Deciding when to retire...

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LAMan1977
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Deciding when to retire...

Post by LAMan1977 »

For those of you who did not have a target nest egg amount (ie "number"), how did you decide when to retire or make adjustments to your portfolio (eg reduce risk)?
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jebmke
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by jebmke »

It was time for a change
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mhc
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by mhc »

I retired last year at 55. My DW is younger than I am. Due to a potentially very long retirement, we did not reduce risk.

We became financially independent (didn't need to work to maintain same lifestyle) when I was 53. At 55 I qualified for some retirement benefits from my employer, so I decided to stay until 55. I was working from home due to Covid. Working from home for the last 3 years of my career provided for a smooth transition into retirement.

There were some changes at work that I didn't like, so I retired. One of the best decisions I have ever made.

Once we hit FI, my BS tolerance at work really dropped. I knew it was time to go. We had enough and I had had enough.
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brian2013
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by brian2013 »

I haven't retired yet, but I've been thinking a lot about when to do it. I like what the above poster said, and I'll paraphrase it here: You retire when you have enough, and you've had enough. :-)
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by HarmlessDrudge »

I keep postponing my decision--first, it was a year at a time, but now, it's in smaller increments, as I push the date out three months at a time. September, then December, now March (2025). I think it's because I haven't had one of those, 'I'm done here" moments. In the meantime, I'm enjoying not worrying about financial things, or even about getting ahead at work.
hudson
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by hudson »

LAMan1977 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 1:09 pm For those of you who did not have a target nest egg amount (ie "number"), how did you decide when to retire or make adjustments to your portfolio (eg reduce risk)?
I always planned to retire at social security full retirement age...so it wasn't an early retirement.
I got out of debt before that time.
I did my figuring on the back of an envelope focusing on monthly income.
I added some wiggle room.
I did my best to leave my job on good terms so that if I screwed up, I could come back in some capacity. My employer was good to take back retirees who either came up short on money or who were bored.
I never needed to go back; thank you Bogleheads!
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mrmass
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by mrmass »

I'm close maybe 2.5yrs. To soothe my anxiety, I look over my expenses for things that can be cut/slimed down or hidden expenses that seem to blend in with others. For example, I'm a Costco shopper, not only do I buy food there, but alcohol, yard items, household items.

It's not helpful to do an Excel with a single entry from Costco, so I break it down more. Then I can make a pivot showing specific categories allowing me to see where my actual Costco spend is.
SnowBog
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by SnowBog »

brian2013 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 3:33 pm I haven't retired yet, but I've been thinking a lot about when to do it. I like what the above poster said, and I'll paraphrase it here: You retire when you have enough, and you've had enough. :-)
Once you have enough, you are one bad day or one bad manager away from retirement! :beer
soccerrules
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by soccerrules »

I would be surprised if any BH didn't not have "a number" before retiring. It may not be a precise target but a general ballpark with all the assumptions about future income and future returns.

As others have commented--once you have close to a FI number and would be OK without work--then you are ready to retire. IF you actual retire (or stay retired) likely depends on different factors around how much you enjoy your work, outside interests and navigating home life/schedule.

I loath my job and am counting down the days (46 work days-- will give notice in 2-3 weeks) . I like others have reached a point of burnout, dissatisfaction in many things corporate, the game/rate race, the pressure to deliver. Its time for someone else to shoulder these burdens, I've had my fun.
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I did my homework to be sure we had more than enough with a huge cushion. Over 50 times retirement spending. I realized early on that most of the "tools" out there use things like income or current spending in their calculations and these are all completely wrong. I put together a "retirement spending" list which was 50% more than my "while working" spending list. I had family pressure to never retire which pushed my retirement date way too late, which I now understand. With Covid, I worked from home and decided to practice being retired. I liked being pretend retired so as we came out of Covid, decided to set a date and ended work. By that time, I had around 56 times retirement spending, so way more than needed and was 66 at retirement so 30 years is more than I'll live and likely more than DW will live.

In retrospect, 5 years earlier would have been an ideal retirement date.
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AlohaBill
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by AlohaBill »

I retired at around 56 because of health problems. That was 17 years ago.
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by jebmke »

soccerrules wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:21 am I would be surprised if any BH didn't not have "a number" before retiring. It may not be a precise target but a general ballpark with all the assumptions about future income and future returns.

