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Half of retirees report retired before age 60
Old 09-01-2012, 07:30 AM   #1
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Half of retirees report retired before age 60

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Half of retirees (51 percent) report that they retired before age 60.
This quote is from this note: Postponing Retirement Indefinitely - NYTimes.com

So I'm confused by all the fuss about no one being able to retire, much less retire early. Is it possible that the facts are wrong? That people are lying on surveys? What's really going on?
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
This quote is from this note: Postponing Retirement Indefinitely - NYTimes.com

So I'm confused by all the fuss about no one being able to retire, much less retire early. Is it possible that the facts are wrong? That people are lying on surveys? What's really going on?
But only 12% think they will retire that early. Sounds like a lot of workers are forced out of the job unexpectedly.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
This quote is from this note: Postponing Retirement Indefinitely - NYTimes.com

So I'm confused by all the fuss about no one being able to retire, much less retire early. Is it possible that the facts are wrong? That people are lying on surveys? What's really going on?
First you have to understand surveys. They are asking retired people. Let's say for example that out of 100 people, only 5 were retired. Now you ask those 5 people when they retired, and 3 said that they retired before age 60. You could then announce that 60% of those retired, did so before the age of 60.

The rest of course are still working.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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To some pre-retirees who have not yet tackled the formidable task of planning for retirement (including me when I was in that position), retirement before age 70-90 seems financially impossible. But once they meet the challenge and start LBYM and serious planning, they manage to retire early anyway.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
This quote is from this note: Postponing Retirement Indefinitely - NYTimes.com

So I'm confused by all the fuss about no one being able to retire, much less retire early. Is it possible that the facts are wrong? That people are lying on surveys? What's really going on?
Several things:

(1) Enough people did have jobs with pensions and retiree health insurance to enable a comfortable retirement before 60;

(2) Some of the folks "medically retired" before age 60;

(3) Some of the folks have lost jobs before they were 60 and got discouraged when trying to find a new one;

(4) A few additional folks wanted out so badly that even if none of these top 3 apply, they practiced LBYM, saved and invested until it hurt for decades until they reached FI at a fairly early age.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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I go under number 4.Always planed on leaving at 55.At 45 came the takeover and pension frozen.People where tyrants.At 50 gave many of us severance package.Always maxed out 401k + IRAS.Last five years their saved like a maniac cause I knew I would"nt make 55 their.Feel great,never looked back.I will never own a vineyard or travel the world,but thats ok with me.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
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First you have to understand surveys. They are asking retired people. Let's say for example that out of 100 people, only 5 were retired. Now you ask those 5 people when they retired, and 3 said that they retired before age 60. You could then announce that 60% of those retired, did so before the age of 60.

The rest of course are still working.
Of course if you are still working you are not retired so your answer is irrelevant until you do retire. But if the 5% who were retired are a good sample of all who are retired then the finding that 60% of retirees retired before 60 is valid.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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I had a funny experience yesterday. We had finished exercising at the YMCA and were having coffee and chatting with the retired friends we hang out with there. One of the ladies told me that I should join her and her husband in the Seniorsize class that was about to start. (We've known them at the YMCA since 2005, and he retired in 2007). I asked what type of class it was and she said that it was an aerobics class and the instructor drove them pretty hard. They are very fit so I had no doubt it would be a good workout but I told her that with my bike riding and tennis etc, that I used the Y for weight training and flexibility classes. DW then chimed in and said "I think we are too young, don't you have to be 60 for the senior classes?". When I told her that I was 57 she was amazed and asked how on earth we managed to retire at 55. None of the folks there (about 6 or 7 other retirees) had retired before 60.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #9
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Of course if you are still working you are not retired so your answer is irrelevant until you do retire. But if the 5% who were retired are a good sample of all who are retired then the finding that 60% of retirees retired before 60 is valid.
Following are some excerpts from the OP-linked article.
..telephone interviews of 1,600 adults ages 45 to 80. Half were retirees and half were pre-retirees, who were still working.

Half of retirees (51 percent) report that they retired before age 60...

While many pre-retirees say they expect to continue to work well past traditional retirement age, that may be “wishful thinking” — or an excuse for not saving and preparing, the report says. The reality is that many people actually retire earlier than they expect, whether because they lose their jobs and can’t find new ones, or because of failing health.

Remember that only people still alive get to participate in the survey. Dead people do not take phone calls. Hence, we cannot say 1/2 X 1/2 = 1/4 of people are early retirees.

So, I wonder how many even get to retire at all. Not all those who work until they die are working into their 70s and get to die of old age. We have friends that died in their late 50s or early 60s, and never made it to retirement. They would not be represented in the above survey.

That makes winners out of the people who even get one day of retirement life. I might have told a story of a man who retired from my former megacorp on Friday. On Monday, his wife called the office to say he died of a heart attack on Sunday.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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There's a Memoriam page on the company intranet, which lists the names of the deceased, date of death, and whether they were retired. I did a quick analysis of the last 2 years, and 22% of the names on the list did not say "retired." (The list doesn't include date of birth, so no way to tell age at death).

Fortunately, the "died while working" list is a very tiny proportion of current employees.

(There needs to be a list of people who qualify as Dead While Working - those who only come to life at closing time).

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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Following are some excerpts from the OP-linked article.
..telephone interviews of 1,600 adults ages 45 to 80. Half were retirees and half were pre-retirees, who were still working.

Half of retirees (51 percent) report that they retired before age 60...

While many pre-retirees say they expect to continue to work well past traditional retirement age, that may be “wishful thinking” — or an excuse for not saving and preparing, the report says. The reality is that many people actually retire earlier than they expect, whether because they lose their jobs and can’t find new ones, or because of failing health.
Remember that only people still alive get to participate in the survey. Dead people do not take phone calls. Hence, we cannot say 1/2 X 1/2 = 1/4 of people are early retirees.

So, I wonder how many even get to retire at all. Not all those who work until they die are working into their 70s and get to die of old age. We have friends that died in their late 50s or early 60s, and never made it to retirement. They would not be represented in the above survey.

That makes winners out of the people who even get one day of retirement life. I might have told a story of a man who retired from my former megacorp on Friday. On Monday, his wife called the office to say he died of a heart attack on Sunday.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:10 AM   #11
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(There needs to be a list of people who qualify as Dead While Working - those who only come to life at closing time).

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Old 09-02-2012, 11:00 AM   #12
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Of course if you are still working you are not retired so your answer is irrelevant until you do retire. But if the 5% who were retired are a good sample of all who are retired then the finding that 60% of retirees retired before 60 is valid.
But there is no reason that they would be an unbiased sample. In fact, they could not possibly be.

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Old 09-02-2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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What a wonderful picture that conjures. I will try to envision the local Working Dead doing a little blouse-tearing and polka-dot-dancing. At least it will give them a reason to wonder why Amethyst is chuckling again

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