Retiring from the work force - when?

gibby2015July 23, 2014

If you have already, or have a plan for when you will, how did you decide when to do it? I just met with a new CFP so am going through all of this in detail again. I'm 57 so it's potentially not that far away and time goes by so fast. DH bought a business last year so he has finally found what he's looking for and has no plans to ever completely retire. I think that's good as I can't imagine the two of us around the house together all the time. I've just gotten used to being home together after work every night after 35 years of one or both of us traveling all the time for work.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gibby, I'm going to turn 57 next month and facing/wondering the exact same thing so I'm very interested in hearing others' experiences and thoughts, both pre- and post-retirees.

My husband and I are meeting with a financial planner in a few weeks. He turns 61 a week after my birthday, and I'm trying to determine if we are ok to retire within a general time frame which for us is 3-5 years. Both of us are college administrators, we earn roughly equal salaries and will receive decent pensions in addition to our savings and social security benefits to come. We also just got an unexpected substantial inheritance. I'm optimistic that the planner will analyze our resources and tell me my dream time frame is realistic.

My goal is to leave when I turn 60 because I have a mental mantra: I don't want to be advising my grandchildren. I love my job, love this developmental stage (18-22 YO), and I'm still young enough that they could theoretically be my own kids. At 60, I will be 42 years past the age of my entering freshmen....and I don't want to stick around getting older and older instead of being able to relax, slow down and do what I want to do every single day, not just weekends and vacations.

OTOH, I keep reading that people have to have all kinds of plans and goals and volunteering and doing X and Y and Z. Right now, that doesn't appeal to me at all since I've spent 40 years of my life working and the thought that I need to have a 'job' of retirement leaves me cold. I don't want to be bored but who knows how I will feel till I try it?! I assume that if I retire, and decide I'm going nuts I will find something to occupy my time. Without the financial constraint of needing income I can't imagine there won't be plenty of places and programs who could use a helping hand, for free. Who knows, in three years I may still not be ready to leave but I want to have the wherewithal to know the choice is mine to make. I'm excited about the next stage of life to come.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow running - you sound a lot like me. DH who never wants to retire can't imagine why I would. You summed it up pretty well. I've been working since I was 13. I'm about ready to have all the time in the world to do whatever I want that I never had time to do while working full time.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Our goal was to have DH retire from the rat race of his corporate job at age 60 and do some consulting until 62 or so. I have worked full-time for only the past five years, so our plan was for me to keep my full time job for the insurance coverage. Prior to that I always worked part-time while raising three children.

DH got laid off at 58, but had a year of severance and did full-time consulting that year. He has been working doing consulting work ever since, for the same company that laid him off. It has worked out better than we could ever have imagined.

Our financial advisor came for his quarterly visit right before DH's 60th birthday and had all the retirement numbers laid out and ready to go. We told him we both want to keep working. He was stunned!

So we are both employed full-time, although DH has a much more flexible schedule than I do. He works from home unless he has to go out to visit a client or go into the office.

Now our plan is for us both to retire in a couple of years and buy our insurance on our own (or through Obamacare).

We have already done plenty of traveling but then we will plan on longer trips. Our main focus will be on volunteering. DH will volunteer at our church, where he is already very involved. I will seek opportunities with senior citizens.

I would love to be a volunteer at the assisted living facility where my late father resided. Either that or I would train to be a Hospice volunteer. Both of my late parents benefited from Hospice. I'd like to give back in some small way.

Time will tell!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I left a job teaching elementary school 6 years ago after 25 years and am now in my late 50's. I couldn't stay home all the time - it would drive me nuts. At the time I stopped teaching I knew I wanted another job and retrained by taking some university classes, job shadowing, and an internship. I've ended up with a job that is part time, but gives me some supplemental income and is extremely flexible as far as hours, so with advanced notice I can take 3 weeks off to travel or without notice can take off a month to help my mom through a health issue. I love doing my job which is intellectually challenging and useful to society, but I also love setting my own hours and having free time to garden, read, and enjoy the outdoors.

