Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

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perikleez
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Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

I recently became retirement eligible and have been revisiting/reviewing long term plans, options, and thoughts about this financial independence / employment retirement / golden years stage in my life. And the most challenging issue for me is deciding at what age should I "just do it", i.e., picking "my last day at work" date, double-checking transition plans, making the appropriate financial arrangements, giving the official work place notices, filing the necessary paperwork, and shifting gears in that direction until you land on the other side (no more driving into the office, "going to work"). For many, this more of a "Are you financial ready" (FI) question versus "At what age". But as you know there can be significant readiness variation between age 55 (Skinny FI) and 67 (Full FI), along with opportunity costs, such as foregoing personal time for more employment years --and concurrently experiencing the natural health degradation as an older adult during those key senior Go-Go yrs [followed by >67 Slow-Go and No-Go yrs].

So, my question for all you folks out there in retirement land, do you have any thoughts and pearls of wisdom you can share given your post-employment retirement experience?

FYI, I'm divorced, no kids, upper GS federal employee, retired military, and well respected SME in my field --and I am sharing that last part because I do find what I do for a living professionally rewarding and it does provide a sense of personal contentment. So that should address the "work until it's no longer fun" rule. On the other hand, I also have an unfortunate family history of cardiovascular disease and cancer risk. In fact, one of the memories I have about my father passing away from lung cancer is that on his 62nd birthday --his SSA retirement pay eligibility date -- he became disabled, no longer ambulatory, required full-time LVN care, and was given a 6mo prognosis. So, yes, life is short and Life Expectancy is just a statistical average. And right now, I'm evaluating retiring 60-65, or maybe sooner with reduced benefits. Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
prd1982
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by prd1982 »

I would not let short family medical longevity influence your decision. I'm guessing that your father smoked. Do you? And medical care for high blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer has improved a lot. So estimate your own life expectancy based on your current health. Also decide what you want to do in retirement and if you think it would be more fun than what you currently do. I know you see a lot of folks on this forum taking about taking early retirement (age 40, 45, 50) because they hate work so much. I feel sorry for them. Better to have a job you love since most people work for longer than they are in a healthy retirement.
larsm
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by larsm »

Only you can answer for yourself where the line of $ resources versus had enough (for whatever reason) intersects for punching out.

What I can tell in my own personal situation is that notwithstanding I retired very early (late 30's) and so have had more than my fair share of time to do what I want unfettered in this world, I find now that I am in my early senior days I worry about how much "good time" I have left. Good time defined predominantly as "good health/mobility".

Put another way "time" for most of my adult life hasn't exerted much pressure on me or my outlook. But now that I am nearing Medicare age (and in good health notwithstanding) I am feeling the pressure of time.

Not sure I answered your question...
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

prd1982 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:40 pm I would not let short family medical longevity influence your decision. I'm guessing that your father smoked. Do you? And medical care for high blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer has improved a lot. So estimate your own life expectancy based on your current health. Also decide what you want to do in retirement and if you think it would be more fun than what you currently do. I know you see a lot of folks on this forum taking about taking early retirement (age 40, 45, 50) because they hate work so much. I feel sorry for them. Better to have a job you love since most people work for longer than they are in a healthy retirement.
Thanks for your reply. Comparatively speaking I am a non-smoker, no longer drink, in better health, and I'm proactive about obtaining medical care; I'm in the healthcare business so access to great care and treatment is not problem. But family history does present potential land mines that I have to continuously monitor and manage, which includes work related stress and even though manageable it is voluntarily incurred stress nevertheless.

And yes, thankful and blessed for current job and career status, in fact my dad's experience and medical care is what steered me into this field. Anyway, I do appreciate your point and agree on focusing on quality of life/work criteria.
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Bogle7
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Probably not

Post by Bogle7 »

Everyone's experience/situation is different.

