Reply
Periodic Contributor

Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

I am planning on retiring in April 2018 when I turn 62. I have worked for the same employer for 33 years and am fortunate enough to have a decent retirement. I won't be doing a lot of travelling or buying a new car but I should be comfortable, making a little more than I am working!  I have 3 grandchildren that I really want to spend more time with before Grandma isn't "the bomb" anymore, be a little more involved in my church, and open to other things. But after just taking a week off from work, I'm afraid I will be bored.  I'm so used to having a specific purpose every day; I'm used to being surrounded by great people with lots of laughs (lots of crap too!) and great working relationships.  I am not a highly motovated person and am afraid I'll spend way too much time in front of the TV, especially in the winter months!  I really don't want to work any more.  33 years is a long time to give to one organization. It's now time for ME.  (Besides, I can't keep up with the changes in technology and all the young people around me).  My retirement is all contingent on what Trump does with health care and economy.  I have budgeted a nice monthly sum for insurance premiums but it may not be enough or change over the next three years until I can get on Medicare.  It all frightens me. I'm a single woman supporting myself.  Anyway, would love to get some feedback. Thanks.

7,305 Views
150
Report
Periodic Contributor

We are 35 miles south of San Diego, CA. Retirement in Mexico has been great for me. My weight is down 105 pounds, my blood pressure is down & so is my cholesterol count.

 

No stress makes for a much better life.

 

Come on down as soon as you are ready! 

 

Life is great South of the Border!!

Contributor

I would like to hear about the pros and cons of retiring early. I’m 60 years old and would like to retire. My email address is [removed to protect online safety]. It would be great if you could email me. Thank you.

 

Kalyan

0 Kudos
2,338 Views
5
Report
Trusted Contributor

@KalyanR567384, Hi!, Please know and be forewarned that I am a confirmed practicing optimist.

 

If you can stand the positivity along with my reality check perspectives I've experienced in the last three years, I'd be happy to email you directly.

Fey Lady
0 Kudos
4,490 Views
0
Report
Periodic Contributor

If you are considering retiring early, you should have a plan in place first. I retired at 56 and my husband waited to full retirement age at 66. He gets social security and I get a state teachers pension. Teachers and administers can retire at 55 in CA as long as you have a lot of years in, so I went to a preretirement conference and found that my load of unused sick leave counted for an extra 1 1/2 years of retirement, so I took it. I retired right before hundreds of teachers were laid off during the recession. I was an assistant principal at the time, and making more than I was in the classroom, my position was eliminated, and if I went back to the classroom, I would have taken a big hit in my retirement allotment, so it was a no brainer for me. We also had our home and debts paid off, which is essential to retiring early, and over half million in IRA and TSA’s.

 

It is not cheap to retire in CA, so we made sure this would work for us. We travel when we want, buy what we want, and don’t worry about money. If you worry about money, don’t retire. We are both healthy & take no prescription drugs—that’s another factor to think about. Are you healthy? I had a 6 month gap between a Cobra and Medicare, which cost me $600 a month for practically no coverage. Our home is worth upwards of $750k, which will buy years of assisted care if we need it. If not, it will go to our kids. Do you have something to fall back on? We take beach walks 3x a week, and love life. During the years my husband worked after I retired, we continued to sock away money. After having two hits in the stock market, one in 2000 and one in 2008, we decided we could not take another, so we moved it all to CDs. We take a draw once a year if we have some big project. This year we had solar installed—no more electric bills of $400 a month, so it will pay for itself in four years. So, if you’re not a millionaire, sit down and get the hard figures on exactly what your pension will be, what are your expenses, what do you want out of retirement, and if it adds up, go for it. I’ve never regretted a day of my retirement.

0 Kudos
4,540 Views
0
Report
Periodic Contributor

Hi, I retired at 60. As a former capital equipment in the bindery arera of printing as well as printing sales, I decided that it was enough. My wife, a former public school teacher, retired at 55. I looked over my finances, and sice we live simply, we both decided that I could retire. I am know 66. People ask me aren't you young to retire, and I tell them absolutely. Why retire when I'm old when I can't enjoy life. We take a week's long vacation once a year. and enjoy the weekends. What I recommend is that you find things to do to keep yourself busy and your brain healthy. I joined the "Y" and I go swimming and do aquasize 2x per week. Swimming 1.5-2 miles each time, and 50 minutes of aquasize afterwards. I bowl 2x week. I try to walk at least 10 miles per week. In addition, I play 'Words with Friends', a scrabble game with 50+ people at one time, and do soduko. I'm enjoying life and so far not bored at all.

