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Old 04-11-2012, 11:15 AM   #21
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Just curious since I'm getting very close to my retirement (freedom) date. From everything I've read, very few people regret pulling the plug, even years later. Some wish they had made the jump earlier.

With all the ups/downs of the economy and the unknowns (i.e. health costs, gas costs, brother-in-law asks for a loan, etc.), is there anyone who retired and then later says "I wished I would have worked 1,2,3.... years more" for the added cushion or just so you'd have more spare cash to do things you want to? Anyone?

Thanks,
It appears to me that you have not visualized your retirement adequately. If you are not ready, do not do it. You will be lost. You will be unhappy with your loss of status.

Do not retire. You will not be happy.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiredgun View Post
Just curious since I'm getting very close to my retirement (freedom) date. From everything I've read, very few people regret pulling the plug, even years later. Some wish they had made the jump earlier.

With all the ups/downs of the economy and the unknowns (i.e. health costs, gas costs, brother-in-law asks for a loan, etc.), is there anyone who retired and then later says "I wished I would have worked 1,2,3.... years more" for the added cushion or just so you'd have more spare cash to do things you want to? Anyone?

Thanks,
No way. I hung around as long as I did (working part-time, having reduced my weekly hours worked for a second time the year before I left) just to see my company stock value grow to a level I needed it to be before I could leave. That was my goal, to have the desired cushion of investment income over expenses.

I have had to tweak my budget a few times since I ERed in 2008 but these changes were always seen as possibilities.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:25 PM   #23
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My stepdad just confided in my last week that he wished he had stuck it out another year. He and my Mom both retired in 2011. She went out at the very beginning, at the age of 62, with 42 years of service in the federal gov't. My stepdad was burning out at his job, and finally took an early retirement a few months later, at the age of 58.

Their original plan was to move to Florida, where they have a second home they purchased about 10 years ago. However, his Mom got sick and has been in and out of the hospital alot. And my Grandmom still has her good days and bad days, so between me, my uncle, and my Mom, we do the best we can to get her in for her doctors visits and such. And to top it off, my Mom has a horse that's about 25 years old, and needs a lot of medication. They thought it was going to die, but it's doing better now.

Anyway, a year ago, my stepdad didn't think he'd still be up here in Maryland, one year later. And he told me that if things were going to play out this way, he would've preferred to have just kept working, bringing in more money, and padding his retirement a bit more.

But then I reminded him...isn't it nice to be able to get up when you want, go where you want, take the time do do things you couldn't before. Isn't it nice to not have the 130 mile round-trip commute?

And isn't it nice to no longer be stuck in a job you hate, typing page after page of "All Work and No Play makes Jack a Dull Boy" and going but mad north northwest? Well, okay, didn't quite phrase it like that.

I think he does still regret quitting when he did sometimes, but he did say I had a few good points.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:17 PM   #24
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DH and I semi-retired at 40 at the peak of our careers in 2008, probably burnt out from our high-stress jobs. In retrospect we should have taken some time off and then worked for some more time in a lower stress job to build our cushion. Rethinking bcos of financial downturn, health insurance, peak earning potential, all friends our age group still working, did lot of things from my bucket list, etc. Our spending has actually gone up in retirement since we want to live in places where we can do more in lesiure time (museums, outdoors, events) and don't want to watch our spending as much. We plan to get back to part time earning. Difficult to summarize in a paragraph.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #25
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I pulled the plug 2 years ago at 45 and have no regrets on leaving the job. Budget wise things have went right on target. I cant however, let go of parttime jobs. I was going to quit for good this spring, but then got another unsolicited offer. Initially said no, then divided the 550 hours to be worked by the pay and changed my mind! Plus instead of working PT 5 days, I will work it in three having more days off and can take off when needed. I still dont mind working especially since I will get 4 days off. I would classify myself as cash flow rich, asset poor, so putting this income directly into my bank account helps to alleviate any long term cash issues involving bad health down the road.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:54 PM   #26
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Hello hiredgun. No second thoughts here.
+1

