Early retirement pros and cons:

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Nowizard
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Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Nowizard »

Some posters mention that retirement as early as age 40 or younger is a goal. As an older person who retired at age 65, early retirement was never a consideration, though it could have occurred from a financial perspective at least a few years earlier. Is early retirement a common goal for people posting here? One view, though not the only rational one, states that loving one's work is a significant factor in accumulating wealth even if it presents an irony in desiring to continue working after there is no financial need to do so. What is your opinion?

Tim
WolfgangPauli
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by WolfgangPauli »

I tried it.. I could not do it... I need something to keep me occupied and work towards a "great good". And, since I am going to do that, I figured I might as well make some money at it so I went back to work and have not looked back. Not sure when I really will hang it up but it will not be for a while. I am 55.. too young to retire (even though I can).
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AndrewXnn
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by AndrewXnn »

Warren Buffett is 87 and has still not retired although he could have at an early age.
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larryslocum1982
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by larryslocum1982 »

I recently retired after a busy practice ax a doctor.
Now I have more time to learn about the markets. I always wanted to learn more about the markets but did not have time before.
Hulu
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Hulu »

My goal was to be financially independent by thirty. Took a little longer and I switched to very part time late 30s. And am open to continuing to do meaningful "work" whether it pays or not.

The only "con" besides less income is that without structure I can sometimes dally too much.

Pros:. More creativity, balance, health, family, laughter, time
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

I wouldn't retire even if I didn't need the money. My job is fun, challenging, and fulfilling. I save because I may not always feel the way that I do currently and realize that I may not always be able to work. I've greatly enjoyed my job for a number of years and would like to keep things going as they have been.
DrGoogle2017
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by DrGoogle2017 »

Unless there’s heath issues, I think retiring in your early 40s is not as good as it sounds. Maybe boring to some. I’m the youngest among the retirees that I know and I retired at 55.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
yarnandthread
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by yarnandthread »

I think it really depends on how much you like your job. If you love your work, then I suppose there is less incentive to stop. If you don't like your job and a person can financially pull the trigger, then I don't see too much of a problem with it. As an option, that person could also find another line of work that might be more enjoyable, even though the person is financially independent.
runner540
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by runner540 »

Ron Ronnerson wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:55 pm I wouldn't retire even if I didn't need the money. My job is fun, challenging, and fulfilling. I save because I may not always feel the way that I do currently and realize that I may not always be able to work. I've greatly enjoyed my job for a number of years and would like to keep things going as they have been.
+1
For the OP, I save not because I don't want to work, but because I may not have the option to work until normal retirement age at my current compensation level.
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Watty
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Watty »

Nowizard wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:25 pm What is your opinion?
I ended up retiring voluntarily just before I turned 59 so I was not super early.

I worked in IT and the job market for older IT workers can be rough so planning on being able to retire in my 50's in case I got laid off was more of a defensive position than a real retirement goal.

By my late 50's I could afford to retire and with mergers and management changes every few years the corporate BS was making the work not be enjoyable or rewarding.
Last edited by Watty on Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ruger
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Ruger »

I retired at 61 because I got to dislike what I was doing. If it wasn't for that, I would still be working.
fsrph
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by fsrph »

yarnandthread wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:11 pm I think it really depends on how much you like your job. If you love your work, then I suppose there is less incentive to stop. If you don't like your job and a person can financially pull the trigger, then I don't see too much of a problem with it. As an option, that person could also find another line of work that might be more enjoyable, even though the person is financially independent.
I agree with this. Everyones situation is different. If you like your job and the work /life balance that's great. But there's other people working in pressure filled toxic environments and leaving is akin to being granted a parole. If you want to get out and can afford it age is irrelevant.

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SimpleGift
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by SimpleGift »

Nowizard wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:25 pm Is early retirement a common goal for people posting here?
There's a difference between financial independence and early retirement — and I'm not sure exactly which one you're asking about. In our case, we were able to sell a business while in our 50s and become financially independent. This led not to retirement, but to second careers with non-profit organizations we wanted to support and where we could work as unpaid professionals — easily one of the most rewarding chapters of life for both of us. We only recently actually "retired" in our late 60s and early 70s.

