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Old 07-22-2011, 07:29 PM   #21
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A lot depends on where you work and how long you worked.

As skyvue wrote, 55 can be it if you worked for the same place long enough and can get a pension. If you can get retiree health insurnace at the same time, that's even better. If not 55, then 59.5 is another good cutoff because it allows unfettered access to an IRA.

Age 62 allows early SS benefits.

I would add another age point, one my dad used to retire. That was 63.5 because at that point he took COBRA for 18 months to bridge him (and my mother, who was ill with Cancer) into Medicare and maintain uninterrupted health insurance coverage for both of them.

I would say that the age for major ER is anything which requires the early retiree to use his or her savings from only taxable accounts to pay the bills and to have to buy individual health insurance on his own.

Just my two cents.
Dang it! Looks like I'll never be retired! Had that niggling suspicion anyway. Guess instead of being early retired I'll have to settle for being persistently lazy (PL) or one speed idler (OSI).
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:35 PM   #22
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I often agree with Johnnie on stuff, but this time I beg to disagree. I think that because people (in general) are living longer and SS starts later, that "early" retirement is skewing older than it used to, too. I think anything earlier than 62 is somewhat early.

"Really ER" is 50 or younger, to me.

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You know, I tend to agree with your thinking. The more I reflect on early retirement, the more questions come to mind. Amethyst, I heard the other day on TV that "elderly" is now considered to be someone in their late seventies and on up. I guess that's because people are living longer and healthier. My original comment was prompted by the fact that I feel younger than I am (mentally), have the usual aches and pains of getting older, glad I retired early at 51.5 years of age, but that was 23 years ago. I can't believe I've been "out" that long. I'll turn 75 in September and in retrospect, agree with you that "early retirement" could easily be someone hitting the porch by 62years of age. That would be 10 longer than I went, but by today's standards would be well within the "early" time frame.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:04 PM   #23
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This is an interesting discussion. If someone was retiring at 60, I'd say "Oh OK", but if someone was retiring at 59, I'd think he is retiring early. What's up with that?? But at the same time, because Medicare doesn't kick in until 65, any retirement before 65 is early. I know. It makes no sense.

Also interesting is the word "Elderly". It sounds really old (with some physical ailment even - eg. a 90 some year old with a limp) whereas "Seniors" doesn't sound as bad.

When I was a kid, I used to see women who've shrunk down to nothing because of their hunchbacks and had very wrinkled faces. Where have these women gone?? I haven't seem women like that in decades! (Were they due to osteoporosis? I mean the hunchbacks, not the wrinkled faces!) These women I would call "Elderly". Old people used to look really old!
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:05 PM   #24
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I think that everyone slips into retirement differently. I am 59 and have been semi-retired for about 5-6 years. I have some of the characteristics of being retired as I am financially independent and pretty much work the hours that I wish to.

I think that the bottom line is that it is freedom of being able to choose.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:14 PM   #25
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There seems to be a consensus that the best time to start collecting SS benefits is at 70, and since you start SS when you retire, any retirement age before 70 should count as early. So, for instance, when I retired at 68 a year ago, that was 2 years early.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #26
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ER is more of a state of mind than an age bracket.

Many I know wish they could retire or so they say. They state their reality / retirement plan to me: "I have to work until I drop".
My definition: If you have the resources and mental state to do what you want, then you are ERed.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:24 PM   #27
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I personally don't think ER has any meaning. The important acronym is FI. Once you reach that, you are making your own choices for your own reasons. Priceless.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:29 PM   #28
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When I was a kid, I used to see women who've shrunk down to nothing because of their hunchbacks and had very wrinkled faces. Where have these women gone?? I haven't seem women like that in decades! (Were they due to osteoporosis? I mean the hunchbacks, not the wrinkled faces!) These women I would call "Elderly". Old people used to look really old!
Have you been to any LTC facilities or nursing homes lately? There are still a LOT of these women in those places.

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Old 07-22-2011, 11:17 PM   #29
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Have you been to any LTC facilities or nursing homes lately? There are still a LOT of these women in those places.

omni
Omni,
Yes i actually have gone to see my SO's relatives in a LTC facility last month. They are in their mid 90's. Neither of them can walk well anymore. The women I saw in my youth, I don't think, were in their mid 90's though, but I could be wrong. I was just thinking people in general are looking much younger nowadays than before, but it may be my wishful thinking.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:44 PM   #30
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Omni,
I was just thinking people in general are looking much younger nowadays than before, but it may be my wishful thinking.
It is not wishful thinking anymore. As far as women go, they are better and younger looking now compared to their mothers when they were at the same age. Nowadays, they have drugs to improve their bones, hair coloring to remove the grays and all those things they put on their faces.