As others have commented--once you have close to a FI number and would be OK without work--then you are ready to retire. IF you actual retire (or stay retired) likely depends on different factors around how much you enjoy your work, outside interests and navigating home life/schedule.

I loath my job and am counting down the days (46 work days-- will give notice in 2-3 weeks) . I like others have reached a point of burnout, dissatisfaction in many things corporate, the game/rate race, the pressure to deliver. Its time for someone else to shoulder these burdens, I've had my fun.
"A number" just wasn't a thing in my day. My wife retired in 1992 because she had had enough of the business she was in (investing) and was ready to move on. I didn't retire until 2007. The last 10 years were some of the best years of my career (enjoyment), my employer really wanted me to stay but I decided it was time for a change as well. No regrets. We probably had enough to retire in the early 90s but a large percentage of our assets were not visible easily (valued only as of December 31 and reported usually in March-ish time frame. I didn't really think about retirement much until 2003 when I took an assignment outside the US.
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Watty
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Watty »

LAMan1977 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 1:09 pm For those of you who did not have a target nest egg amount (ie "number"), how did you decide when to retire or make adjustments to your portfolio (eg reduce risk)?
I had a year in my 50s when I went to three funerals of people who were more or less my age. I was not real close to any of them but it does get you thinking.

We both had some health scares about then which turned out OK but that also make you realize that you might not have as long as you might assume so that was also a wake up call.

You of course need money to be able to retire but deciding when to retire often depends on non-monetary factors.

During the 2008 financial crisis I was in my early 50s and there was a real risk that I would get laid off and my job prospects would have been bad because companies were laying off people in my field and not hiring them. For a long time it was also not clear that the situation would not get worse there was a very real risk that it would turn into something like the Great Depression of the 1930s. I did a "what if" fire drill to figure out what I would do if things got bad. I realized that as a fallback plan I had enough to move to a very low cost of living college town in the midwest that I knew and then buy a house for cash and get by OK with a frugal lifestyle. That is not how I would have wanted to retired but it felt oddly good to realize that there was not a lot of risk that I would end up broke and homeless.

I got through the 2008 financial crisis without being laid off and my portfolio recovered and I saved some more. By my late 50s my kid was through college and successfully launched and I had my house paid off. With a paid off house where I live it only takes us about $60K a year to cover our core living expenses(food, utilities, insurance, home maintenance, etc) to live an above average middle class lifestyle where I am at and once we started Social Security that would cover a lot of our core expenses.

Once you get to the point where you can retire at least for me it got real hard to get up and go to work every day just to have more. I planned a date about six months in the future and did not change my mind by then so I retired just before I turned 59.

I am glad that we did since that allowed us to do things like travel for several years before the pandemic shut that down. You never know what sorts of twists and turns your life will take which may prevent you from doing things that you put off until later.
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by JPM »

I gave two years' notice when DW's health reached a point where I felt she would soon need more care from me and I wanted to personally provide her care rather than hire it done for her. My employer needed two years to recruit and develop my successor. Money targets did not enter into our decision.
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Marathon Man »

mhc wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 3:25 pm I retired last year at 55. My DW is younger than I am. Due to a potentially very long retirement, we did not reduce risk.

We became financially independent (didn't need to work to maintain same lifestyle) when I was 53. At 55 I qualified for some retirement benefits from my employer, so I decided to stay until 55. I was working from home due to Covid. Working from home for the last 3 years of my career provided for a smooth transition into retirement.

There were some changes at work that I didn't like, so I retired. One of the best decisions I have ever made.

Once we hit FI, my BS tolerance at work really dropped. I knew it was time to go. We had enough and I had had enough.
This. My BS tolerance has become intolerable:). Leaving next month.
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HomerJ
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by HomerJ »

Well, first I had to hit the "number".

But I didn't retire right away, because we hit it earlier than expected, so I was younger than expected.

So we decided that more of a buffer seemed prudent, so I kept working.

And then, we started looking at life events. Decided to wait for the last kid to finish college (happened this year).

But now my wife wants to wait until she can transition to Medicare at 65 (she has a chronic, but treatable, medical condition, and wants to keep her specialist doctor, who has confirmed that an existing patient transitioning to Medicare is no problem - harder to be accepted as a new patient).

She's 63 now, so 2 more years or so.

COBRA is an option, so technically I could retire once we're 18 months away from her turning 65, but I still enjoy my job, and the people I work with, so I'll probably just work the full 2 years.

