Author Topic: pre-FIRE checklist  (Read 27397 times)

Exhale

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pre-FIRE checklist
« on: February 21, 2016, 12:15:31 PM »
This is a collection of pre-FIRE checklist info I've been copying from the MMM Forum and some other places. I apologize for not having the sources (I hadn't originally planned to post this info). I do know know that a bunch of it came from Nords (thank you Nords!). Please note that this info is in no way exhaustive. I'm sharing it in case other folks approaching FIRE find it useful. I especially welcome anyone who is FIRE to add to (or correct!) this information. Note: I'm adding suggestions to this list along with the name of the generous person who shared it.

Work
- Records: Make sure all your administrative records are correct and transferred (if necessary). Records to check include: pension record, 401(k) contributions, COBRA, disability insurance
- Sick leave: Check policy to see how this is paid out when you leave
- Vacation days: Check policy to see how this is paid out when you leave. Use up what you can't cash out.
- Decide when/how you'll give notice
- Establish non-work-email for clients/coworkers w/whom you have become personally friendly (With This Herring)
- Copy future-useful documents from work computer - Excel templates you created, etc. (With This Herring)
- Copy internet bookmarks from work computer (With This Herring)
- Document all key processes/procedures for the benefit of who will take over your role (lhmao)
- Live non-work focused life by limiting working extra hours or ruminating about work-related matters (lhamo)

Other planning
- Finalize estate planning documents (will, POA, Health Care Directive, trust documents, etc.)
- Decide if/when/how you'll tell family/friends/co-workers
- Consider replacing your car(s) before you retire.
- IRA: "...show at least enough taxable income to equal the amount you want to contribute to your IRA for that year. "So if you want to contribute $5500, make sure you have earned at least $5500. Quit just before you hit 25% tax bracket. Easy money in low brackets, plus get your capital gains and dividends tax free for the year."
- 401(k): "If you want to max it out for the year you will probably need to set a pretty aggressive contribution rate in the beginning of the year. It won't help you get any more match but it will help with your taxes."
- Get a HELOC on residential property with substantial equity (loan is easier to get when employed) (notquitefrugal)

Calculations
- Income test: Live for a year at the planned post-FIRE level to be sure it's enough
- Track you spending (flyingaway)
- Research and plan post-FIRE insurance options/costs: health, long-term care, life, home, auto (step-in-time)
- Estimate social security earnings given stop work date and different SS start dates
- Forecast taxes, model scenarios, optimize conversions/capital gain harvesting w/Taxcaster or other. (step-in-time)
- Get 2nd Opinion(s): Have a free session w/financial advisor, Vanguard, etc. to ensure you have not overlooked something important. (step-in-time)
- Confirm retirement income projections on different calculators (FIRECALC, Fidelity Retirement Income Planner)
- Figure out cash flow plan for years between retirement date and access traditional retirement accounts
- Finalize Withdrawal Strategy: Where/when withdrawals will occur. (step-in-time)

Housing
- If you have a mortgage rate, check into refinancing one more time. This will be more difficult. (chasesfish)
- If you are planning to move/buy, if you need a mortgage, buy as a 2nd home prior to quitting work. You're only required to be employed through the day of closing, then turn in your notice afterwards. (chasesfish)

Health
- If you can, get fit, quit smoking, etc. so you can use any employers benefits to help you in this process
- Max out all the company's medical/dental benefits (same for dependents)
- Get physicals, a full skin exam, bloodwork, other tests, prescriptions, etc. (same for dependents and pets)
- Get dental cleaning, full set of x-rays and check condition of fillings/dental work (same for dependents and pets)
- Schedule necessary or optional-but-desired surgical procedures for the work wind-down period in order to benefit from insurance and paid sick leave/disability leave. (lhamo)
- Consider entering therapy (especially if covered by insurance) to deal with any issues related to work/family before you FIRE -- these things can hit hard once you no longer have work occupying much of your time (lhamo)
- Read Dr. Doom's blog, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down by Christian McEwan, and items from https://evgeniagotfi.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/how-to-quit-your-job/ (Evgenia)

