When to move into retirement

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NearlyRetired
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When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm

Hi fellow Bogleheads

This is not a crystal ball request as none of us knows what the future will bring, but I am interested in your views and from anyone who has gone through this themselves, what considerations/factors went into their decision.

So my current situation is that I could, should I choose to, retire now. I have enough funds invested that should support me & my wife through the next 30 years (not with bucket loads of head room but just about ok, including a couple of years at the start with poor returns simulated).

My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it? As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

surfstar
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by surfstar » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:47 pm

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (insert latest headline here)
You could ask the same question / make the same statement for any year over the last many, many years. Especially with "24-hour" news.

Retire when you're ready, when you want to, and are certain enough that you can financially. If you have the flexibility to reduce spending in lean times, pull the plug and go for it. :sharebeer

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tennisplyr
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:55 pm

Like anyone, if you have the financial and psychological confidence that you can retire and have the need/desire to do so, go for it. Life is too short to wait and wait and wait for the perfect time (which may never come).
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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LilyFleur
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by LilyFleur » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:02 pm

I would be more concerned about affordable medical insurance than any of the other factors you listed. I am currently paying more than $20,000 year for insurance and co-pays (for just me).

OnTrack2020
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by OnTrack2020 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:08 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:02 pm
I would be more concerned about affordable medical insurance than any of the other factors you listed. I am currently paying more than $20,000 year for insurance and co-pays (for just me).
Is this through an insurance broker, ACA, does it include prescription drugs, etc.??

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:08 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:02 pm
I would be more concerned about affordable medical insurance than any of the other factors you listed. I am currently paying more than $20,000 year for insurance and co-pays (for just me).
I am fortunate that I live in the UK so medical bills are sorted (living in a retirement home wouldn't be, but hard and fast living would soon sort that out :D )
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greg24
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by greg24 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm

There is always uncertainty in the world.

Many get caught up with One More Year for such concerns.

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LilyFleur
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by LilyFleur » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:13 pm

OnTrack2020 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:08 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:02 pm
I would be more concerned about affordable medical insurance than any of the other factors you listed. I am currently paying more than $20,000 year for insurance and co-pays (for just me).
Is this through an insurance broker, ACA, does it include prescription drugs, etc.??
I have a pension which makes me ineligible for ACA subsidies. It is on the individual market... (I went directly to the Blue Shield web site for my state, on the advice of my friend who is a broker for group insurance) I have the only PPO left in my county available to individuals. It includes the lowest co-pays I could find for specialists and prescription drugs. I have several pre-existing conditions which require multiple medications.

If you don't have pre-existing conditions, you could probably pay quite a bit less.

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LilyFleur
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by LilyFleur » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:17 pm

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:08 pm
LilyFleur wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:02 pm
I would be more concerned about affordable medical insurance than any of the other factors you listed. I am currently paying more than $20,000 year for insurance and co-pays (for just me).
I am fortunate that I live in the UK so medical bills are sorted (living in a retirement home wouldn't be, but hard and fast living would soon sort that out :D )
Hahaha! I can just hear your cute accent!!! (I mostly watch the BBC because TV is just better with a British accent. It sounds so much more intelligent and funny. :sharebeer )

I checked the price of a box of insulin pens in London recently. First the pharmacist said, "Oh, you don't have to pay anything...just give me your NHS card." Then, after I explained I was from the States, and I needed to check the cash price, she quoted me $100 a box. At home, that same box is $500. That's why I get expensive insurance. The folks who have really high deductibles have a very hard time affording expensive drugs. And without insulin, well, you die. In our country, the wealthiest nation in the world, we have diabetics who are having to ration their insulin. And, they are dying.

OK, I'm now stepping back down off my soapbox.

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:20 pm

greg24 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm
There is always uncertainty in the world.

Many get caught up with One More Year for such concerns.
And hence my dilemma. I have for the best part of 35 years been used to saving money, not spending it, so to move into a "spend mode" is challenging, but then I offset that with x years of more work to hopefully be in a better position (x years more investment, x years less to live) against that time just enjoying life and hence the post - for people who chose to retire, what considerations, if any, were made
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protagonist
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by protagonist » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:28 pm

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads

This is not a crystal ball request as none of us knows what the future will bring, but I am interested in your views and from anyone who has gone through this themselves, what considerations/factors went into their decision.

