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Just took the plunge and retired at age 55 from my job as an electrical engineer. Now onward to Phase II by working part-time (writing for TMF as a contributor), managing my investments (to ensure that the money lasts for at least 35 years), and taking on an encore career or volunteer opportunity.

Any helpful hints from board members are appreciated. Any suggestions for future articles that I write (I mainly write for the Tech & Telecom Bureau) and long-term/dividend investing) are welcome.
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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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I'm 52 with kids 14,12,12 and wondering if I could in the next couple years. 1.5m in qualified retirements accounts we cant touch for 2 years until my wife turns 59.5 and even then that is only 250k of the 1.5m A good problem to have but a pain as well. 200k of the 250k is Roth which helps.

Still have a 15yr mortgage, just REFI'd to save $200 a month, and would like to contribute 100k to each of the kids college out of our retirement savings which slows us down as they will not be out of school until 10 more years. Can't move for at least 6 years so kids can finish school and not willing to sell our 450k house to move into a 225k house debt free (although I know that would allow us to do it)

How much do you two have saved?
Have you paid off the house?
Are you working PT to supplement?
Did you speak w a financial planner to make the decision (I do all my own taxes and investing)

We live basically at our means and save ~10% for retirement/college (it's all the same bucket for us as we could always NOT pay for college) Take vacations but on the cheap, Drive cars for 10+ years etc

I want to FIRE but cant get wife on board and also want the kids to enjoy high school.

Obviously if we can double our retirement savings from 1.5 to 3.0 in 10 years I could retire at 62 but would like to go earlier. Any tips appreciated.
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