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No. of Recommendations: 5
It's quiet here!

I'm finally in the home stretch, and in fact could already retire today but I am planning to wait until my last major batch of employer stock vests, in February 2021.

If I can tolerate an extra year after that, I will qualify for retiree health insurance, which would be beneficial as I am more than a decade away from eligibility for Medicare.

But it's very pleasant to be in a financial position to pull the plug tomorrow if my employer does something intolerable, such as trying to make me return to the office instead of pleasantly working on my shaded patio as I've been doing for the past six months! Sorry, I've spent enough time in offices for one lifetime, and I'm not going back to one, ever.

In other news, I heard a rumor that there's some sort of election coming up, but I'm doing my best to tune out the noise.
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It's called "Quit pay."
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I'm finally in the home stretch, and in fact could already retire today but I am planning to wait until my last major batch of employer stock vests, in February 2021.

If I can tolerate an extra year after that, I will qualify for retiree health insurance, which would be beneficial as I am more than a decade away from eligibility for Medicare.


Good to be on that last step, but be aware:

Your employer knows that too. If they want you to get that benefit (last stock vesting), then it should be ok--IF they need you. Layoffs are in process as you read this.

Health insurance is a major cost for employers--and an even bigger cost for now-retired employees. We have seen it happen--retirees with company-paid health insurance during retirement get that benefit yanked when the company does a "financial bankruptcy"--specifically to terminate major expenses they no longer wish to pay (such as retiree health care benefits).
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Good to be on that last step, but be aware:

Your employer knows that too. If they want you to get that benefit (last stock vesting), then it should be ok--IF they need you. Layoffs are in process as you read this.

Health insurance is a major cost for employers--and an even bigger cost for now-retired employees. We have seen it happen--retirees with company-paid health insurance during retirement get that benefit yanked when the company does a "financial bankruptcy"--specifically to terminate major expenses they no longer wish to pay (such as retiree health care benefits).


Legitimate concerns for sure! I'm not too worried in the near term as my employer is financially quite healthy, top-tier tech company that is sitting on billions of dollars in cash. I'm not concerned at all about being laid off before I choose to leave.

But 13+ years is a long time to age 65, so it's conceivable that they could find a way to snatch away health insurance. I'm not sure if they would have much motivation to do that, as the premiums are paid by retirees (similar to COBRA), not by the employer. In fact, it's not much cheaper than a unsubsidized ACA gold plan, which is my plan B (or plan A if I retire before becoming eligible for my employer's).

In any case, I agree that health insurance is by far the riskiest aspect of all of this. But this is surely the case for all early retirees!
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No. of Recommendations: 5
It's quiet here!

That's because about a year or so ago, some one/persons went on a hurt feelings spree and kept flaming posts. That eventually led to some of the more frequent popular posters being permanently banned and others just leaving.

JLC
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That's because about a year or so ago, some one/persons went on a hurt feelings spree and kept flaming posts. That eventually led to some of the more frequent popular posters being permanently banned and others just leaving.
Ah, sorry to hear that. In later days it seemed that the political bickering crowded out everything else. Glad I got to experience this board in its prime (late 90s - mid 00s?) - amidst all the noise and camaraderie, there was a lot of good information that helped me to understand how to achieve early retirement. So, to those who are still here, thanks for that!
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In other news, I heard a rumor that there's some sort of election coming up, but I'm doing my best to tune out the noise.

You don't make mention, but I'd guess your financial position allowing your age 55 retirement is in your 401(k)/QProfit sharing plan(s). If so, and Joe Biden is elected, you may find yourself having to return to work, unless your accumulated wealth, from whatever source(s), is substantial enough to put into cash and fully insulated yourself from the markets. Actually, my brother and sister-in-law are doing exactly that. They simply cannot absorb a long stock market decline.

Oh....and congrats on your impending retirement! I agree with you that is a good feeling. And in particular, congrats on your having access to medical insurance that doesn't cost you your first grandchild. Not many coming out of work years prior to 65 can afford it.

