Retire early but poor or work longer for bigger pension?

(102 Posts)
KindnessMyFriends Mon 07-Jun-21 19:01:48

Which would you prioritise, more time to enjoy yourself or less time but more money? Work another year and retire very frugally, or work another 6 years and retire comfortably. Life is so short!

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Moonshine11 Mon 07-Jun-21 19:03:10

I’d rather a bigger pension pot to enjoy

Oddbutnotodd Mon 07-Jun-21 19:05:28

Is there a happy medium?

HollowTalk Mon 07-Jun-21 19:06:40

What's your job like? What's your health like? What's the difference in money per month?

HollowTalk Mon 07-Jun-21 19:06:57

And how old are you now?

Herecomesanothernamechange Mon 07-Jun-21 19:08:10

Do you live frugally now? If not, you might find frugal retirement -all that time and no money to do anything- a shock.
Yes life is short but what sort of life is it if you have to check to see if you can afford a steak as a treat?

Irishterrier Mon 07-Jun-21 19:08:41

Work longer for more money, definitely


Smartiepants79 Mon 07-Jun-21 19:10:54

Being poor and old is not much fun.
It’s hard to enjoy yourself if you can’t afford to pay for anything fun.

KindnessMyFriends Mon 07-Jun-21 19:16:20

60 now. Could work unti 66 Yrs 9 months. Was a single working parent for a couple of decades and am so tired all the time now. Work is desk bound but a really busy environment. I live very frugally as I've had times when I've been really, really hard up. Lgps pension and sticking over 50% of pay into savings, so 5 years extra worked would make a big difference. I'm what you call low maintence. Wear same clothes for decades, live frugally, mend and make do.

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rookiemere Mon 07-Jun-21 19:18:07

Can you stay working but reduce your hours?

FrownedUpon Mon 07-Jun-21 19:18:57

Time is more important than money, as long as you have enough for the essentials and a few treats. Many people don’t even make retirement age or they die soon after they’ve retired.

Having the freedom to do what you want with each day will be amazing.

Iamthewombat Mon 07-Jun-21 19:19:40

Work another year and retire very frugally, or work another 6 years and retire comfortably. Life is so short!

Hmmmm you could make it feel interminable with an impoverished old age!

I’m in the work longer, better cushion camp. I’ve got at least 17 years until my pensions kick in. I don’t fancy trying to make my current SIPP and ISA savings stretch over even half of that. I like the freedom to buy nice things and go on holiday.

KindnessMyFriends Mon 07-Jun-21 19:19:47


Can you stay working but reduce your hours?

Oooh, there's an idea. I like it. Probably, yes.

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rookiemere Mon 07-Jun-21 19:21:13

@KindnessMyFriends - I'm 4 days a week in my 50s, never went back up to ft when DS went to secondary. It's a nicer balance and the 3 day weekend is wonderful.

Moonshine11 Mon 07-Jun-21 19:22:29

Going off the reducing hours, someone at my work has done this over a period of 2 years, every so often dropped another day.
He wasn’t ready to just stop working.
It’s deffo worth a look into

Mia85 Mon 07-Jun-21 19:24:22

Have you worked out what your expenses are likely to be in retirement so that you have a target figure? How does the projected pension look compared to that?

helpfulperson Mon 07-Jun-21 19:26:35

Or could you do temp or consultancy work or similar to top up. That's my plan, to retire at 60 and then spend maybe three months of each year doing stress free temp work.

C0nstance Mon 07-Jun-21 19:28:59

The 6 million dollar question. Reading the thread with interest.

I will need to work to 67 to get a state pension but on my work scheme (which I"m lucky to have given my circs) my pension will be actuarially reduced if I go before 70!!!

A penalty for taking it at such a spritely young age! shock

I wonder if I I can do something like take in a still working lodger when my children move out (if they ever move out) so that I can save that money for my retirement. I'm single so I want the house to myself! But I've nobody else to rely on.

crimsonlake Mon 07-Jun-21 19:29:03

i think this is a difficult one.
Obviously you are used to living frugally so there will be no big change there. However I think there comes a point when living frugally sucks all the joy out of life...always weighing up whether you can meet a friend for a coffee outside of the home, to something as simple as buying a cheap mascara. I think in the end you do anything to avoid spending money on yourself as it even becomes a habit.
I am a similar age and similar position...have you worked out what your personal pension and state pension will be if you retire earlier as opposed to working to 66?
Perhaps you could gradually start to reduce your hours over a few years?
Could you afford to heat your house enough during the colder months? That always puts me off as it is much warmer in work.

ruthieness Mon 07-Jun-21 19:32:58

If you have been working and saving for along time it takes a while to get used to the fact that the tide is now always going out and no money is coming in! Very different to living on a monthly income.

Having a safety net "cushion" is very comforting.

Definitely agree that part time work as a transition is a good idea - as once you give up work it is very hard to go back.

HollowTalk Mon 07-Jun-21 19:34:30

Do you rent or have a mortgage? If a mortgage, when will it be paid off? Could you downsize and have some money spare?

KindnessMyFriends Mon 07-Jun-21 19:35:03

I have had a quote for retiring early next summer and pension would just cover expenses so savings would have to cover any emergencies or unexpected costs till state pension starts at 66yrs 9 months. I like the part time working thing though. That would be the best of both worlds. The things that give me pleasure are free or cheap- walking, library, garden, swimming.

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KindnessMyFriends Mon 07-Jun-21 19:38:25


Do you rent or have a mortgage? If a mortgage, when will it be paid off? Could you downsize and have some money spare?

Overpaid my mortgage as soon as kids left home, so that's all sorted. I do want to move to a flat in the city where my kids live, but I have a small house in a not amazing area so no equity will be released. Can't move while I'm still working though as commute is too far.

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JaninaDuszejko Mon 07-Jun-21 19:38:38

At 60 your average life expectancy is 87 and you have a 1 in 4 chance of living to 94. Work as long as you can to increase your pension but agree slowly reducing your hours between now and retirement is a sensible idea.

TalbotAMan Mon 07-Jun-21 19:40:16

At 63, at the moment I am thoroughly enjoying one of my two part time jobs. I'm dropping the other, which I no longer enjoy and concentrating on the one. As long as my health holds up, I plan to keep working for as long as they'll have me.

I can quite understand, though, that if you've come to dislike your job then the picture may look very different.

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