For a young person, financial independence seems a worthy aspiration. But retirement itself is a different question, dependent upon one's age, health, and desire to contribute further to society. Just my perspective.
IndexERDoc
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by IndexERDoc »

I just turned 50 this year and worked in the medical field for the past 20 years. I have saved enough to retire, but will probably continue to work part-time tapering my hours down as I get older. Currently I work 80% FTE. I will need to work at least 50% FTE in order to have medical insurance, so this is one of the main factors which would make me continue to work. My job is stressful and is really a younger person's field, so that makes me feel less inclined to continue too long.

Thankfully, my wife and I have led a relatively non-affluent lifestyle over the past 20 years which has allowed us to save a significant portion of my income towards retirement. It's nice to know that I can retire tomorrow if I so chose. I do worry about how to pass the time after retirement. I don't golf! :P I do plan on traveling as much as possible once I have more free time.

To summarize - early retirement:

Pros: free time for hobbies, travel, reading, exercise, family/grandkids, volunteering, leisure classes, lower taxes
Cons: lack of structure, boredom, spouse may not know what to do with you, mental decline, faster aging, no income
heyyou
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by heyyou »

Having been a blue collar worker at MegaCorp, early retirement suited me well. I found the perfect volunteer work for an introvert, so my first decade of retirement was the best years of my life.

Glad to hear that others found what suited them.
flyingaway
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by flyingaway »

I would retire with enough money regardless of age. The early the better.
2comma
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by 2comma »

Watty wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:18 pm
Nowizard wrote: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:25 pm What is your opinion?
I ended up retiring voluntarily just before I turned 59 so I was not super early.

I worked in IT and the job market for older IT workers can be rough so planning on being able to retire in my 50's in case I got laid off was more of a defensive position than a real retirement goal.

By my late 50's I could afford to retire and with mergers and management changes every few years the corporate BS was making the work not be enjoyable or rewarding.
Very similar experiences as Watty in IT. I never identified my self worth with what I did for a living. I am envious of those that truly do what they love but I find retirement quite nice. What I choose to do in retirement may not be fulfilling to others but I find it quite nice. I also took a voluntary retirement when I was 58. I'll admit that I'm not sure how those in their 30's or 40's handle retirement but for me I'm really enjoying the extra 7 years of "early retirement".
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StealthRabbit
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by StealthRabbit »

Many in my Fortune 50 took Early outs (for last 30+ yrs) Most were 55, but sometimes the package dropped to age 50.

I pulled the plug at age 49.

As mentioned reasons and results vary.

mine
Pros:
  • Family health issues (parents went down early,(pre-age 50 into SNF) as did spouse's parents). so we felt "Sooner the better"!
  • Tired / Ready to retire... growing up on a farm, elder care for 32 yrs (disabled parent) + Homeschooling for 10 yrs, + 3 jobs (at a time) since age 15 brought 99 hrs of 'equivalent FT 40 hr / week labor by age 49 - * I was READY!)
  • Opportune: Kids gone, parents died; + company incentive (2 yrs pay + 2 yrs free school + 2 yrs UI + 2 yrs HC = Poof > I'm GONE :D )
  • Available alternatives post 'retirement': I went to grad school (paid) and started a business (for a Sect 179 deduction so I could KEEP my severance pay)
  • Available alternate income: Have had rental homes and land investing since age 19
  • Desire and availability to travel; (use those Star Alliance / hotel points while airline and hotel is still in business) :sharebeer
  • Lots of interests to pursue & still healthy enough to do them!
  • Elderly Neighbors needed my help. (farmers, Heavy construction and aircraft mechanic)
  • Better things to do with my time than add to Corp profits (I did 3 volunteer gigs, 2 were international)
  • No more SCHEDULE (tho I had worked 30+ yrs of 'flex time' (come when you want, just gitter done))
Cons
  • No more PAID Vacation (I really miss that)
  • Direct deposit STOPPED! (I miss that too)
  • No HC for sick spouse... A(?)CA took my 'Affordable options off the table :annoyed (so we are without till age 65, probably need to move overseas, Currently use Medical tourism along with 15m others from around the world. https://patientsbeyondborders.com/medic ... tics-facts
  • No more windfall 'profit sharing' (We always gave that to needy neighbors, sorry neighbors)
  • Tough to get loans for crazy projects (commercial real estate habit for me)
  • The economy crashed shortly after I exited
  • I had a wonderful and exciting job and great coworkers! (We did a lot of investment trading on our lunch-breaks (close of market during Left Coast lunch break)
  • Being PAID to travel (4 international assignments while homeschooling family was a great gig)
  • Access to Company equipment. (We built electric cars in 1976 with FREE full use of facilities), I made MANY repairs / spare parts for my collectibles using $500k machines and CAD CAM. Really enjoyed the Wire EDMs (0.00001" (4 microns) accuracy) I have not got one at home (YET)
  • Free luncheons and dinners (tech talks and invention demos)
  • Perks from co-workers ( off shore sailing races, airplane shuttling, camping, canoeing, biking, and climbing expedition
  • Invention. Everyday we invented for the company and for our own personal products
Post mortem...

