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Retirement Planning


Whether you are close to federal employee retirement or just starting out in your career, this is the place to share ideas with your federal colleagues on creating a secure financial foundation.


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Endless Summer  
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 17, 2019 4:50:55 PM(UTC)
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In another thread someone asked about TSP withdrawals if they retired in their 40's. A question came up asking about what people do who retire early and so I thought I'd add this rather than hijack the thread.

A dozen years ago I was burned out working in the civilian world. I enjoyed my job, but the pressure was literally killing me. The planets happened to align and I saw an opportunity to take a two to three year sabbatical without having to work. I was in my early 40's. I didn't have enough money for a permanent break but I thought I'd get in some good adventures.

For the first nine months it was everything you could dream of. A true "Endless Summer" where I did whatever I wanted, travelled the world, studied, and just in general followed anything that interested me. After nine months though I started to get antsy. Being on vacation for three weeks is completely different from having to fill 16 hours a day, every day. No matter how much you may love golf, fishing, or whatever, in my experience it was a chore to fill the day.

Another thing that I feel stupid for not foreseeing was that every one of my friends still had jobs. I'd call someone up and say "Let's do X tomorrow" and they'd have to remind me that they still had jobs to go to.

I ended up doing a lot of volunteer work and after a while they gave me a schedule of hours they wanted me to work. I remember thinking "Hell, this sounds a lot like a job that I'm not getting paid for" and so I re-entered the working world.

The difference this time around was that I approached work with a totally different attitude. You may have noticed that I don't get excited about talk of shutdowns etc because I'm only working at a place as long as it's in my best interests. I have the same mercenary view towards employment that my employer has towards me.

The other big takeaway was the importance of "Retirement Planning". What most of us think about when we hear that is finances but I learned that it's just as vital to spend time thinking about your life and activities after retirement. For me, this means that I will move around the world, spending 3-6 months in various cities in the US and abroad before moving on to the next. That should keep me engaged.

So, what's your plan or experience?
thanks 3 users thanked Endless Summer for this useful post.
someoldguy on 1/17/2019(UTC), King_Fed on 1/21/2019(UTC), S D Analyst on 1/22/2019(UTC)
someoldguy  
#2 Posted : Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:09:10 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for starting a new thread and offering some very valuable insights.

When I was in my teens/early 20s I had a relative who worked well into his 70's. As a young person I thought this was terrible that he still had to work and had not planned for retirement. But once I got along in years, I realized it might not have been such a bad thing. For one thing, he was still in good health and able to work. For another, his skills were still in demand. And what's more, I think he was working more or less part time and had a flexible schedule so he could travel as he pleased. As it turned out, he did had enough money to retire at 65 or so, but I think he came from a generation where you didn't retire, you just worked until you dropped dead, as I think his father may have.

A former co-worker said he had a number of offers to work after he retired from our company, but nobody was willing to allow him to work part-time. He decided that giving up his freedom was not worth the money (and stress).

Your point about "what's your plan" is well taken. I am finding it challenging to come up with an answer. Hopefully I have a few more years to think on it :)

Edited by user Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:13:01 PM(UTC)  | Reason: The inevitable urge to polish the verbal turd

DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
Raoul  
#3 Posted : Friday, January 18, 2019 5:40:08 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: someoldguy Go to Quoted Post
...I think he came from a generation where you didn't retire, you just worked until you dropped dead,...

Exactly, that's the way my grandfather was.
He died in his sleep and that's the way I want to go, not crying and screaming like his passengers.



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GWPDA  
#4 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 1:24:50 PM(UTC)
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I'm in one of those weird professions that can be done publicly or as a private person. When I retire (for the third and final time, please God), I'm going back to doing what I do privately, on my own terms, in my own area of expertise and to the degree that interests me. Being able to do that is the whole reason why I've done it publicly this long. It's a rare thing and I can't say that I studied and became what I am and do with this transition in mind, but I'm pleased as can be that I did. No, I'm not a physician nor a lawyer nor an accountant. :-)
Raoul  
#5 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:03:59 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: GWPDA Go to Quoted Post
I'm in one of those weird professions that can be done publicly or as a private person... It's a rare thing and I can't say that I studied and became what I am and do... No, I'm not a physician nor a lawyer nor an accountant. :-)


Street mime?

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TiredFed  
#6 Posted : Monday, January 21, 2019 6:04:50 AM(UTC)
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I retired in 2015 after working in two distinct careers across multiple federal departments and agencies over 33 years. During my federal career, I also earned 3 university degrees (BS, MS and PhD) evenings and weekends so I stayed extremely busy all those years while I was with the government.