I hung on for a couple extra years to qualify for retiree HI at 55. Lucky I did as I would have ER'ed right before the crash and would almost certainly have had 2nd thoughts in that scenario.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Hiredgun View Post
Just curious since I'm getting very close to my retirement (freedom) date. From everything I've read, very few people regret pulling the plug, even years later. Some wish they had made the jump earlier.
Seems that way to me, too. Although sometimes people express regret on the forum, this does not seem to be the general reaction to retired life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiredgun
With all the ups/downs of the economy and the unknowns (i.e. health costs, gas costs, brother-in-law asks for a loan, etc.), is there anyone who retired and then later says "I wished I would have worked 1,2,3.... years more" for the added cushion or just so you'd have more spare cash to do things you want to? Anyone?

Thanks,
I think that if you plan cautiously for retirement, you will not feel a need for more cash. A big discovery for some (or at least for me) after retirement is that all along, we have valued time more than we realized and no longer want to trade it for money.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #28
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I retired at 59. Things haven't worked out as well as I expected (health and economic problems), but I'd still do it again.

The financial key was that we had a significant cushion. My projections said that we could cover 2x our normal expenses. So when bad times came we weren't stressed about paying for the basics. Had to give up some expected luxuries, but getting out of the rat race was worth it.
I am truly sorry to hear about both your health and economic problems; but, I also want to let you know that I personally found this to be one of the most inspiring and reassuring posts in this thread: Even with (assuming some significant) things not working out as planned, you would still do it again.

Thank you for sharing.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:24 PM   #29
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NO regrets here at all!!! I bailed out 5 years ago at age 50. I'd ran all the numbers over and over again, and every time it came out the same.....RETIRE!!!

I never gave a second thought to staying there ANY longer than I absolutely HAD to. And even the thought of any kind of job, even part-time, gives me the willies!!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:29 PM   #30
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I FIRE'd in Jan of 2008. When the stock market melted later during the year, for about 2 minutes, I questioned if I made a mistake or not. Then I woke up from my crazy thought and now I say, retiring when I did still is one of the most happy decisions I made in my lifetime.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:14 PM   #31
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No regrets here. I was retired(laid off) 6 months ago. I probably could have retired about 3 years ago, however, I was already semi retired and a steady paycheck and health benefits during the financial meltdown kept me working.

Already semi retired for several years, my daily grind consisted of 4 morning a week so it just did not matter that much one way or the other. I just hung in until the job came to an end.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #32
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None! I get "health insurance" through my ex employer in retirement. They put everyone on a catastrophic plan and raised our rates. They "gave" us an HRA of $1200 but my increased premium essentially covered that. I've paid thousands out of pocket and I'm still $900 from meeting the deductible. For all intents and purposes, I'm uninsured. I'd have the same deal if I was working, but my income would be higher.

I don't care. I'd crawl over broken glass and give up bacon forever to avoid going back. I'll make due one way or another, but I have no regrets.

If they said I'd have to give up beer, I might have to think about it though
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:12 AM   #33
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Thanks for the advice and personal stories. I'm a touch more than 12 months out and getting a bit nervous, but I think it's time. Nothing in life is a sure thing
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:14 AM   #34
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Like Mulligan, I intend to FIRE later this year but will keep a part time position at a couple of clinics, a few hours a week only.
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I cant however, let go of parttime jobs.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:24 AM   #35
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Be careful of the "regret" disease. There seems to be a trend espousing the merits of hanging on for a few years more to increase ss payouts, portfolios etc... Yes, financially you will have more by hanging on, but you will never get back precious years of unadulterated freedom and options to create your own bliss. I also agree with other posters that part time work can become a very unfulfilling trap without much financial up side.

If you have the means and the mentality to take advantage of being free from full time obligations, then go for it, if not, then you better stay, however, I think the worst of situation of all is to be in a state of regret and second guessing.

