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Old 03-26-2011, 06:33 AM   #21
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One good friend from Chicago (School administrator with an Il pension) a couple of people from work (Fed pensions) and that is about it. I know a few people without pensions who are pulling the plug between 62 and 65 - maybe that will be the new ER.

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Old 03-26-2011, 07:00 AM   #22
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I know 2 people.

1 Military pensioner, but he still works part-time now and then.

And my uncle, who is 42, tells me he's on track to retire early (around 50). We have very different approaches to spending though. I think I'll only need <$1M, he thinks he needs >$5M.

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Old 03-26-2011, 07:40 AM   #23
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I know quite a few. Of course they had a full pension because of long-time employment with the same company. However, a number of them had a spouse that continued to w*rk.

The ones that I know... ERd because they were sick of w*rk.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:00 AM   #24
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I know a couple of people who retired in their 50's, both were public school teachers with pensions. I don't know anyone who retired on just their investments; in fact, I tend to keep a low profile about my situation in general and even most of my friends don't know much about my early retirement.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:24 AM   #25
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My dad took early retirement at 55. His company laid a load of people off and made it attractive for older workers to leave. He got a pension and one year's salary as a lump sum.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:27 AM   #26
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As a consequence of a corporate merger, my dad retired involuntarily at 59 and just barely made it (financially) to 62 and social security. A guy down the street is a retired firefighter in his 50's with a very good pension. I also know a guy who sold his business in his early 40's for multi-millions, then bought another in a different part of the country. He has since sold that and is really retired now (early 50's). Other than that, I don't know any early retirees.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:34 AM   #27
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Very few. My dad retired at age 60 (not sure if that is "early" or not). He had earned good money throughout his sales career, saved and had a nice nestegg and just decided to hang it up.

A work colleague who came from money and was a good investor, retired at 50 and had investments and a db plan available at 55 to him. While he enjoyed not working, he was a bit frustrated by not being able to find many other his age to "play" with during the week.

And me, not fully retired but since age 53 have worked only 50% time - minimum needed to still get health insurance - and still enjoy my work and the 50% still provides for our modest lifestyle and additional retirement savings.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:42 AM   #28
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Several teachers, some military, a few corporate, one banker, couple of attorneys--either people who had good pensions or people who were in very good-paying jobs. (If married, they're both RE'd in my count--didn't include where one has RE'd while the other still is employed.)
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:45 AM   #29
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1 couple, probably in their early 50's. It's a cousin of a friend. Hear he was a partner at a benefits service provider company and he sold off his partnership share and walked away. His wife worked there too, but wasn't at that level.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:57 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
How many people you know retired early?
My father ER'd to care for my mother during her end-stage cancer. After she died he returned to "part-time work, 40 hours per week" on a couple engineering projects but soon came to his senses, ER'd for good, and redesigned his life around hiking the Rockies. He kept it up from early 1988 to late 2010 and today, as he struggles with Alzheimer's/dementia, I don't think he regrets a single choice he made during those 22 years.

My father-in-law took an unexpected buyout at age 59. He worked decades of nights/weekends/holidays overtime at CBS News so it wasn't really that "E" of an "ER". I think he would've fallen back into contract work if my MIL hadn't grabbed him by the neck and made him start visiting their favorite Civil War battlefields until he settled into their retirement routine.

My brother is contemplating a frugal RV vagabond ER in 2-3 years. At this point it's difficult to distinguish his planning talk from "just one more year" syndrome, but he can pull it off. He'll probably always have some sort of revenue-producing entrepreneurial lifestyle venture simmering on the back burner.

My brother-in-law is going to work through his mid-50s, at which point his spouse will be age 55 and able to ER at a reduced pension with her company health insurance. He's been planning this since the 1990s. He's a tax CPA who won't miss the Feb-Apr slog one bit.

And... that's it. No one else in our neighborhood or social circle has ER'd. We know several military veterans who are working in their 80s with the attitude of "What the hell else would I do?!?" (Admittedly they've "cut back" to 20-30 hours/week.)

EDIT: We don't know any shipmates who've managed to ER, although s Several are working on convincing their spouses that it's time to stop working.

My spouse has reminded me that we do know two shipmates who ER'd in their early 40s to adopt a frugal "Work Less, Live More" lifestyle. They share a house, sell their crafts, and occasionally bag groceries for a big purchase or a special trip. Another one ER'd in her early 40s to run her (deceased) parent's charitable foundation, but she's technically drawing a salary/expenses from the foundation as well as her military pension.

Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Are we a fortunate anomaly or what?
I prefer to think of it as "working our assets off until luck happened".

Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
And the automotive early retirees in Michigan include both union and salaried employees.
Yeah, but the downside to their scheme is that they had to live in Michigan and work in an automotive plant...

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Old 03-26-2011, 10:54 AM   #31
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Both DH and I were in downsizing environments. We were both sick of the resulting workplaces. We quit at 49 in '96 and set off to explore the states full time in an RV. In our travels, we met a group of boomer age RVers, so I know a lot of early retirees. Some were retired military, some took early outs, some had major illnesses, and some were like us...sick of work! There were very few of us whose only income was from our own assets.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:25 AM   #32
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My self-employed father sold his business (no, he did not get a windfall from it) and ER'd at 55 living off investments. He did not expect to live to 65 (family history) but made it to 79. He always said it was retiring when he did that kept him healthy and going strong so long.

I have a friend my age here who ER'd from a state job with a pension a few years ago, but her husband is still working.

And my college roommate ER'd a year before I did, taking a nice buyout package during a corporate downsizing. Her husband has semi-ERd from his big law firm as well.
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:33 AM   #33
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A few coworkers of mine retired early just before I did in 2008.

One was in her mid-50s, 55 I believe. She, childfree like me, lived with her sister and they had moved from NYC to eastern PA around 2003. I believe she was grandfathered under the company's rules for pension and retiree health benefits, so she was covered. She was also vested, of course.

Another was a man, around 55, whose wife was still working so he was covered under her HI. Like my female coworker, he was also grandfathered and vested under all the old benefit rules.

Another coworker, a woman, was in her early 60s. A former teacher, she had not worked for my company as long as I had, but was still barely grandfathered in because of her age. She was widowed just before she retired. I do not know what benefits she retained from her teaching days, though.

Another coworker, a man, was childfree like I am. He retired in 2003 at age 59 after getting married 3 years earlier. Sadly, he passed away in 2009 at age 65.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 03-26-2011, 12:00 PM   #34
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Career military and federal and state employees who were offered incentives during reductions in staffing.

Also some Megacorp people whose plants were moved out of state to warmer places or overseas.

I am the only person I know of my age (48 yo in 2007) who FIREd. The circumstances that allowed that to happen were not entirely of a pleasant nature.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:11 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
.............Yeah, but the downside to their scheme is that they had to live in Michigan and work in an automotive plant...
Some worked in the assembly plant. I worked in a research and engineering center - pretty much a typical cubeville with labs and a test track.

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Old 03-26-2011, 02:04 PM   #36
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I don't know anyone personally who ERed. I know a few people who made seven/eight/nine figures but did not retire (two of those may be but I lost touch). I told one friend to move to Florida and then diversify his single stock portfolio, he did not and still working.
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:48 PM   #37
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Lots of ER'd folks in our lives.

DW retired at 55 from a career in public education. The state was offering incentives to retire early so a number of her friends left as well at about the same age. We still see several of them from time to time.

I got canned by MegaCorp during a downsizing at 58 and decided to call it RE. A number of friends, also in their mid to late 50's, were tossed out as well and were also able to throw in the towel on working. Many of those folks are still on our list of friends.

Amongst college and grad school friends, I would say that about one half were able to RE by 60. Can't think of any who won't be in good shape at 65. A couple will probably be working until 70 or later because they own businesses that I don't think they'll want to give up or that they will have difficulty selling because their personal involvement is key.

Sources of income seem to be varied. Many are like us with pensions and SS playing an equal roll with FIRE portfolio withdrawals. The folks I admire the most are those doing it on only FIRE portfolio withdrawals and where those portfolios were assembled from the ground up by saving and investing during working years (no inheritance, no lottery, etc.).

Generally, lots of examples of FIRE'd folks in our lives and very few situations, at least that we're aware of, of folks who will be struggling in retirement.
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:59 PM   #38
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I know quite a few who have with state pensions. My husband is eligible for one right now, but is waiting for a year or two so it will be higher.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:49 PM   #39
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I do not know anyone that has retired early voluntarily. I would retire now somewhat early if I had healthcare insurance.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #40
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My Dad retired at 57, but he had disability income that made it possible. My brother retired at 50. And I have one good friend who retired around the age of 48. I know several that have semi-retired.

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