My Money Tree
Planning For My Retirement
I am eligible to retire from my current job on April 4, 2010. And that is the day that life without work begins. My retirement will be different than most in that my monthly take home will increase over the years. This is due to a government pension, military retirement and social security. When I hit 57 years and 4 months, I will be able to call it quits. I will have 5 years working with the US government and will be eligible for a small pension.
It will not be enough to live on, but I also have a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) which is very similar to a 401(k). Unlike the 401(k), I can withdraw my TSP when I retire as long as I am at least 55 years old. I will use this to supplement the small pension. I also have a 401(k) that I invested in while I was a government contractor for 5 years. I can start making withdrawals at 59 ½ and must have it depleted by 70 ½.
Once I hit the ripe old age of 60, I become eligible for my US Army Reserves retirement. This will triple my monthly income and make living a lot better. Then, at 62, I can add in my Social Security. I can also defer this until 66 or 70. I will have to crunch the numbers to see which one is most beneficial and find the break even points. I also plan on selling my house when I initially retire and will use this money to purchase my retirement home in Thailand. Yes, I will leave Hawaii and move to Khon Kaen, Thailand. The cost of living is way less than Hawaii and I will be able to live out my golden years easily. Add into this mix, I live online and make some money marketing on the Internet. I make money from ads and banners, affiliate hotel rooms, credit cards and a few more.
This will provide beer money for me and keep me occupied. For most retirees, their money starts to dwindle as they get older. For me, at least for the first five years, it increases. Plus, I still have some "gravy money" in my 401(k) and some other investments. All of this didn’t happen overnight. And it didn’t happen because I saved for 40 years. Granted, the military retirement is based on 30 years service, but all the rest is over the past 7 years. Contributing to a 401(k) and now to my TSP makes it easy to see that I will be taken care or, and that I won’t be a burden on my family. I look forward to that day when I can walk away from my desk and never have to return. Starting work at age 12 with my paper route and being able to retire at age 57 is a long time but not as long as those who have to wait until 65.
Right now I put in the absolute IRS maximum allowed into my retirement fund and add as much as I can to my mortgage payment in hopes of paying it off early. It may be hard to save when you are young and plan for retirement, but, trust me, it is well worth it. You want to have everything all set up once your work days are over.
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