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"Did all of you gulp when you took the plunge? Like a lot?"

pre - 65/pre SS ....


Nope.....

I ran lots of simulations..this back in the 1998/99 timeframe...there were a lot of resources on the web. ran all sorts of scenarios from

1) bare minimum budget staying in current house with one car with very limited spending, eating home 95% of the time,and limited travel....

this paid the real estate taxes, kept the car running, kept the roof over the house with maintenance, paid for the telephone and internet but no frills,no magazines,no newspapers.....just keeping the current car running till the wheels fell off, etc.

At the time, it was $23,000/yr I needed from my nest egg to survive.


2) The medium spending budget.....which allowed me magazine subscriptions, the daily newspaper, cable TV, cellphone, a less than 8 year old car, eating out a few times a week, a fair amount of budget trael, buying stuff for my hobbies, etc.....

At the time, that was about $33,000 a year....and wasn't a whole lot different than I was spending at the time while working


3) The higher spending budget..which included lots of travel..lots of money for hobbies/conventions and travel to Europe, Asia and anywhere else I wanted to go. That was another 10K a a year.....

- - - - -

Well, it turned out the market in the 1990s was very nice to me.....I bailed out at 52.5 with a year's pay for separation and a year of health insurance......

My house was paid off.


one of the biggest 'variables' in retirement was health insurance. It started at a few hundred a year through the IEEE Group insurance plan - and that slowly ratcheted up to $600/yr as the age/health of the pool went up and the costs skyrocketed. So I changed afew years later to a blue Cross/Blue Shield $2500 deductible, 30% copay up to $5 type plan at a couple hundred a month that got up to near $450/month before I turned 65 here 2 1/2 years ago. You basically paid for all your health care - which for me averaged maybe $700/yr including an annual physical and one or two 'incidents' over the 13.5 year period...like a broken wrist.... or a knee joint sprain.... then add in your dental and vision costs....


Now, if ObamaKare succeeds, seniors before age 65 will get quite a deal....better than many plans and especially good if you have an existing precondition....

Anyway, Mr Market has been nice....SS kicked in.....Medicare kicked in.....

I'm glad I pulled the trigger at 52.5...

and it all came about because I knew I had the resources to retire...and my good friend at work, who was doing the same analysis, asked me one day:

"Would you come to work for free?".......duh! what kind of a question was that!

Well, if you have enough resources to fund your retirement in the lifestyle you would be comfortable with....without exceeding the 4% withdrawal rate (or any number you want), then showing up for work and working working working merely gets you more money 'saved' that you really don't need.

In the end, that 'more money' will likely wind up going mostly to Uncle Sam (inheritance taxes) and to your relatives...you won't get to spend it. So...you are essentially piling up money for Uncle Sam to confiscate ....and for your spendaholic relatives to blow when they get it. You didn't need the money and you've been working for 'free' really....not working for something eseential...

when viewed that way, even though my job was interesting, maybe half the time, and maybe grunt work the other half..... it wasn't 'worth' being at work!...why pile up money you won't spend yourself?

That did it.....and I had the opportunity to take a 'reduction in forces' deal... (a year's pay and paid health/dental).....

And I was gone!.....never looking back....



t.
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