Mine was/is:
1. Easy work from home self-employment building websites. 22 years. Decent money.
2. Had colon cancer surgery and chemo at age 65. Kept working. Am now considered cured.
3. Hit FI assets at 68. Decided to take Social Security then. Kept working, but with fewer hours. Had OMY syndrome.
4. Parents died at 95+.
5. Hit FU assets at 70+ with inheritance from parents. Went to 96% retired.
* For me, my BS meter was more way more easily pegged with FU assets.
* For us, the difference between FI and FU is that now we fly business class on annual trips to Europe.
6. We are retiring in place as the grandson lives 13 km away.
Last edited by Bogle7 on Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Topic Author
perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

larsm wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:45 pmI find now that I am in my early senior days I worry about how much "good time" I have left. Good time defined predominantly as "good health/mobility".

Put another way "time" for most of my adult life hasn't exerted much pressure on me or my outlook. But now that I am nearing Medicare age (and in good health notwithstanding) I am feeling the pressure of time.
That absolutely helps. For several years I have made an effort to observe the physical health/activity level of older coworkers and colleagues entering retirement and there is certainly a difference between ages 55, 60, and 65. But I've also seen the scenario where those new retirees are tired of the tennis, golf, and vacations and end up wanting to work again to "avoid the boredom" (recapturing a sense of purpose/meaning; reason to get up in the morning).

I am entertaining the idea of becoming an expat since I'm an experienced traveler and have lived overseas, so the physical health/mobility factors are important. Other "adventure" option is to do have a mobile business; airstream on the road where I can pick up finite contract work -a viable back up plan that I'm currency evaluating. If I decide to stay at one fixed location, I wouldn't move and would try to move my job into part-time status if possible.

Thanks for your feedback.
Old Guy
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by Old Guy »

NO.

Left the feds at 62 after 30 years to work 10 years at a B1G university. I liked working. I liked being at a university and in one of the best college towns in the country. I liked the status and the job and the two condos we bought, one in downtown Chicago, and the ability to send our only child to a very expensive university, and the salary, and earning a second pension, and the additional deferred income investments, and the ability to qualify for social security albeit reduced. My wife worked 27 years in the feds and then for the state government where the university was located. She too earned a second pension, and deferred income investments, and was able to qualify for full social security. All of our jobs provided us with lots of time for vacations.

Besides the money we liked working and always had jobs with high social utility, which was satisfying. The money we have now bought us the largest house we’ve ever had located a few minutes walk from the ocean in a warm weather resort community. We donate money to charity and give substantial money to our child. My wife is extremely active in retirement. I, having just turned 77, work at doing as little as possible with some success.

Frankly neither of us ever considered retiring early.
.
flaccidsteele
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Re: Probably not

Post by flaccidsteele »

Bogle7 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:16 pm * For us, the difference between FI and FU is that now we fly business class on annual trips to Europe.
That’s only $2500 per person per year

http://www.firstclassfrequentflyer.com/ ... icing.html

That’s FU money?
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
fourwheelcycle
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by fourwheelcycle »

My father retired at 62, when his company made an early-out offer to all eligible employees, because he had seen too many of his friends retire at 65 and die at 68. He is now 98, is fully mobile, and played golf until he was 93.

My employer's pension formula had an early retirement feature that I could take advantage of at age 56. I always had that age in the back of my mind, and I definitely could have afforded to retire then, but at age 56 I was at the height of my career and having a good time. Four years later, at age 60, my long time boss had retired and my work environment was no longer as enjoyable, so I pulled the trigger. I have had a great eleven years of retirement so far, and I would definitely retire again at age 60. If things were interesting and enjoyable at work I may have worked until 65, but they weren't and I didn't.
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

Old Guy wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:18 pm NO.

Left the feds at 62 after 30 years to work 10 years at a B1G university. I liked working. I liked being at a university and in one of the best college towns in the country. I liked the status and the job and the two condos we bought, one in downtown Chicago, and the ability to send our only child to a very expensive university, and the salary, and earning a second pension, and the additional deferred income investments, and the ability to qualify for social security albeit reduced. My wife worked 27 years in the feds and then for the state government where the university was located. She too earned a second pension, and deferred income investments, and was able to qualify for full social security. All of our jobs provided us with lots of time for vacations.

