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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 141 of 151

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.

And DIVERSIFY!

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

Enjoy!

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 142 of 151

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.

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 143 of 151

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.

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 144 of 151

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.  

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 145 of 151

@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
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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 146 of 151
pattyecalling,
It sounds like you have given a lot of thought about your situation; Change can be scary or exciting. It is an opportunity to try something new. Only you will know if this is the right decision for you. I wish you all the best.
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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 147 of 151

I retired at 55. But, we all have different interests, finances, family, plans (or lack thereof). I do end up doing one thing you mentioned --- too much TV in the winter. I don't have winter hobbies aside from working out everyday and doing some volunteer work. But, I am married and we have family in the area and end up seeing them more than we used to.  For 8 months of the year, I have more than enough stuff to do, including travel.

   DW and I had the same concerns as you. We had private insurance (DW still does --- not yet on Medicare) and we spent several years really taking a hard look at finances. That included me tracking all our income and expenses, to the penny, for over two years. We then built in projections for future expenses (people vastly underestimate house and auto upkeep). I would advise you be sure about your finances, as best you can. It sounds like you've given this a lot of thought. But, 'hard numbers' is something you need to sleep at night. 


Just think. The world was built by the lowest bidder.
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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 148 of 151

Thanks for the encouragement.  I really appreciate it.  I'm a worry wort and I know that doesn't help any. And I'm one of those people who likes to know what is coming (at least as much as possible). I'm the planner in the family! I'm sure it will all be fine. It's just a HUGE change!  Thanks again.

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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 149 of 151

@pattyecalling

 

Change can be scary, but I've found embracing rather than fighting it makes me the champion of my own life. Smiley Happy

 

We know a fellow who retired at 60 and who rides 8,000 miles a year on his road bike plus mountain bikes, windsurfs, snowshoes and mountaineers ... he's incredibly fit and also incredibly well read and informed, a total joy with whom to converse. 

 

Follow your passions. His is obviously fitness and current events. What's yours? Smiley Happy

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

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Message 150 of 151

I retired very young, but had to spend the first few years as a family caregiver. Sure, there are days that are a little slow, but I'm not sorry I retired early, nor have I been bored!

 

I have a good friend who worked into her late 60s, because she was afraid of being bored .. but once she retired, she got busier than ever!

 

I always say that the only people who "get bored", are those who aren't putting much effort into finding things to keep busy! Besides being with grandchildren, you can volunteer for any number of organizations in which you have an interest. You can take reasonably priced continuing education programs at local colleges, as well as day trips. You can check out Meet-up, to find groups of like-minded retirees & others in your age range, to do all sorts of things.

 

Good luck!


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