After FREE Grad School... lucky enough to still get some occasional PAID invention gigs and PAID international travel (on my own terms)
took a yr RVing,
took a 1 yr RTW trip (bought a one way ticket to Australia and found our way back to USA, eventually)
Tons of volunteering (it is GREAT to have the free time to stop and change a flat tire for someone in need, or any of a million things people need help with)
Have not got the 'projects done I would have expected to finish by now. (*hint... do them while you are still working = more money, more time, more need to do something satisfying (for you, not boss)) Once you are FREE... your time is FAR more valuable (and limited ... nearing THE END! :shock: )


My coworkers who had their act together and had homes SOLD and packed for the last day of employment were a BIG happy step ahead of us with too much STUFF (farm).

Retire Early,
Retire often
(you might not get it right the first few times + it is really fun to retire!)
truenorth418
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by truenorth418 »

Retired at age 47. Financial independence had been a dream of mine since college. I have been retired for a little over 6 years now. There is good and bad but overall I love it.

Just off the top of my head...

Pros
-Can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Nobody tells me what to do with my time.
-No commuting to work
-Can spend more time on healthy pursuits, more time at the gym
-More time outdoors, fresh air
-There is more room in my life to do meaningful things - I spent a big part of 2015 helping to care for my parents who had both been diagnosed with terminal cancer - I never could have done that had I been working my previous job -that experience was priceless and not worth any paying job
-can travel anywhere in the world for long periods of time - no more 1 week vacations with constant email, voicemail, conference calls
- more time to dig into financial matters and investing and other interesting pursuits
- consulting work or part-time work still an option - I did this for a few months but did not care for it
-location independence - can live anywhere in the US and plenty of places internationally for stretches of time

Cons
-Can get lonely sometimes - none of my friends or siblings are retired so I spend large chunks of time on my own - in an office seting social contact was automatic (though many of those people were jerks)
-some people are jealous and intimidated- and I've heard a lot of rude and judgmental comments about my early retirement
-no new money coming in - at least not until social security and a small pension awaiting at age 65 - therefore need to be extra mindful of spending - I've become an expert on budgeting, asset allocation and retirement withdrawal strategies
- long range plan and future lifestyle largely based on unknown future stock market performance - who knows what the future holds?

But frankly I am baffled by those who delay retirement based on a fear of being "bored". I am never "bored". In fact, one of the biggest "cons" to early retirement is that there are TOO MANY CHOICES of things to do. And without someone else managing my time, sometimes I get frozen and give into my own laziness and introversion. Sometimes I regret not doing more. Outside of financial considerations (which also existed when I was working), the only limitations are my own imagination and initiative.
westrichj312
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by westrichj312 »

The biggest pro for early retirement if you can afford it is TIME. I retired at 47 i am now 52. I have had 5 years of doing what ever I want that means alot of walking, biking and sitting out at swimming pools in the summer. I am never bored. If you wait to long you might just drop dead in your late 60's or just physically not be able to enjoy your time. If you like your job so much just keep working to you drop, its a personal choice. But remember nobody beats father time no matter how much money you have!
2Birds1Stone
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I'm 30, aspiring to retire before 40.

