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Table: Your Options


You're 52, three years away from earliest retirement age of 55, your salary is $120,000 a year, and you expect 4% annual hikes. You're in a two-income household, so assume a 40% cost for taxes.

OPTION ONE

Stay at the company, and estimate three years worth of salary. Take the present value of that sum using a 5% discount rate.

Year 1: $120,000

Year 2: $124,800

Year 3: $129,792

Present value after taxes: $208,000

OPTION TWO

Take the $250,000 retirement bonus. You land a job with an annual salary of $60,000 after you leave the company.

Bonus after taxes: $150,000

Year 1: $60,000

Year 2: $62,400

Year 3: $64,896

Present value after taxes: $253,000

Data: Frank Marzano, American Express Financial Advisors


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