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Old 03-07-2018, 10:45 AM
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Default I can retire at 55, what do I do?

I have been running the numbers 9 ways to Sunday, and the data show I could hit my "number" in Mar 2021 at age 55. My number is 33x planned expenses in retirement, so a 3% safe withdrawal rate (SWR). The "could" part requires me to save all my pension, bonus and Restricted Stock Units (RSU) for the next 3 years. It also assumes no growth. It also assumes we pay off the house (which is in the plan).

We would live off of my base salary for the next 3 years, which is not a problem.

So what do I do at 55? What happens when I am financially independent? I'm kinda freaked out about the thought of this happening in 3 years.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:52 AM
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No one says you have to retire. If it freaks you out too much just keep working until you figure out a plan.

It depends what your hobbies are or what you like to do in your free time. During retirement everything can be "free time." So you can obsess over your hobbies or find new hobbies. No more grocery shopping on weekends, no more running errands on weekends when everyone and their brother are out.

If you want to volunteer somewhere go for it. If anything I would say at the very least exercise...weights/cardio. More important as you age. Find some time for that...your body will thank you.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:19 AM
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Having just left the workforce about three months ago I understand your thinking. It's kind of a change of mind set going from building, building, building your nest egg, then getting to the point where you are going to start using some of it.

Good problems to have. Congrats !
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:52 AM
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What happens when I am financially independent? I'm kinda freaked out about the thought of this happening in 3 years.
Only you can answer that question. I know numerous people who have done it and they couldn't be happier. Now that they are retired, they frequently comment that they have no idea how they ever found time to work as they are busier than ever. They engage in hobbies and interests, they exercise more, they take care of the grandkids, they're more active in their church/synagogue, they volunteer a lot, they travel more, etc. Some have taken on hobbies they had never even though about during their working years but something sparked a new interest and they had the time and freedom to pursue it.

Now is the time to start really thinking about what the next phase of life after work will look like for you. Just realize that as much as you think about it, you'll never know for sure until you're doing it because new things will come along that aren't even on your radar now.

What a great "problem" to have.
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Old 03-07-2018, 12:41 PM
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I actually have a plan for retirement: rescue animals. Probably dogs and cats to start, but then who knows. I have been developing a business plan for about 3 years and haven't had time to collect data to validate my models, so retirement will be spent doing that.

What freaked me out was how fast it has become possible. In 2012, I had a net worth of zero and no hope to retire, ever. Lazer focused on fixing that and now I can retire very comfortably in 3 years.

I'll give it some thought. Maybe 3 more years of making mega bucks. Then throttle back to part time or consulting while I build out my business model for the pet rescue non-profit. Then retire and take a year off or just work on lining up investors for the pet rescue. Then start executing my pet rescue plan.
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:16 PM
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What freaked me out was how fast it has become possible. In 2012, I had a net worth of zero and no hope to retire, ever. Lazer focused on fixing that and now I can retire very comfortably in 3 years.
I understand. That is a big change in a short time. Takes some getting used to. Just because you can retire in 3 years certainly doesn't mean you have to. And, as you said, maybe the right path will be to cut back some and ease into it. That has the added advantage of continuing to earn money and not have to start tapping the nest egg as soon. That's a great position to be in.
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Old 03-07-2018, 01:26 PM
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I understand. That is a big change in a short time. Takes some getting used to. Just because you can retire in 3 years certainly doesn't mean you have to. And, as you said, maybe the right path will be to cut back some and ease into it. That has the added advantage of continuing to earn money and not have to start tapping the nest egg as soon. That's a great position to be in.
Just ran some numbers for going part time @ age 55, and that sure boosts the inheritance for my kids. Also greatly reduces sequence of return risk if the market tanks the year I retire. And it isn't a big number for income. I could consult for 100 hours a year and make enough to mitigate the risk. I'm getting excited now.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:17 PM
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I could consult for 100 hours a year and make enough to mitigate the risk.
That's excellent. Even if you could fully retire, I would probably go that route to keep you active and engaged and have few to no worries about if your savings will last as predicted.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:52 PM
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Those most satisfied with life as a retiree seem to be those described by Dr. Steve. 'too busy, wonder how they had time to work in their past career.

The research identifies retirement as another of life's stages like being a tyke, elementary - middle school, high school - university, 1st job in chosen profession - initial 5 years , marriage [particularly 1st two years].

Finance is the slice we talk about, fret about, hear about most, but the facts don't actually support all the flack. The most important factor in retirement is identified as 'health' according to all the stuff I read. Remarkably, even if you make changes to prioritize health factors as late as 50's, 60's, 70's you will improve your retirement outcome. Those changes are not money linked, they are the rules, we know like...skip sugar, salt, exercise [walking & stairs, yoga], pick a sport to do/limit watch, stay hydrated.

Health extends to mind, learn something new that is of interest. [Keep searching until you find something you are interested in learning]. Since you are interested in animal rescue, would you consider volunteering even one day each quarter, to help in some capacity for an animal rescue event? Perhaps as you ratchet down your last three years as a consultant, you could 'shadow' someone operating an animal rescue organization of interest as you develop your own business plan.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:45 PM
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Just ran some numbers for going part time @ age 55, and that sure boosts the inheritance for my kids. Also greatly reduces sequence of return risk if the market tanks the year I retire. And it isn't a big number for income. I could consult for 100 hours a year and make enough to mitigate the risk. I'm getting excited now.
Not to be a Debby downer but recently my friend was also on track to retire by 45 but he just got wrecked hard from a divorce. The wife just fell out of love. The guy didn't cheat or anything..it was all random and sudden..leaving three of their young kids in limbo right now.

This friend is extremely financial savvy who bought 5 properties and rented them out to college students during the financial crisis. He has over 300k in his 401k even though he's only 35. This divorce will end up having the wife taking 50% away, and perhaps destroying the little property empire he has built.