Social Networks & Post-FIRE activities
- Start building or reinforcing connections with people you can spend time with during typical working hours post-FIRE.  Especially if you are FIREing at a comparatively young age and most of your existing social circle will be continuing to work. (lhamo)
- Explore different activities that interest you, build social networks/peer groups related to those activities. (lahamo)

One year before
- Pre-load CD ladder - See https://livingafi.com/2014/05/18/drawdown-part-3-strategy/ (CowboyAndIndian)

One month before
- Ask, "What I will do next Tuesday?" (followed by a set of activities or projects that are interesting and draw you away from employment). As in "OK, say your last day is a Friday; I bet you'll take Monday to do nothing. I can picture you doing nothing for less than a day. What will you do starting that Tuesday?" Frugal-Investor writes: "I built a list that I ended up calling the Eight Challenges. The list was made up of specific goals I wanted to achieve like getting great veggies from my garden and getting certified with my dog as a therapy dog team... Each challenge was was specific but the ground they covered together was quite broad....Because it was specific, it gave me structure...It became a transition plan or work rebound approach. After about 6 months (perhaps decompression?), the list became less of a focus. (Frugal-Investor)
- Implement Income Stream - Set dividends/capital gains from taxable acct to automatically transfer to bank acct. If you have deferred compensation, file paperwork for regular payments from the acct. "I would keep track of taxable account dividends to know what you can expect to get monthly and quarterly. Your retirement plan administrator will have rules for setting up 457(b) withdrawals.  They tend not to be all that flexible.  Generally, if you set nothing up, you will receive all of it as a lump sum and owe income tax on the entirety, a scenario to avoid." (PhysicianOnFIRE)

Final Steps to FIRE
- Give notice
- Finish projects/Train new employee(s) - Be strict with yourself about limiting extra hours at work
- Make sure that sick leave/vacation day payouts, retirement contributions, etc. are being processed correctly

And then...
- Take a guilt-free detox period (many say it can take six months to detox and find your new pace/activities)


More specialized notes:
- If interested in charitable giving, consider optimizing tax benefit while still earning income (CanuckExpat)
- Licenses/certificates: renew if easier to do while still employed
- Accountants:  If you prepared your personal income tax returns with the firm's software, make sure that you have copies of ALL of them at home and that any versions you leave behind are at least password-protected if they cannot be deleted entirely. (With This Herring)
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 07:57:48 PM by Exhale »

flyingaway

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2016, 01:42:55 PM »
Track spending? although this could go to your Calculations -> Income Test.

lhamo

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2016, 02:15:27 PM »
Great list.  A few suggested additions:


Work:

Document all key processes/procedures for the benefit of who will take over your role

Be strict with yourself about limiting extra hours at work /off-hours ruminating about work-related matters -- start practicing for a non-work-focused lifestyle during your work wind-down period, it will make the transition to FIRE more gentle (and less stressful)

Health:

Schedule any necessary or optional-but-desired surgical procedures to happen during work wind-down period, so that you can benefit from insurance coverage and paid sick leave/disability leave. 

Consider entering therapy (especially if it is covered by insurance) to deal with any mental health issues related to work/family before you FIRE -- these things can hit hard once you no longer have work occupying much of your time

Social Networks and Post-FIRE activities

Start building or reinforcing connections with people you can spend time with during typical working hours post-FIRE.  Especially if you are FIREing at a comparatively young age and most of your existing social circle will be continuing to work.

Start exploring different activities that interest you and building social networks/peer groups related to those activities.
Wherever you go, there you are

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 04:54:31 PM »
Thank you flyingaway and lhamo! I've added your suggestions to the list. lhamo, I especially appreciated the reminder and concrete steps for transitioning to a "non-work-focused lifestyle."

