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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.

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In an April 26, 2018, post, I wrote:

 

”The retirement fearmongers constantly harp on money, money, money...we ALL know we need to have a FINANCIAL plan in place. The real challenge is planning for the emotional/social realities of a lifestyle different from our career/work lifestyle.”

 

I have my awesome mentors to thank for this retirement reality check perspective.  As I’ve stated in previous retirement-related posts, these men and women (all successfully retired in their late 50s to 92 year old Fiercely Awesome Mr. Harvey) graciously allowed me to hang out with them while I was in my late twenties/early thirties.  You know, people come into your life at just the right time to guide you where you need to go when you are clueless and floundering.  However, you have to be open to receive what they have to offer—even when it bruises your think-you-know-it-all ego.  Fortunately, I was more than ready to inhale whatever advice and guidance they so graciously and generously offered me.  I am forever humbled and grateful for their nurturing lasting impressions and life affirming impact they had on my work career and my personal life.

 

The single most powerful insight I experienced being around them is that my life is not a measure of comparison or competition with anyone else.  Living my life well means owning my own perspective of what a successful retirement is.  My mentors taught me well.

 

It’s not easy being a Single Independent (sole income) in this world.  Assumptions are made that have little to nothing to do with your actual life experiences.

 

I was able to successfully retire early (at 58) three years ago because I retired on MY terms and MY Single Independent perspective of what I considered to be living a life well lived. 

 

As the Italian philosopher, Cicero said, “To be content with what we possess is the greatest and most secure of riches.”

Fey Lady
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Thank you! I am the originator of this blog and many people have responded.  I have since retired April 1, 2018!!  Yahoo!  I appreciate everyone's feedback but your's has meant the most.  I love what you said, "The single most powerful insight I experienced being around them is that my life is not a measure of comparison or competition with anyone else.  Living my life well means owning my own perspective of what a successful retirement is."!  That is EXACTLY what it is all about, and thank you for the reminder that owning my OWN perspective of what a successful retirement looks like what really counts, not comparing myself to this person or that person!  Amen!! I am thoroughly enjoy my retirement - the freedom is amazing!  I am not wealthy (financially) but will get by just fine, however, I AM WEALTHY being blessed with many wonderful, close friends and my beautiful grandchildren (ages 2 to 16) that love me to pieces!  I won't be doing much travelling that so many retirees talk about and I'm ok with that (I don't really like to fly anyway). Thanks again for your words of wisdom. I hope more people will be open to it.  Take care!

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@pattyecalling Hi, Pattyecalling! Congratulations on your retirement.  I am just soooooo thrilled for you!!! I'm so glad you got the message I was trying to share.  Thank YOU!  

I couldn't agree with you more...when you are Blessed with people in your life who care about you, Love you, and are nurtured by you, and you are Blessed to receive the same gift in return, you cannot put a price tag on that. Pattyecalling, you are, indeed, a Very Wealthy Woman!

I wish you and those privileged to have you in their lives health and happiness in your life journey together!...

Fey Lady
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1-Be sure to check the little box for: "Would you like to have VOLUNTARY TAX WITHHELD from your Social Security Benefits?" on your SSA application.  Leaving it blank means that zero tax will be withheld, and the results could be a surprise in April of the next year.

 

2-Try an disassociate yourself from any credit card affiliated with CITI (Costco, Home Depot....).  CITI is worthless for customer suport, returning calls, and any action when needed.  Recommend cards through Bankamerica, American Express, Diners, Chase, Barclay, etc instead, if you hope to get service/help when necessary.

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There is never 'enough' money; however, one must make do with what one has.

 

I've read several submitted comments along with numerous financial stats pertaining to retirees and from what I gather it seems that the fortunate retirees are those that planned ahead and had above average incomes throughout their working careers.

