How to handle your retirement: Questions for Retirees

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How to handle your retirement: Questions for Retirees

Postby chris oak » September 6th, 2016, 6:19 pm

This is for the guys who have retired, either from military or regular civilian work or who have had buddies who retired and still made it to their late 80s at least.

My father told me long ago that you have to have some sort of purpose to wake up to. All of his buddies that retired and didn't do anything died one by one, heart attacks, stroke etc. When my dad retired he still worked at a automotive shop a few days a week and then started rebuilding a 51 ford F1 truck from the ground up. He's in his late 80's now and is still in pretty good shape.

There is a chance I might be able to retire in 7-10 years, I'm trying to figure out what to do ahead of time. I really wouldn't want a job that I had to get up early every day to go to, I love my job but I get up at 4.50 every day to make the long 45 mile drive. I would love to work part time there but since it's a city run job we can't work part time if we've already worked full time there. I worked fishing tackle for years but don't think I'd want to do that again. I could probably work as a consultant as a field biologist as that's what my degree mainly dealt with when I was in grad school but I sure wouldn't want to do that full time. What I don't want to happen is sleep in every day and then die when I'm 65. I know I can spear once in a while but I won't be able to afford spearing every day on my boat so that's not going to happen. I've got projects at home to keep me busy for a while but not for 30 years. I'm not really worried about income, mainly I'd like to make extra money when I retire to cover any medical expenses that medicare doesn't cover.

So for those of you who know retirees who lived a long life or if you are retiree and are enjoying life I'd like to hear your game plan or your friends or family members game plan. One of the guys that is on our board at my aquarium retired at 60 and does research for fun. He's into figuring out what parasite is in what fish and how it go there, he's fully driven and pretty much treats it like a job, on the side he rides his road bike every day for exercise and is in terrific shape.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby Bill McIntyre » September 6th, 2016, 7:21 pm

It would seem that I might be able to offer an opinion, but I don't know where to begin. And everyone will have a different opinion anyway. What works for me might not work for you.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby Westbury » September 6th, 2016, 7:30 pm

How about that! I just thought you looked old. I didn't know you were almost retirement age. :bowrofl:
Ha!
I used to dream about early retirement till we had kids. I have a 5 year old and a 9 year old so there goes the early retirement.
I've cut back on my schedule to just 3 days a week which is a nice balance.

Several of my buddies retired mid fifties. They bow hunt, duck hunt, salmon fish, abalone dive, come down to my house for several weeks at a time, and travel.

You seem to be a man of many talents Chris. I'm sure you would find stuff to keep you busy.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby Donzi Paul » September 6th, 2016, 7:58 pm

I'll get a 250 gal hard coral tank again....always could use a hand cleaning the 6 foot protein skimmer. :D

Follow your bliss. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby Steve G » September 6th, 2016, 8:24 pm

Chris:

It seems that this world is going batshit with environmental issues. You can probably do well for yourself whoring yourself out as a consultant to the law firms and other businesses wishing to do just about anything along the coast and have enough work to pick and choose that which makes you feel fulfilled.

If not, Walmart always needs a greeter. :greetings-clappingorange:
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby chris oak » September 7th, 2016, 6:42 am

Thanks guys, keep it coming.

Bill I definitely want to hear your story as you are one of the guys who I think did it right. I was going to go to you directly but I think its good for the younger guys to think ahead about the future.

I definitely DON'T want to be a greeter or work at walmart. Although there's a hawaiian guy that works in the fishing dept of the garden grove store whos really cool and enjoys his job, the next time I go down there I'm going to get his story too because he definitely looks like he's retired and enjoying it.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby NaClAddict » September 7th, 2016, 8:22 am

Chris, come lifeguard. $25 an hour, pick your days. If your body can't handle it consider teaching, Americorps, habitat for humanity, peace corps. I'm guessing you'd want a flexible schedule. Not sure how important money is.