Nords

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 09:41:30 AM »
Thanks, Exhale!  I still get requests for a pre-retirement checklist, and I'll send readers here...
Author of "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement".   All royalties (and writing revenue) donated to military charities.
I don't read every post, so please PM or e-mail me to get my attention...

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 07:31:39 PM »
Thanks, Exhale!  I still get requests for a pre-retirement checklist, and I'll send readers here...

Thank you for the great info that you share with us! As you can see, this list is more civilian focused, but there's a significant amount of overlap.

Felicity

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2016, 08:09:51 AM »
This is great!

Can this be a sticky thread on the Post-FIRE board?
Aiming to FIRE in 2019 at the age of 29! I write here: Fetching Financial Freedom (FFF)
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Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2016, 08:06:42 PM »
Great question. I don't know how that gets decided - by the moderators perhaps?

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2016, 06:18:47 PM »
Great list!  Thank you for compiling.  I would add:

Implement Income Stream.  Set dividends and capital gains from taxable account to automatically transfer to bank account.  If you have deferred compensation, such as 457(b), file paperwork for regular payments from the account. 

Zamboni

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2016, 06:49:29 PM »
Following and seconding (thirding?) that this be pinned by a mod.

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2016, 10:37:47 PM »
Great list!  Thank you for compiling.  I would add:

Implement Income Stream.  Set dividends and capital gains from taxable account to automatically transfer to bank account.  If you have deferred compensation, such as 457(b), file paperwork for regular payments from the account.

Great comment PhysicianOnFIRE - thank you! How far in advance do you recommend doing this?

step-in-time

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2016, 08:21:51 AM »
This is a great resource, thanks for compiling! A couple other items on my list from other sites:

Finalize Withdrawal Strategy: Where/when withdrawals will occur.

Review Your Insurance Coverage: Life insurance that was appropriate when your savings or kids were small may be a wasteful expense now. Alternatively, it may be appropriate to raise the liability limits on your home and auto insurance policies and consider an umbrella policy as your assets grow. You should also understand long-term care insurance and if/how it fits into your overall financial plan.

Tax Planning: Forecast taxes, model withdrawal scenarios, and plan to optimize Roth conversions and/or capital gain harvesting using free Taxcaster or other.

Get Other Opinions: Schedule a free planning session with work financial advisor, Vanguard, etc to ensure you have not overlooked something important.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2016, 08:26:25 AM by step-in-time »

soccerluvof4

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2016, 10:20:00 AM »
Great thread and yes I agree as well be awesome to have a moderator pin it!
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PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2016, 06:21:21 PM »
Great list!  Thank you for compiling.  I would add:

Implement Income Stream.  Set dividends and capital gains from taxable account to automatically transfer to bank account.  If you have deferred compensation, such as 457(b), file paperwork for regular payments from the account.

Great comment PhysicianOnFIRE - thank you! How far in advance do you recommend doing this?

Could be done in the last month of employment. 

I would keep track of taxable account dividends to know what you can expect to get monthly and quarterly. 

Your retirement plan administrator will have rules for setting up 457(b) withdrawals.  They tend not to be all that flexible.  Generally, if you set nothing up, you will receive all of it as a lump sum and owe income tax on the entirety, a scenario to avoid.

notquitefrugal

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2016, 08:40:10 PM »
One I have read elsewhere: Get a HELOC on any residential property you own which has substantial equity. It will be easier to obtain while you are still employed.

The one I got from Penfed on my old house had no minimum draw and I only paid a few hundred bucks for an appraisal (which I found useful anyway, as it had been several years since I bought the house).

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2016, 10:29:11 AM »
Thank you PhysicianOnFIRE and notquitefrugal - the list has been updated to reflect your excellent information.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2016, 06:19:30 PM »
Start preloading the CD ladder for your withdrawal.


Mrs. Pomodoro

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2016, 06:57:49 PM »
Thank you so much for putting together this list! I'm considering pulling the plug soon and it gives me a solid starting point of things to consider.

albireo13

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2016, 06:42:20 PM »
Consider replacing uour car(s) before you retire.
That way you are starting off with cars which hopefully will
last awhile.



