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To retire or not to retire, that is the question.

March 4th, 2013 at 12:40 am

Actually I am not considering retiring, at least not any time in the near future, but still... the question came up in comments on a prior posting, and it really is something that goes through my mind from time to time. Everyone's needs are different, but still, when is it time to say "I have enough, I'll do fine with what I have for the long haul."?

======= Major Ruminating Ahead ==========

For me, if I were to cut out every expense I can think of, (and yes that includes dropping health insurance), I could live just fine on less than the 4% safe withdrawal rate (SWR) that is considered the benchmark for a secure retirement where funds don't run out. And on top of that I would get SS (of some sort) and a pension (currently ~20% of my salary), with both kicking in at the normal retirement age (in 17 years). Those two extra fund sources would cover ... hmmm.... well look at that they would cover all my needs.

Now, for the moment I am fairly healthy, and working out to stay that way. Still, you just never know. Going without health insurance, while I did that for a year when I was younger, is just not a safe way to go at my age in the US. I don't know what it would cost to insure myself, but I bet my expenses would double due to that alone.

Soooo.... back to work I go. The work is not bad (mostly), and it gives me a routine that I think I still need, though that need is certainly shrinking. And really I would prefer a much bigger margin of safety, as leaving it at 4% wouldn't give me much left over. When my next financial target date is reached (the end of 2015) if I do reach my goals for that date this question won't have such an obvious resolution. And then a new question will be more pressing "Since I can retire with a full pension in 7 years (when I'm 60), how I can quit now with that type of money on the table?"

Maybe I just analyze this too much???

3 Responses to “To retire or not to retire, that is the question.”

  1. JulieA Says:

    Today I'm in a real RETIRE mood but just not there financially.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Obamacare program, but I admit that I'm curious what sort of options will be available for early-retirees in coming years. I've talked to quite a few people at seminars over the past years that the only thing holding them back is healthcare concerns.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Well, why don't you call/search for some insurance quotes anyway, just to see where you stand?

    We made inquiries when DH (whose work carried the insurance) wanted to retire early. We could not find anything as good as continuing to buy into the workplace plan after early retirement. (Lucky to have that option.) That was influenced, too, by the fact that insurers like to get you off their rolls if you actually have a serious health issue that causes them to spend big bucks on you. Then we'd be stuck with no insurance, plus a history that makes other companies decline coverage. Both those things should be changing with the Affordable Health Care Act, so we will be checking open market rates again. If we know we won't be cut off one way or the other, we think we'd come out ahead with a high deductible insurance.

    For sure, it's a balancing act!

  3. Jerry Says:

    This is one reason that leads to my decision to work (and probably retire) overseas. The health care system in the US has me plenty worried, and my Mom`s employer actually used threats against her retirement health insurance to force her into earlier retirement. Retirement is a huge thing for a lot of people, you are wise to consider the issues now!
    Jerry

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