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Old 11-28-2013, 05:59 PM   #21
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I retired as soon as I could, in January of the year (2010) that I would turn age 55. At that point I became eligible for my pension, and could also carry my health insurance into retirement. It was the best decision I've ever made - I'm glad I didn't wait any longer. I'm 58 1/2 now, and the last 3-4 years have been awesome. My health has improved since retirement, as I've had more time for exercise, less stress, and more time to prepare healthier meals.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:38 AM   #22
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Good timing for me. I didn't want to be working after 50 and retired a few days before that. What's important is I also had a year free from work before my father passes on the next year. Managed to take a trip with him before he passed away.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:56 AM   #23
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What we never realized until these last few years was how much our expenses would drop in semi-ER: way less in income taxes, no more job or commute costs, the savings from decluttering and downsizing, more time for hobby jobs, more time to cook healthy foods from scratch and review expenses, kids qualifying for financial aid for college and then becoming self supporting, tax credits for college, and now ACA subsidies.

If we stay in the same general neighborhood but move a few blocks over to where the public schools are not as highly rated, the home prices drop $200K. If we downsize, we save even more on housing.

Financially we have pretty much broken even with DH's megacorp salary when we take into account paying less in income taxes, lowered expenses from having DH home (he had become a great cook!), collecting pension benefits, and now qualifying for ACA subsidies, college tax credits, and financial aid for college. And we haven't even downsized yet.

We are sorry we didn't run all these numbers years sooner. I guess we should have done the Your Money or Your Life book calculations of how much are you really working for a long time ago.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:34 AM   #24
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The original plan was for DH to retire at age 55. At that time there were rumors that they were going to offer a package to encourage managers to retire. He hung on another year waiting, waiting, waiting and it never came. He retired 5 months after he turned age 56.

When he punched out he said that he did not regret the extra months, but was more than ready to get out.

As far as finances are concerned, only time will tell. This whole thing with Obamacare and the impact it may have on our retiree medical has us a little concerned, but we're trying not to waste too many BTUs on it cuz it the end, it won't change anything.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:56 AM   #25
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FIRE too late....or too soon
The decision is all based on individual circumstances (financial, emotional, family, health, etc, etc.), and one's best judgement based upon the facts known at the time. Too few admit it, but in the end "success" or "failure" also depends on a good dose of luck.
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:15 AM   #26
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Er'd for 7 years. Currently 63. Not sure if I would do anything differently but if I did it would probably be to work longer. Another year or two would likely have made a fairly big difference in the portfolio. Also, the memories of how much I wanted to retire are fading a bit.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #27
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Also, the memories of how much I wanted to retire are fading a bit.

That reminds me of the age old question, "what hurts more, having a baby or a kick in the nuts?"

As a soccer player I know what a kick in the nuts feels like. A year after my wife had our first child she said that she felt ready to have another one. I would never feel ready to have another kick in the nuts
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:11 PM   #28
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Because we knew we needed to move into an accessible house after DS graduated from HS, which probably would require significant remodeling (= major additional investment up front), I didn't even think about ER until all of that was done, we moved, and the other house sold and closed. Within a few weeks after that, I realized we were unquestionably FI, but it took a couple of months for DH and I to really get our heads around it and actually give notice. In hindsight, we had plenty of cushion and I could have ER'd before all of that, but it was 2009 and the economy was still horrible, so I probably wouldn't have done it no matter what the numbers said.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:46 PM   #29
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A co-worker of mine left the same time I did this past summer. A month later she was dead of a heart attack. I have no doubt that, financially, she could have hung it up five years ago, but she was a star newspaper reporter whose name had a way of opening up doors. I know J. was unhappy at work the last couple of years she was on the job (she'd occasionally stop by at my desk to vent) but it obviously still held some allure.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:23 PM   #30
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Retired at 63 1/2. Goal was to retire at 60, but it would have been a financial stretch and we would not have been able to travel or enjoy life as much as we do now. We are actually spending more than we did while working as we are on the move most of the time. There's not much point in waiting to do what you want and then find out you can't do it physically. This year we did Australia, New Zealand a a bunch of Pacific islands for 5 weeks. Then a 2 week trip through the Northeast. In September we headed to London and then the coast of Europe for 4 weeks. Now visiting our kids in AZ for 3 weeks. Next year we are set for trips back to Europe, the Balkans and South America. We figure that we are away from home about 4 to 5 months a year when you include all the 3, 4, and week long trips in between the longer ones.

