56 yr old woman, planning to partially retire in 2021? What resources should I research/read?
The target date funds are a great choice in the right situation and when I retired I moved almost all my assets into target date fund. The main reason not to use them are;

1) You do not have a good low cost one in your retirement plan. Your T. Rowe Price target date fund has an expense ratio that is a bit high but you could live with that for a few years until you fully retire and can move the money someplace with a lower expense ratio.

2) You have a lot of funds in a taxable account so tax efficient is a concern. You have $179K in your taxable account but part of that is your emergency fund. One thing I would look at is using some of that cash to pay down the mortage on the rental property. You didn't give any details about that so that may or may not be a good idea.
Olya wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm
3. How do I work the maturing CDs into the overall portfolio?
I would just put the money into a target date fund.
Olya wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm
4. How are people planning for long term care? I just don’t see how it can be affordable for most people and if it’s not affordable, what do most people do?
This website will give you an idea of how much LTC would cost in your city/state.

https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/ ... -care.html

One thing to keep in mind is that since you are widowed most of your other expenses will stop when you go into LTC so you mainly need to be concerned about the gap between your normal budget and the cost of LTC.

My mom outlived my dad and she always said that her paid off house was her LTC insurance policy and made that my siblings and I had the right paperwork to sell it and to put her in the best nursing home available. She lived in a moderate to low cost of living area and her house was not super expensive but even though she never needed it her numbers were right and she could have afforded LTC for a long time without having to prematurely deplete her other retirement savings.

fru-gal
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by fru-gal » Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 pm

I am sorry for your loss.

As others have noted, you may be eligible for Social Security within a few years, either based on your own work history or your husband's. I am not familiar with this, but I just looked on the Social Security website, and apparently widows who qualify can start taking spousal Social Security as early as age 60. This may be a reduced amount compared to starting it later, so you want to check into the details.

Also as people said, it is a good idea not to rush into major decisions. I have read that a rule of thumb is to wait a year before deciding about major things.

I find the long term care question baffling as there are so many variables. My plan such as it is is to mind my finances in a conservative manner. Only one person in my large family has had to go into LTC. Everyone else has managed at home with help.

These numbers will be different depending on your area, etc. I am on Medicare, and I chose the AARP Medigap Plan F (shortly to be replaced for new customers by a very similar plan) which has no copays and AARP Plan D which covers part of the cost of prescriptions. Medicare Plan A (hospitals) costs $0, Plan B (80% of doctors etc bills) costs me $135.50 a month, Plan D costs me $72.50 a month, and the Medigap plan (covers the remaining 20% of bills) costs me about $2900 a year.

There might be some upper limit to what Medigap covers, I don't remember, but I have never encountered it despite being hospitalized one time. Plan D saves me a bundle in prescription costs, but it is not perfect - extremely expensive meds can wind up costing one a lot. So in total I pay somewhat less than $500 a month plus my prescription copays for medical expenses on Medicare.

Medicare is also great compared to the medical insurance I had before I retired. They approve meds that need preapproval within a day, in my experience, and you don't have to get authorization for imaging like catscans. That's one reason I stayed away from Medicare Advantage plans, which are an alternative to Medicare + Medigap. Medigap automatically covers what Medicare covers, no struggling with an insurance company. There are also no networks with Medigap, so no worries about a doctor being out of network. Even if you need treatment by a doctor who does not accept Medicare, the fee he or she can charge is limited to a small percentage over what Medicare would pay.

Carl53
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by Carl53 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:27 pm

Sorry for your loss. As others have stated there is no need for any hasty moves.

A few questions.

1. When did your spouse pass? If since the first of the year, you will be able to file as married jointly one more time.

2. You are apparently working. Will you also have a pension coming from your position? How much?

3. Are either your pension or your apparent, survivor pension as a result of public sector work not covered by social security? This could impact social security benefits.

4. What is your spouses PIA (primary insurance amount) from SS? Yours?

5. Do you have potential heirs that you desire to inherit any residual assets?

6. Do you support charities? Prior to RMDS, age 70.5, you might benefit if you use Donor Advised Funds, and Qualified Charitable Distributions post age 70.5.

7. What is your expected income this year? next year?

Depending on your answers to these and some of the questions offered by others those on this board can offer more suggestions.

robphoto
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:42 pm

Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by robphoto » Fri May 10, 2019 7:15 am

If you don't have a high income, you probably qualify for an ACA subsidy.

Even if you don't think you would qualify, go online and enter your income, etc. and you may find that you will have substantial savings.

They are plans from Blue Cross, etc.

Definitely worth a look and could really help you.

retiredjg
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by retiredjg » Fri May 10, 2019 8:50 am

Olya wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:25 pm
My husband recently passed and I need to figure out my consolidated finances. I’m not sure how to move the finances forward or a strategy for organizing funds/accounts. Any suggestions and assistance would be very appreciated....