Just food for thought. Not saying something like this may happen to you but we never can anticipate the future. Another reason why I think the spouse working is very important.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:54 PM
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Not to be a Debby downer but recently my friend was also on track to retire by 45 but he just got wrecked hard from a divorce. The wife just fell out of love. The guy didn't cheat or anything..it was all random and sudden..leaving three of their young kids in limbo right now.

This friend is extremely financial savvy who bought 5 properties and rented them out to college students during the financial crisis. He has over 300k in his 401k even though he's only 35. This divorce will end up having the wife taking 50% away, and perhaps destroying the little property empire he has built.

Just food for thought. Not saying something like this may happen to you but we never can anticipate the future. Another reason why I think the spouse working is very important.
Well that's depressing.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:56 PM
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Another reason why I think the spouse working is very important.
What does this have to do with the story you told? Whether or not the wife was working wouldn't have changed the outcome of her suddenly deciding to walk out on the marriage.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:14 PM
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I could just go back to my old ways and buy a $3M house, a couple of Ferraris, a boat and an airplane. All on credit, of course.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:48 PM
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What does this have to do with the story you told? Whether or not the wife was working wouldn't have changed the outcome of her suddenly deciding to walk out on the marriage.
When you have 1 household income contributing to the overall wealth, getting broken in half is way more devastating than if you had 2 household income contributing to the wealth. Technically if both parties made the same, wealth should be double.

Also it feels less like you worked your ass off to build up this wealth just so your wife can spend your half of the money with another man down the road (this is how my friend now feels..when the rest of the world spends paycheck to paycheck..he sacrificed hard to build up this wealth and now it'll go to some other dude if wife choose to remarry who probably lived the paycheck to paycheck life while banging your ex wife..it really takes a toll on your psyche...it almost feels like you are paying someone else to bang your wife). If she contributed 50% of the wealth to the family than her taking 50% is pretty much her half anyways...so it feels less like what I just described.

Last edited by Singuy; 03-07-2018 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:15 AM
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When you have 1 household income contributing to the overall wealth, getting broken in half is way more devastating than if you had 2 household income contributing to the wealth. Technically if both parties made the same, wealth should be double.

Also it feels less like you worked your ass off to build up this wealth just so your wife can spend your half of the money with another man down the road (this is how my friend now feels..when the rest of the world spends paycheck to paycheck..he sacrificed hard to build up this wealth and now it'll go to some other dude if wife choose to remarry who probably lived the paycheck to paycheck life while banging your ex wife..it really takes a toll on your psyche...it almost feels like you are paying someone else to bang your wife). If she contributed 50% of the wealth to the family than her taking 50% is pretty much her half anyways...so it feels less like what I just described.
This divorcing couple have young kids, as you describe. If the wife didn't work, she took care of those kids so the husband could work, likely without having the very taxing round the clock responsibilities that is involved in being the primary caregiver (and she also probably did the majority of house management as well, shopping, doctor appointments, etc etc). Women at home deserve 1/2 the wealth of the couple most of the time in divorces, it's all a team effort. As someone who was a stay at home mom and is now a full time working mom, it's far harder to be home with a young child full time than to go to work. It's high time motherhood was valued in this country.

And this talk about "some other dude" spending HIS money (like she didn't run the house/raise the kids so he focus on earning it) and banging HIS wife (like she would still be his 'possession' after the divorce) sounds very sexist to me. She likely 'fell out of love' for a reason, especially if he is talking like that about her.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:21 AM
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Not to derail my own thread, but my wife deserves all the money we have in savings if we ever got divorced. She is a saint and sacrificed a lot to be married to me and my military / corporate career as a stay at home mom. And she raised our two wonderful children with only some help from me. She is the matriarch of our family. 30 years later, I would still do anything to make her happy.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:57 AM
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Not to derail my own thread
It's okay to derail your own thread. The problem is when someone else comes along and derails it.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:33 AM
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And since we are fully derailed, I wanted to add that my wife also helps me immensely with my current job leading a company. I get caught up in the minutia and sometimes do not see the forest through the trees. She is my sounding board for difficult problems and she always helps me see things more clearly. She is my Nancy Reagan. So the mega bucks I make right now are as much hers as they are mine.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:18 AM
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Not to derail my own thread, but my wife deserves all the money we have in savings if we ever got divorced. She is a saint and sacrificed a lot to be married to me and my military / corporate career as a stay at home mom. And she raised our two wonderful children with only some help from me. She is the matriarch of our family. 30 years later, I would still do anything to make her happy.
Its easy to say that now since you seem to have a stable healthy relationship and you can never imagine anything bad happening. Not so easy to say those same things if worst case she would decide to start cheating on you behind your back.

Most of us have seen or heard about someone who has been married decades then all of the sudden wants a divorce and hates the person they loved for all those decades. Its not that uncommon.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:21 AM
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Also it feels less like you worked your ass off to build up this wealth just so your wife can spend your half of the money with another man down the road (this is how my friend now feels..when the rest of the world spends paycheck to paycheck..he sacrificed hard to build up this wealth and now it'll go to some other dude if wife choose to remarry who probably lived the paycheck to paycheck life while banging your ex wife..it really takes a toll on your psyche...it almost feels like you are paying someone else to bang your wife). If she contributed 50% of the wealth to the family than her taking 50% is pretty much her half anyways...so it feels less like what I just described.
In some states if ex wife would re marry then payments would have to stop. Ive heard stories where ex wife has a boyfriend but refuses to remarry because of this. Swallow that pill...yikes.

And like you said...if wife is working that would be less you would have to pay in support. When shes never worked then she relies 100% on you to take care of her. That cant stop when you split.
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