I’m 66, now we have greater than $2 million, I simply need to golf – can I retire?


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I’m 66 years and 4 months outdated.

My Social Safety funds begin subsequent month at $3,300 a month. I’m at present working part-time, three days per week, as an expert engineer for $95/hour for my long-time common full-time employer of 28 years. (I need to depart this place ASAP or quicklyer.) 

I at present have about $1.6 million in retirement accounts. My spouse (60 years outdated) has about $600,000 in numerous common and retirement accounts. We have now a 16-year-old daughter at dwelling attending highschool and faculty in a twin enrollment program. If she stays with this system she’ll have her bachelors at 19. Whereas in highschool she takes faculty courses and we pay no tuition whereas she’s in highschool. 

Our month-to-month bills are about $9,000-10,000 per thirty days together with medical health insurance for my spouse and daughter. We personal our modest single-family dwelling with no mortgage. Taxes and insurance coverage are at present about $6,000 per yr. We at present don’t have any debt, other than an American Categorical and Visa that we repay each month.

I’m on Medicare. I get walloped for a double premium for half “B” as a result of I’m thought of a high-wage earner. The 2 of us are in affordable/regular well being for a few outdated farts.

I need to throw within the towel on Could 5 and play extra golf. Can we do it?

See: We’re in our 60s and have misplaced $250,000 in our 401(ok) plans — can we nonetheless retire?  

Pricey reader, 

Congratulations on saving a lot in your retirement. That’s a beautiful accomplishment alone!

As a result of I don’t have your whole financials in entrance of me, nor am I a monetary planner constructing a complete plan in your retirement, I can’t say for sure in case you can retire. Nevertheless, it does clearly sound such as you’re doing effectively and that you simply’ve been planning. As an alternative of telling you to go for it or not, I’m going to supply a couple of issues to think about earlier than you decide up your mid irons. 

Greater than $2 million (you and your spouse’s financial savings mixed) is some huge cash — I’m not suggesting in any other case — however on the subject of retirement, it doesn’t imply you’re robotically good to go when you hit the million-dollar mark. There are such a lot of components, a few of which you talked about like healthcare and debt, in addition to saving and spending. 

I harp on spending evaluation loads however to me, it’s so essential when deciding if and find out how to retire. Why? As a result of that is one thing that, for probably the most half, you’ll be able to management. That’s a fairly highly effective feeling. 

So my first suggestion: Evaluate these AMEX and Visa statements, in addition to cash that comes out of any checking accounts, and just be sure you’re spending the way in which you need and have to spend. Once you retire, you received’t have that part-time earnings anymore, and when you could also be itching to get on the inexperienced, you’ll even be stressing out in case you don’t have sufficient inexperienced in a decade or two. You’ve informed me what your Social Safety advantages will probably be and what your common month-to-month spending is, however I’d recommend actually poring over your spending and assessing how snug you’ll be in case you proceed to spend that method whenever you retire. 

Take a look at MarketWatch’s column “Retirement Hacks” for actionable items of recommendation in your personal retirement financial savings journey 

There’s a second half to that evaluation, which is how a lot cash you plan to withdraw out of your retirement accounts. I’m undecided in case your spouse continues to be working, however regardless, the extra money you are taking out of these accounts each month, the much less there may be out there to develop over time. Taxes additionally play a component right here, relying on in case you’re withdrawing from a conventional or Roth-style account. These taxes may take a bigger chunk out of your spending cash, in addition to doubtlessly offer you a heftier tax invoice come tax time. 

Take into consideration this when your daughter goes off to school, too. She will not be there lengthy if she continues along with her hybrid highschool and faculty programs (which is fantastic, by the way in which), however do you intend to pay for her tuition, and in that case, the place is that cash coming from? Advisers inform me on a regular basis: you’ll be able to take a mortgage for faculty, however you’ll be able to’t take one for retirement. It could be useful to have a separate financial savings account earmarked for schooling, in case you don’t have already got a type of or some form of faculty financial savings account like a 529 plan, so that you simply’re not draining your retirement account for a tuition invoice. 

One final bit about that — plan for the sudden. What’s going to you do if a serious expense arises? Will that cash additionally come from a retirement account, or do you will have an emergency account put aside to cowl it? Saving some huge cash for retirement is superb, but it surely’s not the one job people have to handle… developing with a Plan B, and perhaps even a Plan C and Plan D, is critical too. 

Additionally see: Are you planning for retirement all improper? 

Subsequent, earlier than retiring, test the way in which your cash is invested. What’s your asset allocation like, and does it want to alter? Don’t make alterations simply to make them — and positively don’t make them simply since you learn the markets weren’t doing so scorching that day — however have in mind this cash does have to develop for many years to assist you and your spouse, so you will have to strike that stability. Reaching out to a certified monetary skilled, resembling an authorized monetary planner, may also help you make sense of what the perfect funding combine is, however as a minimum, log in to your account or name up the agency the place your accounts are positioned and test that asset allocation. 

Additionally, you talked about you’re already on Medicare. I’d recommend taking the time now — effectively earlier than open enrollment — to evaluate your present and anticipated future well being bills, after which assess how useful your present protection is for you. I do know you talked about you and your spouse are in affordable well being, but when there are any operations or providers you assume it’s possible you’ll want subsequent yr, it’s higher to begin reviewing what plans present you the perfect protection in your state of affairs so that you simply’re not paying extra out of pocket than obligatory. That is an train you don’t have to do instantly, however it’s going to actually show you how to really feel extra ready come the top of the yr when it’s time to maintain your present plan or change for one thing else. 

As an apart, you’ll finally pay much less in Medicare Half B premiums when your modified adjusted gross earnings declines. These premiums are primarily based in your tax returns from two years prior. 

You sound like you’re heading in the right direction, which is fantastic. I’d simply warning you to tie up a couple of unfastened ends earlier than resigning so to tee up with out worrying. 

Readers: Do you will have ideas for this reader? Add them within the feedback beneath.

Have a query about your individual retirement financial savings? Electronic mail us at HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com


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