I need to set up my portfolio to fill in the gap-I’m not sure what allocation would be best for my situation. Also, I don’t know how to best allocate the funds among the available accounts. What would the bogleheads recommend?
It is helpful to learn to see your portfolio as a whole, not as dollars in different accounts which is something most brains cannot sort out. Also, once you see what your current asset allocation (stock to bond ratio) actually is, it is easier to determine what you want it to be in the future.


  • Emergency: $50,000
    Tax Filing Status: Single/ Widow
    State of Residence: Fl
    Age: 56
    Desired Asset allocation: unknown (need advice)

    Current retirement assets = $937,300

    Taxable 19.1%
    13.9% cash -for investing
    5.2% Wellington

    Her IRA at Vanguard
    12.6% Market Fund
    1.3% random stocks
    11.3% Vanguard Target Retirement Fund 2020
    10.6% CD due 3/02/20, yield 1.81%
    10.5% CD due 3/01/22, yield 2.33%

    Her 457(b)
    34.6% Trowepr Rtmt 2030 (TRRCX) (Exp Ratio: .67%)

Looking at it now, with such a high percentage of cash waiting to be invested, it would not be terribly helpful to determine the stock to bond (including cash) ratio of what you currently have. Instead, let's look only at the AA's of the target funds you are using and try to make a judgement from there.

The Vanguard Target fund in the IRA is sitting at 52% stock and 48% bonds. The TRP 2030 target fund is sitting at about 73% stock and 27% bonds. Assuming that you have held each of these for awhile, what has your comfort level been with these two funds? Are you more comfortable with one than the other?

Just based on your age and the fact that you are still working, either one could be considered appropriate, but the TRP 2030 fund is a bit on the aggressive side (but not stupidly so by any means).




Available funds
Funds available in her 457(b)
Vanguard Small Indx Inst (Small Blend) ( VSCIX) (.04%)
Vanguard MidCap Indx Inst (Mid-Cap Blend) (VMCIX) (.04%)
Vanguard Inst Indx Inst(Large Blend) (VINIX) (.04%)
Using a combination of these funds plus a bond fund would bring the cost of your 457 down considerably. I think that should be considered when you get to the fund picking part of this project.


1. Looking to fully redo allocation and investments. What would be a safe allocation for a 56 yr old woman, planning to partially retire in 2021? What resources should I research/read?
First, let's see what you think. What are your feelings about the target funds you have been holding?

2. How can I best utilize the available investment choices? Do I need to reallocate in taxable to something besides Wellington? Suggestions for investments in IRA and 457(b)?
Wellington is not a great fund to hold in a taxable account. However, it is not urgent to boot it out just yet if you prefer to wait. It's a small percentage and hot hurting much. On the other hand, if you want it gone, that's fine. As for what should be in taxable, probably something like a total stock and/or a total international index fund.

3. How do I work the maturing CDs into the overall portfolio?
These are part of your bond allocation. If you prefer not to hold CDs, you can transition them into a bond fund when they mature.


One thing we really need to know is your tax bracket. It might be difficult to know that just now because a lot of things are temporary and changing, but even a guess would be helpful - low income? high income? Somewhere in-between?

Topic Author
Olya
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:36 pm

Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by Olya » Tue May 14, 2019 11:24 am

Hello,

Thank you, everyone has been so kind.

To answer the main questions so far:
*I am in the process of retiring from my job due to health, I have no plans to continue working. I've updated the post.
*The emergency $$ is in a bank account
*I'm not sure yet about the SS for myself or my husband, because of my age I am not able to draw on them for a while. Will be looking at the numbers a bit later, currently not considering them in my plans.
*The pension will cover my monthly expenses but until I'm older, I need to cover the gap for medical insurance out of pocket, the total sum exceeds my retirement.
*12% tax bracket

