Author Topic: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.  (Read 11399 times)

Apocalyptica602

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(Sorry if this may be better located in the Overheard at work thread, but I was figuring this might generate more targeted discussion)

So a co-worker announced their impending retirement at the age of 60.

From a mustachian perspective I'm proud of his accomplishment, he started saving for retirement later than most (at 37) and said he and his wife sat down with a financial advisor and laid out a ~20 year plan to essentially go from 0 to retired, he reached his number and waited until age 60 to pull the plug.

He's almost finished selling his home here and moving to a lower cost of living area to a brand new built home that is fully paid for as well as selling one of their cars and becoming a one car family.

When 2008 happened and everyone started to freak out (himself included) he listened to his financial advisor who told him to max out your 401k contribution and buy buy buy. He did, and once the economy returned he noticed that he was able to still get by and kept his max contribution going.

I'm impressed because he doesn't outwardly appear to be super mustachian, but is just a regular guy who worked hard, had a 30-35 year career with no college degree, made average to maybe slightly above average money, saved it, and will be enjoying a comfortable and hopefully healthy retirement with his wife.

The reason that I'm posting this on the Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy is: Everyone at work is aghast at how this is possible.

Here's some of the stuff I'm hearing from people:

"wow he must be so lucky"
"most of his saving was after his kids moved out, no way I could do that now"
"I can barely put 5 to 10 grand away a year and something always happens that makes me tap into it"
"I'm 63 and still got at least another 5 years of work left".


These are all Engineers / Managers etc making from 80k-130k+ individually, let alone those that have working spouses.

I 'joke' with him and say how jealous I am and hopefully I'll be following in his footsteps in the next ~15 years or so. To which everyone laughs (as I intended). Little do they know I'm investing >$50K per year with a networth of $200k at 26, with my fiancee and I making no more money than most of their households do.

I sometimes worry that I'm not investing enough or reducing my spending as much as I should... but it's times like this that make me realize how much of an outlier most of us on these forums really are.

MgoSam

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 12:44:27 PM »
I can only hope that he can be a positive role model for his coworkers, and a positive reinforcement to you (though I doubt you will need the reinforcement, as your nest egg at your age is just plain AWESOME).

Out of curiosity, is he also an engineer? How did he get to become one without a college education?

austin

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 12:45:30 PM »
Good for them.

It's amazing how some people just don't get it, but then I look at all the huge trucks and cars on the road and remember where that money is going and how there are plenty of opportunities for people to throw it away.

Apocalyptica602

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 12:58:04 PM »
I can only hope that he can be a positive role model for his coworkers, and a positive reinforcement to you (though I doubt you will need the reinforcement, as your nest egg at your age is just plain AWESOME).

Out of curiosity, is he also an engineer? How did he get to become one without a college education?

Haha, well thank you, I read the forums here so I never feel that I'm doing that much better than everyone else, then I talk to my peers or co-workers and realize I'm doing damn well.

Currently his title is 'Mechanical Designer', which you'd think is a draftsman but he has a technical aptitude and is able to design, model, fabricate and build things instead of just doing draftsman work.

Although over his career and working in other industries he's gone back and forth with the title 'Engineer' due to his skillset, depending on each company's respective 'HR policy' that allows un-degreed people to be called an Engineer.

Either way he's salaried and I'd assume he makes between 60-70k a year. (I picked up a context clue that he started dumping '26%' into his 401k to max it, which at the 2008 limits of 15,500 would be just about 60k salary)

mm1970

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 01:08:09 PM »
I can only hope that he can be a positive role model for his coworkers, and a positive reinforcement to you (though I doubt you will need the reinforcement, as your nest egg at your age is just plain AWESOME).

Out of curiosity, is he also an engineer? How did he get to become one without a college education?

Haha, well thank you, I read the forums here so I never feel that I'm doing that much better than everyone else, then I talk to my peers or co-workers and realize I'm doing damn well.

