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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 61 of 96

I was with a company for 10 years when out of the blue I was "let go" at the age of 58. I spent that spring and summer trying to find a job which seems to be more difficult at an older age. I finally was hired by a government contractor. The site manager was replaced by a 30 something woman who immediately started making life difficult for me and others my age. Finally the day I knew was coming arrived and she told me I was no longer needed. So here I was unemployed again at 62. I had saved some money over the years plus I received a pension from this last company. My wife is 2 years older than me so we both made the decision to retire. Only problem was we weren't old enough for Medicare. I had been thinking about a certain job before to give me something to do when I retired. The local school system was hiring school bus drovers and they offered great benefits which included great health insurance. So they hired me, trained me and helped me get my CDL's. I have been enjoying this "new job" for over 2 years now and life is good. I work 5 hours per day and 180 days per year. Having summers off works great for traveling or just doing what I please.

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 62 of 96

I retired at 56, in 2007, and have been eternally grateful for it 10 years in. I was and educator, and the last six years of my career, a school administrator. The economy was in shambles, 600 teachers were laid off in my district, the stress was overwhelming, and I thought if I kept going like this, I wouldn’t live long enough to enjoy my retirement. We had planned for an early retirement for me by paying off the mortgage and our debts, or I would not have been in the position to take early retirement.  I met with a retirement counselor (I receive a state pension, not social security), and to my surprise found that all my unused sick leave accounted for an extra 1 1/2 years retirement credit, so I decided to pull the plug even earlier than we’d planned, and have never looked back. We’ve travelled to Thailand, Grand Cayman and Hawaii multiple times, plus numerous road trips throughout our beloved California. My husband retired a few years ago, and we take three mile beach walks three times a week, have completed many projects around the house, lots of leisure time, drinking coffee and reading (I read 70 books last year, mainly from the library), and enjoying our family and friends. We live in San Diego, and by working hard and saving money, we are living the retirement dream. We lost a lot of our retirement savings twice, in the early 2000’s and again in 2008, but after we recovered enough to live comfortably, we transferred most of our retirement account to CD’s, as we are too old to survive another hit. With strategic planning, middle class people can retire early, even in paradise, and enjoy being a member of the best club there is-the Retirement Club.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 63 of 96

I retired 4 years ago at age 50.   I had worked for my agency for almost 30 years when it was decided our small, friendly office would be closed & consolidated with a larger office 45 miles away.   This involved a commute & more stressful environment.      With the support of my husband, I made the decision to make that commute & work for 2 more years when I turned 50 & then retire.   Although I make less money, we have our medical, dental & vision insurance & I still invest money into an account with my private financial consultant.   I am free to pursue hobbies & things I enjoy & I do not have the stress or worry like I did.   I had to get up at 4:30am each morning during the last few years of my career.  Fortunately, I could share a commute with a co-worker, so that helped on gas & wear & tear on my vehicle, but I was still tired all the time.     If I get the desire to work again, it will be something part time & local that I really enjoy.    

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 64 of 96

My mother passed away when I had just turned 50, so it did not look like I could think about retiring.  My dad was still home and was diagnosed with dementia, but was not too bad at that time.  Fast forward 4 years and my Dad would take little walks when it was either 90 degrees or minus 20!  My neighbor found him and brought him to where I worked (I was only 2 miles from home) so I would take him back home and reassure him I would be back soon.  I then looked into what it would take for an early retirement (age 55 and I would have insurance that I would pay for) so at age 55 I retired to take care of my Dad.  Even though I may have not been "rich" by any means, I had a pension, I had accumulated savings and savings bonds that would pull me through until I officially retired at 62 for Social Security.  It wasn't always easy (most of my savings bonds went for property tax), I managed until his death, 2-1/2 years later.  Then I really buckled down as I still had 5 years to Social Security tightened the belt, fixed the things I could afford, sold some items that I could make  a few bucks on and soon I was 62!  It may have been hard, but the time I had with my Dad was well worth it.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 65 of 96

When my parents died in their 60s, it motivated me even more to commit to an early retirement. Even with reduced SS benefits that we took at age 62, our monthly SS covers 80-90% of our living expenses since we retired to live in Mexico and have a safer and more enjoyable life, now for over 10 years, in Mexico than we ever experienced in the United States. We have good healthcare options here too.

