Reaching a milestone - RE, but never FIRE'd
Hi - Getting ready to RE at 56 from a medium sized specialty chemical company. I am/was a technical manager, and spent 30 years at the same company, the last 2 years in Shanghai, China working on a lab here. We had come to China expecting to be here 3 years (and then retire 1 year after that), but due to the economic downturn and some company downsizing, we're coming home (Ohio) a year early. Was offered an early retirement package and we decided to take it. My Dad did RE'd when he was 53 and said they have never regretted it.
Just a bit about background. Born and raised a Midwesterner, I guess I inherited or learned frugality from my parents. We even saved money in grad school on a grad student stipend! Needless to say, we've been saving for retirement for a long time. We've got a good pension (including medical), a decent portfolio, and no debt. I would never say we're financially independent - after all, the banks, the government, and my company have to stay solvent as they have our money/pension.
Looking forward to doing some other things in retirement. Living in China has opened our eyes to living abroad and maybe doing some teaching. Teaching English here is a pretty easy job to get - although it may not pay alot, it's all gravy now.
Interested in others who may have done this kind of thing - worked outside the US to pay for some of the travel.