I am sure that many ladies on this forum will agree with me.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:55 AM   #31
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I retired on my 58th birthday. To me, that was early since I'd always planned to work until I didn't like it anymore. I expected to like it until I was about 95 but found out I was wrong. I do like retirement however and don't plan to quit that until at least 95.
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:25 AM   #32
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I vote for state of mind or 110 which ever is earlier.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:59 AM   #33
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I think full retirement... in terms of pensions has traditionally been 65. It was 65 for SS also... but that has shifted to 66+

I always considered ER to be somewhere below FRA. I considered FRA to traditionally be 65.


IMO - ER may be the wrong descriptor... FI is a more narrow (with less other meaning). Retirement seems to have other (additional) meanings.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:08 PM   #34
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I think you can only be an "early retiree" if you are not eligible for some SS right away when you retire. I think that is around age 62 for most folks, so earlier than age 62.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:10 PM   #35
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I would say that the age for major ER is anything which requires the early retiree to use his or her savings from only taxable accounts to pay the bills and to have to buy individual health insurance on his own.

Just my two cents.
here is that prejudice against people who receive pensions, AGAIN. given this definition anyone who served in the military for 20+ years and then retired with that pension would not be considered ER, even if they retired at 38 years old. that is just ........ well i already said (although i can think of other words i could add to fully describe such an opinion). how anyone could consider someone who retires in their 30's, 40's or even 50's not ERed just because they have a pension is preposterous and probably jealousy.

in my opinion, the 2 best choices for an ER cut off age are the age of medicare eligibility (65) or FRA for SS. however, since SS FRA is different for different people maybe 65 is the better choice.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:45 AM   #36
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here is that prejudice against people who receive pensions, AGAIN. given this definition anyone who served in the military for 20+ years and then retired with that pension would not be considered ER, even if they retired at 38 years old. that is just ........ well i already said (although i can think of other words i could add to fully describe such an opinion). how anyone could consider someone who retires in their 30's, 40's or even 50's not ERed just because they have a pension is preposterous and probably jealousy.

in my opinion, the 2 best choices for an ER cut off age are the age of medicare eligibility (65) or FRA for SS. however, since SS FRA is different for different people maybe 65 is the better choice.
What you describe as prejudice against pensioners is my simply defining ER as someone who is not collecting income from a wage replacement program (i.e. defined benefit) such as a pension or SS. To me, a pension is an extension of SS in that one collects it after working a certain number of years and that income will exist for the rest of that person's life.

You may think my ER definition is a tough one, and it is, compared to those of you and others. I have no problem with that. In case you are wondering, I have a pension coming my way when I turn 65. It is a frozen one, as my former (private sector) company froze its pensions about 10 years for those not grandfathered (at 38, I was too young) into the system. And because I did not work there until I was 55, I cannot begin collecting it until I turn 65 even though I worked there for 23 years.

So this leaves me with only my taxable account's investments and their earnings to keep me going until I reach my 60s. Hence, my definition of a "major ER."
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:39 AM   #37
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I think the standard should be you have to get out before 55 to call that "early" retirement. I say that because in both mega corp's I have worked in you were "first eligible" for retirement if you were 55 AND had 20 years with the company. I think 55 is a pretty common "first chance" to retire normally.
This was true for me when I joined my first Megacorp in 1987, since at the time you could retire with a pension and health insurance at 55. Over the next ten years, they pulled both of those rugs out from under me; first they eliminated retiree health insurance for anyone under 50 at the time (always have to hit the younger folks), and a year later they froze the pension.

Now I've been fortunate to trust neither employers nor the government with my retirement security since my early 20s so I invested 10% of more of every paycheck since the late 1980s, and I still have a shot at retiring before 55 even with the rules changing for the (much) worse on me. But anyone in my situation who trusted the rules wouldn't change on them, well, they may never retire, and if they do it won't be until 70 (assuming they can keep a job with rampant age discrimination). I think that's one advantage we Gen Xers have over some of the Boomers; we were the first generation more or less raised to assume we wouldn't be as well off as our parents and that the "rules" were going to change for the worse on us. Fortunately I took that message to heart at a young age or else retirement would be a near impossibility.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #38
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I tend not to measure myself in terms of what others around me are doing; more by my own expectations of myself. Using that criteria, I'd say that I had ER'ed if I'd done it before I had previously expected to
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:00 AM   #39
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Gee, I don't have a pension (from Mega-Corp).

I do get the "bene" of retirement health coverage, but at my preimum co-pay of just under $600/mo, I don't see it worth much at all, as a retirement "benefit".

I pay all my expenses from my retirement portfolio (been retired 4+ years, at age 59) without the benefit of SS, or a pension.

So, what am I? ...
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:08 AM   #40
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If you retire before you die, you retired early!
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