But another variable is my parents' health. Part of me wants to take a few months off to spend time with my parents while they are still healthy. Maybe do some traveling with them. We'll have to see. Maybe I can take a month next year without pay.
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heyyou
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by heyyou »

We retired when:
(1) Our newly built, small retirement home was finished and we had paid for it as it was being built, so we invested the money from the sale of the previous residence.
(2) I was fed-up at work.

That was the hidden beauty of our saving significantly during pre-retirement, we were unknowingly practicing at living on our retirement amount of income, but just without the freedom of being retired.
privateID
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by privateID »

I imagine I will hit my number in 2025 at some point, but don't plan to retire till mid 2026 at age 60. There were a multitude of reasons that led me to that date.

1. My youngest will graduate from college May 2026.
2. I will have 35 years for SS in 2025, so for that one 2025 would've been good, but still good in 2026.
3. I have some RSUs, the last of which expire mid-year 2026.
4. Tax uncertainty - if rates revert back, more taxes mean less take-home pay.
5. Five year bridge till Medicare seemed manageable - 1.5 years of Cobra using some HSA money and 3.5 years toward employee retiree insurance using some money the company put aside for that.
6. Ten years to do Roth conversions before SS begins was a decent amount of time to make a dent.
7. I am physically active and want to retire while that is still true.
Last edited by privateID on Wed May 22, 2024 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
RetiredAL
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by RetiredAL »

Mostly, it was just time to do so.

I retired in 2016 at FRA. With the Financial Crisis having been just a few years earlier, I was somewhat concerned about money even though the models said it'd be OK. I've found that the SOR has good to me and my withdrawal needs were significantly less than what the retirement spending models were predicting.
MP173
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by MP173 »

Still working at age 68 (almost 69). Financially we are well over 50x yearly spending and that will increase dramatically when I take SS at 70.

I enjoy my career and it has become almost semi retirement (WFH Sales...travel has dropped dramatically).

However, the Corporate infiltration of our company (owned by Mega Corp) has been steadily increasing the BS factor. Add all the security and tech issues and I can see retiring at age 70. I can always reduce workload...or until Mega Corp decides otherwise.

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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by chassis »

LAMan1977 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 1:09 pm For those of you who did not have a target nest egg amount (ie "number"), how did you decide when to retire or make adjustments to your portfolio (eg reduce risk)?
Retire when you have enough (hit your number) or when you’ve had enough.
kleiner
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by kleiner »

I retired at 58. We already had well over 50X in savings at the point when I retired and my wife continues to work so money was not an issue. The main reason I retired was that I was getting burnt out at work and I have a large number of hobbies and interests that I wanted to pursue. I have not regretted retiring even for a moment.
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Clever_Username
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Clever_Username »

I have a few numbers. First, I have an estimated annual expense in retirement. It's a rough estimate that I will refine as time goes on. But I have numbers based on that: 25x, 29x, 33x. I realize that making numbers based on a rough estimate is similar to how we know that economists have a sense of humor (they use decimal places). And which of those numbers I'm going to be comfortable using is based on the age of retirement. And then there's the issue of having enough money, but having to make sure it's accessible. If I were to retire today, I'd have to figure out a plan for getting at the money I'd be spending (and in that case, the portfolio would be providing me a budget, rather than building a portfolio around a desired budget).

There's another math I'm going to have to do when I'm closer to retirement: the move. I'm probably not retiring where I live. I like it just fine, but I like some other locales more. I'd also have to figure out how buying a house there would work. How much of my home equity, which I do not account for in figuring out my portfolio as a function of expenses, do I "roll into" the next house? 20% of the new purchase price and invest the rest? Do I add to the down payment? If so, do I withdraw from some tax-advantaged parts of the portfolio to do so (e.g., using Roth contributions or Series I bonds) or limit any additions to coming from my brokerage? If I were moving today and adding some Series I bonds and Roth contributions to my home equity when buying the next house, I could end up with a very small mortgage payment.

The other issue is that, as my estimate of expenses gets more refined, that potential mortgage payment adjusts -- I'd probably run several scenarios: if I roll my equity into the new mortgage, how does that affect annual expenses? How about if I just put 20% down and invest the rest of the equity? How about if I contribute more, lowering my portfolio value but also my monthly expenses? And can you even get a mortgage when retiring, or should I get a new job in that area as a OMY or TMY situation, in part to qualify for the mortgage, and if so, is that an honest thing to do? I'm not sure how I'd feel applying for a mortgage, showing an income, and yet knowing I have only a few months of that income left coming in.

