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Old 05-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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Sounds great, why am I afraid?

Both of us facing being able to retire next month at 52 for me and 53 for my DW. We both work for a large telecommunications company that starts with a V (good enough hint?) 31 years and 23 years. We have a financial guy that specializes in our company/union. Have had our 401s maxed forever with a great company match and get a substantial buyout amount with the incentive that is going to be offered. House is paid for and other than a dwindling loan on the, you guessed it, RV no real debt.

We have an appointment to see the financial guy to make sure we are set before signing on the dotted line.

So why am I frightened about this? Sounds like the deal of a lifetime. Still a lot of "what ifs". So talk me into or out of this. No just into. Well....
Mark & Nancy
2004 Winnebago Vectra 40KD
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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You are right to talk to the financial guy. I recommend going as young as you can but those long years without any additional income can be scary. We have a friend who retired in his early 50s. Ten years later the things like needing new rv's, car's etc. have caught up with him and he has had to return to work. I hope to never have to do that. Get your ducks lined up and go for it. I have always said retirement is wasted on old people.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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I too worked for a large telecommunications company that started with a "V" and ended with "erizon" for 35 years and at age 53 I took the SIPP, the lump sum pension and retired after talking to my financial guy.

It's a major lifestyle change and I never regretted it. That was eight years ago.

If you can afford to go, go! Life is too short to be working. Enjoy what you have been working toward.

Besides, they pay you not to come to work! What a concept!
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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Old 05-03-2010, 11:27 AM   #4
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It is a big step so a little trepidation is normal. I retired a couple of years ago at 53. There was a lot of thought and planning beforehand. I looked at retirement calculators, but they're too simplistic. Then I started looking at our actual expenses and projecting them out for 30 years, with a "healthy" annual increase for medical insurance.

After a couple of years of working and planning retirement, the company I worked for was bought out by a bigger fish. My salary and bonuses were going to be substantially lower. The time was right. I pulled the trigger and finished out the year.

My calcs had been working out for some pretty nasty scenarios, so we were going to be okay. The market drop wasn't a welcome surprise, but we had enough slack. I still do some part-time work that allows us to leave the retirement funds untouched.

Talk to the financial guy, look at your assets and expenses realistically, then go!
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:01 PM   #5
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You are frightened of change, very normal, and very easily dealt with. Have a little faith, go for it, you will end up being pleasantly surprised, G
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
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I retired about 2 yeas ago at age 52. DW and I discussed this several years ago and started controlling expenses and really uped our retirement savings. Quicken has a retirement planner in in that was useful. As kjburns mentions, it is pretty simplistic but is a good guide. I also found another retirement planner put out by J&L, the J&L Retirement Planner, that was much more helpful. It allows for different rates of return for different assets, allows for calculating a range of returns for each asset and for different rates of inflation for different expenses.
Two weeks after I was off payroll Leman Brothers failed. I was worried for a while but it looks like things will be OK. I don't miss work, I do enjoy having the time to go out in the rig and see this country. We will be going Alaska this summer, something that would never be happening if I was still doing the 8 to 5 routine.
If your meeting with the financial guy goes well, go for it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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I retired at age 54 and my wife quit her job at age 49. (No retirement, she just quit.) We were both in the prime of our careers and both of our companies begged us to work a few more years. But we were ready to take life easy and hit the road fulltime. I remember the first time we went shopping and I realized the money was coming from our savings and not from our earnings. It took a while to get used to that.

I have never felt comfortable with a financial planner. In the late 70's I talked to a financial planner and he wanted me to sell certain investments and put them in other investments. I thought about it a few days and decided I would do my own financial planning from that day forward and I can say I have done rather well.

In the mid 90's I made a spreadsheet listing assets and investments and expenses and inflation. I put in the cost of buying two new diesel pushers, a new house and new cars. (Not all at once but over the years.) The spreadsheet showed we would still have money beyond age 80 and I am still using the same spreadsheet and it now shows we'll still have money when we reach age 100.

I can play with the numbers liking increasing inflation from 4% to 8% and see the bottom line figure in 10, 20, 30 years. And I can change the gain in investments to any percentage. Even with terrible numbers it looks like we'll be OK.

In 1999 we hit the road fulltime and traveled over 10 years before building a new house, and now we're part timers. Retiring early was a vey wise decision.

Two of my friends retired and started fulltiming just after me and both used financial planners. They were told they had enough money to travel fulltime and would never have to go back to work again. Well, their financial plans became financial flops.

