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Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
9/18/21 8:37 a.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

I just turned 60.  I'm ready.

 

I'm honestly not sure how to envision the next phase of my life.  I'm kinda struggling with it.

 

 

I’m 59 and I’m totally struggling with it. 

I was recently off work for three months at which time I made the decision to retire. There are so many things I want to do, I’ve really lost interest in work and  my money guy says I can easily afford it.

But I can’t do it. So I chickened out and took a job working three days a week, figuring it would be a good compromise. And though it’s a good gig I’m not loving it. But I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. 

67LS1
67LS1 Reader
9/18/21 9:10 a.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

I just turned 60.  I'm ready.

 

I'm honestly not sure how to envision the next phase of my life.  I'm kinda struggling with it.

 

 

I also thought I would be lost. My wife was a little apprehensive about me being around 24/7 too. She never worked and had her own routine. 
I ended up getting a small shop space about 10 miles away where I can go work on my projects. It's like I leave for work but I'm leaving to go play.

Its  been 7 years now so I've learned to sleep in more and if I go to the shop one day, fine. If I don't, fine. We're spending more time traveling, boating, bike riding, going for drives, etc, mid-week when there are less people. Less crowds in parks, cheaper hotels, matinee movies. We're trying hard to not eat dinner at 4pm though.

I retrospect, best decision I ever made. 

The worst part about it is your friends will probably still be working so they're not available for mid-week adventures.

In my opinion, nothing wrong with a part time job doing something you LOVE or volunteering somewhere. Ease into anyway you can. You deserve it.

 

Karacticus
Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/18/21 9:26 a.m.

I took the early retirement the company offered last July at 56.  Financially the situation is good-- you can access 401(k) funds at 55 as long as it's the plan for the job you are leaving.  Look into something called "the rule of 55."  It does leave me stuck with the current plan provider until age 59 1/2, and unfortunately they suck, service-wise, just like you'd expect from a low-bidder provider.  At least the fees are low.  To tell the truth, everything my former employer provides in the way of retiree services-- pension benefit management ($300/month at age 65-- beer and pizza money, I guess) and other stuff feels very much like it's provided by the low bidder.

As far as health care, we put together a group insurance plan at my wife's veterinary clinic.  Even with the contributions we are making to employees coverage (not that we necessarily had to) we are coming out ahead versus what we'd have to pay for coverage outside of a group.

Now, as to what to do in retirement.  While I'm really, really happy to have left the position behind I retired from (more on that), starting a retirement in 2020 and trying to find a new routine really sucked balls.  There was no routine to be found.  So give that some serious thought.  Once the mowing season ended, it was pretty hard to find anything motivating enough to get out of bed.  One thing that definitely didn't help was my wife's expectation that I would be on continuous standby to address issues that came up at the veterinary clinic, so relaxation wasn't exactly happening.  Of course, it didn't exactly help that a some significant portion of that retirement was spent getting a shoulder joint replaced and getting/recovering from COVID.

So, after retiring in July, I went back to work on contract this April at the approximate equivalent of 1.5x more former hourly rate, working on the same project I left, but with my lead responsibilities now farmed out to at least 3 other people who've discovered what a sucker's job that is.  Don't have to put in 40 hours/week either, and I now get paid should I work more than 40 hours in a week, though I've done that pretty rarely.  You also get the luxury of the contractor's attitude-- when the program's in a shambles, it's not my problem, it's an opportunity for more hours.  

Also, one way of looking at any money earned at this point is that, after taxes, it's 100% retirement savings!

So maybe that's more me just telling my story than useful information.  If I was to provide any takeaways, it would be the following--

  • An ready/not ready assessment of your financial situation is relatively cut and dried once you are good with the assumptions made.  Professional advice here from someone you trust can be worth what you pay for it in peace of mind.
  • The answer to what you are going to do (or able to do-- osteoarthritis is a bitch) is something you need to give some serious thought to

 

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/18/21 9:38 a.m.
67LS1 said:
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

I just turned 60.  I'm ready.

 

I'm honestly not sure how to envision the next phase of my life.  I'm kinda struggling with it.

 

 

I also thought I would be lost. My wife was a little apprehensive about me being around 24/7 too. She never worked and had her own routine. 
I ended up getting a small shop space about 10 miles away where I can go work on my projects. It's like I leave for work but I'm leaving to go play.

