Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Cleverusername
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Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Cleverusername »

I’ve read this site pretty thoroughly, I’ve read about people working happily in some form or another until their elder years and I’ve read a lot of people retiring early (50’s), or even earlier.

But did anyone hit the early retirement button and regret it? If so, was it the financial discipline needed? The change in career?

Very curious if anyone regrets doing it too soon and why.
123
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by 123 »

I worked with one guy who didn't seem to be able to retire. He retired from the job I knew him at and everyone was glad to see him go (he was a manager had personality issues that the company's management didn't know how to deal with). Some months later we found out that he had found a new similar role in a local government organization. Whatever the reason for his issues he didn't seem to be able to find any friends or activities outside what he did at work where he had subordinates who would have to talk/deal with him. So as long as he was some kind of manager he had a "life". I suspect he won't retire again as long as he can get to his workplace.
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22twain
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by 22twain »

I thought I remembered seeing previous threads about this, so I entered "regret retirement" in the search box at the top right of the page. It turned up this thread, among others:

Regret early retirement/downsizing
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Cleverusername
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Cleverusername »

Co workers glad someone retired early would be a very very long thread! :D
flyingaway
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flyingaway »

I dug out this thread to see if there might be any new insights. My guess is that very few would regret retire too soon (due to money issue) because of the bull market in the past decade.

Maybe be I should dig out a thread about regretting working too long.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by cheese_breath »

No regrets here. My ultimate career goal had always been to retire.
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FrugalInvestor
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Post by FrugalInvestor »

Absolutely NOT! But I stay busy and have many and varied interests. I always worked with the goal of not working someday. However, I know others who can't stand to not work. People are definitely different in this regard.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify, but most importantly....Ignore the Noise!
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peetsperk
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by peetsperk »

My only regret is not doing it sooner. Life is short. Enjoy it while you still can. :sharebeer
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2pedals
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by 2pedals »

No regrets, I have been retired almost 2 years ago and I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. Covid-19 has changed traveling plans but DW and I are still having fun.
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by GreenLawn »

peetsperk wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:02 pm My only regret is not doing it sooner. Life is short. Enjoy it while you still can. :sharebeer
+1. Would have loved to retire sooner, but my lottery tickets never paid off :annoyed
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flaccidsteele »

flyingaway wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:48 pm I dug out this thread to see if there might be any new insights. My guess is that very few would regret retire too soon (due to money issue) because of the bull market in the past decade.

Maybe be I should dig out a thread about regretting working too long.
I regretted retiring a few times - mid-30s and early 40s

Learned something new about myself each time

This time I’m closer to being retired regret-free. Still in my 40s
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by BernardShakey »

flaccidsteele wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:06 pm
flyingaway wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:48 pm I dug out this thread to see if there might be any new insights. My guess is that very few would regret retire too soon (due to money issue) because of the bull market in the past decade.

Maybe be I should dig out a thread about regretting working too long.
I regretted retiring a few times - mid-30s and early 40s

Learned something new about myself each time

This time I’m closer to being retired regret-free. Still in my 40s
Why the regret ? I think that is what OP is asking.
An important key to investing is having a well-calibrated sense of your future regret.
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flaccidsteele »

BernardShakey wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:04 pm
flaccidsteele wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:06 pm
flyingaway wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:48 pm I dug out this thread to see if there might be any new insights. My guess is that very few would regret retire too soon (due to money issue) because of the bull market in the past decade.

Maybe be I should dig out a thread about regretting working too long.
I regretted retiring a few times - mid-30s and early 40s

Learned something new about myself each time

This time I’m closer to being retired regret-free. Still in my 40s
Why the regret ? I think that is what OP is asking.
The first time that I left the work force, I thought that retirement meant doing nothing all day. I didn’t realize that I would get so bored. Relaxing all day wasn’t for me

The second time that I left the work force, I decided to line up various leisure activities and commit to socializing more with friends and family.

Boredom didn’t work the first time so this time I tried to keep busy.

