My feed

to access all these features

This topic is for sponsored discussions. If you'd like to run one with us, please email [email protected].

Sponsored threads

Have you retired or left the workforce early or are you considering it? We’d like to hear about your experience

56 replies

JustineBMumsnet · 09/09/2022 16:17

Data shows that more people are leaving the workforce before state retirement age and economic inactivity has risen by over 500k - mostly in the over 50s - since the start of the pandemic (ONS). This will be for various reasons, including early retirement and we’d like to hear more about the experiences of those who have left or are considering leaving the workforce.

What are your reasons for leaving or considering leaving the workforce? How are you or would you plan to fund your lifestyle before reaching state pension age? If you’ve left, is there anything that would encourage you to return to work? Do you have any concerns about not working?

If you have experiences to share, please post on the thread below. We’ll be using responses to guide additional research on the topic.


OP posts:
Dougieowner · 09/09/2022 16:45

Retire in a few months time at 57.

After working in an office for many years, COVID made WFH a necessity and it has been proved that it worked (for our company anyway).
Move onto 2022 and while agile working is now an accepted option for us (office 1-2 days per week), my company is relocating so on the days I have to go in it means a commute of nearly 2hrs each way. With the fear that they may drop agile working at any time I have decided enough is enough so have taken a redundancy package with no intention to enter the workplace again.

How are we funding it (I am main earner)?
Mortgage already paid off plus savings and I had been making additional payments into pension.
Redundancy package (12-months money).
Draw on company pension at 58.
OH has small pension but will not draw on this until later.
Hope state pension age does not increase again!

Any concerns?
None at the moment.
We have plans (no world cruises though) and hope we can continue to fund these on our savings & future income (absolutely no intention to take equity release etc).

nearly55 · 09/09/2022 17:33

Yes, I will be pretty much retiring in about 6 months' time, as soon as I am 55. I quit my orginal career a few years ago due to stress and decided to set up my own business to tide me over until I could retire. That was working really well until Covid hit. It's not really recovered and I'm now quite fed up of trying to make it work again. I've worked all my adult life without a break and I'm tired of it, really tired. I can't wait to give it up.

I'll have a reasonably good DB pension (including a decent lump sum) due from my previous career, and my DH is a lot younger than me so will be working for some years yet, so financially we'll be fine.

There is one small part of my current work that I might dip into now and again if I fancy it, but I think I am going to enjoy not working at all. There is so much that I want to do with my time - I can't imagine I'll be bored for a minute. My mum's been retired for over 25 years and is still nowhere near ticking off all of her to-do list and I think I will be the same!

I do appreciate that I am very fortunate to be in this position.

KimberleyClark · 09/09/2022 17:46

I took voluntary early retirement just over three years ago shortly before my 58th birthday. My mental and physical health had taken a bit of a dip, I was being made internally redundant because of restructuring and it just seemed like a no brainer when the volunitary exit scheme was announced.

Mortgage is paid off and we have no children (not by choice). I had a decent lump sum and my occupational pension which is decent as I’ve never had any breaks from work. My DH is also mostly retired with a good pension. I also received a decent inheritance when my mother died and had been planning to retire at 60 anyway.

I have not regretted my decision for a moment. I am never bored! In fact I have never been happier. I also realise I am fortunate to be in this position.

Trounlet · 09/09/2022 17:57

53 and about to leave nhs, before covid I was intending working until 62. However I worked 6 days a week throughout the pandemic (planning the practice response and the planning and delivering covid vaccines alongside normal general practice), I was burntout and knackered after that. Then in the past 12 months the unmeetable demand, unrealistic expectations around what general practice can deliver and a 10 fold increase in complaints has made me bring my retirement forward.

Nothing could convince me to stay as a partner in general practice.

I have a nhs pension at 60, private pensions I can access at 55, and savings to get me to 55.

I am so sad to leave a career I have loved for over 20 years, but my health and wellbeing has to come first.

TooHotToTangoToo · 09/09/2022 18:06

My Mum died at age 69 due to dementia, and her father the same, I'm now 50 and suddenly realised that if I were to die at the same age I only have 19 years left, not to mention the years living with dementia. This has spurred me on to sort my pension out, as I want to travel and make the most of retirement.