So my current situation is that I could, should I choose to, retire now. I have enough funds invested that should support me & my wife through the next 30 years (not with bucket loads of head room but just about ok, including a couple of years at the start with poor returns simulated).

My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it? As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
One might assume that when to make the leap depends on your risk tolerance. But remember....risk is a double edged sword. Retire too soon and you may not have enough money. But wait too long and you might die first sitting on a pile of money that you worked for all your life in preparation for a pleasant retirement and never got a chance to use. The latter risk is largely ignored by many on this forum....especially those with plenty of money, for which the latter risk is probably much greater than the former one.

So to answer your fundamental question, IMHO the best time to retire is when it feels right to you. Life is all about balance, and uncertainty. The chips will fall as they may.

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Wiggums
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by Wiggums » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:33 pm

I would retire when you feel ready and you are comfortable that your retirement savings will last. Once I felt good that I projected my retirement expenses accurately, it was easy for me to pull the plug. I also have enough fixed income that I just ignore the financial news channel.

Good luck to you...

tesuzuki2002
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:37 pm

Consider pulling the trigger.... if the market tanks.. could you go back to work for a period of a couple years in a downturn? That would really help the bleeding and you could kick a little back in...

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:38 pm

protagonist wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:28 pm
NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads

This is not a crystal ball request as none of us knows what the future will bring, but I am interested in your views and from anyone who has gone through this themselves, what considerations/factors went into their decision.

So my current situation is that I could, should I choose to, retire now. I have enough funds invested that should support me & my wife through the next 30 years (not with bucket loads of head room but just about ok, including a couple of years at the start with poor returns simulated).

My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it? As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
One might assume that when to make the leap depends on your risk tolerance. But remember....risk is a double edged sword. Retire too soon and you may not have enough money. But wait too long and you might die first sitting on a pile of money that you worked for all your life in preparation for a pleasant retirement and never got a chance to use. The latter risk is largely ignored by many on this forum....especially those with plenty of money, for which the latter risk is probably much greater than the former one.

So to answer your fundamental question, IMHO the best time to retire is when it feels right to you. Life is all about balance, and uncertainty. The chips will fall as they may.
Hi protagonist, I totally agree - work no longer enthrals me - its a means to an end - so stopping now is very attractive, but are some of the factors I've called out unique or are they just unique for now (as there will always be 'something' around the corner).
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mighty72
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by mighty72 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:39 pm

moved the thread to Personal Finance (Not Investing) sub-forum

delamer
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by delamer » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:40 pm

“Just about OK” finances would not give me the confidence to retire today.

If you want to post assets, income, and expenses then you’ll get informed opinions on your situation.

Good luck.

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:05 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:40 pm
“Just about OK” finances would not give me the confidence to retire today.

If you want to post assets, income, and expenses then you’ll get informed opinions on your situation.

Good luck.
Hi delamer - this post is not really about the financials more around the strategy of when to retire. I have been invested for over 35 years and never paid attention to the investments or their performance (I know, I know, but I was younger then!) and they have performed ok for me, but now that I am at that point where I could retire I am looking at the markets and the news and am perhaps more sensitive to what is going on around me. My question is whether or not some of the things I have observed are "one-offs" or are there always "one-offs" just of different colours? For example, the Brexit issue is of its time and probably 40 years in the making - it could resolve itself one way or another in October, in which case, should I wait? Same question around the trade wars kicking off - I'm not sure we have had these recently or to this magnitude, but is that because I am more aware, I don't know. Are these just one offs that if I could delay I would be prudent to, or just get on with it because there is always something?
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delamer
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by delamer » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:09 pm

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:05 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:40 pm
“Just about OK” finances would not give me the confidence to retire today.

If you want to post assets, income, and expenses then you’ll get informed opinions on your situation.

Good luck.
Hi delamer - this post is not really about the financials more around the strategy of when to retire. I have been invested for over 35 years and never paid attention to the investments or their performance (I know, I know, but I was younger then!) and they have performed ok for me, but now that I am at that point where I could retire I am looking at the markets and the news and am perhaps more sensitive to what is going on around me. My question is whether or not some of the things I have observed are "one-offs" or are there always "one-offs" just of different colours? For example, the Brexit issue is of its time and probably 40 years in the making - it could resolve itself one way or another in October, in which case, should I wait? Same question around the trade wars kicking off - I'm not sure we have had these recently or to this magnitude, but is that because I am more aware, I don't know. Are these just one offs that if I could delay I would be prudent to, or just get on with it because there is always something?
My dad used to say that “it’s not the things that you worry about that bite you in the a**, it’s the things that you never even thought about.”

