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I'm not sure that I even want to RE...
Old 05-29-2007, 10:49 PM   #1
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I'm not sure that I even want to RE...

First time poster, but I love to lurk

So many of you have either already RE or seem so certain that you want to RE. DH and I are not so sure. I am 42, he is 44, and we are on track to comfortably retire when either he turns 60 or I do. However, we could probably RE when I turn 55 if we make some sacrifices now (pension and health care rules pretty much rule out retiring earlier than 55). But do we even want to? And if not, then I don't want to make the sacrifices!

Specifically, we are considering moving into a more expensive house, which would preclude retiring at age 55. We are willing to stay in our current house to reach the goal of retiring at 55, but we want to move if we are going to wait until age 60 (or later ).

We both like our jobs and get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment from them. But we also love the idea of having time to travel and spend more time on hobbies while we are in good health.

Anyone have any input / advice that would help us out?

Thanks,
Linda
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:11 PM   #2
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Its all about what you want and the tradeoffs associated with that, none of us can answer that. But you can still determine which are the pros and cons of taking social security and why not to buy certain financial products.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:22 PM   #3
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The "what if" is something we all face...that's for sure.

But, it seems to me that you've already answered your own question. You stated that you both like your jobs...but you both would love to travel and spend time on hobbies.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:55 AM   #4
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It doesn't sound like you're ready to retire now.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:06 AM   #5
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It seems to me that you should keep your options open -- which means LBYM so you can choose in 10 years. When the time approaches you may find that you like your work even more than now and will stay with it. You can always move up if you still want to. On the other hand, you may find that the job has changed and no longer is as rewarding or worse, that it has become a drag. And your desire to pursue travel and hobbies may have increased. The little bit of sacrifice (staying in your current home) will afford you the option to choose.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:29 AM   #6
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Quality of life both before and after retirement is the most important thing.
If the new house will allow you to enjoy life more than work will not allow you to enjoy life more, you should go for the new house
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:10 AM   #7
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I enjoyed my job at 42 but management took on a more high risk philosophy over the next few years that made me uneasy. Also the early death of my brother made me realize I'm not guaranteed a long life so I opted for ER.

I would keep my options open and get yourself in position to ER. If at 55 you are still happy working, by all means continue doing so. It's all about being happy.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:35 AM   #8
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At 42, the concept of retirement was so abstract that I didn't even think about it in realistic terms -- wish I had. I liked my job then, and I like my job now (at age 58 )..

The difference is that back then the 8-12 hour days 6 or 7 days a week was just part of the package. Now, I think I'd prefer a different balance, though work still is rewarding for me, and I'm close to being able to afford the change.

Great that you are thinking ahead. Find your balance but given your self-description of your likes, wants, and resources, I'd just sit tight, enjoy life, andsave (aggressively but not absurdly) until something changes the equilibrium. You'll know it when it happens.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:44 AM   #9
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I agree with the others. It is about finding balance. You don't want to feel deprived now, especially if you are working toward a goal you are not sure you want. If you want the bigger house, and are OK with delaying retirement to have it, there is nothing wrong with that.

I'm not planning to retire for 14 more years (age 38), and I like my job. I just also know that I have lots of hobbies I don't get to spend enough time on, charities that I'd like to donate more time to, and many, many countries yet to explore.

It's just all about what is most important to you.
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindalou View Post
First time poster, but I love to lurk
Specifically, we are considering moving into a more expensive house, which would preclude retiring at age 55. We are willing to stay in our current house to reach the goal of retiring at 55, but we want to move if we are going to wait until age 60 (or later ).
I don't see why moving into a more expensive house has to preclude your retiring at age 55. So long as you can afford the new house, why not enjoy it over the next 11-13 years. If it's in a good location, and you don't overpay for it, in all probability it will appreciate over the time you are in it. At that point you can always sell it and trade down to a smaller place if you need to in order to retire.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:12 AM   #11
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Here's something to balance out all the balance talk.