Bolshevik Artizan

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2016, 07:47:40 PM »
Completely agree re: detox period. Four months in and I'm only just relaxing now. :-0

JoJo

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2016, 05:18:38 PM »
Great list.

I'd love it if someone did a FIRE checklist for retiring abroad/being nomadic and sticky that.  I'm planning to do this is a year and there seem to be lots of logistics - how do I keep a valid drivers license, health care, mailing address, taxes, etc.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2016, 07:47:25 AM »
Consider replacing uour car(s) before you retire.
That way you are starting off with cars which hopefully will
last awhile.

Great idea and something I've thought about. Starting with late model used cars rather than old beaters is a good way to avoid overspending in the first few years of early retirement.

Evgenia

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2016, 11:38:03 AM »
Chiming in to emphasize the mental health aspects of FIRE (+1 to "Consider entering therapy (especially if covered by insurance) to deal with any issues related to work/family before you FIRE -- these things can hit hard once you no longer have work occupying much of your time (lhamo)").

Prior to our pulling the trigger on FIRE, I was so consumed with financial checking and rechecking that I gave not an iota of thought to anything mental or emotional. And the transition wasn't easy. There were some resources I found especially helpful:
* Dr. Doom's blog has a great deal of information on this (he saw a therapist), and it helped me immensely.
* The single most helpful book (which I think I heard about from Dr. Doom) was World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down, by Christian McEwan. It may not sound like it applies, but trust me, it does. I really needed it sooner than I found it, but better late than never.
* I listed readings and videos that helped me with the transition here, which can all be summarized as "things that helped me start thinking about myself and my life in a new way." Knocking down the lifelong frames and constructs of "employee" and "productive member of society" and such were a LOT more work than I thought: https://evgeniagotfi.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/how-to-quit-your-job/
FIRE since June 2015. Chronicling the post-FIRE transition at: https://evgeniagotfi.wordpress.com/

RedmondStash

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2016, 06:07:06 PM »
Great thread. Commenting to follow.

Frugal_is_Fab

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2016, 02:01:01 PM »
Wow , this is great.  Thanks for posting it.   I'm in my last year Pre-FIRE!  Yippeee!

Frugal_is_Fab

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2016, 02:22:01 PM »
I am doing something that some Pre FIRE folks might be interested in.    Because my husband is taking a voluntary layoff in November which will result in a lump sum payment of about 40 weeks pay for severance, our taxes will be INSANE for 2016 but very low in 2017.   We live in the high tax state of California.    I am planning to have about $10000 over withheld for my California taxes.    The Cal taxes withheld will be an itemized deduction for 2016 but when refunded in 2017 will become income for that year.  Fed marginal tax bracket will be 33% in 2016 and 25% in 2017.    I look at this as an 8% tax free return on that money which would be hard to beat with any other short term investment.   
Something to think about if you have a similar situation.

Does anyone see "holes" in this plan?

jan62

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2016, 03:50:52 PM »
great thread thankyou, hope it gets stickied --  (only other thing I thought of was cancelling income protection insurance)

rahby1us

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2016, 09:10:35 AM »
One I have read elsewhere: Get a HELOC on any residential property you own which has substantial equity. It will be easier to obtain while you are still employed.

The one I got from Penfed on my old house had no minimum draw and I only paid a few hundred bucks for an appraisal (which I found useful anyway, as it had been several years since I bought the house).

Could I ask why you would do this, I'm not extremely familiar with HELOC's but trying to learn the benefits (and any drawbacks) that might apply from this tactic. Thanks!

Frugal-Investor

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2016, 12:21:02 PM »
One additional thing to consider adding to the: "One Month Before" section of your excellent list.

What I will do next Tuesday (followed by a set of activities or projects that are interesting and draw you away from employment). Here's the story behind this list.