I have an uncle that retired early from the oil industry. He teaches, does habitat for humanity, and works at Alaska's only waterpark. He enjoys all of his endeavors. He also travels, fishes, and hunts more than any two other people I know.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby NaClAddict » September 8th, 2016, 7:55 am

Totally forgot, get your Coast Guard license and do yacht transports. Oversee maintenance, I'm sure I don't even need to go into the fringe benefits.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby jimikinz » September 8th, 2016, 8:13 am

Chris,
I'm retired at 43. It's been a little over a year now and it's not what I thought it would be, but it's pretty freaking awesome. My wife works part time at her dream job.

I know I don't have a long term viewpoint, but I can say a few things.
I thought that I would be going full speed diving surfng hunting every day. I'm not. I surf or dive 3 or 4 days a week but it's pretty mellow. I think a lot of the drive I had was simply in response to blowing off steam and frustration from 40 hours of a miserable job leading up to the weekend.

With that driver out of the way I seem to really get a lot of relaxation out of simple things and my general sense of contentment is sooo much greater even though I'm doing less. I'm shocked how wound up and stressed I was with that job - but I didn't really realize it until it was gone.

I do see the need to stay busy. I go full geek about hunting and my America Mountain Men organization so that drive into the fall season keeps me motivated building gear and shooting and hiking and reading and dreaming.

I'm doing the stay at home dad role a lot of days, along with homeschool. That keeps me busy, but I love it so it sure doesn't feel like a job.

I started a handyman/ artist business, so 3 or 4 days a month I'm working on a commission or building a speargun or fixing someone's sprinklers or fence or other little household project. I really love working with my hands and being creative so I feel really blessed to be able to do that.

Also, a couple years ago We each came up with a list of our needs, wants, and dreams in life and compared them. We used them to help us make decisions about our direction. We both wanted very similar things, and none of them were extravagant- mostly centered on time with family and stuff like that.
Then we simplified everything. Got rid of the cable, credit cards, car payments, etc, we avoided buying a bigger home and just stayed in our little condo, sold the boat, etc.

I guess the take home message from my story is gratitude and simplicity.

I very highly recommend doing the Needs, wants, dreams list exercise. Obviously we know our spouses really well, but getting those lists on paper was impactful- it might even help you crystallize your own ideas. It was really cool to use it as a template to tailor our life.

Phew...so anyway, good luck Chris!
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby chris oak » September 8th, 2016, 12:35 pm

Thanks for the ideas!

Jim I can't believe you retired at 43!!!! Out of curiosity, what time do you get up every day? I like to sleep in a bit, I'm thinking whatever job I get if I can sleep in until 7-8 every day I'd be pretty happy.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby jimikinz » September 8th, 2016, 1:19 pm

I get up at 7 to get my son ready for school Monday thru Thursday. I worked nights the last 15 years, so getting up early is brutal!!! Ha

Yah I can't really believe it either. We aren't rolling in the dough, but it's worth it.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby Grummy » September 9th, 2016, 10:53 am

Chris, I retired at a young age as well. Not 43 but close. you are starting out right by planning now. I have friends and co workers who did not plan and are miserable. Your father is right on the money, you have to have something to wake up to. A reason to get out of bed. this can range from planned meeting with friends or coworkers to a part time job to projects around the house. the best thing is you can do any thing. Money no longer is the driving force behind your employment. A former co worker works in a local pizza restaurant throwing pizza dough, he loves it. Teaching is another great outlet. I still teach a little bit and really enjoy it. Travel is a nice long term distraction. I try and set up a trip every 2-3 months even if it is just a motorcycle trip to the gold country, it is still something to look forward to and keeps you focused. And don't forget hobbies, it is ok to get immersed in your hobbies and more important add hobbies. Things you always wanted to do like learn to speak Italian.....or wheat ever. But the most important thing is, don't be afraid to have fun!
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby John Hughes » September 10th, 2016, 11:02 am

jimikinz wrote:

I very highly recommend doing the Needs, wants, dreams list exercise. Obviously we know our spouses really well, but getting those lists on paper was impactful- it might even help you crystallize your own ideas. It was really cool to use it as a template to tailor our life.

Phew...so anyway, good luck Chris!


