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Author Topic: What made you decide to retire early?  (Read 7510 times)

BigSkyTrailerGuy

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What made you decide to retire early?
« on: August 18, 2016, 07:06:51 PM »
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'm 62     (75% SS bennies -- 66 for 100%)
I just got laid off with no prospects for a similar job. (Most likely Lowes Home Center part time stuff.)
I'm battling cancer, but i seem to be holding my own, but really tired.
My bride is working, healthy, thank God, with health insurance for both of us. But she's tired too.
Two years til we own the house.  $150k in annuities.

What would you recommend for H insurance?  (65 until Medicare)

Tom

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 07:16:35 PM »
Have you looked at COBRA to extend your employer's health insurance for 18 months? Doesn't get you to 65, and isn't cheap, but would give you some breathing space to look for alternatives.
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Punomatic

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 07:28:41 PM »
I retired at 57 for a number of reasons: I never really enjoyed my work. I had a coworker who died of cancer at 55, which made me realize none of us are guaranteed our retirement years. My wife encouraged me to retire. She was still working and I was able to get health insurance through her work for a year until I qualified for my retirement package that includes health insurance. I wanted to go back to school and get a masters degree in Biblical counseling.

I worked part time for a few years after retirement in a field closely related to my life's work but much less stressful. I retired from that work when my father passed away, and my mom was in need of help with her affairs.  My wife was about to retire, so I didn't renew my contract for the part time job.

We have been blessed with good health, so I understand that our path might not work for you. Our income was cut about in half at retirement, but we found that adapting to the change was not as difficult as we imagined. Since that time, the advice of a good financial planner and collecting social security (I started this month at age 70, my wife started four years ago at age 62) has brought us back to about 2/3 or our pre-retirement income, and we are quite comfortable and enjoying life.

Finally, I will share the advice my dad gave me just before I retired: "Whatever you want to achieve in life, do it before you retire, because you won't have time to do it after you retire!"
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Becks

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2016, 07:36:10 PM »
Two heart attacks at a young age. We just don't know how long we have. Best decision I ever made.
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SeilerBird

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2016, 07:43:15 PM »
In 1969 when I was 21 my father, who was 50, died of a heart attack. My doctor told me that heart disease was familial and I would also die around age 50. So when my knees went bad at age 40 I was given the option to retire early. Figuring I would spend the last ten years of my life enjoying life I retired. Now that I am 68 years old I can safely conclude the doctor was wrong. I was always very young looking so when I was in my 40 and I told people I was retired they never believed me. I ended up full timing for ten years and seeing the entire country. So I am happy with the way it all turned out.
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hedhunter9

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2016, 08:31:41 PM »
3 Heart attacks even though I was very healthy @ 60 (bad genes and stress) woke me up..  My Daughter took over running the shop and I started traveling with my wife around the country.. (racing motorcycles) LOL...  The wife took SS at 62, but I am holding off to get my full SS amount at 65.
  Our house is all paid for. We have a couple rental houses. I have over 250K in my retirement fund drawing good divies. and I get rent out of our shop, so we are not rich, but we can survive. When my SS kicks in that will help.
 Bob
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BigSkyTrailerGuy

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2016, 09:15:33 PM »
Have you looked at COBRA to extend your employer's health insurance for 18 months? Doesn't get you to 65, and isn't cheap, but would give you some breathing space to look for alternatives.

Actually,the place that laid me off are continuing to pay their employer's share of COBRA.  And that's ok with me.

Old Radios

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2016, 09:25:31 PM »
Had a chance to retire at 58 six years ago when I was forced to take early retirement.  It was tight the first couple of years but I never looked back.  Have had some friends and relatives younger than me pass so I figured I do it when I found the chance otherwise it might never happen.  Funny thing is I'm busier now than when I was working full time. Don't know how I got anything done back then.
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SargeW

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2016, 09:43:45 PM »
Several close friends (co-workers) died young, unexpectedly. Cancers, heart issues, other diseases. Others were taken. You realize how short life really is. Some others refused to quit working because they could still earn "a little more money".  Several of those it didn't do them much good, as they didn't live a year after retirement. I guess the beneficiaries were happy. 

Two old sayings I really like. 1) The one phrase you will never see on a headstone is "I wish I would have worked longer".

2) I've never seen a luggage rack on a hearse.
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UTTransplant

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2016, 10:13:09 PM »
We finally sat down with our financial advisor and got the good news that we had plenty of money to retire. I liked my job, but not enough to continue to work if I didn't need to! I was 60 and DH was 62. We are lucky that we qualified for a retiree health insurance policy at a very reasonable price. House paid for. Two cars paid for. We were healthy, but I know a lot of people my age that are not, so why not do it! It has been a year, and we have no regrets. We travel 3-5 weeks at a time, coming back to the house to see friends and participate in the community. I tell my kids to keep adding to their 40K and to keep out debt. It sure makes retirement easier.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
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legrandnormand

