Reader’s Story – Should I Quit My Job Now?

Today, a reader is looking for some help. She is struggling with the decision to retire early or keep working for 4 more years. Please read and share your comment with us.

Should I quit now and move to Puerto Vallarta?

I have been following Joe’s blog for a bit to see if I am making the right decision to retire before 60. I am 53 and my husband is 51.

Here’s the problem. I am struggling every day at work, physically and mentally. I am a nurse and I work for a military hospital. I was ready to quit last week, but my boss told me I was burned out and to take a week off and think about it. So I came home and my husband booked me a flight to Puerto Vallarta for 5 days to really figure out if I want to quit my job or not. I am wondering if I quit my job now, will we be able to meet our financial goals?

I’ll be honest; I’m not much into investing. I’m a little nervous with us going to retire in 4 years and taking chances with the stock market.  I know my husband says I’m making us poorer by not investing.

We married 13 years ago and decided then that we didn’t want to work forever. I make almost $50,000 a year and my husband makes $94,000 a year. Take home pay for my husband after medical, 457, retirement, and union dues taken out, is $4,600 a month.  We bought our home with what we could afford on my wages and it is nearly paid off. We did all the work on our home ourselves, including the roof and remodeling all the rooms.  We never took out loans, just paid cash, and did one project at a time. We are currently debt free. My husband works for the city and in 4 years, he will have 30 years in at the age of 55. I am also a public sector employee and in 4 years I will have 20 years in at the age of 57 1/2. Here is how we’re saving now.

  • $4,000 per month into our saving account. The current balance is around $250,000.
  • $500 per month to fund my husband’s 457 retirement saving.
  • $600 per month toward his city retirement plan.
  • $700 per month to my TSP account (a retirement account similar to 401k.)

When we retire in 4 years, we want to sell everything including our home and move to Puerto Vallarta with 2 suitcases. We have been going there a couple times a year for the last 14 years and have researched our move. We have dual citizenship.

Our Retirement Plan

After relocating to Puerto Vallarta, we will live off our savings account from 57½ till I turn 59½. We plan to rent in Puerto Vallarta.

  • At 59 ½, we will withdraw $2,500 a month from my TSP for a year and a half, then my husband turns 59 1/2 and I will drop mine down to $1,250 and he will draw out $1,250 a month from his 457.
  • At 62, I will receive $1,246 a month from Social Security and my husband at 62 will receive $1,628 a month from SS.
  • At 65, my pension will be $1,200 a month and my husband will draw on his pension at 65 which would be $4,040 a month. I will have survivor benefits.

We have budgeted $30,000 a year for expenses including our medical insurance in Mexico.  $2,500 per month is the high end for Puerto Vallarta.

If I retire early

Currently my husband has $220,000 in his 457 and I have $80,000 in my TSP. Even if I retire early, we will continue to add to our savings account at a slower pace. The rate of saving will decrease from $4,000 per month to $1,000 per month. I also won’t be able to add to my TSP since I will no longer be working.

Our current monthly expense is already low, but if I quit my job, we could cut back even more. I would ride my bike for daily small items at the grocery store and I can cook a lot more from scratch. I don’t have to spend extra money on clothes, shoes, and convenience foods. While we do not eat out, I buy a lot of convenience foods because I’m tired from work and don’t feel like cooking on weekdays.

Would you quit your job if you were in my position? We figured out that the difference in my retirement check would be $150 less a month if I quit now instead of in 4 years. When I ask the question of my peers, they all tell me nobody quits a $50,000 dollar a year job in this economy.

I would use the extra time to sell things in our house on ebay. We plan to put the house on the market in 3 years. So by that last year, we would have downsized and be ready to sell the house as soon as we are both retired. We would stay at my mother in law’s house during that last year after selling our home. The sale of our home, everything inside, and all 3 cars (including a completely restored 1966 Mustang) should bring in about $200,000 cash. Lastly, we do not have any big bills coming up after retirement because my son is grown up and he is supporting his own family.

Should I quit now?

Do you think this plan is doable or should I hang onto the job, even though physically and mentally it is draining me? Right now we are both healthy and have no health issues, but I can see more problems arising for me physically if I continue at this pace.