 

The reality is that we live in a world of the Haves and the Have-nots, as it's always been and will always be even if the entire world succumbs to socialism or communism which seems to be the emergent trend.  At any rate, the ranks of the Haves prepared for retirement and chose when it was most advantageous for them to do so while the Have-nots aren't/weren't ready and will continue to suffer plus be a chronic burden on society, unfortunately.  This, of course, is nothing new.

 

I've also read many comments on folks who bailed on the investment market, yanked their money, paid the taxman and shoved their cash into meager CDs paying less than 3.5% APY while forfeiting the opportunity to make 6%+ yields in the market because they were unwilling to weather an occasional recession.  Those that stayed the course continue to make good returns, providing their portfolios are well diversified and they're investment savvy.

 

My advice to my kids is simple:  Prepare now for what you want when you retire.  It's not rocket science.  Be self-reliant and independent and don't rest your hopes and dreams on 'the government' because 'the government' has never been able to manage itself out of a paper bag primarily because of too many moochers and parasites that rely on it.  Prepare for the worst but continue to hope for the best.  Be a saver, an investor and be 100% debt-free when you retire.

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FYI- your taxes are still deferred with IRA CD’s. No paying taxes until you withdraw money, just like regular IRA’s, plus we get a slightly higher rate. We weathered two bad stock markets, but at our age we cannot do that again, so we have the majority of our funds in tiered CD’s and annuities that pay over $6,000 compounding interest yearly. If you can withstand losing half your savings in a volatile stock market, that is an option, but most of us cannot. I would not recommend it to anyone less than 10 years away from retirement. We no longer have the stress, knowing our savings are insured, and what amounts we can count on. We achieved this through hard work, saving for retirement starting at an early age, married to the same person for 47 years, no health catastrophes, and the luck of buying a home in CA while they were still affordable. Labeling people haves and haves not is deceptive and not at all helpful to those considering early retirement.

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@o8ibelieve, CDs are a poor investment but not a terrible one.  CDs return less than bonds and bonds have returned less than the dollar devaluation to both the straight dollar devaluation and inflation.  Any loan type investment that has an end date is much safer than ones that do not in times of growing inflation. 

 

The rule of thumb has changed.  Last century wise money converted stock to bonds/CDs as you neared retirement and to not own any stock by the time you retire.  For the last 18 years CDs and bonds have not kept up with inflation so they have actually lost value.  That coupled with we may live into our 90s means anyone using the old rule of thumb may go broke before they die.  The new rule of thumb is 50 % stocks 50 % CDs or bonds.  There have been articles in AARP that have explained this in great detail.  If you are not doing what the experts advise you need to figure out why that warning doesn't apply to you

 

None of this matters if you can live on your interest and not go into savings.  If you are going into savings you need to figure out how to stop or minimize your loss of finds.

 

The investments that are the kiss of death are loan type investments without an end date when interest rates are quickly rising.  These bonds lose value if you sell them when the interest rates are higher than when you purchased them.  Interest rates have gone up about ten times over the last 2 years (.25% to 2.5%) so those bonds have lost most of their their value and will do even worse in the next 12 months.  You will likely lose 60-90% of their value which is even worse than a stock crash. It is all the more damaging since you have been slowly losing value over the last 20 years.

 

Lastly, FDIC Only has about 2 billion dollars to insure the banking industry.  Back in 2008 a tiny bank , 5 branches, in Philadelphia went belly up and  there wasn't near enough money in the FDIC to cover it so the other local banks each bought  branch and assumed their responsibilities.  This has happened a few times this century.  In every case there wasn't enough money to bail out the bank.  When the next crash occurs and t will it will be curtains.  I know a retired bank auditor for the Fed; her specialty was making sure the banks were not going to fail. She claims the Frank Dodd law will not protect the banks from failing. She is likely more expert than our law makers and the special interests influencing them. Since she is usually a liberal I am sure politics wasn’t part of her statement.