Currently his title is 'Mechanical Designer', which you'd think is a draftsman but he has a technical aptitude and is able to design, model, fabricate and build things instead of just doing draftsman work.

Although over his career and working in other industries he's gone back and forth with the title 'Engineer' due to his skillset, depending on each company's respective 'HR policy' that allows un-degreed people to be called an Engineer.

Either way he's salaried and I'd assume he makes between 60-70k a year. (I picked up a context clue that he started dumping '26%' into his 401k to max it, which at the 2008 limits of 15,500 would be just about 60k salary)

Good for him.

But in 2008, he was over 50, and he probably would have been allowed to put more into his 401k for "catch up" contributions?  So he could have been at almost $80k.

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 02:20:00 PM »
In the seven years I have been working in my "division" (which started out with around 20 people) only one person has truly retired despite the average age being well over 55.  We have people working past 65, people who "retired" then went to work for another company, and people who were laid off and didn't go back to work.  The one guy that actually retired at 62 had a rough couple of years in terms of production and was "coached" into retirement.  Retirement is pretty traumatic around here.     

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2015, 02:21:35 PM »
Either way he's salaried and I'd assume he makes between 60-70k a year. (I picked up a context clue that he started dumping '26%' into his 401k to max it, which at the 2008 limits of 15,500 would be just about 60k salary)

Good for him.

But in 2008, he was over 50, and he probably would have been allowed to put more into his 401k for "catch up" contributions?  So he could have been at almost $80k.

Correctamundo. With his age making him eligible for catch-up contributions, his maximum contribution for 2014 was $23,000, meaning that his salary would have been $88k if he was maxing out via 26% of salary going into it.

merula

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 09:19:28 PM »
Good for your coworker! And good for you for being on the same track.

I saw a similar thing a few years ago when a higher-up retired at 55. She made at least $200k/year in just salary, DINK, and in her announcement speech talked about how early in her career she was influenced by others who retired "early" and made it her goal to do that. She was a great leader and it was a bit of a shock to see her go, but the comments were very similar to what you heard.

"Well of course SHE can do that, what about the rest of us?"
"I bet she chose the full pension." [Due to lots of M&A activity in the 90's, there's a variety of retirement benefits at my company. As I understand it, at some point most people got offered the choice of a lump sum cash payment or a lifetime traditional pension. And most took the cash.]
"Well, obviously she was never really serious about this place."

dragoncar

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 09:41:20 PM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.

M from Loveland

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 10:58:41 PM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.
Hi dragoncar, I enjoy reading your responses in the forum, you always nailed it.
Regarding reading crazy case studies about burning money, MMM did a cool experiment not so long ago about blowing away 1,000 in a week.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/03/04/an-enjoyable-experiment-wasting-1000/
I guess if you do a couple of those during the year, and add some reckless spending like dinning out during regular weekdays and so, you can get to pretty good idea of how to spend tons of money on day to day basis, without having an expensive house, new car and such. It's just plain consumer sucka style of living ;)

M.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 11:17:42 PM by M from Loveland »

happyfeet

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2015, 06:14:53 AM »
Thanks Apocalyptica602 for that story.  It will be pretty  much our story too DH can retire at 58 or 60 after about that same amount of income (maybe a bit higher) and that is paying for two college educations.  We always lived on one income when I worked and saved.  Looking back I probably blew too much money on junk for sure and from this MMM site am trying to instill in my 20 something kids to save save save but still enjoy life and not to accumulate crap! I have many friends who are no where near retirement yet in the exact same boat you mentioned above.

The biggest lesson I have learned when buying stuff is get the best for the best value. Over the years bought needed stuff but went cheap and ended up replacing.  Things like furniture, pots, knives come to mind.

