Retiring at 51

OMG_OMG

Registered User
Messages
20
Age: 51
Spouse’s/Partner's age: 52

Annual gross income from employment or profession: 68K
Annual gross income of spouse: 70K

Monthly take-home pay : €6k approx

Type of employment: Me - Private Sector. Spouse Pre-95 Public sector

In general are you:
saving. Amount varies month to month. About 50K savings in equities.
Probably saving about €1.5k per month over the last year. Overpaid mortgage too.


Rough estimate of value of home : €350k
Amount outstanding on your mortgage: 0

Other borrowings – car loans/personal loans etc
None

Do you pay off your full credit card balance each month? Yes
If not, what is the balance on your credit card? None

Savings and investments:
30K in equities with Degiro for childs education

Do you have a pension scheme? Yes. €500K fund value
Spouse 32 Years in public sector. €110k in AVCs


Do you own any investment or other property? Yes
Apartment in Dublin. Value €200k. Outstanding mortgage 52K. 1.5 years into 10 year lease with council at €11k per year


Ages of children: 1 child aged 7
Childcare costs €400pm.


Life insurance: Yes. Pay about €150 pm.


Questions:

Ive always wanted to retire early. Sick of working since the age of 15. Just want to do my own things now. Ive taken long 3 month holidays and thoroughly enjoyed them over the years and only went back to work because I needed to earn money. Spouse feels the same way.

In March I was told I am being made redundant. I will get about €40K in redundancy next month.
This came as a bit of a surprise but I am kinda glad it happened now.
Also this month, the mortgage on our house ended.
So big life changes afoot.

I was thinking now might be the time to retire.
My pension fund has about 500k in it though the retirement age is 60, so im 9 years too early :)

Just looking for advice on if this can be done.
I figure between work expenses and insurance, car tax and insurance, mortgage that our monthly outgoings have dropped by €2000 euro in the last few months since the mortgage ended. My take home is about €2800 after AVCs. So if I stopped working we are €800 down on disposable income. Childcare costs would reduce too.
Also when the investment mortgage is done thats another €550 that we wont be paying out every month.
Then the apartment is only in my name, and we could sell it or keep renting it after the 10 year lease is up.

The uni costs should be covered by that portion of equities we have already put away for it when that time comes.

In another 5 years my wife wants to retire too. At that point she will be 57 and have 37 years done and get her pension.

We will have lump sums coming when she retires, and when I am 60. Might even be able to get that lump sum at 55.

If you were in my position and wanted to give up work badly, do you think its doable. Im kinda worried, because in my line of work, once you retire there is no going back, not that id want to anyway.

We wouldnt need to be contributing to AVCs or saving after we are both retired.

Just looking for pros and cons of making the jump to retiring at this time. Its going round and round in my head. Its a big step and one I really want to make. Just a bit fearful. And sure ive missed something obvious
 
Last edited:

dereko1969

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,740
I suppose one thing to consider would be how likely would it be for you to get another job in your current field in the near term? The choice might not be there for you.
You could be retired for essentially 40 years all going well. How does your wife feel about you retiring now rather than around the same time she retires? I know when I mentioned retiring at 60 to my wife she immediately said she'd retire the same time, even though she's a couple of years younger than me, it stupidly felt unfair that she was "getting away" with working 2 years less than me!
I suppose if you don't have many outgoings (and well done on finishing the mortgage and well on the way to clearing the investment mortgage) it would seem feasible. I think we've all learned over the past few months just how comfortable we are with either working from home or not working so much or at all.
I haven't been much help here, I think I'm too jealous and looking for holes whereas it looks like a great opportunity if you wouldn't find yourself getting bored.
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
Messages
6,169
What are you going to live off before you start drawing down your pension? Is your spouse happy to fund your living expenses?
 

50andOut

Registered User
Messages
17
Hi OMG

There's plenty of good threads on here with people asking similar questions, myself included, just look at my name! (look at the pensions thread also a really great one in there, i'll see if I can work out how to link it - https://www.askaboutmoney.com/threads/retiring-early-–-how-did-you-do-it.215643/).