Great advice, thanks Jim. And thanks for posting this up Chris, it's definitely good to think about and have a plan. I have a two year old so my retirement is probably 15 yrs out but I'm planning it NOW :rofl:
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby db1 » September 11th, 2016, 8:02 am

Chris, my plan as of now (all subject to change) is to buy a piece of land in the country and start learning how to build... I want to build some cabins, build some outdoor areas, fire pit, cooking area etc... turn it into a compound for friends and kids to come visit. I also want to teach myself to build and/or restore boats... basically use my owns hands to make tangible things. I am kind of over spending all my time creating intangibles... Hoping to have enough dough put away to still travel and get back to civilization once in a while... you know, to have to comb my hair and put on a collared shirt or something every now and again. The wife seems to be on board too.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby jimikinz » September 11th, 2016, 8:34 am

Now that's a cool plan! We seem to be leaning toward a compound in the woods in 10 years when my son is moved out.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby Bill McIntyre » September 11th, 2016, 3:33 pm

Since I'm retired, I suppose I should join in the discussion. But I'm not going to offer much advice or give you a plan because we didn't really have a master plan. We just stumbled along taking one step at a time and it worked out fairly well for us. So this is more of a story. Maybe it will make someone consider something new, or maybe it will convince you that our path is not right for you.

First is an observation- waiting until you are older to have kids makes it tough to retire young. My kids were born when I was 24 and 26. By the time they were out of college, we were still young enough to take lots of bicycle trips through France, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, etc. Its too late for a lot of you to alter that decision, but if you are still young, its something to think about.

It takes money to retire from work. In the good old days, employers offered defined benefit plans, but not so much any more. If you are a firefighter or a law enforcement officer, you have one of the last good deals. But unfortunately, many of you have to do your investing on your own in defined contribution plans. If that is the case for you, you better start early and contribute until it hurts, and you better do some reading on investing. Social Security will keep you from starvation, but you'll want more than that.

I retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years at age 41. "Retired" is a misleading term in this case. It gave me a pension for life, but not enough to finish putting the kids through college or have a decent standard of living. I wouldn't have a boat and my wife wouldn't have two horses if all we had was that pension. Before I retired from the USMC I started working on a night school MBA. I didn't really know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I thought that might give me more choices. And my wife was a public school teacher so we were not entirely dependent on my income. The fact that our kids were older permitted her to work full time.

For the first two years as a civilian I was a banker. I soon learned that wasn't what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I became a stock broker. I really wasn't very good at that since its really a sales job and I'm not a closer. Any brokerage firm has just what any client needs from Federally insured CDs to guided commodity futures accounts guaranteed to lose all your money in 6 months or less. I wanted to explain and educate clients on what was right for them. Closers pick products with the best commissions and just sell. The office manager sometimes came to me to have me explain some new product the firm was pushing. My MBA helped with that, but it didn't sell stuff.

You've heard the old saying "Them that can do, and them that can't teach." I'm an example of that. I applied to teach a graduate investments course at a private university that catered to adults who wanted to go to school at night. I was able to tell the students how to ask the right questions and protect themselves from their brokers and investment advisors. I got great student reviews. Then since my resume said that I had worked at a bank, they asked me to step in and teach a Money and Banking course when another professor had to drop out two weeks before it started. That went well too. So they said "those courses aren't offered all that often, but would you like to try economics." Why not. So for the next 20 years I taught at a couple of private universities, all at night. Notice that I never planned to be a teacher. I just stumbled into it and it worked out for me. I didn't make a hell of a lot of money, but with my wife's income as a teacher and my Marine Corp pension, it was enough to keep me in boats. And the neat thing was that since courses lasted just 4 or 5 weeks, I didn't have to miss an entire semester if I wanted to take a bike trip to Europe during my wife's summer vacation. I could just not ask for or accept a course during that period.

By the time I was 65 I was ready to truly retire. Teaching from 5:30 to 10 PM and then maybe having a long drive home was wearing me down, and the quality of students was dropping. Starting Social Security offset the lose of income some, and my wife worked a couple more years. Its only fair- she's almost four years younger than I am.