Besides the money we liked working and always had jobs with high social utility, which was satisfying. The money we have now bought us the largest house we’ve ever had located a few minutes walk from the ocean in a warm weather resort community. We donate money to charity and give substantial money to our child. My wife is extremely active in retirement. I, having just turned 77, work at doing as little as possible with some success.

Frankly neither of us ever considered retiring early.
Thank you, that is very helpful. And oddly similarly to my potential "work until the day I die" long term option, i.e., personal/professional satisfaction with derivative opportunities, multiple pension incomes, etc.

And yes, this is all about just breaking away from your old life and starting something completely new and different. Like when your elementary teacher opened the back door and said it was recess time, would you still stay in the classroom coloring and drawing even though you loved what you were doing?

:)
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

fourwheelcycle wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:52 pm My father retired at 62, when his company made an early-out offer to all eligible employees, because he had seen too many of his friends retire at 65 and die at 68. He is now 98, is fully mobile, and played golf until he was 93.

My employer's pension formula had an early retirement feature that I could take advantage of at age 56. I always had that age in the back of my mind, and I definitely could have afforded to retire then, but at age 56 I was at the height of my career and having a good time. Four years later, at age 60, my long time boss had retired and my work environment was no longer as enjoyable, so I pulled the trigger. I have had a great eleven years of retirement so far, and I would definitely retire again at age 60. If things were interesting and enjoyable at work I may have worked until 65, but they weren't and I didn't.
:thumbsup
Old Guy
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by Old Guy »

Well Periikleez, not exactly working until the day I die. It was more like we have lots of money so we no longer have to listen to other folks tales of woe and grief.

I finally retired at 72. My wife was 68. Now 77 and 73. We are very young for our ages.
rich126
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by rich126 »

I haven't retired but have been pondering when to retire for a while now. I'm assuming 60 since I can get my health insurance and pension at that age w/o any penalties. I'm about 3 years away from that time. Unfortunately my GF, while always employed, has never made much money and hasn't saved much of anything for retirement (although she will get a pension at 65). Not to mention she has been helping out her parents (her father passed away a couple of years ago and her mom is in her 90s) which hinders saving. Fortunately her "needs" aren't that many.

I have enough now that I think I can replace my current income (referring to the money that hits my bank account after taxes, 401K deductions, etc.) once my mortgage is paid off (about a year) w/o counting social security, not to mention a second smaller pension at 65.

I might, if I can find the right job, retire partially at 60 and only work about 50% of the time. Whether that means 20 hr weeks or working for 3+ months full time and then taking time off, I don't know. As I get closer to retirement I think my stress levels have decreased simply because I know I've done fairly well saving my money and if I had to walk away now, I wouldn't be starving or needing a place to live. Unfortunately I'm still pretty impatient and don't like the bureaucracy at larger companies although my blood pressure is pretty darn good.

Never an easy decision. My previous job I worked with a guy in his 80s who I doubt will retire unless it is medically forced (his wife had passed away and I don't think he had a lot going on outside of work). I also had worked with someone in his early 70s who was afraid of retiring. I found out later that he did finally retire (money was never an issue) and told people he should have done it sooner. I think he was worried about keeping busy but that wasn't an issue. I saw another guy in the hallway and he has recovered from a stroke but he said he has no interest in retiring.

Good luck.
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Bogle7
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Re: Probably not

Post by Bogle7 »

flaccidsteele wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 4:47 pm
Bogle7 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:16 pm * For us, the difference between FI and FU is that now we fly business class on annual trips to Europe.
That’s only $2500 per person per year
That’s FU money?
Annual trips to Europe. Each trip costs us over $15K which is 5% of the inheritance.
smectym
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by smectym »

All I can tell you is we certainly could have quit a lot earlier, we really overestimated how much money we would need to pile up. As opposed to the majority of retirees, who according to the news clearly don't have nearly enough, I suspect many on this blog have more than plenty, and yet are still accumulating. And that's great: but if someone in that position actually wants to quit working, or needs to from a health perspective, then the habit-driven urge to continue to accumulate, and perhaps the tendency to make tail-risk financial disaster scenarios the "base case," might become an obstacle to doing what such a person needs to do, which is quit.
FI4LIFE
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by FI4LIFE »