When I talked with my younger brother about my intent to step away from my job, he guessed that I'd be unlikely to return to the world of employment. He didn't ask me what I would do with my time, but rather said: "OK, say your last day is a Friday; I bet you'll take Monday to do nothing. I can picture you doing nothing for less than a day. What will you do starting that Tuesday?"

From his question, I built a list that I ended up calling the Eight Challenges. The list was made up of specific goals I wanted to achieve like getting great veggies from my garden and getting certified with my dog as a therapy dog team so I could do literacy work at a local school. Each challenge was was specific but the ground they covered together was quite broad -- the antithesis of my work. Because it was specific (x push-ups, y sit-ups, z swim work-outs each week), it gave me structure right when I eliminated employment as the main framework in my day-to-day life. It became a transition plan or work rebound approach. After about 6 months (perhaps decompression?), the list became less of a focus. Some of you familiar with balanced scorecards may guess that the challenge list had that origin and I think you could be right.

notquitefrugal

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2016, 08:08:21 PM »
Could I ask why you would do this, I'm not extremely familiar with HELOC's but trying to learn the benefits (and any drawbacks) that might apply from this tactic. Thanks!

As noted, it's easier to qualify for and obtain the HELOC when you have earned income you can show. If you're asking what you would use it for, a few things come to mind. Unplanned expenditures, and even planned ones like home renovations, vehicle replacement, etc... If you took out a large chunk of money from your portfolio to do those things, it could trigger capital gains (if in a taxable account) or income tax (if in a tax-deferred account). It can be more economical to take a draw on the HELOC to pay for whatever, then pay it off over the course of several years.

georgicus

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2016, 01:35:58 AM »
Could I ask why you would do this, I'm not extremely familiar with HELOC's but trying to learn the benefits (and any drawbacks) that might apply from this tactic. Thanks!

Just to be clear - what you want to do is set up a HELOC so that you can draw on it in case of emergency, you don't want to actually have a big new loan.  The way mine worked, I got a credit line of $60k but just borrowed 5k.  The rest is still available now even though I retired a couple years ago.

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2016, 07:46:00 PM »
Many thanks to everyone for the additional ideas. They've been added to the list!

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2016, 07:46:43 PM »
Start preloading the CD ladder for your withdrawal.

Where would you you suggest this be placed in the list? Thanks!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2016, 06:49:08 AM »
Start preloading the CD ladder for your withdrawal.

Where would you you suggest this be placed in the list? Thanks!

The idea of a CD ladder is to prevent selling funds when the markets are low.

So, my suggestion is that this should be done atleast a year before FI.

Dr. Doom has a nice article on the drawdown strategy here https://livingafi.com/2014/05/18/drawdown-part-3-strategy/


With This Herring

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2016, 06:26:50 PM »
Possibilities:
  • Establish non-work-email contact with clients/coworkers/vendors with whom you have become personally friendly
  • Copy any future-useful documents from work computer as applicable (useful Excel templates that you created, etc.)
  • Copy internet bookmarks from work computer
  • Accountants:  If you prepared your personal income tax returns with the firm's software, make sure that you have copies of ALL of them at home and that any versions you leave behind are at least password-protected if they cannot be deleted entirely.
Because your toaster got hacked because you tried to watch porn on your blender.

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Go soak your beans.  You know you keep forgetting.

MandalayVA

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2016, 01:15:17 AM »
Following.
Follow my road to semi-FIRE here:  The Road To Mandalay

Post-corporate life blog: Mandalay At Play

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2016, 06:57:57 PM »
Possibilities:
  • Establish non-work-email contact with clients/coworkers/vendors with whom you have become personally friendly
  • Copy any future-useful documents from work computer as applicable (useful Excel templates that you created, etc.)
  • Copy internet bookmarks from work computer
  • Accountants:  If you prepared your personal income tax returns with the firm's software, make sure that you have copies of ALL of them at home and that any versions you leave behind are at least password-protected if they cannot be deleted entirely.
[/i]

Good points - adding them to the list - thank you!