Yes, “there is always something.”

rich126
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by rich126 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:15 pm

Can you ease into retirement by cutting back the hours (75%, 50%)?

deikel
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by deikel » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:25 pm

rich126 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:15 pm
Can you ease into retirement by cutting back the hours (75%, 50%)?
+1

Or mentally declare yourself retired, stop contributing to retirement funds and start spending the extra money on singular fun stuff (great vacation or two or three a year, new toy for a hobby and so on). You would still not draw down the retirement funds and let them grow for an extra year of safety AND get your feet wet with other things to do besides work AND the new activities/vacations might make work more tolerable for a good bit longer

I think eventually, you will want to do more and more non-work related things and that's when you are ready to retire - the feeling of 'running out of time' will tell you when you are ready
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

Dottie57
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:29 pm

I retired when my employer wanted to get rid of some of its older tech workers. I took the buyout and am happily retired.

Do I wish I could keep adding 30k toretirement accounts - yes I do. But I truly needed to leave. While on COBRA insurance my overall retirement costs are 36k. However 2020 and 2021 are going to be much more challenging since COBRA is done.

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:34 pm

deikel wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:25 pm
rich126 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:15 pm
Can you ease into retirement by cutting back the hours (75%, 50%)?
+1

Or mentally declare yourself retired, stop contributing to retirement funds and start spending the extra money on singular fun stuff (great vacation or two or three a year, new toy for a hobby and so on). You would still not draw down the retirement funds and let them grow for an extra year of safety AND get your feet wet with other things to do besides work AND the new activities/vacations might make work more tolerable for a good bit longer

I think eventually, you will want to do more and more non-work related things and that's when you are ready to retire - the feeling of 'running out of time' will tell you when you are ready
I could, although would have to change roles as my current position is full time - it is a good suggestion and something I will give some thought to
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StealthRabbit
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by StealthRabbit » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:48 pm

Run the numbers.

Exit when able. (Remembering you will get no more pay, paid vacations, work perks) and.. you may not be able to duplicate a GOOD job, but if you are in a poor job... get out!.

Retire early, retire often.

Stuff happens which you have little or no control (financial and health and family).

Enjoy your next chapter. You will NOT run out of great stuff to do.

sharukh
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by sharukh » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:07 pm

deikel wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:25 pm
rich126 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:15 pm
Can you ease into retirement by cutting back the hours (75%, 50%)?
+1

Or mentally declare yourself retired, stop contributing to retirement funds and start spending the extra money on singular fun stuff (great vacation or two or three a year, new toy for a hobby and so on). You would still not draw down the retirement funds and let them grow for an extra year of safety AND get your feet wet with other things to do besides work AND the new activities/vacations might make work more tolerable for a good bit longer

I think eventually, you will want to do more and more non-work related things and that's when you are ready to retire - the feeling of 'running out of time' will tell you when you are ready
Very nicely said. Exactly what I intended to do.

Bronko
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by Bronko » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:35 pm

“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

― Mark Twain

The way you've written the question makes me think you're not mentally ready. But then you may never be. You could be the kind of person who needs the push off the diving board to understand how fun it is to swim. If you've saved for 35 years, run the numbers, planned for several down years, and LBYM then go live man. Life is more than working and paying bills.
Never let a little bit of money get in the way of a real good time.