 

@uechapa, a little correction.  Unless you had some very old and long-term CDs you are not going to make 3% on CDs.  The main banks were getting an interest rate of .25% on average for the Obama years. That means your bank could get money from a main bank for .5% or less.  Why would they pay you 3%?  Really long-term CDs have better rates since the Fed can raise rates at any time while the CDs are locked in.  Right now, the banks are making money on CDs because you are locked into a very low rate and they can loan it out for a much higher interest rate.

 

As for the market making 6%, it made 22% last year and did better than 10% for a few years before that.  If you had 100k in the market when it crashed in 2008 you would have lost at least half of it.  However, if you didn't sell like you are told you would have over 200k today.  It is only the persons that sold at the bottom of the crash who lost big time. Because stocks are part of a tangible asset, inflation and dollar fluctuations automatically raise the value of the assets and your stock.

 

I agreed enough with the rest of your comments to give you a kudo.  Planning is not rocket science but if you don't do your research carefully and thoroughly you will be up the creek without a paddle.  Many of my friends did just that, about half of my 30 friends who retired.  You would consider them well educated haves but they will become have nots in the next decade or 2. Even though most were making about 6 figures if they need to go back to work they will only make minimum wage. There will be no way to recover any wealth now.  They need to sell their house and buy a trailer to live in to conserve their funds.  

 

Anyone who plans to avoid the market long term probably didn't do enough research.  You at least need to understand why the rule of thumb is that way.  Maybe that rule doesn't apply to you. 

 

I am neither a pessimist or an optimist.  I hope for the best and plan for the worst.  I agree with Dilbert, the cartoon character.  You always get snagged with that one possibility you didn't plan for.

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$6,000 interest is just from the annuities—I didn’t make that clear.
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The first thing I read after I retired was "The Joy of NOT WORKING"  (ISBN-10: 1580085520, ISBN-13: 978-1580085526).  Don't think for an instant that chasing white golf balls will complete your days and make your feel worthwhile, you need to have a bigger and more challenging plan.  Operative word there is 'plan'.  Understanding that 'leisure' takes effort is the first step.  I won't go as far to say this is the most punctuating book I've ever read, but certainly gave me direction on where to start looking and take those first few steps into enjoying life outside the work environment.


@pattyecallingwrote:

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.




 

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Hi pattyecalling - I had a great job and was planning on retiring at age 56 with 31 years of service. The company was going through a series of downsizings annually so those nearing their 30 year anniversary were nervous every year. Sure enough, 7 months short of my 30 year anniversary I was notified. Luckily, I'd been saving up for my retirement and had 3 IRAs, a money market with enough savings to live on for 7 months + a retirement savings plan and a pension (although because I didn't make 30 years I'd only get 87% of it each month when I reached age 62). The company had a good separation plan, too, so I wasn't too worried. Since this company had been the largest employer in the city, there were not too many jobs to be had, so I made the decision to use the separation funds to live off of for a year while I went through everything in my house and checked the real estate market to see if it was a good time to sell and move. I also took some courses, since the company had a tuition package as part of their separation plan.

 

I sold the house and moved 4 states away into an apartment figuring I still had my 7 months of living income in my money market fund, so could settle in, find a job, look for a house - and then the first recession hit, plus I found out the financial planner I'd had on one of my IRAs had been committing fraud and was going to prison. Between those 2 things I lost 1/3 of my savings and couldn't find a job. I ended up having to use some of the cash I'd put aside from the sale of my house to use to buy a new house to live on. It took a year of looking at house before I decided to get what I wanted I'd have to build. I found a builder to work with me as long as I promised 30% down. Since it cost less to buy a lot and build by moving west a few counties I moved again, found the lot and just when I was closing on the house the 2nd recession hit. I lost another 1/3 of my retirement savings + because I'd started taking money out of my 401k before age 59.5 I was accessed a 10% tax penalty. Talk about being scared!

 

Luckily I found a job and could stop taking money out of my 401k for most of the next year. Still I had to pay a 10% penalty on what money I did take out of my retirement savings that year, too. In the meantime I'd started crafting and selling some vintage items I had to make some money. That year I turned 59.5, so I'd no longer be penalized for drawing my retirement money.

