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Frequent Contributor

Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Anitya wrote:

"or else I will have to move to a different country"   

I don't wish to be a smart aleck, but some countries (as we now see with the EU) don't want Americans.  We live in a time when many countries, including ours, are closing doors.  I have no idea how or when this will end.

Covid-19 is a game changer in more ways than I can imagine.

Best of good fortune with your retirement.

Bob

 

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Pam, great to hear from you and a good job.

The key to your success IMO is your really frugal spending. If your MAGI income for ACA is about $15K (maybe $18K) annually then you accomplish 2 things: cheap standard of living and more importantly very cheap subsidized health care.

If you hate your job I would definitely go for it. I'm frugal but I don't want to be in that situation, if I had a stressful job I would do it too :-)

Example: If your MAGI is about $35K annually you will not get subsidized health care and the total cost (most will have several doctor visits annually) will easily exceed $12K annually.  This means, most can't afford it.  Basically, you must keep your MAGI low and get subsidies.

There is a lady that lives near me (age around 60) that retired 5 years ago and pays just $10 monthly (and very low deductible too) for the ACA because her MAGI is $12K annually. How can she do it?  she lives with her boyfriend who still works and they file taxes separately.

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement


@oreobonbon wrote:

I agree with 51hh. I have debated whether we both should stay at work for another 2 years till my daughter graduate from college. But our jobs are very stressful and health issue, this virus crisis confirms we make a good choice.  You don't have to be millionaire to retire if you have a game plan. 


@51hh wrote:

Nothing is worth one's health (both in mental and physical conditions), especially a stressful job.  Thus the time to retire is sometimes not by planning, but by a collective of factors around one; carefully weighed and contributed.  


 


My bold added above, where posters are saying "they don't need to be a millionaire to retire..."

Hmmm.  I retired with less than a million.  Here is a post I recently made on a different forum:

 

27 years ago, retired at age 48, with about a $650,000 mostly IRA portfolio, taking 7.8% a year.

This added some caution re spending, as planned need was for 40 years...to age 88.  I needed to get to age 60, when a decent pension kicked in; then to age 62 when Social Security was taken...and the 7.8% likely reduced.

But my wife and I did not hold back too much.  Using HELOCs, we built a very nice (third) home in Florida, on a Nicklaus designed golf course, but delayed the pool...to be sure of portfolio trend.  Did have a pool down the street at clubhouse; our pool is still not built!  We are also snowbirds, and that is extra spending.

But ones former lifestyle does influence spending. Such as, we go to a lot of Polo matches in Florida...tailgating.  But the matches are in polo fields owned by very wealthy people, as part of their home/property.  Free...open to public.  Like, founder of Outback Steakhouse has two polo fields (18 football fields size) in back yard...often invites attendees to his backyard for steaks after a match!  No charge.  One can live well w/o spending a lot.  

My portfolio actually GREW in size by age 60...so I took a rollover lump sum in lieu of GE pension.  With GE questionable now, in hindsight, glad I did.  Then SS comes at 62.  My portfolio has continued to grow to a very large size.

But in hindsight, should have spent more, especially paying for things that buy you time.  Like certain repairs...pay for them, instead of self-help.  I now have a property manager managing a rental home.  Lease versus own a car.  I pay for lawn service etc.  Buy time!

Also, do your traveling early.  We delayed international travel until our sixties, but then travel became more difficult, and we fell short in that regard.

To make sure we did things, my wife and I took a year (age 47) to make up a list of the top 100 things we wanted to do in our lifetimes (now called a bucket list) after retiring.  We have completed 68...this required specific spending.  Here is our list:

Top 100 Things Desired to do yet in lifetime:

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13323&highlight=&sid=3e9f1fc6611c23643b83004cebdbe2...

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How many have you completed??  Spend some money!

Enjoy.

R48

 

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

My AGI for 2018 (haven't completed 2019 until I have to) was $21.6.  This was the $15.5 in tIRA withdrawals and dividends/interest.  For the first few years I paid $1.24 for healthcare per month and I've only used it about 3 times.  This year it went up to $52 per month.  My dental insurance is $14.99 per month.  I'll stay at this level for 2.5 more years and I can take out more if I need to from taxable and it won't effect my income.  I don't anticipate ever needing to touch my ROTH but if I had to, that wouldn't effect my taxable income either.  I'll manage withdrawals however I need to and I'll make sure I'm aware of income limits for different levels of coverage, especially after reaching 59.5 for unrestricted tIRA withdrawals.

I don't feel that I am depriving myself.  I have my home, my yards, my hobbies, and my family.  I went out of the country for the first time in my life after retiring and.... it was OK.  It was nothing that I would break the bank to do very often and the US has plenty to see.

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Good for you, Pam.

There is a financial threshold for happiness, which is the medium amount that meets one's daily needs, above which money adds little happiness.  On the contrary, people feel more empty and miserable.  

Again, as you stated, simply itself brings in happiness.