Conversationalist

@KalyanR567384, retiring early is an individual thing.  I prefer to address all the readers not just you.

 

The person above never had a life so early retirement allowed her to enjoy life.  She didn’t have a spouse to contend with. I am sure she would have preferred that bother. I try to take nice vacations so I don’t feel like life is passing me by. We go outside the US every other year for a great vacation. That way I can easily take 2 weeks which is still short for international vacations. I am not the type to bum around Europe. I prefer to sit on the beach and drink tropical drinkso r stay in a nice hotel. That and world travel will be what I do during my shortened retirement. My wife is much younger. She will retire at 62 while I will retire at 70.5 and we will retire within 12 months of one another, I will get out first.  Late retirement allows you to put away much more money in tax differed plans.  It is way easier to save enough to retire that way.  I have been putting in over 30k/year into tax deferred accounts for the last decade I work. It is surprising how little it effects your pay check. I had been giving too much money to Uncle Sam.  That is an extra 300k in a tax differed account!

 

I sounds like you just want to kick back.  That is OK if you can afford it.  Do you have at least a half million in the bank?  A million is way safer.  How much will you get from SS and your pension?  You can live cheaper after you retire by moving to a less expensive area to live and you don't need to commute or dress for success.  That all costs. Most people spend more than they make after they retire so retireing early has that many more years to deplete your savings.  i know someone who may run out of money in his mid 70s and he even has a pension. That is a bad time to be homeless!

 

Maybe you want  to start your own business.  That is something totally different.  

What you need to realize is when you retire don't expect to get great pay working for someone else ever again unless you have some rare skill in great demand. If you come back to work expect to make minimum wage. If you are not an entrepreneur you need a solid financial plan with enough money to last into your 90s. Most of my retired friends are not doing well. A few who are financially savvy are doing fine and one retired at 50.  Most of his investment are in the market so he is doing fine right now. So far this century, you needed to have at least 50% in stocks and not remove more than you make. Even some with pensions are doing very poorly. They just didn’t plan wisely. If you are too fearful of the stock market to play you need to retire late. I play the market but I will retire late anyway. I have never heard anyone complain they have too much money.

 

 

Remember healthcare.  You will be paying for that out of pocket until 65.  You will not make much SS retiring so early.  My wife has to retire at 62 or get penitelized for retireing early.  She has to pay for those extra years she will be drawing money from the pension. How much did you average in investments over the last 5 years?  Add that to your SS and pension and do you have enough income to live?  Most of my friends don't so their nesty egg is rapidly shrinking and they are only in their 60s. The smaller it is, the faster it shrinks.

 

I hope this gives you something to think on.  

0 Kudos
2,359 Views
0
Report
Regular Contributor

My husband died when I was in my 50's at the same time the kids were moving out. I took a few months to finish my college and got my BA after 30 years of going to college. It was my hobby. I got married early and was pretty co-dependent so I never got to do much that I wanted to do.
 
So, next, I traveled around the US a bit and found a woman online who wanted to go to Africa to do humanitarian work. That's where I was hoping to go. I went to Europe to get the project going. But she decided to get me to help paint her house so I left. I ended up being her house servant. I traveled around Europe until I completely ran out of money-2 months.
 
I did what many other widows did before me. I went to India. Then in 3 months I had to go for a visa run and went to Nepal. That was when I knew I was home. I love living here and that was 7 years ago. I had so many adventures.
 
Now I have a guesthouse, family and friends. I wrote a book and founded an NGO. http://KayGarnay.org I don't think if I waited until I was 66 (next year) I'd be able to travel and be as brazen as you have to be when you travel.
 
