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Bronze Conversationalist
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 1 of 70 (7 Views)

I have reinvented myself 5 times but once you hit 55, I believe your learning skills and intelligence greatly diminish.  I know your IQ is age adjusted.  The adjustment gets larger in your 60s.  Yes, an old dog can learn new tricks but the effort is immense to learn anything significant. Unless you are an exceptional being, you will not be able to train up to a more challenging position.  I am sure all of us have what it takes to be a Walmart greeter.  Is this the job change you had in mind or was it to be a neurosurgeon? If you so enjoyed your job, why did you retire so early?  I know for some of it is you could. 20 years in the military is a huge help. It is nothing you can live on well but it sure makes it easier to make a comfortable retirement with a second or even 3rd career.

 

Me, I will probably work until 70. I actually do like my job and am fortunate I am still smart enough to do the work. Most programmers age out in their 50s. The problem with programming is your mistakes rarely go unnoticed. They show up as bugs that are documented and need to be fixed. On the other hand, NO ONE EVER MESSES WITH A COMPETENT SENIOR PROGRAMMER.   That is what makes a job unbearable. You can even be politically stupid has long as you can keep your operation running smoothly. I have over 100 persons depending that I do everything correctly.

 

It is great to live under your means. That is what we will do. With the stock market doing crazy well and me working well past when I thought I would be retired we are accumulating more money than I ever dreamed I would have. Right now, I am working for my kids. We are leaving them in a terrible place (the US economy), so they will need the money so they will be able to retire with a roof over their heads.  Many indicators seem to suggest an economic apocalypse for the US in 5-10 years. Already, the P/E ratio is the highest it has ever been except for 1929. That it is so high and still at least 5 years from the crash is frightening, if true, so my kids will need that money. The predictions of the DOW peak range from 30,000 to 40,000. The P/E could be as high as twice that before the great depression. The higher the P/E before the crash, the greater the crash so twice that of the great depression is an economic apocalypse.

 

 

Info Seeker
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-10-2010

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 2 of 70 (29 Views)

i think we get to create our own luck/destiny.

 

i know this discussion is about early retirement and everyone on the thread is probably 50+; however, i've noted after reading several posts that many folks settled or got stuck with jobs they didn't want and i have a couple of simple answers to that: (1) find a job you like; (2) reinvent yourself to find the job you like/want.

 

i had 3 career changes in my work history (USMC; Oil/Gas Exploration; IT) and i had to retool/retrain and reeducate for two of them.  i was blessed in that i enjoyed all 3 careers, for the most part.

 

i'm very happy for retiring early and leaving the 'rat race' but primarily because i was fortunate enough to plan my retirement well.  i have few regrets and one of them is that i didn't plan for retirement when i was 25 so i preach to my kids and the grandkids (and to anyone who'll listen) to get ready soon, and the more education the better.

 

i witnessed my grandparents who had to survive on their Social Security and i praise God that i don't.  all my needs are met while retired yet i continue to live under my means, i still save, and i still invest.  i wish everyone well.

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-24-2013

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 3 of 70 (31 Views)

I knew at the start of my career(s) that I would neither stay with one organization nor would I reach traditional retirement age.  There was just too much traveling to do.  I had work I loved and did well, socked away what I could and have had a long-term relationship with a terrific financial management team, learned that it's easier to reduce out-go than increase income.  I retired at 49.  21 years later I've lived aboard a houseboat (4 yrs) & traveled the rivers of the U.S., lived aboard a wonderful sailboat (16 yrs) and sailed to Europe 3 times (realized that I didn't really want to sail around the world), explored England, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Eastern Seaboard & Gulf coast of U.S.  Broken hearted when lost it in a storm & a container off a ship cracked the hull like an egg.  On the verge of buying a second river boat ... and the journey continues

Bronze Conversationalist
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 4 of 70 (56 Views)

You make great points but sadly most of us don't get to descide.  The current job culture is all about the young not the old.  In the last great layoff in NYC over 60% of those laid off were older than 50.  Once you get out you can't get in because you are too old to hire.  I did manage to secure a job but that was mostly luck but without deturmination, perserverance and going the extra mile I would not have been at the right place and time to have the opportunity to get lucky.

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-01-2016

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 5 of 70 (105 Views)

I retired from the Air Force at age 44 after 25 1/2 years of service, 10 years enlisted and 15 1/2 as an officer, and have only worked about 6 1/2 years in the last 38.  There are two questions you need to answer before you retire at any age because your retirement won't be enjoyable if you don't.  The first one is, how are you going to live on a reduced income and the second is what are you going to do with all your free time.  During my working years I always set my standard of living at no more than 60% of my military pay so, in effect, I was always living on a reduced income.  My wife and I travelled extensively after I retired and my retirement was never boring.  We made two trips to Europe and two to Hawaii and several cross-country trips here in the States.  She had only been in nine states before she met me and had been in 49 states and 23 countries on three continents when she passed away in 2011.  I quit working completely at 55 1/2 and we lived on just my military retired pay from then until my Social Security and civil service retirement kicked in at age 62.     

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-29-2010

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 6 of 70 (131 Views)

I count myself blessed that I was able to retire at age 55. I worked for the Federal Government for 36 years. I had always planned to work until I was at least 65 years old, but my job had become so stressful that when I turned 54 I told everyone at work that I was retiring on my 55th birthday. Many didn't believe me but when I reached 55 I was out of there and have not regretted for one minute my decision. Also, retiriing gave me a chance to join the greatest group of volunteers ever at AARP.

Conversationalist
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-14-2010

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 7 of 70 (231 Views)

I assume you retired prior to your full retirement age. If true, what they give you now is it. The only increase you'll see would be a COLA and only if Congress elects to give it to you. Next year, all Social Security beneficiaries will see a 2 percent COLA. But that is likely to be offset by an increase in your Medicare premiums that are automatically deducted.

Conversationalist
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-14-2010

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 8 of 70 (232 Views)

I assume you retired prior to your full retirement age. If true, what they give you now is it. The only increase you'll see would be a COLA and only if Congress elects to give it to you. Next year, all Social Security beneficiaries will see a 2 percent COLA. But that is likely to be offset by an increase in your Medicare premiums that are automatically deducted.

Info Seeker
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-16-2012

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 9 of 70 (239 Views)
Does anybody know if you get full retirement benefits when you get to actual retirement age or are we stuck with what we have????
Frequent Social Butterfly
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎12-11-2013

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 10 of 70 (254 Views)

To am5488... You were able to do a wonderful thing. Too many of us are haunted by 20/20 hindsight. My grandmother suffered from diabetes. My mother would hide all the goodies whenever my grandmother would babysit us. My mother said if she would have known a week ahead when my when my grandmother would have passed on, she would have hidden nothing; at that point, it would have been too late to hurt her and it would have given her one final pleasure that she missed. I think my Mom was right and I feel bad she carried that regret.