In any case, I'm somewhere just north of 20x current expenses at the moment and a little above 21x "if I move, roll only the equity into the house in which I retire." I have plenty of time, and I might just have to take a vacation from all this retirement planning :D
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Peter Foley
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Peter Foley »

Two factors - one economic and one personal.
I retired at age 61 a year after I qualified for a non reduced pension. We had retirement savings as well but the pension provided us with cash flow so we could delay taking SS benefits and do some Roth conversions.
My father delayed retirement until a couple months before his 70th birthday. He had enough money and a pension and could have retired at age 65. He died 7 months after he retired. I wanted to retire early while in good health to have more time to pursue varied interests.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Wannaretireearly »

A personal goal is doing what I want with my time.
I cannot do that now, due to kids school commitments.
June 2029 is when Kid school commitments finish.

I would at least like a summer of fun. The real wish list is some slow travel in the fall of 2029 while kids are in college. Italy is high on my list for a 4-6 week trip. Slow travel will happen too I’m sure, in the right season. I can’t see my motivation after this milestone.

Hopefully the FI milestone occurs much sooner than 5 years time!
“At some point you are trading time you will never get back for money you will never spend.“ | “How do you want to spend the best remaining year of your life?“
fuddbogle
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by fuddbogle »

For us it's when my wife can take her pension unreduced @ 59.5, 3-years from now. I'll be 58.5 and will likely retire soon after.

At that point, our income will be plenty to meet our minimum spending so we'll eventually spend (or give to our kids) what income we have when we include the pensions plus a ~3 to 3.5% WR.
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Barsoom »

I did have a target nest egg amount that I met, but the other factor was that it was just time to go.

I got my degree in computer and information systems in 1981 and it served me well throughout my career. However, the nature of IT has changed and the people coming out of the universities today are skilled in Big Data, Cloud, AI, etc., and it was clear that it was time to let the next generation take the reins.

For the nerds out there, I was reminded of the original Star Trek episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?" The premise of the episode is that the Greek gods of mythology were really aliens who visited Earth in the ancient past. Realizing that humanity has outgrown the need for gods, the aliens leave and eventually pass on, except for Apollo who still yearns to be worshiped by the humans. Kirk and the crew fight back and eventually Apollo realizes what his fellow gods learned long ago and begs to join them.

For me, I was a technical expert and coding guru from the mainframe days who advanced into other disciplines within IT during my career, but my time has now passed. The universities are sending graduates better equipped for today's IT needs and I was just in the way.

-B
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Raspberry-503
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Raspberry-503 »

I sort of have a number, that number is how much I'd like to spend on my gogo years, then after that. Not a portfolio number.
I plan to use VPW or some similar method, so I use those to calculate how much I could withdraw from my portfolio today using those calculators, and how much I'd need to cut down in case of bad times.
Then I decide if I like what I see. I can retire today, but the downside is that should we experience 1966 or 1929 again, I'd be fine but would not do all the travel and other cool things I'd like to do. So I keep working.
Some day, a combination of getting closer to when my pre-SS ladder kicks in and portfolio growth, I'll like the number and pull the trigger.
External factors (BS at work, layoffs, etc...) may make the decision for me. At that time I can use the calculator and de ude if I'm done, decide if I want to find a supplemental job, or if I want to extend my career for a few more years either either with the current company or another.
My ladder kicks in in 4 years, so I know it's the furthest out I am (my mortgage also stops in 4 years, another reason I picked that date as a no-later-than.
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by arajeshn »

SnowBog wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 8:14 am
brian2013 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 3:33 pm You retire when you have enough, and you've had enough. :-)
Once you have enough, you are one bad day or one bad manager away from retirement! :beer
Both of the above quotes are so true!!
unwitting_gulag
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by unwitting_gulag »

Many respondents in this thread cite the maturation of children, or the onset of ennui/frustration at work. But what of persons who don't have children, and who have felt bored or obsolesced at work for many years? Then there are no gates or thresholds or telling-events. It becomes a mishmash and a porridge, sticky and opaque, unpleasant to the palate, and yet consumed and consumed.

