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I retired permanently when I turned 58.

- my personal savings equaled ten times my pre-retirement salary
- I was fully vested in a state funded teacher retirement program that guaranteed:
a) 75% of the average of my five highest years of wages for the remainder of my life
b) 100% coverage of all medical/pharmacy/vision/dental insurance expenses for life
- I waited until my full retirement age (66) to begin receiving social security
- my home was mortgage free (and my property taxes were frozen for life when I turned 65)
- both of my vehicles were paid off before I took retirement
- I had zero credit card debt both before and after retirement

When I travel I spend 3-6 months on the road. Direct deposit and auto bill pay mean that I do not have to be at home to manage my affairs.

I have the flexibility to spend whatever I want to, on whatever I want to, whenever I want to.

I am so busy during my retirement . . . that I do not know how I ever found time to go to work every day.
Congratulations, looks well planned and thought out!
 
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Get all your numbers together, everything, then go to "FIRECALC.com".

Put everything in and it will give you a probability of success. And show you how frequently it determines you will fail at different points in your retirement.

Of all the retirement calculators I've used, and that as been several, I like it the best. I highly recommend it.

It is very thorough and will take you a few times using it to get all your data in and then to understand what it is doing. You will need annual expenses, savings, portfolio makeup, estimate of how long you think you will live, pension estimates, SS estimates, when you will pay-off debts, or come into windfalls, etc.

FIRECALC is an acronym for "financially independent retire early calculator".
 

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To me, when we are looking at this, are the three biggest things:
1) Healthcare or Health Insurance before Medicare can be very expensive, especially in your late 50’s or early 60’s. However, there are now ways to be “insured” with co-ops and group plans. Need to research this more, but might be a better option.
2) Can I get by without touching the qualified retirement accounts before age 59.5? If not, that’s a 10% penalty PLUS that year’s taxes. Might take $150k or so to bring home $85k. May not need that much, but unless you have several million and are earning a high interest rate, you’re going to end up killing the golden goose.
3) Debt Free. Still living on less than you make, while still being able to save for things like car or house repair, travel, inflation on standard living items like food, etc.

I’m 41, almost 42, and trying to figure how to keep working the plan for 18 more years. We’ll see what happens in the end with the market, politics, socialism, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I retired permanently when I turned 58.

- my personal savings equaled ten times my pre-retirement salary
- I was fully vested in a state funded teacher retirement program that guaranteed:
a) 75% of the average of my five highest years of wages for the remainder of my life
b) 100% coverage of all medical/pharmacy/vision/dental insurance expenses for life
- I waited until my full retirement age (66) to begin receiving social security
- my home was mortgage free (and my property taxes were frozen for life when I turned 65)
- both of my vehicles were paid off before I took retirement
- I had zero credit card debt both before and after retirement

When I travel I spend 3-6 months on the road. Direct deposit and auto bill pay mean that I do not have to be at home to manage my affairs.

I have the flexibility to spend whatever I want to, on whatever I want to, whenever I want to.

I am so busy during my retirement . . . that I do not know how I ever found time to go to work every day.
So, 10x salary is what you had ready. Is that net or gross?

How much would you suggest is "needed"? For example could you have gotten by on 5x? Or maybe you now realize you should have had 15x ?
 

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10mm Philosopher
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Things to think about if quitting a job?
Homeless shelters tend to offer hot-n-tasty meals during the holiday season. :whistling:
 
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No other job. Quit working.
For most of us, that just isn't feasible. It's usually the medical expenses that get us. If you have an answer to that, you have a shot. The best way I know is if your wife is a few years younger and you can go on her insurance. Also, you should consider starting your own business in retirement. Something that will generate a modest amount, but that you love doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
For most of us, that just isn't feasible. It's usually the medical expenses that get us. If you have an answer to that, you have a shot. The best way I know is if your wife is a few years younger and you can go on her insurance. Also, you should consider starting your own business in retirement. Something that will generate a modest amount, but that you love doing.
I feel like I'm trying to figure out how to escape from jail :)

But this thread has been full of good information.

Part-time employment with full health insurance is likely one of the most practical approaches, if feasable.

My wife doesn't really work. Meaning she does a lot of work but not at a paid job.

I don't plan on starting a business. So the thought here is wondering what I'd need to do to quit everything, and get by, until hitting normal retirement age. Not drawing anything early from my retirement account.
 

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Ornery & Irreverent
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It has been some time since I dealt first-hand with it, but I don't recall at all any limitation in eligibility hinging on why the applicant left the employment under which they had the COBRA Conversion group health ins. coverage. <whew!>
More simply: no such aspect that I'm aware of (vs. say, unemployment benefits) but it's been a while, so please do seek the latest fine print on that.
Doesn't COBRA only apply if you are laid off? I know it only last 18 months.

My previous employer had a program like COBRA for retirees. It offers a chance to maintain coverage like COBRA with no time limit. But since there are only middle aged and old people in the risk pool the rates are much higher than COBRA.
 