That is totally awesome you have that much banked.  You can for sure retire earlier than 60!

boarder42

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2015, 06:15:57 AM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.

my wife and i are both engineers and can be retired relatively early at 38 on an annual spend of 60k  a year.  i'm still working to isolate where all this money is going.  we travel alot and i do own a boat, so there is some parts to it there but the boat is maybe 3k a year in cost.  and the vacations since i travel for work and travel hack are maybe 3k a year.  so 10% of our total spend.  so i need to isolate where this money goes.  we dont eat out maybe 2 or 3x a month... our grocery bills are around 4k a year ... i factor out mortgage principal in my calcs and we still spend around 60k a year.  i've got a spread sheet of must spends and they total around 44k for the 2 of us so i guess vacation and boat and eating out probably fill out that extra 10-15k i'm missing

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2015, 09:14:00 AM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.

I don't understand it either. We're not terribly frugal and non-mortgage spending is maybe $30-40K (with some fancy travel). At $150k income we have a bit extra. Even if we bought ipads, TVs and SUVs every few years (like most people) I can't imagine this adding up to more than a few thousand more per year. That would still leave us with decent amount to save. Where does all the money go?!

partgypsy

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2015, 09:57:14 AM »
If you think that's bad, I stupidly mentioned to my MIL my goal is to retire at 62, which has freaked out my MIL. She has now brought up a couple different times, how I really don't want to do that, how that will really affect my retirement, etc etc. So I say, well that is my goal, if things change I can always work longer but that is my goal.

What I haven't told her, is if I continue what I am doing, at that age I will have take home income (combination of ss, pension, and retirement savings) that is at least 120% of my current income, but with no house payment and kids hopefully launched (well at least all older than 21).  I didn't tell her that, because I don't want to count my chickens before they are hatched. 



« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 09:58:53 AM by partgypsy »

mm1970

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2015, 12:32:02 PM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.

Yeah right?  We are both engineers, and our spending is higher than I'd like it to be.  $55k last year not including the mortgage, and I'm trying to drill down to see where it is all going (I lost track of it all after the second baby.)  I think it's nickel and diming, plus daycare (which just went up hugely, ouch!)

But here's what I see in my coworkers - most of them are on the frugal side, but we all have our issues.
- expensive houses (average house in my town, starter home, about $700k)
- cars (pickup trucks, SUVs), plus clown car commutes (I am personally guilty of the commute)
- the occasional expensive gym membership
- meals out.  At $10 a day. (lunch)
- vacations.  A couple a year, to Hawaii, Europe, Australia, Skiing in Utah, Vegas.  Some people have $10k tp $30k or more budgets
- food.  I have a couple of friends who do takeout AND/OR shop at the farmer's market at the tune of $2000 a month
- cable TV.  This is easily big bucks.  Heck, we only have internet and phone and it went up to $123 a month. So next week we are going to call and try to get it cut by reducing speed and dropping the phone.
- cell phones. Engineers love them.  And they easily spend $80 a person on their cell phone package, not to mention the new Iphone 6
- Kids.  daycare alone is expensive, then there is the "right" preschool.  We spend on after school care and swim lessons and ONE after school activity.  But it's not uncommon for parents to spend on traveling soccer, plus enrichment activities, plus clothing
- school or private school.  Our public school is broke, I donate at least a few thousand a year, and not to mention the time...
- date nights.  Babysitting isn't cheap.  (We almost never go on dates.) Concerts, very nice meals out.  Movies.
- electronics - video games, Ipads, etc.  "Why not it's only 300 dollars?"
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 12:58:39 PM by mm1970 »

gimp

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2015, 01:15:45 PM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.

I work in the bay area. Most engineers aren't entirely stupid - 10% isn't a lot, but I think most save at least 10%, because it's honestly hard not to. Automatic enrollment in 401k at 6-8% (to max out employer match), and employee stock purchase plan, put you above that easily.

But. Let's pretend someone is getting paid $100k.

- Taxes. If you don't save, they're higher, too. This might be $35k a year with no deductions for savings.
- A nice new porsche every 5-7 years. And two hours a day driving it, and also parking it if you live in the city. And maintenance. This can be $20k a year.
- Rent. A one-bed in the city can be had for $2k, which is $24k a year. Let's say you have a cat and round it up to $25k a year.

