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Assist Me Retire: I'm 49 years outdated, my spouse is 34 years outdated, we’ve four youngsters and saved $ 2.three million. I make $ 300,000 a yr, however "lose lots of sleep worrying about tomorrow" – when can I retire?

I am 49 years old (50 years old this year) and my wife is 34 years old. We have two young children under the age of 2 and twin girls aged 11 from my previous marriage. College for the twins is fully funded on a 529 plan, and I save monthly in 529 plans for my other two children.

I have had a good career in technology and make about $ 300,000 a year. We exhaust all retirement vehicles and apart from our primary residence we have no debt. We also have about eight residential rental income that brings us about $ 6,000 per month after all mortgages and expenses. Passive income if you will. Our target monthly costs are in the upper range, between $ 10,000 and $ 12,000.

In total, we have $ 1.7 million in IRA and 401 (k) assets and approximately $ 500,000 in cash savings and after-tax savings in Fidelity and E * TRADE accounts. All are in equity-heavy, aggressive portfolios, and I manage my IRA myself with an average return of 12%.

I started a new job in November 2020 after being laid off from my previous position due to COVID-19 and the need to reduce costs. At the age of 50 while I am busy, I fear that my job could end again and that another job search of more than 7 months would be incredibly difficult for my family and me. I'm losing a lot of sleep and worrying about tomorrow.

I want to retire and let my wife retire, probably in Colorado when I'm 58, if I'm not forced to retire earlier. I am obsessed with retirement calculators and trying to see if I can achieve that, but one tells me we'll be fine while another says that in 20 years I will be running out and running out of money.

Also, I have no idea how to look at health insurance costs for my family when they are inactive, and how to incorporate that into a plan where my spouse will outlive me by more than 20 years. I want to make sure she's fine and never runs out of money. We are both in good shape, we exercise, and we have good longevity on both sides of our family. She worked long enough to qualify for Social Security.

I want to retire because I will be an older father and I really love my wife and children. So if I can maximize my time with them without working but not sacrificing too badly for expenses, I'd love to do so. I just can't find a plan. I don't mind retirement, either as a consultant or maybe an hourly wage, but neither option is guaranteed.

Can you help?

See: & # 39; Retirement? How? "I'm 65 years old, I haven't saved anything and I'm coming out of bankruptcy

Dear Reader,

Even with retirement accounts of $ 1.7 million, additional $ 500,000 savings, and multiple sources of income, I understand why you may be worried about the future. You have a family that depends on you and the unexpected twists and turns of a pandemic certainly won't help.

The good news: retirement at 58 could very well be within your grasp, financial advisors said. And if you choose to step down from a full-time job but work in a specific role, e.g. Whether you work as a consultant or freelance, you have even more flexibility, said Jen Grant, financial advisor at Perryman Financial Advisory. "There are dozens of ways to achieve your goal," she said. "Now he should choose the best path, work towards it for eight years and reduce the stress and worry so that he can enjoy his young family."

One of the highest priority tasks that you will face when you retire at 58 (or before Medicare is available at 65) is health insurance. COBRA may be temporarily available after you have been separated from your old job. You have to make it to 65, however. From then on, you can apply for Medicare.

There are a few options that need to be covered, including saving for the costs that will later be incurred in the open market. accept part-time work with health benefits so that you can access health care, earn a little extra income, and still have more freedom than full-time work requires; or have your wife take a job covering family health insurance (if she has not already done so). Since you're healthy, you may also want to take a look at a Christian Health Sharing Company, which is a faith-based approach to health saving with members covering the costs of other people in need, Grant said.

To get an idea of ​​what health plans are currently costing on the market, visit Healthcare.gov. Note, however, that health spending has increased every year with no signs of stagnation.

You mention that your biggest worry right now is losing your job. This makes perfect sense, but try to dig a little deeper into why you have these fears. Do you think that you will not be able to adjust to a new job in the future? Or do you not have the skills to be an attractive employee? Is it that your current expenses would be way too high to handle if you were temporarily unemployed? Knowing this answer can help you figure out what to do next.

For example, if you are concerned that you will need to brush up on your skills (or develop new ones) to keep your job search short, start now. You may not have to do this for job applications, but doing one thing each week to brush up on old skills or learn new ones can keep you as a key element in your current business and choose a future hiring manager. Also, you may be able to use this training (in the form of a class or a YouTube video) for a higher salary later.

If you are concerned that you will lose your job because you think your ongoing expenses are temporarily too high and you know you have that rental income, now is the time to look at your cash inflows and outflows and ask yourself, what you would look like if you were out of work tomorrow. You obviously know how to save. So does the expense matter?

“Are you spending in areas that are irrelevant to you as a family? If so, yes, cut the costs, ”said Jeremy Finger, Certified Financial Planner, Founder and CEO of Riverbend Wealth Management.

There are a few other things you can do right now to help relieve the stress. Given the age difference between you and your wife, Grant recommends life insurance. You are a high earner and if something should happen to you, life insurance could help replace your income. In addition to life insurance, you should also look into disability insurance, she said.

It's okay to keep your investments in an aggressively allocated portfolio, but make sure you have a two to three year cost of living in a more conservative portfolio, Grant said. "This will protect him if the market gets mixed up in the year he plans to retire," she said. "He will not be forced to sell stocks at a loss or liquidate real estate." A larger emergency fund would also give you some convenience – the money could be used in an unexpected situation, or if nothing has happened by your scheduled retirement date, the money could ease the burden of transitioning into retirement.

Even if you aren't concerned about your investments, check them out regularly to make sure they are properly allocated. A balanced – the keyword here is "balanced" – 80% stocks / 20% bond portfolio or even a 90% / 10% mix could work with additional cash on hand like $ 200,000, but these portfolios need to be balanced. Said finger.

Read the column from MarketWatch "Retirement Hacks" for actionable advice for your own retirement savings journey

Finger had a few other thoughts based on your situation. He suggested consulting an attorney about putting your rental property in an LLC to protect liability and would also consider getting roof insurance to protect yourself. If you have $ 6,000 in rental income, you will only need about $ 4,000 to $ 6,000 per month for other income and investments (or $ 72,000 per year?). Therefore, he recommends using at least cash to be on the safe side.

I say this in almost all of my letters, but you should consider working with a financial planner who could come up with a financial plan for you. A professional can advise you on your investments – for retirement and college funding for kids – and can give you clarity on how to retire comfortably in the future. "He can outsource the worries to someone who does it for a living and then let them oversee the plan and adjust it as needed," Grant said.

If that doesn't interest you, do the job yourself. Make a complete financial plan for yourself, draw down what-if scenarios and keep it close by for you to view or make adjustments if life changes.

"You can't completely neutralize everything that could happen, but you can prepare the best you can," said Finger. “Be flexible too and prioritize your time and expenses. If he can spend more time with his family, any small shortcoming later in life, when he looks back, would be an easy compromise. "

Reader: Do you have a question for this letter writer? Add them in the comments below.

Do you have a question about your own retirement savings? Email us at HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com

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