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Wished You Would Have Retired Earlier?
Old 10-27-2007, 08:14 AM   #1
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Wished You Would Have Retired Earlier?

This forum is dedicated to people who either dream of retiring early or have done so already. A very high percentage of those actually carrying out this important life decision are extremely pleased with the outcome. I think it would be interesting and perhaps helpful to hear stories from members who retired later, but seriously regret not having done so earlier. Do you have a personal story you would like to share?

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Old 10-27-2007, 08:33 AM   #2
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I will repeat the short version:

I was layed off at age 49 in Jan 1993 - my 'plan' until then had been early retirement at age 63 in 2006.

Mentally - it took maybe two years to fully shift from 'unemployed' to 'hey I don't have to do this(work) anymore if I don't want to!'

Even then - I kept a low 'social profile' until my first 'official retirement check' - Aug 1998 at age 55.

Had I been able to properly meditate on the sound of one hand clapping - my perception of the same reality might have altered.

heh heh heh - now that I'm an old phart - ER is cool.

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Old 10-27-2007, 12:22 PM   #3
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When the opportunity arose to retire from Megacorp at 49, I jumped at it. Then I started a couple of companies. I had so much fun with the 'afterlife", that I regretted not starting those companies many years before. Finally really retired after 10 more years.

Both DW and I loved our work so it took much discipline to finally pull the pin.
For the fun of it...Keith
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Old 10-27-2007, 01:59 PM   #4
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I retired at 31 Dec 04, age 54. Had I started planning/saving in my 30s, I would have been eligible for an early retirement offer when I turned 50.
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:24 PM   #5
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I waited until age 41 to vest the military pension & medical benefits. My previous "early" retirement requests were disapproved due to manpower shortages.

But if I'd realized how good it could be, I would have plugged a lot of numbers and agonized over resigning (thus giving all that up) to avoid working for a couple more years. In retrospect, though, I doubt we would've had the assets.

Did you hear about the 17-year-old who ER'd? He graduated from high school and agreed to permanently move out of his parent's house if they'd give him his college fund.

The book written on, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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Yes! I had no idea ER/life could be this good. With our assets and no pension plan no matter how long we worked, we could have done it earlier (did it last year at age 52). We were chicken! This board convinced us to do it, so essentially this board saved/gave us our lives!
“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”.------Krishnamurti
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Retire Soon View Post
I think it would be interesting and perhaps helpful to hear stories from members who retired later, but seriously regret not having done so earlier.
I can't say I "seriously regret" not having retired earlier. But if I had known four or five years ago how things would work out on many fronts, I'd probably have flipped the switch at 54 instead of 58. ER is fabulous and it would have been nice to have started it four years earlier.

On the other hand, the assignment I accepted, in lieu of a buyout package, was interesting (lots of international travel I hadn't done much of previously) and I actually kind of enjoyed it. The money was nice. I was able to help some friends in their careers. And in the end, I was again offered a buyout package (not quite as nice as the first one) and now I'm making up for lost time.

No complaints here......
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:49 PM   #8
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About 4 years ago, mega-corp 'asked' me to start a new project. It meant leaving a j*b I actually liked. Had I known that mega-corp stock (and therefore options) would quintiple in value in the next 4 years, I'd have gone then. As it was the first 2 years were interesting and fun. Then, it bogged and the last 2 were simply indecision, as in 'go or stay'. Left at 58 but 56 wouldhave been better in retrospect, but didn't know how good the options would get.

Regrets? Not really, if I had my old j*b, I'd probably still be there. I like ER better.
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:38 AM   #9
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I wish I had planned better/earlier (a young dreamer).
I would not have anyone adopt my mode of living...but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead. Thoreau, Walden
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Old 10-28-2007, 03:04 AM   #10
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You yununs' (young ones) that retired before 45 are my heroes. Let me qualify that statement. Those who started with nothing and worked/saved/invested their way to ER.