Both my folks worked into their 70's but at jobs similar to mine as far as having flexible scheduling, so that may be part of why I can't imagine not working at all. I also just like feeling useful.

DH has always worked for himself, but is mostly out of the house during the day, so we aren't getting in each others' way all day, but we both have time flexibility.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am a bit younger than you (52), but I have years of service and could retire on that. I don't work full time. I often think of retiring, but I want to be sure the time is right - and I don't just mean financially. We have a financial planner and we have been preparing for retirement for years. I don't want to get bored, which I really don't think I would - I always have projects, we have interests, we have friends and family we would do things with, etc. We both do some community service at this point and if I were retired, I would do something more regular, more scheduled. My husband works 4 10-hr. days and we have Friday-Sunday off and love the time together. We have never had children and so have always spent alot of time with each other - so I don't forsee that as a problem. We have common interests but we also have individual interests, so I think we will be fine.

We are lucky in that I can retire now with insurance that will cover us until we are eligible for medicare.

It's a big step! I keep telling myself I'll know when I am ready. I enjoy my job and especially enjoy the social aspect of working.
Of course the second income is nice too.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I retired at 56, nearly 6 years ago, with a public employee pension. That, with our financial investments and DH's SS, provides us with a more than ample income. I also went through a lot deciding to retire. A buyout made the choice easier, but I have not regretted it once, and I had a great job.

I spent the first year of retirement wallowing in my freedom. The second year I wanted some extra decorating cash, and responded to a newspaper ad for temporary workers. I just finished my 5th season there. It's in the education field (not my former career), is full-time from about March or April to mid-July, allows me to use my mind, gets me out with people, and pays well. I love it!

The thing about having a job after retirement is that it's on my terms. If I get fed up, I'll quit.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will be 62 in the fall and plan to retire by next June at the latest barring any unforeseen circumstances. I worked FT for 8 years before having kids, was a SAHM for 12 years, then worked PT for 8 years and FT the last 10 years. The original plan was for both of us to work till 65-66, but I can no longer stand the office politics/ nonsense. Also, processes have been streamlined so much over the last several years that there is just not enough work and I am so bored most of the time. Some personnel changes coming up may make some of the nonsense go away...if not, I will retire before Thanksgiving. If I can bear it, I will stay until June in order to pay some things off. A coworker died unexpectedly at 64 last year and a good friend died of colon cancer six months ago at 59. It made me realize that l don't want to still be working at this job if I should become ill or die. Time to enjoy my days, even if it's doing nothing. Being bored at home will be way better than being bored at work! I can't wait to pitch the alarm clock either!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

Both DH and I worked all of our lives. He's older than I and got to the point where he was coming home from work every day saying, "I hate my job, I hate my life." So I replied, "Fix it!" So he retired at age 60, I kept working. He was delighted with the arrangement. He made a very happy life for himself and still enjoys retirement these many years later. He was great...made my bkfst and lunch, took care of the house, the grocery shopping, etc. while I concentrated on work.

But then, my boss of 20 yrs retired, I didn't like where things were going in the organization and I just didn't have it in me to break in a new boss. After over 30 years there, I figured, whatever it was I was supposed to learn, I learned it. Too young to retire, I just left. It was time. Fortunately, we had our financial ducks in a row and could afford it.

Sometimes, circumstances force retirement on you before you're ready. But if not, then I think you know when you are ready. Don't worry about making big plans for fills in and you will be as busy or even busier than you want to be. The beauty of retirement is, you have the freedom to choose how you want to fill your life, and you have the time to figure it out as you go along....