A few years before I became fully eligible to retire at age 56, I became increasing frustrated with the federal bureaucracy, incompetent leadership/management, and my inability to get much done because of all the constraints placed on me as a working professional. The day I turned 56, I retired with full benefits as a tired and burned out fed.

I have been retired about 3-1/2 years and largely spend my time traveling/RVing with my wife, taking care of our house/pets, mowing grass, reading, watching documentaries on TV, etc. When and how to a retire is an extremely personal decision but what I have enjoyed most about it is having the absolute freedom to do what I want, when I want and how I want ... having that freedom is absolutely priceless (and stress-free).

Always remember that you are only one breath and heartbeat away from dying so if have other things to do with your life, or you simply desire to be more free, please retire if you can.
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S D Analyst on 1/22/2019(UTC), GordonG on 1/25/2019(UTC)
GWPDA  
#7 Posted : Monday, January 21, 2019 10:08:30 AM(UTC)
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"Street mime?"

No - I believe that's a GS 301.
Raoul  
#8 Posted : Monday, January 21, 2019 11:31:45 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: GWPDA Go to Quoted Post


No - I believe that's a GS 301.


Ouch! lol

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King_Fed  
#9 Posted : Monday, January 21, 2019 1:35:41 PM(UTC)
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Same as you... I "retired" in my 30s for 7 years. I traveled, worked a small business for fun, and went back to school. It was a fun time. The business kept me from touching my savings... it was great. At the end the business started to feel like work since I was not making enough after travel, etc. Plus, I needed to put money in a 401k, etc... not making enough to do that and travel/have fun.

I have 9 years until 57 and I'll retire again and keep busy with a small business (I have one I work part-time now, in addition to working in the gov't). I sell software online so not that much work... you build the product and update it once a year or once every two years. All downloads -- you don't have to ship. Put up videos so you don't have that much customer support.

Like you, I'll travel the world and stay at different places for a month or two. Invite friends/family out to various locations so they can stay rent free. Make new friends.

Key to retirement is having a plan, plenty of funds, health/exercise, and a "purpose". Everyone needs a purpose.

Having retired already, I understand the pitfalls of retirement... hopefully won't make them again. Unfortunately, there will be more pitfalls I know. Can't plan for everything. Having enough money takes care of a lot of things though. Trust me!

Edited by user Monday, January 21, 2019 1:41:48 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Endless Summer on 1/21/2019(UTC)
Endless Summer  
#10 Posted : Monday, January 21, 2019 2:26:08 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: King_Fed Go to Quoted Post
Same as you... I "retired" in my 30s for 7 years. ...

Having retired already, I understand the pitfalls of retirement... hopefully won't make them again. Unfortunately, there will be more pitfalls I know. Can't plan for everything. Having enough money takes care of a lot of things though. Trust me!


Yeah, I am so happy that I did that trial period. It was a real eye opener.

I had a great encounter about 30 years ago while on active duty. I was flying MAC to the States from Guam for some EML. On a layover in Hawaii I got to talking to this old happily retired guy. He seemed like he was in his 80's but I didn't ask. During our conversation he explained that he lived in a tent on Maui for several months of the year. When the travel bug hit him he'd go down to the terminal and catch a ride on whatever MAC flight he could get that sounded interesting. He'd check into quarters on base for ~$25 a night and just hang out and see what the place had to offer. Japan, Germany, Australia, it didn't matter, he'd stay until it was time to move on.

I've never forgotten that guy. I may not be willing to live in a tent, but that meeting was the beginning of my "retirement planning".
King_Fed  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, January 22, 2019 2:36:01 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Endless Summer Go to Quoted Post


I've never forgotten that guy. I may not be willing to live in a tent, but that meeting was the beginning of my "retirement planning".


When I returned to gov't, there was one old-timer who took me under his wing. He must have been in his mid-60s but full of life. He always talked about what he would do during retirement.

His retirement day came and within a month he was in the hospital and then died within 6 months of retirement.

After that, I made it a point to "retire again" as soon as possible. I knew retirement at 57 was possible, but after that I made it a point to know my numbers and make it happen.

Well on my way... but I've had to sacrifice to get here... will take my first overseas trip in 11 years this year, for example.
roger.d  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6:33:35 PM(UTC)
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Many of my past co-workers (USPS Letter Carriers) have gone on to work PT as a valet at a hospital or drive for a auto parts store. 1-3 days a week seems like a good distraction/add a little income. Growing up the retired carriers were baggers/car drops at the grocery stores. Back when they took your purchases all the way to your car.

Outside of that, golf, hunting, fishing, loving every day will be the plan of attack when I hit MRA in about 7 years.

Add in some type of volunteering. A couple local churches have "project cars". Think free taxis.

Edited by user Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6:34:53 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Learn to discipline yourself, so someone else doesn't have to
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