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View Poll Results: For those who retired at < 50 did you plan for years, or make a sudden decision?
I knew for ages the day I would retire 21 51.22%
A sudden change in attitude or means meant I could retire much earlier than I thought 20 48.78%
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How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 02:46 PM   #1
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How long did you plan to retire?

Whenever I think about planning for ER I wonder how many people actually follow their plans. It seems like there are a lot of people on this board who had a sudden change of heart or circumstance and retired fairly quickly after they needed to or found out they could or were given a retirement package they couldn't refuse.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 03:34 PM   #2
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

Back in 1992, after climbing out of my post-divorce debt pit, I looked where I was and where I wanted to be in my career and made a drew several lines in the sand.

One was to get off the Corporate ladder and devote more time to my family and my self.

Another was to set a goal date for my ER at age 55 which was to happen in 2007. If I could do so before that I would consider it.

Things have a way of changing from the best laid plans. I "retired" from my former company after 24 years; 4 years before I had originally intended. I actually retired at age 50.5 and took a job with a smaller company and moved. My wife retired from the same company at age 56 and I was to follow one year later. That was not to be so I reverted to my original plan of 2007. In 32 days it will actually happen.

So my answer is actually both; I planned it for many years and I also bailed out and "retired" because of a change in what I wanted out of life.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 04:14 PM   #3
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

I may have cheated by answering, because I haven't retired yet. But... I am 37, and both my husband and I will be leaving MegaCorp(s) in August 2011. My husband and I started really saving 10 years ago. We might have had 40K between us 10 years ago - but we made a plan, stuck to it, and now have a net worth of about 1.4 mil (no lottery winnings or inheritances in that number, either, we got it the hard way, through w*rk). I have every confidence we'll make the date in 4 years...
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 04:16 PM   #4
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

I had planned for many years to retire just before my 50th birthday in 2008.
I usually enjoyed my work (programming), and everything was going along
smoothly. However, a streak of good investment results and a sudden
downturn in the environment at work caused me to retire last year at 48, 18
months ahead of schedule.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 05:43 PM   #5
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

In Feb '04 I didn't take an early retirement because I didn't think I could live on that small an amount (~$22k). I resigned myself to working until I had 30 years in (23 Feb '08).

In April '04 I attended a seminar for people retiring within 5 years. I listened and took notes and later I read the entire thick handout. There it was! I won't explain it at length, but the ~$22k would only be for a little more than a year; as of Mar '06 I would start getting ~$28K (but only if I took an early retirement offer). I was sure I could live on that. Also I learned I could access the TSP without penalty if necessary even though I was not yet 59.5 or even 55.

In Aug '04 an ER was offered and I applied. A few of us didn't find out if we were accepted until Oct '04 because we were in a special pay group. I also got the $25k retirement incentive and ~$10k in unused leave (I put a lot of that into a Roth for '04 and 05) .

My official last day was 31 Dec '04.

I haven't yet touched the TSP or the CDs. Heck, I'm still putting money into savings almost every month.

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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

I had planned to retire on June 1, 2008 but on March 22, 2007 I suddenly found myself downsized, but compensated with a severance package that pretty much got me to the same place without having to work that long.

This is all still very new to me and I'm beginning to wonder if a "soft landing" would have been easier on the psyche than being so suddenly cut lose. So far, so good...but I'm having to do a lot of planning on the fly that I would have done over that last year or so at a much more sedate pace.

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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:32 PM   #7
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

I had always planned to retire in my 50's and then one day I just had enough.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:35 PM   #8
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

A few days before I found this website. Which was a little more than 3 years ago.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-16-2007, 06:50 PM   #9
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

It was February.....it was 6 a.m......it was sleeting......I was 50 and my sweetie was 42. I was having something of a midlife crisis (you know the drill.....is this all there is, etc).

I said, "well if it wasn't for you, I sure wouldn't be HERE in cold, dark, miserable northern PA". And my sweetie said, "where would you be?"

And I said, "I'd be getting a housesitter for the house, buying something like a little VW Vanagon, and taking off for a year to travel in Mexico and Central America and have adventures".

