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« Reader Profile: AH | Main | FMF March Money Madness, Round 2, Posts 17-20 »

March 27, 2013


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I think in general I fall in line with the article. 2008-2009 hurt the nest egg even though it's technically recovered, the recession and sluggish recovery affected our income and retirement (pay freezes, loss of 401K matching percentage for a while, hours cut, etc.) as well as my kids and their future potential salaries. So we're behind previous projections on our retirement and also more unsure how well our children will do and how we may want to be in a position to help down the road. So our planning has naturally adjusted to become more conservative to help us meet our retirement goals which leads to longer work years, hence less years without full time employment, and consideration of some type of part time employment or self employment well after we stop full time work.

I want to "retire" early, but I also see myself working in retirement. Just something that I fully enjoy though!

I think part time work is the way to go in retirement too. Hopefully, you'll be mostly financially secure before heading off to part time work. That way you can do what ever you want.
Retiring later is one option, but that will be more and more difficult in the future. We know corporate America is bias against older workers. You can't count on your employer.

I have been fully retired since 1992 when I had just turned 58. My wife is a year older and retired a year later. My max income was $72,500/yr., my wife worked part time and had a max income of $16,000/yr.

During the first year of retirement I embarked on quite a few home improvement projects, some of which I could do myself, others I needed to hire skilled workers. Looking back in time I'm glad I did it then because the same work and projects would cost a whole lot more today.

Once my wife retired we started overseas travel in earnest. One thing to bear in mind is that as you get older your health may be great but you gradually have less energy each year and by the time I reached 76 we had lost the urge to embark on long trips. It's a lot of work preparing our home, large garden, fish pond etc. to stay in good shape while we're gone, and then another lot of work, putting everything back to normal on our return. Some trips also require quite a lot of preparation and paperwork if everything is going to go smoothly. Then there's the long flights, tiring transfers between terminals, and all the fuss and bother of going through security, customs etc. Long flights are also notorious for picking up nasty colds from other passengers due to the recirculated air. Some journeys, half way around the world were 24 hours from the time we left home to the time we reached our destination.

Now that we have finished travelling we are enjoying a very relaxing lifestyle. I am a very keen gardener and spend lots of time keeping everything pristine and growing a great many of the fruits and vegetables that we enjoy. My wife likes to read and knit, and then most afternoons we settle down in our recliners and watch a Netflix movie. My wife is a great cook and we eat at home 5 nights/week. We have never owned a microwave oven and are very fussy about what we eat and try to avoid preservatives as much as possible. We also examine the food labels closely and try to minimize our intake of salt and sugar, two substances that are ruining the health of many people. We also very seldom eat meat and have a preference for chicken, fresh fish, and vegetables.

Fortunately during the period 12/1992 to 3/2000 our investment portfolio grew by over a factor of 10. I didn't ride it back down when the Bubble burst, as did many, and have kept it growing ever since. Today it's up by a factor of 22.6 since I retired. What has helped enormously is that our two pensions and two SS checks are more than enough to live on and we have never had a losing year in the market.

Our three children are each self sufficient and other than a few short term loans to our son for real estate (that were paid back in full) we are fortunate that money is not an issue. If we need something we have it, but these days there's nothing much that we need.

My defintion is defined as retire from a 40 hour a week / 5 day a week stressful job.My wifes is from active elemetrary school teaching.

My goal is to retire at 59 1/2. Allways has been.My wife will be eligible to retire in 6 years with a full pension and benefits.

In reality depending on current trends it may need to be pushed back to 62 or 65 for me and my wife will need to find something else to occupy herself while I work the additiona 4 to 6 years after she retires.

When I retire it will be into something less stressful but still fulfilling my purpose of creativity.

I intend to retire next August at age 58 having completed 30 years of public service. I have lived very frugally these past several years, saving 50% of my income, paying down expenses, in anticipation of what my retirement income will need to be. My pension together with 403b draw down will equal more than my current take home pay. I intend on claiming social security at 62. These three income sources will most adequately cover my expenses the rest of my life so I am quite ready for retirement. I have no plans to return to work but rather to enjoy my numerous hobbies, traveling, my children and grandchildren--or doing nothing at all. I can't wait!

