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Old 07-11-2015, 08:54 AM   #41
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I've heard talk on the news about congress trying to cut the spousal benefit, wasn't specifically the file and suspend. Of course we know how much stomach politicians have to actually cut SS.

While I've heard of, and plan to use the file and suspend. The ability for the spouse to change back to their own full benefits at 70 after collecting spousal from 66-70 is not something I've heard of. Won't pertain to us as 1/2 of my benefit is more then my wife's full.

I used Social Security Solutions some years back to find our optimum. Cost $20 for the personalized report.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:17 AM   #42
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The file and suspend approach is in our plan as well. We are both 60 so have a few years for it to take place. Last year on the advice of a financial advisor we met with a national known social security expert to review our options. For $200 it was well worth the expense. She outlined 9 different options (everyone's case is different). What I learned most was that the difference in the age of spouses is a big consideration as well as anticipated life expectancy. Finally, SS is a complicated program with lots of options. It pays to do your research and choose the option that is best for you and your personal situation.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:50 AM   #43
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Finally, SS is a complicated program with lots of options. It pays to do your research and choose the option that is best for you and your personal situation.
Yes, indeedy. I retired at age 52 and planned to draw on my own SS at age 62. Upon applying I was told I could have started drawing as a widow on my husband's SS at age 60. I had no clue. So I lost two years with no going back. I now draw on his and will defer my (now higher) SS until age 70 when mine will be even better. The risk? That I don't make it until then but that's a chance I'll take.
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Old 07-11-2015, 01:54 PM   #44
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As usual, I'll be the miserable SOB.
I retired early because I wasn't sure which would go down first, the newspaper I worked for, or my health. They offered 18 mos. salary to get rid of me.
Do I miss it? I miss the newspaper I worked for ten years ago. I don't miss what the newspaper business has become. Can't complain, because I had 45 of the best years.
I miss the adrenaline of getting a call at 4am to get to the airport for a charter flight to cover a major news event. My life was being ready for anything that may happen.
Now that I'm retired, I'm not always sure what day it is, and it doesn't matter anyway.
Would I rather be 29 years old?
I don't know, I'd probably have a mortgage.
What I've learned is that you want to enter retirement in good health and mortgage free and with a decent tow vehicle.
Glenn wrote: "What I've learned is that you want to enter retirement in good health and mortgage free and with a decent tow vehicle."

Based on that criteria I'm good to go.

? Soooo.... I'm curious what living in retirement is like - after getting used to and perhaps addicted to the excitement/adrenaline of your old career. Do you shave every day (when?); About what time do you get up every day? Do you have those stretchy pants and slippers in your wardrobe (how many)? If you are anal or a bit of a type-a, like me, out of complete boredom (after all the little chores you put off until retirement were done), have you tried to alphabetize the cereal, canned goods, or spices in the kitchen pantry - if so did your wife try to kill you?

as you can see, I have a bit of angst about having huge blocks of unstructured time in my life staring at me

I think I'll be fine, traveling, planning trips, spending time with my kids/grandchildren and doing some volunteering, gardening and so forth -- but the above questions (which don't actually require an answer from you or anyone) are the kinds of things I think about.

Larry

(p.s. I dare you to answer the questions, Glenn)
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:19 PM   #45
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We have been very happy with this software for looking at the finances of retirement. It is a little difficult to get used to due to the termonology they use. (spending = "dissaving", really?) ESPlanner Inc. I confess I haven't used the free version available and cannot comment on the differences between that version and the $50 version we use.
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:30 PM   #46
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Wifey was also concerned about boredom - she's an Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN who ran the clinic at the Portland VA hospital, last one the vets would see to try and cure something before something had to be amputated. Talk about stress......

One year later she is absolutely booked up with yoga classes, cello lessons, taking writing classes, gym trainer, travel, lunches/dinners with friends, camping (with 3 dogs), visiting grandkids on both East and West coasts, etc.

I wake up at 7am every day (no alarm), feed the dogs, she gets up a 8ish. We have coffee while she has breakfast and I head down to the shop (my biz is at home) by 9am. We keep in touch by texting!
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:30 PM   #47
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Many years ago, when I was still employed (as opposed to self-employed) and, consequently, occasionally unemployed, I encountered a two pivotal books by Richard Bolles.

One is "What colour is your parachute" which was (is?) a very-well-known job-hunters manual, which was very helpful at the time.