Wow great topic. Will be following. I want out as early as possible.
stan1
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by stan1 »

perikleez wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:22 pm But as you know there can be significant readiness variation between age 55 (Skinny FI) and 67 (Full FI), along with opportunity costs, such as foregoing personal time for more employment years --and concurrently experiencing the natural health degradation as an older adult during those key senior Go-Go yrs [followed by >67 Slow-Go and No-Go yrs].
So you have a military pension, a smaller civilian FERS pension at 62 (or maybe younger), and some Social Security (all at least partially inflation adjusted)? Would you not be able to live off those income streams without ever tapping your investments? You are not married and you have no kids? Why would you need to work until you are 67? Maybe reconsider your definition of what Full FI might mean.

I'd look at it from an opportunity cost perspective. Sounds like you are OK with what you are doing, but what would you be doing if you weren't in your current job?
visualguy
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by visualguy »

I tried retiring at 50, but realized that it was too early for me, so went back to work after a couple of years. I think I'll retire at 60 or close to it unless my job evaporates before then which is always a possibility in corporate America.

Based on my health status and family history, I believe chances are that I'll have at least 10 years left with good health and mobility when I reach 60, which is good-enough for me for enjoying the freedom. Maybe even a bit too long. Disengaging from the world of work definitely has a bunch of negative effects which you may not fully grasp before doing it, including a depressing effect unless you really hate your job.
obgraham
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by obgraham »

Well I for one did exactly what OP contemplates. Retired at 55, realizing I had adequate but not luxurious assets, but also realized that our lifestyle does not require luxurious living.

Absolutely correct decision. Now at 74, net worth is just about the same as at retirement. Spent 15 years doing overseas mission work, and we have traveled to 61 countries. We have not scrimped, but we also don't throw the cash away.

Life is a bit slower now. Bodily degeneration gets to us all eventually. So yes, this year we will go business class!
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

Old Guy wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:14 pm Well Periikleez, not exactly working until the day I die. It was more like we have lots of money so we no longer have to listen to other folks tales of woe and grief.

I finally retired at 72. My wife was 68. Now 77 and 73. We are very young for our ages.
Old Guy, my apologies as I didn't at all mean to say that in any disrespectful way. It was actually my response to a co-worker when we were huddled as a group discussing our retirement plans and I said that over the years I've learned that my sense of self worth as a man was directly tied to my work; I enjoy what I do, get good feedback, feel like I make a contribution not only to my organization but to our healthcare professionals and their patients. and I've seen too often where others have gone into retirement and end up "bored", depressed, missing having a sense of purposes (going to a work), getting tied up in family duties, etc. so I said I'd probably work until the day I die, and visualizing a scenario with optimal combined quality of life/work, not because I have to make ends meet. your posted suggested a fair level of contentment in remaining actively employed, which is what I envisioned could occur with me, until of course circumstances indicate plans need to change. you also have a life partner, which I don't have, at least at this point in my life. thanks again for sharing your experience, it's a hopeful message and outcome. cheers!
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

smectym wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:50 pm if someone in that position actually wants to quit working, or needs to from a health perspective, then the habit-driven urge to continue to accumulate, and perhaps the tendency to make tail-risk financial disaster scenarios the "base case," might become an obstacle to doing what such a person needs to do, which is quit.
that is a dose of wisdom well stated, and it's a challenge for many of us A-type personalities who have spent most of their adult life being Go-Getters. . . and thus damn near requires a lobotomy to just stop and get off that hamster wheel to get a dose of sanity, which I guess is what I'm slowing doing by digesting my options.
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

obgraham wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:13 pm Well I for one did exactly what OP contemplates. Retired at 55, realizing I had adequate but not luxurious assets, but also realized that our lifestyle does not require luxurious living.

Absolutely correct decision. Now at 74, net worth is just about the same as at retirement. Spent 15 years doing overseas mission work, and we have traveled to 61 countries. We have not scrimped, but we also don't throw the cash away.

