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Old 07-24-2011, 01:38 PM   #41
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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? ...
A good saver and a good investor. You should be proud of yourself. I could never have done it. I had to rely on a decent pension, Social Security and a moderate nest egg. It helps to not have a mortgage.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:40 PM   #42
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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."
of course your definition includes you but excludes many many others who probably stopped working at an earlier age than you. pensions envy is a terrible thing. just because others have arranged their finances (pensions are just another piece of some peoples' employment compensation and in some cases a job paying lower wages was taken to get that part of the package) differently than you doesnt make them non-ERs. they are only non-ERs if they didnt retire young and i think the point of this thread is to determine at what retirement age you stop being young enough to be considered ER.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:46 AM   #43
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of course your definition includes you but excludes many many others who probably stopped working at an earlier age than you. pensions envy is a terrible thing. just because others have arranged their finances (pensions are just another piece of some peoples' employment compensation and in some cases a job paying lower wages was taken to get that part of the package) differently than you doesnt make them non-ERs. they are only non-ERs if they didnt retire young and i think the point of this thread is to determine at what retirement age you stop being young enough to be considered ER.
All we are doing is giving our opinions about an age (or financial situaiton) for being ER. Can we agree to have different definitions of that without resorting to the "pension envy" accusations nonsense?
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:24 AM   #44
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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.
68 is "early"? Wow. I literally do not have anybody in my family who has worked till that age. Of course most were in physcially demanding jobs that would make it difficult to work to that age productively but this seems to be setting the bar awful low?
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:26 AM   #45
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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.
I like this definition best. If your eligible for any sort of Social Security then you really have not retired "early".
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:48 PM   #46
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All we are doing is giving our opinions about an age (or financial situaiton) for being ER. Can we agree to have different definitions of that without resorting to the "pension envy" accusations nonsense?
the question posed by the OP of this thread was "what is the age cut off for ER?", not setting financial requirements to be allowed to be considered an early retiree which by the way is ludicris. the word "early" is in reference to an age not a financial means and the word "retirement" is a reference to having stopped working for financial gain. now granted the definition of "retirement" has been debated considerably here but even given your posts i dont believe you can possibly mean that someone who is able to stop and has stopped working because that someone has a pension isnt retired. since your definition, when applied to 2 retirees aged 45, would have 1 an ER but the other not an ER just because 1 has a pension is just prejudice on your part and belittles the potentially tough employment choice the person with the pension made in order to be able to retire early.

and i suppose you dont consider someone who bought themselves an annuity when they retired ERed either. potentially the only difference between this person and the person with the pension is that the person with the pension paid for said pension over an extended period of time, i.e. their entire career (hmmmm, just like buying variable annuity). and what about the person who, at the end of their employment, has the option of a pension or a lump sum payment from their company? what you have said is that if that person takes the lump sum s/he is an ER but if the person takes the pension s/he isnt ER (that seems really prejudiced). btw the fact that you, via your definition of ER, have bestowed upon yourself the title of ER but dont allow that same title for a person who retires in their 30s just because they receive a pension shows your bias/prejudice against them as you obviously think the way you retired is better/more admirable then the way they have. prejudice can come about for many reasons but in this case the only 1 i can think of, that could possibly apply, is envy (specifically pension envy). therefore the only nonsense that has been displayed here is your prejudice against people with pensions.

o and BTW i dont know if you know this or not but a very large number of people who collect pensions at an early age (30's, 40's and even 50's) dont retire, instead they go on to find another job. look at how many retired/pension receiving military persons are employed after their military career. and i am aware of civil servants who have taken jobs after they retire from public service and are receiving a pension. so when someone of those ages does retire it is an admirable feat (at least to those of us who have ER as a goal) and that person is truely an early retiree.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:06 PM   #47
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I do not care whether someone classifies me as an Early Retiree or an Old Retiree. I just want to be known as a Retiree.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:16 PM   #48
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To me, early retirement is about developing and implementing a plan to retire earlier than you could otherwise. IMHO, it doesn't matter much if "early" is age 40 or 70. What most of us have in common is the desire to take charge of our lives and do what it takes to retire sooner rather than later. Many people I know don't even think about it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:20 PM   #49
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Isn't it wonderful how we want to put labels on things, and/or earn those labels ?