The beauty of the plan is that with so many decades of truly early retirement, I am bound to make money here and there.

The biggest uncertainty right now is healthcare costs. If my spouse or I have to work part time for health benefits, that's not the end of the world.
staythecourse
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by staythecourse »

I can speak only for myself, but several years ago my biggest goal of was having a ton of money so I could retire early. Then I left my previous group and started my own practice about 3 years ago. I still like making money and seeing the net worth go up, but not so much anymore. I think the reason is I don't think I will retire anytime soon. I'm my own boss and call my own schedule. I literally could work forever.

The reason I mention the above is I have noticed most/ many folks who want to retire early don't necessarily hate their job, but the confines of the job, i.e. time restraints, limited time off, not able to control one's schedule, work politics, etc... I have noticed many folks who work for themselves continue to work well past what they need to financially as they have a level of control W2 folks do not. So for many ER is not just about not working, but having the ability to increase control in their lives that they can't do while working in their current situation.

Good luck.

p.s. I also do agree with simplegift that their are as many if not more folks whose BIGGEST goal on this board is to attain FI and not ER.
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duckcalldan
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by duckcalldan »

I retired in March of this year at age 53. My wife joined me in ER land in May.

For us, it’s great. We feel enormously blessed that we are able to transition to our next chapter at such an early age. So many are unable to do so in their early or mid 50s. Others are unwilling to retire early, for many reasons; fear of the unknown or a fulfilling career are two big ones.

For those deliberating about whether or when to pull the trigger on early retirement, it boils down to these two questions:
1) Do you have something you want to retire TO? (a purpose)
2) Do you have a sense of adventure? (a willingness to try something new)

For my wife and I, our purpose is giving back. I traveled to Rwanda in October to drill a water well in a rural village: a very fulfilling (and transformative) experience. After that trip, we were asked to become sponsorship directors for a children’s home in Haiti that we have a connection to. It’s an unpaid position that taps into areas of strength for each of us, and we’re excited to meet the kids and staff in Haiti next month.

We will be empty nesters next year, and we’re determined to stay busy and never ask each other “Now what?”.

A purpose will look different for every retiree. Maybe that purpose is to be a lifelong learner, or to spend meaningful time with grandkids. But I feel strongly that there has to be a reason to get up every morning that is more than merely leisure activities (not that there’s anything wrong with that). 8-)
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

i'm 33, with a 5 and 7 year old... i'd like to be FI at 35(i know that isn't that long is it?).. that doesn't mean i'll never work again... but to be able to choose what/when/etc will lift a huge burden off my back.
tbradnc
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by tbradnc »

I'm 56 and left the work-world a little over 4 years ago. To me, retirement means I can do the things I've dreamed of doing but couldn't because of work obligations. It doesn't mean I'm sitting around bored with nothing to do, fondly remembering sitting at my desk working and wishing I could go back.

It's like I switched jobs. I used to work for money, and yes, it was good in its own way. Now being retired is my full time job and I'm loving it.
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AnalogKid22
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by AnalogKid22 »

A quote I recently heard: "Don't retire from your job, retire to something else."

If you're just trying to escape a job or career, I completely understand, but when you're free you have to find something else to devote your life to. A life without purpose isn't a fulfilling one. Look at the number of people who win millions from the lottery and end up in serious financial or legal trouble, or even dead - they lose focus in life and have nothing meaningful to wake up to everyday. Once retired, I certainly plan to spend a few months settling into my new life not working but I'll eventually need something meaningful, even if I get a part time job, to fill the time.
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Top99%
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Top99% »

AnalogKid22 wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:43 am A quote I recently heard: "Don't retire from your job, retire to something else."
This is great advice in my opinion. On the contiuum of job satisfaction ranging from "I work just for the money" to "I would do the job even if they didn't pay me" I am somewhat past midway towards the latter. I went part time 10 months ago to help give me some time to figure out the "something else" and also wean myself off the living off a paycheck habit. It is going to take my wife and I some time to transitioning from nurturing our nest egg to tapping it.
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fasteddie911
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by fasteddie911 »