Eventually the hedonic treadmill found me bored again. Who knew you could get bored travelling, playing video games, reading, and watching literally 1000s of episodes of various shows on Netflix/Prime/HBO/Showtime?

Also my friends weren’t able to hang out very often because they were busy working and raising their kids. They weren’t as available as I had hoped despite the fact that I was available to do stuff any day or time. Good to know.

Some seniors told me that they regret not spending more time with their parents when their parents were still alive. So I tried that. Hanging out with my retired parents was nice for short periods, but for longer periods they’re boring as sh*t - puttering around running errands and recycling the same stories repeatedly. This was sometimes worse than being bored

The third time that I left the work force, I kept some leisure activities/exercise, set short/limited windows to catch up with my parents, and discovered social media where I found that I enjoy contributing my investing/personal finance experiences to a younger audience of 50,000 followers

Tonight I did a Live stream with 480 viewers who had all sorts of fantastic questions and insights

My child is also at an age where they’re doing cool activities and is more interesting to hang with, than when they were in diapers.

My friends are still busy working their jobs so I see them once a month or so. The downside is that they all complain about their jobs/boss/politics/relationships etc. so it’s kinda similar to listening to my parents

It took awhile, but I’m slowly figuring out what I need in retirement (eg. part leisure/contribution/achievement) and in what quantities I can get/tolerate them
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
otinkyad
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by otinkyad »

I don’t know anyone who regrets retiring early, but I know people who regret that their spouse did. That includes people who retired to nothing (while their spouse continued to work or had activities) and people who retired to endless activities (while their spouse did nothing).
snowox
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by snowox »

I was pretty much self-employed after my early 20's and Mid to late 20's started a business I ran on average with40- 50 employees. But after years of the fun of building the business and 2 other smaller ones at the age of 50 I was fried. Never thinking much about retiring and planning one day in April at the age of 50 I walked in the office and just said i am done. Everyone has 30 days to figure out what they want to do and so on. I can honestly say I never regret walking away from the business and would never go back into it for any amount of money as it was killing me. Add to that the last 16 years my DW worked in my business (our business eventually) and though she heard me complain I think she was shocked when I walked in and said enough. So I had no idea what I was going to do if anything next but was confident it would work out. I applied a few places but since I didnt go to college was tough to get interviews and though I was respected in my industry I really didnt want to do anything that would trap me back into what I was doing. For the record I was in the Logistics business and all aspects of it. Long and short after a year my DW really liked working not so much for the money but the social aspect and I realized I just hated it. So she went back to work and got a job for a benefits company that pay kinda sucked but good benefits and she loves it. So I struggled along probably for 2 years because all I ever did was work but never struggled with the identity aspect of it. Though your brain does shrivel quickly if your not using it.

Anyhow I am 5.5 years in and If I get the thought in my head about looking or going back to work I just look at the long list of things I have to do and just say forget it. So if I have any regrets it would be just that I didnt plan well enough to retire to something BUT I think there would of been bigger regrets had I kept plodding along. This last year we moved onto a Lake and I am so damn busy work would be easier! But absolutely loving it :happy

Think its important and this is said often on threads I follow you really need to allow yourself to decompress and for everyone the time to do so is different.
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flaccidsteele »

For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
snowox
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by snowox »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:40 am For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week
Sadly as little as possible. I respect and will be there for them but to bossy or Opinionated for me to be around that much. As long as your there for them when it really matters I dont feel you need feel guilty for anything if thats where your headed.
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by sschullo »

No regrets.
My response is similar to many people who retired: While I was able to do the things I loved while I was working, I could do them full time when I retired 12 years ago. While I liked my career, I love doing what I am doing now, trying to reform the 403(b) with my k12 colleagues.
Like vs. Love was the difference.
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lostdog
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by lostdog »

No regrets.

I'm in the best shape of my life. During the week I spend my afternoons at the gym. I made some friends there also.

My wife still works and I spend the evening and weekend with her.

We visit my mom and her parents once or twice a month.

In the mornings I have a nice breakfast and I will hangout in the bogleheads and reddit for an hour or two.

