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.

Crowler Mon 20-Jan-14 19:14:38

My father retired early and for the life of me, I can't understand why. He seems pretty bored to me, he spends quite a lot of time researching (for example) the best media streamers or whatever. I think his work anchored him and he's a bit lost now.

maras2 Mon 20-Jan-14 19:26:34

My DH retired at 60 4 years ago.He also took a very nice redundency package which has enabled us to do the house repairs that we could never previously afford.We've also been able to help DC's out with finances.My pension doesn't kick in till 2015 but after 40 years of ' front line ' nursing I've packed it in and we manage on DH's small but adequate private pension.He is bussier than ever and works voluntarily as a Cathedral guide and is on all sorts of Civic societies.Me,I just sit on my bum,enjoy DGC's and MSnet as often as I like.We are very blessed.

googlenut Mon 20-Jan-14 19:26:44

Yes I think it is easy enough to find things to fill the time but being in the workplace adds something to life and keeps you young.

googlenut Mon 20-Jan-14 19:27:40

60 isn't that early though is it?

Crowler Mon 20-Jan-14 19:28:34

Maras, that sounds perfect.

JeanSeberg Mon 20-Jan-14 19:29:51

I would absolutely love to retire ASAP - 46 now. But no chance at all for many many years sadly barring a lottery win.

hootloop Mon 20-Jan-14 19:31:52

My parents retired early, DF was 55 and DM 53 it has been a few years now and I have honestly never known them look happier or healthier. However, dad had a very good final salary pensiob and so even without working they have double our income and still have 2+ foreign holidays a year, luxury cars and meals out threatre trips etc.
I imagine it would be very different without a hefty income.

SilverApples Mon 20-Jan-14 19:34:30

My parents retired early more than twenty years ago, they have loved every minute of it. They have very simple needs and their pensions cover what they require with a bit left over.
I'd retire in a heartbeat if I could.

persimmon Mon 20-Jan-14 19:41:59

My FILLI retired at 55 and had spent almost 2 decades knocking around a big house getting more and more bored and obsessive. Early retirement absolutely doesn't appeal to me.

persimmon Mon 20-Jan-14 19:42:32

FIL (not dwarf). I wish I did have a FILLI..

maras2 Mon 20-Jan-14 19:48:03

Hope it doesn't sound too smug crowler.We both worked in fairly low paid but good benefit type jobss and when the kids were young we got by but didn't have much left over for extras.None of us went without though and we were lucky that the kids were of that age where grant's were available for further education.

Objection Mon 20-Jan-14 19:48:06

my Aunt and Uncle retired at 42 shock

chanie44 Mon 20-Jan-14 19:50:11

I'm 34 and can't wait to retire - although the retirement age will probably be 75.

A guy at work is 65, single with no children. He works part time, 3 days a week for interaction with the world. He used his salary to find his living expenses and saves his pension.

Yes, does have a gold plated public sector pension.

everydayaschoolday Mon 20-Jan-14 20:05:14

Today was my first day of retirement. I'm almost 40.

My contract ended, and I chose not to extend it. I now have a company pension and a lump sum payment. So the mortgage is about to be settled (for a small property, in an inexpensive location).

But I'm not sitting with my feet up grin. I have 2 DDs (2 & 5) one of whom is disabled. So I'm the SAHP, but really running between hospital appts, therapy appts, nursery pickup/dropoffs and school pickup/dropoffs.

My retirement is not 'nirvana' but makes life easier for me to support the diverse needs of DDs, which my work have kindly given me lots of flex to do over the past couple of years, in order that I could complete my contract. Such 'flex' would have been unsustainable in the long term on their and my part.

Crowler Mon 20-Jan-14 20:33:20

No it didn't sound smug at all!

alcibiades Mon 20-Jan-14 20:37:19

DH and I are both retired - but he retired before me even though he's older.

I think it's an attitude of mind, really. It can be quite a difficult adjustment to make. It's the time of life when for many people there isn't too much of a need to follow any kind of timetable - not much difference between weekdays and weekends, not having to get up at a set time in the morning, and so on.

It can be quite difficult to break the habits of a lifetime, and some people can feel quite adrift without the structure that work/children supplied.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Mon 20-Jan-14 20:42:39

I agree in that most people I see retire are bored and do nothing.

The happiest older people I see are those with passions like a career in music that does not stop with retirement.

artists and writers, life long vocations.

i would never retire with the view to sit and do cross words, you need a plan somewhere lively to live and so on.

Fancyashandy Mon 20-Jan-14 20:45:46

Folk I know who are retired play golf, tennis, garden, spend time with the Grandkids, have holiday homes in euprope, travel the world etc. doesn't sound too bad. But yes, many do get bored or at least a bit aimless I'd imagine.

everydayaschoolday Mon 20-Jan-14 20:48:32

I think early retirement can be nirvana, if you have your health, money and a sense of adventure.

Sunnymeg Mon 20-Jan-14 20:53:20

My Uncle and Aunt retired at 35!! Following 16 years of long hours building up their own business which they sold. They are now in their 80's. They spent the intervening years voluntarily helping charities with their fundraising and they still do bits and pieces even now. They still have more than enough money, and I believe they have lived a good and purposeful life.

MrsDavidBowie Mon 20-Jan-14 20:54:03

Dh is semi retired at 54 but spends a lot of time on the golf course.
My brother retired at 52 from teacing, 10 years ago and has a great life.Has an ebay business, gets to go walking a lot and has a much younger wife who works full time.