CanuckExpat

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2016, 04:21:25 PM »
If you are interested in charitable giving, consider optimizing tax benefit while still earning income. Discussed a bit in this thread: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/charitable-giving/
Was targetting Freedom35 but ended up retiring a couple years early. Currently Based in Buffalo for the summer.

Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2016, 09:08:44 PM »
If you are interested in charitable giving, consider optimizing tax benefit while still earning income. Discussed a bit in this thread: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/post-fire/charitable-giving/

Thank you - added!

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2016, 01:09:35 PM »
For you techies, some suggestions generously liberated from cobweb site leavingmicrosoft.com.

Check your social security benefits (USA workers) - sign-up for an online account at socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.  See the earnings the government thinks you've earned over the past few years.  If there are mistakes, contact them and fix it. See the estimated social security retirement check you might receive when you reach 65-to-70.  Read "Get What's Yours" by Larry Kotlikoff to learn more about getting the most out of SSN.
Buy computer gear - using a company laptop / desktop machine?  Time to get something you can use at home / on-the-road. Find out where your company's out-of-service PC's go (ex: PC-Recycle) and buy a similar used machine.
Forward your mail - any 'snail mail' going to the office should be given your home address.  Any on-line accounts using the 'work email' address - update them to your personal email.
Remember your friends - write down your friends names, email addresses, and phone numbers while you still have access to the corporate email server.  Hard-copy or soft-copy.
Look at COBRA insurance rates - compare to other health insurance plans available to you via ACA, corporate alumni groups, CostCo, etc.
Ask HR about 'Rule of 55' 401k options - (55+) does your 401k plan support distributions under the 'Rule of 55' (distribute funds to yourself without penalty from 401k if quit/fired/retire the year you turn 55 or later)?  Some do, some don't.  401k distributions are taxed at post-FIRE tax rate. For those between 55 & 59-1/2, this can bridge expense funding until penalty free IRA withdrawals are available.

Health club - convert that corporate sponsored health club membership into a personal one.  Or, pick up a used bike and some free weights from CraigsList.
Exercise stock options - you generally have 60-to-90 days to exercise company stock options after leaving employment. YMMV.
Join Alumni groups - keep in touch with former co-workers.  Many companies have 'alumni groups' you can join for things like discounts on company products, philanthropic volunteer opportunities, etc. Also social media (i.e. FaceBook/LinkedIn) has 'Alumni groups' for most companies.
Balance - find balance in your life. Many yoga, or Tai-Chi classes available for next to nothing.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 03:38:17 PM by Mother Fussbudget »



Red Badger

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2016, 03:57:18 PM »
A small note from an ex-road warrior.I see a lot of these posts are not just FI, but also ditching the corporate beast. Be mindful of your SO. Several years ago, I negotiated a work from home arrangement when not travelling. I was 100+ nights on the road at that time. Then, in 2015, my travel dropped to less than 25 nights out. Suddenly, I was home week in and week out, and initially, stressed out my stay at home SO a LOT.

We converted an extra bedroom to a home office (really, just a place for me to be out of her way). These days, my big job is to make breakfast for us, then head to the home office (or, weather permitting, the deck) and stay the hell out of her way.

My point is, if you are soon leaving FT work and going to be home for a while, plan for some adjustments.

I have given retirement notice - leaving June - July 2017. My own plan is to work PT until SS at 62 (a little over 2 years away,  once I exit) at an active job - no sitting at a desk staring into a screen. I really don't need the money, but want to be active and would be OK if I got paid for it.

Eisenhower said it best, "Plans are useless, planning is essential."

CanuckExpat

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2016, 02:10:37 PM »
A small note from an ex-road warrior.I see a lot of these posts are not just FI, but also ditching the corporate beast. Be mindful of your SO.
...
My point is, if you are soon leaving FT work and going to be home for a while, plan for some adjustments.
...
Eisenhower said it best, "Plans are useless, planning is essential."