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ginny, do you decide...
Highly recommend 'Early' for detailed information on the topic:

On the financial side, a few basic questions to answer:
1. What are current expenses?
2. What will expenses be in retirement? Early retirement requires health insurance. PPACA makes HC more accessible, not necessarily more affordable, for example. Do you have long term care insurance?
3. Is legacy important? Will you leave something for kids, gkids, charitable orgs? Will elderly parents have needs?
4. Will there be any lifestyle changes? Relocation, 2nd home, expensive hobbys?
5. Sources of income? Pension, social security, trust fund? When to draw SS is a complex decision with significant financial impact.
6. Is pension income taxed in your state?
7. Is there a portfolio? What are the liquid assets? What would be the annual withdrawal rate to survive life expectancy?
8. What is the impact of family longevity, personal health status on the decision? What are the financial contingencies if a spouse dies early?

IMO, the 'soft' issues surrounding early retirement are just as critical as the financial, and possibly harder to identify. As oft mentioned, "retire to something, not from something"

Best wishes, HIGHLY recommend ER!!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Interesting to hear everyone's story. Billygoat - we're good to go on all the analysis and planning for the items you mention. Financially we're in a good position to retire. It's not so much about if I can it's more about when do I want to.

Both DH and I have been through some serious health scares in the last couple years that make you stop and think about the fact you don't have forever to do what you want to do. As mentioned he loves work and loves having his own business so he's good to go.

I have a good job that I like, great coworkers and nice income. I feel very lucky I'm not one of those many people who hate going to work every day. Nothing stays the same forever though so if something happens to make me hate it then it will be time to go. If not then I'll have to make more of a choice.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gibby....having a job you like and great coworkers can make all the difference. Yes, you have to weigh your health scares against that but you will know when it's time.

Billygoat--yes, you can't be too prepared, but OTOH you could make yourself crazy attempting to get all the stars to align. And you could work forever trying to insure you have "enough" $$ to retire. At some point, you just have to decide it's time and you'll make do with what you have. You seldom hear people say "gee, I wish I had worked longer" but you always hear people say "I wish I'd retired sooner."

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My DH and I always planned to retire early and we were able to do so. For me, it started with cutting back to 3 days, which i did for a few years, and then retired outright for about a year. After that year, i was lucky to come across a great opportunity that requires me to be in the office about 1 day a week and do some writing and research from home.

Although *early* retirement from a career one enjoys can be a very different animal than skipping out the door from a job that drives you crazy and coming home to an empty nest (our children were in elementary school and are now in middle school), i have gained some insights from our experience that may be relevant to retirement more generally.

In no particular order;

1. How much of your identity is tied to your career? Will you feel a little lost without it? Want do you want your identity to be in this phase of your life?

2. If you plan to fill your time with volunteer efforts, have you identified them? Have you worked with the team with whom you would be involved?
DH and I went full throttle into volunteerism with a number of organizations, and learned a few lessons. Sometimes you may become disenchanted with the value these organizations really have. In other cases, the structure of the organization maybe frustrating or ineffective or both. It can start to feel a lot like a traditional workplace. I've also found myself thinking "wow, I could do a lot more for this cause if I just went back to work and wrote bigger checks". That is not always the point, but, to be honest, i never met a cause that didn't need/want more cold, hard cash.
It has taken a bit of trial and error to find the causes and organizations that we believe in, and where we can really make a difference.

3. How much of your social life is work related? You should plan specifically on how to replace that, especially if your retirement is roughly contemporaneous with a move. I am a member of a book club and a cooking club, and my DH is on a few teams plus has poker and golf friends. Even if you have a broad circle of friends, clubs involve rotating groups of people and are not all hand selected, and may be different ages or stages of life, somewhat like work. It's a different social experience than just being with friends qua friends, and I think it's important and satisfying to socialize with people who are different from you.

4. A little tension or anxiety is, I have concluded, healthy. I think a part time job is good for that. It's kind of like you need a little bad to enjoy the good IYKWIM. Plus, it often requires you to keep learning.