 

I've always had a quizzical mind and been an avid reader, so had no problem starting up conversations with people. I made new friends no matter where I moved to and became involved with AARP volunteers in several capacities, as well as opening a booth at a crafters' mall. I also designed and worked on all the garden beds I wanted to surround my new home. After 10 years, its almost done. I have no problem keeping busy without any family, kids, grandkids, etc. Oh, yes, then there's the trilogy I'm writing in my 'spare' time.

 

What did you like to do as a child? There are so many activities to choose from. You can start as a volunteer doing something to see if you like it, then go from there. Or, look online or at bulletin boards for courses you're interested in. Try making pottery, knitting, crocheting, quilting, floral arranging, painting, coloring books, scrapbooking, taking day trips, arrange a neighborhood get-together, catch-up with reading some books you always wanted to read. Before you know it, you'll wonder how you ever had time to work with everything you have going on in your life now. Above all - HAVE  FUN !!!

Cee
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@ccncee, Thank you for your inspiring, insightful, and RELATABLE experience and encouragement.

The retirement fearmongers constantly harp on money, money, money...we ALL know we need to have a FINANCIAL plan in place. 

The real challenge is planning for the emotional/social realities of a lifestyle different from our career/work lifestyle. 

Too many of us have used our workplace as a built-in social sitter (as in babysitter) because it was autopilot easy; and, consequently, didn't bother to cultivate a LIFE away from work.  Even those married with children can struggle to adjust.  A former colleague's spouse complained about him "being every where".  She resented him being at home (intruding on her territory and time) and he resented being made to feel like an intruder in his own home. His children weren't interested or didn't have the time to hang out with him now that he was "retired".  Well, what goes around, comes around.  He didn't have time for them when he was working because he was busy 'providing for his family'.  Translation, he was emotionally and socially hiding out at work.  Remember the song, "Cats In The Craddle"?  It was a very difficult time for both of them.

You can't just pull a new life (lifestyle) out of the sky. A life well lived requires just as much planning as anything else worthy of your efforts.  I retired at 58 and in the three years since, I've had to change, adjust, mourn, re-invision, and constantly and consciously cultivate my retirement lifestyle so that I can celebrate the fruits of my lifetime effort  to call the shots involving MY LIFE as I choose it to be.

LIFE. IS. FANTABULOUS!

 

 

Fey Lady
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@Calhounwoman, money is only not important when you have enough.  I know lots of retirees. More than half are going through their money faster than they had planned.  That half may run out of money as early as late 60s.  They will all be wards of the state when they die.

 

Retirement isn't so glorious when living in a cardboard box and eating one meal a day at the shelter.

 

I am  not retired and I call the shots for my life at least as much as you do.  I suspect I have more options than you.

 

I don't hate my job so that does make a difference. 

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@ccncee, great story!  It is nice to hear some people 'lucked out'.  You didn't need fraud to get cleaned out in 2000.  I lost 80% in a day.  Some companies, even huge, ones went belly up.  Those are total losses.  I will say the stocks I picked came back eventually.  Some took 5 years but I was able to break even.

 

In 2008 I thought I had it all figured out, big mistake!  I got in before 6 AM to work and would do a quick check of the world stock markets.  I sold when the market opened.  Much to my surprise, the sales were not executed until COB when they hit all time lows. Brokerage firms always do that so they can amass all the sales of a particular stock.  There are prices for 1, 10, 50, 100, ect bundles of a stock.  You get savings on bulk.  They will bundle 100 sales of 100 shares of XYZ into 1 10,000 share package.  They get the 10,000 share rate and charge you with the 100 share rate and pocket the difference.  They make millinon while their clients lose hundereds of millions because of their tactics. NEVER sell during a crash!

