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What is the age cut off for ER?
Old 07-22-2011, 07:20 AM   #1
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What is the age cut off for ER?

OK, so I am in my early 40's, and clearly being able to retire in your 40's as some have done on this forum, is in my opinion well and truly an early retiree (ER).

So what is the cut off when you really can no longer be considered an early retiree. Is that after 55? Is it 60?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, in my mind retiring in your 40's is doing very well, retiring at 50 is still doing well, even retiring at 55 is good. But I think beyond 55, you cant really call yourself an EARLY retiree, certainly not beyond 60 - is that fair? Just my opinion.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:28 AM   #2
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All a matter of perspective, Ozzie. If you planned to retire at 80 and ended up pulling the plug at 60, then wouldn't that count as "early retirement?" Flip side of the coin: If someone retired at 45 and had a heart attack within 6 months and passed away, he really didn't retire early, d'ya think? Just food for thought.

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Old 07-22-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ozziedreamer View Post
OK, so I am in my early 40's, and clearly being able to retire in your 40's as some have done on this forum, is in my opinion well and truly an early retiree (ER).

So what is the cut off when you really can no longer be considered an early retiree. Is that after 55? Is it 60?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, in my mind retiring in your 40's is doing very well, retiring at 50 is still doing well, even retiring at 55 is good. But I think beyond 55, you cant really call yourself an EARLY retiree, certainly not beyond 60 - is that fair? Just my opinion.
While I was working for megacorp, periodically there would be some reduction in the salaried workforce and people would retire "early". That age was usually 57 and was called "special early" because the company would make up any shortfalls in length of service and deem everyone to be 62 years of age if they met other qualifications. Anymore, I would not consider 57 an early retiree. Times have changed. I retired at 51.5 years of age. The requirements for that retirement was "age plus length of service equals 85 points". From a corporation standpoint, I would say 52 would now be considered an early retiree.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:42 AM   #4
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Well. since I'm gonna retire at 55, I'm calling it as ER at age 55! Anybody after me.....use your own discretion!
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:54 AM   #5
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So what is the cut off when you really can no longer be considered an early retiree. Is that after 55? Is it 60?
The cutoff date for early retirement is the same as for second childhood.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:00 AM   #6
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Just wanted to add that here in Oz, the age at which one can receive the Government provided aged pension (social security assuming you have not prepared yourseld for retirement with your own funds to retire, or need a part aged pension to supplement your own funds) is being raised to 67, so technically 66 in Oz is early retiree....

Age Pension - eligibility

Dont know if they have the equivalent of this social security payment in the US?
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:18 AM   #7
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When I started paying SS, the FRA age was 65. With the 1982 changes to SS, my new FRA age was 66.

I planned for many of my early years to retire at my FRA. I actually retired when I turned 59, seven years before my "personal goal". IMHO, I was an ER type ...

Heck, you can use your old yardstick to measure the term. In the end, does it really matter?
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:27 AM   #8
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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.

A good argument could be made for 59.5 because that is when 401k type funds become available without any sort of special hoops to jump thru (72t).

Another argument could be made for 62 because that is when you are first eligible for Medicare but that seems pretty old to me. I would hope everyone could get out by then.

Personally, I set the bar at 50. I have a little over 6 years to make it. It's going to be a close call. I will need the market to perform around 8% on average over the next several years. I have great admiration for those who are able to quit working by that age (assuming that simply didn't inherit the money to do so).
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:55 AM   #9
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For my husband (teacher in Germany) the legal age to retire with full benefits and pension would be 66 now. He will be out at age 60,5 in 2012 with some deductions.
I would still call that ER.
I will be 54 then and ER with him.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:01 AM   #10
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A good argument could be made for 59.5 because that is when 401k type funds become available without any sort of special hoops to jump thru (72t).

Another argument could be made for 62 because that is when you are first eligible for Medicare but that seems pretty old to me. I would hope everyone could get out by then.
DW and I are ones of the "older" retirees. I at 62 and DW at 63.

