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Old 07-02-2010, 07:41 PM   #81
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I retired at 54. Some coworkers retired at about same age.
Me, too. I think that my neighbors think I'm really just unemployed.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:44 PM   #82
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I retired 1 week after becoming eligible to do so at 55 last year. (Actually, today is my first anniversary of living the good life.) Several friends did likewise. Employer was federal gov't under the old CSRS plan, which allowed one to reire once you had 30 years of service at age 55.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:55 PM   #83
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Though not "early" 50s, my dad was one of a dying breed of Megacorp pensioners who got a really good deal. (This was the same employer that later froze my pension and took away retiree health insurance.)

I've told this story before, but for those who haven't heard it -- when my dad was 55, he was seriously considering retirement since that was the earliest he could get out with a pension. The kids were out of the house, expenses were low, and he and Mom were FI by that time. But Megacorp didn't want Dad to retire so they proceeded to make the next couple of years easy on him -- not giving him grief, not giving him work they knew he hated, all that. He said he could keep going for a while if they were going to keep paying him well and keep the job more tolerable.

Well, in 1992 (he was 57) there was a downsizing and he took a sweetheart early incentive package, including six months severance, an additional five years of service for pension calculation purposes and 100% employer-paid retiree health insurance to age 65.

I think he took about four seconds to decide whether to take the package. (I'm not sure if he even called Mom first.) And all I have waiting for me is a little more than $600 a month in a frozen pension if I start it at 65... such is the birth lottery. Sometimes it makes me feel cheated for being born too late or stupid for going into the private sector, but what can I do at this point? I made what seemed like a good decision at the time and it bit me in the butt. Gotta go make some lemonade...
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:12 PM   #84
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I retired 1 week after becoming eligible to do so at 55 last year. (Actually, today is my first anniversary of living the good life.) Several friends did likewise. Employer was federal gov't under the old CSRS plan, which allowed one to reire once you had 30 years of service at age 55.
Happy anniversary....
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:19 PM   #85
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Was fortunate to kick over the office waste basket at 52. Received a lot of strange looks/comments when I told co-workers I was retiring. Being able to retire early is not all that complicated, just start saving early and often. You don't have to be an investment genius, I'm certainly not. Just invested my retirement savings in stock indexed mutual funds and didn't panic during market downturns. It always amazed me the number my of my younger co-workers who gave no thought to retirement savings, who wouldn't even put in enough in their 401K to get the full company matching.
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:59 AM   #86
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I retired at 55, 7 yrs ago and it is still working. These difficult economic times make me uneasy and tighter with spending a buck but still hanging in there with the DW.
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:09 AM   #87
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A friend of mine's dad sold his business (a business he inherited) for a lump sum of about $2 million when he was in his late 40s and attempted to retire. Keep in mind he pulled a big salary all the years he ran the show.

He knew nothing about investments and never had to really budget as he made a big salary. He made some big purchases and handed the rest over to a financial advisor. The advisor had him heavily invested in tech stocks right before the Nasdaq collapse - AOL in a BIG way & on margin.

He moved to another FA but it was too late. That huge loss + big spending habits killed his financial means. He had to go back to work + his wife had to go back to work. His real estate has held up well - paid for his home, kept the RE where his business used to be & bought a lake property that has done well.

Only real early ER attempt I have witnessed = FAIL
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:45 AM   #88
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No, I don't know anyone who actually planned to retire early and then retired early. I know a few people who became disabled, or booted out by megacorp and have "made do" with their savings/income, but for the purpose of this discussion, I'm not counting those folks.

At 53, I won't be retiring early, but I do hope to retire with dignity (no cat food) someday. Frankly, we had hoped to retire early, but it's not going to happen. Too many pieces of the puzzle didn't work out as planned (Mr. Market didn't cooperate, an expected promotion hasn't happened because someone up the food chain at megacorp can't retire.....I could go on).

Neither of us has a pension plan and no post-retirement health care benefit from our employers.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:19 AM   #89
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I wonder how many people ER that later fail? People try many things that have no chance of success. Just look at how many people have lost their homes. Never had enough to buy one that big in the first place but they tried.

So how many have ER'd then gone back to work later?
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:31 AM   #90
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Sometimes it makes me feel cheated for being born too late or stupid for going into the private sector, but what can I do at this point? I made what seemed like a good decision at the time and it bit me in the butt. Gotta go make some lemonade...
A lot of what happens in life seems to be a crap shoot. I picked police work in my senior year of high school because it was outside, moving around (I absolutely loathed the idea of working in an office) and every day would hopefully be different. But at age 22 retirement was so far over the horizon I couldn't conceive of it. The day I started with the PD I was making half again as much money as my father did at his peak and didn't have a clue as to what to do with "all that money". I vaguely knew they had a retirement plan but didn't give it much thought until retirement was about ten years out. In the middle of it was a divorce and having to start over from scratch at the age of 35 with $7,500 and two pickup trucks of furniture. We do have a nice DB pension with COLA's (2% this year) but I can't claim it was any great planning on my part.

