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Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 04:47 AM   #1
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Over 55 poll

If you are 55 or older and working, are you working because you want to, need to, or just for something to do?
Lanie
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 06:00 AM   #2
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Re: Over 55 poll

What a good question. Maybe I am still working because it's a long established habit and I am such a creature of habit. I am trying to break that habit. Is there a rehab out there for those addicted to working? Like most addicts I am having a hard time invisioning myself without my "habit". i am admitting I have a problem, but don't know what to do to break the cycle. Maybe there is a big circle group where I can bare my soul and get thru this addictive behavior and enjoy the rest of my life.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 06:29 AM   #3
 
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Re: Over 55 poll

This is an excellent post. I am no longer working and I was all done by age 55, but this is for LakeRat...........

I was a grade A workaholic and complete Type A for
my whole career and was lucky enough to walk away
with almost no second guessing. Of course, I am
extremely confident so that gave me a leg up. Anyway,
the loss of many friends was one of the things that
propelled me into ER. If you have lost 3 younger friends
and are still undecided then obviously you are quite
conflicted.

JG
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Over 55 poll

Quote:
Is there a rehab out there for those addicted to working?
I'm not over 55, but I believe there is one-- and it's 100% effective. As John Galt has already hinted, it's called "dying".

When you're done with Ernie Zelinski's books, try Po Bronson's "What Should I DO With My Life?"
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 08:13 AM   #5
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Re: Over 55 poll

I am over 55 and the main reason I keep working is to keep my medical benefits. My full retirement age is 60. I may keep working until 66 though. Depends on undependables (market).

My husband will retire earlier which will make life a lot easier for me.

My problem is a risk factor. That dang husband of mine has a family in which no one in two generations has died before age 96 of old age. I'm socking away as much money as I can (him too) because of that.

We have some of the best bicycle trails within driving distance so, I may hate my job at times, but have a good deal overall.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 08:31 AM   #6
 
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Re: Over 55 poll

We have a weird mix of lifespan/medical history
stuff in my family. The men on my Dad's side live forever.
His Dad and granddad were both over 100. My Dad is 87 and still going pretty strong for that age. If fact,
he told me he might outlive me. Wouldn't surprise me a bit. On the other hand, he had 2 sisters who both died at 42. Go figure.

I had several medical tests over the last 2 months.
Filling out the questionaires I realized that I didn't
know if a single case of heart attack or stroke on
either side of my family. Gives me some comfort.

My wife's family is not so lucky. Both parents have been
dead for years now and she has also lost several siblings. IMHO it's all a big crap shoot in the end.

JG
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Over 55 poll

Quote:
If you are 55 or older and working, are you working because you want to, need to, or just for something to do?
Lanie
All of the above. It's a parttime job with interesting, nice people, helps college students with learning disbilities get going at the college level, and we need the money for a few years to supplement my husband's reduced CSRS retirement after he was involuntarily retired sooner than we expected.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: Over 55 poll

I will be 55 later in 05 and become retirement eligible courtesy of the Federal CSRS system. As the house is paid off and I have enough in various savings I am ready to go except for two things. My wife expects to retire in 06 at 58 years old on a fairly meager teachers pension. I do not think it is a good idea for me to retire first. And more importantly we have one son still at home in his second year of high school. I do not expect to work through his college years but at least want to get an idea of his overall education prospects. But three years more seems about it unless #2 son gets into Stanford or something like that.
My wife likes teaching and probably has more of her identity tied up in her work than I do. I like my job with NASA but if I retire I'll just keep up with my space interests without a job. What I think will happen is that my wife & I will arrange to get pulled "to" something rather than "away" from work, we are thinking of doing some missionary/Habitat for Humanity/Heifer Project type work in Fiji or other remote (to the US) places. We are not very good at doing nothing. And I cannot stop my wife from being a teacher, on vacation trips to Fiji, Rarotonga and the Marqueses she still managed to visit schools and make friends.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 11:50 AM   #9
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Re: Over 55 poll

Quote:
And I cannot stop my wife from being a teacher, on vacation trips to Fiji, Rarotonga and the Marqueses she still managed to visit schools and make friends.
This could be one of your greatest retirement assets. Support her in any way you can!