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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by RadAudit » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:45 pm

protagonist wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:28 pm
But wait too long and you might die first sitting on a pile of money that you worked for all your life in preparation for a pleasant retirement and never got a chance to use. The latter risk is largely ignored by many on this forum.
Some BHs plan to live forever so they ignore that noise.
NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
Opinions I have. Don't pay those factors any credence. But, I would try to figure out if I had enough to live the retirement I wanted to live and to take care of the DW as long as needed. (Opinions differ on the last part of that one. Some prefer the "well, he was a good provider while he was here" option. Others not so much.) And if you were generous you could add on to the calculation how much you'd like to leave behind for the kids or charity, if you were so inclined. If you have those covered and wish to retire, retire.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

Golf maniac
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by Golf maniac » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm

I will assume your financial situation is in order and you can retire successfully. For me it was more of a mental and emotional process of retiring and not going to a job every day. I considered full and part time work but ultimately decided to retire fully. The most important thing I did was have a plan for how I would spend my time. I have been retired for almost four years and how I spend my time has evolved. There are regular activities I do each week and there are still things I want to try and experience. If you can develop a plan and have sufficient interests and hobbies, you can have a successful retirement. Cheers!

cherijoh
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by cherijoh » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:11 pm

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads

This is not a crystal ball request as none of us knows what the future will bring, but I am interested in your views and from anyone who has gone through this themselves, what considerations/factors went into their decision.

So my current situation is that I could, should I choose to, retire now. I have enough funds invested that should support me & my wife through the next 30 years (not with bucket loads of head room but just about ok, including a couple of years at the start with poor returns simulated).

My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it? As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
I retired in April of 2018. I had been on the fence for a few years, but then I ended up attending several funerals in 2017 for friends and former co-workers who should have had more years - ranging from mid-60s and mid-70s. It was a wake-up call for me or at least a reminder of what I already knew - my dad had passed away at 68 (after working to 65).

My biggest financial concern was the cost of health care until I am eligible for Medicare. I'm not too concerned about the stock market gyrations. I have relatively low fixed expenses and know that I can cut back on discretionary expenses if need be.

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Steelersfan
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by Steelersfan » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:19 pm

I had two criteria:
- Had I had enough (of work), and did I have enough ($ to live comfortably)?
- When my typical day at work was less fulfilling and enjoyable than my typical day not at work

My answer came at age 60, well before I would have anticipated a few years earlier.

Rus In Urbe
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by Rus In Urbe » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:35 pm

The best advice I've heard is this: retire TO something, not just FROM something.
If that is a project, a mission, volunteering, or just a life of leisure, go for it.

As for the financial side---as others have said, this entirely depends on your risk tolerance, ability to cut expenses if necessary, flexibility in a storm, etc. From what you have posted though, it sounds as if you are ready for that.

Being a little risk averse when it comes to retirement, I waited until I had several back-ups in place should the worst happen. I'm sure there are others who have even more "fudge factor" built in and some have less....you just have to find your comfort zone.

Good luck in retirement! :beer
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

staustin
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by staustin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:26 pm

protagonist wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:28 pm
NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads

This is not a crystal ball request as none of us knows what the future will bring, but I am interested in your views and from anyone who has gone through this themselves, what considerations/factors went into their decision.

So my current situation is that I could, should I choose to, retire now. I have enough funds invested that should support me & my wife through the next 30 years (not with bucket loads of head room but just about ok, including a couple of years at the start with poor returns simulated).

My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it? As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
One might assume that when to make the leap depends on your risk tolerance. But remember....risk is a double edged sword. Retire too soon and you may not have enough money. But wait too long and you might die first sitting on a pile of money that you worked for all your life in preparation for a pleasant retirement and never got a chance to use. The latter risk is largely ignored by many on this forum....especially those with plenty of money, for which the latter risk is probably much greater than the former one.

So to answer your fundamental question, IMHO the best time to retire is when it feels right to you. Life is all about balance, and uncertainty. The chips will fall as they may.
such wise counsel... and so very true.

JPM
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by JPM » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:00 pm

Among my retired friends the happiest are those who retired to an absorbing interest.

One doctor retired from suburban practice to practice in a welfare clinic in another state where he will live near his grandchildren. Many retired doctors volunteer at free clinics or community health centers in retirement.
An attorney retired from a firm he led, got bored, and does legal aid.
Another couple of doctors have played brass in jazz bands as a hobby in in retirement have moved to Florida and started or joined new jazz bands.
Another is an artist and has been painting in retirement for 32 years and counting.
A business executive plays 200 rounds of golf per year.
Another writes books for a Christian audience and does book tours for them. He doesn't need to care if they make him any money.
Another doctor felt that in his undergrad years he missed out on literature, history, philosophy, etc and audited courses at a major university for the first 12-15 years of his retirement.

