First Sign: Our financial adviser, Chuck, will give us favorable news about the status of our current investments. This includes giving us a monthly asset allocation that we can picture comfortably living with and a longevity plan for not running out of said money. Second Sign: Our jobs award us a semi-rare "golden handshake" monetary incentive to gracefully bow out of teaching before our official retirement date. Third Sign: Our son receives an academic scholarship that will pay for his entire year of study abroad in Xian, China.
Well, we talked with Chuck today for an hour. He ran many different financial scenarios for us using some newfangled software. In the scenarios he factored in inflation at different percentages (2% vs. 3%). He also ran the numbers with and without Social Security and our pensions being added to the pot. With that, we found out that the worst case scenario is that we could potentially run out of money by age 76 (without SS/pension) or a better scenario, not until age 91 (with SS/pension). Of course, this prediction has a great deal to do with how the markets react in the years immediately after we leave the work force and how our spending fluctuates in our early retirement years.That being said, we plan to live on considerably less than he would allocate for us yearly and we also know that we will have opportunities along the way to make a little cash to plump up our assets. So, maybe that can push us into the great beyond without our worrying too much about dying penniless under a bridge. By the end of the phone conversation, Chuck was mumbling something about needing a crystal ball and never before having to predict a retirement allocation that could potentially last 50 years. He ended up saying the words, "It's really up to you, but if it's that important to you, you should go for it." A sign!
Then, just to spice things up a bit, a little extra sign of fate came directly from a tip given by our friend Amy (self-proclaimed superstitious Catholic) who told Lori that if she prays to St. Therese and then sees a rose soon thereafter, St. Therese is telling us to follow our dreams. Not only did Lori see a rose today, she saw three! In November! Coincidence? Bah humbug, say you? Well, don't mind us fools, then. We'll take all the help that we can get, including divine intervention.
So folks, in a nutshell, we have one pre-determined sign checked off and two more to go. Stay tuned. We'll let you know how it all turns out sometime around spring. Until then, we're keeping our fingers crossed.