I'm young and seek FI, but I'm not sure about retiring early as I don't know what I'd do with my free time, I don't have anything I'd retire to. I don't sit around daydreaming about things I'd rather be doing, I just do them now. I've traveled quite a bit and plan to continue doing so regularly in my work life, but I don't dream of wandering the globe and having adventures, I find the time off I get while working to be sufficient. Maybe I'm just not the adventurous creative type. I've experienced a lot of things, but still only stick with a few. Some of the activities and plans retirees have just don't interest me. I don't care to learn new languages, play an instrument or dedicate myself to learning something new. I have no interest in volunteering. I find my work rewarding, important and of service to others and society overall. While leisure is nice I'm not sure how I'd feel with years of it, maybe work does make it feel sweeter, even just part-time work.
flyingaway
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by flyingaway »

Retiring early is a good thing which I want to do. I don't love my job, I like to do nothing everyday if possible, but the money is a good thing.

If I retire, I like to travel for most of my "early age" days and that requires a lot of money. With healthcare and other things unpredictable, I really don't know if I have enough money. (I do have money for the 4% rule without extensive travel).

So here is me. In a self-defined semi-retired status with an 8 month (unofficial retirement) leave to experiment early retirement, I will see if I will do OMYs or just go, in August 2018.

So if you have enough money, retire. If not, work for more money until enough.
rustymutt
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by rustymutt »

I retired at 53 in 09, to take better care of my health and wellness. Since that time my weight has decreased by 70 pounds. Getting things under control is wonderful gift of retirement for me. My golf game has never been better. I'm thankful this Christmas for those benefits.
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texasdiver
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by texasdiver »

I'm 53. My wife and I would likely be looking at early retirement soon if we were childless. Probably some combination of part time work and adventure travel. If it was just us, we could probably swing it now.

But we have 3 kids ages 11, 14, and 19. So we don't really plan on any kind of retirement for at least 10 years until the youngest is well into college and we are positive that is all paid for. With at least 10 more years of college tuition payments yet to come due it seems rather imprudent to walk away from good paying jobs in our peak earning years.
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MichaelRpdx
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by MichaelRpdx »

I think it is important to remember the current attention-getting movement is FI/RE, Financial Independence/Retire Early. The emphasis is on financial independence. Use the strength of financial independence to have the freedom to stay in your job, pursue another, or whatever.

This is admirable. I am happy to see this mindset being instilled in young people. Prioritizing wealth accumulation over shiny new consumer objects (especially automobiles) is very healthy.
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cockersx3
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by cockersx3 »

texasdiver wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:54 pm ...it seems rather imprudent to walk away from good paying jobs in our peak earning years.
This is the part I struggle with as well. I am mid 40's and have enough to lead a comfortable (but not extravagant) life without additional W-2 income. I had a very serious health scare several years ago, that made me start to question the priority of work relative to the other things in my life.

However, I am currently making far more money than I have ever made in my entire life - far more than I feel like I'm worth, to be honest. While I'm not falling in love with my job or anything, it's also not a terrible place to work or anything either. For the money, staying is worth the tradeoff for now. It seems very difficult to voluntarily walk away from that kind of money. Also, if I was to quit and then decide later to go back to work, it would be very difficult to obtain the kind of paycheck that I get now. Seems like the responsible thing to do is to make hay while the sun shines...!

So for now, I'm sticking with the job and banking >70% of our income. I figure that in a few years, either they'll get sick of me or I'll get sick of them. In either case, the money I've saved (and will save) gives me very good options at that point. Like others have mentioned, one cannot assume that the jobs will be readily available as we get older.
texasdiver
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by texasdiver »

cockersx3 wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:54 pm
texasdiver wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:54 pm ...it seems rather imprudent to walk away from good paying jobs in our peak earning years.
This is the part I struggle with as well. I am mid 40's and have enough to lead a comfortable (but not extravagant) life without additional W-2 income. I had a very serious health scare several years ago, that made me start to question the priority of work relative to the other things in my life.

However, I am currently making far more money than I have ever made in my entire life - far more than I feel like I'm worth, to be honest. While I'm not falling in love with my job or anything, it's also not a terrible place to work or anything either. For the money, staying is worth the tradeoff for now. It seems very difficult to voluntarily walk away from that kind of money. Also, if I was to quit and then decide later to go back to work, it would be very difficult to obtain the kind of paycheck that I get now. Seems like the responsible thing to do is to make hay while the sun shines...!

