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Gold Conversationalist
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎06-08-2013

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 41 of 71 (990 Views)

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.

Bronze Conversationalist
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎02-01-2011

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 42 of 71 (866 Views)

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.

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-22-2012

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 43 of 71 (877 Views)

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.

Gold Conversationalist
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎02-22-2009

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 44 of 71 (841 Views)

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
Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-08-2013

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 45 of 71 (771 Views)

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.

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-04-2014

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 46 of 71 (678 Views)

My wife & I left the rat race of Southern California & retired to Rosarito Beach, Mexico in November of 2014. I was 56 years old.

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Retiring early was the 2nd best thing that I ever did after marring my best friend in 1988.

Life in Mexico moves at a slower pace & the cost of living is about 80% less than living in the Los Angeles area.

We are fluent in Spanish. We are safer here in Mexico than we were in So Cal. 

We have made many like minded adventurous friends & are always doing something.

I have not wore a watch or long pants in 3 years!This is one happy lady!This is one happy lady!

 

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Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-04-2014

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 47 of 71 (673 Views)

My wife & I left the rat race of Southern California & retired to Rosarito Beach, Mexico in November of 2014. I was 56 years old.

Retiring early was the 2nd best thing that I ever did after marring my best friend in 1988.

Life in Mexico moves at a slower pace & the cost of living is about 80% less than living in the Los Angeles area.

We are fluent in Spanish. We are safer here in Mexico than we were in So Cal. 

We have made many like minded adventurous friends & are always doing something.

I have not wore a watch or long pants in 3 years!This is one happy lady!This is one happy lady!

 

 

 

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Mi vida es un fiesta todos los dias!43535CF1-27A5-4A6E-8A30-6D70C374C4D8.jpeg

 

5CD1764E-12DA-4D73-9A44-63C6938AECD8.jpeg

 

Info Seeker
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-18-2015

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 48 of 71 (752 Views)

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.

Highlighted
Trusted Social Butterfly
Posts: 7,094
Registered: ‎02-14-2008

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

[ Edited ]
Message 49 of 71 (1,397 Views)

"....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!


Just think. The world was built by the lowest bidder.
Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,471
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Retiring early - share your experience! Please!

Message 50 of 71 (1,549 Views)

@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%.


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