I do not plan to 'work' during retirement.
I hope to retire early. I have no inclination to work longer than I have to.

I might do volunteer work, but I don't consider that 'work' in the 'get a paycheck' sense. THe article says that 36% of the people surveyed mean to do volunteer work after retirement rather than work for pay. I think thats a big difference really.

I think a lot of the people thinking they'll work forever won't end up doing so. Unplanned job loss, disability or illness will change peoples plan to work forever.

Another benefit of being retired is that you can get out of phase with the majority of the population that are still working. We tend to do nearly all of our driving while most of the non-retirees are all at work and traffic is very light. We also hardly ever drive at night, which makes for a much safer and lower stress lifestyle. We didn't relocate when we retired and stayed in the same 4br, 3ba home that we bought in 1977 and just expanded to fill the space. However there are other lifestyle changes that happen as you get up into your seventies and beyond. We also gave up entertaining and having overnight guests. Sometimes when we think about how active we used to be years ago and how we thought nothing of taking long weekend trips it makes you realize just how much you slow down as you get older.

In fact when the kids were young we would all get in the car and drive 250 miles on a Friday night up to our Lake Tahoe ski cabin, ski for 2 days, and then drive the 250 miles back home on Sunday night, and be ready to go to work the next day. Sometimes on snowy nights we also had to stop while I put chains on the tires in order to get over Donner Summit.

I also never gave much thought when I was young to the great importance of being thoroughly compatible with your spouse. Now we are together just about every minute of every day, especially after my wife gave up driving because of peripheral vision problems. I still keep both cars, it's nice to have a backup car but I have to drive it a little every week just to keep the battery charged.

When I started work at age 24, I was aiming to retire after 30 years service. I am now expecting to retire this year at age 49.

The nature of my job is all-or-none so full time retirement is my only option unless I change my line of work. I have no interest in starting over or learning new skills.

I too am without pension and expect little to nothing from Social Security. I have no interest in becoming a landlord. I expect income from savings, of which 30% sits in tax deferred accounts. I have no problems spending principal.

I am planning for a 50+ year retirement. No one in my family's earlier generations reached the centenarian mark, but that is my target.

Re retirement, I'm going to take a wait and see approach.

I could theoretically retire in 5-10 years at age 58 or 63, stopping work completely and living off my pension, 401k, other savings, and social security. I would have an income that I know I can live on, but not much cushion for the unpredictable. so I would worry about spending on travel etc because I'm very likely to live into my 90's and it is hard to predict inflation etc over that long a time. I would worry about outliving my savings. So I would likely only take this option if I become ill, lose my job, make a killing in the stock market, or if I marry some guy who has a lot of money :) !

Option 2 is to retire fully later, at age 67-70 or so. This would give me more retirement funds in pension, savings, social security so I wouldnt likely have money worries even if I lived a long time.

Option 3 is to retire either earlier or later while still working part time. For the extra money cushion, and to keep being involved with life. I like the idea of this right now, but of course I might change my mind later. Also, it would depend on whether I would be able to find part time work in my field. If I couldnt find a part time job that I liked, I would not do this---I would not want to work at wall mart.

With either option 1 or 2 (full retirement) I would likely still work at something part time ie volunteering or non profit work, just not something that I would be depending on for significant income. I am not the person to enjoy doing nothing...I have worked and supported myself and my family since I moved away from home at age 18...sitting around and watching tv all day would be too much of a shock!

Nice post, I'm in my early fifties and grapple with these plans on an almost daily basis! I don't expect I'll ever stop working. My plans are for a career shift in my mid to late fifties. I'll be earning less money doing something I love to do. I have no plans to draw on my IRA's until my mid sixties and won't take SS until after 67. Will it all work> It's hard to say, but I'm doing everything I can now to make it a reality.

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