 

I had a rough go of it but never had to dip into my IRAs.  We did clear out all our other savings a few times.  Many of my friends also had to pay penelties but none lost their house.  Eventually everything straightened out and they only paid some penalities.  I feel sorry for the millions who lost their house because they didn't have IRAs or 401ks to rob.  That was the real problem with the mortgage crisses and that was never fixed with D-F. What they did was add 35 of legalize to the existing 5 or 7 pages.  Could they honestly believe the intended audiance could understand that crap!  One sentance was over a page long!  No they were paid not to fix anything then went about 'fixing things' in a way that could never work.  I refinanced 2 years back and they could have cared less what I had as assets.  I suspect they couldn't ask by law.  That is the problem.  I don't know if the Republican fix is any better than Dod-Frank but I doubt that it could be worse.  It is all about politics and not about protecting our citizans.

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I had a job that I loved and did well in 2013. I planned to stay there for several more years. Then I was let go without explanation. I was 53. I wanted to work but just couldn't take any more applications and rejections. I don't care about making lots of money. All I wanted was stable employment and to be treated fairly. I am not sure such a thing exists, so I am opting to not look for work anymore. 

 

Although I am still very angry about how I was let go from my previous job, being semi-retired has been great. I work part-time and temp jobs when I feel like it. Being frugal comes naturally to me, so finances have not been a problem. It also helps that I have some rental income. The duplex that my husband and I own brings in about $1000 a month net gain and is very little work.

 

I mostly spend my time on my hobby, which is saving the world. In specific, transitioning to a sustainable economy. There is so much to do, I will never get bored!

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Well that is the way of the world.   You can't help getting angry but that will only hurt you. 

 

Over 60% of the persons let go in the NYC area in 2008 were over 50.  Just try to get a descent job!  It is way rougher over 60.  Then they bring out the shot guns.

 

I tried reporting obvious age discrimination.  Eventually, I learned to lie.  Once they like you, they don't care that you lied and long as you didn't lie on a legaly binding form.  Then you get fired.  They don't use the legaly binding paperwork in the hireing process at least where I was hired. 

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        I became retired due to disability with blind l eye & weak L arm.   As RN know nutritional health necessary  as pollution has depleted us so much.   Pharmacy & vaccines too much fraud & lies & 

disease promotion.   Wish able to reach more folks to ditch chemo cholesterol & all the other big $

lies.   Preserving the planet so important ,need everyone engaged seriously & spreading word of all

positive efforts.

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@aa7218859, you sound very ignorant for an RN.  Those lies are likely scientific facts. Statistically statins put years onto your life but not everyone cares to live as long as they could.  You appear to be one of them.  Please don't preachg foolishness to me.  I plan to live a long confortable healthy life and I will need to take plenty of drugs to do so. 

 

There is almost no way a vaccine will hurt you other than an illergic reaction to what the vaccine was added to so it could be dispensed. It is typically an egg white product. I know 2 persons who died needlessly because they didn't get the pneumonia vaccine.  I think they were fools like you and who would still be alive if they were not so ignorant or foolish.

 

After proving yourself an idoit, I couldn't take your thoughts on the planet seriously.   

 

 

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               Check out VAXXED.    Big pharma & vaccine industry working to delete population.

Aluminum & mercury adjuvants causing dementia & clogging other organs.   Also truth about 

cancer, vaccines, GMOs & pet cancer.   Glyphosate, dicamba, 2-4D  and fossil fuel spills

gas fracking factory farms all polluters promoting disease.   Chemical overload & subsequent

nutrient deficiency  are the real issues in our lives today.    We have not had any progress in

any disease.   They have made lots of money making us ill.    We do nothave health care but

disease management &. disease promotion.

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Gee, Ron Mesnard, too bad you have to take a lot of drugs to stay alive-perhaps if you'd taken better care of yourself in your, uh, better years, that might not be the case..!  Am NOT an RN and never claimed to be.  The job is too grisly for me.  Oh, and you'd better either check your spellcheck-or learn to spell...