Life is a bit slower now. Bodily degeneration gets to us all eventually. So yes, this year we will go business class!
Yes, exactly one of the scenarios I was considering, such as peace corps, to detox from consumerism into minimalism. Thank you for sharing. your experience.
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

visualguy wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:09 pm I tried retiring at 50, but realized that it was too early for me, so went back to work after a couple of years. I think I'll retire at 60 or close to it unless my job evaporates before then which is always a possibility in corporate America.

Based on my health status and family history, I believe chances are that I'll have at least 10 years left with good health and mobility when I reach 60, which is good-enough for me for enjoying the freedom. Maybe even a bit too long. Disengaging from the world of work definitely has a bunch of negative effects which you may not fully grasp before doing it, including a depressing effect unless you really hate your job.
:thumbsup Roger that. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

stan1 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:00 pm
perikleez wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:22 pm But as you know there can be significant readiness variation between age 55 (Skinny FI) and 67 (Full FI), along with opportunity costs, such as foregoing personal time for more employment years --and concurrently experiencing the natural health degradation as an older adult during those key senior Go-Go yrs [followed by >67 Slow-Go and No-Go yrs].
So you have a military pension, a smaller civilian FERS pension at 62 (or maybe younger), and some Social Security (all at least partially inflation adjusted)? Would you not be able to live off those income streams without ever tapping your investments? You are not married and you have no kids? Why would you need to work until you are 67? Maybe reconsider your definition of what Full FI might mean.

I'd look at it from an opportunity cost perspective. Sounds like you are OK with what you are doing, but what would you be doing if you weren't in your current job?
Stan, the answer is yes to all your questions above, except for the bigger "opportunity costs" and what next questions which is why I posted this thread to get feedback from those who have travel that beaten path and exploring options. Grateful for all those who posted replies.
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Watty
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by Watty »

perikleez wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:22 pm So, my question for all you folks out there in retirement land, do you have any thoughts and pearls of wisdom you can share given your post-employment retirement experience?
Three things;

1) One of the key things is to try to get to the point where you have the option of retiring with what you described as "skinny retirement" at a reasonably young age. Once you get to that point you can then decide what you want to do.

2) I have seen relatives reach their mid 70s and naturally slow down even though they were in relatively good health for their age. At that point their spending went down a lot since they did not want to travel much and they were more interested in downsizing than buying more stuff. During that phase "skinny retirement" might be enough.

3) For a couple the odds of at least one of them dieing or developing limiting health problems are a lot higher than for an individual. For a couple that retires when they are 60 the odds of them both being alive and in good health when they are 75 is not all that good compared to if you are single.
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

rich126 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:31 pm I haven't retired but have been pondering when to retire for a while now. I'm assuming 60 since I can get my health insurance and pension at that age w/o any penalties. I'm about 3 years away from that time. . .

Never an easy decision. My previous job I worked with a guy in his 80s who I doubt will retire unless it is medically forced (his wife had passed away and I don't think he had a lot going on outside of work). I also had worked with someone in his early 70s who was afraid of retiring. I found out later that he did finally retire (money was never an issue) and told people he should have done it sooner. I think he was worried about keeping busy but that wasn't an issue. I saw another guy in the hallway and he has recovered from a stroke but he said he has no interest in retiring.

Good luck.
I'm sure you've heard about the beneficial longevity factors of being married, and the health impact of going through divorce. sometimes I wonder if there's analogous situation in "retiring from work". while there are many who successfully make that transition, I've seen others who could make the adjustment (even tho financially prepared) and it appeared to affect their health status. when I was in my late 20s I was unemployed for almost 2yrs and it was one of the lowest points in my life such that it drove me to always be prepared to avoid that scenario again. so intrinsically, I value "what I do for a living", but really it's more related to receiving value for my contribution and being rewarded for it. so it doesn't surprise me that you see others working into their later years. last week I had a colleague retire at 67 and I asked him why now. he said it was his rule was to work until it "wasn't fun anymore" but recently decide it was just time to do it.

