Loading Notifications...

Early retirement, good or bad? Discuss

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020

The coronavirus pandemic and today’s announcement that the private pension age will rise to 57 in 2028 have got me thinking (again) about early retirement.

I have a reliable, senior post in at one of the “better” English universities and so count myself lucky. Many temporary and part-time staff found themselves summarily “fired” last Spring, as some institutions lower down the “pecking order” feared the possibility of bankruptcy. 

Whilst I’m still involved in teaching, research and scholarship, our present structurally consumerist higher education system seems to be moving further and further away from the core experience of life-changing education that universities should be for. Point being, for the past 5 years or so, I've been toying with the idea of retiring at 60 in 2027.

Sometimes, the stuff I read about early retirement seems pretty rotten: it’s expensive and effectively the end of … life!  I intend it to be the exact opposite of this. I’m still climbing hard routes and cycling 30+ hours a month.   

But although it’s tempting, what early retirement “tank traps” should I be aware of – financially and emotionally? Have you retired early? How has it been for you? As an early retiree, did you actually become (much) more active?   

Post edited at 16:59
 Ciro 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Having taken 5 years out in my late 30s / early 40s to live in a van and climb rocks, I would retire in a heartbeat if I had the funds (I've been back in the workforce for two years).  

I suppose you could tire of it eventually, but if you have the means and health to spend your days climbing / resting for climbing there's no reason to be bored. 

On the other hand, my sister (who does have the means to retire) keeps coming out of retirement to take contracts. In the process of earning the means to retire, she got much more heavily invested in her career and her position and so find it harder to leave it behind. She's good when climbing, but every time she gets injured she ends up looking for work instead of rehabbing by the beach.

 John Ww 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Some background - I retired over 5 years ago at 56, having taught in a comp for 33 years. Since retiring, I’ve buried my father, mother, uncle, aunt, and girlfriend’s mother - believe me, life is short!

For me, retiring was the best decision I’ve ever made BUT I was in a very lucky position - house and car paid for, no debts, no kids, and a bit of cash in the bank, plus a g/f who is still working in a very well paid job, but who can take as much time off as she wants (she’s her own boss). Basically, you need to make some pretty simple calculations...

Can I afford to live on my pension, and do the things I want to do when I retire?

What do I want to do with my time? (An armchair and daytime TV will be the death of you).

Who will I play with if all my mates are still working?

Am I  happy with my own company?

If I keep working, will I be too old and knackered to do what I want to do when I finally retire by the time I do retire?

So, that’s my ten bobs worth, hope it’s of some use 👍
 

 Yanis Nayu 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

If I could afford it I’d do it in a heartbeat - I appreciate that’s not the same as me knowing all the pitfalls. Like you, I wouldn’t be short of stuff to do. 

 wintertree 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I read 2 questions in your post:

  1. Do I want out of HE in the UK?
  2. Am I ready to retire?

The start of lockdown made my mind up on 1; time for pastures new. As for 2 - there’s a world of opportunities out there for those who want out but don’t want to retire...

 WVRox 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I retired at 56 from being a head teacher.  Did 2 years part time consultancy, then full on retirement. 2 years on.....it's fabulous,  but:

Your body doesn't allow climbing more than 3 times a week (in my case) so kayaking/walking/cycling/skiing are essential for me to complement climbing

You need something to keep the mind active, something purposeful/valuable, not just crosswords!! Volunteering?

Injuries are a worry.....my elbows are fu****, when they go.....what do I do....?

I miss the people at work, and the crack.....but that's no reason to stay on, it's just natural to remember the good times.

So no regrets at all. I hope to have 10 years doing stuff and travelling before failing health creeps up. If in doubt, much better to go early than to stay on too long!

In reply to Arthur Parkin:

The government should be introducing emergency legislation to lower the retirement age (for state pension purposes) to let those older people that want it to enjoy life and feel safe and to give younger folk their jobs. I know loads of folk who are nervous at work and would retire now but are hanging on for state pension. 

5
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

My wife's mum was in a home at 62 not knowing what planet she was on, lasted 6 god-awful yrs. Talking to a friend who works in a care home today coincidentally, she mentioned looking after an accountant who was 57. My aim is to sort my daughter either into work or HE and go. I can do a bit of locum work in my line, but it's a quality of life that is more important than money.

A mate of mine is dealing with the estate of a friend, turns out he was (very) well off. Still dead though.

 baron 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Sometimes, despite the best laid plans, things come along unexpectedly and affect your retirement plans.