Just between rent, car and commute, and taxes, the $100k engineer is down to $20k. Simply add in eating out and going out for drinks ($5k a year), destination travel for vacation or hobbies ($5k a year), groceries ($3k a year), nearby travel and activities ($2k a year), and the rest of the $5000 is spent on impulse purchases and tech gear and toys... literally zero left, living paycheck to paycheck, with a fantastic car, decent apartment, nice computer, cool tech gadgets, sweet vacations, and lots of fun going out, until all of those things are just normal and not fun anymore about two years later.

zephyr911

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2015, 01:40:22 PM »
I 'joke' with him and say how jealous I am and hopefully I'll be following in his footsteps in the next ~15 years or so. To which everyone laughs (as I intended). Little do they know I'm investing >$50K per year with a networth of $200k at 26, with my fiancee and I making no more money than most of their households do.

I sometimes worry that I'm not investing enough or reducing my spending as much as I should... but it's times like this that make me realize how much of an outlier most of us on these forums really are.
Hahaha... yes, you are an outlier. Don't let off the pedal or anything, but don't stress over it.
I know you're just trying to avoid awkwardness, but don't you think some of them might benefit from your revealing a bit more? You don't have to go into details, and some people find it off-putting to discuss exact numbers, but the fundamentals - just being more deliberate, analyzing your assumptions, asking what truly makes you happy, carefully differentiating needs vs. wants, taking charge and giving yourself more options - might be of interest to almost anyone.
I don't talk about what I'm making or what I've put away, but people around me know we moved to a smaller house so our old one could start working for us as a rental, and they know we live well but we limit spending so we can invest for the future. They know I got really burned out a while back and busted my ass for a year straight, saving money from side work, gaining other skills, to have the ability to quit. Even my boss knows. They know that my near-SWAMI status means I like the job more now that I don't feel so trapped. I don't think I've changed anyone's life but I think I've made some people think about things, about there being more than one way to go through life.

zephyr911

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2015, 01:43:49 PM »
If you think that's bad, I stupidly mentioned to my MIL my goal is to retire at 62, which has freaked out my MIL. She has now brought up a couple different times, how I really don't want to do that, how that will really affect my retirement, etc etc. So I say, well that is my goal, if things change I can always work longer but that is my goal.

What I haven't told her, is if I continue what I am doing, at that age I will have take home income (combination of ss, pension, and retirement savings) that is at least 120% of my current income, but with no house payment and kids hopefully launched (well at least all older than 21).  I didn't tell her that, because I don't want to count my chickens before they are hatched.
You must really love your job. My goal has always been "as early as freaking possible". My debate right now is between going full-bore till 40 or thereabouts, or going part-time at 37 even if it means I am at least partially working "just for the paycheck" till my mid-40s. But I've never been engaged in a field I really dig.
I plan on working even harder at all the other stuff once I have the time to do it, and for as long as I live... but I've never figured out how to turn a profit from my passions.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2015, 02:18:54 PM »
I find this incredibly bizarre. I've mentioned it here before, but growing up, I always assumed that a normal retirement age was around 55 - because that's when my dad's parents retired. On my mom's side, my grandfather died at age 49 (before I was born), but my grandmother never worked and lived another 40 years off of his pension and SS.

At my first job, I thought the HR people were smoking crack when they gave me retirement projections that assumed I'd retire at 65. My dad recently retired at age 54, although he's started a small business in the meantime. Not that he needs the money. I don't know what his pension pays, but he recently complained that he was paying $40,000 a year in income tax.

zephyr911

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2015, 02:34:22 PM »
I find this incredibly bizarre. I've mentioned it here before, but growing up, I always assumed that a normal retirement age was around 55 - because that's when my dad's parents retired. On my mom's side, my grandfather died at age 49 (before I was born), but my grandmother never worked and lived another 40 years off of his pension and SS.