Mikey
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 02:09 PM   #10
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Re: Over 55 poll

I am 55 and my husband is 58. We have enough to retire (met with our financial planner last night), but we'd like to get the mortgage paid off. Beside, my employer contributes 12% of my salary to my 403B. Hoping to go part time in another year or 2.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 02:20 PM   #11
 
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Re: Over 55 poll

If your financial planner (something I avoid like the plague) thinks you can retire now, it's difficult to imagine
how much you must have accumulated. Don't get me
wrong. I am happy for you. Truly! But, for most "true"
ERs, having a CFP (or similar) tell you that you have
enough and so can hang it up at any time................
Well, that is unusual.

JG
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-06-2005, 02:42 PM   #12
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Re: Over 55 poll

58 now and could retire comfortably. Job has its hectic moments with having to help others put out fires, but not too bad otherwise. I will have to pay about 700/month to keep up the present BCBS health plan when I leave. Also, leaving now will leave a lot on the table w/regard to stock options and bonuses. It will be nice to have a big cushion in retirement. My boss wants me to supervise my replacement for a year before I leave. We will probhably start that this fall so I can have more time off during the last year and be completely out in fall of 06.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-07-2005, 09:34 AM   #13
 
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Re: Over 55 poll

Husband just turned 50 and we're thinking ahead to this very question. He is eligible to retire at 56 on FERS. He's seen several colleagues and friends die suddenly in recent years in their early 50s and it sure makes you think about how you want to spend your time. His dad and mom are still healthy and kicking at > 80 years. We'll probably take some time off and travel when he's 56 (pursue all those dreams of visiting Australia, NZ, S. Africa national parks), and come back and each do part-time work to supplement our income.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-07-2005, 10:49 AM   #14
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Re: Over 55 poll

Quote:
He is eligible to retire at 56 on FERS.
<snip>
We'll probably take some time off and travel when he's 56 (pursue all those dreams of visiting Australia, NZ, S. Africa national parks), and come back and each do part-time work to supplement our income.
He's probably got a good amount of vacation time every year as a long term government employee so don't wait. *Take some of those trips between now and retirement - 6 years is a long time and "tomorrow is promised to no man".

I've got only about 6 years to retirement (at an earlier age) during which I plan a lot of travel but I'm not waiting. *My wife and I take one big trip every other year, a smaller trip on the alternate years, and a couple of "local" trips scattered around them. *I've got no idea if I'm going to get hit by the bus tomorrow or not.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-07-2005, 11:33 AM   #15
 
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Re: Over 55 poll

Hyperborea,

You've got the right idea, I agree. We did big trips until several years back, but the last couple of years we've been way too frugal. Time to get back out there and have some fun!
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-08-2005, 08:09 AM   #16
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Re: Over 55 poll

Quote:
I will be 55 later in 05 and become retirement eligible courtesy of the Federal CSRS system. As the house is paid off and I have enough in various savings I am ready to go except for two things. My wife expects to retire in 06 at 58 years old on a fairly meager teachers pension. I do not think it is a good idea for me to retire first.

Yakers:

I retired from NASA at age 55 in 2002. My wife was also a teacher and not eligible to reitire until 2004. I was able to negotiate an hourly position working for a NASA support contractor. In addition to my CSRS pension, I was able to make as much working 3 days a week as I would have made continuing full time as a civil servant. That allowed a gradual transition to full retirement and allowed us to save a large additonal amount. My wife retired at the end of the past school year and I stopped at the end of the fiscal year.

We have taken two cruises in the last 6 months (Alaska and the Panama Canal) and are downsizing to a new home in a "55 or better" community in three weeks.

Good luck to you.

