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Taking the first step

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    • Taking the first step

      I've taken the first step toward retirement. A few weeks ago I had a talk with my boss and informed him that I'd be retiring in 2022. Also, requested a change to working part time, working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The next day I got the OK to make the change to part time. He did deny my idea of retiring this year. He's got a very dry sense of humor. Actually he said I could work anytime I want to. I could even take off extended periods of time, like all summer. That might have something to do with the fact that there's a real shortage of aircraft mechanics, with most new ones going to airlines. Now every weekend is a 4 day weekend :)
      Although they have asked me to work every weekend since making the change. But I've stuck to my guns and said no !
    • Another Congratulations!!!

      I'm taken a few baby steps towards retirement. During my interview in late 2019, I didn't hold back that my working years were drawing towards a close and that my target was five more years. Every year when I have to set goals and prepare a career advancement plan, I remind my boss that i don't want to take any advancement positions from my younger colleagues unless management needs me to move into a different role. I also pledged to give him a 12-month notice so that he can start the process of hiring my eventual replacement and I can train them before walking out the door one last time.

      But who knows? I already have work-from-home every Monday and Friday, and we practice 'Summer Fridays' from Memorial Day to Labor Day where we work 9 hours per day for nine days and get every other Friday off. If they keep these benefits and add additional flexibility, I could decide to stick around an extra year or two. Conversely, if they take away any benefits, it might hasten my departure.

      The real wildcard is healthcare costs. That might be the biggest factor in my timing. I am building up my HSA warchest to cover out-of-pocket costs but I will need to evaluate the ACA policy costs before I give my notice. No sense walking away from a good-paying gig only to regret it a year or two later. I will have 4.5 years of an ACA policy before Medicare kicks in.

      22 months to the earlies possible retirement date. 34 months to my target date.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Fontana Dam to Clingmans Dome, and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • Working part-time is a great option if you aren’t quite ready to retire.

      Health care cost is the #1 reason why I still work but as much as I want to quit, I can’t complain. I only work 2 days/wk and try to group my days together so I have lots of days off.

      My dream is to do 1 travel assignment in the winter and not work Spring, Summer, and Fall. I applied last winter and had some offers but chickened out because of health insurance. Maybe next winter if I don’t have foot surgery.
      Lost in the right direction.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • Congrats. I sort of "Got retired" early. Companies kept outsourcing and offshoring. At 58 I was burned out and we were set for retirement. Plus my specialty had been in a decline of demand for a long time. I was happy to leave corporate behind. Now I wonder how I'd have time TO work with everything else I keep busy with.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • LIhikers wrote:

      That might have something to do with the fact that there's a real shortage of aircraft mechanics, with most new ones going to airlines.
      Another congrats.

      A couple weeks ago consumer advice guy Clark Howard was talking about education options for students about to graduate high school -- college, trade school, etc. and he mentioned that there was a great demand for aircraft mechanics at the airlines.
      2,000 miler
    • I'm not really mentally ready to retire but I've got some aches and pains that don't go away and make physical work hard.
      On the largest aircraft the company operates the battery alone is 83 pounds and you have to carry it up a 3 step ladder, go through a small door and then lift it over other components. It's getting harder to do such tasks. I suppose a visit to the doctor about the aches and pains might help and joining a gym to work on strength and flexibility might be good but I figure a 70 year old should get some time to enjoy life. I'm already on overtime as men in my father's family all died in their 50s. Thanks to my wife Kathy we've got some money saved up plus what we're expecting to get from Social Security should mean we'll be OK financially. At least that's what our financial advisor says. Of course he won't be the one eating dog food if the whole economy takes a tumble. Only time will tell.
    • Congrats. I'm also in that 2 year +/- retirement range. Our university used to have a phased retirement option (1/2 time for up to 3 years, but that went away with recent budget constraints. But I hear they are trying to reinstate it. My problem is that my wife is retired so she's eager for me to do so as well. My other problem is that our financial planner is more confident that we are in a position to retire than I am.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by odd man out ().

