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Anyone besides me have the 'I might not make it to retirement' anxiety?
Old 09-15-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
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Anyone besides me have the 'I might not make it to retirement' anxiety?

I've decided to work for 23 more months until I qualify at 55 for retiree health insurance.

Is it me, or is it just natural when you get close to retirement to start thinking that you won't make it?

Does anyone else have the feeling that something bad may happen to you just as you are about to start enjoying life?
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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I will answer your question in 4 years if you are still interested in the answer. I am not there yet so I don't know. But what a good thread to start. It will be fun and informative to read the answers from Forum members to your questions!
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #3
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I didn't feel that way at all. I started making plans in my mid-50's and executed when I turned 59 (a bit over three years ago).

Unlike you, I had already qualified for the maximum medical benefits based on my age and years of service (I still have to contribute in retirement, but that's all I got) so there was really no reason to wait.

I had my "number"; I had my "retirement attitude".

It was time to leave...
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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I don't believe a long life is in my future. Genetics are not on my side and I often think that if I make it another 10 years to 58, which is when my father died, that I will be lucky. I truly believe I won't make it out of my 60s.

However, that said, I really don't think about it on a day to day basis. Probably the only time I do is when a friend of ours starts moaning that he is going to die early even though his grandmother is still alive at 100 and both his parents are in their 80s.

This did influence me into not wanting to wait until it was too late. Is qualifying for the retiree health insurance the only way you can afford to RE?
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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Yes.....

I was in the car business and the anxiety and related health problems were slowly killing me (I thought), so I quit a little over a year ago. My anxiety is gone almost totally, and the health problems are way better now.

You can make it! Quit thinking about it!
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:12 PM   #6
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I dunno if it's natural (since I was unexpectedly "retired", I didn't have time to worry too much about those things). But I know several people who mentally equate retirement with illness and early death. You know, "this guy retired at 62 and he had a heart attack a week later!". The moral of this story: had he continued to work, his arteries would not have clogged, therefore retirement kills people. Don't laugh, I heard it before.

My aunt was probably the worst. She was absolutely convinced that she would die soon after retiring. It didn't happen. She now enjoys taking long trips in her RV and feels silly for harboring so much fear about retirement.

Instead of focusing on the unfortunate few, you should probably focus on the thousands on people who retire successfully every day. If retirement was so deadly, we would not have a SS/Medicare problem.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackwoodt View Post
I've decided to work for 23 more months until I qualify at 55 for retiree health insurance.

Is it me, or is it just natural when you get close to retirement to start thinking that you won't make it?

Does anyone else have the feeling that something bad may happen to you just as you are about to start enjoying life?
They go away once you are out the door.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:26 PM   #8
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Last week I'd have said, nah.

This week:
- A chess buddy who FIREd 7 years ago at 51 died of cancer after a 3-year battle. Well, he got 4 years of good ER out of the deal.
- A colleague aged 53 whom I haven't seen for a while (other building on the campus) showed up for a meeting with a rasping voice. Turns out he's been off for several months with cancer of the larynx and has just returned from re-learning to /a/ speak and /b/ breathe without a tracheotomy.
- A close colleague aged 49 who reports to me booked a couple of days sick leave for the start of October because she has to go in for an endoscopic procedure. She assures me it's routine at her age. Yeah, both ends, general anaesthetic, routine.

So I'm starting to feel like that guy walking through no-man's land unscathed while his comrades fall all around him.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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I don't believe in luck, karma, divine intervention, the devil, or whatever. It's pure mathematics and probabilities....the earlier you leave, the better the chance is you'll make it. 55 is plenty early...stop worrying. Exercise, eat well, drive carefully....
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:46 PM   #10
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No, but I never thought that I wasn't enjoying life before retirement either, so maybe I don't count.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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Yup I had that, then I retired and the market crashed. Then I got the I'd run out of money anxiety attacks. Then I went to work PT. Now I'm having the anxiety about not making it to my 2nd retirement. We always worry about something, no?
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
"this guy retired at 62 and he had a heart attack a week later!".
I'm glad I'm not that guy...

Wait! I am a guy; even worse, I'm 62!

Maybe it's because I retired a few years ago rather than waiting till I was an "old man" ?
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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A sense of impending doom...

Get a check-up, take care of anything found, then get on with your life. You can't detect or prevent everything at any rate. The worst strategy is to sit for 4 more years waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:57 PM   #14
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Yes. I have 19 mos, 2 weeks to go (but who's counting?). So ready to retire, makes it really hard to hang in there. My worry is not just the stress will make me sick and take me out before then, but also that I will one day just decide "that's enough" and throw in the towel.

These remaining months are significant to the finances and will be the cushion that makes it all so much more enjoyable - really do want to make it.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:10 PM   #15
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Me... yes... but not the same worry you have...

Got married late in life... now have two kids along with the wife... had not planned on supporting 4 people (college etc.)... so my comfortable number that I had planned I needed has gone up... and I am not close to it...

The wife plans to get a teacher cert and work, but that is a few years off... I now think I will be working until 60 instead of the 55 I had planned... maybe some part time after that...


Another thing... my wife wants to enjoy life NOW and not save much for the future... because she lost her first husband to cancer... so we are not on the same page...
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:32 PM   #16
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I had a "run screaming into the night" retirement at age 54. I really think I would have had a stroke if I had waited for 'full retirement age'.
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Old 09-15-2010, 06:59 PM   #17
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In DH's family his paternal grandparents lived to 90. On his mother's side her mother lived to 94 but her father died suddenly at 54. It was heart related, sometime in the mid 1930's.

DH takes meds for blood pressure and a heart rhythm issue. His mother (age 81) gets atrial fibrillation and his younger brother is also being treated for this.

If it's in the cards that he dies at an early age I'll be glad to know that he had however many months or years to enjoy the retirement that he work so long to earn.

I'm hoping that he's got more of his paternal grandparents' genes. They were still in their own home until they died and in their old age they were a hoot!
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:11 PM   #18
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I don't worry about dying soon after ER, but I do worry if I will manage to hang on to my job and my sanity and whether or not my various assumptions will even out and my FI date will arrive when I am predicting it will. I did sorta break out in a cold sweat when it occurred to me that I might have a bug in my spreadsheet and it actually might be 7 years instead of 3 1/2. I can deal with 3 1/2 years I think, I don't think I could deal with 7 more years of being tied to my current job. I'm hoping when I am FI or ESR that the pressure of having to have a high paying job will subside.

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Old 09-15-2010, 11:33 PM   #19
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I don't worry about dying soon after ER, but I do worry if I will manage to hang on to my job and my sanity and whether or not my various assumptions will even out and my FI date will arrive when I am predicting it will.
Same here. It's really a struggle for me to stay productive in my job & not go crazy. In terms of longevity, I have it on both sides, so my worry is more about living to over 100 and too old to take care of myself, let alone enjoy it. I guess we always worry about SOMETHING.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:36 AM   #20
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My anxiety is that I will make it to retirement without having needed the health insurance which I get through my employer. That would mean that I just wasted x number of years working and aging, and having health insurance that I never used, when I could have been relaxing in my back yard at the bbq with a cold brew. The fear of a huge uninsured medical expense keeps me chained to the work world, for cheap health insurance. Hats off those brave souls who "go naked" and retire early without health insurance.
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