You need to get a good idea of your actual expected income post redundancy if you no longer work again vs your average exp.
do an annual estimate of total inc vs exp year by year - up to and beyond your own pensions and then the state pensions.

Questions to consider
Could you do something part time for a small extra income
Look at the tax change your wife's net take salary will increase now as she will get your credits.
what will you do all day whilst your wife is working for the next 5 years
Is your home going to see you through retirement, are there any changes / upgrades needed (like downstairs bedroom for when you are too old to manage stairs)
Cost of kids increases as they get older through to college, so factor that in.
Extra time means additional costs elsewhere as you fill your time - try and be realistic with your expenditure.

Whilst your wife is working and with your roughly 900pm (is that gross or net?) income from the apartment I think you can probably see quite clearly if you can manage your current expenditure. but after that 5 year period with 1 income, and you both retire, will you have enough pension funds to last you until the state pensions kick in?

50andO
 

OMG_OMG

Registered User
Messages
20
Thanks guys, You have been of help. This is exactly whats going round in my head because once i pull the trigger thats it, no going back.
Im trying to figure out if ive missed something big that I will regret. If I find out in another 3 years that I cant actually afford to retire that would be disastrous.

My wife would be very happy if i retired too. She is all for it. Some weeks I dont get in until 9pm every day. And gone at 6am. In my field age discrimination is rife. I definitely wouldnt get a job in the same line. And after so many years im kinda looking forward to having no work. I want to get back into DIY. I miss that so much truth be told. We actually have very little outgoings apart from mortgages and holidays.

We have 2 cars fully paid off (1 year and 2 years old) so wont need to be getting cars any time soon. And now we could probably do with only one anyway because I wont be gone from morning to night with one of them. My wife works locally and would be only too happy for me to get the kid up and drop them both to work and school and pick them up.

I dont suffer from boredom. Never have. I usually just think of something to do and dont get bored, even if its going to see some castle 20km away that just popped into my head or a walk on the beach or up to the mountains for an hour or two, oeven just a walk in a nearby town and read the papaer in a cafe. I dont drink much at all. Probably had 3 pints and a couple of glasses of wine this year in total. Nature is my drug, but i havent had much chance lately to partake.
We will actually have the same or maybe more disposable income with me retiring than staying at work, which I still cant quite believe.

And working from home has given me back so much time, i realize how much of it was wasted commuting. That time is so nice to have and more of it would be lovely.
 

OMG_OMG

Registered User
Messages
20
What are you going to live off before you start drawing down your pension? Is your spouse happy to fund your living expenses?
Well if she boots me out im in trouble :)

We have always had joint accounts. Kept the apartment in my name as when we retire that might matter when it comes to tax and pensions and assets. It can easily be changed to whatever situation is best. Otherwise everything has always been split down the middle.
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
Messages
6,169
Fair enough.

If you can live off one salary, and your wife is happy to keep working, then all is well.

You might want to check your PRSI record to see if you have sufficient stamps to qualify for a full State (Contributory) Pension or whether it is worth making voluntary contributions.
 

OMG_OMG

Registered User
Messages
20
Thanks Sarenco. I didnt even think of that. I doubt i have enough for the full pension. I would be happy to make voluntary contributions.
Thats now on my list of things to sort out how do do.
 

michaelm

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,756
Methinks you're maybe a bit young, and the kids are a bit young, for retirement. Long hours are no goo though. If it were me I'd take the redundancy and job seekers while I looked for a part-time or term-time, low stress job . . then reassess in a few years. I'd aim to retire at the same time as my spouse.
 

mtk

Frequent Poster
Messages
528
Thanks Sarenco. I didnt even think of that. I doubt i have enough for the full pension. I would be happy to make voluntary contributions.
Thats now on my list of things to sort out how do do.
The prsi on INV. income ( rent) Might count . Check it out
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
Messages
6,169
In addition to PRSI on investment income, you could also get credits for minding your child. It's definitely an area worth investigating.
 