So you can see how working those few extra years gave us the wherewithal to do a lot now while we can. We know far too many people in their 70s who have developed infirmities of various kinds and are stuck at home involuntarily.

Of course, if we had inherited tons of money and been independently wealthy, none of this working crap would have been necessary in the first place ��.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:35 PM   #31
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We have had 2 friends and 2 former co-workers around our ages pass away this past year. We are in semi-ER and work from home. We try to find the right balance between work and play. DH doesn't want to end up like the friends who worked all their lives and then passed away before they ever fully retired or shortly after retirement, which was 3 of the 4.
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:53 PM   #32
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There are times I think I should have gone earlier, there are times I think I should have hung in longer, but there has never been a time I would have gone back.
Good post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
That reminds me of the age old question, "what hurts more, having a baby or a kick in the nuts?" As a soccer player I know what a kick in the nuts feels like. A year after my wife had our first child she said that she felt ready to have another one. I would never feel ready to have another kick in the nuts.
You've convinced me (QED)
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #33
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That reminds me of the age old question, "what hurts more, having a baby or a kick in the nuts?"

As a soccer player I know what a kick in the nuts feels like. A year after my wife had our first child she said that she felt ready to have another one. I would never feel ready to have another kick in the nuts
You are probably right but since I only retired once the memory of wanting to retire might not be as vivid as your example.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:46 AM   #34
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We didn't wait. Retired at 53. Health... since fixed 100%

But even at that, in retrospect... it was a good thing to do anyway. I think it's a matter of risk/reward. Had I been employed with a salary and savings that would significantly affect my lifestyle for the next 40 years, then it might have been different story.

As it was, I was in the process of building my own business, with a profitablity factor that would only have been good after about 5 years... (paying off the basic investment)... and at that, with good bottom line profits or income from sale of the business... another 5 years. That was the original plan.... and retiring in the early 60's would not have been too bad.
But...
Although our lifestyle doesn't include world travel or opulent lifestyles... we're having a great run, and would retire early again... even without the health scare.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:37 PM   #35
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You are probably right but since I only retired once the memory of wanting to retire might not be as vivid as your example.
I'm sure your experience was more like the woman having the baby in my example. I feel much the same, the stress of the last 3 years at work is rapidly becoming a distant memory.

At high school I was playing cricket once and stepped forward to hit a fast ball on the half volley. I missed and the rising ball hit me full in the "groin". Today I can still look back and feel the pain, see the red flashes before my eyes and remember how hard it was not to throw up

However, it didn't stop me playing cricket.
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I am 65 and not retired yet
Old 12-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #36
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I am 65 and not retired yet

I got a late start saving so just feel I have enough now. I gave 4 months notice and am training my replacements. January is my final month. I am ready but I like my job and don't really mind coming.

I need to clean and paint my house get carpet and sell the house. I am looking forward to taking my time to do it and hire stuff done I don't want to do. My boyfriend is moving out, he bought a house 100 miles away so my house is going to be pretty empty. So after I sell it I can just move to his house. He has a good fishing river in his yard and a nice house.

He will charge me 650 a month for rent and utilities so I can easily live on SS but will have a million invested as a back up.

I am up over a quarter million this year, partly losing my mom and inheriting but mostly from the stock market. I like having more money than I can ever spend and have started gifting money to loved ones.

I probably worked several extra years but I am not sorry because I would have worried if I didn't and I get paid a lot of money. With profit sharing I am making over 80K a year so a single extra year can really mean a rich retirement and I like my job.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:00 PM   #37
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My FIL retired on his 65 birthday and buried 6 months later .... yeah, he waited too long. MIL has more cash than she can spend.
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