When to Retire

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When to Retire

Postby diehard » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:39 pm

As I approach 60 yrs., I am thinking about my exit to retirement strategy. I've heard all sorts of ideas including that you have to have 5 hobbies so you won't be bored in retirement. While I still like what I do, I don't want to work until I die.

My question is: How did you decide to retire? Was it purely a financial decision or was it lifestyle?
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Postby john94549 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:42 pm

I retired at 59 1/2. Never looked back.
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Postby grogs4dogs » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:47 pm

I retired at 58 after my 40th high school reunion. I've been retired now for 14 months and could not be happier. I had no "hobbies" when I retired and have found plenty of stuff to do to more than fill my time. Do it now and enjoy yourself!
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Postby Steelersfan » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:00 pm

I retired at age 60 at the point my answer to my employees questions came true -

Their question: When are you going to retire?

My answer: When my average day working is less enjoyable than my average day not working (e.g. on vacation).

It took a good six to nine months to establish a set of retirement activities where I'm busy enough with things I'm interested in and feel good doing.
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Postby chaz » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:10 pm

I liked my work, so I retired at age 74.
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Postby CABob » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:15 pm

I retired at age 63. There were a number of things, directly or indirectly finance related, that I felt needed to happen before retiring. These included mortgage paid off, no debt, children living independantly, wife and I eligible for pension, a comfortable feeling that portfolio would support us for the rest of our lives.
But, in addition to these things the final decision was when I just wasn't enjoying work as much.
I didn't have specific plans as to what I would do or where I would be, but, it all worked out well and I have never regretted the decision.
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Postby bob90245 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:17 pm

If I was already 65, I would retire. Prior to that, health insurance would be the wildcard.
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Postby yobria » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:17 pm

Steelersfan wrote:My answer: When my average day working is less enjoyable than my average day not working (e.g. on vacation).


Folks who are budget constrained might modify this to say:

"When my average day working plus the utility the earnings provide is less enjoyable than my average day not working."
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Postby Steelersfan » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:36 pm

yobria wrote:
Steelersfan wrote:My answer: When my average day working is less enjoyable than my average day not working (e.g. on vacation).


Folks who are budget constrained might modify this to say:

"When my average day working plus the utility the earnings provide is less enjoyable than my average day not working."


Excellent point.
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Postby Redbelly » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:29 pm

I retired at 54. Work sucked - stressful and age discrimination was rampant. C'mon over to http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/ and see the other side.
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Postby Jake46 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:54 pm

I retired at 60. I was financially able, tired of working in a high stress job, wanted to escape Houston & had some minor health issues that required a different (healthier) lifestyle. It's been a great decision.

I don't know about the 5 hobbies rule. I find that I can fill my days as much as I want/need or not. Life is good.

Ditto on the Early Retirement Forum.
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Postby imagardener » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:26 pm

First of all you are extremely fortunate to have this decision. Some people would like to retire and cannot for many reasons, others wish they had a job. Asking this question is similar to "Should I get married" or "Should I have a child". Your question can only be answered by you, the rest is babble.

Have you ever taken an extensive amount of time off? or a very long vacation? Did you enjoy the time away or look forward to getting back to work, even if it was to talk about your time off?

To return to the marriage comparison, once you get divorced from your job you won't be getting back together. So is there something else in your life you would enjoy more?
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Postby LifeIsGood » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:25 am

If you have the option to stay at your job part time, I found that it was a great way to "test the waters". I worked 2 1/2 days a week for 2 years. I found that I was neither bored nor looking forward to the days when I had to work. I pulled the plug completely 4 years ago and never looked back.
Even if you don't have many/any hobbies, don't overlook volunteering. I've enjoyed the social interaction that it has offered.
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Postby imagardener » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:50 am

A few more thoughts: men more so than women have their identity very much connected to their work life and the transition to retirement is bumpier from what I've seen (I live in Florida, land of the retired).

It's also a bumpy transition for homemaker spouses who all of a sudden have their spouse around all day in their house. This doesn't describe how my spouse and I went into retirement but it's common for others.

You are doing the right thing by projecting and thinking what your retirement would be like. Most people are chomping at the bit for the freedom and I have loved every minute of it but not everyone adapts that quickly.

Golf, travel, gym, amateur photography, other sports like tennis, etc, these are all common interests. Volunteering is certainly commendable too if it fits your personality.

When you were a teenager what were your dreams? Now is the chance to accomplish them.

My spouse (male) belongs to computer special interest groups, photography groups, goes to the gym, we take one big trip a year with lots of planning in advance (half the fun is reading up), has a boat, goes to sunset meets at the beach (drum circle) to see friends, photographs wildlife locally and national park landscapes. It built gradually, not all in the first year, somethings got tried out and dropped.

One suggestion: dedicate a room in your house for your den or man-cave. A place that is all yours. Retirement is the first day of the rest of your life.
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Postby marylandcrab » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:07 am

We're also considering retirement here, but not because we chose this specific time, but because of the opportunity presented to us. So it will be financially based, but considered because I don't want this lifestyle anymore. It used to be I'd "quit" to hubby every once in a great while, which just meant I was overwhelmed. This past summer when we were on vacation and I was relaxed and happy, it came to me that I really, not joking, not whining, couldn't stand it anymore. It was a long for us 10 day vacation and I practically needed to be dragged home.

I imagine that I really need at least 6 months to detox. I believe the stress of my occupation has negatively impacted every part of my life. It makes me more prone to get stressed over things that in and of themselves would roll off my back.

What I really need is a chunk of time to just be, and not start filling up the mental space with more work like past times, which would be my natural thing to do. I haven't really had the time nor inclination for hobbies.

