Early retirement

(64 Posts)
googlenut Mon 20-Jan-14 19:04:45

So I wasn't sure where to put this but I wondered what people thought about early retirement. Me and dh had our children later in life so will probably work into our sixties. But we were watching A place in the sun and they were interviewing a couple who didn't look more than 50 and they had retired to Portugal and there life seemed -well- a bit empty of anything.
At work some of my colleagues are aiming to retire at 55 but this seems very young to me.
Wondered if there were people who have done it and found it wasn't the nirvana they imagined.

Apatite1 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:26:56

I'd love to retire early, but have compromised by going part time. Working very well for me.

5Foot5 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:30:44

I think early retirement would be OK if you have plenty of things to occupy you - hobbies, voluntary work, grandchildren, travel etc. But I am sure it would be a big mistake if you just spend your time sitting around drinking tea and watching day time television!

I also think retiring to another country, or even to the country cottage of your dreams in the UK, could be a HUGE mistake. It might all seem fine and dandy while you are "young old", i.e. in your 60s and still healthy and fit. But what happens when you get genuinely old, your health starts to fail, one of you dies, you can't drive anymore and your family live many miles away? The dream can turn in to a nightmare then.

filingdrivesmemad Mon 20-Jan-14 23:08:32

My sister retired at 52 and she and her dh travel the world. They are actively working through their bucket list - just in case something awful happens to one or both of them one day, they want to get through 5 of their bucketlist experiences every year. I am so jealous, but it has made me rethink my priorities too and choose experiences rather than material possessions. I had a friend who died at 40, she never got to cross anything off her bucket list.

dannychampionoftheworld Mon 20-Jan-14 23:14:27

I don't think I will ever completely stop working. I wouldn't necessarily want to be working a full week when I'm 70 but I'd want to be doing something.

My grandfather worked most days until he was 90 and I think it was really good for him, kept him mentally and physically active.

When you look at most people's financial situations today, and how much you have to save to be able to retire on anything like a comfortable income, I wonder whether retirement will become something for the very rich only.

Viviennemary Mon 20-Jan-14 23:17:17

Nearly everyone I know who took early retirement thinks it's the best decision ever. But I think if you are going to be short of money then it's not a good idea.

I had 3 weeks off over xmas and loved it so much, house was super clean every day, took nice long walks to the local parks, watched movies, spent my days not having to worry about what time it was etc. Last week went back to work and on Monday morning got on the train - cramped couldn't breathe squashed and still more stops to go meaning more people pushing their way on and I thought 'the hell I am gonna work til retirement age'. Hadn't even got into work and I was already hating having to go back.

I am determined to work on a plan to retire at 55. I haven't traveled much but that's what I will plan to do. If circumstance change or I change my mind then when I do retire I will have a healthy amount of money.

oldnewmummy Tue 21-Jan-14 00:50:32

We probably could have retired early, but chose to have a child in our early 40s. So our current plan is to keep on working at things we enjoy (I'm currently retraining (at 48) with that in mind) but reduce our hours as we get older. Since our work is mental rather than physical, we can go on indefinitely if we retain our marbles ...

filingdrivesmemad Tue 21-Jan-14 01:01:53

www.mrmoneymustache.com/ is an American blog about a guy who retired at 31 by saving huge amounts of his salary and living frugally. It's interesting. He says anyone can do it!‎

My DMum has been retired for 20 years and DDad has been retired for 15 years. They are seriously the busiest people I know, they do all sorts of voluntary work in the community. They are both in their 70s now and have a workload (entirely self-inflicted) that would put most 30 yos to shame.

They love it and are really enjoying their retirements.

Euphemia Tue 21-Jan-14 03:06:14

I'm 47 now and I'd love to retire at 55! DH and I have seen our fathers never get the chance to be elderly and healthy, and we're buggered if it's happening to us.

I'm a teacher, and there's no way I'm still doing this into my sixties. I'm exhausted at 47, never mind 67!

We'd need a plan though - living somewhere with plenty to do, easy to get about.

DD leaves school in seven years' time, which is just about right for us to start the next phase of our lives. smile

Joysmum Tue 21-Jan-14 08:51:53

My dad retired early and all of a sudden became old. Simple tasks became a big deal, the telly is always on, he critisises everyone, and time became so important. I keep trying to persuade him to get something in his life, but he doesn't want to be tied down so he can't takes holidays???

I'm a SAHM who has never done much staying at home, if I didn't know not having paid work didn't have to be like this I'd be very worried

My DF died two years ago aged nearly 70, after having been retired from a large former public sector organisation for almost 20 years. He loved being retired - he and my mother threw themselves into their voluntary work and he had a lifelong hobby. Both of them were incredibly busy but deeply happy and satisfied with their lives.

FIL also managed to take early retirement and has loved it too. Loves spending time with GC, seeing friends, travelling, hunting out real ale pubs - he is happy and healthy.

My lovely aunt also managed to take early retirement, from the same organisation as my dad. She has never been busier - she helps run a community library, is a vice chair of school governors, keen local historian, traveller, photographer and ninja chutney maker. All three are or were happy, fulfilled and able to really enjoy themselves.

filingdrivesmemad Tue 21-Jan-14 11:17:53

It depends on whether your work is your passion. For those for whom it is, then you are the rare lucky and very fulfilled ones, and you have the best deal.