My husband is very supportive of me quitting my job. He doesn’t like seeing me upset every day. Lately, I spend every day crying because of the anxiety. I’m so overwhelmed and I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel. He was the one who booked the trip to Mexico for me to get away. I just got back on Wednesday by myself because he couldn’t get time off to go with me. He wanted me to make sure it was what I wanted to do. After the trip, I really want to put in my notice. But, I’m a young 54 and people around me just don’t see someone give up a good paying job with the economy the way it is. I just feel guilty for wanting to retire early, that’s why I would really like to hear what people have to say…

Any ideas or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Joe, for posting my story.

-C…

Joe’s Take

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sorry to hear about your anxiety. I know how you feel because I had some physical and mental issues during my last few years at work too. Every day was a struggle and I’m really glad I don’t have to do that anymore.

You have been preparing to retire early for a long time and I think it is time to reap the benefit. Your coworkers won’t understand your decision to quit because they probably haven’t been saving up like you have. Their monthly retirement budget probably isn’t as low as your budget either.

The $2,500 cost of living in Puerto Vallarta is quite good. You should be able to afford that easily with your saving, pension, and social security benefit. Your plan looks great because you’ll have extra money as social security and pension kick in. Financially, it looks like you will have a pretty comfortable retirement. I don’t think the $150 decrease from your pension will be a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

Four years will seem like an eternity when you don’t want to be there. I really think you should call it a career and start enjoying life again. Life is too short to be miserable, right?

My one advice would be to learn more about investing. If you retire early, you will have time to learn about it. Your retirement could be 30 to 40 years long. Your retirement looks really good for 15 to 20 years, but inflation will significantly erode your purchase power in 30 years. Investing some of your cash in conservative investments would be a good idea.

Best wishes,

-Joe

Image credit – flickr by Ian D. Keating

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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47 thoughts on “Reader’s Story – Should I Quit My Job Now?”

  1. I also am a fellow nurse and I want to warn you about “assuming” you can be hired again… I have seen at least in colorado a lot of age discrimination especially in nursing. Places here are hiring new grads over seasoned nurses. With experience comes cost unfortunately. Just something to think about! I have about 30 years of nursing left so I am living vicariously through you at the moment with dreams of retirement! Good Luck!

    Reply
  2. I would say ask to be laid off, and train the new person to replace you. This way you get a compensation package hopefully. Also there’s options where you can cash out the pension and invest it, and you will have control over the funds and a greater chance of investment growth. If invested right you can most likely match what the future pension will be in a few years. If this can be negotiated leave as soon as feasible if not, I will still retire. Good luck.

    Reply
  3. I agree with the consensus, I believe you are ready to quit your job.

    You two are obviously well prepared, and would likely be able to pare back more as needed. Add in that your husband makes a good income, and you will still be saving a good chunk of money, and I think you could definitely retire now.

    Worse case scenario, as others have mentioned – is that you could get some type of part-time job or less stressful job if it was needed. It may not pay as much, but again, you guys are operating out a financial position of strength.

    Reply
  4. Do it without regret. I’d rather be poor and free, than rich and working till I’m 65 and almost dead,if I even make it that far.
    I am in a similar situation. My company currently makes me work 50+ hours a week more often than not with only two days notice. I have missed out on so much life that every single Saturday I have to work is like a knife to the kidney.
    I could live on less than $800 a month and have a guaranteed $200,000 plus right now and over $100,000 this year in stock. I will get my dad’s paid off house and $80,000+ checking account when he dies( Worst day of my life).
    People keep telling me not to quit/ how can you give up that kind of Employee stock?, and I tell them time off /freedom is more important than money.
    I worked with a woman that stayed until she was 80+. She retired last year with a large chunk of cash but she is basically dead. Can’t walk,is about dead,and won’t enjoy any of the money she has.

    Reply
  5. you all do sound like my husband with the investing, I know im crazy not to be investing, I just need to get over the fear which is hard, harder now with leaving work, but I will spend the time researching and try to get over my fears, I shouldn’t be afraid, my parents became millionaires with investing their money well, they got to retire at 50 and have been retired now for 20 years and they make 70,000 a year just from dividends…so I should listen to everyone on this one, I will spend my extra time after I leave researching and trying to get over the fear…may 1 is my last day, whew it feels like a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders

    Reply
  6. Weigh your options, it sounds like you have. It sounds like you really don’t enjoy your job anymore which is a good sign to me it’s time to re-evaluate.

    Now that you have, I’d advise that you probably call it quits if you can weather the loss of $50k job for 4 years. It’s not quite as simple as do you have an $200k saved, you have a cool quarter million which seems to me to be more than enough and I’d have that invested if I were you.

