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View Poll Results: How Long Have You Been Retired?
less than 2 years 27 29.35%
2 to 6 years 28 30.43%
6 to 14 years 32 34.78%
14 to 30 years 4 4.35%
more than 30 years 1 1.09%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll: How Long Have You Been Retired?
Old 10-28-2014, 04:36 PM   #1
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Poll: How Long Have You Been Retired?

Another current thread has revealed that 44% of members (who actively post) have been retired for less than 2 years and 71% less than 5 years.

No disrespect intended but I've always thought most here are arguably not qualified to field the frequent 'how do you like retirement', 'any regrets', 'how's your withdrawal rate' questions posed here. It would seem far more meaningful to get those answers mostly from folks who've been retired for 20-30 years. After all, none of us can know if our financial plan will be/has been successful until the (gulp) plan "ends."

Of course retirement is wonderful for the first few years, that's a given more often than not. If not

The 'I've been retired for 2 years and I love it' posts are all well and good, but after 2 years one is arguably not qualified to advise potential retirees what to do or not do. Maybe after 15 years you'll have a good handle on legitimate answers?

This has to have been done before, but I didn't find a similar poll.

No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:10 PM   #2
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Retirement was 12 years last July. I did stumble into a job for 5 years during that period but it was on terms suitable to me and when they weren't I quit.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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I stopped work a bit more than 2 years ago, but I have been loafing with sporadic part-time work since 2003.

I don't qualify to answer any question about WR, because I have truly lived on the assets only for the recent 2 years.

Regarding the expectations, it has been like I thought, except for the sudden health problem right after I quit work, and which I have overcome. I am simply goofing around more now than during the previous 9 years, and go on even longer RV treks.

So, I was no stranger to ER, even before I quit for real.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:26 PM   #4
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I'm in my 10th month of retirement, loving it!
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:12 PM   #5
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In mid November, it will be 25 years. No gainful employment during that period.

I really don't qualify to give advice, especially on investing and things like safe withdrawal rates... DW and I retired at age 53 with less than almost anyone here. We tried to invest wisely with a financial advisor, but felt distrust when he wanted "all' of our liquid assets. We did our own thing.

It was at a time before the "too big to fail" banking and before the housing bubble. That meant that CD's and IRA's were earning as much as 11%... so being nervous about the Stock Market led us into the ultra conservative position of buying into government bonds and Bank CD's. We missed the "ups" and we missed the "downs". The other part that helped was the overall increase in housing prices, as we moved 22 times during our marriage.

After retirement, we did a lot of things that most wouldn't think of, like living in a campground for half the year.. and living in a manufactured home park for the other 6 months. We always drove older cars, and still do. We buy from resale shops, buy from discount grocers like Aldi's, and never pay more than $8 when eating out. Our wide area travel was back in the pre retirement years, and except for Illinois to Florida... almost no travel today.

Because of the way our savings are structured, we haven't had to pay Federal or State taxes since 1990.

Just before reading this thread, my DW and I were reminiscing about the catastrophes in our life... Death of a son, cancer for me in 1989, and a life threatening stroke for DW in 1995... beyond that very few critical moments. Of course death of parents, friends and relatives, but these are to be expected. No financial concerns. We are as one in our financial plans and expenditures.

Our life story is spelled out here:Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement

Not as a "How To", because it would be impudent to think that what we do/did should be a guide to others. More as review of our thinking at the time, and some of the bits and pieces that helped us squeeze through the years and still be on track for the future we had hoped for.

One general thought... A happy retirement isn't all about money. That's something that we hardly think of and rarely talk about.

sheesh... made a mistake and said retired 30+ years in the poll... that was me... Should have been 14 to 30...
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
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I've been retired 7 years 8 months. Jumped ship at 50.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:24 PM   #7
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Imoldernu's story is another proof that retirees are not spherical* persons, and people will adapt to changing conditions. Financial issues are not as big a deal as people fear.

* See: Spherical Cows.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:26 PM   #8
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Retired at 45, now am 50. I personally went through the retirement concerns the first two years.... My contentment of general slothfulness increases daily as my desire to ever work again decreases. I love complaining about the hour's worth of chores that take me 3 hours in retirement that I would whip out quickly after a normal workday back in my preretirement days...

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Old 10-28-2014, 07:56 PM   #9
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How are we supposed to anwer the poll if we have been retired for 6 years? Two choices represent that.

I am 51 now, been retired for 6 years this Friday. It has been a fast and great 6 years. I echo Mulligan's remarks.
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.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:07 PM   #10
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Departed from megacorp in February '08 @ 48yrs of age
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:17 PM   #11
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DW has been retired for 5 years and not once has asked me if it is OK to go back to work. Me? In and out and still struggling with shutting it off for good.
......."Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
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A few years ago, during the Great Recession, a couple of posters said they had to go back to work, and it was because of financial difficulties. I recall reading only one poster complaining about not working with the reason being non-financial. Despite my "superior" memory, I do not recall their name, except for one, because they are not regular posters.

Of course, there might be more that I missed because I am not on the forum everyday.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:36 PM   #13
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Just some months over 14 years now. Did some consulting for about a year, but the business travel started interfering with one of the main perks to retirement so gave it up. Have worked part-time/seasonal jobs for all of those years, but mostly for keeping mind and body occupied.
Retired at age 50 with two young boys (1 and 3) and have enjoyed participating in all their activities through the years. Priceless.
Can't really comment on withdrawal rates and such as my pension and part-time work cover most living expenses. Withdrawal rate is running at about 1% most years.
Not a typical retirement as the boys school, Scouts, and soccer schedules largely dictate the family schedule.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:55 PM   #14
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20 years 10 months age 49 1/2 to 71.

heh heh heh -
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:06 PM   #15
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3 months, 3 weeks......
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy

“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” - Edgar Bergen
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:37 PM   #16
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I've been retired 3 years. I retired at age 47, am now 50. I completed an unplanned 9 month consulting gig during the 3 year period, which helped me top up my portfolio and confirmed for me that I much prefer retirement to working. I have no desire or plans to return to work.

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Old 10-28-2014, 09:42 PM   #17
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9 Years.

It's interesting to hear other's stories about "how they did it." More interesting is that few seem to have followed all the "rules" we often speak of here (like have a stash in the 25X range, AA in the 50:50 to 70:30 range, WDR of 3.5% to 4%, wait until 70 for SS, etc. etc. etc.). I think it shows that the biggest factor in ER is the desire to do so and the willingness to make what ever sacrifices are needed to pull it off.

My abbreviated advice has always been to make YOUR plan, follow YOUR plan and have several back-up plans in your hip pocket, just in case.

Since retirement, I haven't earned even $1K from w*rk (I did try driving cars for dealerships, but one sob got snotty because I took too long on one trip - last trip!)

My current concerns are about the overall economic uncertainty, but since I can do little about the world, I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing. I AM formulating some new back-up plans, but won't bore you with them.

As a "long-termer" (compared to 2 years, anyway), my major regret, if I have one, is not pulling the trigger sooner. Maybe next time, heh, heh. As always, YMMV.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:43 PM   #18
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Newbie here - retired in June.
I feel qualified to answer if *I* like retirement. I can't answer for anyone else. My answer may change when I've been retired longer... but I know my answer now.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:37 AM   #19
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Nine years next month at age 52. Not a single regret.
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
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Old 10-29-2014, 04:55 AM   #20
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Been nine years, retired at 54. Still seems like there are not enough hours in the day to get my stuff done. Maybe I need a retirement time management training course, except I don't know when I would find the time.

Normal is an illusion...what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.
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