A book called "How to Retire Happy Wild and Free may provide some ideas if you don't have enough of your own,

If your health is good and your wealth is adequate, something to retire to is needed for optimal retirement. Another doctor friend once remarked to me that "One day I was a man of consequence and the next day I was just another old man." You probably don't want to be that guy. You don't want to be the guy who goes out to the mailbox in his robe and slippers at 10AM or noon.

IMO
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by IMO » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:09 am

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:20 pm
greg24 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm
There is always uncertainty in the world.

Many get caught up with One More Year for such concerns.
And hence my dilemma. I have for the best part of 35 years been used to saving money, not spending it, so to move into a "spend mode" is challenging, but then I offset that with x years of more work to hopefully be in a better position (x years more investment, x years less to live) against that time just enjoying life and hence the post - for people who chose to retire, what considerations, if any, were made
Considerations made to retire early (not necessarily in this order):

a) Income exceeding expenses with significant buffer
b) Health insurance costs/premiums in retirement considered
c) Long term care considerations made
d) Paid off home
e) Increasing age reduces physical activities that I enjoy
f) Increase income from other sources in future (Soc Security/others)
g) Absolutely no guarantee that one can't have an adverse health event more common with increasing age
h) Divorce if completely unexpectedly occurred, wouldn't derail plans
i) Significant burnout at work/career
j) Have many things to do in retirement
k) Spouse would be okay on finances if I passed
l) I would be okay on finances if spouse passed
m) Kid would be okay if I passed and/or spouse passed
n) Probably a couple others can't think of offhand (due to getting older perhaps) . . . .

But everyone is different. Some people are happy to stay at work and never want to retire, etc. Make your own list and decide when it's right or not right.

lynneny
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by lynneny » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:33 am

Sometimes we need a push. I would have kept working if I hadn't been laid off at 61. I had enough, as long as I left my HCOL city for somewhere more affordable, and sold my apartment that had doubled in value. Now I'm retired in Mexico and have a new life.

In hindsight, it was the right time for me to retire. And the lower cost of living here gives me some flexibility. If my investments do well, I'll travel for a couple months in the U.S. and Europe every year (it's nice to leave for a while when the temperature is 100 degrees here). If the market is bad, my travel those years will be within Mexico (there are plenty of places where it isn't 100 degrees).

visualguy
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by visualguy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:46 am

JPM wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:00 pm
If your health is good and your wealth is adequate, something to retire to is needed for optimal retirement. Another doctor friend once remarked to me that "One day I was a man of consequence and the next day I was just another old man." You probably don't want to be that guy. You don't want to be the guy who goes out to the mailbox in his robe and slippers at 10AM or noon.
Maybe don't retire if you don't want to be that guy... Retire only if you actually want to be that guy (I think many do want that.)

Who really wants to invent/find some job substitute? I'd rather do the real thing (my job), or retire to leisure and hobbies!

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:26 am

deikel wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:25 pm
I think eventually, you will want to do more and more non-work related things and that's when you are ready to retire - the feeling of 'running out of time' will tell you when you are ready
+1
When non-work related things loom larger and more meaningful than work itself, then we know that the time comes.

TG2
Posts: 197
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by TG2 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:55 am

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:20 pm
greg24 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm
There is always uncertainty in the world.

Many get caught up with One More Year for such concerns.
And hence my dilemma. I have for the best part of 35 years been used to saving money, not spending it, so to move into a "spend mode" is challenging, but then I offset that with x years of more work to hopefully be in a better position (x years more investment, x years less to live) against that time just enjoying life and hence the post - for people who chose to retire, what considerations, if any, were made
I retired almost two years ago, shortly after turning 58. I knew that I could go any time after 55, but wasn't psychologically ready to do it. I decided to go part-time at 56.5 to phase into retirement. The plan was to stay part-time until 62 and ease right into SS. Instead, the company was sold and my job ended. I decided to not look for another job, and ended up fully retired. My necessary expenses are relatively low, and I had about 33x expenses invested, so knew I would be fine. Turned out to be the best decision I ever made. Life is great, and I have pretty much forgotten what stress is.

