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Old 05-20-2010, 11:30 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
16,418 posts, read 5,354,959 times
Reputation: 51319

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My husband retired at the normal age, but I was forced to retire at 58 due to cutbacks in my industry.

When we found out my job was in jeopardy, we consulted a financial advisor and learned to our surprise and delight that we'd be perfectly all right without my paycheck. We had saved and invested conservatively over the years, and we were also fortunate to have received an inheritance, so that made all the difference. Like others in this thread, we have always lived below our means. We bought a smaller house than we could have afforded and then paid off our mortgage early. Our "new" car is a 1993 Prizm.

The only tough part has been health insurance. Hubby's on Medicare with an AARP supplement, but I have to buy my own policy. Fortunately because I was in a union I had the option of remaining in in the company plan, but I pay the entire premium, which is now over $800 a month! My husband has health problems that require multiple medications, so he spends thousands a year at the pharmacy when he falls into the Medicare drug plan's "doughnut hole."

I am very happy and wouldn't go back to work if they paid me a million dollars. It's wonderful to stay up late, sleep in and have the freedom to come and go as I please. My husband and I have to be careful about our expenditures, but we've always been that way so it's no big deal. Now that I am retired I have more time to hunt for bargains instead of paying top price for the sake of convenience, so our dollars stretch further. In my opinion, watching our pennies is a fair tradeoff to be rid of all the stress, hassles and anxiety of working.

I don't think anyone who retires early should feel guilty -- just the opposite, actually. With the economy as bad as it has been, maybe we ought to feel more guilty about taking a job away from a younger person who needs it.
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:40 AM
 
2,179 posts, read 6,615,604 times
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feel guilty????? h#ll no!!!
I chose to retire so as to enjoy life before I am too old to do the things I enjoy.
sure I have to watch my budget a little more but I am doing the things I used to wish for and at 58 I am still able to do them.
I looked up a old coworker who retired 21 years ago and at 81 he is still enjoying life and is able to do the things he wants to do ,he credits his longevity to not sitting in front of the TV all day. I have rheumatoid arthritis and could sit back and say I cant do that but I refuse and push myself to keep going
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:49 AM
 
183 posts, read 312,860 times
Reputation: 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayarea4 View Post
In my opinion, watching our pennies is a fair tradeoff to be rid of all the stress, hassles and anxiety of working.
Great statement. Never thought of it quite that way. Does seem like a fair trade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayarea4 View Post
I don't think anyone who retires early should feel guilty -- just the opposite, actually. With the economy as bad as it has been, maybe we ought to feel more guilty about taking a job away from a younger person who needs it.
Ya, those people that can't seem to get enough money and refuse to retire even though they could comfortably do so should be the ones feeling guilty, if anyone. they are taking up a job that a unemployed person could fill and get off the government dole. A retired person still contributes to the economy and in fact is doing nothing but infusing the economy with new money. A working person is an expense to a business or the taxpayer. A financially indpendent retiree is an asset, buying stuff, going on trips, paying taxes. They are spreading the wealth around while taking little from the economy.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:04 AM
 
29,779 posts, read 34,867,277 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by windflower View Post
This question is for anyone else who retired before age 60.

I retired five years ago at age 53, after working fulltime ever since age 18. My father died unexpectedly in 2001 and I inherited his house, life insurance and retirement policies, et cetera. I decided to sell his house plus my own, because I'd fallen in love with an "older house with great character" (this is a euphemism for "Money Pit", by the way; I see elsewhere on the forum there's a young man who believes he can purchase an older home for $50,000 and spend no more than $2000 on repairs and improvements – he certainly is in for a rude awakening!) which I subsequently bought and spent almost three years restoring and repairing.

All of my friends, family and acquaintances are, however, still working full-time. I am the only one who has retired and at every social gathering someone ALWAYS asks the dreaded question: "So, what are you DOING with yourself nowadays? Are you WORKING?" in the tone of voice that implies rather "Are you still being a layabout, or have you decided to return to doing something productive?" During the years I was restoring the house, I at least had that "excuse", but it is now finished. I get the unmistakable sense that people feel there is no earthly reason why a healthy single childless 58-year-old woman of education and reasonable intelligence should not be still in the workforce… other than sheer laziness or irresponsibility, that is, neither of which has ever been the case. I have sometimes felt guilty enough to actually lie and say that I am doing temporary-employment work! That always results in a response of "Oh really? That's very nice" and the conversation turns elsewhere; but if I instead evade the question by answering "Oh, this and that", it continues on into more of a third-degree investigation: "But what exactly do you DO with all that free time?" There are times when I am tempted to reply "None of your bloody business" but of course I never do…

So I am wondering if others who chose early retirement feel, or are made to feel, uncomfortable or somehow 'guilty' about it at times?
I still subscribe to money magazine and get reminded that the goal is to do what we have done. So when others make comments it just boosts my ego and makes me thank the various magazines for giving me achievable goals for my situation.
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:37 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,482,868 times
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Default My wife and I are kinda in the middle.