At my first job, I thought the HR people were smoking crack when they gave me retirement projections that assumed I'd retire at 65. My dad recently retired at age 54, although he's started a small business in the meantime. Not that he needs the money. I don't know what his pension pays, but he recently complained that he was paying $40,000 a year in income tax.
My investing partner paid at least that much last year... and to hear him tell it, wasn't saving anything until we started our partnership. (We all start from where we are, right?)

Apocalyptica602

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2015, 02:34:51 PM »
I 'joke' with him and say how jealous I am and hopefully I'll be following in his footsteps in the next ~15 years or so. To which everyone laughs (as I intended). Little do they know I'm investing >$50K per year with a networth of $200k at 26, with my fiancee and I making no more money than most of their households do.

I sometimes worry that I'm not investing enough or reducing my spending as much as I should... but it's times like this that make me realize how much of an outlier most of us on these forums really are.
Hahaha... yes, you are an outlier. Don't let off the pedal or anything, but don't stress over it.
I know you're just trying to avoid awkwardness, but don't you think some of them might benefit from your revealing a bit more? You don't have to go into details, and some people find it off-putting to discuss exact numbers, but the fundamentals - just being more deliberate, analyzing your assumptions, asking what truly makes you happy, carefully differentiating needs vs. wants, taking charge and giving yourself more options - might be of interest to almost anyone.
I don't talk about what I'm making or what I've put away, but people around me know we moved to a smaller house so our old one could start working for us as a rental, and they know we live well but we limit spending so we can invest for the future. They know I got really burned out a while back and busted my ass for a year straight, saving money from side work, gaining other skills, to have the ability to quit. Even my boss knows. They know that my near-SWAMI status means I like the job more now that I don't feel so trapped. I don't think I've changed anyone's life but I think I've made some people think about things, about there being more than one way to go through life.

That's a good idea, I do that certainly, but in limited amounts. For instance, one of my friends here is a junior engineer who's about 3-4 years younger than I am. I know what he makes and he knows what I make and how much I save, we're open about that because we're friends. He's made some antimustachian purchases and has a decent amount of school debt (him and fiancee recently graduated), and is focusing on plans to pay it down within a few years, have his fiancee pick up a higher paying job, and is certainly concerned about money and planning for the future.

I do have semi serious conversations with other people about how I legitimately intend to be able to stop working by ~40-45 if I choose, and how I'm going to do it. Although usually those conversations are just met with 'Oh wow... I couldn't do that. So anyway --'.

I try and avoid awkwardness because society makes it awkward to discuss money. I wish salaries were public knowledge in my fortune 500 company, or at least well published ranges based on job title.

I have no issues telling someone what I make if they're asking me out of genuine curiosity because they're wondering if they're getting underpaid, career planning decisions, or whatever else. I do get a little hesitant when I feel that their intentions is simply looking for a dick measuring contest (excuse the vulgarity, haha).

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2015, 02:42:47 PM »
That's a good idea, I do that certainly, but in limited amounts. For instance, one of my friends here is a junior engineer who's about 3-4 years younger than I am. I know what he makes and he knows what I make and how much I save, we're open about that because we're friends. He's made some antimustachian purchases and has a decent amount of school debt (him and fiancee recently graduated), and is focusing on plans to pay it down within a few years, have his fiancee pick up a higher paying job, and is certainly concerned about money and planning for the future.

I do have semi serious conversations with other people about how I legitimately intend to be able to stop working by ~40-45 if I choose, and how I'm going to do it. Although usually those conversations are just met with 'Oh wow... I couldn't do that. So anyway --'.
A good stock response is "anyone can do it, with planning and dedication".
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I try and avoid awkwardness because society makes it awkward to discuss money. I wish salaries were public knowledge in my fortune 500 company, or at least well published ranges based on job title.

