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Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-16-2015

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 81 of 96 (2,037 Views)

I retired at age 55, and was recently offered a job at my last place of employment, part time. I ended up turning it down. Retirement, in my opinion, is the bomb!!!! I've worked hard all my life and haven't done as much fun stuff as I would have liked. Now I am. I've joined a local ski club, and last year, I skied 74 days. While I was working, 18 days was a lot. Summer time, I kayak, bike and hike. I also volunteer on some land trusts and various town boards. I see my grandkids once a o month or so (they live a ways away). I no longer have to punch someone else's timeclock, but I do keep busy. And there are also some days I spend in front of the PC researching. While it is not very active, I get to search out history and learn. 

Financially, I am better off than when I was working. I moved to a low cost area to live. When I first moved here, identical house as my last home (I built them, I'm a builder), my property taxes were less than a third of what they were previously. My state does not tax the first $10,000.00 of annuity income. I take advantage of the homestead act for property taxes. Although, I did not work last year, or pay in any taxes, I recived about $550.00 in tax returns from both federal and state. Not a whole lot, but a welcome surprise!

I have found that getting my self financially set up removes the concerns of will I make it, and that frees me up to actually do the things I have always wanted to do more of! You just gotta get out there and do it! Enjoy this time!

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-06-2013

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 82 of 96 (2,583 Views)

I retired on my 59th birthday.  It was definitely the best thing I ever did for myself.  I moved to the mountains of Northern Arizona, where there are lots of year round recreational opportunities.  I go kayaking almost every week, year round including winter. I am in two hiking groups, including leading one.  I am a member of a lifelong learning group.  I served as treasurer of my church for three years.  I joined a Rotary club, and got involved with Rotary Youth Exchange.  I go back to California occasionally to visit our grandkids.  I am now 71, and thoroughly enjoying life.  Sure, I have some aches and pains, but nothing major.  The second best thing I ever did for myself was to lose 100 pounds.  Being active, rather than sitting behind a desk, helped a lot.  In addition to all that, I now am a substitute teacher (math and science) in the local high school.

Find things you like, and get involved.  The kayaking group let me to the lifelong learning group, which let me to hiking, which let to...

Info Seeker
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-06-2011

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 83 of 96 (3,167 Views)

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I'm sorry for the loss of your child! And it must be difficult still caring for a disabled child at 66!  You're a strong person! I just don't think I could do it that AND work much longer.  I too love my job working  as an assistant for the Superintendent and our PIO, but I am not as sharp as I used to be. and while I don't think anybody really notices, I struggle every day with all the details and if you work in Special Ed you must see how complicated things are getting!  I've been saying for the last couple of years that nothing is simple anymore, nothing!  As soon as we get a handle on something "they" change it!  I have watched so many co workers over the last several years work to 65 or 66 even thought they wanted out much earlier, only to live 3-4 year and pass away.  I have three beautiful grandchildren still young enough to appreciate Grandma and I want to have more influence on them while I can. I live a simple life so I don't need a lot of money but being with the district over 33 years has afforded me a livable retirement. I plan to retire March 30, 2018 unless of course the country explodes or the economy collapses!.  (I pray every day).  My plan right now is to hold off on collecting SS but that depends on how much I will have to pay for health insurance until I'm 65.  I will leave my district after 33.5 years of service (I've seen it all!) I think I've given enough. I want to try other things for this time in my life.  I'm not sure exactly what that is but I'm looking and praying for what that might be. I wish you the best - don't wait too much long for a chance to do what YOU want to do, WHEN you want to do it. You deserve it. Take care.

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-29-2017

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 84 of 96 (2,680 Views)

I will be 66 next month and am still working full-time.  I work in a school district as the district special education secretary to the director of special education.  Sounds pretentious but it truly isn't.  I truly love my job and my boss which is probably why I didn't retire at 62 when I had seriously thought about doing so.

I am also retired from the military for over 27 years.  Once, when talking about retiring from my job, my boss asked me why I was still working if I could draw social security, get retirement for this job, and have a military retirement.  I told him the difference between 62 social security and 66 social security was a leap.  

I'd like to retire.  I think about it every single day.  My husband only wants me to work 2 more years but then I think, what about working until I'm 70 because the difference is quite a bit?  He is 71 and stays home with our daughter, who is disabled.  But now she goes out to day services and we are waiting for assisted living to open up for her.  We have grandchildren.  We have already lost one child 3 years ago.  Life is short.  So much I want to do but I love my job too.  So I'm just going back and forth over it.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll get this figured out sooner rather than later.

Frequent Social Butterfly
Posts: 134
Registered: ‎12-11-2013

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 85 of 96 (2,920 Views)

If you have the resources. If you have a plan. If you can do what you really want to do. If you can get something "out of your system", go for it. But you can not just sit around for the rest of your life,you got to do something. If you want to, goof off for a little while and then get on with your life; change of work, volunteer, write a book, play some golf.