5. Assuming that under conservative assumptions, finance are not at issue, there are still emotional issues around money that can be very significant, depending on how neurotic one is. :)

For example, what is your level of financial anxiety? I always think the world is coming to an end (and it nearly did, didn't it?) and so I don't like to take a lot of risk and I am always worrying about the downside. One thing I found very stressful about not working was that, after years and years of saving and growing our assets, I was watching them plateau (our plan was to live off of investment income, so it wasn't dwindling but it was not growing much if at all). For me it was unsettling and made me uncomfortable every time I spent money. How will you feel about your finances, even if the professionals assure you it's all fine? Would you feel better having some income come in?

When i was working full time, i had zero qualms about all manner of hired help. When I retired, i felt guilty. But hey, wait ... i quit a job i liked so I could do laundry? I don't think so...

I envy people who have jobs they can do their whole lives on their own terms. I personally think it would keep people young to work their whole lives, albeit not rat-race style!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is becoming a very interesting thread. I'm sure there are many of us here who can identify with this.

There have been some good points made. For myself, I have thought of just decreasing my hours again. What I think I MIGHT like to do is retire from my current job in the next year or two and find something for a couple of days a week closer to home. Easier said than done.

I also think about "when the world almost ended" (LOL) - the stock market disaster. That had a huge bearing on many retirement plans.

I love being home, but I also love being out and about among people! I love volunteering and do not think of it as work at all. I have been very lucky in my choices in volunteering. So many opportunities for that - so many places/people that do need our time - and just to feel that someone cares.

I am also one who does not want to become lazy. Hard to explain. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing what you want to do, relaxing, etc. etc., etc. But if I laid around, played games, watched tv, etc. I would feel like every brain cell in my head was dying. That is just me. I "need" a bit of structure. Even if it's only spending more time on the lake, hitting the antique trail, lunching with a friend, etc. I need to feel like I am doing more than laying around - even if I'm really not. I need a little stimulation, a little challenge.

I know my grandfather really missed work after he retired. I think at times he didn't quite know what to do with himself. Me, I think very little of my identify is tied to my work. I don't have that type job/career. I honestly think I can walk away and not miss that part at all - it is the people, etc. that I would miss.

My husband is quite different. Thankfully, he does some contract work and has some clients of his own and I predict that when he retires he will want to keep a few clients/projects. Which is fine with me. Good for him mentally and financially!

I'm one who struggles with hiring help. For many different reasons. We have hired out some of the bigger outside jobs, but not the inside. I don't think I will be doing that anytime soon.

One thing that may factor in for my husband and I in the next few years is our remaining parents. My dad is 84, in fairly good health, and my MIL is in remission at this time from Lymphoma. If more of my time is needed there, that will weight heavily on my decision.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I went back to school full time when our 3 kids were 11,9 and 4 .I hadn't been in school in 15 years ! I graduated with my RN and promptly moved out of the US for 1 year.

I had not worked full time in years and suddenly started in 1989. I continued until 2002 when my Dad became terminally ill. I quit work temporarily and took care of him for 6 months. I then moved my Mom in with us when he died and remodeled an 1890 home to make it livable for the 3 of us. Our oldest son and his wife promptly moved in too ! So we were 5. I quit work as an RN in 2004 at 54 to look after Momma. I started work part time then in our son's restaurant for approx. 5 yrs. I haven't worked a minute since and will never miss it . Things change and so do people. DH quit teaching at the U in 2010 after 31 yrs, Never misses a day.

We are so busy we have to stop and decide when and how and what to plan next. We have always had lots of interests and nothing has changed except we grow more interested in more things every day ! Our current trip on our bikes has us trying to decide how to combine a " home life" and spending precious time with family and friends and also seeing what we want to see together. We love being together. This is NOT to say we get along all the time...but at the end of the day we do....

There is no way to give advice to others as to when/where/what/how to retire. As others have said above you will know when it is right. We never really looked at money. We figured it would take care of itself. We have never had a financial planner and have managed for good or bad to make it work. Our spending is really conservative on a lot of fronts so we can spend where we feel it gives us the most bang for the buck.