So for now, I'm sticking with the job and banking >70% of our income. I figure that in a few years, either they'll get sick of me or I'll get sick of them. In either case, the money I've saved (and will save) gives me very good options at that point. Like others have mentioned, one cannot assume that the jobs will be readily available as we get older.
I have a close friend who bailed on the US working life about 15 years ago and moved to Guatemala with his wife (who was Guatemalan, they met in the Peace Corps). He spent 15 years investing in various business ventures....tour guide, tourist gift shop and cafe, and importing of Guatemalan textiles to the US. Technically he wasn't retired of course but doing the expat thing. However health and family issues (and frustration with politics, corruption, and crime in Guatemala) forced them back home to Michigan. He has since find it impossible to walk back into professional white collar life in the US in his early 50s after a 15 year gap. So he is dinging around with various self employed business ventures that aren't going well while taking on menial employment on the side like substitute teaching and doing tax returns for one of the big storefront tax preparers. His wife is doing retail. They are struggling and basically have nothing in retirement and not all that much social security earnings history. If they weren't going to inherit mom's house in Lansing where they are currently living it would be very bleak. They will likely both be working well into their 70s just to get by.
Last edited by texasdiver on Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SrGrumpy
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by SrGrumpy »

cockersx3 wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:54 pm
This is the part I struggle with as well. I am mid 40's and have enough to lead a comfortable (but not extravagant) life without additional W-2 income. I had a very serious health scare several years ago, that made me start to question the priority of work relative to the other things in my life.
You are blessed to have a great job. Not many people can say that. Of course a great job and good health are not mutually exclusive, and important lifestyle changes don't always entail turning in one's badge.
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birdog
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by birdog »

cockersx3 wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:54 pm
texasdiver wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:54 pm ...it seems rather imprudent to walk away from good paying jobs in our peak earning years.
This is the part I struggle with as well. I am mid 40's and have enough to lead a comfortable (but not extravagant) life without additional W-2 income. I had a very serious health scare several years ago, that made me start to question the priority of work relative to the other things in my life.

However, I am currently making far more money than I have ever made in my entire life - far more than I feel like I'm worth, to be honest. While I'm not falling in love with my job or anything, it's also not a terrible place to work or anything either. For the money, staying is worth the tradeoff for now. It seems very difficult to voluntarily walk away from that kind of money. Also, if I was to quit and then decide later to go back to work, it would be very difficult to obtain the kind of paycheck that I get now. Seems like the responsible thing to do is to make hay while the sun shines...!

So for now, I'm sticking with the job and banking >70% of our income. I figure that in a few years, either they'll get sick of me or I'll get sick of them. In either case, the money I've saved (and will save) gives me very good options at that point. Like others have mentioned, one cannot assume that the jobs will be readily available as we get older.
This is kind of where I am as well. As for the boredom that people speak of or the questions of "what will you do after you retire?", to me , those questions exist no matter what age you choose to retire at. That question is not as relevant to early retirement as it is to retirement period.
DrGoogle2017
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by DrGoogle2017 »

But you have a much longer time frame to get bored. My FIL retired at 62 and lived until 91. That’s almost 40 years of practically doing nothing. When I mean nothing, I don’t mean just sitting at home and drinking beer.
surfstar
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by surfstar »

My opinion: I can't retire early enough.

Hate work (in general) and much prefer our time off on weekends, vacations, holidays, etc. We do much more fun things and are only limited by our time and money; which brings us back to work.

For those of you who have more than enough and continue to work, I will happily babysit your funds, living off the interest and be sure to send you photos of your money enjoying itself. Underwater, on a rock face, etc.
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MichaelRpdx
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by MichaelRpdx »

DrGoogle2017 wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:54 pm But you have a much longer time frame to get bored. My FIL retired at 62 and lived until 91. That’s almost 40 years of practically doing nothing. When I mean nothing, I don’t mean just sitting at home and drinking beer.
Doing nothing? That's a personal choice. Retirement is what you make of it. My planning for retirement activities started five years before I retired.
Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity
staythecourse
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by staythecourse »

Not to steal the thread, but to better understand the life of the person giving the pro and con I would appreciate if one would mention if they are married or not and if they have kids or not and if so what ages are the kids.