But what of this: suppose that, already well beyond some level of preparation, a person loses his or her job. By what criteria, by what personal reckoning, might one choose to dub this "retirement"?
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Dottie57 »

I left because I was incentivized with a nice severance package to leave. I had enough in accounts to have decent life until SS at 70. I was ready.
SnowBog
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by SnowBog »

unwitting_gulag wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:32 pm Many respondents in this thread cite the maturation of children, or the onset of ennui/frustration at work. But what of persons who don't have children, and who have felt bored or obsolesced at work for many years? Then there are no gates or thresholds or telling-events. It becomes a mishmash and a porridge, sticky and opaque, unpleasant to the palate, and yet consumed and consumed.

But what of this: suppose that, already well beyond some level of preparation, a person loses his or her job. By what criteria, by what personal reckoning, might one choose to dub this "retirement"?
As was previously noted, the most common and generic view of "retirement" is when you "no longer need to work for money."

That doesn't necessarily mean you don't work... Or that you don't earn money... But you aren't driven/motivated by the need to earn money.

Or said differently, its often recommended one should "retire to something." When money isn't the driver, you can focus more on "how you want to spend your time." If that happens to be "work", even "work that earns an income" - so be it, nothing wrong with that. (The "retirement police" might come after you, but the penalty isn't very relevant.)

I'll use my spouse, and their hypothetical "retirement." They love animals. Their current job has nothing to do with animals. When they "retire" from needing to work for money, they plan on finding something related to animals. That could be volunteering (no pay) at zoo/etc. That could be working for local vet/pet boarding/pet services. They want to "retire to" doing something with animals. In their case, they have a specific set of "retiree benefits" tied to a specific work milestone - so that will ultimately define their "when" (as we'll likely be past the point of "needing" the money by then). But they already have their "what are they retiring to" worked out and ready to go...
Last edited by SnowBog on Thu May 16, 2024 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Wannaretireearly »

unwitting_gulag wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:32 pm Many respondents in this thread cite the maturation of children, or the onset of ennui/frustration at work. But what of persons who don't have children, and who have felt bored or obsolesced at work for many years? Then there are no gates or thresholds or telling-events. It becomes a mishmash and a porridge, sticky and opaque, unpleasant to the palate, and yet consumed and consumed.

But what of this: suppose that, already well beyond some level of preparation, a person loses his or her job. By what criteria, by what personal reckoning, might one choose to dub this "retirement"?
I’ve thought about this.
Without a family to raise as a phase of life, wanderlust would have kicked in. I have multiple school friends that have taken multi month trips after giving up work. Their risk factor was low. They then come back home and figure out another job.

Granted most of the folks I know that have done this are in Europe.
Risk is just lower overall given social welfare schemes.
“At some point you are trading time you will never get back for money you will never spend.“ | “How do you want to spend the best remaining year of your life?“
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HomerJ
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by HomerJ »

unwitting_gulag wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:32 pm Many respondents in this thread cite the maturation of children, or the onset of ennui/frustration at work. But what of persons who don't have children, and who have felt bored or obsolesced at work for many years? Then there are no gates or thresholds or telling-events. It becomes a mishmash and a porridge, sticky and opaque, unpleasant to the palate, and yet consumed and consumed.

But what of this: suppose that, already well beyond some level of preparation, a person loses his or her job. By what criteria, by what personal reckoning, might one choose to dub this "retirement"?
If you have enough, and something better or more fun to do.
"The best tools available to us are shovels, not scalpels. Don't get carried away." - vanBogle59
unwitting_gulag
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by unwitting_gulag »

HomerJ wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 8:22 pm
unwitting_gulag wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:32 pm Many respondents in this thread cite the maturation of children, or the onset of ennui/frustration at work. But what of persons who don't have children, and who have felt bored or obsolesced at work for many years? Then there are no gates or thresholds or telling-events. It becomes a mishmash and a porridge, sticky and opaque, unpleasant to the palate, and yet consumed and consumed.

But what of this: suppose that, already well beyond some level of preparation, a person loses his or her job. By what criteria, by what personal reckoning, might one choose to dub this "retirement"?
If you have enough, and something better or more fun to do.
All true, but one has to espouse the the mindset that the portfolio will no longer be added-to. The flow of funds reverses. So, the criterion for "enough" might not be a chasing after some dollar amount, where before it's below the threshold, and after it's above. Instead the criterion isn't about portfolio performance at all, but maybe reaching an age when pensions kick in... except that, well, one hasn't yet reached that age.