Info Seeker
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-05-2015

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 86 of 96 (3,188 Views)

I retired after 30 + years working outside, (after 4 + years in the Marine corps.) Working outside in northwest Indiana is equivalent to 40 years working inside. It was a job, not a career. I did it to earn money, not because I enjoyed it.

I had 2 advantages; with my wife's support, we were able to save from 20 to 25 percent of our income in the final years before I retired. That was advantage number one. Save 'til it hurts and save some more!

My second advantage was the option of a lump sum buy out. I saw too many pensions shrink from inflation. I took the buyout and invested it in the stock market.

It truly is" the only game in town". 

Yes, it will go down, but it will come back up again. Be patient and wait. Do not panic and overreact.


Remember that it is possible to trade time for money, buy you cannot trade money for more time.


Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-02-2015

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 87 of 96 (3,415 Views)

I retired at 64 although I thought I would retire at 62. My employer offered me a deal which involved only working 2 days a week for 2 years with full benefits which made the extension of my work career pretty sweet. My wife is about 12 years younger than myself and resisted retirement, but she realized that her working kept us from enjoying what retirement time we might have together. She retired finally at 55 with a full pension and medical benefits.


Part of our decision to try to enjoy retirement over whatever we might gain by continuing to work was based on life experience. One of my closest friends who absolutely hated his job retired at 62, but did not surivive a year following his retirement. My brother also died a few years after his retirement. Another close friend died recently after a short retirement. Certain jobs I can understand being worth extending because of the fulfillment that is possible based on the type of work. But most are not worth the time in relation to what life can be like as a retired individual.


On the contrary, my mother retired at 62 and lived another 30 years. She could never tell me enough how much she enjoyed her days of good life following her work years. She did not have a big income retirement, but she was so happy with her free time and enjoyments that had little to do with large cash expenditures.


I would only recommend that you prepare for retirement by finding what you might most desire to do with your free time which could be travel, hobbies, gardening, community service or whatever things you wished you could do while you were working full time.

Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-11-2008

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 88 of 96 (3,220 Views)

GOOD for you!  I am now past the usual retirement age @ 69, going on the big 7-0, and cannot believe that I am not only working fulltime, but considering taking on a second job to cover bills - WHAT?!?!  I do plan to retire some time in my seventieth year, however, as working for now over 50 years at various institutions, the one where I am now by then for 25 years, is enough.  Have other things to do, other fish to fry, etc.  Want to also spend time with grandchildren and help some of my kids (extended version) with their lives, including a daughter-not-in-law (a partner but not wife of a son) who is battleing cancer, all the while raising one toddler and carrying a second child..!  Tough row to how.  Anyway, losts of creative projects in my head and one on which I am working, too.  We live our lives, I fully believe, not to just do one thing, but ultimately whatever G-d has for us to do.  I pray for enough years to accomplish what He has for me and my family.  I DO applaud your resolve to do the same.

Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-13-2008

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 89 of 96 (3,282 Views)

I hadn't planned on early retirement but I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 62. I found that I just couldn't function in my job of 25 years as a supervisor in city government. I was too tired after surgery and strong chemo. So I checked as to what my early social security and pension would be. I found that I could survive on the monthly income. Fortunately all my credit cards were paid off and due to the blessings I received when my dad passed, I had a new car, no payments. In addition 2 of my sisters were in situations where the had to move. We talked about it and now rent a home together.  We made sure we set things up so that we wouldn't be in conflict with each other.  I am now blessed being cancer free, out of a very stressful job, spending more time with family and surprisingly have more money in the bank than ever.  I also have enough money to travel or if needed, support myself alone if needed. I realize I am so much better off than so many others, and know my father took me through a difficult part of my life. But I started in my pension plan when I hired. I know that is difficult for younger people to do, but it is absolutely a must. I am happier and more stress free than ever.  

Gold Conversationalist
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎02-22-2009

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 90 of 96 (3,518 Views)

@pattyecalling Hi!  I retired at 58--the first to do so in my family (second generation).  After over 43 years of punching someone else's time clock, it was time for a change.  It was easy to let go because I was simply bored to-the-teeth of the politics and how the work culture was changing; it was no longer about the team.

It was time to go, and I was ready, and I went out the way I wanted to go out (no circus or superficial "thank you for your service jestures or check-off list send off).  I made a quiet dignified drama-free exit. THANKFULLY!

I keep in touch with those former colleagues who want to do so.  I've learned that some don't want to see people who have successfully retired.  And, there are those who are shocked at how happy I am AND, that I still keep in contact with them and others.  Weird?!! I retired from a long career life; I didn't retire my personality or my life...

What I didn't realise is that my nieces and nephews were taking mental notes on my attitude towards aging and retirement.  It's very humbling.  I'm just living my life as I always have.  I just don't work at a paying job.  

During this year's tax season I was lamenting to my 36 year old Nephew about how my tax-free party was over.  Decades of maxing out in the company supplemental savings plans kicked me in to lower tax brackets.  My nephew looked shocked and commented, " You're RETIRED, why are you paying taxes?!  That was an aha moment for me.  It was an opportunity for me to challenge their expectation about their perceptions of what it means to age and retire.


Fey Lady