    • Has anyone here ever played with the FIREcalc retirement calculator? FIRE is the acronym for Financial Independence Retire Early

      firecalc.com

      It takes your retirement savings and number of expected years of retirement and throws it into every market scenario since the beginning of the stock market. For example, if your expected number of years for retirement withdrawls is 30 and you want to withdrawl $30K each year, it will calculate your yearly retirement accoult balance for every 30-year period since the stock market was created. The output is many squiggly lines. But the interpretation is pretty simple - are there any 30-year scenarios where the balance drops to zero? If not, you have a high probablilty of avoiding Alpo for dinner. If any of the scenarios do lead to a zero balance, you have four options:

      • Hope that history doesn't repeat itself.
      • Save more before retiring.
      • Withdraw less cash each year.
      • Develop a taste for Alpo
      There are advanced options for pensions and Social Security payments in later years. Not a guarantee in any way, but a decent tool to assess if retirement goals are realistic.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Fontana Dam to Clingmans Dome, and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      Has anyone here ever played with the FIREcalc retirement calculator? FIRE is the acronym for Financial Independence Retire Early

      firecalc.com

      It takes your retirement savings and number of expected years of retirement and throws it into every market scenario since the beginning of the stock market. For example, if your expected number of years for retirement withdrawls is 30 and you want to withdrawl $30K each year, it will calculate your yearly retirement accoult balance for every 30-year period since the stock market was created. The output is many squiggly lines. But the interpretation is pretty simple - are there any 30-year scenarios where the balance drops to zero? If not, you have a high probablilty of avoiding Alpo for dinner. If any of the scenarios do lead to a zero balance, you have four options:

      • Hope that history doesn't repeat itself.
      • Save more before retiring.
      • Withdraw less cash each year.
      • Develop a taste for Alpo
      There are advanced options for pensions and Social Security payments in later years. Not a guarantee in any way, but a decent tool to assess if retirement goals are realistic.
      Interesting. Using our lower number, not counting any inheritance from my mom (She and I are last one's standing), and putting my years in retirement up to make us 99 years old when we pass, zero of their 121 calculations "run out of money". Some 8 or 10 years back, our financial advisor had some graph's showing we were something like 106 percent funded on retirement. We've gotten two inheritances since then. But don't count on that stuff ahead of time. It's never what you think.

      LIHiker -- Not being mentally ready to retire is a main point. I was thinking about how miserable my job had become for about 5 years before my final "Cut" (I was outsourced, then they outsourced the outsourcing, then I was laid off). My wife had a coworker who was 72 YO when they walked him out the door. He was PISSED. Another neighbor was offered a buyout. I told him I'd jump all over it. But he'd been thru his wife's passing, hits to their savings due to illness, and he just wasn't mentally ready to leave. But after a few months of "thinking about it", he started thinking more and more about leaving. He was concerned about not having enough to keep busy with (we pointed out about 2 years of projects that he'd mentioned), stuff like that. it took him another year and a half to finally say "enough". Well he's retired now (by choice) and keeping very busy, living life happy. So yeah, the mental aspect is major.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • Scary business isn't it.

      In my case I will theoretically reach my maximum pension next year. That is the usual retirement point for us teachers. In my case, I am worried about run-away inflation. We do not get meaningful COLAs. A few years of this 8% inflation and I will be eating dog food.

      I plan to keep working until I see stability in prices.

      Besides, my young wife still has a few years to go. It would irritate her to no end if I was retired and she wasn't. I think I'll try to keep going until at least she is ready to retire.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Back in 2015, I had a 7-month layoff that gave me a taste of retirement. I quickly learned that I will not be bored when I don't have to work for someone else five days per week. So mentally, I can walk away at any time. One of the retirement books I read stated that you should have 3 - 5 core pursuits to keep you occuplied and active. I have well over 5 but my wife has maybe 1. I warned her that I am not going to be her activity director in retirement and that she needs to find a few more core pursuits to utilize her free time.

      In 2013, my boss got laid off and he was pissed off. He left the building in a rage and told us he would return the next day to pack up his desk. The next day, he showed up around 10:00 with a huge smile on his face. After leaving the day before, he went home and got the anger out of his system. Then he crunched the numbers and decided that he could retire with the severance package that was offered. The next task was classic: he took his alarm clock outside and pulverized it with a baseball bat. That's why he was smiling. He laughed that he would probably need to buy another alarm clock, but the therapeutic value of smashing it was priceless.