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@smetroWho says chronic diseases must be self-inflicted?  Don’t you know most are genetic?  Oh that is right you aren’t an RN. Some can be helped with a poor life style. 

 

For all my afflictions I do exceptionally well.  Not knowing anything about you I suspect I will outlive you despite several serious life shortening diseases because I made my self an expert on my health issues.  I had an insurance company bet big money on that for not much of a premium that I will make 75. After that the rate is no longer locked.  It was a slam dunk for them.  Rarely do they get to see another players hand in poker.  I have extensive in-depth health tests.  Diabetics usually die from CVD.  By 15 years the average T2D has massive plaque build ups.  I had less than the normal build up for my age.  The cardiologist commented I was the healthiest long-term diabetic he could recall seeing. Of course, I should hold your ignorant opinion above a cardiologist.  What I mean by that was the cardiologist made that comment after reviewing 20k worth of tests. You know nothing about me but feel you know it all. Good for you!

 

That plaque report is why the insurance was willing to give me such a deal.  If I was this good after 15 years it was unlikely I would go to pot so much as to become life threatening in 10 more.  My spelling is due to auto correct and being a poor speller. BTW… I am about ready to retire and do very well for myself. I am in the top 10% are you? I get paid for problem solving ability not spelling. I do spell check in my professional world but not for AARP members, sorry. I can give a rat’s ass what you think of me and I assure you I think less of you. At least I am not even close to as stupid or ignorant as your comments are!

 

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Ron Mesnard is surely glad to be alive, as we all should be whether we took good care of ourselves or not 'cause we're in the present, and the past can't usually be undone as in Ron's position.

 

If a post has misspelled words, less than perfect grammar, tense, sentence structure or punctuation, is immaterial 'cause we can either read it or bypass it; however, I don't condone some online stranger denigrating someone else's post 'cause it's not perfect.  I also think it's impolite to bring it to someone's attention.

 

Life, now, is much shorter than we thought so I think we should abandon the petty crap and learn to edify one another rather than criticize.

 

C'est tout bon.

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@uechapa, thanks.  I don't mind rudeness since I can be accused of the same.  I don't mind someone calling me out for spelling since I am a poor speller and am very comfortable with who I am.  I am successful at what I do and maintaining my health. This and family life is about all that matters to me. Poor spelling is a weak insult supposing that stupidity causes this instead that some minds don’t notice spelling errors. Like intelligence, it is genetic. I am happy I got smarts over spelling.

 

I am sure my view on drugs is the antithesis of his/hers. For the last 20 years I have tried to spend at least 10 hrs a week researching health and finance.  The rewards have been staggering. I will retire with more money that I could ever imagine and remarkably healthy.

 

For me drugs will likely extend my life more than a decade longer than the average dude with my problems and likely live into my 90s. That is why I don’t mind retiring at 70 even though I don’t need the money. You never have too much of that.

 

Others feel drugs are evil and an attempt for drug companies to poison us. Well, drugs have been accredited for taking the average life expectancy from 75 20 years ago to 85 today. It is likely the genera; population will make it into our 90s just because we have underestimated how effective the new advances are and what will be coming.

I have conversed with med nuts who claim BP meds are only to make money but his wife died from kidney disease which certain BP meds are super effective in preventing that. They would rather die early than take meds. How smart is that?

They caught one group selling ‘natural water’ they must have taken from a farm stream. It was so polluted with animal feces if it was a swimming pool it would have been shut down. They would them by tracking down some crazy illnesses. People were coming down with animal diseases.

 

These people lack the foundations to intellegently vet information they read.  Mercury doesn't cause dementia.  It will get absorbed into endocrine glands which is probably more unhealthy.  VAXXED is a money making org. What I did read was not fact.  I think a conspericy to wipe out humans is crazy.  Why would the medical community, the government and big pharma want to kill us off?  They would be killing them selvs.  They probably sell sewer water for $50/gal.  Only the most gullable would believe that site and they are ripe for the picking!