It is interesting to see the different takes on retirement and marriage and how one wants/needs to spend ones time. We are all SO different. Makes life what it is. Good Luck to each of you in your choices. For that is what it is..and none of them have to be the last long as there is breath there is choice. c

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is timely because after a lot of discussion on and off, my DH has recently decided that he'll retire at 55, which for him is in 2 years. He will have been at his company for 25 years, at a very high stress, fast paced job, and he is sooo ready. My concern is what the heck he's going to do with all his time, but he's an avid photographer so I think he will do something there. Just not sure what. At the time of his retirement, our youngest child will be a freshman in high school, so it's not like we'll take off and travel the world. I think there are a lot of pros to the idea, his mental and physical health topping the list, but I hope he doesn't go stir crazy. He's been working since he was 13.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's on my horizon. For me, it's going to depend on health insurance. I'm eligible for full pension at 58 or 30 years-either one is within 2 years of another. I was thinking to stay till medicare eligible, but if something happens with health care, I'll leave at 58.

My job has a strenuous physical component to it-hiking around streams, field science work, etc in all kinds of weather. Office time is just high stress, so as soon as I'm able, I'm going to do it. I love my job-but the reality is that I know I can't do it when I'm 70.

A friend just left-at 56 (full 30 for her). She said she just woke up one morning and decided she was just going to do it. Said it was frightening to make that decision, but on her last day of work, after she'd cleared out her office she said it was the best idea she'd ever had.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am teaching, and am 61. Love the kids, like being there, but the past few years, I am so tired during the school year, I have no outside life. I come home and collapse. It is not a way to live. Thinking of leaving in a year or two, but I need to come up with something to entertain me in the long winters. Spring and summer are no problem, I am working in the yard.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For us the big issue is healthcare as well. We are on my plan and we can flip over to DH's plan until he decides to retire. If he retires before 65 we will be paying big bucks before Medicare kicks in, so we have to figure all that out.

Another thing for me is structure...what Sue touched on. I do better with structure and could easily while away the days watching TV and surfing the net. But this is something I will face whether I retire at 62 or 72, so I need to come up with a plan to stay somewhat busy. Fear of becoming a blob though is not reason enough to continue in an unhappy work environment.

Agree with Mtn regarding volunteerism. It's sometimes not the wonderful thing you think it will be. I totally burned out on volunteering when the kids were growing up. I was at home for 12 years and did a lot at their schools and numerous outside activities. I still have bad memories so when I retire I won't be jumping into volunteering anytime soon. My friend retired and volunteered for several causes was interested in. She lasted about two years at each before she finally gave up in total frustration. And most places want committments of certain times on certain days....heck, that's almost like jumping back into the workforce. If I do find I want to volunteer I think it will be at one time "events" that have a beginning, middle and a convention or something similar.

So much to think about and consider in this next phase of life!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Annie Deighnaugh

When DH retired, I worried about how he would fill his days and I worried about his social life. Silly me.

When he worked, he worked 6 days per week, got up at 4:30am and didn't get home until after 6pm. His job also included a lot of travel.

Well, when he retired, he started going to the Y every day to work out and created an entire social life for himself there which has turned out to be most useful. Our remodeler, lawyer, real estate agents, CPA, et al. were all people he met through the Y.

Also, when he retired, he went into "property management". Dad was getting older and couldn't maintain the place much anymore, then he passed and Mom needed the help. The old house, where we eventually rebuilt and moved in also needed maintaining. Then Mom sold her old house and moved into a condo which also needed our help. Plus maintaining our own house and all the equipment to maintain the place kept him very busy. This went on for years.

We are finally down to one property to care for, and even with the new house, we still have lots of land to care for and out buildings to maintain. When you have property, it's always something....