Wednesdays are my off days from the gym. I'll either go kayaking, biking or fishing after lunch.

I'll try to fit in time with my friends during the week or weekend. Most of them are working so it's hard to fit them in.

I'm considering trying out the eatstreet delivery app to.make some side hustle money.
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MishkaWorries
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by MishkaWorries »

My brother retired from his union construction job at 55. He planned for that moment for years. He and his wife wanted to travel and to finally spend money and enjoy life.

The first year or so they traveled about 3 months, home 3 months, etc. The next year they took a couple of shorter trips and spent more time working around the house.

Third year brother was spending more time sleeping and wasting time on the internet. He was growing more and more depressed. Finally got to the point he didn't want to get out of bed to do anything. He's suffered a few depressed episodes in his life.

Everyone was concerned. Brother finally decided he had to do something. He bought some construction equipment and now he does one off jobs when he wants.

They now travel again and he fells back to normal. But he says he'll never retire full-time again because he doesn't know how to fill all the hours.
We plan. G-d laughs.
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flaccidsteele »

MishkaWorries wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:12 am They now travel again and he fells back to normal. But he says he'll never retire full-time again because he doesn't know how to fill all the hours.
+1 ^thanks for sharing. This is how I felt

Hedonic treadmill is real
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
Blake7
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Blake7 »

With retirement around the corner and a bit earlier than some (mid 50s), I’ve given much thought to “will I regret it.” Will I get bored or thrive, etc? I just keep coming to the same conclusion that delaying retirement is not the answer, because I’ll just be facing the same situation at a later date, except possibly with less options (due to possible health declines, etc.). So I decided it’s best to just retire and find a way to start a new phase in life, and find new experiences and adventures and hopefully make something of it. Worst case scenario, I could always get another job.
Arabesque
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Arabesque »

I’m in the process of retiring at 69, a phase out. So far, not so good. Perhaps it is too soon, but perhaps I like action too much. I have several hobbies, but my plans are disrupted by COVID. Certainly work isn’t life, but there’s a lot of hours in a day.
NMBob
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by NMBob »

MishkaWorries wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:12 am My brother retired from his union construction job at 55. He planned for that moment for years. He and his wife wanted to travel and to finally spend money and enjoy life.

The first year or so they traveled about 3 months, home 3 months, etc. The next year they took a couple of shorter trips and spent more time working around the house.

Third year brother was spending more time sleeping and wasting time on the internet. He was growing more and more depressed. Finally got to the point he didn't want to get out of bed to do anything. He's suffered a few depressed episodes in his life.

Everyone was concerned. Brother finally decided he had to do something. He bought some construction equipment and now he does one off jobs when he wants.

They now travel again and he fells back to normal. But he says he'll never retire full-time again because he doesn't know how to fill all the hours.
i have met several older people who have said...you can play too much golf. for some of those without significant other things to do, some part time work seems to help provide a nice balance to life....
Zonian59
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Zonian59 »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:40 am For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week

Yes, I regret retiring too soon. I still had ten good years left. I miss being "part of the team" and leading a purposeful life, helping to "bring good things to life" (from a business perspective.)

I was forced to retire early through a involuntary layoff four years ago at age 57.
Had difficult time finding a job in my field. Seems employers are not interested in hiring someone who is "male, pale and stale" --- in other words, "white male over 50".

Eight years ago, my mother (then age 86) had a stroke that rendered her semi-invalid. During the time I was laid off, she was (at age 90) showing advanced signs of dementia/Alzheimers'. So at age 57, I decided to retire and become a full time caregiver for my mother and help her cross that final bridge.

It has now been four years since I retired and my mother, at 94 and still going strong, despite the dementia. Unfortunately, as a "solo ager" with no nearby relatives, I have no choice but to hang out with my mother 24/7/365. Church/spiritual leader and support groups advise to take a "find joy through suffering" attitude. :confused & :annoyed

By the time my mother crosses that final bridge, I will probably be around 65, +/- few years. Without further committments or obligations, I'll really be ready for retirement.......but to what? Not really interested in volunteer "work" and mentoring millennials or tutoring children.