So back to the defined benefit pension plan subject. Teachers don't get pensions anywhere close to firefighters, but they do OK. My wife's pension exceeds the total of my USMC pension and my Social Security combined, and all of those pensions get adjusted for inflation. If you don't want to deal with someone else's kids for years or frequently go overseas without dependents and get shot at, I don't blame you. But we survived and now have an income for life. And after we turned 65, then Tricare picks up all the copays and deductibles after Medicare pays, so our health care is essentially free after we pay the Medicare Part B premiums. When I made the decision to stay in at mid-career I had no idea how valuable that benefit would be, but after all the surgeries and problems we've had as old farts, I now realize that its almost priceless.

But even if those pensions are nice, we wouldn't be able to keep the boat and two horses without a bit extra. From the time IRAs were created in the early 1980s we contributed the maximum every year. My wife also contributed to her 403b plan, which is sort of like an a 401k but for teachers. For the last few years before she retired, she contributed 20% of her income. Sometimes it hurt, but now we're glad she did. And since I have an MBA and was a stock broker, we haven't made too many really stupid decisions with our investments.

Another thing that helps. We're still living in the house that we bought in 1975 when the Marine Corps sent me here 5 years before I retired. Its only an 1800 foot tract house but we've done some remodeling. An awful lot of our friends have kept trading up to much nicer and larger houses, but a lot of them still have mortgages. Our house has been paid for for many years. We'd rather have bike trips, boats, and horses than a bigger and nicer house. I'm very lucky that my wife concurs with me on that subject. I know that a lot of wives would not.

Some of you have expressed a desire to move out in the woods and own some land. That doesn't appeal to me at all. There is no "out in the woods" in SoCal anywhere near the ocean or the harbor, and I want to stay near the water until I can't go in it any more. Who knows how long that will be, but I'm taking it a year at a time. I'm 77, but as long as I can find young studs willing to pull the anchor and dig out my fish, maybe I'll make it to 80.

As I said up front, this is more of a story than a plan. If there is any advice, I guess its

1. Have kids young if you want to retire young.
2. If you don't have a job with a defined benefit plan, contribute until it hurts to a tax sheltered plan such as an IRA or 401k and do some reading on investments. Learn what an Index Fund is and consider using them for the bulk of your portfolio. Very few people can beat the market, but the market does OK in the long term.
3. Plan, but be open to things that you never considered. "No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy."
4. If your wife doesn't already love horses, don't let her get into them. They are far more expensive than boats.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby Bill McIntyre » September 11th, 2016, 7:30 pm

The teacher in me forces me to offer one bit of information that might help someone. This isn't really about retirement planning, but about what you have to know after you retire.

If you have an IRA or 401K containing deductible contributions, the IRS wants to get some of that tax break back. After you turn 70.5, you have to take Required Minimum Distributions from your accounts with the amount each year based on your life expectancy. For purposes of illustration, lets say your account had a balance of $100,000 on December 31 and your life expectancy was 10 years. Some time during the next year you have to withdraw 10% or $10,000. That amount is fully taxable at whatever you current federal and state tax rates are. If you don't take the RMD, the penalty is 50% of the RMD not taken. To make it a bit easier, you can ask the custodian of your account to withhold taxes and just send you the balance. That way you can't spend it and then wonder where to get the money when you file your tax return.

I hope I didn't insult anyone's intelligence, but its has been my experience that a lot of people don't know about RMDs. I used to know a retired dentist who was almost 80 and the subject came up. He had not heard about RMDs and had never taken one. I never asked him how he worked it out, but I bet it cost him a lot of money.
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Re: How to handle your retirement or Retiree Questions

Postby chris oak » September 11th, 2016, 9:37 pm

Many thanks guys for all your insight, we're getting a wide range of ideas which is what I was hoping for.

Bill I've known you a long time but I never knew your working history, I'm glad you filled that part in. I will have a ton of other questions for you later on on investing etc as I know jack schidt about money management.

