Caribou Gear Tarp

Retire early to hunt more?

Salmonchaser

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Nov 12, 2019
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498
I started to write and then remembered I promised my self I would at least skim all the responses before I write. David and Guy a couple of others covered the toll the Job takes. Others covered the financial planning.
Stay safe, stay smart, learn what you need to do both of those with all the crazy shit going on out there.
I received a challenge coin that read; THERE IS NOTHING MORE NOBLE YOU WILL DO WITH YOUR LIFE THAN THIS JOB DONE WELL. Your security and your families security depend on it. All of us who have done the job and retired clean want and expect that of you. We will all toast you when you reach EOW.
 

SCliving Outdoors

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Feb 9, 2018
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South Carolina
I just turned 34. I am able to take a pretty significant amount of PTO to hunt. 8 weeks or so if I'm strategic with my planning. I'll be eligible for my full pension at age 55. I'll be able to stay on my employers insurance as long as I'm living. I am 100% planning on taking full advantage of it. I'm a hunting fool now, but in 21 years I'm really going to be a hunting fool, haha. In the words of Big Fin "Hunt when you can. You're gonna run out of health before you run outta money"
 

westbranch

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Sep 11, 2017
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ID Panhandle
My wife and I are currently 32 and have good jobs that have ample vacation and flexibility so we plan to get a lot of hunting, backpacking, fishing, camping, hiking, etc. every year. And we do save a significant amount. I will probably keep working through my 50s but if all goes well it will be by choice, not because we need to. But at the same time we won't have pensions, just 401ks, IRAs, and after-tax investments. Healthcare and potential health issues in the next 20 years will be the biggest questions and no plans are set in stone. Five years ago I don't think we would have guessed we would be living in Idaho and doing what we are doing now in 2021.

I currently get 8.5 weeks of vacation/holidays, my wife gets 5 weeks. My wife has worked remotely for 3.5+ yrs and Covid has hastened my company to adapt better tech and allow more flexibility with working remotely. Much easier now to take a trip to the midwest to visit family, do a few hours of work to keep projects moving and then do some hunting, fishing, or whatever.

Like others have mentioned we save so we can have flexibility and freedom of choice. In 2017 when we moved to ID we took 3+ months off of work and travelled around the west. My wife had a leave of absence from her employer and still works for the same company in MN. I have made choices in my career based on the lifestyle we want to live. Others that I went to college with took the corporate path and make anywhere from 50-100% more than I do at this point. I would not trade our lifestyle for the extra salary.
 

huntin24/7

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Jul 25, 2010
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Eastern Montana
The best thing I’ve read in here is where Buzz mentioned having balance. We’re all a little different where one might love their job and another can’t wait to retire from theirs. I don’t particularly enjoy my job, but it’s a good job that I’m very thankful for. I’ll have 30 years in at age 55, 38 years old now. I really strive to find that balance of doing fun things with my wife and kids and taking good trips we can afford along with as much hunting and fishing as possible now with a goal of being completely out of debt several years before retirement. After paying extra on our home and recently refinancing to a 15 year mortgage, that goal is very real. I still have to tell myself sometimes to not look too far ahead and focus a bit more on the here and now. Finding that middle ground makes for an enjoyable and pretty stress free life
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
Very enjoyable read. So far the highlights that hit home the hardest:
-Health is not guaranteed, now or in the future.
-Balance is the key to most things in life

My Dad provided the quote I reflect on most often with regard to my retirement. "I'll get to retire 3 days after I die."

Just a bit of the reality of not prioritizing making money or "the future" in general, but instead enjoying the present, taking more time off, working less. Add to that a large dose of responsibility in trying to set the next generation up better than I was setup. And it boils down to working more years than maybe I wanted, but if you can get comfortable in your job and your role as a worker, it's not really that bad.
 

Labman

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Jun 21, 2015
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235
But I did find that many of the people I hunt and fish with are about the same age as me and almost all of them are still working and since many of them seem to be trying to keep up with the Jones' they will be working until they drop dead. :( So if I want to go with them I have to go when they are able to go.

