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Old 03-26-2011, 07:27 PM   #41
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My dad retired at 62 with a generous pension. He would normally have been expected to work till age 65, but he was fed up with the crap.

One of my girlfriends retired from teaching at ~47. She and DH are very LBYM.

Two of my girlfriends have DHs who retired early; one because of a disability, and the other because he lost his job and was enjoying himself too much as a househusband.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:55 PM   #42
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Most of my close friends have worked in the medical profession so they really don't retire . They just keep cutting back on hours until they are no longer working . Most of them start this process in their mid 50's.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #43
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Lots of people that I know retired early. Lots of them didn't. Some never retired. And some retired early, couldn't adjust to it, and went back to work.

I know that my choice to plan for retirement and finally retire when I did, was the right decision for me. Early retirement is neither the right decision for everyone, nor a possibility for everyone, sadly.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #44
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I went to a retirement "seminar" about a year ago and they talked about ER 'triggers' - pensions, SS, 65, illness, laid off, fired, death in the family, inheritance, etc. Basically they made you believe that to retire before 62, you needed one of these triggers. And these people were professional financial planners (or salesman, I suppose). So, I'm trying to figure out what my trigger was going to be. I just didn't like my job anymore and had enough money, but I spent about 3 lousy months working and thinking about that trigger. My company isn't doing well financially, so maybe that was my trigger. Nope, they're still kicking. So at 54, I'm calling it quits with no trigger. Apparently, it isn't too common these days.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:46 PM   #45
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Both my grandfathers retired before 60. One lived off rental income, not sure about the other. They both died in their very early 60's. They also lived very frugally. My dad quit working at 57, just after my mom passed away. He was a home builder, had around 15 employes. He was actuality happy with the fact that I was ER at 50. He is 75 now and has often said he should have quit sooner.

None of my friends at work have retired early, one friend was actually working at the hospital the day before he died. I have a few friends outside work that have retired, but they are pretty close to 60. I have many friend that own their own business and are basically only working part time now. They have no problem making our standing 12:30 Tee time.

I,m sure many of my friends from work have a hard time understanding how someone can give up a six figure income, but like my grandfathers and my dad, I've. Alway's lived below my means and saved my money. And I've been blessed with a wife who is the same.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:38 PM   #46
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Thanks to everyone for sharing your anecdotes.

It seems to me that a large percentage of early retirees have pensions, and quite often health care coverage too. Also, for many, early retirement means in the early 60s or at best late 50s. It means fewer scary years to bridge the gap until SS and Medicare kick in.

I really think very few can (or dare to) retire in the early 50s, or late 40s. And by retiring, I mean one who needs no earned income, and that includes income from a spouse. I know several women, including my sister-in-law, who left the work force early, but their husbands still work. That does not count!

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I prefer to think of it as "working our assets off until luck happened".
More like "sh!t" happened in our case!

If it weren't for my start-up ventures going belly up, and for my wife's megacorp environment getting too toxic for her, we would still be working. Knowing nobody else who retired early, it just did not seem right to us. Because of our work environments, people that we knew were mostly megacorp workers. As they all earn salaries comparable to us, surely they should be able to save as much as we have, and should be able to ER too. But they don't. Of course many are caught up on the hedonic threadmill, and do not have much of a portfolio to even dream of financial independence.

In our case, it was just too scary to think of a life without an umbilical cord to a megacorp. How can one survive without a fixed, known amount deposited to one's account every two weeks? How can one face the uncertainty of health care cost without the employer's plan? It surely did not seem possible to us.

I really admire those who threw in the towel and walked away cold-turkey, because we got to where we are gradually. First, as I left my secure megacorp environment and entered the "dog-eat-dog" small business world, my income fluctuated so much, and we had to rely on my wife's salary alone for a while. And then, as I was debating whether to go back to work full-time as my poor wife was crying her eyes out over the torment at her work place, I had an epiphany.

Hey, there are a lot of people out there who are small business owners. There are small shop owners, farmers, individual contractors, and free-lancers who have no steady income stream like us megacorp and gummint desk jockeys. The uncertainty that we were about to face, these people have to live with their entire life. And we now have a reasonable 7-figure portfolio, that most of the people out there would never dream of. Why were we so afraid?

Of course, one of the reasons we were afraid was that our lifestyle, frugal as it was, was still higher than that of those intrepid souls that could manage outside of the umbrella of a big brother. I wanted to be sure that it would work, and our situation allowed us to ease into it. Most of my friends who were involved in the start-up ventures have gone back to the megacorp world, clocking 8 hours a day, counting their time until the day they are given a little party at work, then walk out to their car one last time carrying a box of personal belongings and some office mementos.

