113R | Making your Retirement Plan Bullet Proof | Tanja Hester

113R | Making your Retirement Plan Bullet Proof | Tanja Hester

Tanja Hester retired early 15 months ago and joins the show to share her experience of being work optional, Brad makes a decision about solar panels, and a review of Monday’s episode with Grant Sabatier.

  • Brad shares some updates with his car malfunctions and follows up about his solar panel cost analysis.
  • Brad anticipates a 9.6% return on his solar panel investment, compared to Brian’s 12.5% return in Rhode Island.
  • Solar panels are expected to last for about 25 years.
  • Message from Dan, who realized while listening to Monday’s episode with Grant Sabatier, that he is charging too little for his side hustle work, and paying too much in taxes.
  • Sales is story telling – Grant figured out how to tell his story right and understand potential client’s needs.
  • A message from Ben, who feels like building relationships with recruiters is more likely to get you job options that is $10-15k, compared to the $60-80k Grant mentioned.
  • You’re unlikely to get a big pay bump by staying with the same company; getting a significant jump usually requires moving jobs.
  • Maybe you don’t need a budget, but you do need to know what your life costs.
  • Tanja Hester, author of Work Optional, joins the show:
    • How did Tanja change from wanting to stick with her career forever, to choosing early retirement?
    • Took Tanja and her husband about 6 years to reach early retirement.
    • It’s hard to know your “why of FI”, but moving into early retirement requires some life planning.
    • After 15 months, is early retirement meeting Tanja’s expectations?
    • Whether you’re retiring at 45 or 65, the transition is still very similar; we all have a desire to matter and contribute.
    • What are Tanja and Mark pursuing now that allows them to contribute?
    • What things should people be considering in order to make their retirement plan bullet proof?
      • A variety of different retirement options, aside from full retirement.
      • One-phase or two-phase retirement – should you plan differently for your expenses and savings before and after the traditional retirement age?
      • Does 25x and/or 4% work for you?
      • When and how to cut your spending?
    • It’s always better to over save.
    • Tanja’s FI calculations don’t include social security, as there’s a possible it could change.
    • Most retirees spend about $300k on medical expenses, beyond Medicare.

Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 07/16/2020

Past episodes mentioned in today's show:

ChooseFI Episode 105R – Solar Panel Cost Analysis

ChooseFI Episode 112R – Planned Obsolescence

ChooseFI Episode 46 – Our Next Life – The Re

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4 thoughts on “113R | Making your Retirement Plan Bullet Proof | Tanja Hester”

  1. In the Virginia area if you are considering going Solar I would check out Solar United Neighbors. You can join a CO-OP occasionally to get group pricing for your solar system. I got pricing last year and haven’t moved forward yet.

  2. Like Brad, I signed an agreement for solar this week. My system tracks his at about 3/4 cost and 3/4 benefit with the same roughly 10 year payback – there are lots of variables so it is always hard to know for sure if the payback forecast is accurate – for example, what will be the cost per megawatt hour of electricity five years from now? If higher, the payback is shorter.

    I would like to recommend a site called energysage.com – they act as a neutral third party, supplying a lot of information about all the details of an installation and they are a clearinghouse for bids from trusted installers.

    There are some shady sales tactics out there and a site like this will let you know if a given offer is reasonable.

    I see the value of solar the same way as Brad – using it to reduce a cost in retirement for a fixed amount up front. This reduces the 25X amount needed substantially.

    Thanks again for your podcast and FB groups – very helpful.

  3. Hi,

    There was a great deal of material I took away from this episode.

    The one that stood out me was how much you should expect in medical bills in retirement and health insurance.


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