Retirement snuck up on us, we have no idea what we’re doing, help?

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Dude, I can’t help but I hope to have this exact problem one day.


If you really don’t need the 401k, keep it invested. Maybe 50% total stock market index fund, 50% total bond market index fund. Rebalance it once or twice a year. You can do the same with the house proceeds in a regular brokerage account.


**Don’t** just pull the money out of the 401k. At best if you do that you’re suddenly going to be hit with income taxes on that all at once. If the money has good funds where it is (at this age you’ll likely want a lot of bonds, though probably also still some stock exposure) then just leave it and pull small amounts out over time, if it doesn’t have good funds then do a rollover to an IRA, move it into good funds, and then pull out small amounts over time. Regarding what to spend money on, remember that for many people health care costs skyrocket as you start to get older. Even if you don’t need it now that amount might seem like a lot less in another 20 years when you might want a housekeeper or full time home aid to help you out with things. Similarly does that pension get CoL increases? In the last 20 years CoL in many places has gone up by about 55% on average. Even if that pension covers everything now that doesn’t necessarily mean it always will. In a worst case scenario you end with too much money and can donate whatever’s left to the charity of your choice, but it’s definitely a case where it’s better to have too much than too little. As for a non-financial standpoint, the biggest advice I’d give based on my parents is to find hobbies that you enjoy and that help you stay connected. A lot of people right when they retire really struggle because their entire social networks are based around their jobs. Join a dance club, try out for a community choir, etc.. Anything that helps you keep and maintain connections is good.


If her pension covers everything and leaves $1500 extra, it sounds like you don’t NEED the social security yet. She should wait as long as she can to start drawing payments. The amounts will be much higher the longer she waits.


**Devote the rest of your life to making sure your wife is happy.** Because if she ever decides to divorce you, you are going to be f*cked, my friend. At best, if you live in a community property state, you’ll get about $50,000 (pre-tax) from her 401K, and half a depreciating old boat. Plus half the proceeds from a house sale, which you’ll probably use to buy a new one, unless you want to pay rent in retirement, which will be adjusted based on inflation and the whims of the landlord. You may not get 50% of her state pension and Social Security benefit, both of which will likely depend on how long you’ve been officially married to her. (Is it fair to assume that your reference to “my daughter” means you’ve been married previously, and this is your second marriage?) You’ll also probably find, as I have, that divorce doesn’t decrease your living expenses significantly. At worst, your ex-wife will find a judge who is sympathetic with her refusal to split her hard earned assets with a self-described lifelong beach bum. Not to mention, in this scenario, you’ll be paying substantial attorney fees. (Sorry about that last paragraph. I don’t mean to be critical of your lifestyle, just want to show how it might been seen through the eyes of an unsympathetic court.)