I had planned to retire at 60 but divorce hit at 48 and I lost everything, including half my retirement. My wife figured she'd have to work until she died until we married when I was 50 and she was 48. At that time I planned to retire at 64 but my wife, for medical reasons, had to retire early at 54. I crunched numbers and kept to my age 64 retirement goal while we saved and invested (didn't lose a thing in the market -- self-directed our funds). We didn't own a home because they were prohibitively expensive for us in California as we were essentially just starting out again from ground-zero in middle age.

One day, at 62, I crunched the numbers again, took a deep breath and pulled the plug at work. I'd had enough and my mental and emotional health would not have taken kindly to another two years. I was done! We moved, bought a lovely but modest home on the shore of a gorgeous lake, furnished it and while we'll never be world travelers, we live comfortably and securely. We have lifetime full medical and dental benefits in our retirement, adequate pensions as well as Social Security and feel very blessed.

Oh, yeah! What is this thing called "guilty?"
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:12 PM
 
4,948 posts, read 16,524,306 times
Reputation: 2866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott456 View Post
True. These days, only the government workers can afford early retirement with health insurance as part of pension plan. People working in private sectors are mostly out of luck for early retirement because pension is just non-existent anymore unless you are at a very high corporate position. But I supposed people can always try hitting the jackpot.
I retired eary at age 50 with a buy-out which did include the medical,
Guilty, no because we were kindly asked to leave, so why not. I still then did
get other jobs and the stress level whet way down. Yes, I am one of the lucky with real pension also. It still was not alway easy since I had to wait
a long time for S.S.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:29 AM
 
5 posts, read 7,505 times
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It's so great to hear so many others who have made it to the finish line and get to enjoy what is beyond it.

I retired in 2007 at the ripe age of 38 and it was great. I had been working since I was 14 part time jobs and then 20 years in the Military.

I took off about 4 months and just did what I always wanted to do... NOTHING... and it was everything I thought it would be! Then even though I had medical for life, a nice nest egg, and every toy I ever wanted I got a little restless to go out and do something.

I found a job where they paid me to travel all over the U.S. and Canada. It was great. Then when the economy went south and that job became more stressful than enjoyable... I quit. And found another job that paid me to travel. In the mean time I have found a wonderful woman to share my life with and she is just now finishing her Masters Degree and entering the workforce. So I plan on leaving my job and going into volunteer work for Veterans. Between helping my new sweetie, helping our vets, and just enjoying everything I worked for I am in bliss.

As for Guilty... Nope. I worked hard and sacraficed almost all my life and now I just get to enjoy the fruits of those labors.

It's the choices we make as we go along that gets us to where we are and I for one haven't regretted my choices.

~Cheers.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,682 posts, read 49,449,101 times
Reputation: 19134
Quote:
Originally Posted by rplusplus
It's so great to hear so many others who have made it to the finish line and get to enjoy what is beyond it.

I retired in 2007 at the ripe age of 38 and it was great. I had been working since I was 14 part time jobs and then 20 years in the Military.

I took off about 4 months and just did what I always wanted to do... NOTHING... and it was everything I thought it would be! Then even though I had medical for life, a nice nest egg, and every toy I ever wanted I got a little restless to go out and do something.

I found a job where they paid me to travel all over the U.S. and Canada. It was great. Then when the economy went south and that job became more stressful than enjoyable... I quit. And found another job that paid me to travel. In the mean time I have found a wonderful woman to share my life with and she is just now finishing her Masters Degree and entering the workforce. So I plan on leaving my job and going into volunteer work for Veterans. Between helping my new sweetie, helping our vets, and just enjoying everything I worked for I am in bliss.

As for Guilty... Nope. I worked hard and sacraficed almost all my life and now I just get to enjoy the fruits of those labors.

It's the choices we make as we go along that gets us to where we are and I for one haven't regretted my choices.

~Cheers.
That is great!

It is wonderful to hear it is all working out well for you
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:57 AM
 
5 posts, read 7,505 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
That is great!

It is wonderful to hear it is all working out well for you
Thank you, The real fun part is that I'll be 42 in a few months and still have 20 more years until I get my second (SS) pension.

Oh and I forgot to mention... I bought a guitar and started to learn to play... Maybe by 62 I'll be able to play more than a few scratchy chords.

~Cheers
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,657,931 times
Reputation: 3967
I'll be retired at 52, 5 years away. Have been saving and working for it for the past 25+ years. I plan on going to Europe for 6 months and just travelling. After being a police officer for 30 yrs, nope, don't feel guilty at all. I may find some sort of part time job, just to keep me busy and to finance my trips. However, that is all. But, I won't feel the least bit guilty...
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