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So, 10x salary is what you had ready. Is that net or gross?

How much would you suggest is "needed"? For example could you have gotten by on 5x? Or maybe you now realize you should have had 15x ?
As a long time member of Glock Talk . . . I have shared my story more than once.
But since you asked so nicely . . . here are some of the details.

When I was 24 I decided that I did not want to be a renter so I began searching for a house to purchase. It basically became my "after hours" full-time job. Every evening and weekend was spent house hunting. I had worked at a full-time job while attending college. When I graduated, not only did I have zero debt, but I had been able to set aside $10,000 for the down payment on a house. Mind you this was in the late 1960's . . . so $10,000 went a long way toward buying a house back then.

Since I was single I decided that the best option was to NOT buy a house that was beyond my budget. I recognized that my needs were simple: a place to sleep, a place to eat, a place to bathe and a place to hang my clothes. Anything else was superfluous. So when I found a simple, two bedroom, one bath house on acreage, in a rural area, with lots of trees and lake front views . . . I was able to pay cash. Therefore, when I say I did not have a mortgage when I retired . . . I have never had a mortgage in the entire 50+ years that I have lived in my house.

The trick is - to never buy more house than you can afford. Or more house than you need.

Also, the smaller the improvements on your property = lower property taxes. I have benefited from that for 50+ years. And when I turned 65 my property taxes were frozen for the rest of my life ($650 per year).

Even though I have benefited from "no mortgage" - and "low property taxes"- I have always "pretended" that I was just like every other working stiff - and pretended that I DID have a mortgage and higher taxes. In other words, I estimated what my monthly cost for housing "could have been" - and took that amount out of my paycheck every month for 50+ years and put it aside for the future.

Here is another method that I used to save money for the future - every time that I got a raise at my job - I just pretended it never happened - and added that to my retirement fund account. My reasoning was this: I had been managing just fine on my income BEFORE the raise - so why should I use the raise to increase my level of SPENDING?!?! I used my raises to INCREASE my level of SAVING!!!

Regarding spending money on transportation: I keep my vehicles for 20+ years.
- I buy the BEST QUALITY vehicle that I can afford (after months of test drives and comparison shopping and hours after hours of research).
- Take care of it and follow the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule to the letter.
- Drive defensively. Avoid accidents. And reduce wear and tear by eschewing "jack rabbit" starts/stops.
- As the vehicle ages the cost of insurance will drop precipitously until it reaches a point where you can eliminate the ongoing cost of insurance premium hikes and "self insure".

One more thing? In my late 30's I made a focused effort to go to work at a place of employment that would: A) offer a guaranteed PENSION for the rest of my life, and B) offer guaranteed MEDICAL BENEFITS for the rest of my life.

This took a couple of years of research and planning before I left my previous place of employment and before I began applying for positions at my "targets". In other words, it was not just "luck" that lead me to this outcome. I paid my dues and did my due diligence with forethought.

Finally - to address your question: 10x my annual salary just happened to be the figure that was in my account when I decided to retire. It is the "icing on the cake" considering I am also drawing a pension, social security and comprehensive medical/drug/dental/vision insurance coverage.

As I am prone to say, "If I can do it . . . so can you."

Edited to add: Even in retirement I am saving over $2k every month since my income exceeds my expenses. And I take a LOT of vacations!
 

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Discussion Starter #33
As a long time member of Glock Talk . . . I have shared my story more than once.
But since you asked so nicely . . . here are some of the details.

When I was 24 I decided that I did not want to be a renter so I began searching for a house to purchase. It basically became my "after hours" full-time job. Every evening and weekend was spent house hunting. I had worked at a full-time job while attending college. When I graduated, not only did I have zero debt, but I had been able to set aside $10,000 for the down payment on a house. Mind you this was in the late 1960's . . . so $10,000 went a long way toward buying a house back then.

Since I was single I decided that the best option was to NOT buy a house that was beyond my budget. I recognized that my needs were simple: a place to sleep, a place to eat, a place to bathe and a place to hang my clothes. Anything else was superfluous. So when I found a simple, two bedroom, one bath house on acreage, in a rural area, with lots of trees and lake front views . . . I was able to pay cash. Therefore, when I say I did not have a mortgage when I retired . . . I have never had a mortgage in the entire 50+ years that I have lived in my house.

The trick is - to never buy more house than you can afford. Or more house than you need.

Also, the smaller the improvements on your property = lower property taxes. I have benefited from that for 50+ years. And when I turned 65 my property taxes were frozen for the rest of my life ($650 per year).

Even though I have benefited from "no mortgage" - and "low property taxes"- I have always "pretended" that I was just like every other working stiff - and pretended that I DID have a mortgage and higher taxes. In other words, I estimated what my monthly cost for housing "could have been" - and took that amount out of my paycheck every month for 50+ years and put it aside for the future.

