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Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-28-2007, 09:04 PM   #1
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Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

I'm 49, and have been planning to stay in the work world for anther 6 years. (Defined benefit pension plan at that point would kick in, and my quality of life from that point forward would be financially much better than leaving before then).

However the job situation is starting to look pretty shaky and, without going into too many details, this gig might go the full 6 years or it could be over next week.

If I did hang it up right now I could live a decent but modest life...but significantly reduced from where I had been hoping to be down the road a few years.

Anyone else have this happen, and if so how did it work out for you?
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-28-2007, 09:07 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by glen12
However the job situation is starting to look pretty shaky and, without going into too many details, this gig might go the full 6 years or it could be over next week.

If I did hang it up right now I could live a decent but modest life...but significantly reduced from where I had been hoping to be down the road a few years.
If they'll give you a lump sum, why not take it, leave, then find another job you could enjoy for a few more years. I can think of few things uglier than relying on a pension in your planning and lifestyle only to have it vaporize when you're 70 years old. If job #2 is part-time you may find you enjoy the more relaxed pace.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-28-2007, 09:47 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by glen12
I'm 49, and have been planning to stay in the work world for anther 6 years. (Defined benefit pension plan at that point would kick in, and my quality of life from that point forward would be financially much better than leaving before then).

However the job situation is starting to look pretty shaky and, without going into too many details, this gig might go the full 6 years or it could be over next week.

If I did hang it up right now I could live a decent but modest life...but significantly reduced from where I had been hoping to be down the road a few years.

Anyone else have this happen, and if so how did it work out for you?
I took an early out at age 54, it included health benefits.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-28-2007, 10:16 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

i had never planned to retire early or otherwise. then life got crappy. i quit. and that's my story. i'm feeling much better now.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-28-2007, 11:16 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Yes. I took ER 5 years earlier than I had planned. It has not been bad at all.
I have been retired for 7 months and I am in no hurry to go back to work.
That doesn't mean I won't ........... someday.

The fear of taking the leap was far worse than anything encountered since I took it. It is one of the best decisions I have made. The job had become absolutely horrible!

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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 12:48 AM   #6
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?



Mine isn't about money.

I was in a car accident just after turning 39. Hurt my back and a knee, but nothing permanent. Everyone close to me said I was "in shock" for a couple years. Not depressed, just different. I cut back on work because I couldn't concentrate and just didn't want the hassle. I still loved to hike but didn't do the 25 mile mountain treks I used to do.

At 42 I realized I had enough saved to support the lifestyle I want, but it seemed too soon to quit working for good. At 44 I did it anyway. It was possible because I was a prodigious saver and very cheap all my working years.

Retiring early was not a plan, but it was possible anyway.

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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 04:42 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Quote:
Retiring early was not a plan, but it was possible anyway.
Good quote. That might end up being my situation.

Quote:
The fear of taking the leap was far worse than anything encountered since I took it. It is one of the best decisions I have made. The job had become absolutely horrible!
Another good quote. I appreciate the insights. Figuring out how to play my monetary hand of cards I think I have a pretty good handle on. It's how to handle the emotional side (and the attitude ajustment necessary to be prepared to ER on less than I had been planning) where folks can give me the most insight.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 07:40 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

I've posted my serendipedous route several times on this forum since arriving here in 2003:

To sum up - while I was busy planning to retire at 63, I was canned(layed off) at age 49. Except for a year of jobshopping - been ER'd ever since.

heh heh heh heh heh - 1993 turned out to be a very good year.

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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

I quit my job last spring as I was going into a major surgery with an uncertain number of months needed for recovery. By the time I was in working shape again I was confident I didn't need to go back to work(and very confident I didn't want too!) Besides I found that in spite of my staying home, the DW was neither threatening homicide or suicide, so life is good!
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 07:22 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf42
Besides I found that in spite of my staying home, the DW was neither threatening homicide or suicide, so life is good!
My biggest (and only) fear. However DW told me today to give notice tommorrow. Right now I intend to but will I actually have the guts?
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 08:02 PM   #11
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

My company surprised me with early retirement 8 days ago by eliminating my position as part of a layoff of around 450 people - 450, so far, because another few hundred are going to be released between now and the end of the year.

I'm 58 and had been with the company for 29 years so I'm in better shape, pension-wise than most of the others being released. That said, I'm still adjusting to the whole idea despite the fairly generous severance package that I'll receive in a couple of weeks, including insurance.

I'm thinking that this is a good thing because I"m the kind of guy who will never really believe that he's saved enough to actually retire safely. Having someone make the decision for me is probably the best thing that could have happened to me at this stage of my career.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 08:17 PM   #12
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHouston

I'm thinking that this is a good thing because I"m the kind of guy who will never really believe that he's saved enough to actually retire safely. Having someone make the decision for me is probably the best thing that could have happened to me at this stage of my career.
Sam, I think congratulations are in order!