With regard to saving vs. spending, I also struggle a bit with that. I have been a saver forever, and it is a very difficult transition to move into spender mode. My decision was to wait until SS checks begin to arrive before loosening up the spending. Because that is not money that I directly worked for it should be much easier to let go, and I can then springboard into spending the money I did save. I am fortunate now that the normal SS questions of when to claim are not relevant to me any more. I will take Survivor's Benefits at 60 and let my own grow until 70. Completed my phone interview today, in fact, so checks should start arriving soon.

If you have a reason to retire now, and are sure you are good financially, go for it. Start spending when you feel right about it. This is one of those decisions that it is very easy to keep delaying. You certainly don't want to go too soon, but waiting too long is not good either.

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:55 am

Bronko wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:35 pm
“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

― Mark Twain

The way you've written the question makes me think you're not mentally ready. But then you may never be. You could be the kind of person who needs the push off the diving board to understand how fun it is to swim. If you've saved for 35 years, run the numbers, planned for several down years, and LBYM then go live man. Life is more than working and paying bills.
Spot on Bronko - in someways it would be easier for me to have the decision made (redundancy would be great!)then I could just go with the flow
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:00 am

Golf maniac wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:45 pm
I will assume your financial situation is in order and you can retire successfully. For me it was more of a mental and emotional process of retiring and not going to a job every day. I considered full and part time work but ultimately decided to retire fully. The most important thing I did was have a plan for how I would spend my time. I have been retired for almost four years and how I spend my time has evolved. There are regular activities I do each week and there are still things I want to try and experience. If you can develop a plan and have sufficient interests and hobbies, you can have a successful retirement. Cheers!
Thanks Golf maniac - I like the idea of a plan - I have sort of started this by taking up voluntary work (which can be as much or as little as I choose), but not really thought out a wider plan - that is something I shall look into and work on
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:13 am

cherijoh wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:11 pm
NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads

This is not a crystal ball request as none of us knows what the future will bring, but I am interested in your views and from anyone who has gone through this themselves, what considerations/factors went into their decision.

So my current situation is that I could, should I choose to, retire now. I have enough funds invested that should support me & my wife through the next 30 years (not with bucket loads of head room but just about ok, including a couple of years at the start with poor returns simulated).

My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it? As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
I retired in April of 2018. I had been on the fence for a few years, but then I ended up attending several funerals in 2017 for friends and former co-workers who should have had more years - ranging from mid-60s and mid-70s. It was a wake-up call for me or at least a reminder of what I already knew - my dad had passed away at 68 (after working to 65).

My biggest financial concern was the cost of health care until I am eligible for Medicare. I'm not too concerned about the stock market gyrations. I have relatively low fixed expenses and know that I can cut back on discretionary expenses if need be.
I have had a similar experience (although with both my parents in short succession) which started this whole thought process too - that is really at the root of my dilemma. The funds will work if I stop now, but they could work even better if I carried on working a while longer and it is that thought vs time lost that I am juggling with. My heart says "go and live life now whilst you can" and my head is saying "save a bit more, choppy markets at the moment, let some events run to conclusion, then decide"
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:17 am

Steelersfan wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:19 pm
I had two criteria:
- Had I had enough (of work), and did I have enough ($ to live comfortably)?
- When my typical day at work was less fulfilling and enjoyable than my typical day not at work

My answer came at age 60, well before I would have anticipated a few years earlier.
For me, part 1a definitely , 1b yesish - but could be better if I leave it a while and potentially worse if markets take a dive (e.g. global recession) in the next year or so, and part 2 - oh yes!
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:23 am

JPM wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:00 pm
Among my retired friends the happiest are those who retired to an absorbing interest.

One doctor retired from suburban practice to practice in a welfare clinic in another state where he will live near his grandchildren. Many retired doctors volunteer at free clinics or community health centers in retirement.
An attorney retired from a firm he led, got bored, and does legal aid.
Another couple of doctors have played brass in jazz bands as a hobby in in retirement have moved to Florida and started or joined new jazz bands.
Another is an artist and has been painting in retirement for 32 years and counting.
A business executive plays 200 rounds of golf per year.
Another writes books for a Christian audience and does book tours for them. He doesn't need to care if they make him any money.
Another doctor felt that in his undergrad years he missed out on literature, history, philosophy, etc and audited courses at a major university for the first 12-15 years of his retirement.