    If you can keep your expenses low the next few years you should be fine. Maybe take a while off re-evaluate and try a new job or work part-time. There are lots of other options if needed.

    Reply
  7. I understand how you feel. I am in my mid 30s and healthy but a couple of years ago I was in a job and completely miserable to the point where it did affect my health. I was losing an unhealthy amount of weight due to stress and had to eat Ben and Jerry’s ice cream daily just to keep from withering away (I know this is strange). I quit my job and took a 20% cut in pay but am much happier (although still want to retire early) and healthier than I have ever been. If I were you, I would go ahead and quit my job, take some time off, but then go out and find a nice part time job doing something you enjoy. Every little bit of money you make now will only increase your security as you enter retirement.

    As far as investing goes, it think it could be beneficial but you really need to have a basic understanding of it, the ups and downs, and truly be comfortable with it. Investing over the long term can create some nice growth and income but if you are not comfortable with the potential downside and see yourself freaking out at a big market downswing, then investing is not for you. The worst thing you could do is invest with all good intention, see your account value drop 20% or more in a market correction (which will happen at some point) and then pull your money out at a loss. I have seen this many times and just wish this type of person had just stuck with something they were comfortable with in the first place. So if you do quit your job, take some time and educate yourself on the market and investing. Read some books, research online and maybe find an expert you can talk to who is not trying to sell you a product/investment but who truly wants to help you in your journey. Good luck!

    Reply
  8. I have to agree with what everyone else said…Quit this job. You can probably work part time at some other lower stress job after you take a break (if you want to). Financially, it looks like you’re in good shape. I also agree you need to INVEST some of that 250K in cash. Holy cow, that’s way too much in cash! Keep 2 years’ worth of living expenses in cash and put the rest in a conservative investment. Something like Vanguard Wellesley Income is a good mutual fund for investing scaredy-cats. It’s 60% investment grade bonds and 40% dividend paying stocks. Its worst year over its 44 year history was 2008, when it lost just over 9% and it bounced back by a nice 16% the following year. It also is a very low cost fund.

    Reply
  9. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to help me with my decision. I know listening to other people shouldn’t help me with my decision, but it did and you all brought up some good points, and yes i have done research on investing and we hired a financial planner and yes we could really be making our money do so much more and he explained it all really well, but just something inside of me, maybe because i was a single mom for 17 years, i don’t know, the depression, the uneasiness of the economy, i just am so scared to take the money we worked so hard for and take a chance, even though the financial planner we hired said he could almost guarantee, nobody can guarantee what will happen to the economy in 10 years, so it really scares me, but with not working, i would really take the time to educate, i did pick up some things i do need to look into, like the SS part, thank you all..you all have been so helpful and thank you joe for putting it out there so i could get some different light on the subject…you all were great and i really appreciate all the time you all put out to help me conclude my decision..i went back to work today after taking the week off and being in our soon retirement area, and the whole day i just had to struggle in my head and then when i got home and read the blog, it just confirms what i felt all day…will make may 1 my last day….thank you all again…very smart and caring people on this site….

    Reply
  10. Hi,

    Quit your job, health is wealth. What’s the point of having money in the bank if you are unhappy. There is only 1 life, carpe diem.
    I’m a 3rd year nurse and I know for sure that I would not work till I’m 65. Im 39 this year. Nursing is draining and there is only so much you can give (compassion fatigue).
    In my previous job, I cried every day, I will escape every lunch time and was such a unhappy person, it was affecting my health. After some reflection, I quit my job with little savings. I migrated to Australia with a suitcase and a laptop and after 8 years, am finally happy with life.

    Please do not compromise with your health. You have some savings. Think creatively. Take a sabbatical and move to the area of your choice and see. Sometimes, when you have a clear head, you can see opportunities everywhere. With your nursing skill, you can always deploy it in different settings; NGO, non-acute settings, work from home, auditing. I have 2 colls who have inured their back due to nursing and are now doing paperwork. Yes they do get less salary but are happy. All the best.