So I worried needlessly about it. Since I retired, we entertain loads more. As more of my friends retire too, we have more longer limited to Sat night dinners, but we have lunches and weeknight get togethers too. So our social life keeps going as well.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am 51 and DH is 53, so we have been discussing this with more frequency lately. I know he is burned out, but financially probably not feasible for at least 5 years. I stayed home for many years raising kids, so I haven't been back in the work force all that long. We both are well-educated and have well-paying jobs, but we also still have three kids in college. Two are slated to graduate next May, and I pray they can both find jobs and be able to take care of themselves financially.

My parents sold their business when they were 48 and 50, reaped the benefits of the rising stock market and were able to travel the world for the next 20 years. I find myself envious of them because I love to travel!

Another consideration is our aging parents. All four are alive - 90, 89, 82 and 80 and health is starting to become an issue. I have taken time off work multiple times in the last year to help my parents when one has been hospitalized. They only live 45 minutes away, but my in-laws live 5 hours away and we are the closest to them geographically of their 4 kids. I know that the time is going to come soon when all of them need more help, and it is really hard to provide when you have full-time jobs. They are all still in their own homes with help who comes in periodically. Their longevity also gives me pause when thinking about our own futures and the strong possibility of us both living into our nineties based on family history.

In the end, many factors go into the decision to retire, and I agree that financial considerations are just one of them. I really wish it was time for us to retire and sell our big house, because the market here is so hot.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm 58 and reaching the end of my rope. As soon as I can afford it, I am out the door. I am thinking two more years but if I can leave sooner, I will.

I have plenty of interests and am sooo looking forward to having time to do what I want to be doing, instead of what I have to do.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to admit I am a little envious of you considering retirement. I am a long ways away, probably 15-20 years. DH same thing.

My parents are deceased, and anything we do would have to consider MIL who lives nearby. We have no children.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My husband fully retired five years ago. I'm semi-retired, which means I work up to 20 hours a week at a job I'm decently compensated for, but due mostly for the passion I have for it. I also discovered a few years ago, that though I have a zillion interests, I do better with a bit of a structure. Otherwise, I just get a little lazy and depressed.

What I've discovered is that my husband and I have DRASTICALLY different ideas of what retirement means. Like Sueb, we've had a youngest child still in highschool until this past month, which of course puts a limit on travel and such anyway. Still, I think this limitation has provided a convenient excuse for DH too. He is just more content than I am to 'sit and sog' for lack of a better description. He's not lazy -he's very physically fit and active, but he's happy to do a bit of gardening, ride his bike, go for a run, that kind of thing day after day. He is 15 years older than I am, and while it has never created an issue, it seems to be a factor for the first time. I was very frustrated and angry about his approach to retirement initially, but eventually found my way to realizing that we are all different and he has a right to be who he is. Fortunately, he's never tried in any sense to limit anything I do. Truly, if he was more adventurous, I probably wouldn't be working at all. Working keeps me from feeling so resentful about the things we aren't doing -such as traveling. Now that the youngest is off to college, we will have the freedom to travel at any time. And yet, since I'm working, I cannot travel at will. I'm interested to see how this plays out over the next year. DH may suddenly wish I was more available, but I'm certainly not willing to quit a job I love just to take one trip a year. I have the summers off, long weekends and a few weeks during the year, so if he's really interested in going somewhere, we easily can. Otherwise, if he remains satisfied with just puttering, I intend to do what I want to do with girlfriends and family.

I think the key is to really do some soul searching and be brutally honest and perhaps a bit selfish about your remaining healthy time. What truly gives your life satisfaction? For some people it is feeling needed, for some it is adventure, for some creativity, for others structure, etc. Besides my 20 hours working, I read voraciously, volunteer one day a week at the animal shelter, play tennis, paint/quilt/sew and engage in other creative outlets with friends who share these interests, etc. This year, with DD off, I'll add more travel. It's taken me a few years to get the balance right. It's a work in progress, but I think as long as you are actively managing your retirement, not just letting the days pass one after the other, it can be a great time in your life.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My father was upset that he did not die in his sleep the night after he retired at 79-1/2. The potential problem in my family is the length of retirement. I had a great aunt who retired from teaching full time at 65 and was retired for 37 years.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

NHBABS said " I love doing my job which is intellectually challenging and useful to society."