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2016, 10:14:49 PM »
I retired at age 48 in 1995 after 31 years at Bell Canada. In the 90's, new technology arrived and less maintenance was required, so less employees to maintain it and less managers, which I was in the 90's.
The cie offered a great pre-retirement package for the 30 years service employees and more... which I accepted.
Today, I'm 69, living on my savings and pension earnings and I've never had any regrets by taking my pension at that age and I'm enjoying every minute of it.  :)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 10:26:55 PM by legrandnormand »
Normand
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Jomo

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2016, 09:24:10 AM »
I am soon to be 58 and my husband is 67.  He retired 2 years ago.  I decided to retire at the end of this year and we are going full time in our RV.  We have no pensions so will be living on his Social Security and our 401K.  I will have to buy health insurance for the next 7 years until I qualify for medicare.  That is the scary part that I am having trouble with. We have both had some minor health problems in the past that makes you realize you never know when your last day is.  Best to enjoy life while you can!
Jo & Jim
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2016, 10:43:19 AM »
I, on the other hand continued working until I reached 69 (two years past full retirement) becauseTara is diabetic and much younger. Today, because we travel extensively within the US, her health insurance cost is $700/month for $6, 000 deductable nationwide coverage. We can afford it, but it's something everyone should think about before retiring early.

On another aspect of the question, where the social security payments are greatly disparate,  having the lower entitled person take ss at 62 may prove to be an advantage in the long run. Since he/she can switch to coverage under the other parties ss when she/he passes. (Check qualification requirements with your accountant).

Ernie
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John Beard

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2016, 10:52:38 AM »
I quit working long before I retired. In 2009 I took a 3-week motor cycle journey with my youngest son and I never went back to work. There were a variety of reasons...I like to joke that I had become allergic to an alarm clock.

I officially retired July 2016, when I received my first Southern Nevada Carpenter's  Union pension check.

My primary reason for not working...W-O-R-K...I hated what I had once loved doing. So I said enough is enough and never looked back....to date.
John & Susan
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Larry N.

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2016, 11:59:59 AM »
AT&T was changing retirement plans (the new one was pretty sorry for us older types), as well as downsizing personnel, so they made an excellent offer for those of us with at least 30 years and age 55 or better. Since the new plan would have cut my retirement benefits considerably (unless I hung around another 20 plus years), and they offered a 20% bonus to retire that year, I elected to go -- took it as a lump sum (good decision in my case).

Then I did contract work as a Unix system administrator for a couple of years. When my dad passed away, he left me enough to meet the remainder of my computed requirements for complete retirement (I already had the bulk of it), so I've enjoyed that freedom for the last 16 years.

Those computed requirements figured enough to comfortably live on for at least 30 years for the two of us (not counting social security, which has been a bonus), then double that because of inflation and other uncertainties. So far that's been a good strategy.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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BigJohn

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2016, 03:32:14 PM »
I enjoyed my job and did not want to retire. My wife did not like her job. We are the same age. She retired at 55. My employer had periods during the year where work was low. So I had the ability to take a lot of time off during these periods. I usually took 12-15 weeks off a year. After 6 or 7 years of this arrangement, we switched to where I worked only when my employer was really busy -10-12 weeks a year. I worked until I was 70.  Since my DW retired before me we have been able to enjoy our RV life for many years and I have been able to work at a job I enjoyed.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2016, 07:58:24 PM »
 I finally got tired of waiting for the economy to change so I took a look at my SS benefits and did the math.

I retired at 62 @75%,  if I had waited for 100% retirement at 66,   it would have taken 11 years (or until I was 77) to get back to even on the money.....
that and,   after seeing several friends recently drop dead...... it was a pretty easy decision.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 08:08:54 PM by TonyDtorch »

garyb1st

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2016, 08:53:50 PM »
Since you're still 62, you have 2 plus years until you're eligible for Medicare.  Tom mentioned Cobra which can be quite costly.  It also leaves you with the same problem 18 months down the road.  Have you looked at the Affordable Care Act as a possible coverage bridge until you're 65.  Also, I'm surprised you were laid off given your health issues.  Is that even legal?  Have you consulted an attorney? 

You mention your wife is tired of working, but is she ready to quit her job?  That is really key to your next steps.  Have you considered selling your home?  Have you thought about full timing?  If you prefer not to sell, what about leasing your home.  If you only have two years remaining on your loan, the rental income would surely cover the mortgage and leave you a few $$$ for whatever.  With those dollars in addition to your Social Security Income, you might be able to full time as camp hosts.  While I've never done it, hosting has to be one of the best ways to travel, see the country and live comfortably on a shoestring.   

You also need to consider your wifes social security benefit.  If you can live on yours, she can delay receiving her benefits until 66 or possibly 70.  Then, depending on her income and benefit, it might be possible for you to drop your benefit and collect spousal benefits from her coverage when she retires.  Not sure how that works or if it's even doable, but I'd certainly consider it.  If on the other hand, her benefit will not be significant, she can collect spousal benefits from your coverage when she turns 62.  Get some advice on Social Security options.  Lots to consider.   

Good luck and keep us posted on your decisions. 