WholeLottaRosie Tue 21-Jan-14 11:32:57

I've seen it from the other side of the coin where - more than one - couple I know have worked and saved like mad things, lived frugally, and planned to do everything when they retired. Either just before, or shortly after retirement one half of the couple has died.
All the planning has been for nothing because the remaining spouse cannot bring themselves to actually spend any of the hoarded money, they won't travel because 'they won't enjoy it without xxxxx'.

I look at it that I'll never be as young, or as fit, as I am now. I want to cram everything in while I can enjoy it. DH agrees with me and hopefully early retirement will be part of our plan.

CMOTDibbler Tue 21-Jan-14 11:41:48

My dad retired at 55, having started work at 14. He filled his days with a very small business, looking after the many animals and a variety of stuff for other people.

Bloomin good thing he did as he's become very frail since 70, and my mum first showed signs of dementia at 65, so they would not have had any time in conventional age retirement really

AnyFucker Tue 21-Jan-14 14:05:56

I wonder if retirement enhances what are actual lifelong personality characteristics

Hence, the busy fulfilled types do well and make the best of it

and the self entitled, pedantic, narrow-focussed, empathy-starved types just become more so

I guess it's not too difficult to guess which subgroup my own parents fall into smile

CarriesPawnShop Tue 21-Jan-14 14:52:02

My next door neighbour retired at 50 from a high up civil service job, marvellous final salary scheme. He's taught himself various skills, he lectures me all the time on an extremely part time basis, he's forever on holiday- never a beach holiday, he's always going to view something or experience something or complete the blah blah railway or blah blah trail followed by some guy in 1856 blah blah.

My father was made redundant at 56, and would love to be holidaying (beach) 3 times a year, playing golf every day and spending the afternoon volunteering in school/rotary/Lions or doing a U3A course. Except my mother spent his career drinking and now he's her full time carer.

Or - what Anyfucker said.

AnyFucker Tue 21-Jan-14 14:55:32

that is sad, Carrie

my father is your classic emotional abuser and my mother spends all day being EA'd by him instead of having an 8 hour respite 5 days a week

she chose her "love" for him a long time ago though...

< realises is getting off topic >

scissy Tue 21-Jan-14 15:06:34

My parents retired early (mid 50s) from teaching a couple of years ago, with the government reforms they stood to lose money if they DIDN'T retire hmm.
My mum got another PT teaching job (allowed under pension rules) which she loves and my dad has never been busier with various community projects, church stuff and veg/fruit growing with homemade jam/chutney with the proceeds! He certainly feels it was the best thing he ever did.

Turquoisetamborine Tue 21-Jan-14 15:12:47

My employer offers partial retirement from age 50 where you go part time but your pay in made up to the usual monthly amount by sacrificing some of your pension lump sum.

I'm only 34 but nearly all my colleagues are over 50 and nearly all have taken it. Our pension age is 68 now so it saves you from working full time til then when you mightn't be in best of health and helps you access some of your lump sum to pay off mortgages etc.

I'll be doing this at 50.

ComposHat Tue 21-Jan-14 15:15:20

If I retired I would become a complete lazy bum, basically those hermits who don't change clothes and don't have any contact with the outside world and grow Guinness book of records nails.

I need the discipline of having to be in a certain place at a certain time to prevent me from becoming a recluse.

Luckily (for me) I don't think early retirement will be an option. I think it will be talked of as a thing that the baby-boomers and baby-boomers alone enjoyed (along with free higher education etc).

AnyFucker Tue 21-Jan-14 15:25:22

I could go in 7 years if I wished (if some rich, overentitled fucker doesn't take it away first, like they have lots of other stuff I was promised)

I doubt I will though.

bigTillyMint Tue 21-Jan-14 15:27:17

My DM took early retirement at 56 - the year I started working. She was made for retirement - plenty of time to "rest up" and take things easy as has always been her motto. She is now 82.

I have worked 15+ years full-time 11 part-time, currently back full-time which is fine. I am nearly 50shock
I think my official retirement age is 66 or 67. I can't see me doing what I am doing now at that age!

maras2 Tue 21-Jan-14 16:11:31

After waxing lyrical yesterday about spending more time with DGC's,I'm now on day 2 of looking after an 18 month old with HF and M.Her 4 year old brother is now looking like a good candidate for it too.Oh well rough with the smooth.smile

HesterShaw Tue 21-Jan-14 17:11:23

My dad took early retirement at 50. In truth this was because his job had moved and he was commuting weekly 300 miles and living alone during the week, which he found very stressful. The chance came and he took it. All the usual - talk of keeping in touch, "consultancy" (yeah right), he wrote a couple of papers for the industry magazine and then it all dwindled to nothing. He'd enjoyed it at first - started volunteering, hobbies etc. Gradually - and this is because of his unhappy marriage as well - his confidence hit rock bottom, far too low to look for another job, crippling depressions set in which he tried for years to hide quite successfully. Not enough to do, not enough stimulation, a bitch of a wife, stress and depression do not a happy person make. Early onset dementia and completely disabled at only 69.

I most heartily would not recommend it unless there are very firm plans in place, there is plenty of money (not a problem in his case) and the marriage is a very solid and happy one. It has been a total disaster for him and now it is too late. Very sad.

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