I want such a job!

I've been semi-retired, that is, working 3 days per week from home for a company in a large, distant city, for the past 7 years. It was not my choice to work only part time, but it was the best (most interesting/challenging) offer in 2007. As usual over my long career, I have just about worked my way out of specialized, hands-on IT job, I can't see driving to a full time job in a distant city. (Frankly, I can't even see interviewing for such a job. People who do this work today are foreign and 35 years younger than me. I'm a dinosaur even though a degree in my field didn't even exist when I went to college!)

I'm at a loss what to do next. I have volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, but that doesn't take up too many hours and I can't bury myself in it because, frankly, it just doesn't help the child that much when you add more hours. I've taken up singing, but I'll never be great at music. I need to find a way to do what I'm GOOD at -- practicing mastery is the greatest pleasure, and my mastery is all tied up in working inside a corporation,

For me, retirement is not that much about the money. I don't want to suffer, but I'd be willing to live even more frugally if I could "love doing my job which is intellectually challenging and useful to society".

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am 57 and single, and expect to have to keep working at something as long as I'm physically and mentally able. I love being single, but it means I have no financial cushion from a partner. I'm not in the worst financial position, but don't have enough to last me until --whenever. I wish I didn't have to work -- I'd be pretty content to laze around forever, given that I am a low energy type person, have a very active mental life and can amuse myself endlessly.

I have a good job, but my boss is 70 years old and is planning to semi-retire at the end of the year. I will continue working for him as long as that works out, but am now considering my options for long term. I don't want to work for him for the next five years and suddenly have to job seek in the legal field at age 62. Insurance is definitely a consideration, too -- for these years just before Medicare, it's the most expensive for us!

I so want to set up a side business for myself that I can transition into a workable income stream, that will give me flexibility, but am having a hard time putting any of my ideas into practice. I really don't want to have to dress up every day and work in an office forever!

This post was edited by Violet.West on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 14:26

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Great post and tips everyone, thank you. I'm thinking of an early retirement from my "career job" as early as April 2015. Kids will still be in elementary school, DH will probably work 3 or 4 more years. Like mtn, we've always planned on an early retirement - retirement in quotes as we would both still want to work part-time, perhaps in a new field. I thought I'd work full time for a least a couple more years, but an opportunity has presented itself that I don't think I can refuse. And with aging parents, a disabled sister and still young children, the idea of having more flexibility is very appealing.

Lots to plan and think about. Fortunately health insurance isn't an issue here, my biggest issue is figuring out what I will do part time. I agree completely with mtn, I need to be challenged, keep learning, have some external pressure. I worry a bit about my self esteem if I stop working altogether. Mtn, you make excellent points about a little stress or anxiety being important, I couldn't agree more. I may need to email you for advice. I should know my mid-September if my April retirement plan is still feasible.

Thanks to all for the great discussion in this post.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Sochi, I am only too happy if sharing my experience is helpful! Feel free to email me.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And here it is: the PERFECT explanation of my thoughts/hopes for retirement.

"I underestimated the pleasures of an unstructured life.”

Link below. I just don't want to wait till I"m in my ninth decade of life to experience this!

Here is a link that might be useful: What's It All About

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here, here! I am a little terrified of no structure because I am a procrastinator, but now am even thinking of retiring sooner rather than later....coworker's 45 year old DH was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which has spread to the liver . Another coworker passed away unexpectedly last year at 64 and a friend died 6 months ago of colon cancer at 59. Life's just too short to spend 40 hours a week tied to a desk at an unfullfilling job.

I love what Trailrunner said:

"We never really looked at money. We figured it would take care of itself. We have never had a financial planner and have managed for good or bad to make it work. "

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

joanie..we have been lucky..I thought after I wrote that comment that it is misleading. We knew our bills would be paid and we make sure to spend less than we have.I would not want anyone to think that retirement is to be taken lightly as far as monetary concerns.

