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Old 04-25-2007, 11:19 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 3 days ago)
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,301 posts, read 15,353,559 times
Reputation: 9473


We took early retirement (he's 53, I'm 45), in part because we had a bit of money saved and because, in part, we had no faith that if we hung in there until actual retirement age, the promised retirement benefits would still be there. We're also not counting on Social Security or Medicare, as I doubt either will exist in current form by the time we both hit eligible ages.

He worked in high tech, and, because of downsizing and aggressive outsourcing, the company is already at a point where there are more retired employees than actual employees, and the employee retirement benefits are, in my opinion, going to be one of the first things the company bails on (and this is a Fortune 50 company). So this way, the retirement package included a "go away!" bonus, several months of pay (a month for every year of employment), his 401k rolled into an IRA and several years of health care coverage at the employee rate and a large lump-sum put into an account which can be used to pay future health insurance and medical costs. Neither of us plan to stop working completely, but we don't plan on doing a standard day job again.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:40 AM
1 posts, read 4,108 times
Reputation: 11
Absolutely not. I retired at 42 from the military. When people ask me what I actually do with my time, I tell them anything I want and nothin I don't want. (pardon the double neg
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:12 AM
Location: Tennessee
34,691 posts, read 33,695,295 times
Reputation: 51909
Originally Posted by windflower View Post
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?"

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'll be 56 next week (retired 4 months) and I don't feel guilty at all. In fact, if I don't get off the forums right now, I'm going to be late for one of my two classes, today.

I do, however, feel guilty about not doing more housework. It seems like "work" wasn't the housework excuse, after all.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:15 AM
Location: Northern MN
592 posts, read 2,580,293 times
Reputation: 353
I was convinced to retire at the ripe old age of 38, do I feel guilty? Why would I feel guilty? I don't know how I ever found time to work. No worries about the duties of the day, no concerns of footprints on my back, no commuting,,,heck, I wish I could have done it earlier. I do spend too much time reading, napping, chatting with friends and neighbors, WAY too much time watching the critters we raise..nope, I still don't feel guilty. One of my favorite sayings is "Nobody ever died wishing they spent more time at work".
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:56 PM
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,889,387 times
Reputation: 11393
You guys are an inspiration to me. I quit the rat race ten years ago and am still working, but on my terms, and actually work from home in my office. The job is part time and I set the hours/days I want to work. No matter as long as it is done by the end of the month.

Dh however is a work-a-holic. He retired from the company he worked for in 2000, but took his business he had started a few years earlier to a higher level and he works non stop some days.

Yet, we have paid off our mortgage, and converted an old store into apartments, are in the process of building duplexes on some land we own and plan to have these as our retirement income.

I have been able to buy the car of my dreams, go on several trips this year, and not feel guilty on the amount of money I spent.

People always say to me that we have it made, yet we still work hard, but it's on our terms and that makes a difference. If we feel like not working say MOnday, we don't. No guilt nor worries.

I have been able to stay at home with my children and take them to whatever functions they have, go to school and volunteer.

I am 43 and he is 45. Our youngest is going into 8th grade, and we have it figured by the time he graduates and starts college, the first four duplexes will be paid for and we will be earning from them as well as the apartments.

What will we do when we fully retire? Build a new home on land we purchased for this dream home, garden (me) and he will probably still do some type work, but only if he wants to. His dream is to buy a bulldozer! sigh. I guess he will play with that. LOL.

There are relatives and friends that make comments to us that can be hurtful, but we have learned to block them from our mind. They might just be jealous that we have the life we love and they do not.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:33 PM
335 posts, read 1,108,841 times
Reputation: 239
Default Retire!!!!!

then take a musical lesson, and teach kids how to read maybe at the library or at a school. Then take dance lessons. This is what my mom did after my father passed away and the woman is HAPPY. She loves being retired and is having more fun now than I have ever seen

Good luck and what ever decision you make please do not base it on what others think. Find your own boat and sail it!!!!!