I'm really fortunate, because in my 20s I worked for a financial services company who offered a 'final salary' pension. I sat next to a grumpy old man who would bang on about paying extra into the pension. For some reason I took notice and did that. Which now makes up about 70% of, what will be my pension. If I could find him, I'd buy him a beer and give the old sod a kiss. Little did I realise just how good for my financial stability it was. I now pay a large % of my salary into a private pension and plan on retiring in 8 years time. Myself and my dh will buy a camper van and your the UK and Europe with our dogs

Soontobe60 · 09/09/2022 18:07

I retired from teaching at 59 - in so much as I was able to access my pension, then returned to the same job on a part time basis after a day’s break in service. I’m still teaching part time - in a different school and not at management level anymore - but fewer days 3.5 years on and intend to carry on doing this until my state pension lands in the bank at 66.
I retired because I’d had enough of the stress of full time teaching, it was making my life so miserable, and I calculated that if I continued to work part time I’d still earn as much in combination with my pension.
One thing I didn’t factor in when I eventually left the school I’d been in for 2b years was the complete loss of identity. This coincided with the start of the pandemic, so I spent 3 months holed up at home. Getting back into the workplace was a godsend to my mental health.
I spent a couple of years before I retired ensuring my pension was correct, and that I could truly afford to retire early. It was the s]best decision I’ve made in recent years!

Parky04 · 09/09/2022 18:12

Made redundant at 49 and I'm now 51. I'm still living off of my redundancy and will then dip into my savings until I reach 55. I will then start to use my DC pensions until I reach 60. My DB pensions are extremely generous and I will have a decent income.

I have no interest in returning to the workplace. I love being retired, with no stress.

Bluebellbike · 09/09/2022 18:16

I left work permanently in August 2021. I was a Support Worker with adults who have learning disabilities. I am registered partially sighted, have arthritis and had a stroke in 2020. My employers were concerned about my ability to continue working after the stroke. I admit that it was sometimes difficult for me.
I have been a widow since 2008. My two adult children left home between 2017 and 2019. Both lived some distance away and were concerned about me. I decided in April 2021 to move to live near one of my DC. I now live in a very small 1 bedroom bungalow which is easier for me to manage.

I am 62 and will get my state pension in 2026. I now live on a small works pension and DLA totalling just over £300. I top this up monthly by drawing on equity from the sale of my house which is in a savings account. I do not have a mortgage.
I need to make the savings last until I get my state pension. I have my late husband's life insurance invested in unit trusts which I hope to use as a top up to the state pension if necessary.
I realise that I am quite fortunate to be able to do this. However I would much prefer to be more able bodied so I could have continued to work as I loved my job and miss the company of my colleagues and the service users I worked with. My main concern now is whether I will use up my savings quickly on oncreased energy bills. Fortunately I fixed my tariff for 2 years in August 2021 so no increase until next year. My unit trusts have severely dropped in value as well due to the current financial situation so I would prefer to try to leave that to recover before needing to draw from it.

CatAlice · 09/09/2022 18:54

Until my mid 50s I fully expected to get my pension at 60, but they moved the goal posts and now it will be 66.
I retired at 58 though as rheumatoid arthritis was making work more difficult. I have a civil service pension, DH has works and state pensions and we have savings.
DH is 10 years older and he retired at 57 when DC were still in primary school.

My health was perfect all my life until late 50s and it's been one serious illness after another plus some long term conditions that make every day life a bit harder than I would have hoped (I'm now 64). For that reason I would say to anyone get out as soon as you can.

Mayberetired · 09/09/2022 19:00

What are your reasons for leaving or considering leaving the workforce?

My company needed to make redundancies because of the pandemic, so I put up my hand aged 59. I then went self-employed part time but an occupational pension kicked in when I turned 60 the next year.

How are you or would you plan to fund your lifestyle before reaching state pension age?

My occupational pension and DH's self employed income don't provide the income we'd like to have. We sold a BTL property which supplements it and I still do a very small amount of self employed work.

If you’ve left, is there anything that would encourage you to return to work?
A very flexible contract which would allow part time work in the winter. If I could work seasonably in a job with some status (definitely not minimum wage) and have a lot of control over which (agreed) hours I'd think about employment again - I miss having a shared purpose and colleagues and still have lots of energy.

Do you have any concerns about not working?

As above, I do miss the sense of purpose and social contact, although these are partly replaced by voluntary work. Inflation has also made the idea of working more attractive although, like many people, I find I can live on a lot less now.

rosegoldwatcher · 09/09/2022 19:11

Both DH and I left teaching (Secondary) in 2017 after 34 years full time and 35 years mostly part-time respectively.

He was the first to announce that he was jumping ship; he'd become disillusioned with teaching in an MAT and didn't feel he had the required enthusiasm to apply to teach elsewhere.
At the time I was at an awful school but in a role that I loved - teaching small group literacy and numeracy for three days a week. I would have gladly stayed until I was 60 but along came a new HT who decided that my duties could be done by TAs and told me (in June) that I would be moved to mainstream Maths the following September. I said, "No thanks," and negotiated (with the help of the wonderful Chair of Governors) to be released at the end of the summer holidays.

DH has part-time, seasonal work and I earn zilch. Mostly we exist on our teachers pensions, which are, combined, less than half of what we earned when both in full-time teaching at UPS3 with responsibility payments (our salary hay-days 2008 to 2013!) Neither of us regret leaving teaching.

