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Old 02-12-2016, 04:04 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,754,097 times
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When I retired at age 61, an aunt, now deceased, told me I was fortunate to be able to retire early. Her remark surprised me because in my mind I wasn't retiring "early"; in terms of the way my pension system is structured, that is a pretty normal age to retire. My aunt's perspective was different; she was thinking about the Social Security full retirement age, which for her generation was 65. That's what she was used to among the people she knew - retiring at 65.

Likewise for me, the people whom I observed retiring were mostly colleagues who were, naturally, under the same pension system I was. That is why I wrote earlier in this thread that retirement in one's early to mid 50's seems to me like a practice from another planet - it just doesn't seem normal. But I hasten to repeat that I don't see anything wrong with it providing that the early retiree doesn't end up on the public dole.

I think the negative reactions some early retirees have written about in this thread do stem from jealousy. After all, if a person can retire at age 50, that means the person was financially successful to an extraordinary degree, way beyond the experiences of us normal Joe's and Jane's. Compare it to someone who owns a Ferrari, which would be a symbol of apartness from the norm which in turn could provoke envy and resentment on the part of some people.

Obviously the jealousy and resentment will be greater on the part of people who hate their jobs. It has always amazed me how many posters in this Retirement Forum hate(d) their jobs with a passion; it's as if they cannot find language sufficiently strong to describe the hatred.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:47 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,919 posts, read 42,175,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
When I retired at age 61, an aunt, now deceased, told me I was fortunate to be able to retire early. Her remark surprised me because in my mind I wasn't retiring "early"; in terms of the way my pension system is structured, that is a pretty normal age to retire. My aunt's perspective was different; she was thinking about the Social Security full retirement age, which for her generation was 65. That's what she was used to among the people she knew - retiring at 65..................

Obviously the jealousy and resentment will be greater on the part of people who hate their jobs. It has always amazed me how many posters in this Retirement Forum hate(d) their jobs with a passion; it's as if they cannot find language sufficiently strong to describe the hatred.

What your aunt thought would be common, I'm guessing she was from the WW II generation. Early on many of the people I worked with were in that age group (they would have been late 50s or so) and were really the first full generation who had Social Security and, in many cases, pensions. The government also pushed the "retire at 65" mantra constantly. And as I, and several others mentioned, retirement itself is a relatively new concept.


As for hating the job, I don't know. I guess I was to that point or close, but it was just more being tired of the crap. The last few years the amount of requirements we teachers had to fulfill just absolutely ballooned. From almost daily meetings to mountains of paperwork to new curricula to being in an almost constant testing regime, it was just wearing.


I also started to get paid back for my tendency to not give a **** what I said if I saw something wrong and refusal to cover for higher ups.


As it was, I retired this past July. One year ahead of what I planned.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,851 posts, read 4,967,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Obviously the jealousy and resentment will be greater on the part of people who hate their jobs. It has always amazed me how many posters in this Retirement Forum hate(d) their jobs with a passion; it's as if they cannot find language sufficiently strong to describe the hatred.
I concur.

I actually loved my job; it's why it was so hard for me to retire.

I guess I must be very lucky to have found a career that was so much fun. Honestly, I couldn't believe they were actually paying me. I always looked forward to Mondays.

Guess I'm weird.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:40 AM
 
Location: San Ramon, Seattle, Anchorage, Reykjavik
2,241 posts, read 992,060 times
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One of the things that make it possible to easily retire early is frugality. I don't make an extraordinary amount of money by any definition of the word. However, my family is made up of savers. We do without in some areas and are extravagant in others. Do we have fancy cars, a fancy house, a vacation property, an RV, or a boat? No. Do we fully leverage our purchasing ability via available credit? No. Do we have any debt in our late 40s? No. We save. We still take great vacations, have reliable cars, have kids dressed properly for school, go out to eat, pay for full health insurance, donate to charities, etc. But we watch out for all the little things and pay in cash or we figure we can't afford it. It's worked out well for us. Lot's of people think we are nuts and missing out. We'll see when they are working away on all the nice sunny days while my family is out fishing, riding our bikes, or reading in the hammock.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:47 AM
 