WooWooOwl Mon 20-Jan-14 20:54:44

I'd love to think I could retire at about 60. I definitely don't think I'd be bored, and nor would DH. We have voluntary jobs and could think of loads more voluntary things to get involved with, and it would be lovely to have the time to just study random interesting things that would have been no help to your career just for the sake of it.

bunnybing Mon 20-Jan-14 21:05:46

My neighbour retired at 50, spends his time gardening, doing voluntary work, walking - he is v happy and by all accounts was a miserable sod whilst working!

bigbluebus Mon 20-Jan-14 21:25:16

My DF retired at 54. He died last year aged 86. As far as I can tell, he and my DM lived a fairly mundane life in retirement, as DM was not in the best of health. 32 yrs on a final salary pension is something the rest of us can only dream of. In spite of her poor health, my DM outlived my Dad and still continues to draw a percentage of his pension

I retired gave up work to look after disabled DD 14 years ago at the age of 36 - although I don't get a pension until I'm 60. I have a very busy and active life and never have time to be bored, with all my voluntary work, caring responsibilities, keeping fit on top of all the other household duties which all get left to me as I don't work!

I am looking forward to my proper retirement when I'm in my 60's and drawing a pension.

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.

AnyFucker Tue 21-Jan-14 17:25:05

yep, not always a bed of roses

my mum is now stuck with my father 24/7

can think of nothing worse

My Dad retired at 60 then went to Uni. He travelled all over the place and had lots of hobbies and voluntary work. I think he was almost busier in retirement than in work.

Its very sad when you hear of people retiring to do nothing or staying trapped in an unhappy situation.

GreenShadow Tue 21-Jan-14 19:37:05

I have been lucky and was able to have several years off work as a SAHM and since returning to employment, have been part time. I am therefore in no hurry to retire and envisage continuing to work part time until mid 60s at least.

I do however already feel I'm close to heading towards being half retired as I seem to mix with people in their 60s quite a lot these days who are doing the recently retired thing - volunteering in the Community Library, afternoon art history course etc.

Preciousbane Tue 21-Jan-14 19:56:28

Just because your retired doesn't mean a boring life. My friend is 71 and retired a bit early at about 57, I didn't know him then.

He helps run a charity and does lots of community work as does his wife. They do some of their good works together and some apart for different organisations. They also love golf and play every week and have lots of holidays.

They have decent pensions. Which is the key and quite good health.

HesterShaw Tue 21-Jan-14 20:23:31

I think the key is, if you have a relationship, is for it to be strong, supportive and loving - a real partnership. This is apart from being financially secure.

alma123 Tue 21-Jan-14 20:27:50

My Dad retired at 53. He seems happy walking his dog etc and is as fit as a fiddle, but my Mum who retired early seems bored. They both have the money to go on holidays but they don't. I guess the earlier you retire, the longer your money has to last. Of course, they get a pension but it probably isn't enough to save for a rainy day from.

MoreBeta Tue 21-Jan-14 20:28:37

Me and DW both retired shortly after we had DS2. We lasted 10 years and went back to work.

MidniteScribbler Tue 21-Jan-14 20:34:58

I'm aiming for full retirement by 60, possibly working part time from 55. I really can't imagine wanting to be bouncing around with a class of 7 year olds at 68.

angelinajelly Tue 21-Jan-14 20:39:28

My parents and in-laws are in their 60s and retired. They all have bags of energy and spend their time rooting around for things to poke their noses into keep themselves occupied. I feel mean for saying it, but it does irk me a bit when they go on about how BUSY they are. I really am busy, as in, I have to work full time to support myself rather than entertain myself, and I'm pretty sure I won't get a 20-plus year retirement to enjoy at the end of it.

bigTillyMint Tue 21-Jan-14 20:39:57

Can you not, Midnite?grin

bigTillyMint Tue 21-Jan-14 20:40:57

Angelina, DM does this. She spends most of the day pottering/snoozing although she does do some stuffsmile

sooperdooper Tue 21-Jan-14 20:45:51

My mum retired last year, aged 56 and she's happily very busy with lots of hobbies, she does an art class and then paints at home too, knits/crochets, sews, goes on days out with friends, and her & my dad plan nice holidays - I think early retirement is great if you keep busy and have some kind of schedule to keep yourself active

I could retire tomorrow and never be bored, if I had enough money to live on!!

storynanny Tue 21-Jan-14 20:58:56

I've posted on the education staffroom site about early retirement.
I loved my primary teaching job for 33 years and thought I would enjoy teaching til I was old and grey. However, continual nonsense in schools coupled with middle age exhaustion creeping up, elderly parents getting infirm and children all becoming independent adults brought me to a turning point 2 years ago.
I took early retirement with an extrememly small reduced pension, a small lump sum which paid off my mortgage and now choose when I do supply teaching. My life is transformed for the better.
But, I couldn't have done it before 55 as financially would have been impossible. I do have hobbies and a lovely OH to spend time with but also enjoy days doing not much at all!
I have yet to meet anyone who regretted early retirement. Anyway, if they did regret it surely they could re enter the job market at some time? Or do voluntary work if they are ok financially.
My father was fortunate enough to retire at 59 and has had almost 30 years of retirement. I never ever saw him lost for something to do.
It might be hard taking early retirement if you don't have a good relationship with your partner though.

coocachoo Sat 25-Jan-14 13:45:56

my dh retired at 60 all he does is watch tv and puts on weight as he wont even go out i walk the dog and go out but he just sits there depressed and he argues with me and my 14 yr old dd whot is argumentive at times. We moved house to hb and dont like it so quiet and surrounded by very old retirees who seem happy but its not for us my dh has prostate probs too since we came here which dosent help. i think working keeps u young but i am having trouble finding work too despite being 55. I want to move back but am now stuck as my dd is doing exams so cannot move for 2 yrs but we will whatever the future brings as im not dead yet.

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