Then there is this funny/interesting question that comes along with this assessment: what are you doing working to save all this money up if you can't take it with you? To leave for others to enjoy?

I know I'm doing a lot of thinking out loud, but it's the beginning of a new year, a new decade, so forgive the musings as I think through this next stage in life.
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perikleez
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by perikleez »

Watty wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm 1) One of the key things is to try to get to the point where you have the option of retiring with what you described as "skinny retirement" at a reasonably young age. Once you get to that point you can then decide what you want to do.
That's within 1-3yrs, depending on some reorganization, work force shaping, and available options. At the end of 3 years, I hit 60 and can walk with Full FI money since later I will have other monthly income and SSA. Before then it's Skinny FI since I will doing the SEPP and reduced retirement benefit.
Watty wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm 3) For a couple the odds of at least one of them dieing or developing limiting health problems are a lot higher than for an individual. For a couple that retires when they are 60 the odds of them both being alive and in good health when they are 75 is not all that good compared to if you are single.
Watty, that last point is the first I heard of those outcomes. I've also wondered about health impact of caring/supporting other in the later years. And unfortunately have seen unhealthy outcomes in related family members. I'm sure having a companion helps, but the obligatory dependency type relationships I'm likewise sure can become challenging when you spend all day together. I''m sure it's just human nature, and all depends on compatibility. having gone through a divorce and recovered, suffice to say that I have no plans for marrying again but open to other partner relationships, if agreeable ;)
Last edited by perikleez on Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
btenny
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by btenny »

I already did what you propose. I retired early at 52 hoping we had enough $$ to have fun. I wanted more out of life than a job. Now after 20 years I know it was the perfect move for me. We have more $$ now than when I retired and we have done tons of things. Back then I left my Mega corp job when working there got to be terrible and a corporate wide early exit was offered. So I retired knowing I could go back to work if needed.

But over time I found I did not go need to go back to full time Mega Corp work. I found I had enough money when I really evaluated our needs. I did part time PLAY work as a ski instructor for 5 years. It paid little but gave me great enjoyment to teach others. And this new office had a $M view. :D :D It was the perfect decompression job. It also left my summers open to travel and boat and indulge other interests. So then my wife retired and we found new horizons.

Now that I am in my 70s I am slowing down. But I look back and know early retirement gave me time, the most important item in my life plan asset allocation.

Good Luck.
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Watty
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by Watty »

perikleez wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:49 pm
Watty wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:09 pm
perikleez wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:22 pm So, my question for all you folks out there in retirement land, do you have any thoughts and pearls of wisdom you can share given your post-employment retirement experience?
For a couple the odds of at least one of them dieing or developing limiting health problems are a lot higher than for an individual. For a couple that retires when they are 60 the odds of them both being alive and in good health when they are 75 is not all that good compared to if you are single.
Watty, that last point is the first I heard of those outcomes. I've also wondered about health impact of caring/supporting other in the later years. And unfortunately have seen unhealthy outcomes in related family members. I'm sure having a companion helps, but the obligatory dependency type relationships I'm likewise sure can become challenging when you spend all day together. I''m sure it's just human nature, and all depends on compatibility. having gone through a divorce and recovered, suffice to say that I have no plans for marrying again but open to other partner relationships, if agreeable ;)
I was not meaning to imply that an individual's prospects were better or worse if they were married or not, just that for a couple there is a lot more chance that something will happen to one of them.

In made up numbers then if there is a 50% chance that an individual will be alive and in good health at 75 then for a couple there is only a 25% chance that they would both be alive and in good health at 75.
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perikleez
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Re: Probably not

Post by perikleez »

Bogle7 wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:16 pm Everyone's experience/situation is different.