Its  been 7 years now so I've learned to sleep in more and if I go to the shop one day, fine. If I don't, fine. We're spending more time traveling, boating, bike riding, going for drives, etc, mid-week when there are less people. Less crowds in parks, cheaper hotels, matinee movies. We're trying hard to not eat dinner at 4pm though.

I retrospect, best decision I ever made. 

The worst part about it is your friends will probably still be working so they're not available for mid-week adventures.

In my opinion, nothing wrong with a part time job doing something you LOVE or volunteering somewhere. Ease into anyway you can. You deserve it.

 

That sounds wonderful. 
 

Unfortunately my wife and I are not on the same page, and that makes it much more challenging. 

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/18/21 11:06 a.m.

This is not unexpected..  

https://www.yahoo.com/money/social-security-shortfall-could-affect-your-retirement-plans-140909441.html

I'm really not counting on SS but it definitely would make things much more comfortable. I am also hoping Medicare at 50 becomes a thing. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/18/21 11:22 a.m.
OHSCrifle said:

This is not unexpected..  

https://www.yahoo.com/money/social-security-shortfall-could-affect-your-retirement-plans-140909441.html

I'm really not counting on SS but it definitely would make things much more comfortable. I am also hoping Medicare at 50 becomes a thing. 

That has basically always been a fear as far as I've known. Because of it, I've always planned as if SS would be my boat payment if it's there. If it's not there, I just won't have a 4th boat. 

67LS1
67LS1 Reader
9/18/21 11:48 a.m.

I believe the fears about SS have been around forever. But when it comes down to it no politician is going to vote for a reduction in benefits. It would be the last nail in their coffin.

The politicians will realize that their voters will crucify them if the SS system goes under so they'll vote to increase SS taxes on the working class. And since we're all living longer they'll raise the SS early retirement date farther.

But I still wouldn't count on it. Use this as a bonus if/when you get it. 

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
9/18/21 12:43 p.m.

I’m 59 so I’m reading this topic with interest.   I’ve been working 4 days a week for three years now.  It was quite an eye opener at first about how work centric we tend to be and what an adjustment retiring cold turkey could be for me anyway.  I’ll agree with the many statements that retirement shouldn’t mean not “working”; I do believe there’s a lot to the you rest, you rot theory.   I’m wired for “be busy all the time” so it’s a concern.

On the 4 day week, I’ve found I am still able to be just as productive as I was working 5 days.   I’m now mentoring a younger co worker and the boss man recently suggested that he’s open to me doing 3 day work weeks as soon as next summer.   I’m thinking that I’ll work “part time” until at least 62-63 at this point as my wife is 3 years younger and we have exceptional benefits.  That said, we have a meeting with the money man in October to start looking at next steps.  He keeps telling us how well set up we are but I’m still skeptical.  I’m looking forward to asking some questions on what’s next and will keep reading along.  

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/18/21 2:27 p.m.

At fifty.. DW and I've been saving diligently for thirty years. All we gotta do now is more of the same and then live long enough to enjoy it. 
 

Hopefully we can finish working full time in 10 years or fewer. I'd love to cut back to 4 days per week relatively soon (and later to 3 days) and slow down a bit.
 

Also been thinking about ways to keep busy when I pull the ripcord - I might like to become a very small/specialized remodeling contractor. 

 

Very thankful that wife and I have not gotten sick. Hers and my parents are getting old but so far still pretty healthy. One of my kids having some mental health issues has modified the "kids go to college then move on" plan so I've learned it's important to be flexible - nothing's guaranteed. 

chandler
chandler UltimaDork
9/18/21 2:50 p.m.

I'm early 40's and have always planned on early 50's to not work for someone else or "have" to work. I'm enjoying everyone's take on it.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
9/18/21 2:57 p.m.

I retired 13 years ago at age 56. I probably had savings equivalent to 6-7 years of gross salary and I got a pension that paid 22% of my annual salary. We still had a mortgage payment and I had to pick up health care costs. Health care was running almost $1700/month at its height. We don't travel much at all and are basically a stay-at-home couple. The portfolio has taken off since I retired a few months before the stock market bottomed out in early March 2009. My financial guy had said we couldn't afford to retire, so I paid another fellow to run an analysis and he came to a different conclusion and was able to show me how everything would work out. So my advice is understand where you actually spend your money before you make the decision to retire. AFTER I retired my wife started logging every dime we spent and categorized it all. She was terrified I had quit too early and we'd end up broke. She kept that data collection for five years and it was actually quite useful to understand where the money really goes, versus where we thought it went. As time went along the mortgage got cleared, so we got a $1500 monthly raise, then I started getting a combination of Social Security and Canada Pension Plan ( I moved to the US at age 47) which was another nice increase. Once we both hit Medicare eligibility the monthly health costs dropped a lot. If the math says you can live well AFTER you've bridged the years between retirement and getting SS and Medicare it'll be pretty easy. 