So, I'd say, if you relate to what I'm saying, start making an exit strategy.
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Postby mak » Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:05 pm

I don't know a single person who made their own decision to retire on their own terms. The decision was made for them by circumstance, forced early retirement, layoff, corporate restructuring, etc, often in their 40's or 50's, and the inability to get replacement work at anything near what they had. So they simply say they "retired". I find all these news stories about the average person having to work until 73 or 75 or whatever age to be able to afford retirement very sad, because the vast majority will not have a choice to continue to work until some planned stop date. Of course if you have your own business or are an established professional that gives you more control over your destiny.
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Postby scrabbler1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:09 pm

I retired 3 years at age 45, and on my own terms. all the pieces had fallen into place in 2007 and 2008, from money to health insurance.
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Re: When to Retire

Postby Parthenon » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:12 pm

diehard wrote:My question is: How did you decide to retire? Was it purely a financial decision or was it lifestyle?

When work interferes with your personal life it's time to retire.

(The big caveat being can you afford it financially?)

Ed
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Re: When to Retire

Postby scrabbler1 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:33 pm

Parthenon wrote:
diehard wrote:My question is: How did you decide to retire? Was it purely a financial decision or was it lifestyle?

When work interferes with your personal life it's time to retire.

(The big caveat being can you afford it financially?)

Ed


Even though I was working only 2 days a week when I retired (had been working various part-time arrangements for 7 years) in 2008, this was true for me, too. Even 2 days a week, working had become a nuisance which was interfering with my personal life, making it tough for me to do my volunteer work (midday) and evening activities (got home too tired to do them after work). So packing it in was my best choice to fully open up my life to do everything I wanted to do.
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Postby soaring » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:16 pm

My question is: How did you decide to retire? Was it purely a financial decision or was it lifestyle?


For me it was too much work. I was tired. After working 40-60 hrs new goals had us working 90-100 hr weeks. After three yrs it was too much for me with no end for too many more years.

So for me it was lifestyle. I would have stayed longer because financially it was too soon. So at 59 I quit. No regrets.

But having something (yes many things) to do when retired is probably more important than most realize. If you are financially able then start focusing on what you will do. If you are happy both then you are ready.
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Postby ThePrune » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:46 pm

Work had been too stressful for many years, and management had no intention of hiring more help. At age 53 I had plenty of savings and a number of serious hobbies (including investing and retirement planning) that I wanted to pursue more actively. So I gave 6 months notice, wrote up as much of my knowledge in R&D reports as could be fit in that time frame, and retired just before my 54th birthday. After 4 years I've not regreted my decision even once!!

In contrast, my wife is still working. She enjoys her coworkers, finds her work not too stressful, and doesn't really have anything else she'd rather be doing with her time.

Finally, I'll share an amusing dream I had 2 months after retiring. I was back in my old R&D lab, listening to my former coworkers describe to me a technical problem they needed solved. After listening and looking at their data, I knew how to solve their problem. But I simply told them I was retired now, they'd have to solve the problem themselves, and I walked out of the lab. When I woke up after that dream, I knew that I had truly cut the emotional ties to my old job!
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Postby tripleb » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:08 pm

I've had several jobs. None were terrible. But I have too many hobbies/interests in my personal life and working has always interfered with them.

I've frequently taken off a few months in between full time employment positions and those were the best days of my life.

I'll never find work in a full time capacity that is better than my personal life because I never get bored. I'm a strong candidate for early retirement. I am only working for a paycheck right now. If I won $500k after taxes tomorrow in a special lottery (that doesn't require an entry fee because I don't play) I would immediately retire.
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Postby Dandy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:28 pm

I planned to retire at 62 but my company made me an offer I couldn't refuse at 60. I liked the people but the job was boring. There are some boring times in retirement but I really like being retired. It is great to have hobbies but I don't have one. I've enjoyed time with my wife, working around the house, spending time with my new grandchild, helping my children and mother in law.

Eat out a little more and take some nice day trips. It is amazing how many things seem to pop up and fill up the day. It is nice to have some contol of your days instead of having to pack in chores and entertainment in the weekend.

I'm from the East and working time was kind of hectic. I appreciate the ability to slow things down a bit in retirement.
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Postby HomerJ » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:10 am

I took a long weekend vacation (Monday and Tuesday off) with my wife and her sister and the brother-in-law...

On Monday, I woke up late, and semi-watched a TJ Hooker re-run while the wife and her sister were drinking coffee out on the balcony.

I remember thinking "Man, what a waste of an hour to just lay here and watch a chubby William Shatner pretend to be a tough cop"...

But then as I stretched out across the whole bed, I thought, "It sure is nice to have an hour to waste"
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Postby Don Robins » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:46 am

Retire when you can afford to and want to.
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Postby at ease » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:03 pm

..i retired at 50 when offered an early out with finances and medical to make it work....soon the relationship between my wife and i began to encounter a new stress...she didn't work and we were spending too much time around each other even though we had hobbies apart from each other.

...after 2 years i went back to work and am nearing 10 years in my new retirement job but will be retiring again soon....so, i would suggest if you are ok in these basic areas, you are probably ok to go whenever ...1) enough $ to be comfortable based on your needs and plan 2) medical ins. coverage arranged 3) agreement with your spouse about how you will share the time and mutual expectations 4) you have "something" you like/want to do (that you have road-tested ) to replace the time you spend working each day.......also, a friend of mine says that once you have enough money to retire ok..then it's time to focus on the other things it takes to have a good retirement....like, good health, good hobbies, good friend/relationships, good attitude and good deeds.....and you will be ready for the retirement "good life"....good luck to you...
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