Most likely the remainder of my retirement years will be spent downsizing, discarding things collected over the decades and getting financial and non-financial affairs in order before final exit. What is currently bothering me, as a solo-ager, is not having defined charities and beneficiaries in mind when I do exit.

In the meantime, reading and learning from the Bogleheads forum, especially with an eye on retirement financial planning, taxes and estate planning, has been a good helpful in keeping sanity.
Last edited by Zonian59 on Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Zonian59
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Zonian59 »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:40 am For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week

Yes, I regret retiring too soon. I still had ten good years left. I miss being "part of the team" and leading a purposeful life, helping to "bring good things to life" (from a business perspective.)

I was forced to retire early through a involuntary layoff four years ago at age 57.
Had difficult time finding a job in my field. Seems employers are not interested in hiring someone who is "male, pale and stale" --- in other words, "white male over 50".

Eight years ago, my mother (then age 86) had a stroke that rendered her semi-invalid. During the time I was laid off, she was (at age 90) showing advanced signs of dementia/Alzheimers'. So at age 57, I decided to retire and become a full time caregiver for my mother and help her cross that final bridge.

It has now been four years since I retired and my mother, at 94 and still going strong, despite the dementia. Unfortunately, as a "solo ager" with no nearby relatives, I have no choice but to hang out with my mother 24/7/365. Church/spiritual leader and support groups advise to take a "find joy through adversity" attitude. :confused & :annoyed

By the time my mother crosses that final bridge, I will probably be around 65, +/- few years. Without further committments or obligations, I'll really be ready for retirement.......but to what? Not really interested in volunteer "work" and mentoring millennials or tutoring children.

Most likely the remainder of my retirement years will be spent downsizing, discarding things collected over the decades and getting financial and non-financial affairs in order before final exit. What is currently bothering me, as a solo-ager, is not having defined charities and beneficiaries in mind when I do exit.

In the meantime, reading and learning from the Bogleheads forum, especially with an eye on retirement financial planning, taxes and estate planning, has been a good helpful in keeping sanity.
flyingaway
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flyingaway »

I have a few friends whose families we usually play cards with and sometimes go out vacationing with. We have been talking about doing some retirement things together. I am 56 and one of them is 55. The other people are around 63~65 years old. Most of us are professors or professionals, and all men and some women (spouses) have PhD.

Unfortunately, none of them, except me and my wife, are actually serious about retirement. The 55 year old and his wife want to work forever. Others will be likely to work until 70. None of them is in serious need of money.

This does creates a problem for us, since we usually play together over weekends. The women have more interactions over weekdays. My wife and I are concerned that, if we retire early now, how can we handle the situations that all our friends are working and making money, while we are waiting for them to get off work and are spending money. Will we regret if, in the future, that they can do something, e.g., vacations, while we cannot (because of tight money)? If we retire and move, we don't know where to move and it will be difficult for us to have new friends at this ages.
BuddyJet
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by BuddyJet »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:40 am For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week
While mine have now passed, my old mantra was I can do anything for three days. I’d also use a flight upgrade for a quiet, relaxing flight home.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
catdoctor
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by catdoctor »

Cleverusername wrote: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:48 pm Very curious if anyone regrets doing it too soon and why.
No regrets!
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
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finite_difference
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by finite_difference »

Zonian59 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 2:26 pm
flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:40 am For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week

Yes, I regret retiring too soon. I still had ten good years left. I miss being "part of the team" and leading a purposeful life, helping to "bring good things to life" (from a business perspective.)

I was forced to retire early through a involuntary layoff four years ago at age 57.
Had difficult time finding a job in my field. Seems employers are not interested in hiring someone who is "male, pale and stale" --- in other words, "white male over 50".

Eight years ago, my mother (then age 86) had a stroke that rendered her semi-invalid. During the time I was laid off, she was (at age 90) showing advanced signs of dementia/Alzheimers'. So at age 57, I decided to retire and become a full time caregiver for my mother and help her cross that final bridge.