    From A fellow nurse

    Reply
    • yep you got it, you were me, that’s why my husband was telling me to quit, in the last 3 months, because i have been at this hospital so long, i am the “it” girl in this clinic, not only was i doing my nursing job, but when the surgery scheduler left for medical reasons for the last 3 months i was doing her job also, and i was so stressed, i was calling my husband everyday and crying, i am now on anxiety meds and sleeping pills, i just don’t want that life anymore, hence the leaving. with Obamacare a lot has happened in our city with nursing jobs, 2000 jobs lost in the last year at one of the private sector hospitals, we have an abundance of nurses here and less jobs, i know with my experience and with my attitude and my great evaluations in the last 16 years alone from this job, i could probably win over a job opening if there is one, will look into something from home, that would be perfect…nursing isn’t what is use to be, i really feel for the new nurses out there, and its going to get worse with the whole obamacare, reimbursement is so little the private hospitals have to cut back someplace and they do it with the nurses, and nursing is fun for the first 5 years, then after 10 you start to burn out, but after 30 like me, ugh……

      Reply
  11. Hi!
    I am turning 53 this week and thinking along the same lines. My husband and I downsized a few months ago. Our original schedule was next summer. We sold our big house and moved into a maintenance free apartment. The stress relief alone has been AWESOME.

    Ideas/ suggestions:
    1) Quit your job
    2) Start a new job in 90 days if you want to
    You are a nurse. How about PRN work? 2 shifts a week?
    3) During those 60 days, invest in YOU and your retirement plan
    Read 1 book a week about investing
    Attend a class at community college focused on living abroad, investing retirement, etc.. also enroll in a fun class that you always wanted to take.
    Research volunteer opportunities in your community
    Start an ebay business- your trash and downsizing is someone else’s treasure
    4) Get the house ready to sell. This will be a project if you have lived there for awhile.
    5) Do the math– if you sell the house in 6 months versus 3 years. Can you live in a more affordable housing option than your current home? Will your utilities be lower? No real estate taxes? This allows you to save more money each month.

    We are also looking into a 6 month US, 6 month abroad retirement. Renting only.
    We both love our jobs right now, but also want the flexibility to say retirement here we come. The first step was downsizing and selling the house. Our savings in in super drive so we can walk away whenever we decide the time is right.

    Reply
    • thank you, yes we looked at downsizing and it would cost us more to downsize, rents here are ridiculus and with only having a mortgage payment of 444 a month, the utilities being decreased wouldn’t really save us any money, but I could hang out clothing instead of drying them in dryer, will have time for that, I would also go thru less clothing because of working everyday, and I am a very experienced nurse and could get a part time job if needed too, but we have lots to get rid of and wanted to take the time to sell everything right, instead of being in a hurry and basically giving it all away, because we are in a hurry and no time if I worked..i physically can not do normal nursing jobs anymore, working the floor or in a really busy clinic, I have had 3 foot surgerys and have to be able to take the time to sit if I need too, and with my back I can not lift over 50 pounds and i also need shoulder surgery to remove a spur, and that will limit me for awhile. all of which is from 30 years of abusing my body as a nurse…i could probably find some sort of customer service job or answering phones, but for the little pay i would get from doing one of those jobs, sometimes you spend more money working, like with gas,clothes, convenience foods because busy with work, that was a reason why i didn’t think of other employment, doing nursing any other place than where i am at, atleast physically i am able to meet my physical requirements most the time at my current job..mentally not so much:(

      Reply
  12. I think Ernie hit the nail on the head.

    Most people are not in a position to give you advice. First and foremost because most people have not been preparing for early retirement like you. Most people can’t afford to give up a job paying $50,000 a year because they are living paycheck to paycheck. The advice you were getting from your friends and family is advice that only applies to most people.

    A category that based on you details above you do not fit in. You are not average. You are in a position of strength. And by the way a $150/month will not make that much of a difference.

    If I were in your shoes I would retire and take a few months relax and transition. See if you have enough things to keep you busy in retirement. You may find that you are interested in getting a job that has always interested you or something that gives you a little spending money without any of the stress or anxiety.

    And knowing that you don’t have to work and that the pay isn’t that important you can be very selective.

    Maybe even start a blog? You can talk about your experience as an early retiree. Selling things on eBay.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  13. Where did you get these figures? :
    “At 62, I will receive $1,246 a month from Social Security and my husband at 62 will receive $1,628 a month from SS”

    If you’re using a simple estimator then the numbers you see there could be wrong. Estimators will generally assume that you continue working until the age of retirement. If you retire early then your social security benefit will be less. Unless you’re accounting for quitting early you’re likely expecting more from SS than you’ll actually get.

    Reply
    • Also, you mention you’re a “young 50-something” and that you have a still-living mother-in-law….if this is true, and you can expect a long life-time, I would suggest delaying SS out to 70 if possible, even if it means reductions to your retirement accounts (more on this in a second)….the annual return on delaying SS cannot be beat, and getting a much greater amount each year starting at 70 (plus correspondingly larger cost of living adjustments going forward) is great insurance against running out of money in old age.