On their booklets and documents, SSA defines 62 as early retirement. One is still not eligible for Medicare at this age.

Retirement did not seriously cross my mind until I was 50 at which time I planned to retire at 59.5 and use 401K for funding. I got into the "one more year" syndrome and retired at 62+. At this age, we will be able to fund our medical insurance ourselves without asking for government aids.

The SSA definition of 62 is widely accepted outside the forum and was echoed by ex co-workers of both DW and I. When we announced our retirement and found out we are still below FRA, they said: "Hmmm, early retirement".

As for the OP, the best answer may come from the founders of this forum. They may have defined the age for early retirement.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:06 AM   #11
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As for the OP, the best answer may come from the founders of this forum. They may have defined the age for early retirement.
No, the founders of this forum found trying to define anything to be a futile process. Search on "net worth" as an example.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:19 AM   #12
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Just wanted to add that here in Oz, the age at which one can receive the Government provided aged pension (social security assuming you have not prepared yourseld for retirement with your own funds to retire, or need a part aged pension to supplement your own funds) is being raised to 67, so technically 66 in Oz is early retiree....

Age Pension - eligibility

Dont know if they have the equivalent of this social security payment in the US?

To answer you question, in the U.S. we have government-provided Social Security.

Here's a link to the eligibility ages: Retirement benefits by year of birth

For those of us not yet old enough to receive it, there are some concerns as to whether we will actually get it.

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Old 07-22-2011, 10:25 AM   #13
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No, the founders of this forum found trying to define anything to be a futile process. Search on "net worth" as an example.
I'm sorry, I just can't agree with that definition!
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:50 AM   #14
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It's personal so I can't say what early retirement is defined as.

Can we get a definition on retirement?

Even if you have great wealth and you are a DIYer with your assests, i.e. stocks, bonds, etc., isn't that a part time job?

Then you have the possible honey do-list

Who knows.... if I had to say what is ER, I would say before FRA from the gov't.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:09 PM   #16
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I retired early at 61. I think that is definitely early, since I had to take about a 2.5% reduction of my pension due to being a few months short of 62.

When I first posted on the ER Forum, I wasn't sure if I was really young enough to be a member here. Someone (CFB, I think maybe?) told me there was no limit on age. Besides, this is the best retirement forum of any kind around, IMO. Not too big, not too small, but "just right". I'm sure Goldilocks would have liked it here, too.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:22 PM   #17
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I find these artificial definitions to be a bit meaningless at best and quite detrimental at the worst. It's the like the do you consider yourself rich threads and the how low is your withdrawal rate threads. It's one thing if you use it as a sanity check but quite another if you think its some kind of race that you need to win. It does nothing but cause anxiety and envy. It's as if we have simply switched comparing how big and how many rows of seats our SUVs have to how big the portfolio, how the withdrawal rate, or how early we got out. It's the same kind of one-up-manship just with a different yard stick.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:28 PM   #18
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I find these artificial definitions to be a bit meaningless at best and quite detrimental at the worst. It's the like the do you consider yourself rich threads and the how low is your withdrawal rate threads. It's one thing if you use it as a sanity check but quite another if you think its some kind of race that you need to win. It does nothing but cause anxiety and envy. It's as if we have simply switched comparing how big and how many rows of seats our SUVs have to how big the portfolio, how the withdrawal rate, or how early we got out. It's the same kind of one-up-manship just with a different yard stick.
+1, but it gives us something to talk about
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #19
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Since I plan to retire at 47, the cut off for FIRE is late 40s IMO.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:14 PM   #20
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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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While I was working for megacorp, periodically there would be some reduction in the salaried workforce and people would retire "early". That age was usually 57 and was called "special early" because the company would make up any shortfalls in length of service and deem everyone to be 62 years of age if they met other qualifications. Anymore, I would not consider 57 an early retiree. Times have changed. I retired at 51.5 years of age. The requirements for that retirement was "age plus length of service equals 85 points". From a corporation standpoint, I would say 52 would now be considered an early retiree.
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