It has now been four years since I retired and my mother, at 94 and still going strong, despite the dementia. Unfortunately, as a "solo ager" with no nearby relatives, I have no choice but to hang out with my mother 24/7/365. Church/spiritual leader and support groups advise to take a "find joy through adversity" attitude. :confused & :annoyed

By the time my mother crosses that final bridge, I will probably be around 65, +/- few years. Without further committments or obligations, I'll really be ready for retirement.......but to what? Not really interested in volunteer "work" and mentoring millennials or tutoring children.

Most likely the remainder of my retirement years will be spent downsizing, discarding things collected over the decades and getting financial and non-financial affairs in order before final exit. What is currently bothering me, as a solo-ager, is not having defined charities and beneficiaries in mind when I do exit.

In the meantime, reading and learning from the Bogleheads forum, especially with an eye on retirement financial planning, taxes and estate planning, has been a good helpful in keeping sanity.
Kudos to you for taking care of your Mom!

I would hire help, part time if not full time, if you can afford it. It’s too much to handle just by yourself. Make sure you get some time to yourself to recharge.

I do believe in strength through adversity but there’s a limit, and taking care of loved ones is really difficult.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
finite_difference
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by finite_difference »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:52 am
MishkaWorries wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:12 am They now travel again and he fells back to normal. But he says he'll never retire full-time again because he doesn't know how to fill all the hours.
+1 ^thanks for sharing. This is how I felt

Hedonic treadmill is real
Yeah “working” part time seems really appealing to me. I put it in quotes, because it wouldn’t need to be paid well or at all, could be volunteering, or could even be a hobby that you take semi-seriously, for example painting, martial arts, writing, reading, learning a language, researching a topic of interest or woodworking. But something that takes “work” or effort that gives you a sense of accomplishment.

I think “play” might even be a better word. But true play, like a young child can do effortlessly.

All those retirees out there could be saving languages from extinction. Or citizen science. There’s so many interesting things to do that you should never feel bored. You just have to make up things to do.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh
flaccidsteele
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flaccidsteele »

BuddyJet wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:09 am
flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:40 am For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week
While mine have now passed, my old mantra was I can do anything for three days. I’d also use a flight upgrade for a quiet, relaxing flight home.
Interesting mantra! How did that come about?
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
BuddyJet
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by BuddyJet »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:48 pm
BuddyJet wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:09 am
flaccidsteele wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:40 am For those who are retired, how often do you hang out with your parents?

I can only tolerate a couple hours once a week
While mine have now passed, my old mantra was I can do anything for three days. I’d also use a flight upgrade for a quiet, relaxing flight home.
Interesting mantra! How did that come about?
While I loved her, my mother was a difficult person. She moved to Sun City Florida and I flew in every month or two to see that all was well. The pattern was to take the first flight out on Friday and return last flight Sunday.

While there, many things would be said that were difficult. My self talk to avoid an argument was that there is no changing her at this stage, discussion at this point was pointless, and I could do anything for three days.

Flight upgrade was due to Sunday returns from the land of Mickey Mouse tend to be loud in coach so the upgrade was for quiet.

While I’d still only stay 3 days, I miss the trips. The mantra is still used when tent camping and beach vacations.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
atikovi
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by atikovi »

Kinda assumed those that regretted it enough would just go back to work again. Or at least start their own business.
Housedoc
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Housedoc »

Heck no, would like to use some words not suitable for here. Retired at 52 and loving it still 11 yrs later.
RJC
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by RJC »

Early retirement doesn’t sound that great unless you can spend more time with your friends and family. I’ve taken days off by myself before and it’s not that much fun.
nguy44
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by nguy44 »

Based on financial numbers alone, I could have retired as early as 2012, when I was 54. But I would have regretted doing it then. I still loved my job, and I had not thought about what I was going to retire to. At the time, retirement from that job would, for me, only mean retiring from that job but looking for another one to keep from being bored.

