Retiring early – How did you do it ?

DeepThinker

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I’m early 50s, married with teenagers and we have been working (both private sector) full time for the last 28-30 years.

We’ve reached a stage in our lives where our perspective on life is changing. The deaths of parents, cousins, friends etc. reminds you of the short lives which we lead. The kids are growing up and in 5–10 years time they will have (hopefully) moved out to start their adult lives. Mortgage will be cleared in 2-3 years. We are paying into our (DC) pensions and making AVCs now and are in a decent space fund-value wise.

Thoughts are turning to retiring earlier than 65- 68 from full time work and enjoying free time. We are leading active and healthy lifestyles. I am starting to input the value of our retirement funds into pension/compound interest calculators online and estimating where we might be in 10 years time. Not sure that is realistic as it is not reflecting the reduced risk (i.e. lifestyling) which is a feature of our schemes. I have also looked at FIRE blogs etc. online but that is not for us. We don’t want to “extreme save” to get there, we want to have a life on the way too. I imagine this is a very common perspective at my life stage. I am targeting age 60 to cease full time work. So my question is, if you have already retired early:
  • How did you do it?
  • Looking back, what advice would you give a couple in their early 50s who want to retire age 60?
  • What would you do and equally what would you NOT do?
  • What are the pitfalls to avoid?
Many thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope this creates an interesting and informative discussion on the issue.

DT
 

Conan

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1,228
Most people (I believe) tend to focus on Finances when planning for retirement (at whatever age). “Will we have enough to do the things we want to do?”
And whilst Finances are important, there is more to retirement than just the money. So
- what do you see yourself doing in retirement?
- have you got a bucket list?
- where will your challenges/motivation come from in retirement?
- what will be your purpose/ priorities in retirement?
- what interests and hobbies will you have?

There is far more to retirement than no longer working full time. For some people, the loss of routine, status, challenge etc can be the biggest hurdle in moving from full time work to full time retirement. So don’t under estimate the change in lifestyle- what are you going to do all day?
So my tuppence-worth is:
- yes put some thought into building up the pension fund (and whatever other assets you might access when you retire)
- begin to consider what the change in lifestyle will entail
- what are the cost implications (budgeting - income and expenditure)
- how might you continue to use your skills and talents in retirement (still giving something back, still making a contribution)
Worth bearing in mind that that a male retiring at age 60 has an average life expectancy of some 25 years and women about 4 years longer. So the odds are that for the first 15 years plus your health won’t be a major inhibitor from doing most of the things that you reasonably want to do.
Go for it, but plan.
 

noproblem

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2,145
"Looking back, what advice would you give a couple in their early 50s who want to retire age 60? "

You have teenage children, don't know how many, you guys are in your 50's and want to retire in around 10 years. First of all and going on experience, if you think the so called kids will be gone and you're free of them then I STRONGLY advise you to think again and I've no intention of going into the why's of it, you're going to learn that one yourself. The other important thing to remember is God loves to hear about someone with a plan around 10 years away, it's a sure way of getting a laugh out of him. (Think about that one)
No harm at all in planning for the future, but remember to enjoy life as it is now. It also happens to be the time in peoples lives when the old mechanical and engine trouble starts to kick in so make your health your wealth. Going along as you are now is fine, if it's to be, it will happen but between now and 60'ish an awful lot can go in directions no one can know and without actual figures it's not really possible to say where you are financially. Just my opinion by the way.
 

Slim

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2,353
  • How did you do it?
  • Looking back, what advice would you give a couple in their early 50s who want to retire age 60?
  • What would you do and equally what would you NOT do?
  • What are the pitfalls to avoid?
It's exciting to look forward to handing in the notice and telling everybody that you are retiring, always adding 'early' to the phrase. I did it in 2018. In order of your questions;
1. Kids through college and mortgage paid off, though not particularly early.
2. Set your pensions to max if you can. Don't deprive yourselves too much but don't waste money either. It is surprisingly cheap to live if you don't eat out much and travel outside peak times. Get any major works needed at the house raken care of in the meantime unless you really enjoy DIY(known as Damage it Yourself in our house).
3. I would not have invested in shares and property. Hindsight and all that. My other half did not retire at the time so only one of us was free to travel etc. Judge Judy gets old very fast. Have something to do to if you're not travelling the world. That also gets less appealing after a while.
4. Don't rely on the pals at work remaining great pals. You will be on different paths. You may feel a pang of loneliness as you pass the building of your former employer but remember, you no longer have to deal with AHs in there. You may feel a bit disconnected now that you're no longer the 'man/woman who works in or runs whatsitsname'. Some internal questioning may ensue.

Remember, your whole working life has been pointing towards leaving it so it is a natural part of a working life but it does not mean you are dying any sooner or earlier. If there are any retirement planning courses at work, do them now, not at 59 years old.
Best of luck.
Slim.

Overall, it's great. I took on a part time gig and OH has now retired but we're still not free to travel for another year yet, though we will squeeze in 3 or 4 holidays this year.
 