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement


@GLI2019 wrote:

 

I don't wish to be a smart aleck, but some countries (as we now see with the EU) don't want Americans.  We live in a time when many countries, including ours, are closing doors.  I have no idea how or when this will end.

 

 


There are plenty of Americans that live outside the US harmoniously with their surroundings. .  I expect us by the end of 2021 to have a vaccine available to everybody that wants it or we will have an effective therapy by then such that Covid related disharmony should become a thing of the past.  

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

My husband works for GE, now they don't offer lump sum for pension as far as we do not have that option. I admire your 100 things list, we did about 20% of it already. I regard  we spend  all the time on working ,accumulate wealth and neglect many things. I cannot turn back time but moving forward. Good health and family relationship is priceless.  

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Anitya,

Which countries are your candidates?   You could search for a low cost area in USA also.

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement


@oreobonbon wrote:

My husband works for GE, now they don't offer lump sum for pension as far as we do not have that option.

 

R48 in bold:  Hi oreo...I was not aware the lump sum has been eliminated.  Suspect too many people would take it, and buy an annuity, to get away from any GE liabilities.

I admire your 100 things list, we did about 20% of it already.

Great...key is to make your own personalized list.

I regard  we spend  all the time on working ,accumulate wealth and neglect many things. I cannot turn back time but moving forward. Good health and family relationship is priceless.  

If my wife had a do-over, she would endorse retiring a year earlier, age 47.  IMO most retirees state they could have, and perhaps should have, retired a little earlier.  Keep that in mind.

best wishes...

R48


 

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

"You don't have to be millionaire to retire if you have a game plan."

It's a little more complicated than that.

A plan is is useful for sure.  But you also need some luck in the form of when you retire and if you retire by choice or chance, so to speak.  (You will find this out in retrospect :-)

Try this calculator:

https://dqydj.com/sp-500-return-calculator/

Play with different dates.  Oh, and don't just settle for nominal returns.  Make it CPI-adjusted.

I have found, over time, that the ability to adapt cannot be overestimated.

Bob

 

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Some may say that they love or loved their jobs, but I cannot imagine a job or an occupation that isn't stressful. Perhaps like pain one can tolerate more of it than others. I soldier on for 30+ years until I felt there was no financial reason to continue working, and retirement became an appealing option.

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement


@PamInCali wrote:

R48, I do believe that age 62 is best for me.  I don't want to continue drawing down my money while waiting for someday because sometimes, that someday doesn't come.  I will also have more disposable income to do more things while I am not too old.  Can leave my nest egg to my children too, can't do that with SS.

Yes, I am doing the Substantially Equal Periodic Payments (SEPP), aka 72t.  I went through the calculator at 72tnet and figured out the type of withdrawal and amount of money I can take out.  Form 5329 is used when filing taxes.


@PamInCali 

While you're young(er), what sort of things to use envision using disposable income on?

ctyankee

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Hi Saratoga,

I have not researched countries yet to make a short list.  I would move to Australia if they would take people at my age - they always have age based immigration.  I like New Zealand but it is too cold for me.  I have heard good things about Thailand, Cambodia, & Vietnam.   Carribean Islands are good but tropical storms are a drag.  Warm weather and social harmony are important for me.  A 

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

 

So Pam...

Morningstar does not allow us access to older Morningstar posts/threads.

My question is thus: Did you post a photo of yourself on the forums??  Yes, I recall providing portfolio and retirement guidance, but how do I also recall an image?

TIA

R48

 

 

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Maybe Canada during the Summer months and Costa Rica or the Caribbean during the Winter months would work - snow birding on steroids!

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Vietnam has very good prospects and good nature and food.   People are cultured and smart and nice.   It breaks my heart to think of their sufferings during the war.   It is still inexpensive outside big cities.   I intend to visit it regularly after my retirement.

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement


@jmrdnc wrote:

Some may say that they love or loved their jobs, but I cannot imagine a job or an occupation that isn't stressful. Perhaps like pain one can tolerate more of it than others. I soldier on for 30+ years until I felt there was no financial reason to continue working, and retirement became an appealing option.


My last job that I had for 6+ years was the best I have ever had. No stress, loved my co-workers and boss, I could work anywhere(just needed internet connection), anytime as long as I do my job and it took me much less than the 40 hours but I got paid fully + 5.5 weeks anually vacation...and I left because I could  ;-)

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

I number of my family members visited Vietnam and Cambodia and they can not stop talking how much they enjoyed.  The Big 5 countries screwed both these countries by making them their play ground.  What made them vulnerable then also made them a success story during Covid.


@Saratoga wrote:

Vietnam has very good prospects and good nature and food.   People are cultured and smart and nice.   It breaks my heart to think of their sufferings during the war.   It is still inexpensive outside big cities.   I intend to visit it regularly after my retirement.


 

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

R48, wracking my brain and I'm not sure about an image.... maybe?  Long red hair?  :-)

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Re: Update after 4 years in early retirement

Pam, it's really nice of you to drop in and let us know how things are going, and I am glad to hear that you are enjoying retirement and doing OK on the money/finance front.  

 

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