As far as structure, I am interested to see the comments from others. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, I hate as much as structure ! If there was one main reason I went into home health nursing it was the lack of structure.I set my own timetable and only followed the barest routine to get my day done and meet my patient's needs.

Every single endeavor I have enjoyed in my life and most certainly since I quit working officially in 2004 at 54 , has lacked structure ! :)It just goes to show how completely individual we all are . c

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I mentioned structure in one of my responses. Maybe that is not the right word. My husband and I are ones who are impulsive vs. scheduled, planned. Well as much as we can be since we do both work. But I do feel like when the time comes that I completely leave my job - I need something. Structure? I think that is one thing that worries me the most. Although I don't want to have to plan/schedule my life, I don't want to just relax until I feel like I've turned into a lump. As I said above, we have many interests, friends, etc. and I feel the need for some time community/volunteer activity. I want to help others and give something back. I guess what I am saying is I want to be useful. I want to contribute. So, as long as I keep those things in my life, I should be fine.

Most of the volunteer experiences I have had - they are so thrilled to have people to volunteer, the schedule is flexible. They were quite willing to work with me so I don't think that would be a problem. We do want to be able to do what we want to do when we want to do it.

So Caroline, I totally see what you mean. And of course, we are all different - thank goodness!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Caroline...I took your comment about $ as making do with what you have when you are ready to retire..not NOT planning or saving. It's a big decision for sure and I think I'm getting there sooner than anticipated,but there is still a little trepidation involved in terms of "what do I do now?"

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tina...I do get what you are saying. We have volunteered a lot with the local food bank and our church. Many people need rides out of town and few can do it so DH and I are always called upon to give rides to those that have out of town appts for MD's and lengthy tests etc. We are gone a lot so it is a challenge to fit in volunteer work and travel, for sure !

I seem to never have much time to relax LOL! DH and I are on the go and this trip has been much the have to be someplace every day by a set time...sigh... this will be my last bike tour with others...remember I said I hate too much structure...even if it is " fun" ! We have LOVED being on our own the past 2 1/2 one to please but ourselves. You should have seen my face when the 1st B and B wanted to know when we wanted breakfast ...arrgghh ! I don't know !!

It is SO fun tonight to be at our nephew's home near Den Haag..they are gone and we are borrowing their home...we can get up when we want :) said it perfectly ! Precisely what I was trying to convey..thank you ! If you are at all like DH and I you will have more trouble deciding "what to do next? ! " ..there are just too many great things and people and places out there and of course family comes first so that has made a big difference in our plans. We would move to Europe most of every Summer were it not for our children and now our lovely sweet choices.

May you have a lovely time deciding what joy to bring in to your life next . c

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That sounds wonderful Caroline. I think we would not be as busy as you and your hubby - well at least not going to so many different places! We do enjoy travel, we enjoy camping, etc. but we have become such homebodies! Spending more time at the lake will definitely be part of our retirement! And your remark about your bike trip is precisely why we do not much care for cruises or tours.

Much of our volunteer work is now done through our church. I love our little church and am so happy they want to serve the community/area and not just members of the church. They have recently started a food pantry (only quarterly at this point) and we really enjoyed working on that. Next up is a car show and the benefits will go to the family in a nearby city - a young father was killed last year and his two children were in the car. The son (7 I believe) was seriously injured and faces years of rehabilitation and treatment. I have met both of the children and am thrilled we will be part of this project.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:48PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - I hate it!!
I'm painting a few pieces of furniture for my daughters...
Is this legit? RH law suit. You get this ?
This came on email. I suspect it's bogus, but thought...
TIGHT Space for Mirrors (Between the Light Fixture and Backsplash) :(
We are coming into the home stretch. Although there...
Monrovia Mom
SW Kilm Beige
If you have used this color, would you please tell...
I need help deciding what color to paint my sofa frame
I am re-upholstering a vintage french couch, with the...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™