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At 45, she's back in the job hunting game. She's enjoying the challenge of trying to find something different and a lot less stressful, but that mindset will soon wear off when her savings have been depleted and her bonds cashed in if she doesn't find something soon to supplement her pension.

Why should she deplete her savings and cash in her bonds? If she's not qualified for a decent job in the private sector she was way under-qualified for $60,000 at the IRS.

So she was making $60,000 (and deserved it) in her old job - I'm assuming she has computer skills along with "people skills" and could get *at least* $40,000 in a new job. The $1,500/month gives her a very nice cushion and she starts maxing her Roth IRA and at 50 adds the catch-up allowance. If her new job has a 401K (and most jobs at that level do have one), she can start at 4 or 5% and up it one percent every three months -- eventually she's doing 20% plus the catch-up allowance starting at age 50.

While she's looking for a job she gets in shape and does some temp work. This is a wake-up call, not the end of the world. She has a choice. I'd say she's pretty lucky. By the time she's 60 she ought to have a pretty good nest egg and be ready for a safe and secure retirement.
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