A lot of my concerns of ER would be what would I do if my wife wanted to still work and my kids are still in elementary school? It isn't like I would get to spend more time with family then just because I am retired. Also, travel is still difficult if one is married with working spouse and/ or kids in school. Then, of course, there are still the considerations for kid's college education and other social responsibilities, i.e. help paying for kid's marriage and help paying for down payment on their first home.

I am just trying to get a sense if others are in the same situation (married and/ or kids) as I am or not (single with no dependents). Just trying to get an idea of frame of reference when hearing the advice given thus far.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
quantAndHold
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by quantAndHold »

For me, I reached FI a few years before I "retired" at 53. I'm not sure I'm actually retired, or just taking a sabbatical right now. Time will tell.

Reasons I left:
  • Work was uninteresting. You people who have jobs that are so fascinating that you want to do them for 40+ years, good for you! My work was very interesting for the first 20 years or so. For the last 10 years, I was just not that into it. I can't really imagine anything that I would want to do full time for that many years.
  • The workplace was a snake pit. I was starting to have some stress related health problems. I could have found a less stressful job, but see the first item.
  • I wanted time to travel and be with my wife. My wife is quite a bit older and already retired for several years, and I was seeing the clock ticking.
  • In general, there are so many other interesting things I want to do with my life than go to a corporate job and write software day in and day out. I can't imagine getting bored because I don't have to show up at an office every morning. I'm certainly not "doing nothing."
Why I might go back:
  • Money. I think I have reached FI, but like most everyone in 2017 who doesn't have a pension, I'm often doubting whether or not I've actually reached FI. Mostly because of the next item.
  • Health Insurance. At 54, without employer supplied health insurance, I'm dependent on the ACA. I remember the bad old days before the ACA, when people like me couldn't get insurance at all, and am grateful for the ACA. But remembering the bad old days makes me recognize how uncertain my future is in the current political environment. Not having health insurance is not a viable option. Plan B would be to go back to work.
staythecourse just asked about age of spouse and whether that affected the decision. Yes. If my wife was my age or younger, I probably would have made a career shift, but kept working at something until she was ready to retire. As it is, I wanted to travel with my wife while she was still young enough.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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birdog
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by birdog »

MichaelRpdx wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:04 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:54 pm But you have a much longer time frame to get bored. My FIL retired at 62 and lived until 91. That’s almost 40 years of practically doing nothing. When I mean nothing, I don’t mean just sitting at home and drinking beer.
Doing nothing? That's a personal choice. Retirement is what you make of it. My planning for retirement activities started five years before I retired.
Exactly. I’m now about five years out from ER. I’ve read multiple retirement books already to try to prepare for it.
Last edited by birdog on Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
HIinvestor
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by HIinvestor »

We have been FI for some years now. H officially retired in 2012 and then went back to work for another 6 months. He’s happily fully retired now and mostly loved his job. I’m running a nonprofit I started and have been doing so since 2007. It’s partly a job, partly a hobby.

We have great medical coverage from H’s former employer for our lifetimes (or until it gets changed by Congress). The employer pays for most of the premium and we pay 25% or so. H also has Medicare A&B, so is well covered.

Just in the past year, we have met a nice group of similarly situated couples who live nearby through an online game. So far, neither H nor I have ever been bored and we are enjoying this new phase of our life. Neither H’s brother nor my sibs are retired yet, tho one could easily be as he is FI but he and his wife enjoy practicing medicine.
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

DrGoogle2017 wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:54 pm But you have a much longer time frame to get bored. My FIL retired at 62 and lived until 91. That’s almost 40 years of practically doing nothing. When I mean nothing, I don’t mean just sitting at home and drinking beer.
29 years is not almost 40.......your post makes much more sense now.
snowox
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by snowox »