Mine was/is:
1. Easy work from home self-employment building websites. 22 years. Decent money.
2. Had colon cancer surgery and chemo at age 65. Kept working. Am now considered cured.
3. Hit FI assets at 68. Decided to take Social Security then. Kept working, but with fewer hours. Had OMY syndrome.
4. Parents died at 95+.
5. Hit FU assets at 70+ with inheritance from parents. Went to 96% retired.
* For me, my BS meter was more way more easily pegged with FU assets.
* For us, the difference between FI and FU is that now we fly business class on annual trips to Europe.
6. We are retiring in place as the grandson lives 13 km away.
Wow! And congrats and surviving and succeeding.

Many years ago before I went to grad school I was a programmer and IT guy. I recently discovered I could do an intensive coding course with GI Bill and entertained the idea of doing that type of work if I became an expat, even if just offered spending cash. It would at least keep my brain active, rewire synapse and keep alzheimers at a bay.
visualguy
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by visualguy »

Watty wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:12 pm I was not meaning to imply that an individual's prospects were better or worse if they were married or not, just that for a couple there is a lot more chance that something will happen to one of them.

In made up numbers then if there is a 50% chance that an individual will be alive and in good health at 75 then for a couple there is only a 25% chance that they would both be alive and in good health at 75.
Not sure the analysis is quite that simple because statistically there seem to be positive effects on health to being in a couple rather than single, so a couple doesn't really equal two singles... Still, your basic statement is most likely correct because this effect is probably not that strong.
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by carolinaman »

I think the answer is it depends on your situation and priorities. Job satisfaction, health (yours and spouse/SO), finances and hobbies/interests are all important factors.

I retired at age 66 in 2010. I planned to retired at age 64 in 2008 but took a beating in the market and decided to go another 2 years to recover from that. I still could have comfortably retired at age 64 but I really enjoyed my job and decided to go another year or 2. My health was good and therefore not a factor in my decision.

My work situation in my late 50s was really bad. There was lots of pressure, politics, uncertainty and frustration. I would have left then if my retirement situation had been better. Fortunately, there was a reorganization that gave my department greater control of IT and things improved dramatically. I really enjoyed that last few years of work.

The point about sacrificing "go-go" years by working longer is valid. Even though I was in pretty good health at 66, I was not as fit or able as I was 10 years earlier. The only limitation that gave me is I could not play golf as often as I wanted to. Ironically, I played more golf while working than after I retired. I had no limitation in traveling and have taken 2 overseas vacations and several long auto trips since. However, my wife's health has declined and she is much more limited in travel and activities. Retiring earlier would have enabled us to do more activities.
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by friar1610 »

Retired from the Navy (28.5 years) at 51. Then worked for Beltway Bandits for 6 years and socked away as much as I could. (I had already been saving/investing fairly aggressively while on active duty although this was in pre-TSP for military days). Can't really say I enjoyed the BB "career". Retired for good at 58 and haven't looked back. Once I was fully retired I discovered I didn't really need as much as I'd accumulated to live at pretty much the same standard of living as I had been on active duty. If I could get a do-over I'd probably try harder to find a job that was inherently more satisfying even if it paid less than BBs, perhaps work at it for up to 10 years and then retire. In your case you seem to be in the "inherently satisfying" job right now. So obviously a value judgment between that satisfaction and your perceived satisfaction in your retirement activities. Seems like you're in great shape regardless.
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by rj342 »

carolinaman wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:38 am ...
My work situation in my late 50s was really bad. There was lots of pressure, politics, uncertainty and frustration. I would have left then if my retirement situation had been better. Fortunately, there was a reorganization that gave my department greater control of IT and things improved dramatically. I really enjoyed that last few years of work.
...
Now there's a unicorn :beer
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

perikleez wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:22 pm I recently became retirement eligible and have been revisiting/reviewing long term plans, options, and thoughts about this financial independence / employment retirement / golden years stage in my life. And the most challenging issue for me is deciding at what age should I "just do it", i.e., picking "my last day at work" date, double-checking transition plans, making the appropriate financial arrangements, giving the official work place notices, filing the necessary paperwork, and shifting gears in that direction until you land on the other side (no more driving into the office, "going to work"). For many, this more of a "Are you financial ready" (FI) question versus "At what age". But as you know there can be significant readiness variation between age 55 (Skinny FI) and 67 (Full FI), along with opportunity costs, such as foregoing personal time for more employment years --and concurrently experiencing the natural health degradation as an older adult during those key senior Go-Go yrs [followed by >67 Slow-Go and No-Go yrs].

