Several months ago, Michael Foster interviewed me for this piece that was just picked up by Yahoo Finance: Early Retirement Without a Fortune. Well, I have only made it through about half of the 899 commets so far. It's nice that this time, there aren't really any nasty ones directed at me.
Several of the commenters have complained of the article's limited information, for example: Am I married? (Yes.) Do we have kids? (No.) And how much money did I make? (Not gonna tell ya.) Since the article profiled four retirees, I'm sure they had to shave down much of the interview information just to save space. To give you an example, the interview for just my portion is over 1,800 words alone!
But since I've noticed so many additional readers today, I figure many folks do want more information. And since the original interview covered so much more, I thought I'd publish the text of our original (slightly edited) interview, over the course of the next couple of days. Here is the first part:
How old were you when you retired?
I retired when I was 44 years old.
How long have you been retired so far?
Almost 4 years now.
If you have a pension, do you feel that it is enough to fulfill your financial needs?
We don't have a pension. We will both be eligible for Social Security and will probably not draw on that until age 70 so that we can earn the maximum amount. I didn't really consider Social Security in my (retirement) calculations--I thought that would just be an extra safety net. Because each of us worked less than the 30 years needed to earn the maximum benefit--we will not really be entitled to as much as we would have been entitled to if we had kept working.
How would you describe your investment strategy for retirement?
We saved enough in non-retirement assets to cover living expenses until we reach our early 60's and can tap into our retirement assets. We will completely exhaust our non-retirement assets and then switch to IRA withdrawals in our early 60's--adding Social Security in our 70's.
Our asset allocation was 70% stock mutual funds and 30% cash and bond funds at the time of my retirement--a pretty aggressive mix due to my relatively young retirement age. I planned on slowly shifting this allocation away from stocks over the years, but so far, haven't really progressed that direction yet. Since the stock portion of the portfolio has dropped significantly from my March 2008 retirement date, the relative allocation has stayed pretty constant as I draw down on the cash/bond portion to live on.
Is health insurance a problem for you?
Health insurance is very expensive, but I expected that and planned for it in the budget when I retired.
Ok, see, it's already getting too long. Let's take a break and resume tomorrow.
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