A book called "How to Retire Happy Wild and Free may provide some ideas if you don't have enough of your own,

If your health is good and your wealth is adequate, something to retire to is needed for optimal retirement. Another doctor friend once remarked to me that "One day I was a man of consequence and the next day I was just another old man." You probably don't want to be that guy. You don't want to be the guy who goes out to the mailbox in his robe and slippers at 10AM or noon.
Very wise words JPM - I have only been a member of these boards for a little while, but I too have gleaned the retire to something view. I have already started voluntary work - something completely different to what I currently do for a living and is fairly scalable (I could give a few hours a week up to full time if I wanted) - I am very keen to do voluntary work, I want to give something back. I will take a look at the book thanks for the pointer
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:26 am

lynneny wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:33 am
Sometimes we need a push. I would have kept working if I hadn't been laid off at 61. I had enough, as long as I left my HCOL city for somewhere more affordable, and sold my apartment that had doubled in value. Now I'm retired in Mexico and have a new life.

In hindsight, it was the right time for me to retire. And the lower cost of living here gives me some flexibility. If my investments do well, I'll travel for a couple months in the U.S. and Europe every year (it's nice to leave for a while when the temperature is 100 degrees here). If the market is bad, my travel those years will be within Mexico (there are plenty of places where it isn't 100 degrees).
That would work well for me :happy its kind of the reason for this thread. Should my heart or head prevail, hence seeking the wise counsel of fellow BHs
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:29 am

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:26 am
deikel wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:25 pm
I think eventually, you will want to do more and more non-work related things and that's when you are ready to retire - the feeling of 'running out of time' will tell you when you are ready
+1
When non-work related things loom larger and more meaningful than work itself, then we know that the time comes.
Non work related things do indeed loom larger and are more meaningful for me - my heart says go for it, it's my head that has prompted this thread
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

bltn
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by bltn » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:01 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:28 pm
NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
Hi fellow Bogleheads

This is not a crystal ball request as none of us knows what the future will bring, but I am interested in your views and from anyone who has gone through this themselves, what considerations/factors went into their decision.

So my current situation is that I could, should I choose to, retire now. I have enough funds invested that should support me & my wife through the next 30 years (not with bucket loads of head room but just about ok, including a couple of years at the start with poor returns simulated).

My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it? As far as I can see there will always be something so this is possibly no different, but because I can choose when to become retired how much credence do I pay to these factors?

Any thoughts, insights, opinions most welcome
One might assume that when to make the leap depends on your risk tolerance. But remember....risk is a double edged sword. Retire too soon and you may not have enough money. But wait too long and you might die first sitting on a pile of money that you worked for all your life in preparation for a pleasant retirement and never got a chance to use. The latter risk is largely ignored by many on this forum....especially those with plenty of money, for which the latter risk is probably much greater than the former one.

So to answer your fundamental question, IMHO the best time to retire is when it feels right to you. Life is all about balance, and uncertainty. The chips will fall as they may.
If I don t die “sitting on a pile of money”, then I ve had too much stress about financial uncertainty and budgeting in retirement. Plus, leaving some money to the children is a good thing. If that means working a couple of extra years to allow my nest egg to grow a bit more, particularly if I like my job, then that might be my be my plan.

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NearlyRetired
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:06 am

IMO wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:09 am
NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:20 pm
greg24 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm
There is always uncertainty in the world.

Many get caught up with One More Year for such concerns.
And hence my dilemma. I have for the best part of 35 years been used to saving money, not spending it, so to move into a "spend mode" is challenging, but then I offset that with x years of more work to hopefully be in a better position (x years more investment, x years less to live) against that time just enjoying life and hence the post - for people who chose to retire, what considerations, if any, were made
Considerations made to retire early (not necessarily in this order):

a) Income exceeding expenses with significant buffer
b) Health insurance costs/premiums in retirement considered
c) Long term care considerations made
d) Paid off home
e) Increasing age reduces physical activities that I enjoy
f) Increase income from other sources in future (Soc Security/others)
g) Absolutely no guarantee that one can't have an adverse health event more common with increasing age
h) Divorce if completely unexpectedly occurred, wouldn't derail plans
i) Significant burnout at work/career
j) Have many things to do in retirement
k) Spouse would be okay on finances if I passed
l) I would be okay on finances if spouse passed
m) Kid would be okay if I passed and/or spouse passed
n) Probably a couple others can't think of offhand (due to getting older perhaps) . . . .