The other, much less well-known but in my opinion and in my case a much more seminal book on shaping how I lived my life, is "The three boxes of life" -- the boxes being first, the "education" box, followed by the "working" box, followed in due course by the "retirement" box. The author's argument was that a better way to live your life is to get out of those three large boxes and split your life into a long series of smaller & even tiny boxes, interspersing & mixing up periods of learning, working & playing ("retirement").

Becoming self-employed (ironically, as a tax advisor & financial/retirement planner) was the best thing I could have done towards living life in an endless succession of small boxes instead of three large ones -- not financially, maybe, but certainly from a lifestyle perspective.

For persons who are close to or in the middle of or just past the transition point from the second to the third "box", I highly recommend this book, to help with the non-financial aspects of "retirement", even though it's somewhat dated (having never been "updated" from it's early-eighties publication date).
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:32 PM   #48
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Wifey was also concerned about boredom - she's an Advanced Wound Care Specialist RN who ran the clinic at the Portland VA hospital, last one the vets would see to try and cure something before something had to be amputated. Talk about stress......
Tell your wife THANK YOU for her years of service to our vets.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:02 PM   #49
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Many years ago, when I was still employed (as opposed to self-employed) and, consequently, occasionally unemployed, I encountered a two pivotal books by Richard Bolles.
I read these books when they were published. I didn't care for the "Parachute" book; it seemed too whimsical about a serious subject. The cartoons didn't help. Maybe I just didn't get it.

I remember liking the "Three Boxes" book better. Now that I am retired perhaps I need to read it again.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:38 PM   #50
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? Soooo.... I'm curious what living in retirement is like...

Larry

(p.s. I dare you to answer the questions, Glenn)
Here's my two cents, after taking early retirement in September 2012:

On the good side-
- I get up early, at sunrise, at least in Florida where the sun rises at a decent hour. Apparently I'm a morning person by default.

- I shave every day and in general maintain appearances. I could dress better though, and get out of the t-shirt and jeans habit.

- I lost twenty pounds in the first few months after retirement. I need to lose a lot more, but that's a start.

- I spend a lot of time on the computer, which to me is a good thing. I'm trying to become a competent programmer again, and also become competent in applications such as Lightroom and Photoshop, etc.

- In general I don't feel bored. I was an only child, so I'm used to keeping myself busy and am able to organize my day with stuff to do.

On the downside:
- I still have this vague sense of unease that I'm getting away with something, i.e., I feel guilty about not working. At times I think I retired too early and should have taken a second job, or be productive in some manner. Hence the programming exercises. I used to know a lot about high-performance computing; maybe I should have capitalized on this knowledge while it was all still fresh.

- I drive too much, even when I'm not on a trip with my trailer. When I'm home I make an excuse to drive into Milton, the nearest town, every day. Milton is ten miles away from my house. And of course once I'm in town I spend money. I guess I miss being around people, though I never would have predicted this.

- I don't cook enough, and as a consequence I eat out too much. I was hoping to cook more on my current trip, so I hope the new fridge works out okay.

- I can't get accustomed to the Florida heat again. When I was seventeen I could sit on a tractor all day long in July and not bat an eye; now I can take it for about ten minutes before having to come back inside.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:34 PM   #51
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Larry

Like Mike here is my two cents worth although the only time I see pennies now is in the US.

in 2015
guest preached first Sunday in January
two weeks in KS with our daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter
nearly six weeks relaxing mostly at an RV park in TX
Back end of March while home babysitting grands 2-3 times a week
trip in May to see son and family in Thunder Bay
Back to KS in May to help them move
back home to babysit again in June
All our family here now for two weeks (all 7 grands) so busy at the pool, beach, our son's park like yard with great water toys for the kids.

Meanwhile circumstances have led me back to preaching every week during the summer but enjoy this and still have lots of tIme to spend with family

I get up early mainly because of our daughter's dog we have been taking care of for a month, then out gardening, and the above mentioned activities, and taking care of the
escape.

Next week it will be three nights with the trailer at our town park so I can have grands for sleepovers, get up, have breakfast then across the road to their swimming lessons.

Larry don't work any longer than you have to!

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Old 07-11-2015, 06:25 PM   #52
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On the good side-
...
- I lost twenty pounds in the first few months after retirement. I need to lose a lot more, but that's a start.

