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I'm going to be 55 next year, so entering the front end of what I'd consider the normal retirement range. I'm self employed, so no lifetime pension. My financial security will be 100% tied to personal savings and investments. Of course, there are many calculators out there to project the numbers, but all rely on a lot of guessing as to future inflation, rates of return, longevity, etc. The only safe option is to work until you die, but that doesn't seem like a fun idea.

How did you make the decision? When did you say "that's enough, I want to relax and play with my tractor"?
 

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I'm in my late 60's, work full time. I suppose I could retire any time but I enjoy my job. I'll gradually taper down as my replacement (already hired) ramps up, but will continue to work as long as I enjoy it, and as long as I'm good at it. There is no shortage of mechanisms for evaluation, so the point where I begin to lose it, it if happens, will certainly become apparent to others, if not to me.
 

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I was 68/69 when a couple of work/age related injuries kept me out of work recouping longer than management thought was acceptable, so they hired a replacement. I didn't fault them for that, as a business needs to keep up with demand, but the job they offered me when the doctor released me, was ,in my opinion more strenuous then this old body could handle so weighing in my limitations, our retirement income and lifestyle the better half and I decided it was time. Funny thing is, I think I am working more now than before retiring, just not for monetary gain :dunno::lolol:
 

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I retired from state service at age 63; worked another 4 years off and on, then hung it up. I had plenty to keep me active; I did a lot of woodworking, spent a lot of time and money on my hobby...classic cars...and with an acreage, there is always plenty to do...so I have been plenty busy...and 15 years later, I'm finding that there is too much to do at my age. I have learned a couple things in retrospect; I'm happy to relate those to you.

1. Although I liked my job, I retired early to take a job with a law firm that promised a big pay out. I was there a couple of years, but I hated it. I made enough extra to build a nice shop and pay for it, but that's small consolation. In retrospect, I should have stayed with my career job another 4 or 5 years; I would have been happier and my retirement would have been a lot better money wise.

2. You need something to keep you busy...retirement doesn't mean much if you sit around looking for something to do all the time. If your job allows, you might keep your hand in part time until you are sure you can let it go entirely. Travel is fun, if you have the money and are healthy, but it gets pretty expensive.
 

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MN - When I began work as an engineer in the early 1980's, my first company used age plus years of service to determine eligibility, starting at age 55 with 20 years minimum service . That company merged with another and they lowered the minimum age to 50 and the service years to ten. I wanted to work until my late 50's, but a stroke that I had at age 50 (with 28 years service) accelerated that plan. Investment income, SSDI for me and SS for my Mrs. and we're doing fine.

A lot of my retirement eligible friends said that their retirement trigger point was : "My next bad Monday!"

Brian

I'm going to be 55 next year, so entering the front end of what I'd consider the normal retirement range. I'm self employed, so no lifetime pension. My financial security will be 100% tied to personal savings and investments. Of course, there are many calculators out there to project the numbers, but all rely on a lot of guessing as to future inflation, rates of return, longevity, etc. The only safe option is to work until you die, but that doesn't seem like a fun idea.

How did you make the decision? When did you say "that's enough, I want to relax and play with my tractor"?
 

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In my view it's all about the money, make sure you have it stacked enough to be comfortable with and confident in retiring.

I retired at 51, the company I worked for offered early retirement at 51 if you had all your points (a combination of your age plus years of service), most guys I worked with took advantage of that option (lots of long hours took its' toll and you were ready at 51).

Been retired 21 years, no regrets.
 

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I will hit full retirement age (66) next month and I am still working full time.

I guess that I will decide to retire when the bad days outnumber the good day by a fair margin. Working into age 70 is not out of the question as long as I am enjoying work. For extra income, working part time at my current company, as a semi retired consultant/manager, if that opportunity arises, may also be an option.

We have 3 managers that are at or about full retirement age, within 8 months of each other. One is going to retire next June, he has already declared. His wife has back issues, and he is basically burning out since his engineer suddenly became ill and sadly passed away. He is doing both jobs and upper management doesn't want to hire another engineer for him right now, as business is slowing a bit temporarily. His decision to retire is that he and his wife want to enjoy retirement before wife's back becomes a major issue that will prevent that enjoyment (such as traveling, etc.)

The other guy is threatening to retire, but he has some family issues that came up and according to him, can't financially afford to retire just yet.

Financially, I think that I can be ready just about any time, without too much "cut back for retirement". We did a basic input/output spreadsheet to see what our projected monies will be after we retire, then went to a financial planner for his opinion. I think I'm OK, planner thinks I should invest more to cover inflation.