But everyone is different. Some people are happy to stay at work and never want to retire, etc. Make your own list and decide when it's right or not right.
Excellent bullet points IMO - I shall go through the list and check I have them all covered
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

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NearlyRetired
Posts: 31
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: When to move into retirement

Post by NearlyRetired » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:17 am

TG2 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:55 am
NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:20 pm
greg24 wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm
There is always uncertainty in the world.

Many get caught up with One More Year for such concerns.
And hence my dilemma. I have for the best part of 35 years been used to saving money, not spending it, so to move into a "spend mode" is challenging, but then I offset that with x years of more work to hopefully be in a better position (x years more investment, x years less to live) against that time just enjoying life and hence the post - for people who chose to retire, what considerations, if any, were made
I retired almost two years ago, shortly after turning 58. I knew that I could go any time after 55, but wasn't psychologically ready to do it. I decided to go part-time at 56.5 to phase into retirement. The plan was to stay part-time until 62 and ease right into SS. Instead, the company was sold and my job ended. I decided to not look for another job, and ended up fully retired. My necessary expenses are relatively low, and I had about 33x expenses invested, so knew I would be fine. Turned out to be the best decision I ever made. Life is great, and I have pretty much forgotten what stress is.

With regard to saving vs. spending, I also struggle a bit with that. I have been a saver forever, and it is a very difficult transition to move into spender mode. My decision was to wait until SS checks begin to arrive before loosening up the spending. Because that is not money that I directly worked for it should be much easier to let go, and I can then springboard into spending the money I did save. I am fortunate now that the normal SS questions of when to claim are not relevant to me any more. I will take Survivor's Benefits at 60 and let my own grow until 70. Completed my phone interview today, in fact, so checks should start arriving soon.

If you have a reason to retire now, and are sure you are good financially, go for it. Start spending when you feel right about it. This is one of those decisions that it is very easy to keep delaying. You certainly don't want to go too soon, but waiting too long is not good either.
Thanks TG2 - my original reply to this disappeared as I was submitting so I'll try again. I will be 58 this year, and I definitely would prefer a push rather than make the call myself 8-) . I am toying with the idea of part time (something that has been suggested in this thread) although for me that would mean a different role as my current one is full time. I have at least 26x essential expenses invested (in reality more as in 10yrs our SS kicks in and significantly reduces investment draw down) with another couple of years of emergency funds (but spending it, and not saving it will be a challenge!). You have suggested something I hadn't fully considered around start spending when I am ready.

My modelling has 2 budget patterns, an essential budget (food, utilities, a little fun money etc) and a comfortable budget (which is essential, plus additional budget for holidays abroad and weekend trips etc). In my planning I go straight into comfortable mode (in other words keeping standard of living fairly similar to now), but I could delay that, or reduce it for the first year or two until I get used to being retired and no longer saving. I shall give this some more thought and will let you know where I get to.
To err is to be human, to really mess up, use a computer

bltn
Posts: 472
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by bltn » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:00 am

If I was basing my retirement readiness on having enough for essential expenses, then I would feel like I had to keep living in saving mode.
Retirement, to be most enjoyed, entails consuming essential expenses plus a significant amount of discretionary expenses. That might mean, for me, having 30x essential expenses accumulated. Waiting 10 years after retirement to be begin getting a government check would not allow me to spend as I would like during my most active years. Of course, as my job becomes less enjoyable, I might trade financial comfort for other peace of mind. Maybe.

JoeRetire
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:05 am

NearlyRetired wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:38 pm
My question is, with the current uncertainty in the world (Long bull run, Potential global recession, Trade wars, Brexit etc) should I wait for a period of time to before I move into retirement, or do I just go for it?
You should retire when you feel you are ready - financially and otherwise. Just as we all do, you'll have to decide if your fears of "the current uncertainty" make you feel not ready. Same as it ever was.

You haven't posted any specifics regarding your assets and your projected expenses, so nobody here can assess how close to the edge you might be.

chipperd
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Re: When to move into retirement

Post by chipperd » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:49 am

OP
I think you have gotten some wise and thought providing counsel and ideas.
Keep us posted once you make the decision either way.
Best of luck!

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