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No. of Recommendations: 9
AJ
- Who retired today.....


Nice!!! :-)
Ralph
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Thank you!

AJ
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Congratulations, AJ!! So what led you to retiring?


ThyPeace, financially AND personally.
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Congratulations, AJ!! So what led you to retiring?

It's been my goal to retire in 2017 (the year I turn 55) for about 10 years now, because I'd be able to access my 401(k) without penalties and without having to take SEPP. Despite several changes to my 401(k) plan during those 10 years, those provisions remained in place for my plan. Then, my investments reached a level where I considered myself "FI" a couple of years ago, so I made it pretty clear to my manager and his manager that 2017 was the year I would retire. We put together a plan to train my replacement, which I did during 2016.

I had considered retiring in February, after bonuses were paid for the year. But the person who I had trained to replace me had to go out on a medical LOA for a few months, and I stayed until after she returned. Then I figured as long as I had stayed that long, I may as well stay long enough to max out my 401(k) for the year, which happened with my end of September paycheck.

AJ
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Congrats! Woo woo!!
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That's awesome AJ. I'm going to have a party!

xtn
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So AJ, having planned your retirement extremely well (which does not surprise me), what's next?

ThyPeace, world travel like Jeff (OrmontUS) or the life of luxury in an Old People's Home like malaoshi or...
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So AJ, having planned your retirement extremely well (which does not surprise me), what's next?

First - relaxing. I will be sitting on my deck watching the ship traffic, the whales and the eagles a lot. Or on my porch, watching the deer eat my garden. ;-0 Since I robbed the cradle by a couple of years, Joel won't be retiring for probably 2 or 3 more years, so our trips to Asia and Europe will have to wait, but in the mean time, I have a couple of smaller trips planned with my Mom. I will be doing some more gardening, more volunteering, and may pick up a side gig or two, so I won't get bored. (Although my retired Mom seemed to have more meetings than I did some days - so maybe I won't be bored....)

AJ
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No. of Recommendations: 5
aj485,

You wrote, ...Joel won't be retiring for probably 2 or 3 more years, so our trips to Asia and Europe will have to wait...

I'm only 2 years younger. ;-) My earliest projected retirement date is September 15th, 2020 - just shy of 3 years out. However I might wait until 2022.

I could probably retire today if I really wanted to - especially since I could sell my place in Redmond for a fat profit and move back in with you. But given that I have a history of actually using my health insurance coverage, I'm very concerned about being able to pay for the rising cost of coverage and care especially in the gap between now and Medicare.

Microsoft pays for our current health insurance (it's a pretty nice plan too) and that's going to go away once I quit. In fact once I leave Microsoft, I suspect my total cost of care could easily equal or exceed my now-current housing costs some time before Medicare ever kicks in. And right now housing costs are at least half my budget.

Part of that expectation comes from my time being unemployed in 2008/2009 when I was forced onto the now defunct Texas High Risk Insurance Pool. Both the premiums and deductibles were outrageous. Ten years later I'm sure they would be far worse if the plan still existed. And with Republicans in charge, I'm not sure I won't be forced onto such a plan at some point before I'm eligible for Medicaid.

And then there's the issue of housing. If you die, I don't get your house ... so my planning also includes the possibility that I will at some point have to replace my housing too. (Probably not at the value of my current home, but still housing isn't free.) I know it's redundant for both of us to budget for housing ... but I have to be certain I'll have some place to stay if you pass before me.

We might be able to reduce some of these risks through some careful estate planning. On the other hand, if I wind up having lots of extra cash as I approach 65, maybe I'll buy that self-driving Tesla Model S I want and we can go travel the world...

So I'm aiming to save enough that I can handle the worst life can throw at me. That's probably going to take a few more years yet. Sorry about that. You'll just have to find something to do with yourself until then. :-)

- Joel
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Microsoft pays for our current health insurance (it's a pretty nice plan too) and that's going to go away once I quit. In fact once I leave Microsoft, I suspect my total cost of care could easily equal or exceed my now-current housing costs some time before Medicare ever kicks in. And right now housing costs are at least half my budget.

You would still be eligible for 18 months of Cobra whether or not you leave willingly.
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vkg,

You wrote, You would still be eligible for 18 months of Cobra whether or not you leave willingly.

Put another way, I am ONLY eligible for COBRA for 18 months... I'll need a good deal more coverage than that.

And yes, I was already planning to take COBRA. I assume you made your comment was to suggest I could go ahead and retire now. My current plan was to take COBRA for about 15 months and then during the open enrollment period switch to a Washington Health Exchange plan at the beginning of the year. Retiring now would have me starting as early as January 2019 - more than a decade away from Medicaid eligibility.

aj485 also has the option of retiree health benefits through her former employer, but they are already pretty expensive at just about $1,000/month per person. I would be eligible for that, as long as we switch to it before she dies. If she dies after we start on it, I could continue to claim for up to 36 months under COBRA. But if she were to die earlier, I might be stuck for years with whatever is available through the Washington Health Exchange ... assuming the Exchange survives the Republican agenda that long.

And should the Republicans manage to kill ACA and should our Exchange more or less go away, I'm kind of stuck. I've tried getting an individual health insurance policy before. No carrier would write an individual policy on me because I had "too many risk factors".

With all that said, I could probably bridge the gap by finding part-time work somewhere like at a grocery store. I could quit again once I was on Medicaid. Odds are I'd only have to do that for a few years at most.

But I'd rather just work my current job a little longer and not risk having to do any of that. Besides, if I work a little longer and things don't turn out worse-case, I'll have extra play money.

- Joel
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Joel and/or AJ. I wouldn't let either one of you go homeless or starve if it came to that. I wouldn't waste a lot on supporting you, because I'm trying to save up for my own awesome retirement you know, but you could stay in the extra bedroom and eat my food.

xtn
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I could quit again once I was on Medicaid

Medicare not Medicaid?
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