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My circumstances are very similar to yours - same age, relatively sudden and unplanned retirement, similar size asset portfolio. There are some differences though: certified public accountant who has never practiced public accounting, no retirement home, about $100,000 mortgage on my home, current credit card charges are otherwise the only debt, almost all of my assets are in stocks, two kids still in college, reasonably good severance payment coming soon and company funded retirement which I can start drawing late next year.

Here are my thoughts right now:

You should consider yourself fortunate that you are really quite well fixed for your circumstance though it is due to long living and saving well, not just good luck.

I plan to use the severance along with dividend income to fund living expenses at least until I can draw retirement. A substantial portion of my assets are in benefits plans of my employer, and most of those are invested in that company's common stock. I know that isn't good diversification, but investing options were very limited during most of my career and the returns on options other than company stock stunk.

I plan to continue with my assets almost entirely in equities though I do plan to roll the benefits plans into IRA's and then diversify from company stock. Unfortunately, the company's stock has not performed very well over the past couple of years.

I am considering two questions for the future: 1) What do I do with my time (though I am enjoying the flexibility now)? and 2) Should I start drawing retirement next year when eligible or delay drawing it so that the discount is less? If I delay, I will have to draw down saving for living expenses.

If you want to continue a dialog as we investigate the future, my e-mail address is: jwmiddl@aol.com
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