P.S. - with DW's blessing I switched roles, bailed at 45, took over the kids and house, that was six years ago, the kids are now on into college and it has been downright extraordinary. Financially, we never missed a beat, and are on track for DW to get out within the next few years.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:19 AM   #36
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+1

I hung on for a couple extra years to qualify for retiree HI at 55. Lucky I did as I would have ER'ed right before the crash and would almost certainly have had 2nd thoughts in that scenario.
DH is doing the same. The other benefit to retiring at 55 is the separation from company clause that allows you to withdraw from a 401k without penalty.

For us, 55 is "the magic number".
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:31 AM   #37
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DH is doing the same. The other benefit to retiring at 55 is the separation from company clause that allows you to withdraw from a 401k without penalty.

For us, 55 is "the magic number".
For me that magic number was 58 until I hit 50. I was in the office of the HR noumber 2 guy to check on something and he looked up my record and said, "Hey, you can RE at 55, which is a year earlier than me". Having that age suddenly jump 3 years closer was a great feeling. I think I floated out of his office.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #38
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For me that magic number was 58 until I hit 50. I was in the office of the HR noumber 2 guy to check on something and he looked up my record and said, "Hey, you can RE at 55, which is a year earlier than me". Having that age suddenly jump 3 years closer was a great feeling. I think I floated out of his office.
OMG, that's huge!! Seeing more light at the end of the tunnel is always a great feeling.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #39
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Looking back it is clear that one more year would have been better from a financial standpoint. DH retired in mid-2010 at the exact month that maximized his lump sum retirement. A month earlier or later and he would have received less money. I semi-retired around the same time, going from a very high stress job to working at the same job but on a very very part time basis (about 10 hours a week). I had originally planned to retire fully but when I turned in my resignation I was asked to continue on part-time.

On the one hand DH has loved being retired and I have loved being semi-retired and the work I do now is much lower stress. When I think about what it would have been like to work full time another year it fills me stress and anxiety.

But, there have been some negative financial events all house related. We had planned to downsize our large, expensive house and buy a less expensive house for retirement. Two years later we accomplished all that but, long story short, the cost to us to do all this was about $250k more than what we had originally anticipated -- every possible thing that could go wrong went wrong.

In retrospect, had DH and I both worked full time another year then we could have absorbed all this much better.

That said...we did adapt. I ended up increasing my part-time working hours a bit and I will probably continue it longer than I would have had the house thing worked out differently. That really isn't a huge hardship since I find that I enjoy doing the lower-stress, lower hours work that I'm doing now. I will keep doing it as long as I enjoy doing it.

And -- bottom line -- Firecalc still says we are OK. The net effect of all this is that we will ultimately have a little less to spend each year but still enough to meet our budget (most of the $250k we lost on house related stuff we will be getting back through my work time work which is well paid).

So, financial logic would say that it would have made sense to have waited to change from full time work until we had sold our house (which would have meant about another year)....but I also know that would have been highly stressful.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:23 PM   #40
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I'm not anywhere close to being a representative sample of this group, as ER was partially forced on me due to a layoff, and I've been living on a fraction of what I think most here are living on. I live in a rented 300 square foot studio apartment in the SF East Bay with a cat, and have only my legs and a bicycle for transport.

The plug was pulled on me 3 years ago when I was 45. I wanted to be able to work until my early 50's but my savings, with the addition of a modest inheritance, meant that I could afford a basic lifestyle on a 2.5% WR. When I was laid off, I didn't have the energy/desire to re-invent my career within the same, or a similar industry. The chance to fund a basic lifestyle from my savings and investments was more appealing than going back to work, even if it meant having to live at a lower level than I had previously planned.

So although my answer isn't terribly applicable to your question, I do wish my job had continued for longer, but am glad that I managed to accumulate what I did so that I had the funds to at least support a basic lifestyle when the axe fell. Most of my former co-workers are a little younger than me, but all of them, including the ones my age are either looking for work, or have already found other jobs. I think I'm the only one who has the luxury of having all this time to myself to do what I want, when I want.

Yes, I know it's almost 10:30 in the morning and I'm still in my pajamas, but kindly get off my lawn so that I can go back inside and make another cup of coffee

PS - I just measured my apartment, and it's closer to 285 square feet :-)
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