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Old 04-15-2015, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,272 posts, read 44,963,902 times
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I'm 57 working a great job that I enjoy, with a defined pension that will go up about 15% per year that I continue to work till I reach 60 years old. Given that, it seems to me the "only move on the board" is to keep working at least to age 60. After that, the optimal path is not as obvious.

The job is mostly desk work, very mentally stimulating, and there are people around here working into their 80's and one guy who is a hero of mine who is still around in his early 90's. So working another 20 years or more is, assuming I stay healthy, a viable option.

At age 60 the pension would be about 46% of what I am making now. Currently we don't spend all I make, and some sort of part-time work would probably be available in retirement. Just me and my wife, and my cat. House is paid for, I don't do new cars. No particular desire to do heavy travel and vacations. 401K should be roughly 1M when I am 60. I could probably time taking SS (assuming it still exists) independently of retiring, people on here have explained the benefits of delaying till about age 70. Wife has never worked much outside the house.

However, I have plenty of hobbies. The job is fairly demanding, when I retire I can do more of what I want, I can hunt more, fish more, work out more. I could retire today, and not be bored (although I would have a couple of lean years till I could do 401K withdrawals without tax penalty).

Of course, a health crisis could change things, but assuming we both stay nominally healthy, what are your thoughts on an optimal age to retire? No doubt some posters will have follow-up questions that I didn't answer here, please post them up along with your ideas on when to retire and why!
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Bend Or.
1,126 posts, read 2,460,899 times
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Because of what you said, It would seem to me that 60 is the number if you can cover health care expenses. But I am a believer in starting the next chapter as soon as you can. I want everyday to be Saturday. I retire in a month and a half at 62, but that age was governed by some workplace policies.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:26 PM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,075,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
At age 60 the pension would be about 46% of what I am making now. Currently we don't spend all I make, and some sort of part-time work would probably be available in retirement.
This sounds a little vague. Have you actually crunched the numbers and determined that you can comfortably get by on that 46%? Are you saying you will *need* to find part-time work to get by?

A part-time job you don't enjoy is worse than a full-time job you do. I've known people (including my mom) who retired then worked part-time out of necessity. They'd have been better off staying in their full-time jobs until they had enough income to fully retire.

I thoroughly enjoyed my full-time career. Retiring at age 62 was the hardest decision of my life. It wasn't finances that drove it, I had done the numbers and knew I'd be more than ok. I pulled the trigger because I love travelling and decided that I wanted to go ahead and travel full-bore while I still have my health. That was 3.5 years ago and I've never regretted it but I still miss a lot about my job.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,756,785 times
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Re-evaluate everything when you turn 60. That will be two to three years from now, and you can see how you feel about things at that point. You can re-crunch the financial numbers and also review how you feel about work and about your desire to have more time for various non-work pursuits.

Since you like your job, don't be too quick to pull the plug. You will have the flexibility to keep working for however long you want after 60. I predict you will know when the time is right - you will feel it in your gut.

Edited to add: Just realized this is my 10,000th post on City-Data!
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:36 PM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,075,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I predict you will know when the time is right - you will feel it in your gut
^^^^ This.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:41 PM
 
950 posts, read 715,854 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Re-evaluate everything when you turn 60. That will be two to three years from now, and you can see how you feel about things at that point. You can re-crunch the financial numbers and also review how you feel about work and about your desire to have more time for various non-work pursuits.

Since you like your job, don't be too quick to pull the plug. You will have the flexibility to keep working for however long you want after 60. I predict you will know when the time is right - you will feel it in your gut.

Edited to add: Just realized this is my 10,000th post on City-Data!

..........."you will know when the time is right"......

Many times not .

Many athletes and workers in many different fields hang in there way past their prime falsely believing they still are as productive as ever. Some even believe they are one of the most valuable employees.

Thus it comes as a total shock when their boss has " the talk" with them to inform them that their services are no longer valued or wanted.
When this happened they are in shock and their pride and self esteem really takes a beating.

I have had this happen to many older friends of mine who thought they could just continue to work up until age 80.


Yes, retire when you want, but retiring with pride and dignity with a few good years left is a lot better than being shown the door and leaving crushed and bitter.

When one's skills and productivity start dropping, that person is the last to know or admit it.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,705 posts, read 33,718,482 times
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In a retirement discussion, one of my bosses told me not to retire from a job I like that pays well only to turn around and do some menial job in retirement.

Don't retire until you are ready or you'll wind up going back to work in a job that's just "busy work."
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:15 AM
 
Location: NNV
1,526 posts, read 982,410 times
Reputation: 3103
Wow, when I read this you have some close parallels to my situation. Same age, thinking about retiring before age 63 but not sure when yet. Will have pension of 31% of salary at 60, 34% at age 61, 37% at age 62 (you don't say what "salary" so can't say how our two pensions compare). May have similar assets (combined with my wife's) at that time. I spend a little more than you (have a weakness for older German cars). One difference is my wife worked and her SS will be similar to mine. Expect to sell the current house and buy a house somewhere with the intention of not having a mortgage.

I could retire at 60 3/4, but feel better at 61 3/4 but definitely will be gone by 62 3/4 (the 3/4 because that will be the end of the calendar year). Of course, the main reason is because of the medical expenses that will be incurred between retirement and age 65, expecting it to average about $15,000 to $18,000 per year. I have run the numbers on SS and will likely have the wife take early SS at age 62 (I will be 63 and 4 months) and I will take spouses' benefit. Will take full SS at FRA (66 years 9 months) or later. I did a spreadsheet to run through different scenarios. If your wife doesn't have SS or has minimal benefits, that would make quite a difference compared to my situation.

I need a few years to reduce the 401/457 accounts and reduce tax liability. Will probably also cash in some stock I inherited from my parents. All this to take "advantage" of the low salary in the years before FRA when my SS kicks in.

After all that, though, as others have said it depends how you feel when you reach 60. Health and wellness will play a big factor. The practical answer is stay until 62 but life has a funny way of intervening...

Last edited by Vic Romano; 04-16-2015 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,370 posts, read 10,358,028 times
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I agree with re-evluating when you're 60. The older you get, the faster you age. And who knows what'll happen on the job. They could get a new boss or regulations that make the job not as enjoyable.

The fact that you're thinking about it now says something.

Whenever you retire, start doing something to keep your mind sharp. The hunting/fishing are good physically but if your job is mentally stimulating and you leave, what's your mind going to do? okay-sounds silly put that way but 'use it or lose it' is very relevant when you get older.

And of course will your wife want you around all the time? lol
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:41 AM
 
14 posts, read 46,217 times
Reputation: 54
Why not retire now as you have plenty of hobbies to keep yourself busy. I took early retirement at 48 after 30 years at 46% pay. Worked a part-time job(2 days) by choice which i enjoyed and retired last year at 56. We live the simple life, buy only what we need and enjoy each day as it comes. As they say tomorrow is never promised, enjoy yourself while health is good you won't regret it.
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