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Has anyone here retired and later wished they worked another year?
Old 04-11-2012, 01:59 AM   #1
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Has anyone here retired and later wished they worked another year?

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,
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:36 AM   #2
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Maybe if you were on a tight budget retiring into a market going down for 3 to four years.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:47 AM   #3
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Hello hiredgun. No second thoughts here.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:26 AM   #4
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I worked with a guy that retired at 50. We had talked quite a bit about his financial situation without a lot of specifics. He never revealed his actual dollar amount but he was 70% equities. He wanted to retire to the Texas Hill Country but he didn't feel comfortable with the retirement income he felt he could take from his portfolio. He ended up retiring when he got a part time job at a hardware store not far from where he wanted to live.

After a year I talked with him. He was miserable. It was 2001 so he was "enjoying" watching his portfolio get trashed. He said the job he thought would be low stress wasn't. He said the other workers there were nastier than his original job (where I still was). They were constantly trying to get "his" hours to increase their income. He had to keep this job because he felt he needed it financially. He felt that if he had worked another 2 years it would have been more than he will make in two decades of working at the hardware store. He worried he'd lose the job and then be in a financial bind.

This was my first exposure to "early retirement." I had never really considered it as a practical option before him. His experience has certainly given me a reason to pause when I consider "when" for me. I ended up losing my position at that company not long afterwards which led me to a much lower paying one as a NASA contractor. That's where I eventually found this forum and discovered I was FI as long as DW was willing to accept the lifestyle. After a relatively short stint at NASA, I got back into a higher paying position more in line with my background. Wealth continues to build where DW wouldn't even notice a lifestyle shift. I am under no stress and get 5 weeks off every year which I have trouble getting DW to go on vacation that much. I am, however, getting closer. My reluctance is based on the absurd interest rates the Fed (who should all be tried for genocide) has forced on us "solvent seniors."

Bottom line -- be comfortable with your finances before you pull the cord. Any part-time or hobby income should not be part of the basic living expenses. If you get some, consider it "fun money."
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:32 AM   #5
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No regrets here! RE'd @53. Like so many, "...I don't know how I had the time to w*rk...."

I read the Obits every AM and read about classmates etc who were still w*rking...
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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Not a hint of regret here, although I did have a nightmare or two during the '08 -'09 market meltdown about the possibility of returning to work.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
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Not a hint of regret here, although I did have a nightmare or two during the '08 -'09 market meltdown about the possibility of returning to work.
If I could replenish my fixed income with 5%+ CDs like I had in '07 I'd be gone. Unfortunately, they have all either matured or been redeemed by the FDIC when the bank failed.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:31 AM   #8
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I've established my target retirement as somewhere between January and August 2013. However, being the worry-wart that I am I now of the mind-set that it'll probably be August (I do expect to go to a 3-day workweek come January). Those extra few months will give me the mental reassurance I need that I don't have after-the-fact regrets (i.e., from a financial perspective).
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:43 AM   #9
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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,
not me - the last few months I started to regret staying so long, esp. after
finding this site.
I also have a large cushion between savings and what I need to live on so
that is a factor.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #10
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No regrets here either.

We moved away from the insane Washington, DC area traffic and neither one of us has to deal with cumbersome bureaucracies any more.