1,745 posts, read 2,135,710 times
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My dad is 70 and has no plan to retire, ever. Some people truly love their work. He is one of them. He draws income three ways now- Social Security, pension, and from his paycheck. He literally has more money than he even knows what to do with, as well as extensive vacation time. He is able to afford some pretty luxurious trips with that time off. He goes to the French Riviera in the summer for weeks on end. The Swiss Alps in the winter. He's been all over the world and his mind stays laser-sharp. He's doing quite well compared to many of his peers from what I can tell. He's the type of guy who will keel over and die at his desk one day, having lived a rich and interesting life. What kind of quality of life is a fixed income and staying home all day? I would never want it myself. I'd be completely bored out of my mind.
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,798 posts, read 4,848,703 times
Reputation: 19509
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastBoundandDownChick View Post
My dad is 70 and has no plan to retire, ever. Some people truly love their work. He is one of them. He draws income three ways now- Social Security, pension, and from his paycheck. He literally has more money than he even knows what to do with, as well as extensive vacation time. He is able to afford some pretty luxurious trips with that time off. He goes to the French Riviera in the summer for weeks on end. The Swiss Alps in the winter. He's been all over the world and his mind stays laser-sharp. He's doing quite well compared to many of his peers from what I can tell. He's the type of guy who will keel over and die at his desk one day, having lived a rich and interesting life. What kind of quality of life is a fixed income and staying home all day? I would never want it myself. I'd be completely bored out of my mind.
Not all "fixed incomes" are so low as to necessitate sitting home all day. A fixed income can be a pension, or a pension plus SS, or even someone taking fixed withdrawals from substantial investments.

I've always wondered about the term "fixed income". Fixed by what? Just because your income is primarily from SS, doesn't mean you can't make more money. Even without a traditional job, you can boost your income in many ways. You can make jewelry and purses, or toys, and sell them at craft fairs or on ETSY. You could grow vegetables, or herbs, or even cut flowers and sell them at the farmers' market. You could buy at garage sales and flea markets, upcycle, and resell all sorts of products. You could purchase an inexpensive home, fix it up and flip it, or rent it out and receive ongoing income. You can do so many things to make extra money, even donating plasma can pay $75 at some blood banks and you can donate weekly. People babysit, dogsit, housesit, drive their elderly neighbors, all for small remuneration, but it adds up. My petsitting friend made over $10,000 last year, and donated it all to service dog charities. Another makes homemade granola and baked goods and sells them to the neighborhood. Another neighbor, a retired executive, likes to use his welding skills to make beautiful home and garden objects for sale. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Income is only "fixed" by one's lack of initiative. So instead of considering it "staying home all day", perhaps you should consider it freeing up your time to use it in a more enjoyable, and possibly profitable, manner.

Last edited by TheShadow; 02-12-2016 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,798 posts, read 4,848,703 times
Reputation: 19509
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
When I retired at age 61, an aunt, now deceased, told me I was fortunate to be able to retire early. Her remark surprised me because in my mind I wasn't retiring "early"; in terms of the way my pension system is structured, that is a pretty normal age to retire. My aunt's perspective was different; she was thinking about the Social Security full retirement age, which for her generation was 65. That's what she was used to among the people she knew - retiring at 65.
You can imagine the comments I got retiring at 51! Like you though, retirement at 55-62 was the norm at my place of work. I think the comments that I was "lucky" to be able to retire so soon were the ones that grated on me, as I felt luck had little to do with it, not to mention that it devalues all the work, planning, and sacrifice that went into being able to retire early. It comes down to choices we make throughout our life. Choices in careers and employers, finding ways to further yourself while working within the system, choices in if and whom you marry, whether you have children and how many, choices in lifestyle, spending versus saving, making do with what you have, not keeping up with the Joneses, choices in when you buy and sell a home and how much debt you allow yourself, choices of where to live before and after retirement. The only part that I perceive as luck is our not having any catastrophic health issues (admittedly very GOOD luck). The rest was all me and my husband making choices. Unfortunately you can't say that to people because it shines a light on the choices that they made that prevented them from achieving the same thing.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:32 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,157,976 times
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From where I sit as an Xer working in a non-unionized "knowledge economy" business that was started during the late 1970s:
- Almost no one I know personally has a pension plan at their employer. The only exceptions are public sector employees. The only pension plan I ever got close to was at one now defunct older industrial company I worked at when I was 4 years out of school. They started RIFing and I was out of there before I vested. That's the last one I ever saw and that was over 25 years ago.
- A few people I know who were in the military for 20 years prior to going civie have a military pension.
- Personally, I've had a 401K since I was a new grad. Nonetheless: Were I to choose to early retire, I would have to live in what I consider to be a very constrained mode of existence until my passing. A wrong turn health wise would wipe me out.
- I have a minor IRA from one case where my new employer would not allow intake of rollovers into their 401K (it was a start up that had a very un-sophisticated plan).