Gary B1st

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8Muddypaws

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2016, 10:09:44 PM »
Long hours, stress, and the perfect opportunity to get an enhanced pension, paid medical and dental until I turned 65, and 11 months of severance pay.  I started my official retirement on April 1'st but the joke wasn't on me!
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catblaster

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2016, 05:17:20 AM »
  I had no choice, Emphysema, pulmonary fibrous, Bronchiectasis, and Pulmonary Hypertension at 62, then a double lung transplant 8 months later. The two easiest things I did was filing for SS disability and Agent Orange with the VA. The job I had was easy, good pay and plenty of benefits, if I had not been forced to retire I would probably still be working even though the two heart attacks have taken their toll. 
Will and Jane
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Helmerb

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2016, 07:24:25 AM »
My Dad died @ 63, my younger brother died @ 43.  I retired two years ago @ 56 and have not regretted a second of it.
Bill and Cindy
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SeilerBird

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2016, 07:38:34 AM »
  I had no choice, Emphysema, pulmonary fibrous, Bronchiectasis, and Pulmonary Hypertension at 62, then a double lung transplant 8 months later. The two easiest things I did was filing for SS disability and Agent Orange with the VA. The job I had was easy, good pay and plenty of benefits, if I had not been forced to retire I would probably still be working even though the two heart attacks have taken their toll.
The real reason Catblaster retired is because it was interfering with building his airboat. ;D
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JX2Fields

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2016, 08:17:11 AM »
 I retire in 2012 at 62, I had know so people who said as soon as I am 65 I am retiring at 65 1/2 they were dead. Plus the environment I was working in was getting overrun with government regulatory agencies , it had ceased to be enjoyable. I retire in March of 2012 in March 2013 My wife and I went to New Zealand on a trip , in a week after we returned I was in the hospital getting a stent put in. Have not regretted retiring early one bit. If you can afford it do it.
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catblaster

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2016, 10:57:39 AM »
I retire in 2012 at 62, I had know so people who said as soon as I am 65 I am retiring at 65 1/2 they were dead.


We had an inspector the waited until 65, and after his retirement party on his last day of work he went home and died while waiting for his dinner. Another one that was a close friend of mine retired at 62 and within 9 months had passed away. None of us are getting out of this alive.
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

TonyDtorch

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2016, 11:59:42 AM »

We had an inspector the waited until 65, and after his retirement party on his last day of work he went home and died while waiting for his dinner. Another one that was a close friend of mine retired at 62 and within 9 months had passed away. None of us are getting out of this alive.

I just happy I made it out of a lifetime of work.....now, I hope the only way I ever come out of retirement is... death.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 12:11:51 PM by TonyDtorch »

MrWizzard

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2016, 04:21:17 PM »
After 32 years (3 months, 15 days if you're keeping score t home) crushing crime, facing death and keeping the streets safe just wasn't fun anymore so i retired 3 months shy of my 57th birthday!!! That was 9 years ago and I have not regretted a minute of it. My DW worked until last year because she wasn't ready to retire when I did.
I have kept as busy as I want to be and am really enjoying life. As has been said before, we can work too long and then not be able to enjoy what we worked so long for.
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Punomatic

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2016, 06:08:30 PM »
On another aspect of the question, where the social security payments are greatly disparate,  having the lower entitled person take ss at 62 may prove to be an advantage in the long run. Since he/she can switch to coverage under the other parties ss when she/he passes. (Check qualification requirements with your accountant).
Please be aware that whatever age you or your spouse take SS retirement benefits becomes your permanent retirement age for the purpose of calculating benefits. DW, whose benefits are much lower than mine, took SS at 62, because her parents both died in their 50s. I took my spousal benefit, which was half or her benefit. Our financial adviser told us that I should wait until age 70 because my parents lived into their 90s. When it came time for me to file, DW would have been entitled to a spousal benefit equal to half of my benefit at age 66 (the maximum spousal benefit). BUT, because she had already taken benefits at 62 she is actually getting half of what I would have received at 62. It is a bit more than her own  benefit, but not as much as we thought she was going to get. We are very grateful to be getting the benefits that we paid into when we were working, but just be sure you know what your benefits will be, before you file.
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John From Detroit

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2016, 06:36:07 AM »
What meade me Retire Early.. Well, the handwriting on the wall was reduced staff with ever increasing work, Management who would not listen to reasonable requests and when they did did it half .. You know what follows half,  and an attempt by a co-worker to get me (and at least two other people) fired... (Failed epically, resulted in him getting a 30 day unpaid vacation)..

The governor made me an offer, Turns out I qualified, so..  Here I am.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2016, 08:55:32 AM »
Wait !!!..if everyone over 55 starts retiring,  and everyone else is still looking for jobs,... who's going to cover my SSI checks ?

 ( now I'm starting to worry...)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 09:44:34 AM by TonyDtorch »

donn

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Re: What made you decide to retire early?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2016, 09:48:38 AM »
Forced out in the recession of 2009 at 64.  Hard when your not ready.  But DW and MIL health issues it became worthwhile.  Still struggling financially but oh well.  Still can travel some.

 

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