Well, I’m not sure exactly what to call it: retired, semi-retired, quit, took a leave of absence, became a stay at home mom, became a professional blogger. Whatever “it” is… I’m done. I’m going to start withdrawing from my retirement accounts, hang out with my kids more and write a few mornings each week.
Getting My Priorities Right
I lined up all my priorities in life and work fell off at the bottom. Instead my focus will be on my passions in life: my kids and personal finance! Hopefully my life mix pie chart will become a little more balanced. Although in reality, I’ll probably be just as busy if not busier.
I’m looking forward to the articles I write here making much more sense now, because I’ll write them in the morning while the kids are at preschool or with their nanny. My brain works much better in the morning than it does in the middle of the night!
I’m going to transition from a very structured life to a bit of a free spirited lifestyle. I even suggested downsizing our house and living in a resort, like I read about yesterday but my husband is being the rational one and trying to keep me a little grounded. So for now, we’ll stay in our house.
For the record, I offered to my husband that he could quit too and we could live off savings for a few years but he’s going to keep working because he likes to. It’s also doesn’t hurt that he carries our health insurance. Guess he’s going to stick it out to the end of our dollar plan.
I officially submitted my paperwork to switch to inactive status at my company. I gave a couple months notice, so I’ll be done with work in mid September. I’ll get paid through mid October, then begin a one year leave of absence. The end of my leave will coincide nicely with the change in retirement plan that I mentioned earlier. I’ll be in the 3rd wave of retirements, although they won’t officially call me a retiree, because I’m not old enough.
Beginning Retirement Withdrawals
I’ve been saving in my retirement accounts for 13 years, so it’s a big change to go from saving to withdrawing. But that’s exactly what I’ve been saving for right? I hit within $7,000 of my target amount to retire on, so I figured it was close enough to make the leap. I recently prepared by creating CD ladders for my upcoming living expenses.
I’ll also be busy working on my retirement planning checklist to get ready for the big day.
Want More Info?
I’m on a complete emotional high, so I’m having a hard time actually developing a coherent article to explain it all… so feel free to ask questions about the pieces that I’m leaving out and I’ll fill in the blanks. I’m sure there are many more details that you’d like to know, but I’m so excited I can’t think straight!
This article is featured in Carnival of Personal Finance #163 – “Quotable Quotes”.
Are you working full-time or part-time now? Just curious.
But anyway, congratulations! That sounds like an exciting plan. Best of luck to you.
Congrats on making the big move Madison! Shall we call you problogger madison from now on?
Wow, that is bold! Have you considered taking the kids out of day care to make up that $7000?
Congrats! What a great time for you! Best of luck.
It’s a bold move and I admire your courage. Good luck and keep us informed about your income streams.
That’s a very very bold move indeed! I personally think that it is great! 🙂 I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do something like that but you know? You are right! I mean we save to spend later down the stage so yeah why not?
It looks like we should expect even MORE articles from you. Btw, what will you do all day when you finally stop working? Have you thought that through?
I wish you could hear my voice because I’m shouting congratulations and best wishes. I wish you all the best and applaude your leap into the more important things in life.
Congratulations. I think you have made the right decision. We have made a similar decision several years ago. My wife stays home and we live on one income. I’m convinced that the dual-income family is a trap that is not worth the effort. If you add in homeschooling, you can save more money from home then almost any job. I even wrote an ebook about this last year called “Save Money Homeschooling” (just google to find it).
That is fantastic, congrats, and I am sure your family and kids will be so happy with your decision. Whoo hoo!
Good for you, Madison. Here’s betting you will NOT look back and regret it. Am happy for you and proud of you.
GOOD FOR YOU!!!
That sounds fantastic. Congratulations!
Fantastic – I’m very happy for you and hope everything works out the way you are expecting (or close enough!).
Congratulations, Madison! I know this represents the accomplishment of a major goal for you, and I know your family must be thrilled with your decision.
Thank you everyone! I’m so excited to share this new adventure with all of you. I’m so grateful for all your well wishes. It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but I’m sure it will be the right one.
@ Eden: Right now I’m still part time, although I was scheduled to go back to full time in September. The thought of doing that made me crazy!
@ Katharine: I’m cutting back to just 10 hours a week with our nanny, so I’ll save about $16,000 in day care… it should more than cover the shortfall!
@ Loans: I’m sure our days will be filled with art projects, day trips, sports, relaxing… oh I can’t wait….
Congratulations! Remember, if you have more time to write, it’s likely you’ll produce better and better content, which means My Dollar Plan will have the potential to really help you out with income. Good luck – I look forward to reading your good stuff.
Aaah, that’s good, I was wondering how that made sense otherwise >.>
I have been expecting this for some time, Madison.
My heartiest congratulations to you on taking this clearly “right thing to do” step.
(Cowards like me keep rationalising with this and that.)
I have no doubt that with your well planned and thought out moves, it will and can only get better for you and your family.
Yippppeeeeeeee! That’s awesome; I imagine it was a great feeling handing in that paperwork 🙂
Like others have said, I admire your initiative in going after the life you want. Congratulations!
Congrats, Madison. I know this has been bouncing around in your mind for some time now. I have no doubt you will be successful whichever path you choose (and I’m certain you will remain highly employable should you ever decide to go back to work). The best of luck to you and yours! 🙂
Wow! Congrats Madison! 😉
Congrats. Your kids will be better off for this.
Wow, that sounds great for everyone. Your being happier has a positive effect on the whole family, but also getting to spend more time with the kids…and your husband knowing he’s working because he likes it. Wonderful.
And keeping the nanny part-time is a great plan to give you time to write. I never do well when distracted and I always found it fun as a kid to get a little time with other caretakers (though I appreciated having a SAHM).
Congrats! Good luck in your new career!
You know, I thought I retired a while back (February), but I feel like I’m working just as hard as I was before! LOL. I guess I’m not really retired after all… I just shifted careers.
I won’t be surprised when you find it to be that way for you as well. Let us know how it goes! Congrats on your new phase in life! 🙂
Btw, what do you mean by withdrawing from your retirement accounts?
Awesome!!! Oh man, i bet that feels SOOOO crazy and exciting at the same time 🙂 Your kids are gonna love it!
I just want to give you a hearty CONGRATULATIONS! Nothing is more important than family and I’m really happy for you.
Congratulations! I’m excited for you and jealous all at the same time. I’m just hoping to go back to three days a week by the end of this year.
Soooo jealous – Enjoy! Good for you!
Congrats! I quit my dayjob a year ago and I don’t think I can ever go back to that again. Being self-employed is a more fun game to play than office politics.
Belated congratulations and good luck in this new phase in your life. I look forward to reading about it!
I did the same a year and half ago and do not regret it.
Live, cause life is short.
Congratulations on your decision to stay at home with your kids. I do and love it as well!
I’m curious about how your are going to withdrawal from your savings? How can you do this if your 29 years old?
Congrats and good luck. I just discovered you yesterday and am reading a lot of your content, however, I don’t know how many weeks it will take me to read most of it! Staying home with your kids is the best decision.
How do you withdraw from your Roth without 10% penalty since you are younger than normal retirement age?
@ Scott and Mo: Here’s How to Make Early Roth IRA Withdrawals.