      Finally, listen your husband, and INVEST some of your money. You are LOSING money keeping money in a savings account, as inflation is outpacing what you’re getting in interest. No one is saying go crazy speculating on stocks, but doing an even conservative Vanguard account (something like Vanguard Conservative Growth Fund) would be a huge boost to your bottom line.

      Oh, and I agree with the person who said above that the choice isn’t just between quitting and continuing to work full time….you’re a nurse, with presumably transferrable skills. Maybe try some part-time work, in nursing or even out of it….I mean, your husband will still be working anyways for the next 3 years, so you’ll need something to do, and every little bit you earn (even at a part time gig) will be one less dollar you need down the line….

      Reply
    • I got the numbers from that yearly letter from SS that you get telling you your benefits, and when we met with a financial planner, he knew our plans and ages of retirement and he worked all of our numbers for us and he didn’t say we would get less that what I had put on the sheet, I will have to look into that…even if numbers were lower, we still have enough in savings and our accounts to last us for the 3 years till we both draw on our pensions at 65 and we would also be saving a lot from our pensions since we also will be getting social security…but that’s a good point, glad you pointed that out..i just figured since the financial planner didn’t question the numbers that is what we would get and I brought in that letter from SS when we met with him..thank you for pointing that out…

      Reply
      • Social Security is based on your highest 35 years salary. If you haven’t worked 35 years, zeros are put in for those non-working years, so YES, values are typically based on you working 35 years.

        Next, have you considered medical, and potentially long-term care costs, in the US and in Mexico? Yes, healthcare in Mexico is much cheaper than the US, maybe 1/3 the cost, but its not free. A $300K illness in the US may only cost you $100K, but it will cost real money. As you get older, costs tend to go up. Longterm care is also something to think about, in the US or Mexico.

        Finally, remember pensions typically don’t increase with inflation. The amounts you get might seem great at first, but add in 3% inflation each year and soon they may not be so large. Social Security will adjust for inflation but will also get taxed if you exceed certain income levels. Also remember that retirement savings accounts are typically taxed when the money is removed, even if you are living in Mexico.

        I don’t want to scare you, but you need to determine realistic conditions. I’d work a few more years and save as much as you can. Then plan on taking SS only at 70 if you can.

        Reply
  14. Quit, then take some time off, and find another work if you get bored being retired. I guess it depends on where someone lives, but $50k a year job is not very much to hang on for another 4 years. The economy is actually doing pretty well nation wide, so don’t worry about quitting.

    Reply
  15. Hi, C… I work in healthcare in the Netherlands. At our place we are currently downsizing, leaving everybody else stressed out because there’s too much work to be done. I can’t quit, yet. Not enough money for that… But some people who had their ducks in a row quit their job when things got bad, and I say: Good for them! I hope they will enjoy their life for a long time to come. Life is more than your job.

    Furthermore, I am indeed wondering whether this current job is your only option. I’m pretty sure you have more choices than “this job” or “being retired forever”. There probably are a lot other options that will open up for you. I of course don’t know your market, or your exact qualifications. But as a nurse you probably have different and more opportunities to earn some money. I’m thinking working at a blood bank, working in private care, working at a terminal care facility, working shifts when others are ill, working in a nursing home… You might have some odd jobs here or there when you feel like it, or you might be able to “score” a parttime job for a fixed number of hours every week. Think about those options and try to explore them. Maybe you know others who have switched to similar jobs during their careers?

    I know these kind of decisions aren’t easy. I wish you a lot of wisdom to make the right choice for you. Enjoy your life 🙂

    Reply
  16. 1. You are looking at Choice A (miserable job) and Choice B (retirement). It seems that you have done so much homework that you are giving yourself a Ying or Yang, and life is not a Ying or Yang. There are Choice C, D, E, F and G available out there.

    2. For example, why no change job to a small clinic around your area and quick the military nursing job. Why not work for an Insurance Company as a Remote Support Nurse. I talk to these type of nurses all the time.

    3. Why not look at part volunteering and part time working?

    4. With your finance analysis, you have figured out that you can support yourself. Your mind seems to be made up that the ‘Yang’ choice seems to be good for you. Maybe an option is to Quit, Take 1 year off and then Return back to a Less Stressful job.