This is a good point, and I'll add for those relevant: consider the impact on you if you have children at home when you quit your job
I hadn't thought ahead to realize that quitting/retiring while you have children at home means spending a lot of time with them, that can be tiring depending on how you interact with toddlers. A little forethought would have made that clear, but in the excitement of quitting my job, I hadn't thought about it.

Something worth considering.
Was targetting Freedom35 but ended up retiring a couple years early. Currently Based in Buffalo for the summer.

BuffaloStache

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2016, 03:16:17 PM »
This is a good point, and I'll add for those relevant: consider the impact on you if you have children at home when you quit your job
I hadn't thought ahead to realize that quitting/retiring while you have children at home means spending a lot of time with them, that can be tiring depending on how you interact with toddlers. A little forethought would have made that clear, but in the excitement of quitting my job, I hadn't thought about it...

I'm still a long way from FIRE, but I think this is an excellent point. Once you leave work you'll be spending a lot more time with your kids, family, etc., so be sure to think about that ahead of time and get ready for it.
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tonysemail

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2016, 03:21:48 PM »
A small note from an ex-road warrior.I see a lot of these posts are not just FI, but also ditching the corporate beast. Be mindful of your SO.
...
My point is, if you are soon leaving FT work and going to be home for a while, plan for some adjustments.
...
Eisenhower said it best, "Plans are useless, planning is essential."

This is a good point, and I'll add for those relevant: consider the impact on you if you have children at home when you quit your job
I hadn't thought ahead to realize that quitting/retiring while you have children at home means spending a lot of time with them, that can be tiring depending on how you interact with toddlers. A little forethought would have made that clear, but in the excitement of quitting my job, I hadn't thought about it.

Something worth considering.

what change would you make in the last year before FIRE?
would you really work OMY to pay for something like after school care?

CanuckExpat

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2016, 06:28:16 PM »
what change would you make in the last year before FIRE?

Good question, I don't want to speak too much for Red Badger, but perhaps I'd generalize along the lines of "Think about how you will spend time with other family members at home, and how your relationships may change"? Or so..
Or more specifically: Consider child care alternatives or implications, etc.

It's more a feelings and how you spend your time question, but worth considering.

would you really work OMY to pay for something like after school care?

A little less actionable, but something I'd wondered. A moot point in our case, but for me it would have been working long enough until we could also fund daycare, at which point we wouldn't need daycare anymore..
Was targetting Freedom35 but ended up retiring a couple years early. Currently Based in Buffalo for the summer.

money_bunny

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2017, 05:48:29 PM »


Consider entering therapy (especially if it is covered by insurance) to deal with any mental health issues related to work/family before you FIRE -- these things can hit hard once you no longer have work occupying much of your time


Thank you for putting this in there.

Dicey

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2017, 10:33:41 AM »
PTF. I've been FIRE for four years, but DH is still working. He loves his job and is earning towards a nice pension and, more importantly, nice healthcare benefits. There is plenty here for me to work on as we approach his retirement date.

I can really see how much easier it is if spouses retire in sequence, not at the same time.
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Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2017, 11:09:41 PM »
These are great points. I didn't really see a way to add the to the pinned checklist, but am glad there here for folks to read and consider. I think FIRE home and social life are extremely important elements that often don't get the attention and trials runs needed. I used to think that I'd settle down in one place and foster dogs, but after more than a year of considering van dwelling and going back-and-forth on whether I want to do it, I think I'll end up spending a few years on the road. (Easy since I don't own property or have SO and/or kids.) I'm interested to see what that adventure will bring to my social life.

chasesfish

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2017, 06:54:23 PM »
Can you add a section about housing?

If you have a mortgage rate, check into refinancing one more time.  This will be more difficult.

If you are planning to move/buy, if you need a mortgage, buy as a 2nd home prior to quitting work.  You're only required to be employed through the day of closing, then turn in your notice afterwards.
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Exhale

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Re: pre-FIRE checklist
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2017, 07:58:46 PM »
Done - thank you for the tips. I'm not a home owner so if anyone else has more suggestions, please let me know.