Grumpy
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-09-2005, 04:15 AM   #17
 
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Re: Over 55 poll

This is for Hyperborea and naturegal, and anyone else
who thinks you need "big trips" to have "fun". It is just
not so. Now, if you want to do it that way, it's okay with me,
no matter what your reasons. I have done a great
deal of traveling in my life. Less now, partly to hold down expenses. Plus, a lot of the travel was on
someone else's nickel. My point is that with the right
perspective, you don't really need "big trips" to have fun. Some of my most elaborate travel was
excruciatingly painful, while some shorter low budget
excursions turned out to be a delight. The trips where
I wasn't paying were generally always better though

JG
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-09-2005, 07:57 AM   #18
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Re: Over 55 poll

Quote:
This is for Hyperborea and naturegal, and anyone else
who thinks you need "big trips" to have "fun". *It is just
not so. *Now, if you want to do it that way, it's okay with me,
no matter what your reasons.
Sure, "big trips" are not required to have fun. *Neither is fishing, guitars, riding around on motorbikes, stereo gear, fancy food, sports events or any of the other "hobby" things those of us here enjoy. *Of course, if we cut out all of those things that we enjoy then what are we retiring to? You're not arguing for a monastic retirement based on meditation and contemplation are you? *Most of us are wanting to retire early to have the time to do the things we enjoy and for some of us that is travel.

The point was that if the OP (or the OP's husband) wants to travel then don't "save" it all up for retirement. *There is no guarantee that we'll be here to enjoy it.

Besides, what is "big trips"? *In my mind, it is the trips that require more time - the one thing that I don't have as much of in pre-retirement. *Even though I get a very good amount amount of vacation time, at least compared to Americans, it only allows enough time for one long vacation every other year. *Going away somewhere for less than 3 weeks seems a waste as it takes a while to start to slip into the culture - I'm sure that even longer would much better.

Quote:
The trips where
I wasn't paying were generally always better though
I've travelled a fair bit for business (US, Europe, Asia) and I think it's yes and no. *The trips where someone else was paying always come with strings that interfere with what I want to do. *In my trip to India I got to stay in an incredible hotel in Mumbai/Bombay (the Leela Kempinski - 5 stars) but I was stuck way up by the airport (a good distance north of the city) which meant that I couldn't get anywhere in the evenings and I was lucky to get one day on either end of the business stuff to head into the city. *The business trips are good only for a "quick taste" but travelling around on your own and experiencing the culture as much as you can is different.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-09-2005, 09:11 AM   #19
 
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Re: Over 55 poll

Quote:
Besides, what is "big trips"? In my mind, it is the trips that require more time
Yup, you're right here Hyper!

I am planning my New Mexico Trout fishing trip presently. It won't cost that much money, but it will take me 3 days to get down there and 3 days to get back. A week of traveling, just to fish. I would never have done this while I was working. Waste a whole week on the road! No, I would have flown in, rented a car - and by the time I got there, it would have been difficult to tell from one of my business trips.

Now I am looking forward to it! - This will be one of the first trips I have taken since retired that it will feel like I'm 'really' retired

The big benefit, is that I don't know when I'm leaving and I don't know when I'm coming back. I'm gonna watch the weather and take off when the weather and fishing is favorable. I may stop off at some National Parks that I have not been to yet also. Can't do that very well when you fly, rent a car etc. etc.
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Re: Over 55 poll
Old 01-09-2005, 10:49 AM   #20
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Re: Over 55 poll

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Yup, you're right here Hyper!

I am planning my New Mexico Trout fishing trip presently. It won't cost that much money, but it will take me 3 days to get down there and 3 days to get back. A week of traveling, just to fish. I would never have done this while I was working. Waste a whole week on the road! No, I would have flown in, rented a car - and by the time I got there, it would have been difficult to tell from one of my business trips.

Now I am looking forward to it! - This will be one of the first trips I have taken since retired that it will feel like I'm 'really' retired

The big benefit, is that I don't know when I'm leaving and I don't know when I'm coming back. I'm gonna watch the weather and take off when the weather and fishing is favorable. I may stop off at some National Parks that I have not been to yet also. Can't do that very well when you fly, rent a car etc. etc.
Cutthroat:

Cost of your trip. (Not much). Getting out of St. Paul/Minn. (Priceless). (During the winter).
Hell, if I were you, after finishing up trip to New Mexico, I'd get on 10, and head east. You could probably kill enough time, and get into some fishing that direction, and head back to Minn. in the first part of March.
I'm reasonably sure you won't take my advice, but have a great time anyway.
Jarhead
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