Main Questions:
1. what allocation is recommended my someone my age?
2. Where/how should I place those allocations? I'd prefer an invest it and leave it approach. My main goal is to close the current financial gap and to have stable financial returns going forward.
3. What Vanguard funds should I transfer the 457(b) funds into if/when I can to meet the suggested allocation?
retiredjg wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 8:50 am
The Vanguard Target fund in the IRA is sitting at 52% stock and 48% bonds. The TRP 2030 target fund is sitting at about 73% stock and 27% bonds. Assuming that you have held each of these for awhile, what has your comfort level been with these two funds? Are you more comfortable with one than the other? [/b]
I prefer security to risk so the 52/48 is probably closer to my comfort level.
retiredjg wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 8:50 am
Available funds
Funds available in her 457(b)
Vanguard Small Indx Inst (Small Blend) ( VSCIX) (.04%)
Vanguard MidCap Indx Inst (Mid-Cap Blend) (VMCIX) (.04%)
Vanguard Inst Indx Inst(Large Blend) (VINIX) (.04%)
Using a combination of these funds plus a bond fund would bring the cost of your 457 down considerably. I think that should be considered when you get to the fund picking part of this project. [/b]
These are the only Vanguard funds available, all others have a higher expense ratio. What blend of these funds makes sense? Someone also mentioned that I can roll these funds into Vanguard. As I"m leaving the job shortly, maybe a better question would be, what Vanguard funds should I transfer the 457(b) funds into if/when I can?
retiredjg wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 8:50 am
1. Looking to fully redo allocation and investments. What would be a safe allocation for a 56 yr old woman, planning to partially retire in 2021? What resources should I research/read?
First, let's see what you think. What are your feelings about the target funds you have been holding?[/b]
I can't say I have any feelings towards the funds themselves, I'm open to whatever funds make the most sense for providing a balanced portfolio and continuing financial security.
retiredjg wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 8:50 am
2. How can I best utilize the available investment choices? Do I need to reallocate in taxable to something besides Wellington? Suggestions for investments in IRA and 457(b)?
Wellington is not a great fund to hold in a taxable account. However, it is not urgent to boot it out just yet if you prefer to wait. It's a small percentage and hot hurting much. On the other hand, if you want it gone, that's fine. As for what should be in taxable, probably something like a total stock and/or a total international index fund.[/b]
What would you do with it if the goal was to make the whole set up more tax friendly?
retiredjg wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 8:50 am
One thing we really need to know is your tax bracket. It might be difficult to know that just now because a lot of things are temporary and changing, but even a guess would be helpful [/b]
Filing for 2018, we were in the 12% bracket.

Thank you!

robphoto
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by robphoto » Tue May 14, 2019 11:37 am

I mentioned it above, but if you're in the 12% bracket, in my state you would get an Affordable Care Act subsidy of over $300. per month on your healthcare plan.

TXJeff
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by TXJeff » Tue May 14, 2019 12:21 pm

Please tell us how you came up with the $1200/month health insurance cost. You can probably get good coverage for much less.

I just went onto the ACA website. Your OP says you are in Florida. For a 56 year old female in Tampa Florida, for example, with a $24,000 per year income, the monthly premium for a Blue Cross Silver policy is about $250. That policy has a $1500 deductible and a $2350 out of pocket maximum.

aristotelian
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by aristotelian » Tue May 14, 2019 12:56 pm

Seems like a solid portfolio that is already set up nicely.

Overall, at 56 you could have many years left. You don't want to risk everything in the market, but you don't want to lose money to inflation over time. Anywhere from 40% to 70% is reasonable depending on your risk tolerance. 60/40 is often thought to be a good default. Putting everything in Target Date funds is also a fine option.

Wellington contains a portion of bonds, which are generally thought to be suboptimal in a taxable account. However, it sounds like you are not in a high tax bracket, so that may have negligible impact. I think staying in Wellington is fine if that's what you want to do. Otherwise you might have to take a big tax hit to sell Wellington and move into something else.

The CD's are equivalent to bonds from a risk standpoint. The main risk is that interest rates will increase and you will be losing money to inflation. I would simply wait til they expire and then either renew them or use the funds to add to your target date funds (although the latter will make your portfolio slightly more aggressive).

Topic Author
Olya
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by Olya » Tue May 14, 2019 2:11 pm

robphoto wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 11:37 am
I mentioned it above, but if you're in the 12% bracket, in my state you would get an Affordable Care Act subsidy of over $300. per month on your healthcare plan.
RobPhoto,

Yes, thank you! I was not aware of the subsidy. I'm going to be looking at it this week.

btenny
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by btenny » Tue May 14, 2019 4:40 pm

If you are retiring due to health issues at 56 does this mean you are disabled and cannot work? If so are you filing for social security disability? Are you going to file for state short term disability?

How does your retirement benefit of $2K fit into your health problems?

What is the story on the rental property? Is it mortgaged? Does the rent cover the mortgage and taxes? Who does the rental maintenance and repairs?

Please advise..

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BL
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by BL » Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm

I believe the 457 allows penalty-free withdrawals before age 59.5, so I would not move it to an IRA before that time.

It is good to study on what to do, but hold off at least till later this year to make decisions you don't absolutely have to do yet. No need to add stress or make not-so-great decisions by acting too soon. You may be in a higher tax bracket next year, so there are some things that could be better done later this year.

If you have a joint taxable account, it may be that those funds would have spouse's half of basis stepped-up at date of death, so there would be only half as much tax if you decided to sell something with Capital Gains as it would have been the year before. If you don't have any reason to sell, then just ignore this.