Now that I'm retired, I find that it's so much, much better than I'd even imagined, that I wish I'd done it even sooner. I wouldn't really want to change anything in my life, but if I were doing it over again, I think I would LBYM even more and even earlier so as to retire at 45.

-----------------

Concerning the move to a bigger house, FIRE'd@51 has a good point, but be sure to figure in closing costs, moving costs, heating and cooling costs, and other McMansion expenditures.
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Old 05-30-2007, 11:32 AM   #12
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Welcome,

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindalou View Post
DH and I are not so sure. I am 42, he is 44, and we are on track to comfortably retire when either he turns 60 or I do. However, we could probably RE when I turn 55 if we make some sacrifices now (pension and health care rules pretty much rule out retiring earlier than 55). But do we even want to? And if not, then I don't want to make the sacrifices!
Why worry? Just keep working as long as you like. It's a zero sum game, compromises will always be around, one way or another.

However, your presence here on this board (even mostly lurking) says that you're somewhat intrigued by the RE concept, right?
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:16 PM   #13
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i agree with sgeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. if you are not sure about e.r. then you are not ready. if you are not sure about e.r. and you get satisfaction from your job then why give up your job in exchange for what you are not sure of. i still remember when i did get satisfaction from my job, when i enjoyed it. if i still did, i'd still be working.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum View Post
i agree with sgeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. if you are not sure about e.r. then you are not ready. if you are not sure about e.r. and you get satisfaction from your job then why give up your job in exchange for what you are not sure of. i still remember when i did get satisfaction from my job, when i enjoyed it. if i still did, i'd still be working.
I also agree with fired@51 that if moving to a bigger house makes sense now, it will make even more sense when you retire. If you should decide to retire soomer, the added equity in a bigger house can enable ER by downsizing.

OTOH my mom used to say: Move up in a down market, and move down in an up market. So financially, upgrading now may make sense depending on your local market.

Also I think it is fairly common that the job environment in your late thirties and forties is about optimum. Unless you make it to senior management, the job after 55 starts to seem a lot more like work!
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:39 PM   #15
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Also I think it is fairly common that the job environment in your late thirties and forties is about optimum. Unless you make it to senior management, the job after 55 starts to seem a lot more like work!
I think you have NAILED IT kcowan. You have articulated the 'drudgery factor' that got me to seriously look at FIRE. Thanks.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:43 PM   #16
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Welcome, Linda!

All I'll say here is this: Don't focus on whether you'll want to retire early yet.

Focus on being able to. That way you have all options covered later in life. If your job starts to suck, you have an escape hatch that isn't available for people who don't plan for it. If it doesn't suck and you still enjoy it, then you can also enjoy the extra cash flow working provides.

Even if you decide to keep working, financial independence just plain feels good, retired or not. Wouldn't it be nice to know that you can tell work to stick it if it starts getting bad?

Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:14 PM   #17
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Thanks to all for your input. Reading your responses, what most resonated with me is thinking about it in terms of what will bring most happiness. I suspect that the answer to that is early retirement, not the new house. I base that mostly on recent studies that show that more and better "stuff" does not make people any happier.

On the other hand, I like what fired@51 and kcowan had to say about the new house not necessarily delaying retirement. I will think more about that. Maybe we can have both!

Linda
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:20 PM   #18
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I kind of like what Ziggy said....


FIRST.... become FI


the RE will take care of itself once you reach the above.... you can then do whatever you want when you want.... if you don't do FI, then RE will not be good..
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindalou View Post
First time poster, but I love to lurk

We both like our jobs and get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment from them. But we also love the idea of having time to travel and spend more time on hobbies while we are in good health.

Anyone have any input / advice that would help us out?

Thanks,
Linda
Only you can decide what is more important to you. Is it work or free time to pursue other interests?
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:27 PM   #20
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All I'll say here is this: Don't focus on whether you'll want to retire early yet.

Focus on being able to.
Wise words.

Life's circumstances can change or your interests may change.
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