I have no issues telling someone what I make if they're asking me out of genuine curiosity because they're wondering if they're getting underpaid, career planning decisions, or whatever else. I do get a little hesitant when I feel that their intentions is simply looking for a dick measuring contest (excuse the vulgarity, haha).
Best thing about being a fed: everyone knows what everyone makes, more or less. There are pros and cons to it, but it dispenses with the dick-measuring for sure. It also reduces any speculation about my having some unique leg up.

partgypsy

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2015, 03:15:30 PM »
If you think that's bad, I stupidly mentioned to my MIL my goal is to retire at 62, which has freaked out my MIL. She has now brought up a couple different times, how I really don't want to do that, how that will really affect my retirement, etc etc. So I say, well that is my goal, if things change I can always work longer but that is my goal.

What I haven't told her, is if I continue what I am doing, at that age I will have take home income (combination of ss, pension, and retirement savings) that is at least 120% of my current income, but with no house payment and kids hopefully launched (well at least all older than 21).  I didn't tell her that, because I don't want to count my chickens before they are hatched.
You must really love your job. My goal has always been "as early as freaking possible". My debate right now is between going full-bore till 40 or thereabouts, or going part-time at 37 even if it means I am at least partially working "just for the paycheck" till my mid-40s. But I've never been engaged in a field I really dig.
I plan on working even harder at all the other stuff once I have the time to do it, and for as long as I live... but I've never figured out how to turn a profit from my passions.

It's not my dream job in what I want to do with my life, but compared to my post doc and research associate positions I had out of grad school, working really long hours, with no other life, for the privilege of 1/3 the pay, it does seem like a dream job in comparison. Get to spent time with my kids, even sometimes time for hobbies. I could probably do this job for another 20 years it wouldn't bother me at all. I visit this site more for advice and good ideas for "optimizing" my life, not necessarily to retire early. Oh and to me it does seem early, because my mother just retired at age 72, and my Dad still works part time to supplement his income and he's 82.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 03:29:06 PM by partgypsy »

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2015, 03:25:58 PM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.

Based on a few engineers I know, it goes to
--Teslas
--Guitars
--Fancy electric recumbent bicycles with titanium everything
--The latest super duper electronic whiz-bang gadget
--Professional setup at home for their hobby of machining or recording music or WoW
--Home theater with all the best 3-D TVs and whatever so they can watch Batman twice life-size

dragoncar

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2015, 03:38:37 PM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes-- I used to be a spendthrift but I still was able to max my retirement accounts with money to spare And at a lower salary.  The bank won't even give you a loan if your debt to income ratio is above what 35%? So the majority of expense cannot be the McMansion.

I really need to start reading more of the crazy case studies here and drill down into what could possibly burn that much money on a day to day basis.  I'm guessing it's a combo of expensive house, new car, and lavish vacations more than just consumer junk.  Right???

Or maybe we are just focusing on the vocal few.

Based on a few engineers I know, it goes to
--Teslas
--Guitars
--Fancy electric recumbent bicycles with titanium everything
--The latest super duper electronic whiz-bang gadget
--Professional setup at home for their hobby of machining or recording music or WoW
--Home theater with all the best 3-D TVs and whatever so they can watch Batman twice life-size

Yeah, I guess when you throw in cars=net income, things get pretty explainable.

Elle 8

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2015, 09:11:47 AM »
I had a similar experience when a co-worker retired at 63.5.  Her reasoning for 63.5 was that she could get 18 months of COBRA and then be eligible for MediCare (this was pre-ACA).  Well, no one could believe she was retiring!  They thought she was crazy!  I was thinking that would be my new plan (before that I just assumed I'd work until 65).  Another co-worker retired in his early 50s after an inheritance.  Again, people could not believe it.

Fast forward to now.  I've discovered MMM and now 55 is my optimistic goal, 59.5 at the latest (I know, not early, but I got a late start).