OMG_OMG

Registered User
Messages
20
Thanks guys. All things I never even thought about. You are a fountain of knowledge.
Its also making me think about it in ways I didnt until i started typing it out.
 

bess

Frequent Poster
Messages
29
OMG to me this redundancy sounds like a pure gift. you are in a good position for retiring now and it sounds like it would suit you. working isn't paying you.
 

planck

Frequent Poster
Messages
11
Personally, I think 51 is pushing it, an option worth thinking about perhaps is part-time work for a few years as a stepping stone to full retirement
 

DeeKie

Frequent Poster
Messages
574
I think it puts a lot of pressure on your wife for a long time. Are you able to say roughly what you do? If we knew we could give you suggestions! Even taking a part time job based in nature would be a good idea. Is there anything you could reskill and do for some pin money. You would go through redundancy fairly quickly.
 

SPC100

Frequent Poster
Messages
532
There are many who chose to retire early. Some don't enjoy it. Read some of the fire community articles. Sounds like you would enjoy it.

If you have been 'only' saving 1.5k per month are you sure your lifestyle can be afforded on just your partners income. Even allowing for mortgage that looks tight.

I'm sure you can but you might have to trim expenditure a bit?
 
Last edited:

OMG_OMG

Registered User
Messages
20
I think we will have enough. We just got new kitchen and a lot of the house renovated, and 2 new cars (if i knew redundancy was coming would have kept the old cars tbh) plus put the money away now for college, so that killed the savings a bit as it was earning no interest where it was, and those things should see us without major expenses for 10 years or more. All that happened in the last year or two. We really dont have huge outgoings and the savings were in the process of being ramped up again when the redundancy bombshell was dropped.

As usual, it was rolling around in my head last night again. Fortunately my wife loves her job, but we want her to be a position to retire (if she wants to) in 5 years. Signs are that we will be in position to do that if she wants. We also pay substantial AVCs for her too at the moment.

Im biased here because i actually want to retire more than anything, so i probably make it sound better than it will be, so i am very happy to hear from you guys. The more I have to think about the better.

Im thinking we can have exactly the same or more disposable income as we had at the beginning of this year if I retire and we live on the wifes salary plus our cash and rental income for the next 5 years. Then we can reassess whether to take lump sums and draw down pension (one or both) or just carry one as we are until we need to his the pensions. Its only 5 to 10 years before I would have to retire anyway.
Working part time is not retirement to me. I want all my time to be mine and my family's when i retire.

If I did get another job the salary would probably be about 30% less and no bonuses. The hours would be just as long if not longer.
We would still have to pay childcare, two cars, parking, public transport and all the other expenses that come with working and commuting. Tax probably going up too.
We might break even money wise, but i would lose my soul and about 60 hours per week minimum.

Im probably rambling, but it really is crunch time and its all that goes through my head last few weeks :)

I was trying to look up how to keep up voluntary PRSI payments. Anyone know how I go about doing that and finding out how much I have to pay? Thanks.

I guess another thing I have to think about is insurance if I get sick. We have life insurance with 13 years left on it, but no illness isurance. Have Laya health insrance though.
 
Last edited:

huskerdu

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,185
You are sick of what you do and you see it as a black and white decision
My stressful job vs never working again

the challenge is that you have to fund your life for the next 35years on what you saved in the last 35 years . That’s a big ask.

You should leave your job if you can afford to and you want to .
However , you may need more income and 35 years is a long time . None of us know what we will face .
You should , over time , consider other jobs which you might enjoy and give you an income
 

elcato

Moderator
Messages
3,413
You are basing all your decisions on how you are going to live on what you will save by not working or paying a mortgage. You need to actually look at what you will bring in (in this case your wife's salary mostly). You are down 3k a month net. You will not be saving your 1.5k anymore. Can you live on 3 to 4k net monthly given your childs costs may fluctuate ?
 

Fidgety

Registered User
Messages
98
There are many forms of part-time jobs that don’t require stress or endless hours. Some might even be enjoyable. I have a friend who quit a high paying, comfortable job income wise because he hated it. Now he drives corporate visitors on sightseeing tours and loves it. Sure, he took a hit during this Covid crisis but he has never been happier and looks 10 years younger.

An additional income doing something you like might make the journey a bit easier financially.

You’ve done great so far, no reason to believe that with your spirit free you won’t hatch an enjoyable part-time activity.
 
Top