That said, while I stumbled into a job that for now is easy and pays well, and the unplanned-for income allows us to do some things we wouldn't have otherwise done, I have the freedom to leave whenever I want if things turn sour there. That alone is worth a lot.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:35 AM   #11
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I will FIRE in 16 days. I can give you an answer in 17 days. But so far, so good!
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:55 AM   #12
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He said the job he thought would be low stress wasn't. He said the other workers there were nastier than his original job (where I still was).
I think a lot of us may mistake "low pay" for "easy." Sometimes it is, sometimes it ain't. And if you need the paycheck, it can be high stress. Those low-pay jobs many of us took in HS and college probably are just as unappealing now as they were then. If that's the only option, it's probably better to hang on a little longer and take advantage of being higher up the ladder. But that "little longer" part comes with its own risk.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:07 AM   #13
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Not a hint of regret here, although I did have a nightmare or two during the '08 -'09 market meltdown about the possibility of returning to work.
Same here. If I had known the market was going to tank shortly after retirement, I would have gone another year or two. But as most here, hung on and regained it all. I certainly have not wanted to go back to work due to boredom.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:18 AM   #14
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I am 15 months into ER and have no regrets. Of course, in my case I ER'd after the 2008 crash and though I took some losses I still had enough to make the decision to ER. The key, in my opinion, is to plan very carefully for the short term (say 5 yrs). You need to be really comfortable with your anticipated income and lifestyle. For the long term, you really don't know. Nobody does. FIREcal will give you some sense of the probabilities but you really just need to be flexible for the future.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #15
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I did retire too early from teaching special education to get out from under the stress. I took an age reduced pension, figuring my dh would get a full CSRS pension, which he did. So , we have been fine, but I obsess about money all the time, . Now, I work part time for HR Block, just to avoid having to take any money out from savings, but for the pay I get it is not a cream puff job. It does keep my mind engaged which I most certainly need.
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No Regrets and LOVING IT!
Old 04-11-2012, 09:56 AM   #16
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No Regrets and LOVING IT!

I'm now two years into retirement after 35 years in Law Enforcement service. I stayed longer than was required to build up the retirement portfolio but still got out at age 57. Some of my co-workers exited at the first opportunity, however, now find themselves working menial jobs to make ends meet due to rising health care costs.

I have absolutely no regrets about retirement. I am travelling, doing volunteer work and leaving plenty of time available for hunting, fishing, hiking, etc. Do your homework and run the numbers to make sure your retirement income is sufficient to meet living expenses for the future. If it is...GET THE HELL OUT and go enjoy life. Too many people stay around those extra few years then fall over dead or thier health deteriorates and they can't enjoy life.

I have not been bored a single day since leaving. As a friend once told me "only boring people get bored! "
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #17
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I think the OP was primarily inquiring about working another year for financial benefits. I can't say for myself, but had a colleague who jumped early 08 and ended up back in the workforce, late fifties. I think most of us are paranoid about that and want to make darn sure it won't happen to us. Even though I have a cola'd pension and portfolio that generates almost twice after tax what we've been spending, I still wring my hands. Just my nature.

As for the other aspects, I know I'm going to be challenged when I actually walk out the door here, likely in a week or two. Complicated home situation so can't travel the way we'd like, but it's going to be tough to seek satisfaction sans a job. Work sucks, but it keeps me occupied. My plan is to just not sweat it for a while, look around, and find things I enjoy. Last night had a good discussion with DW about how different we are; she doesn't worry about a thing (leaves that to me!) but me? If I won the mega lottery I'd still worry about something! She just is one who lives in the moment and doesn't worry about things.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:16 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:27 AM   #19
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In a couple of weeks (May 1), it will be five years that I have been retired.

Even though I've gone through the downturn of '08 (along with the downturns of the early 80's and the early 2K's), I've never had any regrets nor did I ever think that I should have stayed "that one more year".

Life is short (OK Nords, I'll pass on the cartoon ).

Financially, we'e doing OK; emotionally - even better (DW retired last Monday)...
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #20
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Of course you realize most people would be highly unlikely to admit to having second thoughts. And retirees who are second guessing retiring (early), wouldn't be likely to be ongoing members here. There is an (understandable) bias here by definition, nothing wrong with that. Sort of like asking on a Ford Mustang forum if members regret not buying a Camaro. People sorta expect to have their views reinforced here...

I have no regrets about leaving the career/job I retired from. It served me well but I'd had more than enough. But there are advantages and disadvantages to working and retirement in my short experience. I sort of enjoyed the daily interaction with 50 people (even if a few of them were annoying doofi), I have good interaction with people now but I can't match 50 people. I am not considering going back to work for the fun of it, but I wouldn't discount the idea entirely yet...
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