It would be lovely to discuss this further, but as the subject is more about psychology than actionable financial things, it is likely that the thread would, ahem, get retired....
jebmke
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by jebmke »

unwitting_gulag wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 1:55 pm It would be lovely to discuss this further, but as the subject is more about psychology than actionable financial things, it is likely that the thread would, ahem, get retired....
Actually, the psychological/behavioral aspects of personal finance are discussed fairly often; however, I sometimes think they are overlooked by quite a few as the pure numbers aspect of it develop and tools advance. People are creatures of thought and emotion. There often is a natural tension there and keeping some balance between the two is healthy in my opinion.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
travelspot
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by travelspot »

Yes, adding to the above, the psychological aspect of switching from accumulating to spending must be part of the decision-making process to retire. One shouldn’t simply say one has enough and has had enough, and therefore retire, without also being intentional that the accumulation will stop and the spending of that accumulation will (permanently) begin.

If in a marriage, both spouses must be on board with this… For many, it is a difficult transition to make.
If you don't do stuff, then you don't do stuff.
IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by IowaFarmBoy »

My long range plan had been to wait till 65 due to health care costs and still growing pension and SS benefits. As far as a "number", I had a range in mind and the upper end of the range was about double the lower. At 62, there were re-orgs happening at work that I didn't think I would enjoy so it made me look at our financial plan again. At this point, we were close to the upper number. When I ran all the numbers, it appeared we had plenty to make retiring at 62 work with minimal risk so we pulled the trigger. I'm now 65 and things have worked well.
McDougal
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by McDougal »

I always assumed I would retire around SS FRA (66.2 for me). As I was approaching that age, covid happened, I started losing friends and realizing life was not just short, but getting shorter, work become not fun anymore, and when the mortgage was fully paid I pulled the trigger. Made it to 65.5, so pretty close to FRA.
Full disclosure, DW is 5 yrs younger and still working.
Absolutely no regrets
3feetpete
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by 3feetpete »

I retired 7 years ago at 65 after my employer was bought out and I felt I wouldn't be happy working for the new owner. I'd been tracking my real cost using an app called Mint which has since transitioned into Credit Karma. So I knew what my real costs were. I then used Firecalc.com to test my portfolio survival based on not taking SS until 70. It passed so I pulled the trigger. 7 years later I am glad I did and my portfolio has continued to grow. At the present it is right in the middle of the range that Firecalc said it would be. I recently started to use a product called Newretirement to consider future financial moves such as Roth conversions. It's a pretty powerful tool and tests the portfolio survival in a different way. If I were considering retiring today I would use both products. My investments are all in low cost index funds and ETF's. I've allowed the portion of my portfolio allocated to stocks to increase to 84% because my maximized SS payments covers most of my needs and I want the portfolio to grow for my heirs benefit.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Once money is no longer a factor, there are societal, peer and psychological factors that deter retirement. I’d argue these factors are unique to the USA.
“At some point you are trading time you will never get back for money you will never spend.“ | “How do you want to spend the best remaining year of your life?“
freckles01
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by freckles01 »

I had a number and once I met it, increased it, met it and increased it again (OMY) b/c I wasn't ready to stop working in my profession just yet.
I did drop to part time and that's been ideal so far- just enough structure/work to keep skills up and feel like I'm "contributing" and could continue to do so for a few more years...

But regularly hearing about coworkers or those who retired (some very recently) getting very ill/dying makes me consider retiring earlier than later.

I will meet my final "number" by next year, have accelerated paying down mortgage principal and investing some earmarked to lump sum payoff beginning of next year with plan to retire sometime next year.

Not sure about the day/month- want to invest as much money into 401k and will have about 300 vacation hours that will be cashed...Cobra or ACA for the rest of the year.
RetiredCSProf
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by RetiredCSProf »

The decision of "when to retire" was made for me. I was forced to retire at age 64 (in 2012) when I was caught in a mass "reduction in force."

I had planned to retire at age 62, but discovered that the cost of medical insurance premiums would be very high until I reached eligibility for Medicare at age 65. Also, the market decline in 2008 had taken a big chunk out of my 403b.

My employer allowed retirements only on the 1st of each month. Each year, I would circle 12 dates on the calendar and consider which date would be the best for that year.

The next best time to retire was the August before my 65th birthday, as the Company policy allowed retirees a reduction in medical insurance premiums, for up to one year, following an August 1st retirement date. But that didn't happen; I was forced out two months before that.