Yes, yes, yes, my vote would be to retire early and get back those teen years you gave up-well, that's how it worked out for me. Don't wait any longer than you have to to get your life back. I've grown so much and had so many experiences. I still work, but now it's from my heart and I love my life. Instead of a paycheck I have a village.
0 Kudos
2,339 Views
0
Report
Periodic Contributor

As a faculty member at a state university in Illinois, it became more and more imperative to retire as soon as economically feasible. I was able to purchase some years of service as a university employee in two other states, and also had 5 years I could add from service in the public sector which allowed me to retire at age 60. I’m still feeling out retirement—exploring volunteer opportunities and travel. I’ve done more reading in the past 5 months than I’d done in the past five years! And my flower and vegetable gardens have never looked better.

Regular Contributor

RE: health care.

My brother in law required open heart surgury.  He was covered by United Health 
Care.

Before the surgeon picked up the scalpel, because he was only covered by United Health Care, he was required put up, in cash, the entire projected cost of the surgury, over $200,000.00!

Cheap health care insurance is not always cheaper in the end.

Be warned!

0 Kudos
3,876 Views
1
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

@ds30055407 - That sounds very strange! I retired early, and got insurance thru my former employer, United Healthcare, Aetna & Cigna over the years. Several years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and only paid a tiny fraction of the medical charges. Everything was covered either totally or at 90%.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
0 Kudos
3,954 Views
0
Report
Newbie

I'm hoping to be able to go in 3.5 years at 55. I'll have three pensions and two 401(k) s to live on and then social security will hopefully cover any cost of living increases by the time I start collecting. 

I wish there was a retirement calculator that allowed the input of pension income. 

The biggest concern I have, of course, is the cost of healthcare.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the above? 

Thank you! 

0 Kudos
3,855 Views
1
Report
Honored Social Butterfly


"....I'm hoping to be able to go in 3.5 years at 55. I'll have three pensions and two 401(k) s to live on and then social security.......I wish there was a retirement calculator that allowed the input of pension income. The biggest concern I have, of course, is the cost of healthcare.....".

First off, almost every calculator I've ever seen allows for pensions. That includes the AARP calculator, found on this site.  I don't know why a calculator would not allow for pensions.

   As far as healthcare, yeah, that's the kicker. DW and I retired early and paid into healthcare at about $800 each, a month. You'll just have to examine your finances and determine whether you can afford good healthcare or not. 

   Can't give you any suggestions other than to really take a long, hard, look at your future income and expenses. I've discussed before that DW and I kept track of our expenses, on Excel, for a couple of years, down to the penny. You then have to extrapolate a great deal, then amortize.

  For instance, if you have a house, you need to figure in the $10,000 (whatever) for a new roof. What about future automobile purchases? You need to amortize a car loan and maintenance. Those $400 tires, the $600 struts, etc. Do you want to travel?

   The biggest error people make is to badly underestimate their future expenses. Put in the time and effort to ensure you have tracked your expenses now, then determine as best you can, future outlays.

   It's pretty easy to determine future income. Future expense extrapolations takes work!


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
Contributor

I want to retire at 62 and want to travel and enjoy life.  I do not want to work until i am close to 70.  I will definitely stay busy, continue walking and getting involved with activities. 

Contributor

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.

Honored Social Butterfly

 


@d939600r wrote:

I want to retire at 62 and want to travel and enjoy life.  I do not want to work until i am close to 70.  I will definitely stay busy, continue walking and getting involved with activities. 


@d939600r  Well then I hope you will be in a position to do just that.  Have you been planning and preparing for a long time?   What activities are you interested in?

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
0 Kudos
4,123 Views
0
Report
Periodic Contributor

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!

Honored Social Butterfly


@uphillklimber wrote:
>>

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!

Sounds like you made the right choice for you. Congrats.

 

This is really a personal decision as the factors are unique to each person as are the reasons to stay or go.   Only you know what is best for you and sometimes you don't really know.   Most importantly, do the research and then decide.  Going back to work is often pretty difficult. 

 

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Contributor

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...

Contributor

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.

0
Kudos
5896
Views
Periodic Contributor

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.

Conversationalist

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.

Regular Contributor

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!

0 Kudos
7,589 Views
0
Report
Contributor

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.

Trusted Contributor

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.

Trusted Contributor

@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
Contributor

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

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.
0 Kudos
8,153 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

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. 


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
0
Kudos
6884
Views
Honored Social Butterfly

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!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
11
Kudos
21143
Views
0 Kudos
7,168 Views
2
Report
Periodic Contributor

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.