I will add a couple of things for guys to think about, I had this talk with Dam recently as well. When it comes time to buying a place, pick the shittiest house in the best neighborhood you can afford. One of my friends is looking at buying property in a not so great part of LA because the land is cheaper and I told her to use caution when you are buying in a shitty area because when housing falls those areas get hit the hardest. I don't make a lot of money but I bought in a decent part of OC because I knew it was better there than where I was living before. I bought my house cheap, renovated it and sold it for a huge profit. I did a lot of demographics work on areas with top schools, high per capita etc and that led me to the area I live in now, I probably make the least per year out of anyone on my block. On the plus side, I've only been here two years and my house has gone up about 120k. I wish I had more to put in my deferred comp program at work but there's no way I could max it out but I do put in as much as I can. With mutual funds it's grown a lot and I have one of the rare pension programs with the city and combined with that, it's going to help me retire a bit earlier than I thought. I'll never be rich but to me the most important thing is that I enjoy my life. I always tell my younger friends that life is way too short and you don't want to get stuck in a job you hate or saving up every single dollar and not enjoying some of it, there has to be a balance.

It's hard to think about saving for retirement when you are young, you only think about taking exotic trips and spearing big tuna across the globe. Sure its great to do that when you are young, but if you aren't making a lot of money in the long run it's better to sink that into a retirement account where it just keeps growing. I'd rather do a lot of short trips and shoot yellowtail in my backyard and be able to retire younger than blow it all on expensive vacations now.

Everyone's ideas about retirement is really opening my eyes and giving me a lot of things to think about. The one thing that I'm worried about is that once I hit 65 medicare won't cover me enough in case I get really sick or need operations so that's why I'm looking into getting supplimental insurance and man is it expensive.
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Re: How to handle your retirement: Questions for Retirees

Postby Oscar » November 22nd, 2016, 12:18 pm

Not sure my contribution (story) will be helpful other to concur pretty much with what Bill has offered in his posts. I will be 74 in a month and semi retired 5 years ago on 12/31/11 after nearly 50 years service between the U.S. Navy, Department of Defence and the FAA but was on an airplane 01/05/12 headed back to Africa to teach for the same agency I retired from (FAA) but as a contract instructor. I've worked a long time starting as part time during high school summer jobs in construction in the 50's. I'm still teaching part time for the FAA teaching civil aviation authorities around the world how to comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements to train qualified aviation safety inspectors. I also teach current FAA inspectors a few technical courses. I used to consult aviation maintenance and air carriers in Latin America but pretty much stopped doing that end of last year.

Reason is I did not follow Bill advice. I remarried late and have 16, soon to be 17 year old twins, that will be headed to college in two years. We started saving for their college when they were born but cost of higher education continues to escalate. We use my retirement pension for daily living, saving for college, etc., and my consulting and teaching for annual vacations plus adding to twins college fund. Now less spending, fewer shorter domestic vacations and more saving for college.

To repeat the good advice already provided, don't do what I did but start family young, get them educated and on their own so you can travel and enjoy life to the fullest after retiring without financial worries. Save until it hurts, invest for the long term, establish early investment for kids college, pay off your home, excercie, drink red wine (medicine), occasional high end Single Malt Scotch, maybe a good Cuban cigar once or twice a month (no better scratch that one - I did 17 years ago).

I found my niche in teaching, pay isn't that great, but it can be rewarding knowing you are contributing and helping others just starting their careers or consulting helping a company improve.

Chris you have a young family so you will have to consider the increasing cost of education. Part time consulting and teaching is what I recommend based on what you have listed. In summary, like Bill said save now until it hurts then save a little more. Lastly - stay active & excercise because at the end of the day being healthy & happy into your 80's is a worthy goal. Good luck :)
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Re: How to handle your retirement: Questions for Retirees

Postby castronova » November 22nd, 2016, 1:37 pm

This thread has been incredibly fun to read and somewhat inspirational as well.

It's hard for me to know what I want to say here but I love these discussions. I can give no one advice but it makes me think of where I've been and what I've strived toward the past few years. It was fun too read from a bunch of normal fish chasin dudes too because everyone here in my town, most of my good friends, are incredibly wealthy. My father is still loading the truck with lumber, building houses at 66. We currently share/split a duplex we built together in 2007. I should mention it's only because of him that at his age, barring economic global catastrophe, I'll likely be far ahead.