Six more years of working changed my perspective. A health scare that turned out to be a minor, easily resolved issue had me thinking more about maintaining my health, and did I want to use my healthy years working until health issues caught up with me. I saw friends dying before retirement, as well as friends who had retired and were enjoying it immensely. While I still love my job, it was never one that I lost my identity within, and any further promotions or recognition did not matter to me. My mother died. I was fortunate that she never went down the path of dementia/alzheimers and I had siblings where we shared taking care of her so that it never felt like a burden. But it gave me more time to explore new, or further engage in, additional activities beyond my job. And finally, and most important, my wife - who was still working - begin encouraging me to retire, in her view I had built a great life for her and our kids, and she wanted me to have the time to relax and enjoy it.

So... by age 60, the potential regrets I had gave way to the potential opportunities I saw, and I chose to retire. I keep busy with mental and physical activities to improve or maintain my desired skills, I do not engage in social media and limit my news for mental health reasons :happy. My being retired has been a great "turn on" for my wife :mrgreen:. I enjoy waking up every day with little or no schedule, but having many things to choose to do. Even at the worst of the pandemic lockdown I was still able to keep myself engaged and enjoying life.

While there was a time risk, I am glad I spend the time to not rush into retirement, but to think about what I wanted, observe what was going on around me, and talk to to others who had gone done the retirement path before making my decision.

I do wonder sometimes, with all the "buzz" about early retirement, and it being promoted in a way to make people envious via "bragging rights", that it is something people are rushing to achieve because they see others do it and want to be "part of the crowd", instead of considering it suitable for their own situation.
tm3
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by tm3 »

Before I retired I surveyed as many retirees as I could re their likes/dislikes, regrets, joys, whatever especially ones that had a similar career as mine.

I found that about 15-20% were unhappy and regretted retiring. I also found that the ones that were not happy had mostly followed a similar theme -- no planning, retire on Friday, wake up on Monday and it is unicorns and rainbows thereafter. The ones who were happy had almost to a T done some study and had a plan for retirement in place.
dknightd
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by dknightd »

flaccidsteele wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:42 pm

The first time that I left the work force, I thought that retirement meant doing nothing all day. I didn’t realize that I would get so bored. Relaxing all day wasn’t for me

The second time that I left the work force, I decided to line up various leisure activities and commit to socializing more with friends and family.

Boredom didn’t work the first time so this time I tried to keep busy.

Eventually the hedonic treadmill found me bored again. Who knew you could get bored travelling, playing video games, reading, and watching literally 1000s of episodes of various shows on Netflix/Prime/HBO/Showtime?

Also my friends weren’t able to hang out very often because they were busy working and raising their kids. They weren’t as available as I had hoped despite the fact that I was available to do stuff any day or time. Good to know.

Some seniors told me that they regret not spending more time with their parents when their parents were still alive. So I tried that. Hanging out with my retired parents was nice for short periods, but for longer periods they’re boring as sh*t - puttering around running errands and recycling the same stories repeatedly. This was sometimes worse than being bored

The third time that I left the work force, I kept some leisure activities/exercise, set short/limited windows to catch up with my parents, and discovered social media where I found that I enjoy contributing my investing/personal finance experiences to a younger audience of 50,000 followers

Tonight I did a Live stream with 480 viewers who had all sorts of fantastic questions and insights

My child is also at an age where they’re doing cool activities and is more interesting to hang with, than when they were in diapers.

My friends are still busy working their jobs so I see them once a month or so. The downside is that they all complain about their jobs/boss/politics/relationships etc. so it’s kinda similar to listening to my parents

It took awhile, but I’m slowly figuring out what I need in retirement (eg. part leisure/contribution/achievement) and in what quantities I can get/tolerate them
Thanks for sharing.
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds (or none) from the market, invest the funds.
rjbraun
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by rjbraun »

I'm not currently retired but definitely think about it. I should be ready from a financial standpoint, though i would like to work through the numbers and whatnot before actually pulling the trigger on retirement. In answer to OP, had I retired in, say, January, I think I would have regrets today. During the pandemic I have been Working From Home, since mid-March, and that has addressed at least some of the issues I had with my job, pre-pandemic: commute, having to be in office for set time, etc.