If you trust your financial planner enough to turn your investments over to him, OK. But remember it is your money and life. If his plan and advice doesn't work out he will say Sorry. So do your own planning and research and when you feel comfortable, take retirement and enjoy the rest of your life.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the encouragement everyone. We woke up to the buzzing, annoying electronic device on the dresser this morning while the sun was just coming up over the placid lake outside. Looked at each other and without saying a word I do believe we both though "this must work".

Our finance guy has one of us in aggressive funds and one not so aggressive so we can make some $$ but have backup. First quarter this year my stuff did pretty well and that is a small part of what we will be investing so I am confident. I would love to do my own investing but know my limitations and luck so I will leave it to the experts.

I will keep you posted but if you are anywhere in the northeast you may hear us laughing first.
Mark & Nancy
2004 Winnebago Vectra 40KD
Shep dog, R.I.P. Kenzie dog Toad 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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Mark and Nancy,

Just yesterday I spoke with my ex-co-worker and heard there is an offer pending for force reduction at VZ. On June 30th it will be 10 years since I retired from Bell Atlantic. That, by the way, was the day BA and GTE announced they were merging to form Verizon. I worked four years part-time for a small, local, Independent Telco until my working got in the way of our travelling. We then sold the house and went full-timing in 2005.

The best thing is to have a competent financial advisor whom you know and trust. Give them lattitude to work for you as they best see fit, have the confidence they will do so, and ..... relax and enjoy!

'14 Winnebago Vista 35F, '14 GMC Terrain
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:25 AM   #10
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I suspect you are confusing 'fear' with 'apprehension of the unknown'! You, if you are close to normal, will love the lifestyle.

Wretched excess is just barely enough.

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Old 05-05-2010, 01:59 PM   #11
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.I punched out at 55 and have never looked back ... I was a business man and owned a furniture factory which I sold to a friend and I financed the deal. He paid seven percent on the total and in ten years I doubled the amount of the selling price in interest. I just sold him the building and now I am living on savings, investments and SS from my Uncle Sam ..... Your greatest concern will be medical insurance until you can get on Medicare at 65. My med insurance was over seven hundred a month and the company paid it for me till i got on Medicare. That was part of the deal to sell the company.

The big thing you will have to adjust to is that when you worked you had a ''structured life''...... Go to work, come home, eat and watch some t.v....... go to bed and get up the next morning and do it all over again. Truthfully it took me almost three days to change my lifestyle when I retired. lol ......

My advise ..... GO FOR IT ..... YOU CAN ALWAYS GO BACK TO WORK SOMEWHERE. and remember this ..... I have never seen a Wells Fargo truck in a funeral procession............. SPEND IT MY FRIEND .....
Seajay the sailor man ....
God bless our troops and bring them home soon and safe ....
God bless our vets ....ALL GAVE SOME .... SOME GAVE ALL ....
PS. this learned advise will cost you ten cents and you must pay me the next time you see me .....
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:59 PM   #12
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Go for it and don't look back! I retired the first time at 55 and will again this year at 63. This last position only required that I have internet access to fulfill my obligations and internet access is everywhere. I retired because my uncle retired at 65 and died a year later. My father retired at 62 and said that it was the best thing he ever did. He will be 90 this year and still keeps busy with volunteer work, which he does not consider work. Learn to say "no" because many organizations will tell you, "you're retired, you have time to do it". No you don't, because you may be busy doing all the things on your "bucket" list.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:46 AM   #13
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Here is an update.

We may have hit a bump in this road. DW was expecting to be able to retire using what we heard forever at work as adding up to 75 and out. That meant if you age and service years added to 75 you could retire with pension and benefits. Now we are reading that if you are 50 with 25 years you are eligible and if you are 55 with 20 you are eligible. She is 53 with 23 and what they are saying is that doesn't count even if it adds up to 76. Makes no sense.

I have over 30 years and that makes you eligible regardless of age but we really wanted to go down this road together hand in hand. Problem is that this kind of deal being offered may never come around again and to wait two more years means having to live through union contract negotiations again in Aug 2011. This sucks but we are keeping our heads up and looking at all options.
Mark & Nancy
2004 Winnebago Vectra 40KD
Shep dog, R.I.P. Kenzie dog Toad 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:31 PM   #14
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We did a similar thing at a much later age and the medical insurance was devastating. We ended up paying nearly $24,000 per year (both cancer survivors). This must be figured into any decision.
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