We have modest needs; live in the house we bought in 1988, don't care about fancy holidays or cars and my previous clothes/shoes habit disappeared entirely when I hit menopause. Both of us are comfortable scruffs now (though, tbf he always was!)

We don't feel poor or lack treats. We love where we live, eat well, have a Laithwaites account and he plays golf whenever he can.

Careful investment of savings and lump sums provide security for rainy days in our futures (and those of our two adult sons.) DH has inherited money from his father, some of which will be used to refurbish the house.

Hoping to live to 66 to get a bit of state pension!

ChiaraRimini · 09/09/2022 19:14

I am 49, and want to retire ASAP as close relatives died in early 60s, plus I am sick of the 9-5 grind. . I plan to move to a cheaper area by the coast to become mortgage free when youngest DC finishes school, when I am 55. When I am 57 I can draw on work pension and will top that up by doing AirBandB or part time work until state pension kicks in.

imnotapensioneryet · 09/09/2022 20:34

Left a full time job in feb this year after long covid and being very fed up with shitty treatment at work. Aged 57. I've worked full time since I was 17.

I'm hoping to get back part time or self employed but can't face going back full-on, full time corporate. Just for a couple of years to top up the finances.

I was so fed up of the corporate nonsense, the travel, the being treated like an idiot. I was exhausted and burned out. So many friends feel the same.

Funding this is coming from an exit settlement , negotiated with a (shit hot) lawyer. That will run out soon and then I'll be drawing down on pensions early and living off pension investments. That said it will be a massive drop in income. We still have 2 kids to support (one in uni, one still at home saving for their own place).

We've cut our spending dramatically and have finally finished paying off the mortgage.

Financially it's a bit scary but the gift of time is absolutely wonderful!

MrsGluck · 09/09/2022 21:01

I am planning to retire next year at 62. Reasons? I have had enough of working and am lucky enough to have the money to do it. There has been a lot of upheaval in my workplace with the pandemic and the current recession cost of living crisis. I'm not enjoying it anymore.

I have a works pension I can take at 65 and my state pension age is 67. Will use savings to make up the difference, plus my younger dp will still be working.

I am feeling optimistic about it all, no concerns at this stage.

Penguinsmum · 09/09/2022 21:07

I am 43 dh the same. We will be retiring next year after years of saving

Penguinsmum · 09/09/2022 21:08

That should say retiring to India 😃

MamaSharkington · 10/09/2022 07:54

I am 40. I had cancer. This taught me how pleasant life can be at a slower pace of life, and how much less stressed that makes me and my family. I always thought I would be bored in retirement, but I no longer hold that thought. Rather I resent how inflexible work is, and how much of my time it steals. It is a case of, quite literally, your money or your life. I choose life.

Also, this space of sick leave allowed me the time to understand and really forecast our finances well.

Also, my husband is older than me. I would like us to have some healthy retirement together to enjoy. My father died young and suddenly. Between my part time working and his partial retirement at 60 we won't wait until I retire to enjoy life.

I now intend a) to never work full time again and b) to retire at 59, funded partially by a defined benefit pension I can take at 60, and partly by investments (ISA, LISA and SIPP (if required, though would prefer to leave as much as possible in this for IHT purposes)). This will cover me until my other defined benefit pension kicks in at 67.

I have a good (but not amazing) salary. I have simple, but not overly frugal, needs.

LadyGardenersQuestionTime · 10/09/2022 08:49

ran my own consultancy until Brexit when i was 58 then closed it; dropped to a full time role in a charity that paid much less as a sort of intellectual retirement that turned out to be more stressful than my consultancy which earned 4x as much; found a better part time role and planned to stay to retirement at 66 but have just decided to retire early. DH still works full time (younger than me) but will semi retire next year at 59.

What are your reasons for leaving or considering leaving the workforce?
burnout (nhs and social care role, very depressing at the moment); want to enjoy life while I’m fit and well; can afford it

How are you or would you plan to fund your lifestyle before reaching state pension age? We have no debt, considerable savings, and I can draw down fro my pension if necessary

If you’ve left, is there anything that would encourage you to return to work?
i will carry on with some hobby related side hustles but on a paid-hobby basis

Do you have any concerns about not working?

absolutely none, I can’t wait.

Redqueenheart · 10/09/2022 09:03

I am about to start a new fully remote job with an animal charity and I am 52. I decided that this job will be my last full time role and that I will only stay with the company for a year or so.

The plan is to sell my London flat this year and move to a much cheaper area and not take on another mortgage. Then I will probably do something that brings a small, part-time income.

I have too many health issues right now and my body and mind are exhausted. I am done with the rat race...

