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View Poll Results: Minimum time retired to not feel cheated
If I'm out one day it will be enough 18 6.25%
1 year minimum 11 3.82%
5 years 7 2.43%
10 years 28 9.72%
20 years 132 45.83%
30 years or more 70 24.31%
Other 22 7.64%
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Poll: Minimum time retired to not feel cheated?
Old 02-20-2019, 11:28 AM   #1
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Poll: Minimum time retired to not feel cheated?

How long should your retirement last for you to feel it was worth sacrificing for?

My own parents have been retired for 27 years, and while they are not now in good shape physically or mentally, most of those 27 they've enjoyed. To earn those 27 years of freedom, they first had to spend 35 years toiling in the vineyard (i.e., w*rking and raising children). I expect they would say it was worth the long sacrifice to get those good years in RE.

I've known other people who retired after a long career but were cut down within a year. If I could contact them by Ouija board, I wonder if some would say something like "My retirement was so short I barely felt it. If I had known I was only gonna live six months, I wouldn't have bothered retiring. I'd rather have died in harness so my widow would have collected more life insurance."

I'm trying to understand more fully the narrow path we tread between what we think is a reasonable exchange between our servitude and our independence. Perhaps this is a question better posed to Zen students or economists than to current and future retirees, but this is the forum I'm on so I'll pose it here anyway.

I know that we aren't the masters of when we meet our Maker, but I'm not asking how long we will choose to stay alive. I'm simply asking whether, on our deathbeds, we'd feel shortchanged if our retirement turned out to be less than some minimum duration.

ETA: How come it didn't attach a poll?
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:46 AM   #2
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While I am hoping for a lot longer, Year One was well worth the trade-off of a little more stash (that we don't need).
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:48 AM   #3
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Honestly, if I had suffered and sacrificed so much during my working years that I had neglected to have fun and live life I would feel I'd cheated myself regardless.

Sure, if I knew I was going to drop dead tomorrow I might wish I'd saved less and retired sooner, but my work years were hardly a bleak hellscape of unending regret. ...well maybe the last 3-4 years.

Our working years are probably the the one's when where healthiest and most vital. While work is a necessity for most of during these years I'd hate to think we're not having a bunch of fun and adventures during that time as well.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:51 AM   #4
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Almost 3 years in I feel I'm playing with house money....
That said, 20+ years sounds much better
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:53 AM   #5
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I hope for more than 20 years retirement, but that seems a fair trade for the near 40 years I worked full or part time employment from 15-53 age.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:55 AM   #6
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I have two friends who each died at age 55. (I really miss them).

One was thinking about retirement, but had just recently gotten a job he loved (after being unhappy at work for many years). He died unexpectedly in his sleep during a visit to family. Never woke up.

The other was able to retire at age 50, so she did. A kind and gentle person, she had mental health issues, complicated (after retirement) by her husband's unspeakable act of shooting himself to death in front of her. She loved her family and pets, but, she suffered greatly during retirement.

Honestly? I think Friend No. 1 was the lucky one. The future was finally looking great, and he never suffered.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:58 AM   #7
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When I was getting close to ER, and had confided in a friend at work, I told her: "If I die before I retire, just let everyone know I was really really pissed off by that."

I picked 30+, but it's not like if it's less that I'm gonna regret ER, or if it's longer that I'm gonna think I should have stayed working longer?
Heck, if you only got a year, then having not ER'd that would mean you died while still working, so at least you had that year.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:00 PM   #8
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A day for day exchange is what I want.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:02 PM   #9
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20 years sounds about right. My Mom and Dad were retired for 33 and 36 years respectively, and they would have told you that was WAY too long. I’m not looking forward to my 90th birthday at all.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:12 PM   #10
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Planning to retire at 62, and hoping to live(thrive) a minimum of 20 years afterwards. By our mid 80s, most of us are slowly falling apart, and are unable to be active very much.

25 years would be ideal.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:17 PM   #11
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I voted Other. Once I collect all the social security benefits I paid in, I'm good to go.

That's a joke, from another thread.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:19 PM   #12
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I reveal so much on this forum, I should be wearing a raincoat.

In the interest of Full Disclosure, I voted 20 years. I expect it's gonna take the first ten years just to get the taste of the sweatshop out of my mouth.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
20 years sounds about right. My Mom and Dad were retired for 33 and 36 years respectively, and they would have told you that was WAY too long. Im not looking forward to my 90th birthday at all.
+1

Even though most of us hope to live healthily and happily into our 90s, in my experience, it's very rare to actually achieve that. None of my relatives who lived into their late 80s or longer seemed very happy or were in good health.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:29 PM   #14
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I picked 20 also which would put me dead at 80. Not much to do after 80 me thinks.

But I think I'll go somewhere between 80 and 90.

I wouldn't feel "cheated" with anytime though, I didn't hate my job. It was fun and I was good at it. I was not closely supervised and my time was not tightly monitored. I had a lot of fun while working. Not as much as retired, but still it was a good time.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:37 PM   #15
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I picked 30, but that's simply because of the age I retired. Not that I want to kick the bucket anytime soon, but if I checked out tonight for good...I would have been happy that I got to really enjoy my 4+ years of retirement.

My Dad retired at 65 and lived to just shy of 90. There were a few years that weren't so joyful for him (Mom had dementia and COPD, so he was her primary caretaker for a number of years), but he very much enjoyed his retirement and he didn't have any significant health issues until about the last 6 months of his life. As a matter of fact, between the age of 86 and 90, he was difficult to keep up with...he was really living life to the fullest extent!

He had mentioned to me a couple of times that he wished they had retired earlier...probably because Mom was in poor health for the last 7 years of her life.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:42 PM   #16
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More years left, the better, assuming good health. Not to feel cheated? At least 20 years.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:57 PM   #17
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Yep, 20 years. My family history points to 25-30, but at this point I feel like 20 years would be enough time to do most things I want. On the other hand, time flies when you are having fun so maybe 20 years is not as long as it sounds....
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:07 PM   #18
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Somewhat arbitrarily I picked 10 years but it could just as well been 5 or 20. Most days I actually liked my job and the people I worked with. As with any job there were days when I was hating life but that was by far the exception and not the rule. And like most people, on my days off from work there was stuff to do that I enjoyed and the job paid enough that I could do that. So that is not insignificant either.

Of extreme importance to me was the option to give DW a big chunk of the pension and retirement benefits. She will almost certainly outlive me and while she probably won't be taking any round-the-world cruises, she'll never be eating cat food under a bridge.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:36 PM   #19
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Picked 30 years. Longevity in the family. Perhaps asking for too much, but DF is 89 and DM who still takes spin classes and has her own business is 86.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:44 PM   #20
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I voted 20 years. But I want 20 years of what I'm doing now. Do anything I want (within reason) and go anywhere. I don't want a retirement where I get to the point where I sit in my house all day watching TV, or even worse spent in a nursing home.
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