Did I said it was cold.....dark......sleeting......and my sweetie was about to slog out the door to scrape off the truck windows and go to work?

My sweetie said, "you know, maybe the University would be willing to give me a sabbatical period if I was willing to take it unpaid".......

and a new life was born.

Our intention was to go for a year.....that year stretched to two......we couldn't make ourselves go back to ordinary life....

That was fifteen years ago...we never DID go back......(well, five years later, after the housesitter had become the tenant and then become the new owner of the house.....we did go back to clean out our stuff)

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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-17-2007, 07:54 AM   #10
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

Since I was 14 yo, the magic age for me has always been my 50th birthday. That's why I went in the Marines, and it's why I went into law enforcement after I left the Marines. They both offered 20 AND OUT or 20/50 AND OUT. In 16 months I'll be 50 with 24 years in. Guess what I'll be doing!
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-17-2007, 01:26 PM   #11
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?


I love your story Loose. Mine is much more mundane than that. I have a history of relatives who early retired. Specifically one Uncle who had problems taking orders from anyone - I don't ever remember him not retired - I think his might have been extreme early retirement. My father early retired at 48 - he was in law enforcement and had the 25 years and out pension deal. So I always knew early retirement was a possibility especially if you got a job with a pension and hung in. I wanted to early retire from the minute I began working full-time in my twenties but it took until my early thirties to get serious and tighten up the plan. Now DH and I are on track to retire at 49 - 27 months from now.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-17-2007, 03:31 PM   #12
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

never considered retirement until shortly before the fact. job got crappy, personal life got tough. i couldn't stop my mom from dying but i sure could stop my job from killing me. so i quit what i could to better handle what i couldn't.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-17-2007, 07:06 PM   #13
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

I started planning for it before I finished college... said I would retire in my 40's.

Then I started working Tech after college and saved for a home and put away enough for company match into 401k... then about 6 months ago I found ER Forum and have been aggressively planning for ER.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-17-2007, 08:09 PM   #14
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

Spent like I was drunk most of my life. At 47 a bell went off and now I'm retired and turning 58 this month. I must say if it wasn't for the forum I'd still be working.

It's wonderful to see all the young folks on this forum saving at such young ages.
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-17-2007, 08:21 PM   #15
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredbop
Since I was 14 yo, the magic age for me has always been my 50th birthday. That's why I went in the Marines, and it's why I went into law enforcement after I left the Marines. They both offered 20 AND OUT or 20/50 AND OUT. In 16 months I'll be 50 with 24 years in. Guess what I'll be doing!
I'm impressed, RBOP. I think you're one of the very few veterans, if not the only Marine, to consider joining the military for its retirement benefits. Never occurred to me.

I saw a bumper sticker on a car today: "Relax-- it's only four years." It had no logo or context, just white text on a blue background. I couldn't figure out if the car belonged to a veteran or a college student...
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-17-2007, 08:41 PM   #16
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

Relax its only 4 years --

prob a shot at Bush. He's a big target right now.....and growing
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-18-2007, 04:44 AM   #17
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

We have not ER'd yet. But we have been planning (in earnest) for about 18 years... got serious! 4.5 yrs and counting.

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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-18-2007, 08:19 AM   #18
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

From the time i started w*rking, I knew I wanted to bail at the first feasible opportunity.....which at that time meant 55 for full pension. Then they started toying around with Early Retirement Incentives (ERI), where if you were at least 50 and had at least 20 years service, you could "buy" up to 5 years combined age/service credit, and walk out the door with the full pesion and benefits.

So, planned for 55....got early parole at 50! Yippee-Yahoo!!
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?
Old 04-18-2007, 08:27 AM   #19
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Re: How long did you plan to retire?

started thinking about it a couple years ago, when DH and I finally emerged from that "starving college graduate" phase and started making real money. FIRECALC says we could pull the trigger at 46, but there are so many variables that are yet to be established that my real expectation is to go at 50. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than get my hopes up too high. :-)
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