Mind you, had I retired I might be having a grand time, though I wouldn't be traveling which is something I enjoyed in the past. But, I also think I would have at least some ambivalence and more likely regret about the decision.
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HomerJ
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by HomerJ »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:18 am I have a few friends whose families we usually play cards with and sometimes go out vacationing with. We have been talking about doing some retirement things together. I am 56 and one of them is 55. The other people are around 63~65 years old. Most of us are professors or professionals, and all men and some women (spouses) have PhD.

Unfortunately, none of them, except me and my wife, are actually serious about retirement. The 55 year old and his wife want to work forever. Others will be likely to work until 70. None of them is in serious need of money.

This does creates a problem for us, since we usually play together over weekends. The women have more interactions over weekdays. My wife and I are concerned that, if we retire early now, how can we handle the situations that all our friends are working and making money, while we are waiting for them to get off work and are spending money. Will we regret if, in the future, that they can do something, e.g., vacations, while we cannot (because of tight money)? If we retire and move, we don't know where to move and it will be difficult for us to have new friends at this ages.
We are solving your exact problem by moving to a retirement community someday... We have good friends in our current neighborhood, but they are far away from retiring and/or still have kids.

"Hey, want to get together Friday night?"

"Sorry, kid has a soccer game".

So we want to move somewhere were everyone is in the same situation as us.

Retirement communities have a ton of activities, and new people are coming in all the time, so we hope it should be fairly easy to make new friends.

We hope.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
prairieman
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by prairieman »

To each his own. I retired at 58 and find much to keep me interested and busy. Several opportunities to consult came up - temporary, short term, lucrative- but I turned those down, too.
I found out a professor I formerly worked with is still going strong at 72, still chugging away at teaching and doing research projects similar to those he’s been working on for over 40 years!
I don’t get them and they probably don’t get me, but once I gained financial independence, I never wanted to be beholden to anyone or anything again. If I want to do X today, nobody can make me do Y.
“As long as the roots are not severed, all is well.” Chauncey Gardner
squirm
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by squirm »

You're not going to get many replies on someone admitting they made a wrong decision. People don't like to admit they made a mistake, especially something like this. Kudos to the few that actually answered the OP's question and stated they regretted it.
Dontwasteit
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Dontwasteit »

Loving it! :happy
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

atikovi wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:12 pm Kinda assumed those that regretted it enough would just go back to work again. Or at least start their own business.
I’m about to retire early from a business I started 16 years ago. Covid has a lot to do with it, but I was still planning on working no more than two more years. We can all agree that a well thought out retirement plan isn’t overwhelmingly affected by 24 months of additional work as long as there’s not a pension involved.

Starting a business isn’t something I’d want to do to keep myself busy. Having a business (a real business, at least) takes much more than 3 or 4 hours a few days a week to “keep busy”.

I see that exact suggestion made in early retirement articles. What if I retire early and a grinding bear market depletes my assets? Normally one suggestion is to start your own business. Good luck with that. I takes tons of hard work (and frustration), not to mention capital if you want to earn more than a few bucks here and a few bucks there. In other words, it’ll expose you to substantial risk. Who wants to expose themselves to substantial risk of capital loss (most small businesses fail quickly) right when their motivation to start a business was due to substantial capital loss (bear market)?