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Newbie

I understand your anger.  In recent years, it has become fairly common for older workers to be either effectively forced into early retirment, or let go, ostensibly as part of a "re-organization".  There seem to be a lot of upper management people who view older employees as either or both more costly to keep (higher salaries generally) and less efficient/effective.  I hope that you will be able to get past your anger.  

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Periodic Contributor

We both retired at 63 after multiple careers; myself from the Air Force, then the transportation industry, and my wife from an accounting-related business. We lived below our means and and began saving shortly after marriage, starting with CD's, then moving funds into IRAs when that program became available. We always increased our savings rate upon any wage/salary increase as well as pumping funds into employer-sponsored 401k plans and Roths. As a result, we never took on long-term debt, except for real estate which was paid off early, and almost always paid cash for most other major purchases. Self-discipline and keeping wants to a minimum were major factors enabling this.

 

We still managed to own and sell multiple primary residences over the years as we relocated numerous times while I was in service. I began early draw of SSA at 63, and my wife started Spousal benefits at 66, delaying her full draw until 70. With these income sources, including my service pension, our annual gross is virtually unchanged from before retiring.

 

With our due diligence, despite the devastating market corrections, we both clocked out of the job market, holding in excess of our "magic number", living better than before, and now are full-time RV snowbirds with no anchors holding us down, and no financial burdons or worries.  We enjoy seeing friends and family and the country, and we both feel healthier than ever and look forward to many more years of retirement.

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Periodic Contributor

What do you call early? I retired at 60, now I am 66. If you are financially able, and lead a simple life do it. People say you're too young to retire, I tell them I'm not going to wait til I'm old because you don't know what the future holds. In addition, make sure you have things to keep yourself busy. I go swimming and do aquasize 2x per week, I bowl 2x per week, play cards once a week, and walk 3-6 miles 3x per week. In between, I relax.

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Regular Contributor

It's all about a work/life balance! After 52 I said NO MORE to the 40 hour work week! I got tired of coming home completely exhausted on a Friday evening! I had basically no energy at the end of the week. I started doing a side hussel of dog boarding and dog walking and started working through a pharmacy tech agency! I work minimal and can work as much or as little as I want! I am able to plan things way in advance now and am able to handle my client's needs as well! Couldn't be happier! Life is GOOD!!!

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Periodic Contributor

Being able to retire early is a blessing and awarding for my 36 years of service. I retired at age 60 after a consult with my financial advisor and my wife. We mutually decided to relocate to my college venue and I was offered a teaching position which I accepted. In addtion, I had a consulting service and had a commitment from a client to utilize my services. The combintaion of the above made retiring a viable option and I have never regretted the decision. Again, it is critical to be financially secure and have at least part time work to occupy the mind and keep from getting bored. Good luck!


@Merrill58wrote:

It's all about a work/life balance! After 52 I said NO MORE to the 40 hour work week! I got tired of coming home completely exhausted on a Friday evening! I had basically no energy at the end of the week. I started doing a side hussel of dog boarding and dog walking and started working through a pharmacy tech agency! I work minimal and can work as much or as little as I want! I am able to plan things way in advance now and am able to handle my client's needs as well! Couldn't be happier! Life is GOOD!!!


 

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Conversationalist

I agree retireing early is a blessing.  I am retiring late but my younger wife wants to retire with me so I retire late and she early.  These last few years have been unbelievable for my nest egg.  Now I am mostly working for greed or my children.  I am reluctant to retire since this is a sweetheart of a position and  I will have 0% probabliity to re-enter the work force unless I am a Walmart greeter.

 

I plan to be a beach bum after 70 I don't care to keep busy.  If I am, I will be busy making and drinking tropical drinks.  

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Trusted Contributor

The question is really pretty simple. At what financial level are you willing to live? If your needs are great, don’t retire. If you can live simply, retire. But always remember living long is not promised to anyone. 

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