So no, I am not and never was a spendthrift, I have worked my tail off since I was a new grad and yet, there is no freakin' way I can responsibly contemplate the notion of early retirement.

I think this is highlighting a generational difference.

Most people born after 1960 are not going to relate to this thread unless one or more of the following are true:
1) They worked or work for .gov (including military, teaching, first responders, etc)
2) They were among the small percentage who "win big" in the private sector
3) They lived like a total monk since they were 12 years old
4) They got some sort of windfall
5) They are resolved to live sort of poor in retirement
6) They are delusional regarding the risks of elder poverty and the ways it can be instigated
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
3,166 posts, read 6,948,585 times
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If someone retires at 30, 40 or 50 and it makes them happy to sit around and do nothing all day, who is anyone else to bag on them? To each his own. It wouldn't be my preference, but whoever has put in 30 years on the job deserves whatever kind of retirement they want.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:51 PM
 
Location: San Ramon, Seattle, Anchorage, Reykjavik
2,241 posts, read 992,060 times
Reputation: 3115
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
From where I sit as an Xer working in a non-unionized "knowledge economy" business that was started during the late 1970s:
- Almost no one I know personally has a pension plan at their employer. The only exceptions are public sector employees. The only pension plan I ever got close to was at one now defunct older industrial company I worked at when I was 4 years out of school. They started RIFing and I was out of there before I vested. That's the last one I ever saw and that was over 25 years ago.
- A few people I know who were in the military for 20 years prior to going civie have a military pension.
- Personally, I've had a 401K since I was a new grad. Nonetheless: Were I to choose to early retire, I would have to live in what I consider to be a very constrained mode of existence until my passing. A wrong turn health wise would wipe me out.
- I have a minor IRA from one case where my new employer would not allow intake of rollovers into their 401K (it was a start up that had a very un-sophisticated plan).

So no, I am not and never was a spendthrift, I have worked my tail off since I was a new grad and yet, there is no freakin' way I can responsibly contemplate the notion of early retirement.

I think this is highlighting a generational difference.

Most people born after 1960 are not going to relate to this thread unless one or more of the following are true:
1) They worked or work for .gov (including military, teaching, first responders, etc)
2) They were among the small percentage who "win big" in the private sector
3) They lived like a total monk since they were 12 years old
4) They got some sort of windfall
5) They are resolved to live sort of poor in retirement
6) They are delusional regarding the risks of elder poverty and the ways it can be instigated
I disagree. I was born in 1967. My wife in 1969. No one has ever given us a thing in our life. Paid for under graduate and graduate school out of my own pocket (parents paid my health insurance). Worked since I was 14. Have never had any sort of windfall from anything. 2 kids and my wife left her job to be a stay at home mother. Lived in LA, Chicago, Minneapolis, and now Cleveland of which only Cleveland is a low cost market. However, my wife and I save as much as we can. We don't live like monks (unless you mean Thelonius Monk, who traveled the world, which we definitely do). However, we never buy anything on credit and skip buying the little things that don't make a person happy anyways. And guess what. We are debt free (including owning our house outright), have a strong long term cash reserve, cars paid for, kids college funds almost full, and fully funded IRAs and 401k since we started working in 1991. Was it easy? No. Were there low value temptations? Yes. Did we fall for them occasionally? Yes. But for the most part we don't and are able to live and save on my income alone. Now I'm considering retiring at age 48. Did I run the numbers? Yes. Are we glad we live in a low cost but culturally rich market like Cleveland? Yes. Do I worry about fluctuation in the stock market and the impact on my IRA and 401k? Yes. However, we made hard choices and stuck to them and now we are in a position to reap our rewards. Other people make different decisions and reap their rewards. That's life.

When I do retire we'll get in more foreign travel, biking, running, climbing, skiing, fly fishing, and backpacking than we do today. Can't wait.
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