I retired at 50 will be 3 years in April. Its important to have something to retire too. I did not BUT being self-employed almost all of my Adult life I was sick of the grind, employees and the industry I was in was killing me. So i retired more for health reasons and it was the best decision i could have made. Lost 60lbs going on 3 years now, a lot healthier ya de da.... But I also retired with the idea if there was something I could find to do that was interesting, new or education Part-time like 20 hours a week I would do . Or depending where I was financially when the market corrects. So do I get bored once in awhile sure. But I have plenty of things I could do to not be bored. Plus I have 4 kids and the time I have been able to spend with them the last 3 years is irreplaceable. I agree that if you love what your doing and you can make all the time you need for your family then yea keep working and it is healthier BUT if you get to the position where I was then its a lot healthier to walk away. The key or take away is to always put yourself in the position to have options.
Afty
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by Afty »

staythecourse wrote: Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:05 pm A lot of my concerns of ER would be what would I do if my wife wanted to still work and my kids are still in elementary school? It isn't like I would get to spend more time with family then just because I am retired. Also, travel is still difficult if one is married with working spouse and/ or kids in school.
I assume both of you currently work? If so, I would think of it not as retirement, but as becoming a stay-at-home parent. The kids would no longer need after school care, and you could travel with them in the summer and during school vacation weeks, with or without your spouse. It would also take a huge amount of stress off your family, as you can get chores done during the week so your family can spend the weekend doing fun activities together. I think it would be a pretty pleasant life.
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by carolinaman »

I retired at age 66. I could have retired years earlier with a comfortable retirement, but the longer I worked, the better my pension was. Plus I enjoyed by work (most days). I would have retired a few years earlier, but 2008 hit my savings pretty hard, so I worked a few years longer to recoup some of my losses.

I am not cut out for a life of leisure, so retirement actually presented some challenges for me.
flyingaway
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by flyingaway »

If you really need something to do in retirement, just retire to your job, or a different job.
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by bearcub »

Retired at 50. Toxic workplace after new management/merger. Last 10 years of working wife + I invested like crazy. Payed off morgage also. Also became a minimalist before it was cool. Now 58. Never looked back. Pros. No more 70 hr. work weeks. Value my time doing what I want to do. Actually spend time with family + friends. Lost 50 lbs. no more medications. No more stress ... etc. Cons...hmmm I"ll get back to you on that. Also a big thanks to Jack + the whole boglehead family. If not for their great help it would not of been possibly. Happy Holidays all. :beer
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Re: Early retirement pros and cons:

Post by SpaceCowboy »

I agree that the key is emphasizing the FI in FIRE to give you the options. I retired or semi-retired 4 years ago at age 53. I’d worked hard during my career. Very much think it was the right decision for me.
Key for me was to have more time with my kids before they headed off to college. Older one had a year and a half left in HS, younger had 4 years of HS left. Given that kids were in school, have not done that much traveling. Still had to deal with school schedules. Next year when younger one heads off to college, will start doing more travel.
Still doing occasional consulting by the hour, but frequently question if it is worth the effort given how highly self-employment wages are taxed.
Most important to me is having control over my schedule and not having to be anywhere at any given time. Of course I do schedule things on my time and by my choice. Do a lot more non-profit board work than before. Take on-line classes through EdX and Coursera, which I’ve found to be really fascinating.
Biggest change was probably that my wife was not used to me be around the house all day. She has a much busier schedule and a social life with the other Moms in the community. We adapted and are adapting.
In hindsight, it would probably have been helpful to have a hobby or retirement biz idea to retire to. It did take adaptation to decide how to structure your day. Also, there is a mental shift in spending down your pile of money versus just LBYM and saving. Took a year or more to really understand our budget and what we spend money on. Found YNAB very helpful for that. I do believe that most retirees don’t account well for non-obvious expenses - fund mgmt expenses, home major repair fund, auto replacement fund etc. Use VPW and McClung EM to ballpark annual withdrawals to fund our lifestyle.
Would never have pulled the trigger on ER if I hadn’t fully funded kids college education through 529, which I felt it was my obligation to provide. Also, not sure if I would’ve pulled trigger without the ACA. That expense has just kept rising to over $20k annually for our family. Can’t wait to hit 65 and Medicare.
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