    5. I am not saying all of the above without the experience. Since I am analytical, I put down a spreadsheet with all of the “job factors”, and created columns of various job options, and found that for me, moving out of 100% sales into 50% Sales and 50% Consulting would be a better way to go. I did that, and I have cut my stress by 75%, have a pay cut of 20%, work 100% from home, Organizing my financial life, Managing my Rental Apartments a lot better etc, and improving my family life also (helping spouse, kids and friends). It is ONLY 3 months old situation for me, but I went from a satisfaction of 1 out of 10 to currently 9 out of 10. I don’t want to say 10 out of 10 to jinx it!!!!!

    Start writing down your choices in columns for each sub-category and keep enhancing it every night. Have your spouse look it over also.

    Reply
  17. I would pull the plug and reitre now. You are in a pretty good position and your husband has a solid income.

    If you keep your credentials current, you could always go back part-time if you miss it.

    Reply
  18. If you come home crying everyday because of work, then yes I think it’s time to quit. It’s not worth your health and sanity. Plus, the numbers seem to work in your favor, especially since you plan on moving to an area where the cost of living isn’t too high. The TSP is a wonderful plan…I second Joe’s advice to learn more about investing.

    Reply
  19. I left a full-time, high-pressure, high-paying job at 50 and have never been happier. Like you, I was physically and mentally exhausted from the work and was worried about whether our savings can support my family without a full-time job. I took time to educate myself on investing and financial planning and realized that I have actually achieved financial independence. So I see it as not really retiring from full-time work but more of achieving the financial freedom to do whatever I want. I am doing part-time consulting work and enjoying the project work without the dehumanizing effects of endless bureaucracy in corporate America. I am able to take on projects with people that I enjoy working with and where I feel that my skills and knowledge can contribute to and advance their projects. It looks like you too have achieved financial independence and can leave your stress filled job.

    Reply
  20. I’d say that it’s time to retire. The fact that you spend your days crying from anxiety tells me that the next four years would be truly torturous for you and your husband. Money can’t buy peace and I don’t think that you staying is worth the $150 bump that you would receive. The best thing that you all have going for you is that you all live a fiscally responsible lifestyle.

    I do agree though that you would really need to start increasing your knowledge base around investing as it will be able to extend your retirement savings further if you do so wisely.

    Reply
  21. I say go for it. If your main focus is on losing the $150 per month from your pension that an extra 4 years will give you, have you considered what you could do that you would be able to earn that $150 without working at your current job? Hopefully you could earn that by doing something that you enjoy and it would serve two puposes.

    1. You could replace teh $150 you are worried about losing.
    and 2. It would also serve as a stepping stone job before you jump into full retirement

    Reply
    • its not just the 150 dollars a month, its the extra 3000 dollars a month of me putting into the savings account and the 700 I also put into my tsp every month that would put another $144,000 in our savings account to move with and another $33,000, so its not just 150 dollars a month towards retirement, its the overall savings I could put away toward our future, but we could move and retire without that extra money, we have figured out that its not going to make our quality of life any better for retirement

      Reply
  22. I’m only 24, but I would say quit and live your life. You are in a great position to not have to worry about money. So many people at work say they can never retire, but I also see them overspending like crazy.

    Reply
  23. I agree with the others to just quit. If you are that stressed and keep working, you could argue that you might not even be around in 4 years! You have good savings and are moving to a low cost of living area. Most people don’t understand retiring at 50 because they have been conditioned to buy whatever they want and not save. Now that they are 50, they see they need to work until 65, 70 or later just to have a shot at retiring.

    Another point, you quitting now allows you to sell things on ebay to make the downsizing go smoother. You might even find a part time job that you enjoy to bring in some income if you really wanted to go that route.

    Reply
  24. It sounds like you have made up your mind and just want a nudge. My two cents…retire from your job. Happiness is easily worth $150/month. Also, you are a nurse. If you feel the need to work again one day, your skills will always be needed wherever you are.

    As Joe says, learn how to invest. Take your time and just dip your toe into the water of investing and go from there.

    Reply
  25. Since you mentioned a TSP account, I’m wondering if you are a Federal employee. If so, you would be covered under FERS (Federal Employee Retirement System). Some of the dates you mention regarding your pension don’t match my understanding of FERS. You could do an MRA+10 retirement at 56. This would continue any medical coverage you have and you could begin an immediate (although reduced) pension.