They say the best feeling is knowing that you CAN retire and knowing when you will retire and not telling anyone at work.:laugh:

Good Luck if you do decide to retire, but if you're considering retirement at 55, you have to consider health insurance, which can be expensive. When you're over 65, Medicare eligibility helps a lot in deciding.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Funny you bring it up, because I plan on retiring in about 5 months. A couple of years ago we had our financial advisor run the numbers and my wife did it also and all the numbers looked good. The reason we are picking that time is that is when my wife will be able to draw her pension. That in its self isn't enough money to retire on but we both have 401k's that we have been putting money in for years. I will turn 58 just a month after I retire so that is a fairly young age. We have played with a lot of the numbers, high rate of return, low rate of return, spending a lot of money or not much every month, all the numbers say we are funded even if we live well into our 90's.

I hardly ever over think but my wife does. She has gotten on forums like this one but for retirement. One phrase she told me that has really stuck with me "At some point, you are trading time for money". You are giving up free time to make more money. If you don't need the money why keep working?
 

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Good Luck if you do decide to retire, but if you're considering retirement at 55, you have to consider health insurance, which can be expensive. When you're over 65, Medicare eligibility helps a lot in deciding.

Just my 2 cents.

Definitely something to consider. Since I've been self employed my whole life, I'm already paying 100% of my health insurance. It's in the budget projections.
 

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I retired at age 55 with 35 years of air force civil service as an avionic tech at Robins afb. I got burnt out with the pressure and constant "we need it yesterday" craziness. That and the silliness of stuff like them worrying more about a speck of rust on a tool than doing your job. I would have made it another 5 years but I decided enough was enough.
 

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55 and just retired June 1st. After long career in Fire Dept., we have a defined benefit program that we switch too From a deferred comp program in The mid 90’s if I remember correctly. I bought my back time to my hire date which means I it’s like I started with them (retirement programm) from day one. With that I also rolled that left over money into a 401 which I had started way back when I got my first full time job. I also worked a second job/career with a City DPW for 25 years and they match my 401 contributions and quite/retired from that job 4 years ago. That 401 is still sitting there making money and I can collect at 59-1/2 year old, with no penalty.
Ok back to my Fire Dept pension. The requirements for our fire pension is you must be 55 and have 25 years of service and you will retire at 67.5% of your wage,,,,we also have a rider that if you stay longer the percentage increase every year and maxes At 32 years with 80% of your wage which is me. In March I went past my 32 years, stress of job and political new administration I said ok I’m done. We also have retirement health care for me and wife for life time. So I am maxed out on every benefit including wages. So I not sure why I would work any longer, PLUS when retired I no longer have to pay into my retirement, health care, Union dues, Social Security etc. Kinda embarrassing to say but I am bring home just shy of $1000 a month more than I was when I was working. I have not even touched any of my other retirement investments (401) yet. And I will get Social Security when I reach age. The wife also has a 401 with her work, but she technically can’t take until 59-1/2 age. She’s a year younger than me and with youngest still in college she says she will work another couple of years.
Sorry so long but wanted to explain because with above said was kinda easy decision to me and I pretty much had plan on retiring at 55. Am I lucky He** yes, I am so thankful I planned ahead, which is credited to my Dad who also retired at 55 and made me plan. I guess you just don’t know how long your gonna ???? so like I said it was a pretty easy decision for me. Still getting used to it and have to pinch myself to make sure it’s real but really enjoying life. I am busy as all get out between projects I’ve been wanting to do, farm, taking care of home and Mom’s place! Hopefully quality of life/health continues for many more years. Anyway sorry for long ramble but hope it helps, I know it’s a tuff decision.
 

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I'm not going to divulge my financial situation, but it's obviously a major concern when trying to make your decision as to when and whether to retire. I personally could have retired a number of years prior, but I had no idea what I was going to do with all the free time. Point being, don't retire without a plan as to how you will spend your time, or at least have a good idea.

Being hypocritical to my own advice, when I reached the age of 65, I finally decided it was time to figure that out. I have been fortunate to have found plenty of things that I enjoy to keep me busy.
 

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I worked until I was in late 60’s and my employer decided youth was better than experience so offered me a nice package to leave. I was in the finance industry and was on a plane every week for 25 years. I commuted to New York every Monday and flew home on Fridays, and if not in New York was on the west coast or Europe. I DO NOT miss travel. My time now is spent enjoying my farm and my animals, and of course the equipment needed to make things run smooth. As an earlier poster said, have a plan before you make the retirement decision (if you have the choice), make sure you get retirement planning advice, understand the healthcare insurance coverage issues, then do what makes you happy.