It would be good to find out the SS PIA at full retirement age (FRA) for both you and your husband. You would want to know which is higher: his at his FRA or yours at age 70. That is the one you would want to end up with long-term. If yours is the smaller number, you would want to do Survivor's benefit at your FRA, and you could start your own at age 62. (If yours would be bigger at age 70, you would want that permanently and Survivor's at age 60 to 70, probably.) Mike Piper has written a small book on SS which could be helpful also.

Topic Author
Olya
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by Olya » Tue May 14, 2019 10:56 pm

btenny wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:40 pm
If you are retiring due to health issues at 56 does this mean you are disabled and cannot work? If so are you filing for social security disability? Are you going to file for state short term disability?

How does your retirement benefit of $2K fit into your health problems?

What is the story on the rental property? Is it mortgaged? Does the rent cover the mortgage and taxes? Who does the rental maintenance and repairs?

Please advise..
The decision to retire is more for quality of life than disability. The insurance covers my needs. As suggested, I'll be looking into the subsidy.

The rental house is mortgaged and the rent covers all the expenses. The maintenance and repairs are hired out. The plan is to have the large emergency fund cover any gaps in rental residence or expenses.

Topic Author
Olya
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:36 pm

Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by Olya » Tue May 14, 2019 10:57 pm

BL wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 5:27 pm
I believe the 457 allows penalty-free withdrawals before age 59.5, so I would not move it to an IRA before that time.

It would be good to find out the SS PIA at full retirement age (FRA) for both you and your husband. You would want to know which is higher: his at his FRA or yours at age 70. That is the one you would want to end up with long-term. If yours is the smaller number, you would want to do Survivor's benefit at your FRA, and you could start your own at age 62. (If yours would be bigger at age 70, you would want that permanently and Survivor's at age 60 to 70, probably.) Mike Piper has written a small book on SS which could be helpful also.
Good advice. Thank you. I'll look at the author.

retiredjg
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by retiredjg » Wed May 15, 2019 2:14 pm

If your expenses as a single person will be $3,600 a month (before taxes), you will either be near the top of the 12% bracket or you may move into the 22% tax bracket. A lot depends on the rental income.

Do not let this worry you because only a small portion of the total income will be taxed at 22% (if any at all). Just be aware that your tax bracket is likely to go up.

I think the first thing to figure out is whether you will be able to make withdrawals from your 457b in any amount at any time after you retire. I think you will, but you need to confirm this as you work through your retirement process. If you can take any amount at any time, I'd leave the money in the 457b (instead of rolling it to IRA) until you are 59.5 years old. After that, you can roll it to IRA and all the money in IRA will be available any time/amount you want.

You say you are more comfortable with the 52% stock/48% bond fund than the one at 73% stock. Just based on that and your age, I'd suggest you invest your portfolio at about 55% to 60% stock and see how that "feels". It's a good place to be - there is enough stock for some growth, but not so much stock that the portfolio will dip too much in the bad market times.

You do need to expect and not be freaked out by the fact that about 1/4 of your portfolio could disappear for months during the bad times. This would be a normal reduction in size for a portfolio with that much stock during market crashes/extended downturns. And there will be extended downturns, you can be sure of that.

It appears to me your portfolio withdrawal will be in the neighborhood of 2% before you start SS. This is very good. That number should be sustainable over many years. I believe you will have enough money and be comfortable on what you have. It will take a year or two for your finances and taxes to "settle out" and change to your new normal. Be cognizant of spending until you know what the new normal is. You definitely do not need to scrimp. But don't go overboard either.

About picking the funds to use in your portfolio, what are the bond funds available in your 457? Name, ticker, and expense ratio in your plan are what we need. Also check to see if there is a stable value fund (or a "guaranteed income" fund) and if so, what is it paying this year?

Once we know what is available in the 457 and once we know what your withdrawal restrictions are (if any), it will be easy to pick funds for your entire portfolio.

As others have mentioned, health insurance will be your challenge. You will need to do some self-education over the next year or two about this. This forum is a good resource. Be sure to check the Wiki too.

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changingtimes
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Re: 56 Retired, Just Widowed, Need $$ Overhaul Assistance Please

Post by changingtimes » Wed May 15, 2019 3:30 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss.

When you feel up to it, definitely spend some time looking at Social Security. If you have a recent statement for your husband, you can see what his survivor benefit should be for you. It might be an option for you to start that survivor benefit at 60, even though it's reduced, to then allow you to not switch to your own benefit at 70. Or his/survivor might be the higher at 70, so you could start your own at 62. You would probably want to take one or the other at 60/62, depending on how the numbers shake out.

It's my plan to take DH's survivor benefit when I hit 60 (in seven years), and then not switch to mine until 70.

PS: Shoot, I missed that someone already replied with this. Apologies. But still wanted to pass along my condolences--I know it is probably still such a surreal time for you at this stage.

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