No. of Recommendations: 27

I echo the advice to check on official SS info and not listen to rumors or "what folks say".

As for your other income, mother lode or whatever, you sound wise enough to sit down and do the math, so go for it!

I was a middle manager and she was a teacher. Unfortunately, I was laid off at 59, and, about that time, she had to help her mom, whose health was failing, so she had to quit, too. (She had not taught long enough to have much of any retirement, and I had almost no pension, either. Reasons are valid, but immaterial here.)

I did consulting in my field for a couple of years but found I felt like you did -- enough! So, at 61, I sat down with her, we did the math (money in, money out, debts, how we'd do with SS income and reasonable other sources, like IRA, etc.), and felt we could do it. It felt good to just plain stop!

That was 10 years ago. I/we took a hit in our IRA's in 2008, of course, like most people, but I had been self-managing my IRA for years (buying, selling equities, etc.), so we've done okay -- better, in fact, than the "market". Remember that, within your IRA, there are NO taxes on ANY profits you make. You pay nil until you withdraw money (after 59-1/2, as you are) and then just income taxes. In our case, our income is low enough so we end up paying ZERO income taxes almost every year, state or federal!

We're lucky because we do not have expensive hobbies, don't smoke, never do "bars", don't enjoy movie theaters (too damned loud and unpleasant!), and she's very good at coupon shopping for groceries.

Still, we eat out almost every day -- usually lunch (cheaper usually than dinner and we try to have our bigger meal then). For other meals, she's a great cook, and I do the dishes -- a fair trade, I think.

We just marked 50 years. We're not rich, but we do okay, and we're awfully happy, retired up here on a quiet chunk of land on our ridge in Vermont. On a cold winter morning, especially, it's awfully damned nice to get up when we want to, have leisurely coffee or tea (maybe with some of her homemade muffins or something), and relax or go out, as we choose! No more commuting, no bosses, just us! Sounds like you'd love that!

This is too long, I guess, but my main message is this:

Follow your heart. Do the math. And enjoy your life.

Good luck!

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