As a guy who retired at 39 years of age from the military this is solid advice that I can't stress enough. Unless you have a buddy or two in your shoes, or really like to do stuff solo, it can be pretty boring.
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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I think there is a strong possibility I can retire at 41, though it's entirely contingent on my wife supporting us.

Not sure I will, the idea of her working and me not doesn't seem fair even if it's to be a stay at home dad, what does that mean for hunting. Like my portion of our joint endeavor will be taking care of our home, so taking 2 months to hunt seems like dropping the ball.

@ElkFever2 out of pure curiosity what would you think if your wife was going to take all fall off to hunt? I'm trying to think about it with the tables turned.

Also... I enjoy my career and staying busy. I don't know if I can see myself ever doing it. 🤷‍♂️

I can't imagine my wife wanting to retire at 50 or something like that either, maybe/ who really knows, but I kinda see her as the RBG type.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Dec 11, 2009
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WY
I certainly don't plan on leaving much for "big hunting goals" (whatever that means) on the table for retirement years, aside from some more focused antelope hunting. Just don't trust my body to be up to the task necessarily.
I'm tentatively planning toward 55-56 and can retain work health + pension at that time, then picking up some part time work. Lots can happen either way in five or ten years though, let alone 20.
 

TOGIE

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Dec 13, 2017
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CO
i suspect i'll be doing the opposite of retiring early to hunt more. I suspect, and expect, that i'll retire later with the actual goal of hunting more.

my wife and i save very aggressively and definitely put above average amounts of money into our IRAs (at least for our age group, which is under 30). but apart from that, i think we both agree we'd rather take more vacations and spend more fun money on great experiences than forego that stuff for an early retirement or something. but there is a balance - gotta save, but gotta have fun.
 

deer_shooter

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Southwest Pa.
Smart to start thinking about this now. I will persevere until 67 to max my retirement income. I have 14 years to go. My current job, that I will probably stay at, pays very well, is comfortable, secure and I get 6 weeks vacation plus flex time. Getting time off to screw around is no issue. My wife and I have no children, no close relatives and my wife, who makes about the same as I do. I'm currently putting back 13% in to my 401k and will up that to 20% in the next couple years. Other than my mortgage, I'll be almost completely debt free by the end of next year. My wife is in a similar spot contribution wise but is younger than me so will likely be looking at ~60 to retire. Health care will be something to plan around. So far, I am in good health with nothing but the aches and pains associated with mid 50's. My wife has a debilitating condition that will continue to worsen over time so that will be a big factor in any plans.
I have a spot in Alaska to build a cabin and broke ground last year. I plan to have that complete by 2023. I want to spend summers at the cabin and winter in southern Az and take a month to to travel to each by RV until too old to do so then likely settle in AZ for the duration.
 

ntodwild

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Dec 21, 2018
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Washington
FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE HERE.

Ok, As you have so calculated and many have mentioned HEALTHCARE INSURANCE is the BIGGEST obstacle to early retirement. I retired from a state Job at 49 (turning 54 this year). I can't draw my state pension till I'm 59.5 so I live off my investment income as well as I started a small business. My wife is still working and she covers insurance (without it I think things would be a completely different story). Im no genius but the one thing I did well was invest very early and I would say that it is the ONLY reason I could have retired early (didn't plan on retiring early. I just had the option and took it) I literally had no idea what I was doing as an investor, just followed the standard advice and squirreled away money into mutual funds and an IRA. These day's I have become a little educated (given the time on my hands), enough to have a stock account (separate from my investments) I do fairly well with.

Ok now to the boredom issues. Like you I love the outdoors, hunting, ATVing, fishing and more. If you are ok doing some of these things alone and have other hobbies OR "a small business". I would say there is no chance you will get bored or miss your job. The biggest issue is that most early retirees look around after they have retired and notice that they can't just call their hunting buddy up and say "Hey, lets go shooting today or fishing or whatever". None of your buddies are retired. You will have time on your hands regardless. On that note.....and this is a big one! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR BEING OUT OF SHAPE! I immediately got myself on a lifestyle change and exercise program that I am hooked on to this day. I love cooking so it's a hobby that compliments the lifestyle change.