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Old 07-29-2007, 10:27 PM
Location: Far Western KY
1,833 posts, read 5,870,523 times
Reputation: 848
43 and retired, but I still work or I'd go stir crazy.
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:19 AM
13,320 posts, read 25,565,364 times
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I've got to ask, for those who retired "early," what do you do about health insurance? Seems that's the biggest sticking point for many people.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:36 AM
Location: Tennessee
34,691 posts, read 33,695,295 times
Reputation: 51909
I have the same health insurance that I had when I was working and I pay the same for it as I did then. I pay more for my life insurance.

One thing I want to say is that even though my gross income was reduced by a large amount, in retirement, my net monthly income is about the same pre and post retirement. Why? Primarily, because I'm not socking huge amounts of money into my retirement savings plan via payroll deductions and the government isn't deducting money for retirement, anymore, either. Plus I now live in a "no state income tax on wages/pensions" state and no more professional dues payroll deductions, either.

Also, some of my expenses have really changed in retirement, for the better, and they are things I never really considered/planned for when I was thinking if I could make it financially.

A big one is gasoline. When I picked my relocation retirement spot, I did so for the things/activities the town offered me in retirement. A side benefit, never considered, was that I just happened to pick a location where everything I seem to need and/or to do on a regular basis is within a 3 mile radius of where I live. It's a huge savings on gasoline. Instead of putting gas in the car twice a week, I'm now filling up the car evey 3 - 3.5 weeks.

Another expense that disappeared was dry cleaning. I used to spend a lot on dry cleaning when I was working. I live in play clothes, now. Just about everything goes in the washing machine. Plus, play clothes are cheaper than dresses, blouses and suits.

The 3rd thing I'm saving a huge amount of money on that I never considered before I decided to retire was the expense of going out to lunch every other day while I was working. The lunch savings can be big even if you only buy lunch everyday in the company cafeteria. I still get take out at night or go out to eat at night as much as I used to.

I didn't have to change my lifestyle intentionally for any of those monetary benefits. It just happened because I stopped working and moved.

Also, another thing I never gave much thought to when I was planning retirement and relocation was how many free activities were in my new town. I mean, who thinks about that while you are working? Not me. My new town has a community band, an orchestra and a chorus that give free concerts throughout the year. We have a free arboretum. We have free fairs/festivals/parades --- all things my former town didn't have. We have several parks and greenways for hiking, biking, walking, jogging. The lake and public pier - free - for fishing/boating - watching the rowing competitions. The town, businesses, clubs/organizations and churches also put on free events. This is also a nerdy town so there are plenty of hobbies/clubs, too. Even the government gives free tours of its facilities and leads people on nature walks. Did my old town do any of those things when I was working? Probably a small amount of those things, but I never noticed when I was working.

My classes cost $90 A YEAR and I can take 5 classes per semester (there are 3 semesters) and more if there is room in other classes. What does that work out to ---- $6 per class? Plus the school is about 1 mile from my place.

My rent went down $350 per month for a place that is two times bigger than the one I had while I was working. Even if they raise the rent $50 per month, every year, it will take 7 years to equal the rent I was paying. Plus, it's a brand new complex with pool/exercise room/billiards room, etc. (This part I knew about before I retired and moved).

The point I am trying to make is that while health insurance may cost you more, things you never considered - just by ceasing going to work (and by choosing a retirement location carefully if you are so inclined to move) - will more than make up for it.

And look at your net (pre and post retirement) and don't be scared by that precipitous drop in your gross. You may find that the actual dollars in your pocket will be close to the same.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:32 PM
5,822 posts, read 13,318,850 times
Reputation: 9290
Default They just envy you...

Enjoy your life and your hobbies. We are retiring early and have purchased a house in upstate NY (rather snow than heat and humidity). We have lots of hobbies: motorcycling, traveling, gardening, woodworking, and genealogy to mention a few.

Don't let them intimidate you because they envy you. Be yourself! Enjoy what you have. If they think you are "bragging" that's their problem. Obviously they are not real friends, or they would be happy for you.
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