Something similar happened to my old boss a couple of years ago (age 55) and after a few days passed and the shock wore off he realized it was one of the best things that ever happened to him. Not sure when he would have pulled the plug himself, but he's now very happy someone made the decision for him.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 10:29 PM   #13
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Thanks for the congrats. As each day goes by, I'm getting more and more comfortable with the idea that I'm a free man. I probably would have worked at least another 2 or three years, so this is a real gift, I suppose.

My severance package includes 65 weeks pay plus 4 weeks pay because they failed to give us 30-day notice that we were being let go, plus pay for another 470 hours of accrued vacation and sick leave.

It's hard to complain now that I'm over the shock.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-29-2007, 10:38 PM   #14
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Congratulations SamHouston. Nice severance package! I hope that you will feel exactly like REWahoo's old boss!
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-30-2007, 10:04 AM   #15
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Thanks, Dreamer. I'm getting there. It's just all so new to me yet that it still feels more like a vacation than like retirement. But it has been especially nice not to have to go to a job every morning where the overall morale is so bad that no one could really concentrate on their work anymore. I hadn't realized how bad my stress level was until I got away from what was causing it.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-30-2007, 10:50 AM   #16
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

Took a serence package at 43 ... had planned to bail at 45. The "package" carried the family for the first year's living expenses. Made things very easy.

Look into the termination package ... might find some nuggets (I did).
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-30-2007, 04:31 PM   #17
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

I had planned to work to age 57 as I really enjoyed my job. However at age 50 I found myself in an unbelievably untenable situation at work that was only getting worse. I was able to negotiate a "bridge" severance arrangement that continued my salary and benefits for three years (to age 53) and allowed retirement at age 55 with full benefits as if I were 62. I figured that I would find "something" to do between 53 and 55.

Several weeks later, I got a call out of the blue offering me a position that paid more than the job I just left. I accepted that position and worked for five years. Now I've retired from Career One...and Career Two as well....two years earlier than my original plan and in much better financial shape that if I had stayed at MegaCorp.

Never know where the winds will carry you! Keep your options open.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-30-2007, 06:46 PM   #18
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

My DH is 54 and I'm 55.

I had always planned to retire at 55. Right after 9/11 I quit my CIO job, just couldn't take it any more. Looked for a job in IT but things were pretty dead at that time. Gradually over a year or two, realized that I didn't have to go back to a job I really didn't like. Something I couldn't see while I was working mostly because I was working long hours, commuting to California weekly from Texas, exhausted and irritable. So became self-employed on my terms, good hours under my control, okay money, can do from anywhere. So basically I am semi-retired. This will last as long as it is fun for me or if it turns out we need the money.

DH always planned to work until 59. The last year has been a struggle at work. He is pretty much burned out so is taking retirement this year in September.

We are in the final throes of working out budgets and investment plan, where to live, etc. It's funny, we've been playing with our retirement plans for several years now, but now that it is actually facing us square in the face, we have a million things to do to get ready. First is selling our home. It's on the market now. We do not have all the money we hoped we'd have, but feel it will work out. We have three small pensions, will get social security and investments. We've run firecalc and get good results. We have to lower our lifestyle a little, mostly to pay for health insurance. He's going to take some time off, maybe six months to see how it feels, then if needed or desired look for part-time work. His company has offered his part-time and casual work after he retires. This would be a great deal if his part-time duties are enjoyable.

We're excited and a little nervous.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-30-2007, 07:07 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

I am 48 and DH is 57. I decided to quit the first of 07 as my job was ruining my health. Husband wanted to continue until 59.5 even though his job had higher stress level than mine. I was consulting a CPA/planner to doublecheck my firecalc results and get some input into tax repercussions of 72t vs. NUA etc . I had already been squirreling away aftertax money into cds and mm in preparation for the change. I finally talked DH into going in to see the CPA with me hoping that he could convince DH that I could afford to pull the plug. I sent all our tax stuff and investments in to him 3 weeks before the appt so he would have all the info. When we got there the meeting went on for about 15 minutes before he said to my husband that with our spending projections and our investments not only could I quit but there was no reason for him to continue to work unless he was really enjoying his job. To make a long story short he decided that he would continue on for 2 more years. But 3 months later there was a shake up and he was laid off. He was very unhappy at first but now we believe that it was meant to be. We are fine financially and still feel like we are on vacation 6 months later. We are both healthier and look years younger. It is amazing what stress does to a person! He would not have quit and would probably have wanted me to continue as well so it was a blessing in disguise. It was fortuitous that we were already FI before we were RE a bit earlier than we had planned.
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?
Old 03-30-2007, 09:35 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone have any stories about ERing earlier than you had planned?

This is something I struggle with. The job has changed, admin has changed, do I wait or do I go? Good luck!
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