    Reply
    • I was planning on doing the MRA+10 that’s why I was holding out for the last 4 years, I don’t need the medical I get through my husbands job and I would have to sign up now and then stay for 5 more years, I don’t need the money from the pension now, so basically quit and at 65 take the reduced amount at 65 for 16 years of federal service, which isn’t a lot, and we really don’t even need my retirement income to live on, once my husbands retirement kicks in…we will be making plenty off of his alone, medical is one of the reasons of retiring overseas, we could not afford to stay here and continue with health care, unless we went under what my job offers and then we would have to pay out 20 percent of everything…which if something major happened could wipe out our savings. I have done very intensive research on the medical in Puerto Vallarta, on our numerous trips, have visited the hospitals and the doctors offices…plus if we end up with a serious illness we would want to be sick and die where we are most happy.

      Reply
      • It sounds like you would be doing what’s known as a Deferred Retirement. The good news is that you don’t have to wait until 65, you would be eligilble for your full benefit (based on 16 years of service) at age 62.

        Reply
  26. At a minimum I’d try and move to part time work although it sounds like y’all are on solid financial ground so I would say go for it. Y’all have plenty saved up and you have a supportive husband. It’s not worth the stress, both physically and mentally, to deal with your job when you are in a situation to not have to. That’s what you and your husband have been working for all these years.

    Reply
    • I am also a nurse. I’m not sure about your job market but most locations have many options. I stopped working at a hospital and started teaching. I also work on a research study to supplement my income. I enjoy this type of nurse. Hospital nursing broke me down also! Sick people are no fun.

      Reply
      • Or work for a paramed company. When someone signs up for life insurance the nurse from the paramed company goes to their house to record height, weight, collect health/family history info, and in our case a urine sample (not sure if they do blood also). The gal that did ours last summer was in her 70’s. Not much heavy lifting – she did have a carry-on suitcase full of equipment like the scale and paperwork, but could wheel that around most of our house.

        Pros: Can use some of your nursing background, interact with people.
        Cons: on-call, hours aren’t dependable, lots of evenings and weekends.

        Reply
  27. I have to agree with Joe- you can still reap the benefits of investing without exposing yourself to too much risk. I would also take the time now to cultivate some “side hustles” you enjoy. I know you mentioned selling things on ebay. Other things like that that bring in some additional income on your terms is a great way to diversify your earnings and work on your terms.

    Reply
  28. Looks like you can retire early economically. Though, I would warm you sternly about investing alone. You obviously have an aversion to it and have not had the desire up to this point to do it. I would recommend a fee based planner (you pay him by the hour, he doesn’t make a % of assets and is not conflicted in his advice). You need professional advice, and someone to talk you off the ledge when things go down, like your portfolio.

    Reply
  29. Sounds like you should retire now. You’ve thought it through very thoroughly and your plan seems sound. Plus, I imagine if you needed to, you could pick up some sort of low-stress, part-time work after you’re retired.

    I’d say, don’t worry what your friends/coworkers think–you’re not living your life for them. You’ve got to do what’s right for you. And, since it sounds like you and your husband are on the same page about this–I’d say do it now.

    Reply
  30. Quit now and save yourself. If, after a time of rest and recovery, you decide to take a different job because you feel you just aren’t ready to retire then that is one way to go.

    Your finances seem fine and your spouse is wonderfully supportive. Get out while you still have your health.

    Reply
  31. I posted this in Joe’s last blog post you were in-Time to call it quits. Go out on a high note at work. You will look back and see how tired, stressed, and unhappy you really were the past few years. Hindsight is 20/20. You did the right thing, saved all your $ and are able to walk away. Something your (probably jealous) co-workers cannot do. But you were thinking big picture/ahead. Bravo!
    The Vanguard advisers are now using 100 for life expectancy. Can you hold out until 70 for Soc. Security benefits? Or at least until 66? Enjoy your life now.

    Reply
  32. I agree with the comments made by others and RB40.
    Take some time to learn, not just about investments, but about budgeting – see if you can get any of those bills down further which will reduce any worry of financial strain.
    The sense of relief you’re going to get from handing in that notice and walking out that door sounds as though it’ll be well worth it!

    Reply
  33. I’d quit. You sound like your job is making you unhappy, and your husband is fully supportive of you quitting. I don’t think that you’re too young to retire, but you’ll find that the bias on a site dedicated to retiring by 40 thinks that retiring in your 50s is late in the game, haha. Your family will be both happier and healthier with you at home.

    After taking a few months off, which you deserve, you may find that you get itchy. You can always volunteer at a medical clinic or start your own location-independent business that you can run from Puerto Vallarta in the future.