Here is another method that I used to save money for the future - every time that I got a raise at my job - I just pretended it never happened - and added that to my retirement fund account. My reasoning was this: I had been managing just fine on my income BEFORE the raise - so why should I use the raise to increase my level of SPENDING?!?! I used my raises to INCREASE my level of SAVING!!!

Regarding spending money on transportation: I keep my vehicles for 20+ years.
- I buy the BEST QUALITY vehicle that I can afford (after months of test drives and comparison shopping and hours after hours of research).
- Take care of it and follow the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule to the letter.
- Drive defensively. Avoid accidents. And reduce wear and tear by eschewing "jack rabbit" starts/stops.
- As the vehicle ages the cost of insurance will drop precipitously until it reaches a point where you can eliminate the ongoing cost of insurance premium hikes and "self insure".

One more thing? In my late 30's I made a focused effort to go to work at a place of employment that would: A) offer a guaranteed PENSION for the rest of my life, and B) offer guaranteed MEDICAL BENEFITS for the rest of my life.

This took a couple of years of research and planning before I left my previous place of employment and before I began applying for positions at my "targets". In other words, it was not just "luck" that lead me to this outcome. I paid my dues and did my due diligence with forethought.

Finally - to address your question: 10x my annual salary just happened to be the figure that was in my account when I decided to retire. It is the "icing on the cake" considering I am also drawing a pension, social security and comprehensive medical/drug/dental/vision insurance coverage.

As I am prone to say, "If I can do it . . . so can you."
That is great planning you did! And the ability to stick to it!
 

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That is great planning you did! And the ability to stick to it!
Thanks!

As I am prone to say, "If I can do it . . . so can you."

:cheers:

Did it require some sacrifices? Sure.
Was it worth it? Sure.

I have never been one to buy every gee whiz thing-a-ma-jig.
My needs are fairly simple.

Since I do not watch TV I have NEVER subscribed to cable.
I use a Blackberry Bold cell phone that was purchased for me by my employer before I retired.

I drive a 21 year old Ford pickup and a 12 year old Toyota SUV.
My house was built in 1965.
Most of my clothes are 15-20 years old.
I take care of my things so that they last.

And I have managed to travel all over the USA and the world.
 

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I feel like I'm trying to figure out how to escape from jail :)

But this thread has been full of good information.

Part-time employment with full health insurance is likely one of the most practical approaches, if feasable.

My wife doesn't really work. Meaning she does a lot of work but not at a paid job.

I don't plan on starting a business. So the thought here is wondering what I'd need to do to quit everything, and get by, until hitting normal retirement age. Not drawing anything early from my retirement account.
At least since ObamaCare medical insurance has become even more expensive and must be provided if tge employer has - I think - 50 or more full time employees. A full time employee works 30 or more hours a week. Many formerly full time employees became 29 hour part time employees with no company paid medical insurance. So your new 30 plus hour a week full time job will tie you down almost as much as your present full time job for a whole less money.
 

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Friends Call Me "Flash"
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Don't overthink your retirement! Instead, evaluate every day how you feel and if your job makes you feel better or worse.

I retired at 63 1/2 and never regretted it. I just KNEW that I didn't have enough to retire but guess what? I MADE it work for the last 10 years! I never dip into my savings and even saved money each month!

Staying out of debt helped a lot. Cooking at home saved a fortune! I don't eat in restaurants and the savings has been unbelievable!

The main thing is to NOT work until you're all used up. Save some energy so you can enjoy your retirement!

Get your teeth fixed up NOW and keep them that way.

Flash
 

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The trick is - to never buy more house than you can afford. Or more house than you need.
I have also found this to be true. I live in a house that costs about half what my co-workers typically spend on one. It makes a big difference. Realtors will always tell you that a house is the best investment you can make so you should buy the most expensive house you can afford. But in most areas the stock market beats real estate in the long term.

And it isn't really an investment unless you can sell it and spend the money on something else. You will always need a place to live so if you sell one house you still have to buy another. Unless you are downsizing or moving to a less expensive area there is no way to cash out equity in your house. Borrow against it and you risk getting upside down as a lot of people learned the hard way in 2008.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Don't overthink your retirement! Instead, evaluate every day how you feel and if your job makes you feel better or worse.

I retired at 63 1/2 and never regretted it. I just KNEW that I didn't have enough to retire but guess what? I MADE it work for the last 10 years! I never dip into my savings and even saved money each month!

Staying out of debt helped a lot. Cooking at home saved a fortune! I don't eat in restaurants and the savings has been unbelievable!

The main thing is to NOT work until you're all used up. Save some energy so you can enjoy your retirement!

Get your teeth fixed up NOW and keep them that way.

Flash
Part of our being frugal is that my wife likes to cook. We raised our own food, too. And there is venison.

So not buying restaurant food, and not buying grocery store preparred foods, makes a big difference in the food budget.

Not that there is anything wrong with going to restauants :)
 
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