On the downside:
...
- I drive too much, even when I'm not on a trip with my trailer. When I'm home I make an excuse to drive into Milton, the nearest town, every day. Milton is ten miles away from my house.
A solution: take up cycling, and keep going into town, but under your own steam. If balancing a bicycle is not desirable, there are all sorts of stable three-wheeled options. Electric-assist bikes should work well in Florida, and would make the trip more reasonable. Just a suggestion.
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:55 PM   #53
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I find that it now takes me all day to do things that used to take me an hour. While employed it was not uncommon to stop at the store on way home from work, prepare my meal, cut grass after dinner and then meet some friends later for drinks. Now one day I'll see my friends, one day I'll cut grass, one day I'll go to store. The other thing I notice is avoiding the stores on weekends makes going to the sore more enjoyable. There are actually people employed there that are available during the week actually waiting to assist you, however they seem to disappear on the weekends.
My insurance and car expenses have dropped dramatically as my dry cleaning and clothing expenses. I now bowl 2-3 times a week for both exercise and camaraderie. When working on a project I no longer have to clean up at the end of the day as I can continue the next day where I left off. Retirement is enjoyable and less stressful. I watch the weather religiously and keep my house well prepared for storms. I spend a lot of time, too much time here on the forums as well as on line shopping. Did you know Amazon now has Sunday delivery, I ordered something this am and it will arrive tomorrow!! I enjoy tinkering with my Escape as a hobby.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:11 PM   #54
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A solution: take up cycling, and keep going into town, but under your own steam. If balancing a bicycle is not desirable, there are all sorts of stable three-wheeled options. Electric-assist bikes should work well in Florida, and would make the trip more reasonable. Just a suggestion.
Well, I could do that. I tried cycling when I lived in Maryland but I could never get into good enough shape to enjoy it. I have a nice Trek hybrid bike at home so I could try again. I've noticed the spandex crowd going by my house on a regular basis. They've decided my country road is good for cycling.

So that's three things we have at home now that we didn't have when I was a kid: armadillos, coyotes, and cyclists.
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:25 PM   #55
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Err....hate to sound critical, but shouldn't this thread be split off from Retirement Planning to What I Do In My Retirement?
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:34 PM   #56
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I have read many articles that say never to retire if you want to live to a ripe old age. Years ago there was a big write up in a local newspaper about a gentleman who had sold his business and about all of the things that he was going to do in his retirement. Six months later it was his obituary. Being self employed, I spend about six weeks a year up in Iowa farming with an old army buddy and the joke there is when his wife has to use the manure bucket to hoist us up into the tractor or combine, it will be time to quit. Loren
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:59 PM   #57
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Interesting timing on this thread as my husband just retired yesterday. We had planned to retire together in January but his project came to an end and the following project was canceled (he is, I mean was, a self employed consultant). The next 6 months will be an interesting time in our relationship as I know he will want me to go out to play but I can't as I'm still working. We'll see if I last the full 6 months!

We are choosing this timing more because of life than finances. We are both in great shape and wanting to explore and enjoy this planet while we are able. We have lost way too many family members and friends before their time due to cancer and other health issues. Every time this happens on top of our sorrow we feel that reminder telling us to get out and enjoy life and each other, while we can. We've not done a lot of financial planning but are debt free and can scale back our lives if we need to. Buying a trailer and camping rather than jetting off to Europe is an accommodation that we will happily and easily make. With travel and all our hobbies, neither of us is worried about how to make the most of our new found time.

I've enjoyed reading through this thread as we've talked an dreamed about retirement for years, and now it's finally becoming a reality. For those of you who are years away, this will happen for you too!
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:11 PM   #58
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I have worked for companies for most of my career that offer employer matching of employee rrsp contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary. I have always taken advantage of this and have made ongoing contributions for many years, but with quite minimal assistance relative to how the investment portfolio is managed. I have done reasonably well over the years and think that we should be quite comfortable in retirement, but now that I am within about 11 yrs of retirement, I often worry whether I should be doing more to build up my retirement funds. Does anyone here have any suggestions on how to find a good highly qualified financial planner that can help out with advice and planning assistance in this latter stage of my career. And how can you be sure that you can trust that person, it is my future at risk, not theirs.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:15 AM   #59
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Dave, use a fee-only financial planner. Loren
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:54 AM   #60
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Dave
Here's a good book that covers your question in chapter 18. Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning

Might find it in a library, or spring for a copy.
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