    Reply
    • I agree with CL. In your shoes, I would quit. In fact, in your shoes I did quit.

      You are very clear about being miserable on a DAILY basis with and at your job. It is making your entire life miserable. You have enough financial reserves to free yourself of that incredible millstone around your neck. You do. So free yourself already.

      I went through the same thing. My job turned sour. I had been planning to work until 62. I refigured my finances, reduced my basic living expenses (something you too could do if you needed to), and made the numbers work so I could get away from that job RIGHT THEN. And, 14 years later, every day I know I made the right decision.

      You are not going to live forever. Seize your days now.

      Reply
  34. First, the best piece of advice I can give is to not ever accept anyone’s advice — including mine.

    Having said that, you ask, “Would you quit your job if you were in my position?” The answer is yes. I agree with what Joe advised. With your husband working and being so supportive, and with the two of you being so financially responsible and in a much better financial position than most people, there is no doubt in my mind that the two of you can do okay.

    One other thing that you could consider is working part-time at your present job or getting another job full-time or part-time, something that may not pay as much but be more enjoyable.

    I can assure you that I have received several letters and emails from readers of my books who were in a similar situation to yours. They made the decision to quit their jobs and did not regret it at all. A number of these letters and emails are incorporated into the latest ebook editions of “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” and “The Joy of Not Working”.

    As an aside, chances are that once your husband and you retire to Mexico the two of you will be much happier than most retirees. I want to share with you the case of a couple who was excited to self-activity after reading the original edition of “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, so much so that they moved from my hometown of Edmonton to Ajijic, Mexico, where they, in their words, encountered “paradise.” I received the following email in January 2012:

    “Dear Ernie;

    Buenos Dias from paradise . . .
    Yesterday morning, my husband and I took a walk along the malecon in Ajijic, on the
    north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico. It was one of those days when the temperature was so perfect that you couldn’t feel the air on your skin. I held my husband’s hand and told him how blessed I felt to live here and just how much I owed to Ernie Zelinski. I wondered how many people actually told you just how you impacted their lives.

    In 2006, while reading the Sunday edition of the “Edmonton Journal”, I stumbled across a review of “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”. My husband had groused
    for years about his belief that retirement was not likely to be an option for us after health issues and financial setbacks had taken their toll on our net worth. I decided your book was a tool to help ease the strain of our future lives, and went to the library the next day and took it out.

    We lived pretty frugally and there were only a few small ideas that I felt we could incorporate into our lifestyle but . . . something did catch my attention. You wrote about a friend of yours who worked seasonally in Edmonton, then hopped a bus for San Miguel de Allende every winter. I googled San Miguel. It was interesting but the
    climate seemed a bit cold for my health issues. However, along with the info on San Miguel, there popped up a link to other places in Mexico to retire. Ajijic sounded too good to be true.

    2006 happened to be our 25th anniversary year and I convinced my husband that even if we had to borrow the money, a holiday was the perfect way to celebrate. I
    broached the subject of Mexico (we had never been) and of course, Ajijic, but he said he didn’t want to go to the mountains, that he wanted to go to the beach. We compromised with a week in Puerto Vallarta, a week in Ajijic, and a week in Manzanillo. Well — PV
    was a bust — too hot, too humid, too many people trying to sell you things. We arrived in Ajijic on a Tuesday and on Thursday morning, my husband asked me to cancel the week in Manzanillo. He told me Ajijic felt more like home than any place he’d ever been in his life. Finally — we were in complete agreement about something.

    We had to figure out a way to get down here. He wasn’t ready to retire — only mid-50’s — so he had to find a way to work from here. He was clever enough to convince his
    company that he could work from home — and in 2007, we came down here for 3 months. That’s all it took! We went back to Edmonton, moved our youngest son into an apt close to GMAC where he was going to school, sold our house with everything in it! I mean . . . we left the bedding on the beds, dishes in the cupboards and housecoats on the back of the bedroom door, put what we were taking in the back of our van, and drove away!

    The cost of living, health care, climate, activities, and people here have combined to give us a quality of life we never dreamed possible.

    Thank you for being the catalyst for a life that we are truly LIVING.

    Rob and Wende Mather”

    Perhaps this couple’s experience will help your husband and you to make the
    decision to retire earlier — and encounter paradise — wherever that may be for you.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    The Prosperity Guy
    “Helping Adventurous Souls Live Prosperous and Free”
    Author of the Bestseller “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free”
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller “The Joy of Not Working”
    (Over 275,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

    Reply

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