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Having just turned 66 my hours were reduced to 30 per week because of reduction in business. it is fine with me I was thinking on retiring and finding a part time job for pocket money. I work 9-3 with no lunch. I am able to keep company benefits which is a big deal for me. Being dieabetic and poor circulation in my legs the company insurance is a blessing. We are owned by CVS and have excellent medical and drug coverage. I have medicare part "A" but just has a secondary coverage. Medicare total coverage is not FREE. I will probably stay here till 70 unless something happens. Good Luck on your choices. Both my 58 year old brother and my 62 year old sister are both retired. So I hear it all the time its time to stay home.
 

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I'm not going to divulge my financial situation, but it's obviously a major concern when trying to make your decision as to when and whether to retire. I personally could have retired a number of years prior, but I had no idea what I was going to do with all the free time. Point being, don't retire without a plan as to how you will spend your time, or at least have a good idea.

Being hypocritical to my own advice, when I reached the age of 65, I finally decided it was time to figure that out. I have been fortunate to have found plenty of things that I enjoy to keep me busy.
You bring up a dang good point!

Have two friends, worked for the same company, same work I did in fact, took early retirement like I did, were financially in
great shape, but couldn't take to the retirement (no job pressure) mentally.
Couldn't gear it down I guess. :dunno:

They both went back to work after a year in one case and a year and a half in the other's, worked a year or so more, then re-retired.

It did take me probably 2 1/2 years to gear it down from the *rush-rush, got to get it done* mentality from the previous
30 years, but never once thought of going back to work like they did, it just don't get that bad for me. :laugh:
 

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I'm out the door October 31st with my full time job as a building commissioner, and can't wait to do it.. I have 26 years in three towns as a commissioner, two part time and one full time. I am keeping my two part time jobs as I don't work that many hours a week and still get a decent salary. Our state pension allows me to work 960 hours a year and I don't even come close to that figure and I can make all the salary I do now for the first year and then 15K more the next year on top of my current salary. I'm thrilled to be 66 and can finally sit back after working since I was 14 on the clock and do what I want to do and I have plenty to keep me busy. My wife has been retired now for 4 years and she is still having moments of I need to go back to work, and I know some of you also have that issue.. I told her to get a part time job to keep her busy or find a hobby besides gardening and cleaning the house but that's out! She wants to go back to where she retired after 45 years! She's got a great 401K along with SS and I have a very nice comfortable pension to look forward to. Even though I paid all my quarters to SS, because of the state pension and the windfall tax I will be lucky to get medicare paid for,, they cut your SS a lot basically screwing you after all those years of paying in. Like I said, I can't wait to retire with this full time position. The only draw back is paying 50% of my insurance I get thru the town now, it's expensive but no deductibles and if I take medicare with all the parts that adds up to and you have deductibles.. That's the biggest challenge I have now, which do I do? Probably staying with the towns insurance will be what I opt for, but the numbers will tell me which way I'm going, and that will be in two weeks when I meet with our insurance advisor..
I thought retirement was going to be easy,,, but here in Massachusetts I swear they don't want you to retire,, they make it definitely hard.. I also have to retire from my other two jobs for two weeks??? It's an IRS thing so I'm told,, then I have to re-apply for my jobs back and start all over from the beginning... Oh well,, I also have three OBRA's I have to deal with too,, all in fun so I am told.. I'll be glad when November 18th rolls around, this will all be a memory.. I also hope the golf courses are still open too! Pappa is waiting for me to head out to Jefferson so we can connect and play a round or 20!
Good luck on your thoughts and retirement, that's what we work for,,, retire and enjoy what life we have left, one never knows what's in store for us. Jeff
 

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I'm probably 20 years from retirement yet, but there are a few factors that will come in to play.

1) Financially able to be "without income" though I will get a pension from military at 60.

2) Physically/mentally able/unable to do the job at hand

3) Have a plan in place of what to do to keep me busy

4) Kids out of the house and independent

5) Health of myself and my wife


My intent upon retirement is to move back to the home farmstead when my parents decide they are no longer able to maintain it. Hopefully the timeframes match up, but we'll see. Wife's work plan will also play into this, as she's self employed as a photographer.

With the OP being self employed, depending what that employment is, could make it easier. Just lessen the workload! Instead of working 40+ hrs a week, knock it back to 30, then 20, then just fiddling around to get some spending cash and keep the mind working.
 

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I'm really enjoying these retirement stories and plans. My retirement was one of the biggest and most stressful events of my life. Maybe this thread will help others with their big decision.