So, my question for all you folks out there in retirement land, do you have any thoughts and pearls of wisdom you can share given your post-employment retirement experience?

FYI, I'm divorced, no kids, upper GS federal employee, retired military, and well respected SME in my field --and I am sharing that last part because I do find what I do for a living professionally rewarding and it does provide a sense of personal contentment. So that should address the "work until it's no longer fun" rule. On the other hand, I also have an unfortunate family history of cardiovascular disease and cancer risk. In fact, one of the memories I have about my father passing away from lung cancer is that on his 62nd birthday --his SSA retirement pay eligibility date -- he became disabled, no longer ambulatory, required full-time LVN care, and was given a 6mo prognosis. So, yes, life is short and Life Expectancy is just a statistical average. And right now, I'm evaluating retiring 60-65, or maybe sooner with reduced benefits. Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
Most of my family seems to live till they are in their high eighties. That being said I just went to a funeral of a 62 year old cousin who died of a heart attack. Not too many months ago this cousin's father died at 96 years old. It can be hard to predict one's date of death.

I had a job I enjoyed and worked till I was 67. I am planning to take social security at 70. Thankfully I have always lived below my means and am a saver. I am also very grateful that I read John Bogle's books in 2014 and acted on them to focus on an AA and low fee mutual funds.

I have only been retired for less than 3 months but I am glad that I hung in there till 67. It is nice to have some funds with which to enjoy retirement.

I hope this counts as "any feedback".
Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
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Re: Question for Older Retirees, In Hindsight Would You Retire Earlier with Reduced Income/Savings?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

perikleez wrote: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:22 pm I recently became retirement eligible and have been revisiting/reviewing long term plans, options, and thoughts about this financial independence / employment retirement / golden years stage in my life. And the most challenging issue for me is deciding at what age should I "just do it", i.e., picking "my last day at work" date, double-checking transition plans, making the appropriate financial arrangements, giving the official work place notices, filing the necessary paperwork, and shifting gears in that direction until you land on the other side (no more driving into the office, "going to work"). For many, this more of a "Are you financial ready" (FI) question versus "At what age". But as you know there can be significant readiness variation between age 55 (Skinny FI) and 67 (Full FI), along with opportunity costs, such as foregoing personal time for more employment years --and concurrently experiencing the natural health degradation as an older adult during those key senior Go-Go yrs [followed by >67 Slow-Go and No-Go yrs].

So, my question for all you folks out there in retirement land, do you have any thoughts and pearls of wisdom you can share given your post-employment retirement experience?

FYI, I'm divorced, no kids, upper GS federal employee, retired military, and well respected SME in my field --and I am sharing that last part because I do find what I do for a living professionally rewarding and it does provide a sense of personal contentment. So that should address the "work until it's no longer fun" rule. On the other hand, I also have an unfortunate family history of cardiovascular disease and cancer risk. In fact, one of the memories I have about my father passing away from lung cancer is that on his 62nd birthday --his SSA retirement pay eligibility date -- he became disabled, no longer ambulatory, required full-time LVN care, and was given a 6mo prognosis. So, yes, life is short and Life Expectancy is just a statistical average. And right now, I'm evaluating retiring 60-65, or maybe sooner with reduced benefits. Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
Most of my family seems to live till they are in their high eighties. That being said I just went to a funeral of a 62 year old cousin who died of a heart attack. Not too many months ago this cousin's father died at 96 years old. It can be hard to predict one's date of death.

I had a job I enjoyed and worked till I was 67. I am planning to take social security at 70. Thankfully I have always lived below my means and am a saver. I am also very grateful that I read John Bogle's books in 2014 and acted on them to focus on an AA and low fee mutual funds.

I have only been retired for less than 3 months but I am glad that I hung in there till 67. It is nice to have some funds with which to enjoy retirement.

I hope this counts as "any feedback".
Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
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