Today marks the first of what I am calling my “Retirement Ramblings”. In these posts, I will share with you the events, the learnings, and my thoughts and comments that I have during my journey to my “Freedom Day” – the official first day of my retirement. But first, let me give you some background on my situation.
As I write this, I am approaching the age of penalty free IRA withdrawals and still working in Technology for a mega corp in the financial services industry. (Let’s call my mega corp “ABC Bank” for reference purposes.) I’ve been with “ABC Bank” for over 12 years, which is the longest I’ve ever worked at the same company. This is probably the best mega corp that I’ve ever worked for in terms of pay, benefits, and work environment. In fact, I’ve worked from home full-time since 2015. I haven’t attended an in-person meeting since 2014. And get this – I’ve NEVER met my current manager and my personal goal is to retire without having ever met him. Hard to beat those perks, huh?
Counting the Days Down to Retirement
Brenda and I have worked hard throughout our mega corp lives to raise our families, to keep the bills paid, and occasionally put some savings away for phase 2 of our lives – the “Freedom Phase”. By the way, Brenda worked for the same “ABC Bank” for 20 years before retiring. Today, I am getting closer and closer to that last day in Corporate America Land. Brenda and I are so looking forward to enjoying our days doing whatever we want.
Delaying Retirement – Healthcare is Sick
Unfortunately, we do not have access to any retiree medical benefits. Since the whole healthcare scene is in such a mess, we’re not comfortable enough yet to give up the regular paycheck and the employer sponsored healthcare plan to wonder into the healthcare abyss. For example, an ACA plan (I refuse to use that ‘Ob____care’ word) in our state as of this writing would cost us around $1500 per month in premiums plus $13,000 out of pocket. That works out to a tidy $31,000 per year in potential healthcare costs. That is more than our annual housing costs. Completely ridiculous and it’s probably only going to get uglier.
My Plan and My Retirement Timeline
My current plan for retirement is to see where things stand for healthcare (options and costs) and the strength of the financial markets starting around April 2018. If I feel comfortable and confident in the future of healthcare costs and the markets haven’t tanked, I will give my retirement notice around May 1 with a “Freedom Date” of June 1, 2018. Otherwise, I will take a year-by-year approach and continue to add to our retirement savings and make a retirement decision each April afterwards. Either way, it’s exciting to finally be this close to retirement and Brenda and I can’t wait to start the next chapter of our lives.
What about you? Are you retired? Are you getting close to retirement? Do you have a date or timeframe picked out yet? We love learning everything we can about retirement and would love to hear others’ stories.