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Question for group, phased retirement

July 30th, 2015 at 02:58 pm

HI all,

This is one of those 'how much questions'

I still have a possibility of paying off the 6 homes early and it is based on a gift which is not confirmed yet so feeling (what is the word) tense but hopeful and not wwanting to get excited before it is a sure thing. Smile . so no word on it yet.

Anyways I am feeling like my goal is 'save as much as I can' but when I think about it I do not know what my ultimate goal is. like when will I feel safe to leave this high paying job to move to a lower paying job and then to not working

Right now I am just working as much as I can which not really sure I can (with the temporary nature of my contracts) or want to (stress, health, no life) want to keep up forever

So thinking maybe like this

1. Phase 1-be content with a FULL TIME job (not contract)making around $100k but still in IT project management but having vacation etc. This would be a $40k+ drop from what I am at.I can transition to thsi where I am now provided one is available when my contract is up.
2. Phase 2- leave IT and work in a more fulfilling field (unclear what and I want to start thinking on this so I have a GOAL and vision),, make $50-60K full time..
3. Phase 3- stop working full time and just do contracts from time to time or take a social services type of job (love social services) or start new lower paying career likely in some helping field,

So these are my thoughts but they are vague and unclear and I want to put more detail around them so I have something to look forward to and a goal

Current thoughts
1. To enter phase 1--6 homes paid off, rental and personal emergency fund intact, 20K additional cash not invested, $175k left on the house, $400k savings and still pulling income from not for profit I run

2. to enter phase 2--6 homes AND 3 units paid off, similar emergency funds, 100k left on house and $550k savings

3. to enter phase 3--all above and house paid off and $750k saved

These are rough swag ideas but have to start somewhre. what am I missing? insurance needs? health factors? relationship factors? more emergency funds, self insure some things, some factors that my key things are in good shape (ie large house items or car have certain amount of life left in them), no pending large issues with rentals? no other debt?, firm social network? long term care insurance, certain health tests, maybe keeping my PMP (project manager certificate) in tact?

I am thinking also on phase 2 and 3 I shouldl have prepared for those phases by thikning through what I want to do and start preparing for the transition in the prior phase

6 Responses to “Question for group, phased retirement”

  1. AnotherReader Says:

    You may find a forum called to be of interest. Health insurance is one of the biggest issues. The ACA has lots of nuances. With income from the paid off houses, you will have a cushion, but you may need or want more. Lots of strategies for taking money from 401k's before age 59.5. Roth contributions can be withdrawn without penalty, and there is the option of converting T-IRA's to Roth IRA's in low income years and creating a Roth pipeline.

    It might be too edgy for you, but there is also a lot of early retirement information at Mr. Money Mustache, especially in the forums. Worth having a look if you have not done so.

    You will want to figure out your retirement expenses as best you can now. Start with your current expenses and modify them for changes that will occur as you approach retirement. Some of the more useful retirement calculators are firecalc (calculator for people to determine when they will be FI and ready to RE) and Fidelity's retirement income planner. has an "are you ready" list that will help you with finding and using the calculators.

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Just some random questions:

    How much net monthly income are you getting now from your rental properties after expenses?

    Minus that, $750K in savings may not be enough, given your relatively young age. You may still need to work f/t, not just contract jobs.

    What is your timeline for entering phase 1, 2 and 3? Why not establish a reasonable yet moderately aggressive time frame for each based on careful analysis of what's actually doable?

  3. Rachael777 Says:

    HI there. thanks for the thoughts. I did do Firecalc and with the expected NET income from the 6 homes and 3 units. no lines went to zero with $100k used as savings. I will check other other sites

    I have not set a timeline yet. Just trying to set goals I guess and then once those are set and I feel at ease with those I can work out how long it will take me to get there.

    With 6 homes paid off I will NET $3500 (this is after repairs, vacancy, mgmt, insurance taxes etc)
    With the 3 units paid I will NET an additional $2300 (after the same things taken out). T

    I am fairly confident w those #s as I have hit them fairly well so far but can take them down $500 to be sure. so $3000 from 6 homes.. $1800 from 3 units> I have had high costs and lots of vacancies in the past 2 years so there is the potential to raise those or inccrease the certainty as the properties smooth out.

    Monthly budget AFTER paying off the 6 homes and raising mortgage by an estimated $200 to go to a 15 year loan would be $4660. I can post but that assumes $3100 for the mortgage.

    I also get paid $1500-$1750 from the not for profit each month.

    I guess a wild swag would be to say maybe hit phase 1 in the next 2-3 years and then quickly move to phase 2 and 3 if the market cooperates. I can pay off the 3 units 6/18 IF I come up with $60k cash which would take away from investments.

    My swag calls for finding some way to get this house paid off or move to a differnt lower cost house and 'saving every dime I can'


  4. Rachael777 Says:

    So paying off the 6 homes if I continue to work the not for profit I shoulld be able to save almost all of what I earn or 'every dime I can' which should significantly raise my savings rate and propel me forward faster. This particular job gives me 3% match on the 401k and I am on target to max that out this year.. lots of advantages w this job. work at home.. LOTS of hours (good when you paid per hour)

  5. AnotherReader Says:

    You write about income, but the only expense you mention specifically is the mortgage. The $4,660 in total spending less $3,100 is only $1,560, and that seems too low, especially with ACA insurance.

    Have you tracked your spending over some period of time to understand how much you are spending and where? Have you done a full retirement spending budget that considers medical insurance, changing taxes (e.g. no SS/FICA if you have no earned income), and the areas where you will want to spend money, such as travel? Firecalc requires an accurate analysis of your spending to make its' analysis. Your confidence in your likelihood of success depends on the inputs into any of these calculators.

    In your shoes, I would consider posting your ideas, including the numbers, over at You will get a lot of feedback from people in similar situations. They will tell you if they think your budget is reasonable and if there is anything you may have not considered.

  6. Rachael777 Says:

    HI all Thanks for the input. I am not retiring tomorrow (wish I was) but let me get together some estimates and thoughts and start soliciting feedback on those websites and from others so I can set some clearer goals and start thinking. I think health is a big one and was thinking today that really for me to feel comfortable retiring (phase 3) I probably want to have maybe $800 k M in the bank in MONEY assets not homes. If I had that I would not feel so ill at ease carrying some balance on the house but without that I want the house paid off. Currently I am sitting at $100kish investments and $300k owed on the house..I am not sure if that seems like a small amount to have saved and I DO feel I am still pushing the ball up the hill but after I get to a certain point the investments are going to start earning money themselves so I will just keep plugging away here. I WISH I was sitting at $500k though right now. Maybe I need to set shorter term goals like maybe I should set a timeframe right now of when I want to hit $250k and then after that $500k. the intervals (absent a market downfall which will happen at some point)shoulld get shorten between each one but I need to enjoy life MORE on my way to my goal. Will start working on that.

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