Nothing against those that inherited. But something about doing it completely on your own is inspiring.
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:20 PM   #11
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My goal was 50. Missed it by 2 1/2 years due to stock market tumble a few years ago. A little too much in tech stocks. But can't complain. I only have one friend that beat me to the punch, he retired at 45. The rest are still working.
Retired 3/31/2007@52
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:49 PM   #12
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My goal was 54, and due to decades long planning, I was able to walk out the door right on schedule. I can't complain about meeting a longterm goal, so no regrets about not going earlier.
Dreams Worth Dreaming are Dreams Worth Planning For. I Spent a Career Planning for Early Retirement.
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:31 PM   #13
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I told me mom, flippantly early in my working career that I retired before I was 40. I did so, don't think I would have wanted to do it much earlier, but glad I did.
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:52 AM   #14
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did Not make 45 about 7 years off. Still working 7 days a week but do get a few months a year vacation if I would ever take them. Rather be saving and investing until FIRE next year!
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:19 PM   #15
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DW and I agreed on the "7-year plan" at age 43. Things happened that couldn't be predicted, let's just say there were some ups and downs. In the end DW was forced to ER 3 years before she would have chosen to end it. I lingered for a partial year past my sell by date, but still made the target age of 50, call it 50 & 3/4. My decision was based on a real enticing, relatively significant boost in the forever total payout. As I'd been recalculating almost daily for many years up until this choice, it was an easy one. No regrets as the facts of the matter were not regrettable.

Now I'm 1 1/2 years in, couldn't be more pleased with the result. Reasonable income for the hopefully long remainder of both our lives.

If I could change anything it wouldn't really be the when, it would have been a more determined effort starting 15 years ago to increase the savings part of the equation, to provide more "bonus" income for more esoteric adventures, but at the end of the day, we did just fine. No complaints, at least that anyone would listen to...
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:06 PM   #16
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Do I wish I had retired earlier? Yes, I wish I had been able to but the old saying "you gotta pay if your gonna play" holds true for those of us with no family $$$.

I had a desire to retire at 55 when I was 25. The problem was my DW did not share my plan and did everything to keep it from happening. A divorce later and starting out over $100k in debt while paying alimony and child support while also being a single parent (long story) I finally had my chance at making my dream a reality. That was when I was 39.

Flash ahead ten years and my life is very different. Retirement at 55 looks very possible....then came 1999 and a major portion of my ER plan when down the tubes as my company stock fell through the floor and with it my stock options which have not recovered to date. Plan B was enacted. In the meantime, my j*b went down the tubes very fast after I was moved to a part of the company that was in trouble at the time. This change required 6-7 days a week and 14-16 hour days. Management was terrible and I hated the j*b.

At the ripe old age of 50 I took Special Early Retirement from the company. That gave me a tiny pension (tank of gas) but retiree health care insurance (my portion is $150/month). An opportunity popped up right when I was about to retire and I took a j*b with another company in another state so DW and I moved; she retired and I went back to work. The plan was to work a year to get through the relocation payment reimbursement period. Things happened and I found no reason to stop working and in fact, needed to work to keep my mind busy.

More changes and I finally met my original plan and retired (really this time) in May of 2007. I have never been more busy! How did I ever have time to work??

Do I wish I had retired earlier? Yes, and I would have had things worked out more like we planned but life is full of twists and turns and you have to hang on sometimes without knowing where you will end up.
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:40 AM   #17
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I had always planned on retiring in my 50's (early 50's) but when I became a widow at 51 I needed to work not for the money for the social aspect .Finally called it quits at 59.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:01 AM   #18
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Took a severence package and RE at 43. No plans to return.

Watched a co-worker leave about 10k of his severence on the table by going back to work early. HE'S 65 ! Said he'ld rather work than stay home ... at least until his wife can retire (after 35 years on her job). WOW!

Yup, this retirement thing is not for everyone.
FIRE'd since 2005
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Old 11-26-2007, 03:50 PM   #19
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Just when I hit mandatory retirement age at the airline, the small police department where I also worked, got rid of the Chief and asked me to take over, which I had done for 3 years about 10 years ago. Pay was poor but hey, it's all gravey. And the chance to straighten things out for a second time.
Well, 2 1/2 years went by and the frustrations of low budget and low quality employees became overwhelming; I gave my notice in July and retired in mid-November. Perhaps some time later I'll feel better about it; right now I feel like I wasted 2 1/2 years of my life trying to do an impossible job. I'm more bummed out by the cops than by the crooks.
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Old 11-26-2007, 04:49 PM   #20
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i can't imagine having retired any earlier. though i quit work at 48 i don't consider myself a retiree. i never planned for retirement. i fell into inheritance though, never a spender, i always did live below my means and was well on my way to a normal retirement if i'd even given it that much consideration, which i hadn't.

i'm not really an early retiree, only this forum was the closest i could find to a proper support group. i'm more a workforce drop-out per my lifelong m.o.

i dropped out of school (a few times) when i got tired of that just like i dropped out of employment when i got tired of that too. and though i'm still excited by some of the prospects of not working, i would not be surprised to find myself dropping out again should i ever re-tire.

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"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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