One Noisy Cat

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2015, 05:16:34 PM »
      When I retired four months ago at age 60 (discovering MMM last summer inspired me to move up the date by two years), one co-worker asked me if it was true it takes 30 days to get the first pension check.  I said yes. I was surprised when she said "how can they expect you to live for 30 days without a check- I want to retire in three years". I was surprised because while her personality is a little brusque, she is a good worker. So I said I keep six months worth of expenses in the bank (one week before I retired, my 1998 Nissan gave up the ghost, so a quick search found a good car for $3000-quick bank trip), not to mention the final paycheck  also had pay for 270 unused  vacation hours.  No problems waiting for pension money.
    She did mention once that her husband is disabled and retired, so maybe they don't have ready emergency funds.  And maybe she wanted to be sure about what to expect when her big day happens in 2017. 

MrsPete

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2015, 08:02:52 PM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes
Most people in our salary range have MUCH larger houses, drive MUCH more expensive cars, eat out MUCH more, spend MUCH more on clothing and other transitory purchases.  MUCH more.  That's where it goes. 

I suspect they wonder why my husband and I live in a modest house and drive a car beneath our means.  I think they believe we eat out infrequently because my cooking is so much better than restaurants.

No, it's easy to see where people's money is going.  It's going to lifestyle choices -- some made yesterday (student loans, credit cards), and some made today (fast food breakfast 5xs a week). 

Albert

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2015, 08:47:21 AM »
Retiring at age 58-65 is quite common here (earlier very rare). Actually I only know a handful of people here in Basel who worked full time till exactly 65. Why that particular range? Because traditional retirement here is pension based and you can start receiving early under certain circumstances. Also companies when times are tough the first option for reducing a workforce is to offer early retirement packages to your oldest and most expensive employees.

happyfeet

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2015, 07:13:18 AM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes
Most people in our salary range have MUCH larger houses, drive MUCH more expensive cars, eat out MUCH more, spend MUCH more on clothing and other transitory purchases.  MUCH more.  That's where it goes. 

I suspect they wonder why my husband and I live in a modest house and drive a car beneath our means.  I think they believe we eat out infrequently because my cooking is so much better than restaurants.

No, it's easy to see where people's money is going.  It's going to lifestyle choices -- some made yesterday (student loans, credit cards), and some made today (fast food breakfast 5xs a week).

Yes what Mrs Pete says.  Friends - same age as us and probably the same earnings over time.  DH can retire in a few years and they sadly are not even close(at least based on comments friend makes)  Saddled with fancy pants car debt, lots of stuff, and college loan debt for the kids. Spend Spend Spend is the lifestyle.

It is amazing to me now that a frugal lifestyle has really payed off.  I never paid that much attention to it but as you start to accumulate some real wealth over time - in a good market like this - it is really growing like crazy.

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Re: Co-worker retiring 'early' at 60, everyone at work is flabbergasted.
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2015, 09:21:21 AM »
I never understand how all these 100k+ engineers can be living paycheck to paycheck.  I just can't fathom where it all goes
Most people in our salary range have MUCH larger houses, drive MUCH more expensive cars, eat out MUCH more, spend MUCH more on clothing and other transitory purchases.  MUCH more.  That's where it goes. 

No, it's easy to see where people's money is going.  It's going to lifestyle choices -- some made yesterday (student loans, credit cards), and some made today (fast food breakfast 5xs a week).

This, absolutely.

Meals out are nuts, whenever my daughter spends the night with a friend the parents never seem to cook at home and this is multiple friends, not just one.  One of her friends made a comment to me that she loves having dinner at our house, we make fancy meals and everyone eats together at the table.  This said during a meal of meatloaf, roasted veggies and frozen corn.  Mind blowing. 

Also 100% on the cell phones, entertainment expenses and after school activities.  My daughter is in 8th grade and she has an iphone 4, almost everyone she knows has a 5 or 6.  I bought hers refurbished off ebay and we have a pre-paid plan.  Travel soccer and dance are ridiculously expensive.  Her clothes all come from thrift stores or Plato's Closet - most of the kids she knows go shopping regularly at the mall.  She has been to two concerts in her life, most of these kids go to 2-3 a year, if not more.  The examples go on and on and on.