It seems to be a tendency of people - in the West, at least - to want to put everything into boxes. This is early retirement, this isn't. This is one of the ten warmest cities in the country, this isn't. Who cares ? Who cares if there are 10 cities warmer than this one, if this one is nice and warm ?

I call this (it may not be an original term, but I can't recall if/when/where I read it) "discontinuous thinking". We get lulled into it because we are surrounded by straight lines and categorisation. But actually, almost nothing in nature is discontinuous. There is no "obese" (BMI > 30.000) in nature. A BMI of 29.999 is no healthier than one of 30.001. Having a target of 5% for your investments and being as unhappy when they make 4% as when they make -3% is another example.

This is especially to me in the ER context because of the number of people at my w*rk who have more than enough to retire on (we have great salaries and pensions) because they "only" have 32 year of pension, and you can accumulate rights over 35 years. They just *have* to get to that finish line, even though the extra couple of hundred a month which it will add to their pension is not going to make an iota of difference to their living standard. And to do that, they are prepared to spend 3 years out of the 12-15 really good years remaining to them - if they're lucky - just so they can say "hey, I got the maximum". Woop-de-doop.

Everyone should try keeping their eyes peeled for discontinuous thinking. It pervades politics ("this is the fastest growing crime on the statute book"... yes, but there are 2,000 crimes, and none of them is actually growing very fast), economics, and most other aspects of life.

The relative and the acute make the headlines, but the absolute and the chronic are what will get you.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:05 PM   #50
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68 is "early"? Wow.
Well, 68 obviously isn't early, and I didn't intend to be taken seriously. When people start arguing about definitions, it puts me into a frivolous mood.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:38 PM   #51
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Well, 68 obviously isn't early, and I didn't intend to be taken seriously. When people start arguing about definitions, it puts me into a frivolous mood.
I could use a frivolous mood these days
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:12 PM   #52
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I do not care whether someone classifies me as an Early Retiree or an Old Retiree. I just want to be known as a Retiree.
Best quote of the thread
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:20 PM   #53
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I say "tomayto", you say "tomahto", but we both like a nice ripe sliced one with fresh mozzarella, basil and a drizzle of olive oil, don't we?
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:53 PM   #54
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All I know is I have 29 days to go. I don't give a flyin' flip about anything right now, except traveling from Cali to Montana to Nebraska to St Louis to Huntsville to Memphis to Winnsboro to Dallas to catch a one way to Playa Del Carmen...
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:28 PM   #55
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I'm going to say anytime before 62, because most people aren't able to do that.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:54 PM   #56
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To me, early retirement is about developing and implementing a plan to retire earlier than you could otherwise. IMHO, it doesn't matter much if "early" is age 40 or 70. What most of us have in common is the desire to take charge of our lives and do what it takes to retire sooner rather than later. Many people I know don't even think about it.
+1 We have a winnah!
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:46 AM   #57
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To me, early retirement is about developing and implementing a plan to retire earlier than you could otherwise. IMHO, it doesn't matter much if "early" is age 40 or 70. What most of us have in common is the desire to take charge of our lives and do what it takes to retire sooner rather than later. Many people I know don't even think about it.
That pretty much describes us. My non-COLA pensions cover 70% of retirement expenses. The retirement investments need to cover the other 30%, plus inflation increases on all expenses.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:49 PM   #58
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I had plans to retire at 55. Then I got divorced and had to revise that target to 60 to compensate for the alimony. I consider 60 early because the assumption when I started working was 65.

I enjoyed working and I enjoy ER.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:36 PM   #59
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I mentioned retiring to a person last week and he looked at me like I was crazy. He thought I was about 50 so I did not tell him any different. I then asked the person how old he was. He said he was old. He then said he would turn 64 in September. I laughed and walked on. I think early retirement is about 64. I turn 64 next month. It just would feel right not working. So I go on. Does anyone ever feel guilty not working? Maybe there will be an age when this guilt thing will pass. For now I still work on. oldtrig
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:45 AM   #60
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Hi everyone, thanks for responding. Made for interesting reading, with a very wide range of views presented.

Cheers.
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