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A new year, a new job

January 31st, 2023 at 08:06 pm

Well, we've only just begun 2023 and already I feel lots of big changes happening in my life.

For one, I will earn a living as a writer again after a roughly five-year hiatus during which time I was copy editing p/t. I've been hired as a W2 writer for a university not in the Northeast, and I'm expecting my first assignment this Friday.

I'm excited because it's really just the kind of job I was hoping to find: one with pretty p/t hours so as not to interfere with my semi-retirement (!), one that contained minimal exposure to the usual office meetings, politics, etc. and one that paid pretty well.

I was not expecting it would be a W2 job, but having the employer (the recruiter agency) deduct taxes in each check makes my life soooo much easier come tax time. And they pay every week, as opposed to the nightmare that was waiting a full month to be paid (and often it would not be on time) from my former employer, the India-based tech company.

The other big change I've set in motion is something I knew I wanted to do for a few years now, but recently I realized there was no need, really, to wait til age 65 to do it. It will faciitate my transition from working stiff to retiree. Meaning, I'm removing a chunk of assets from stock market exposure and putting it into a Single Payment Income Annuity. Dido from this site has been enormously helpful in providing various insights as to taxation and such.

Since the bulk of my savings are in the stock market (mutual funds), I will feel better taking some of that risk away, because once in full retirement, I won't enjoy that risk and want to sleep pretty well at night. The SPIA will deliver monthly guaranteed lifetime income, very much like a pension. It won't cover all my day-to-day expenses, but it will pay out at about $1,100 a month.

One thing I need to learn more about is the optional cost-of-living adjustment. I want to know how that will affect my monthly payouts.

I will have a firmer feel of things after I speak with the New York Life agent later this week. They are highly rated, but I may also schedule a meeting with Guardian Life, which has equally high ratings and about the same monthly payout.

I'm also getting started on my first big home renovation in late April. I'm hiring a guy to refinish my kitchen cabinets. There's nothing wrong with the cabinets themselves, other than the paint is worn or chipped in places and looks a bit shoddy. I'll be moving from white cabinets to a nice gray. Still up in the air is whether to replace the laminate countertop with quartz. He has to come measure so he can firm up cost of that. I did visit the showroom to pick out the paint color and the quartz, as well as to just check out their operation and hear a lot about the process.

I'm inclined to do it all once, especially now that I have a job again, but I was prepared to defer the counter until next year just to spread out the cost. Also with this job I would be replacing my old ceramic sink, which does not sit flush with the counter, with a stainless steel undermount sink, and I also need to replace a long-leaking faucet.

I'll save thousands by refinishing the cabinets instead of replacing them, and with the color change and new counter, it'll seem like I have an entirely new kitchen.


5 Responses to “A new year, a new job”

  1. Wink Says:

    Congrats on the new job, it sounds like a perfect fit!

  2. Lots of Ideas Says:

    I have an annuity through USAA. I am not associated with the military and this did not require that.

    I purchased it with the advice/help of the financial advisor I work with at Fidelity.

    What I like about it is that if I die before I have recovered the amount I paid for it, the difference between what I paid in and what has been paid out will go to my estate. I hated the idea of a lump sum of money being lost if I died soon after purchase. But the market volatility was too great to leave everything invested…this was a good compromise for me.

    I know many people don’t trust Financial Advisors, but I am very satisfied that mine listen to my concerns, are well prepared when they talk to me, never rush or pressure me.

    Congratulations on finding a job that seems to suit your needs. 😀

  3. mumof2 Says:

    congrats on the new job...the kitchen sounds great hope you can get it all done at once

  4. Turtle Lover Says:

    congrats on the new job! I hope you post before - during - after photos of your kitchen renovation!

  5. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    How much do you want to live on in retirement? What is the goal? I read the later post and was surprised you are scrimping so much now to live on 50% of what you plan on living on later.

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