      Looking back, the lousy boss that replaced my competent boss in 2013 was the guy who laid me off in 2015. And getting laid off gave me the ability to challenge myself and be open to change.

      LIhikers, thanks for starting the thread and again congratulations for reaching the point that you can ease back on your working hours. May you find a good use for the extra time each week!
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Fontana Dam to Clingmans Dome, and Max Patch NC to Gorham NH

      "The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations...those are pretty good days." Ray Wylie Hubbard
    • StalkingTortoise wrote:

      Back in 2015, I had a 7-month layoff that gave me a taste of retirement. I quickly learned that I will not be bored when I don't have to work for someone else five days per week. So mentally, I can walk away at any time. One of the retirement books I read stated that you should have 3 - 5 core pursuits to keep you occuplied and active. I have well over 5 but my wife has maybe 1. I warned her that I am not going to be her activity director in retirement and that she needs to find a few more core pursuits to utilize her free time.

      In 2013, my boss got laid off and he was pissed off. He left the building in a rage and told us he would return the next day to pack up his desk. The next day, he showed up around 10:00 with a huge smile on his face. After leaving the day before, he went home and got the anger out of his system. Then he crunched the numbers and decided that he could retire with the severance package that was offered. The next task was classic: he took his alarm clock outside and pulverized it with a baseball bat. That's why he was smiling. He laughed that he would probably need to buy another alarm clock, but the therapeutic value of smashing it was priceless.

      Looking back, the lousy boss that replaced my competent boss in 2013 was the guy who laid me off in 2015. And getting laid off gave me the ability to challenge myself and be open to change.

      LIhikers, thanks for starting the thread and again congratulations for reaching the point that you can ease back on your working hours. May you find a good use for the extra time each week!
      Sounds like a scene from the (Great) movie "Office Space". After they are laid off, the guy who WASN'T had taken the horrible copy machine. They went to work on it in a field with baseball bats.
      2012, my "Consumer Products Company" did a layoff. We lost three in the group. Two, about did cartwheels out of the building. They'd both heard the rumors of a layoff and had approached management and said "Sit there with your poker face on. IF there is a layoff, please put me to the top of the list. I'd like a package. I'm going to retire anyway". Management did them a favor.
      I'm surprised they let anyone back in to "pack a desk". In all the layoffs I've seen after 2000, HR had hired extra security people, you were talked to, escorted back to your desk to pick up wallet/purse and escorted out. Someone else packed your desk and they mailed the stuff to you. It was always a mess, but no one with a weapon returning.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • IMScotty wrote:

      ......

      Besides, my young wife still has a few years to go. It would irritate her to no end if I was retired and she wasn't. I think I'll try to keep going until at least she is ready to retire.
      Very good point. I talked it over with my wife in 2014 when the first outsourcing took place. I showed her the high level of how close we were to paying off everything (Eldest had just finished college and was getting married in 4 more months). Wife was fine with me getting out of the rat-race. I was fortunate to get 3.5 years with that first outsource. We paid off everything in six months and then socked away about 80 percent of my salary. Then the second outsource took place. I only got 7 more months but I'd negotiated a higher salary. That was 2018 and we still have about $40K left in savings. We use that to make up for me being retired. Our financial advisor just asks us when we need more funds as it's all just ready.
      One great piece of advice my dad gave me when I graduated college. "Pay yourself FIRST. Sock away the max in 401K's/IRA's. Never use that for anything, no loans or anything against it". I paid that forward to our eldest.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • I retired from teaching in June, and now work 20ish hours a week at Kwik Trip, a midwest based gas/convenience/food store. My husband is also semi-retired from over the road driving, and drives school bus. His route follows the Wisconsin River in a rural area and is 100 miles long! We are both enjoying having time with each other, our kids, grandkids, neighbors, church, dog, etc... We are not far from the Ice Age trail and have section hiked half of it so far. Planning another AT section in June, then hoping to Thru-hike in 2024. Grateful for each new day.
      "Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly" - Micah 6:8

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Wintergreen ().