Edit: The absolute best question the 2nd advisor (and now my only one) asked me was "How much do you want to be able to spend in retirement?". Understanding the difference between income and your ability to spend is important to the decision process.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/18/21 7:52 p.m.

I'm 54 and my younger daughter is in 11th grade. I'm planning to work another 6 years, but if I ever make the jump from ho to pimp I promise I'm getting out earlier.

people next door bought their house a couple months before us (11 years ago). They have a Range Rover (purchased), plus leases on 2 Cadillacs and an Explorer. Concrete guy did a bunch of driveways and garages on our street, including theirs. Walking the dogs the other day, my wife complimented the lady on how good their driveway looked. lady asked why we didn't get ours done. Wifey said "it wasn't in the budget. But the house will be paid off in 4 years and we are planning some upgrades then." Lady's eyes grow wide and she says "Paid off in 4 years?! But you moved in after us." My wife said "Different priorities, I guess," and we continued our walk.

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
9/18/21 8:12 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

THIS!

We own our properties and what debt we carry ( car note and balance of the HELOC we used to do the kitchen renovation/ family room addition in 2018) could be paid off from savings tomorrow.   We only took the note on the car this time because the rates were so stupid low.   

We lived with our early ‘60’s house and kitchen layout (freshened up by ourselves) until we had the mortgage paid off and the two kids through their undergrad before we even thought about doing the reno and addition.  Meanwhile in the same time we were doing our addition, the two young kids across the street paid 350K for a small ranch and immediately put another $120K into a new kitchen and some interior mods.   The sign just went up last week and one of the other neighbors are telling us they bought a colonial nearby that starts with an 8.    Maybe they have a printing press or a money tree somewhere, I don’t get it.  God forbid one of them gets laid off or sick.   Who needs that kind of pressure?

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
9/18/21 8:28 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

I paid the house off in 18 years. I forget what year I went and refinanced it, but the fellow was obviously perplexed when I said two things.... 1) I'll pay all the fees by check today, don't roll them into the loan, and   2) Don't reduce the monthly payment. Leave it where it is. That knocked 12 years off the mortgage at $1490/month. The loan officer's response was "That's highly unusual Mr.Martin".....it made perfect sense to me. I moved here at age 47 and I'd have been making house payments until I'm 77 !

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
9/18/21 10:35 p.m.

43 and saving as much as I can.

I'd like to retire at 50-something but I probably won't, I'm not good at doing nothing.

My current house has an ideal setup, I have a two-car garage that I just need to kick the trash out of to be working on my own terms.

I have a feeling my retirement will simply be bringing my tools home one day and hanging out my shingle, just picking the jobs I want to do.

I still haven't worked on a Stanley, I'd gladly pick away at  maintaining someone's car collection in exchange for walking-around money.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
9/19/21 5:48 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

We did exactly that in the 90’s when interest rates dropped in half.

After a few years we’d  paid enough off that we were able to borrow against it to put down on the farm we’re in now, renting out the original place for the next 10 years. When we tired of that we sold it and used the money to pay off the farm. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
9/19/21 10:51 a.m.

House will be paid off in 6 years, building my practice is in about the same time.

thats key in my plan to retire in 6 years.  Get money from the business sale, monthly rent from the building, Air Force pension and Tricare health insurance, no home mortgage, social security when I'm old enough

Johnboyjjb
Johnboyjjb HalfDork
9/19/21 12:58 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Johnboyjjb :

Replace "work" with "active" and I'll buy that.  But "work" does not benefit me enough relative to who I am working for, and I'm not working for someone else the rest of my life 

There is some misinterpretation of word usage here I think.

Active construes motion.
Employment construes money.
Work construes productivity.

There are many affluent who are active all the time and "living the good life" but unless they start doing work, they tend to end up dead and soulless - this is a generality, not a promise.

Likewise, there are many people who are active in employment that never actually get any work done. At my employer they are frequently called "Middle Management" :)

tester (Forum Supporter)
tester (Forum Supporter) Reader
9/19/21 2:03 p.m.