After retiring, I learned that the Company treats retirees differently based on whether they retired before or after their 65th birthday. This effects the payout if the pension plan goes away. If I had known this, I may have tried to negotiate delaying my actual retirement date by six months, but unlikely that it would have been successful.

My advice would be to learn all the rules that your employer has regarding medical insurance, pensions, whatever before committing to a retirement date.
unwitting_gulag
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by unwitting_gulag »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Sat May 18, 2024 11:45 am Once money is no longer a factor, there are societal, peer and psychological factors that deter retirement. I’d argue these factors are unique to the USA.
There's Max Weber's seminal book on the subject. Also De Tocqueville. But some things are universal. I think that a lifelong dedication to portfolio-growth is highly American, but a bit of squeamishness or embarrassment over retiring "too" early, is universal. Other cultures may be less driven in relating earning and saving into systematic wealth-building (as opposed to saving for a rainy day, raising one's social status, improving the lives of one's children and so on). But by my reckoning, few cultures would view positively, the idea of able-bodied adults voluntarily leaving the workforce already in middle age.
Old Guy
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Old Guy »

I could no longer deal with people’s tales of woe and grief.
Intellectual slippage.
I was 72 with two pensions, SS, RMDs, and a similarly situated spouse.
Enough was enough.
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22twain
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by 22twain »

LAMan1977 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 1:09 pm For those of you who did not have a target nest egg amount (ie "number"), how did you decide when to retire
We were both small-college professors. In the pre-ACA days, our decisions to retire revolved around our college's "early retirement" package at age 62/63 (they changed the rules) whose most important component was the ability to stay on their decent and inexpensive health insurance until age 65 (Medicare).

My wife took advantage of this at age 62 because her health was becoming affected by the stress of supporting an academic major all by herself, along with other time-consuming departmental and committee duties.

At about the same time, the college had a financial crisis which led to them eliminating several full-time faculty positions, including mine. (They also eliminated the major that my wife had taught, because she had conveniently chosen to retire.) My severance package had me staying on in an administrative role for a few years at half my previous salary until "early retirement" age which was now 63, with the college's medical plan continuing as usual until age 65.

Fortunately we had both saved enough in our 403(b)'s and taxable accounts, that we didn't need to consider moving (or me taking on a long commute) in order for me to find a new teaching job.
Meet my pet, Peeve, who loves to convert non-acronyms into acronyms: FED, ROTH, CASH, IVY, ...
Dornhoefer
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Dornhoefer »

Like others, I decided to retire when I couldn’t stand my job anymore, not the work itself, which I enjoyed, but everything else that came with it. I was in management for 17 years and got tired of dragging people up a hill they didn’t want to climb. A shame, because it was meaningful work. I retired earlier than I expected.

I reduced risk in my portfolio separately from my consideration of exactly when I would retire. I was almost 100% equities at age 50 but read here about sequence of returns risk and gradually decreased my stock %. I hoped I would retire someday and would need a balanced portfolio. My wife and I are committed to 60-40 from here on out.
Parkinglotracer
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by Parkinglotracer »

When I had enough money and had had enough of work. When I had things I wanted to do that were more important to me than earning money.
retired early&luv it
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by retired early&luv it »

I planned to retire quite early, had a target date in mind.

Got a new boss that was a total jerk trying to advance through playing politics. I retired 6 months earlier, to get away from what had been a good job turned bad. Cost me about 10 percent in my pension but it was worth it to get out. Over a decade later, do not regret that decision.

Within a few years, all of my co-workers had left or transferred to other areas with that employer. Boss was promoted.
kd2008
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Re: Deciding when to retire...

Post by kd2008 »

DH retired at 62 about a year ago. He does some everyday fun stuff that I sometimes miss. I am turning 43 soon. After accounting for SS bridge for DH to claim at 70, and paid off home mortgage, we currently have 125x. But our lifestyle is modest. So that 125x number could turn out to be just 25x if we blew it up.

DH has been urging me to fly business class to my country of birth for my twice annual visits - it would be greater than what my parents spend in a year. I feel conflicted and reluctant.

I feel fortunate. I negotiated a 8 week vacation deal for lower pay. So retiring is hard to think of. My parents retired at age 48. I hope I will think about when I am 51.

More than retiring, I feel I would like to transition to my next passion by then. Let's see what happens.
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