So, I still think we are an anomaly. Perhaps not as rare as I thought until I came to this forum, but we are still a small minority. And as I did not quit cold-turkey like some others, I am not all that audacious after all.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:34 PM   #47
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I know quite a few. From ages 25 to now 69. The most interesting ones are the emails I get from people who found my blog and tell me they did more or less the same thing I did and retired in their 30s. People who retired in the 20s are few and far in between. I only know one.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #48
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Me being an ER pensioner, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people on here who have done it on their own through their own investment vehicles. My employer took the 13.5 percent out, matched it and when it's time to retire, you collect the check. The ERs without pensions had to discipline themselves to invest (that is no easy thing in an of itself), invest in the correct manner, be knowledgable of how to do it, set up appropriate draw down rates, worry about not outliving resources, and have to worry about things beyond their control such as market downdrafts. Almost a full time job in an of itself!
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:49 PM   #49
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Me being an ER pensioner, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people on here who have done it on their own through their own investment vehicles. My employer took the 13.5 percent out, matched it and when it's time to retire, you collect the check. The ERs without pensions had to discipline themselves to invest (that is no easy thing in an of itself), invest in the correct manner, be knowledgable of how to do it, set up appropriate draw down rates, worry about not outliving resources, and have to worry about things beyond their control such as market downdrafts. Almost a full time job in an of itself!
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:15 PM   #50
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My friend retired from the FBI at 57 with full pension and health benefits. And it was a mandatory retirement.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:17 PM   #51
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Quote:
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Me being an ER pensioner, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the people on here who have done it on their own through their own investment vehicles. My employer took the 13.5 percent out, matched it and when it's time to retire, you collect the check. The ERs without pensions had to discipline themselves to invest (that is no easy thing in an of itself), invest in the correct manner, be knowledgable of how to do it, set up appropriate draw down rates, worry about not outliving resources, and have to worry about things beyond their control such as market downdrafts. Almost a full time job in an of itself!
One of the things I most look forward to in ER is being able to spend the time on my portfolio that I should be (15-20 hours a week) as opposed to the couple of hours on weekends that I can now. I hope to be able to increase my return by a percentage point, which in itself is like a part time job, but one that I want to do.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:53 PM   #52
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I know quite a few. From ages 25 to now 69. The most interesting ones are the emails I get from people who found my blog and tell me they did more or less the same thing I did and retired in their 30s. People who retired in the 20s are few and far in between. I only know one.
Now that I know a bit more about ER planning, which I never did do other than living LBMM which is more about my frugal nature than the vision to plan ahead, I believe one can perhaps retire in the 40s if one has no children.

But in the 30s? The biggest unknown by far is the health care cost. How does one project out in the future that far ahead to the Medicare eligibility age? Do they take a leap of faith that some health care reform would take effect in the decades ahead?

There have been some recurring threads on LTC issues. Even when one gets to Medicare, there is that to worry about. Good grief! Here we are in a developed country, and constantly worry ourselves sick over all kinds of problems. Think of people in other developing countries whose main concern is to get their daily calorie intake. I am not talking about sub-Saharan countries, but even in Southeast Asia or South and Central America, people do not have the rich man's issues like we do. How can they be happy, how can they live?
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:20 AM   #53
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Now that I know a bit more about ER planning, which I never did do other than living LBMM which is more about my frugal nature than the vision to plan ahead, I believe one can perhaps retire in the 40s if one has no children.

But in the 30s? The biggest unknown by far is the health care cost. How does one project out in the future that far ahead to the Medicare eligibility age? Do they take a leap of faith that some health care reform would take effect in the decades ahead?
I too wonder how extremely frugal young ERs handle health care.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:17 AM   #54
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Most of my social circle retired, or intends to retire, between 58 and 62. I can only think of 2 friends working past 65. Both are doctors: one has 3 ex-wives and lovers his work. the other paid 7 figures to lawyers handling his DD's legal problems.

Is the difference that here in the frozen barrens of Soviet Canuckistan health care is not an issue?
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:24 AM   #55
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...one has 3 ex-wives and lovers...
So, how many lovers does he have, currently?
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:43 AM   #56
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I went to a retirement "seminar" about a year ago and they talked about ER 'triggers' - pensions, SS, 65, illness, laid off, fired, death in the family, inheritance, etc. Basically they made you believe that to retire before 62, you needed one of these triggers. And these people were professional financial planners (or salesman, I suppose). So, I'm trying to figure out what my trigger was going to be. I just didn't like my job anymore and had enough money, but I spent about 3 lousy months working and thinking about that trigger. My company isn't doing well financially, so maybe that was my trigger. Nope, they're still kicking. So at 54, I'm calling it quits with no trigger. Apparently, it isn't too common these days.

Maybe attending the "retirement seminar" was the trigger...
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:09 AM   #57
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So, how many lovers does he have, currently?
Speling is note my forte, but to answer the question, not sure.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #58
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Aside from this board and folks I know that are unemployed as a result of layoffs, I only know of two bonified FIRE's.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:53 AM   #59
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I can name 8 off hand and can probably think of more. They all fall into one of three categories: public service employees, teachers, and people who were forced out or elected to take an early retirement package.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:04 PM   #60
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...I believe one can perhaps retire in the 40s if one has no children.

But in the 30s? The biggest unknown by far is the health care cost. How does one project out in the future that far ahead to the Medicare eligibility age? Do they take a leap of faith that some health care reform would take effect in the decades ahead?
From what I have read, those who retire in their 30's (mostly) have some sort of very unusually good income. This includes very successful hedge fund managers, investment bankers, or small business owners whose first partnership/self-startup was a home-run. This also includes people at the very tip top of law, which pays disproportionally better than the median of law. A few other things I'm not thinking of, but the list is short. Things like becoming a doctor or a government worker, which eventually pay off, but not fast, are indeed impossible.

As for health care, they either fund the $5k+/year themselves, and/or expect relief from the 2014 health care law. I think those few in their 30s who retired early without a stellar income have simply chosen to roll the dice, which isn't that bad of a bet, more than half of full adults make it to their 60s without a problem, but it is still a fairly risky bet (at least until 2014).
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