We are in our mid 40s and should pay off the current home in 5 years or less if we stay here. We carry no other debt. All of our investments are in tax advantaged accounts so 59.5 is the current target. If we stay in this house or something similar then we will be able to start building some bridge investments. The retirement date will move up a bit if we can stay focused for the next few years.  
 

Retirement doesn't mean quitting work, more like dropping to  2 or 3 days a week doing pure design work and laughing at people that schedule meetings on Friday afternoon. 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
9/20/21 6:02 a.m.

Currently 56. Paid the house off last year and have no intention of moving to anything that won't cost less in the future, so no more mortgages for us.

My plan is to work at my present job until I'm 62. At that point I will have made enough over the years to have 'set' my SS payment as they drop the poorest earning years from the calculations. Then I can quit the corporate rat race and do whatever the heck I want (working) until 65 when I will fully pull the plug. I'll give up some benefits by not going to 67 but those years I can't get back. The life expectancy of males in my bloodline isn't great, so I doubt I'll enter my 80s. I intend to live it up while I can.

Fortunately (for me, not her) my wife is 4 years younger. If I decide not to work at 62 or take a job with no benefits I can ride her health care coverage until Medicare kicks in.

As to staying busy, yeah, I'll have to do something. Hopefully garage projects will do that, but if not I can either work at the local NAPA, drive a bus at the retirement complex or work at the 'canine country club'. Plenty of low stress, low paying jobs out there I would probably enjoy. Or by that time I may be proficient enough in motorcycle repair (he laughs) to work on the bikes the dealers don't want to.

One key to retirement is looking at how you will spend your reduced income. Though we like to travel we don't take expensive trips like cruises or flights to Europe. Travel by car and staying at a Motel 6 are fine for us. We don't want a vacation home. We don't want a new retirement 'palace'. We never buy new cars. And, if I can ever get the wife to agree, we will move to a state with a much lower cost of living than where we are. If you don't spend a lot, you won't need a lot.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 10:34 a.m.

In reply to Johnboyjjb :

No, there is no misunderstanding.  Unless I am only working for me, I do not see the need of being "productive" to someone else. And if you need to work to have a soul, IMHO, you are doing it wrong. 
 

Life isn't about making money, mostly for someone else. 

RX Reven'
RX Reven' UltraDork
9/20/21 12:28 p.m.

I'm 57 but my wife just turned 50 on Saturday and I had my kids late (they're about to turn 14 and 17)...I'm almost debt free and I have a sizable investment portfolio so if it wasn't for health insurance and college tuition I could safely retire now.

Not to be macabre but we're waiting for at least one of our ships to come in from inheritance to take us from "probably OK" to "definitely OK".

But, the closer I get to being able to retire, the less I feel a need to retire...I'm discovering that the only thing I really dislike about work is the stress that comes from knowing that I have to work.  Said differently, the closer I get to crossing the finish line, the less it matters to me.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/20/21 12:54 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Johnboyjjb :

No, there is no misunderstanding.  Unless I am only working for me, I do not see the need of being "productive" to someone else. And if you need to work to have a soul, IMHO, you are doing it wrong. 
 

Life isn't about making money, mostly for someone else. 

I had the same initial reaction to the post, but I think that there is a good point there: It is important to be working for something. That thing may be a personal physical goal (complete and ironman, break 80 on the golf course), it could be building a car for a specific purpose, it could just be "fishing" - you want to learn and become a better fisherman. 
 

A guy I worked with had never gone to college, never married, and somehow ended up reporting directly to the CEO and President of a regionally important bank. He retired, and went to get his bachelors. He's not going to do anything with it, but he always wanted it and never had time (or reason, his career was lucrative).

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/20/21 1:07 p.m.
RX Reven' said:

Not to be macabre but we're waiting for at least one of our ships to come in from inheritance to take us from "probably OK" to "definitely OK".

I read somewhere, and it "feels" accurate to me, that more than any other generations, GenX and Millenials are going to be relying significantly on inheritance for retirement. I'm personally planning on my parents and inlaws leaving us 
EDIT: Oops, forgot to finish this. I'm planning on no inheritance. /Edit

(Are you a Boomer or a GenXr? Or does it depend on the context?)

Sparkydog
Sparkydog HalfDork
9/20/21 1:20 p.m.

I've decided to start using the phrase "Changing Focus" in place of the word "Retirement".  My last day at my current work/focus is November 11.

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