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Social Butterfly

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 66 of 96

I decided to wait to retire.  I've been single, self-supporting all but 15 months of my life and that made me feel that I needed to be conservative. I lost my husband only 15 months after we were married and being only 23 and having a few friends whose parents waited to travel until they were in their 60s and the other person becoming ill, I chose to travel while I was young enough to enjoy it. 

 

I had also found myself unemployed after almost 40 years of working twice at age 57 and then again at 60 and that left me scrambling to find a job because I didn't want to have to start using my retirement nestegg for daily living and medical insurance premiums.

 

With 50+ years of employment under my belt, I was fortunate enough to build a decent retirement nestegg but I leave as little to chance as possible. With 9 people on both sides of my family living to age 84 and older, I had to do whatever I could to put myself in a position where I didn't feel like I was going to run out of money.  I wanted to work till age 70, but my company let me go 2 years earlier.  I decided to use my unemployment, my husband's survivor benefits and some of my 401K to get me to age 70. 

 

For the last 7 years, I'd been looking after my elderly mother who just recently passed on to a better life.  At age 71, I can keep up with people 20 years and younger than myself both in physical capability and mental capacity.  I plan to spend my retirement now visiting with the family I do have left, reading, writing, working on my websites, going to the senior center and a number of other things.  I have absolutely NO regrets at having waited.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 67 of 96

I retired a month shy of my 59th birthday. Both of my parents died in their 60s and never had the opportunity to enjoy retirement. My wife & I took SS at age 62 and moved to live in retirement in Mexico where the culture, lifestyle, weather & cost-of-living is far better than in the United States. We have now had 10 wonderful years in Mexico. Healthcare in our region of Mexico meets or exceeds healthcare in the U.S. and the Mexican government allows us FREE OF PREMIUM health plan coverage even as expatriates with permanent residency visas.

 

I planned my early retirement with my first job out of college at age 22. I practiced what my parents taught me to always pay myself first when paying my bills. I opened an IRA and participated fully in my employer's 401k Plan to receive full matching contributions. We now live basically off our SS which covers 80-90% of our monthly living expenses in Mexico. Planning with determination to retire early allowed us to achieve our retirement dream & goal.

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 68 of 96

Please find out prior to retirment what you would like to do; volunteer with a certain organizatin prior to retirement, work part time with a company-find out about the company prior to retirement, travel-research the location  prior to travelling, etc, etc, etc. Plus, ensure more positive people are in your life. Staying inside the home after retirement results in a decline mental and physical health. Please keep moving; get involved with organizations or another form of work to stay mobile, mentally and physically healthy and sustain positive people in your life!!!!

I found out the hard way.

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Gold Conversationalist

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 69 of 96

I retired at 58 in 2015, and I still consider myself in the Retirement Honeymoon phase--still figuring out and fine tuning my retirement lifestyle.  My only regret is not knowing that I would not be allowed to continue contributing to my Roth IRA.  

For whatever reasons, I simply did not do enough due diligence in understanding the difference between "active" employment-related income and "passive" employment- (pension/SS) related income.  I had planned on using my SS to continue strengthing my portfolio--which has done exceptionally well.  Income generated from my Roth IRA  helps lessen my tax hit and also serves as my emergency fund. I have now accepted that I need to figure out a way (other than going back to punching someone else's timeclock) to generate "active" income so that I can get back on track with contributing to my Roth IRA.

The ultimate irony of the active income rule?  A divorced spouse can contribute alimony funds to a Roth IRA--because of a "special" ruling...

Fey Lady
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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 70 of 96

I worked until I was 70 to max out Social Security for a more comfortable retirement.  My  Beloved husband passed away 11 months later.  Oh how I wish I had retired at 62 or 65 latest to have spent that tie with him.  Nothing can ever buy you more time.

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