Anyway. Be careful what you read.
Paddygirl
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by Paddygirl »

Absolutely not! No regrets! I have plenty of time to do my varied interests and work on improving my health. I spend a lot of time on the bay with my boat and catch fish and crabs and cook and share my knowledge with others. I think there is a difference in regrets when you own your own business or work for someone else. When you work for someone else, there will always be some form of animosity. Always being peer-reviewed or whether your bonus at the end of the year is actually due to your performance or to the nature of the business itself. I'm free of all that, saved and invested, retired early and enjoy my life thoroughly.
vested1
Posts: 2243
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by vested1 »

My regret stems from not doing anything to make retirement possible until my early 50's. A bad divorce and other unforeseen circumstances could be used as an excuse, but the true culprit was much closer to home; my assumption that it would all somehow work out without a plan to ensure that. A series of fortunate circumstances such as marrying a frugal wife and thus correcting my earlier mistake in that regard was key. In rapid succession the luck at retiring from megacorp with a lump sum at the very beginning of an exploding bull market, while working 7 years longer for other firms in the same industry, allowed that lump sum to multiply in the markets so that I could retire 1 year later than my wife at 63.5 in 2016. If not for finding this forum I may have still been working, another bit of luck

I use the example of my luck to caution my children not to rely on it, but rather to start implementing a plan now in their 30's. My wish for them is that they have the option of retiring early, and to not repeat the mistakes I made which forced me to work later than should have been necessary. Luck is not a plan.
flyingaway
Posts: 2979
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Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flyingaway »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:37 am
atikovi wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:12 pm Kinda assumed those that regretted it enough would just go back to work again. Or at least start their own business.
I’m about to retire early from a business I started 16 years ago. Covid has a lot to do with it, but I was still planning on working no more than two more years. We can all agree that a well thought out retirement plan isn’t overwhelmingly affected by 24 months of additional work as long as there’s not a pension involved.

Starting a business isn’t something I’d want to do to keep myself busy. Having a business (a real business, at least) takes much more than 3 or 4 hours a few days a week to “keep busy”.

I see that exact suggestion made in early retirement articles. What if I retire early and a grinding bear market depletes my assets? Normally one suggestion is to start your own business. Good luck with that. I takes tons of hard work (and frustration), not to mention capital if you want to earn more than a few bucks here and a few bucks there. In other words, it’ll expose you to substantial risk. Who wants to expose themselves to substantial risk of capital loss (most small businesses fail quickly) right when their motivation to start a business was due to substantial capital loss (bear market)?

Anyway. Be careful what you read.
The same thing can be said to go back to work again. For skilled workers, those skills might become out-of-dated in a few years. For example, a computer programmer may find a new computer programming language or programming style emerged makes him/her difficult to find a new job. For a retired professor, he/she might go back to teach the same amount of classes for about 10~20% of the original salary.

To discuss regrets for leaving workforce earlier than fully prepared is to avoid the need to every go back to work or have to start a business because money is short.
flyingaway
Posts: 2979
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Anyone REGRET retiring too soon?

Post by flyingaway »

HomerJ wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:21 am
flyingaway wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:18 am I have a few friends whose families we usually play cards with and sometimes go out vacationing with. We have been talking about doing some retirement things together. I am 56 and one of them is 55. The other people are around 63~65 years old. Most of us are professors or professionals, and all men and some women (spouses) have PhD.

Unfortunately, none of them, except me and my wife, are actually serious about retirement. The 55 year old and his wife want to work forever. Others will be likely to work until 70. None of them is in serious need of money.

This does creates a problem for us, since we usually play together over weekends. The women have more interactions over weekdays. My wife and I are concerned that, if we retire early now, how can we handle the situations that all our friends are working and making money, while we are waiting for them to get off work and are spending money. Will we regret if, in the future, that they can do something, e.g., vacations, while we cannot (because of tight money)? If we retire and move, we don't know where to move and it will be difficult for us to have new friends at this ages.
We are solving your exact problem by moving to a retirement community someday... We have good friends in our current neighborhood, but they are far away from retiring and/or still have kids.

"Hey, want to get together Friday night?"

"Sorry, kid has a soccer game".

So we want to move somewhere were everyone is in the same situation as us.

Retirement communities have a ton of activities, and new people are coming in all the time, so we hope it should be fairly easy to make new friends.

We hope.
If you are extroverts and out-going, it will be easy to have new friends at new places. That seems to be difficult for us.

One of our (strong) options is to move to close to one of our children, when they have families and kids of their own. At this time, none of them is married so we have to wait.
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