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Subject:  Re: Retiring at 55: Onward to Phase II Date:  8/16/2014  5:34 PM
Author:  oncqueen Number:  64 of 83


I retired 2 weeks ago, and will turn 50 later this month.

My biggest worry is health care, prior to Medicare eligibility, but it's one of those things not to scrimp on.

One tip that might be useful for you is to reconsider your insurance outlay. I had life and disability insurance, and my spouse had life insurance. To me, those are useful to make up for lost earnings, but since there are now no earnings to protect (other than what I can do in investing), it makes sense to stop it, and that is a fair savings for us right there. In addition, my spouse's policy (should never have bought it but our realtor had a son who was just starting out as an insurance agent, so we did), has a cash surrender value, that will be half a year's living expenses at worst, probably more when it is added to the investing pile. There may be smaller areas you can economize; my spouse got $60 off our internet per month by calling to say that he needed a cheaper plan or was going to cancel. It all adds up. I called my brokerage to ask about extending their special deal ($X per $XXX in a new account), which had expired, because I am going to roll over my 401K into an IRA. They were happy to extend it to get the account. It never hurts to ask.

The other thing we did was start to track every nickel, mainly for the sake of the 2 teens. This has been helpful for them to see how things add up, both for their own choices later in life (do they want to drink soda? Fancy coffee? Alcohol? etc) and to not resent our choices now, such as going to matinees or eating out less. It has been a good "big picture" thing for them, and they have had some good ideas on economizing. Also, it has been helpful to talk as a family about what expenditures are worthwhile (Should we go on a barefoot cruise at Thanksgiving or eat out twice a week instead?). It's good for them to see how easy it is to fritter money away, and I think the eating out seems more special rather than taken for granted.

I am happy to see some action on this board; maybe more folks will weigh in!
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