I worked as a Law Enforcement Officer for 38 years. I was eligible to retire at 25 years of service, but being a LEO, I wasn't really qualified to do anything else but security work. I liked what I was doing; I had rank, seniority and a retirement plan into which I contributed nothing after the first 10 years.

I started planning for retirement at 25 years of service. I refer to the years 25-38 as the "Kiss My Ass" years, as I could retire with 9-days notice and my pension was secure. "You want me to do what? Kiss my ass! I'm retiring." Life was good. I went to the State's retirement office and talked to the pension people at 25 years, 32 years and 35 years. My numbers were good and I loved my work and had no reason to leave. As a bonus, the longer I stayed, the better the pension.

During the 35-year visit to the retirement office, it came to light that if I died while still in service, the pension went away and the state paid the beneficiary three times the employee's final average salary as a death benefit. What? I was dumbfounded. The money difference is substantial, almost laughable, and as I had planned to take the retirement option which offered my bride a continuance of the pension after my death, I was floored.

As the males in my family don't live that long, I elected to secure a term life insurance policy that would cover half of what my bride would receive in her expected pension payments over the course of 39 years, the state's estimate of how long she would collect pension benefits. The cost of the insurance ballooned each year, nearly double, and the final year I kept the insurance, it cost 10% of my gross salary.

With the next year's insurance premium being nearly 20% of my gross salary, retiring and beginning to draw the pension, which locked in my bride's continuance of the pension after my death, was the only feasible option to guarantee a financially stable future. For her anyways. I'd bet on not being around. Fortunately, I lost that bet. Unfortunately, it cost me a boat load of money to lose that bet.

I secured a part-time job as a PO with a local agency prior to retiring. I worked every weekend and holiday for 18-months and that got me through the retirement blues. I ended that position when I became eligible for Social Security. I elected to collect at the earliest opportunity for the reason mentioned previously; the men on both sides of my family don't last long, yet the brides do. As she continues to work and has delayed collecting, my bride's SS benefit upon retirement will be larger than mine. Good for her.

My pension is good and I stay busier than I want with odd-jobs on the side. I do miss the camaraderie, the action and the excitement; I miss it a lot and that is my only retirement regret. As OC touched on earlier, I'm glad I took the part-time job immediately after full-time retirement, as that at least gave me a chance to wind down a little before leaving the job completely. I can't imagine how disheartening it would have been to just leave the full-time position and then do nothing. One day you're a big shot. The next day your just plain shot.

Health insurance sucks. I received full family coverage prior to retirement. With retirement, I pay half of mine and my bride now gets her's through her employer. It's a big expense, but with all factors considered, affordable at this time.
 

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I met with the retirement person at work last year. I also work in the government and have a pension. We went over the numbers and I am 44 right now, as she went through the number she showed what I will get for a pension at 55, we can pull deferred compensation which is like a 401K with a different number. We have that because of the LEOs that can retire at 55 and it allows drawing at 55 without penalty. She showed how to use those funds to bridge the gap to medicare and SS. We went over what I make now and what projections on health insurance would cost and what I should be contributing to deferred comp to hit those targets. She hands me the sheet, I look it over and she asked if I had any other sources of income other than the normal stuff from our employer. Yes. She asked what they are. I am a disabled vet so that takes care of the health care, the payments from that take care of the bridging need to get from whatever age to SS & Medicare, if they even exist. She asked about health care for spouse? My wife works full time but she and the kids are covered by CHAMPVA as I am rated at over 100% Permanent and Total.

She takes the paper back, crosses out a bunch of stuff, looks it over and asks if I want to retire in 30 days as that is the notice required? Nope, I am good. I would be bored and I like my job. Some days anyhow. I will wait until the kids probably graduate college. Provided they do the 4 year plan and not the 8 year, my youngest will be done when I am 54. They will get through college without a loan or a bill this way. At that point I might as well finish off the year and wait till 55 as there is a bump in the pension. There are benefits to a larger pension if I stick it out to 62, 65 and such but I don't think I will. Who knows what will change as that is a ways off. My wife is younger than I am by a few years. She also works for the Govt but not where I do and not the years of service that I have as she just started there. I might stick it out a little past 55 but my plan now is to pull the plug at 55. There are lots of opportunities doing what I do in the consulting side of the world. I did that before I started this job. The pay is a lot better but the travel got old and I wasn't going to do it with kids. Can't put a price on first steps and first words. Once they move on, I could see doing that for a couple years. It would also open the door to be more selective in jobs that I take. Work a week or two and take a few weeks or a month off. Doing that I would probably bring in as much as I do now. As others mentioned, be able to ease into retirement. That is a little over 10 years from now though.
 
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