BruceM
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You don't make mention, but I'd guess your financial position allowing your age 55 retirement is in your 401(k)/QProfit sharing plan(s). If so, and Joe Biden is elected, you may find yourself having to return to work, unless your accumulated wealth, from whatever source(s), is substantial enough to put into cash and fully insulated yourself from the markets. Actually, my brother and sister-in-law are doing exactly that. They simply cannot absorb a long stock market decline.

My current market exposure isn't all that high. My assets are roughly 1/3 retirement accounts (30% US stock, 30% international stock, 40% bonds), 1/3 post-tax accounts (100% cash), and home equity (I'll be cashing out of California after retirement / as part of my retirement plan).

The reason for the large allocation to cash is that this is earmarked for purchasing a new house for cash in my retirement destination, along with ample cushion to live on before I sell the California house. I don't want to deal with the complicated logistics of selling my current house before having a new house to move into. This means that, for the next couple of years, I'm underexposed to the market relative to my eventual allocation plan (60% stocks, 40% bonds/cash), and the fact that this period overlaps the upcoming election, I guess I view that as a bonus!

Btw, my age at retirement will be either 52 (if I retire as soon as my final stock batch vests) or 53 1/2 (if I wait for retiree health insurance eligibility)! Not quite as young as I was hoping for when I first found this board back in 1998, and certainly not as young as intercst (who retired at 38, if I recall correctly?), but it works for me!

Oh....and congrats on your impending retirement! I agree with you that is a good feeling. And in particular, congrats on your having access to medical insurance that doesn't cost you your first grandchild. Not many coming out of work years prior to 65 can afford it.

Thank you!

I'm not so sure I'd characterize the medical insurance as cheaper than a grandchild - it's not subsidized by my employer, so it it'll be on the order of $2k/month. The good news is that upon achieving eligibility, I'm not required to enroll immediately or to remain enrolled in order to avoid losing eligibility. So in principle I could switch back and forth between the employer plan and ACA depending on which is cheaper for comparable coverage. If I carefully manage my taxable earnings, I may even qualify for an ACA subsidy.

The main advantage of the employer plan, as I see it, is that it's an Aetna plan which should be usable in almost any US state / city, even those that don't have good ACA providers. And of course, if ACA ends up being repealed then I still have an option.
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But it's very pleasant to be in a financial position to pull the plug tomorrow if my employer does something intolerable, such as trying to make me return to the office instead of pleasantly working on my shaded patio as I've been doing for the past six months! Sorry, I've spent enough time in offices for one lifetime, and I'm not going back to one, ever.


That's my permanent gig, so I understand. I was listening to a podcast, and they were discussing how folks were handling working from home since COVID-19. One of the commentators said, "Well, we decided to have a daily Zoom meeting so we can all stay caught up." My first thought was, "Amateurs. Those of us that are experienced WAM Pros avoid video like the plague."

If I told my clients that I wanted to do a video call, they would say something like, "What on earth for?? We can talk just fine without video."

Kathleen
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Btw, my age at retirement will be either 52 (if I retire as soon as my final stock batch vests) or 53 1/2 (if I wait for retiree health insurance eligibility)! Not quite as young as I was hoping for when I first found this board back in 1998, and certainly not as young as intercst (who retired at 38, if I recall correctly?), but it works for me!


Just a side note, the FI part of FIRE is not the only part to watch. Homer took early retirement with a golden handshake. After a while at home, he started saying things like, "I'm so old. Honey have you picked out my retirement home yet? I'm going to need one."

At that point, I looked at him and said, "I love you with all my heart and soul, but if you don't go back to work, Im going to divorce you and I will clean you out in the process."

Kathleen

P.S. You know it's bad when even the kids are complaining he's too whiney.
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Retired over 20 years ago...at age 52.5.....

still follow the board...

t.
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