Dacquoise · 10/09/2022 09:35

I retired at the beginning of this year at age 56 and loving it! A number of factors involved:

I received a substantial settlement from my exH in the form of pension share after he, unwisely, decided to take me back to court to challenge joint lives spousal maintenance. I chose to take pension share to get rid of him although I was entitled to a much bigger settlement but I invested it well and it doubled in a very short period. I also have a small final salary pension which I can access at age 60 and the full state pension at 67. So financially comfortable. Will be able to give my daughter a lump sum for house deposit when she finally leaves home.

Met my lovely partner around the same time and he now lives with me so we share expenses and love going away on holidays and weekends together. Working our way through a retirement bucket list although he won't fully retire for a couple of years yet.

My job was stressful but underpaid for what was expected of me and my boss micromanaged so I thought, especially after covid, why am I wasting life putting up with this? No regrets at all and barely think about it. I may do something in hospitality or retail part time in the future but definitely not this year.

Am due a double hip replacement in the next few years so making the most of my time keeping active and fit to maintain mobility. Also having a second childhood of trying things I missed out on like proper art lessons and dancing. I am grateful every day for being in a position to do this, I realise how fortunate I am.

Mayberetired · 10/09/2022 10:26

Another reason why I'm not actively looking for a job is that I wouldn't stomach the trans ideology that both of my most recent employers have adopted.
As a woman who suffered workplace misogyny and was held back for being female in the 70's and 80's, I don't have the energy to be fighting battles to justify my existence and equality as a woman again and toe a company line I absolutely wouldn't agree with.
Interestingly, two of my slightly younger friends and ex colleagues who've taken redundancy and are now self-employed say exactly the same thing - the trans agenda was one of the factors which caused them to leave.

Spidey66 · 10/09/2022 11:02

I'm hoping to within the next year. I'm 56, married, no kids.

My parents were both dead by 67, state pension age, so I don't want to work to that age.

I'm a mental health nurse in the NHS. I have been in the NHS for most of my career, bar 7 years where I worked in the private sector. This is something I regret. I've always paid into a pension, and if I'd remained in the NHS throughout, I'd have what is known as Mental health Officer status now. This means I could have retired at 55, but because I had a break of more than 5 years, I no longer qualify. This is not an option for younger employees.

We live in London, and our mortgage is cleared. However we live in a leasehold property and the lease is about 72 years which we are now extending. Because London prices are a bit mad, once the lease is sorted, we plan to sell, and buy somewhere cheaper and live off the equity. This is likely to be N. Ireland as my husband is from there. He's already made the most of Mental Health Officer status and is retired. Once I'm 60, I can draw my NHS pension.

The lease extension is £££ so I plan to remortgage my home and clear it once we've sold.

When my parents died, I received an inheritance which cleared my mortgage and also left me enough to buy a small flat in an area popular with tourists. Originally I used it as a holiday let but now have tenants in. This gives me a small but regular income with the option I can sell at some point.

User148563 · 10/09/2022 11:11

I have a final salary pension which I took at 60 and also worked part time, I was 62 when Covid hit and I didn't like wfh at all so decided to retire completely about a month into the first lockdown. I won't be returning to the workplace, DH has also retired recently at 60 with a final salary pension, he is a bit younger than me.

Covid definitely was a reason I retired completely, if it hadn't happened I would have probably worked part time until state pension age.

Adversity · 10/09/2022 11:17

I was medically retired, I nearly died and have now fortunately stabilised, took a lot of treatment, thank you NHS. I was 50. I took out a pension in my first proper job aged just 21, it was for a local authority and I remember older colleagues pressurising me to take one. I am so glad I listened, I then transferred it to my employers in higher education. When choosing which package I wanted we worked out I would have to live to at least 85 if I took the lesser chunk and bigger pension. So I took the bigger chunk and smaller pension. With my health issues it is the right decision but quite awful working it all out because you are basically pondering your own demise. Both DH and I work or worked in higher education so decent pay, we did however have success when younger investing.

DH will retire early at probably 60, he has a defined benefits pension. Of my friends who have retired early. Three took redundancy from higher education during covid, all had defined benefits pensions. Two could claim their pensions straight away the other has a much younger wife who works FT and is now a SAHD. None of them liked what was happening in higher education. My other friend would have loved to have taken redundancy, also in higher education and she was old enough to take her pension but her much younger DH is on minimum wage. The people I know with the most comfortable retirement both had big corporate jobs. They retired mid fifties because so many of their colleagues were dropping dead from stress. It’s become really apparent as I get older just how much relationships improve or mess up finances.

Essexexile · 10/09/2022 11:33

I took redundancy at 55 which coincided with a move to a much cheaper area 200 miles away. This was with DH’s agreement as although he continues to work, he plans to retire at 60. We are extremely fortunate to have a very healthy amount of savings and investments along with DH’s somewhat healthy final salary pension. I have only 2 small pensions which I’m not taking yet as I use savings I built up whilst working which DH tops up each month.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.