I'm only 34 and way too much of a spender. I'm lucky enough to be decently smart and have gotten a good job after the recession. I was running the construction company with my dad prior to then. I remember getting by every week just selling a photography print, working at an art gallery for nearly minimum wage, asking friends to mow their lawns, etc. Those years were hard down more so than most as we are 100% real estate and tourism. Nearly nothing else exists.

I got a job with the City of Key West in 2010 at the Port. I started running construction and operations for the City's marina. A little over 2 years ago I took over the Utilities Director job for the City and run all the projects and operations including the treatment plant. I can say I deal with more shit that anyone I know, thats for sure.

Up until this job in 2010 I saved not a single dollar. The City pension is very good though, mandatory 6% and another 12% the City contributes. The pension is 50% at 20 years and that is paid out at 20 years no matter what the age. At 10 years it's not fully vested so I'd have to wait until retirement age to receive contributions. Just last year I started my first IRA. I'm sure there are people younger than me reading this, if you don't have an IRA, go start like TODAY. I could only imagine what I would have saved had I started when I could have 8 or so years ago.

I'm fortunate enough now that I make a very good salary. If I stay until the 20 year mark I can retire at 48 from this job with a take home at 50% of my highest three years, enough to live on. That's the goal, then to get another job or become a contract employee and then relax. I also bought an investment property late last year, a duplex on my block that I rent. My goal in the future is to try and buy another rental unit about every 7 years. The rental market down here is absolutely insane. You can find decent deals here and there to rent, something a little more warn down than someone wants to buy. 3 bedroom houses rent for well over $3k a month here.

Of course if you really want to save money and live a good life later on, don't buy a boat. I wish that was a joke, ha! I can't imagine how much money I spend a year on my boat or boating. Has to be $15k or more. A lot of the reason I miss a lot of traveling and can't afford some of the trips my friends go on is because I chose to take a lot of local trips on my own boat. If I didn't have such a nice boat I could travel the world spearing but I have such a great sea here I consider it world class to begin with. That's just what I choose and wouldn't have it any other way.

Hey, no one here gives a shit about the 34 year old. Just made me think of the last 6 years, taking one step at a time even after hitting the bottom. Still having fun but focusing on the future too. Again, this has been very fun to read. There will be no moving to the woods for this guy either. I'll never leave the ocean and likely never my home town. Unfortunately that means one of the top 10 highest cost of livings in the nation so I'll likely work many more years than you guys. I'll just hope I'm on the right track and the world don't get destroyed in the mean time.
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Re: How to handle your retirement: Questions for Retirees

Postby Bill McIntyre » November 23rd, 2016, 12:19 pm

It was great to read your story JP. It sounds like you're really on track.

I can relate to the part about having to choose between great trips and supporting your own boat. I read about guys flying all over the world to exotic spots and I'm jealous. I could do that if I didn't own a boat, but I have to make a choice. My local diving isn't as world class as Key West, but I still prefer doing it often to taking trips now and then.

Hmmm? Now I'm reminded of the advice I gave about wives and horses. Horses are incredibly expensive. If my wife wasn't into horses I could afford both my boat and trips. But since she contributed a lot to our savings and is responsible for a lot of our pension income, I guess it's only fair. It's great for her to have her own thing and she's never sitting at home bitching about my diving.

But if you can somehow steer the wife away from horses in the first place, go for it.
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Re: How to handle your retirement: Questions for Retirees

Postby Westbury » November 26th, 2016, 11:23 am

Good stuff.
I remember asking an older uncle what his retirement plan was.
He said he was "just trying to outlive his mortgage".



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Re: How to handle your retirement: Questions for Retirees

Postby Smudge » November 28th, 2016, 8:11 am

Is it bad that reading this had made me queasy? And I have a Navy pension. :( I may be working well into my 60's...
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Joined: July 2013
Location: Hollywood, FL


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