I did work part time for a buddy for the first year after I retired because he needed a part time sales guy for some expanded electrical work that he fell on. It was great for me and an entirely new learning curve (I was in healthcare for my profession). Kept my mind sharp and gave me time to breath and consider my next set of goals (A small business in the hunting/outdoor space which I kicked off a few years ago). Things have worked out nicely for me and I am looking forward to turning 59.5 and that first pension check.

My hunting partner retired 2 years ago so it's common that we spend well over 70 days in the field a year, starting with spring and ending in late Oct. At that I am not a waterfowl guy or trapper so I think it would be difficult to stay busy hunting/outdoor stuff year round. It also cost money so pick your outdoor time wisely. Regardless of how much you have in your investments a fixed income is a fixed income and budgeting skills will be a factor.

Healthcare insurance would be my number 1 piece I would say to you as an obstacle. Without it it's difficult and you don't want to waist all your years of investments on insurance. You have little ones at home and I would say that they would be a huge unknown as well. I have one son who is in his 3rd year of college and fortunately we planned for that but it's not cheap and only getting more expensive. Life as you know can throw some BS your way sometimes that can derail anyone.

Although I fell into early retirement without actually planning it I would say you have a head start. I personally have found it liberating and have made the most of it. Many have a tuff time with it so it's hard to say how anyone will handle it and circumstances definitely vary. If you have some solid goals that will keep you growing as a person after retirement I think it's very doable.
 

ElkFever2

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Mar 4, 2019
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Iowa
I think there is a strong possibility I can retire at 41, though it's entirely contingent on my wife supporting us.

Not sure I will, the idea of her working and me not doesn't seem fair even if it's to be a stay at home dad, what does that mean for hunting. Like my portion of our joint endeavor will be taking care of our home, so taking 2 months to hunt seems like dropping the ball.

@ElkFever2 out of pure curiosity what would you think if your wife was going to take all fall off to hunt? I'm trying to think about it with the tables turned.

Also... I enjoy my career and staying busy. I don't know if I can see myself ever doing it. 🤷‍♂️

I can't imagine my wife wanting to retire at 50 or something like that either, maybe/ who really knows, but I kinda see her as the RBG type.
I like the idea of balancing my extra recreation time with something similar for my wife. This could look like me taking the kids on hunting trips so she has time to herself. Or, I am in charge of the kids and she takes off for a vacation or similar. She’s got a cruise with my MIL scheduled (well, rescheduled because of COVID), where I’ll be taking vacation and staying home with the kiddos. I’m in a great situation now where although I hunt about 60 days a year, the vast majority is close to where I live so it’s a couple hours here, a few hours there, and I’m home at night except for 1-2 weeklong NR trips.

I’m obsessed with hunting. I think about it constantly and dream about it. I can see myself hunting alone 4-5 days a week, six months of the year once we’re empty nesters. A big question there is how much time my wife wants to spend together. If she would rather spend more of that time with me I’ll be hunting less, but that’s fine too I enjoy her company.
 

Benfromalbuquerque

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Jul 15, 2020
Messages
108
I’m looking at a pension at 54. I do reckon I could work a bit when I want to and fuck off otherwise. I maintain a decent cardio regimen as that’s more than just physical fitness. It also maintains mental acuity and ambition. That retirement age would allow me to do Alaska (everything else I haven’t already done) as well as Scotland (red deer). That’s my take on when to leave the rat race and enter the golden years.
 

brymoore

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May 24, 2007
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Idaho
I had a neighbor move next to me from the Midwest when he retired. I live in Idaho. He made the big move, bought all the gear etc. He hunted one season, had heart issues and was done. A life time of planning destroyed by health.