Paul O Mahoney

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444
Great thread, in similar situation. Hopefully the replys are plenty as it's the lifestyle changes for her is going to be the issue for us I think.
I got sick and haven't worked full time in years, I occupy my day, gardening, cooking walking the dog, having a pint on occasion. She travels internationally now and is loving it at 55 she has not no intention to stop, eventhough we are planning financially pension funds are growing quickly
I was hoping she'd pack in at 60 and then consult and lecture, she's well known in her field globally, but her employers pension contributions are very generous and she wants to maximize that. Her mother is 90 and longevity is a family trait .
It will be interesting so read the replies and hear different views
 

Leper

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1,435
I would have difficulty in bettering Slim's post above. He points you in the direction why you should retire and I feel I can't add to his post. I'll do the opposite. Here are reasons as to why you should not retire early. I should know I did it twice. At age 48 (i)I retired from one public service body leaving on a Friday lunchtime and (ii) started in another public service body two days later (Monday) and (iii) 19 years later retired again. (age 65).

Reasons Not to Retire at Anytime:-
(a) You've been so loyal to your company that nobody can replace you. If you don't show up each morning the place will close down by lunch-time.
(b) You love your work colleagues. There's nobody like them and they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with you every day during your working life.
(c) Your bank account has accelerated and you never thought you'd have so much capital. You wish your kids to have all this and progressively more the more you work. Of course, they'll appreciate this during your lifetime and this will make you feel good. Good on Ya, Dad!
(d) You'll have to spend more time with your wife/husband. Perish the thought! - Where can I get some viagra?
(e) You'll be spending more time with your grandchildren. Can I get Prozac in the same place?
(f) Forget about the Beamer - Perish the thought! I'm always a boy with a toy!
(g) The chance of spending 6 weeks or more of winter/spring in the south of Spain. What would I be doing there?
(h) You love the rat-race. You have not yet realised that you can't have a rat-race without rats.
(i) You can't stay in bed beyond 6.30am.
(j) You've too much time to yourself and you'll never get over this.
(k) You'll be asked by many to get involved in processes of "Giving Something Back." You never took, so why should you give something back?
(l) You're never going to die.

If anybody looking in qualifies for (a) to (l) you are dead man walking. Get out fast!
 

DeeKie

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691
Roughly how much per year do people budget for college years for children? Assuming that they will be living at home?
 

Paul O Mahoney

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444
Roughly how much per year do people budget for college years for children? Assuming that they will be living at home?
Well we have 2 its 6k a year total for registration. They work part time for " pocket money " but we cover the rest so I'd budget €5k each if they aren't working part time €4k if they manage to get a few bob .

Now our daughter is hoping to do a Erasmus this year, she wants to go to the University of Sydney, why ? God knows but if that happens it'll be significant, even if she decides to do one in Europe its 10k min.

Not all do that of course but as another poster said it can be bottomless or at least feel that way.
 

Paul O Mahoney

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Messages
444
Well we have 2 its 6k a year total for registration. They work part time for " pocket money " but we cover the rest so I'd budget €5k each if they aren't working part time €4k if they manage to get a few bob .

Now our daughter is hoping to do a Erasmus this year, she wants to go to the University of Sydney, why ? God knows but if that happens it'll be significant, even if she decides to do one in Europe its 10k min.

Not all do that of course but as another poster said it can be bottomless or at least feel that way.
Sorry should have said ....that's extra onto who much they already cost, clothes, teeth, etc.
 

Andrew365

Registered User
Messages
270
Great thread, in similar situation. Hopefully the replys are plenty as it's the lifestyle changes for her is going to be the issue for us I think.
I got sick and haven't worked full time in years, I occupy my day, gardening, cooking walking the dog, having a pint on occasion. She travels internationally now and is loving it at 55 she has not no intention to stop, eventhough we are planning financially pension funds are growing quickly
I was hoping she'd pack in at 60 and then consult and lecture, she's well known in her field globally, but her employers pension contributions are very generous and she wants to maximize that. Her mother is 90 and longevity is a family trait .
It will be interesting so read the replies and hear different views

If she loves it, why quit? If you are in a lucky position to love your job, then you shouldn't be forced to retire at the retirement age. It is just the case that not many people are lucky enough to truely love their job.

I would say Lecturing could be even more of a time commitment than her regular job.
 

Paul O Mahoney

Registered User
Messages
444
If she loves it, why quit? If you are in a lucky position to love your job, then you shouldn't be forced to retire at the retirement age. It is just the case that not many people are lucky enough to truely love their job.

I would say Lecturing could be even more of a time commitment than her regular job.
I'm not holding a gun to her head, and as we said she loves it, But there is always the opposite argument that life is for living, which she pines for on occasion too.
 

noproblem

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2,145
Paul O Mahoney
"Her mother is 90 and longevity is a family trait."

Just remember that it may be true for only one half of the Mum/Dad scenario. Always remember my mother saying her mother told her there was no shafóid (daftness) in the family so she need never worry about that. Lo and behold, her (Mum's) father died from it :)
 

DeeKie

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691
Well we have 2 its 6k a year total for registration. They work part time for " pocket money " but we cover the rest so I'd budget €5k each if they aren't working part time €4k if they manage to get a few bob .

Now our daughter is hoping to do a Erasmus this year, she wants to go to the University of Sydney, why ? God knows but if that happens it'll be significant, even if she decides to do one in Europe its 10k min.

Not all do that of course but as another poster said it can be bottomless or at least feel that way.
Thanks. So 2 children 30 to 40k! Ouch
 

Daddy Ireland

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460
20% relief on 3rd level fees when 2 kids are going together in the same year. Not a whole lot and should be on each child.
 
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