So it seems to be true for most that "life is what happens while you're making other plans."

The ones who did plan ahead to retire early also didn't lose it all to a bad marriage, injury or illness, so there is an element of luck to even those farsighted folks.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #91
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I have always been single and have no children.

My DW always said that folks with no kids were already retired

I am always interested in the relationship among generations and the effect on being "retired". Those who care and/or provide for children and parents are never really retired. It's just different work.

"He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief." Of Marriage and Single Life. Francis Bacon
Bacon -- Essay 8
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:51 AM   #92
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Yes - but all those who retired in their late 40's or early 50's were not married and had no children or other financial responsibilities other than themselves. Makes it a lot easier.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:56 AM   #93
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My DW always said that folks with no kids were already retired
She's probably right!

And you never really have to "grow up" yourself - or at least that's how it feels like to us. I'm 50, but I still feel like I'm in my 30s and don't "feel" an age difference when I'm around other people in their 30s.

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Old 07-03-2010, 09:05 AM   #94
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Yes - but all those who retired in their late 40's or early 50's were not married and had no children or other financial responsibilities other than themselves. Makes it a lot easier.
You perhaps haven't been here long enough to know better, but this is not true. Many here retired at this stage of life, and many here have children.

Ha
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:35 AM   #95
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You perhaps haven't been here long enough to know better, but this is not true. Many here retired at this stage of life, and many here have children.

Ha
I am saying that of those people I know personally (which was the original question) who retired really early - in their late 40's and early 50's - none had children or other financial responsibilities. In addition, all had either a military or local/state/federal defined benefit pension.

I don't personally know anyone on this board, so all information posted here is, to me, anecdotal. I'm sure there are people who retired at 40 with several million dollars in savings and 3 kids, but I don't personally know any of them. There are probably also folks who are so frugal that they can afford to retire on a lot less - I don't personally know any of those either.

I do personally know some people who made fortunes through AOL and other .coms in the late '90s and were smart enough to cash out before the crash, but not one of them retired early, through they could easily afford it. In fact, those successful executives are still working in their late 50s and 60s. Guess it's part of their DNA.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:39 AM   #96
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You perhaps haven't been here long enough to know better, but this is not true. Many here retired at this stage of life, and many here have children.

Ha
Yes, that is true (for us).

While I did not retire early (age 59), I did retire before my target of full SS age (earlier age 65, now 66).

Since I'm "ahead of target", I still consider it early - even if others do not ...
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:51 AM   #97
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I am saying that of those people I know personally (which was the original question) who retired really early - in their late 40's and early 50's - none had children or other financial responsibilities. In addition, all had either a military or local/state/federal defined benefit pension.

I don't personally know anyone on this board, so all information posted here is, to me, anecdotal. I'm sure there are people who retired at 40 with several million dollars in savings and 3 kids, but I don't personally know any of them. There are probably also folks who are so frugal that they can afford to retire on a lot less - I don't personally know any of those either.

I do personally know some people who made fortunes through AOL and other .coms in the late '90s and were smart enough to cash out before the crash, but not one of them retired early, through they could easily afford it. In fact, those successful executives are still working in their late 50s and 60s. Guess it's part of their DNA.
I see; I didn't understand your reference point. Sorry for my confusion. As to the "anectdotal" evidence on this board, here is another anecdote for you. I have met quite a few members, and none of them are any different from what they present on here.

I found the Original Post to be a bit strange. If he doesn't credit the overall message of success and methods laid out here, why is he spending time reading and posting here?


Ha
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:12 AM   #98
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My Uncle took an early retirement (age 50) from the Post Office in the early '70's.

I was talking to a friend I hadn't seen in a while and found out she retired early (late 40's) from private industry. She lived below her means and saved. She told me when she was forced to lay people of a switch turned off in her head and she never enjoyed working again.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:44 AM   #99
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I have met quite a few members, and none of them are any different from what they present on here.
Same here. The "resemblance" between the on-line and real-life versions are striking. In fact, somehow even my mental image of their personal comportment and appearance have been pretty close.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:24 AM   #100
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Same here. The "resemblance" between the on-line and real-life versions are striking. In fact, somehow even my mental image of their personal comportment and appearance have been pretty close.
I'm totally different in real-life than on-line. I'm brazen in the real world.
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