I wouldn’t plan for tomorrow, I’d plan for today. Live and work where you can hunt now in your off time. You might get killed in a car accident, health problems or financial ruin.
 
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bradr

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Nov 3, 2018
Messages
46
Location
Iowa
I like the sound of that set-up! Thanks.

Why does it matter if it’s a pension vs 401k? I have a pension but I’m planning to cash out, invest the whole amount and draw off the interest, because I think I can get a better return than the gov. plan.
Not trying to tell ya what to do but I'd think hard before you cash out that pension to invest it on your own. I'd keep the pension and get a Roth IRA going strong. Is your pension IPERS or 411? Do you have all of your years of LE in the same pension? If so, I think you'd be further ahead keeping it intact and draw that guaranteed monthly check. Just my 2 cents.
 

bradr

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Nov 3, 2018
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Iowa
I'm 53 now and will be retiring from LE in 2 1/2 yrs. Mortgage is paid, am maxing out a roth IRA as well. My wife has a good 401k going with her job. I can keep my insurance with the city when I leave, but I'm going to jump onto my wife's plan instead. I'm planning on getting a part-time job to supplement my monthly pension so that I can keep a similar salary for a few years. I have some hunts in the queue, and can't wait!
 

bradr

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Nov 3, 2018
Messages
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Location
Iowa
I'm in a similar boat to you so will try and add somethings that I am doing. Loved your breakdown and will be stealing a few ideas.


1) I am fortunate in my employer matches 4% of retirement if I put in 5% and depending on how the organization does will add another 3-7%, we have always gotten the 7%. I max out my 401k every year into a Roth IRA. I hope I'm in a higher tax bracket at 55 than I am now at 35.

2) We get a raise + cost of living just about every year usually 3% +/-. Every one of these "raises" for my wife and I (both work at the same place) has always gone into a separate investment account. So basically we are making our starting wage (I've been there for 10yrs wife 12). This money is going to used for retirement until we can draw on our 401k's.

3) My profession allows me to get a second job in the same field. So I do work as I want at this job. I make myself do 48hrs a month Jan-Aug than about 0-12hrs Sept-Dec. My primary job I work 24hr shifts (1day on 4 days off another big perk) so this does allow me time others might not have. Although with you being a LE (THANK YOU) I would assume you are on 10s or 12s? So could maybe pick up a teaching position or 2nd as needed job? EDIT: this money is also invested split between short term, mid term and the majority of it in long term investments to cover retirement until our 401k can be used.

4) I donate plasma to pay for all my hunting licenses and equipment. This comes to about $4k a year after the bonuses and what not. So my hunts are limited now but not taking anything from my end goal.

5) The only debt we currently have is our mortgage, refinanced to 2.3% for 15yrs so foolish to pay that off. We busted our asses the first 10yrs of our marriage to pay off everything else and create a nest egg should the need arise.


You sound like you have an awesome plan in place and I would say make 55 the end goal and if ends up being 60 your doing better than most.
I like the idea of donating plasma as an income source. Is that money taxable or tax free?
 

Steiny

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Sep 4, 2003
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North Central, IN (the corn belt)
I retired (3) years ago at 57, no pension or anything like that, just what we were able to save and invest.
We make enough income so that we are ineligible for any discounts (over $68k), so our ACA health insurance for spouse and I runs $1450 per month.
Health insurance is something you really need to plan for.
 

peterk1234

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Oct 9, 2019
Messages
97
I retired (3) years ago at 57, no pension or anything like that, just what we were able to save and invest.
We make enough income so that we are ineligible for any discounts (over $68k), so our ACA health insurance for spouse and I runs $1450 per month.
Health insurance is something you really need to plan for.
We are about six months from pulling the trigger. Figuring out the final details now. I am 54 years old, wife is 55. Same boat as you, no pension, only what we have saved. I think we will have enough money but only time will tell. Insurance and income taxes basically chew up the bulk of the income. It's rough to look at the analysis. You are probably better off making only $50K a year than making $75K. The system is screwed up for sure.
 
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