I retired at 56, teacher’s pension, no mortgage, wife also retired and both of us ready to spend our time walking, climbing, cycling, etc.

And then my father, in his 80’s, was diagnosed with vascular dementia and our plans had to be altered to enable us to help care for him. Still managed to do plenty of stuff but not quite the carefree existence that we’d planned.
After my father died there followed a long period of looking after my mother, more emotionally than physically but again a time consuming process.

As my mother became more independent our focus switched from emotional support to doing more mundane tasks, mostly maintaining mother’s house as my father hadn’t been able to look after it for several years. More plans on hold.

And then Covid.

All of mother’s clubs cancelled, no visiting her mates, etc and more of our time keeping her company. Not that I begrudge this, that’s what families are for.

Despite the difficulties every day retired is better than being at work.
Retire as soon as you can.

 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020
In reply to John Ww:

Yes, life is short, or at least, the active body reaches its limits! Similar to but not quite so lucky as you - house and car paid for, no debts, no kids - but the wife isn't a (ahem) high earner.  

Can I afford to live (well) on my pension? I'm finding this difficult to calculate.  Giving up the addition of interest for ca. 5-7 years I think I'm looking at £16-20k pa until I'm 85.

I am fine with my own company plus some mates have already retired.  

If I keep working, probably on a fractional contract, the problem is not being too old and knackered to do what I want to do but still being tied in to work, on a "fraction" of salary, to keep that financial security but then finding I'm still too too rooted to do anything.

Cheers for the insights

 Trangia 04 Sep 2020
In reply to John Ww:

>  I was in a very lucky position - house and car paid for, no debts, no kids, and a bit of cash in the bank,

I think that is the nub of retirement regardless of age, unless you are getting a very good pension.

I retired at 65, but for the preceding 5 years I gradually ran down my business and started working less days a week once I was debt free.

You don't actually have to stop working, but instead you can embark on a new job which you do for fun rather than necessity. In my case I worked for a bit doing interviews for an opinion poll company, and then did 3 years as an instructor with Go Ape. Both jobs were fun, I met and worked with a lot of nice people, and the income wasn't essential, but it more than paid for my holidays. Since then I have become involved with charity work and thoroughly enjoy it. There is a huge difference between working to earn a living and working for the interest it provides you with knowing that at anytime you can just chuck it in without worrying about what you will live on if you do.

So my advice would be to retire as soon as you can afford to and embark on the final phase of your life doing what you want to do. 

 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Do I want out of HE in the UK?

Trust me having worked in HE overseas (Australia) for nearly 10 years its no better elsewhere. The economic rationalism of markets and employment practices in modern universities takes competition as the defining characteristic. Colleagues in Oz tell me its like "The Hunger Games" out there at the moment. 

> Am I ready to retire?

Now, no. In six years, yes I think so.

 tripehound 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

If you keep working, then when you do retire eventually, then ill  health can easily mean you've missed out. Retire whilst you are fit and can enjoy it. I have also discovered that you can live on far less than you think, and still have a great time.

Post edited at 19:12
 Ridge 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

> Can I afford to live (well) on my pension? I'm finding this difficult to calculate.  Giving up the addition of interest for ca. 5-7 years I think I'm looking at £16-20k pa until I'm 85

Some people don't make that a year in work, so you can certainly live on it with the mortgage paid off. Plus your state pension (if it still exists) will kick in in your late 60s.

Rather than look at a fixed annual rate I see it more of a burn down curve. I'm hoping to finish at 60.

Depending on health I'm looking at burning though my savings by about the age of 75, with most of the expenditure occurring just after retirement.

Post 75 it'll be a small monthly pension. Covid has shown how little we need to spend to eat well. In his 80's my Dad was having problems spending his state pension.

I'd retire tomorrow if I could!

Post edited at 19:20
 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Trangia:

Funnily enough, it was meeting a semi-retired academic a few years ago that set me on my present course of thinking.

I was running a university PhD programme and he was an "adjunct" faculty member who took 4-5 supervisions at any one time. No admin, no ties. I thought ... I could do that, especially now that coronavirus has given us a glimpse of the future of remote working.  

Cheers

 robert-hutton 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I also retired at 56 from education and the last four years has been good.

Money hasn't been an issue in fact spend less then working.

Filling ones time for me isn't an issue as climb four days, cycle two and get a run in both long and short as required but luckily live only 10 minutes from Peak.

Issues can be self worth after years crawling to the top of your profession you are a no one overnight and took me a couple of years to adapt.

I have always been active but now read more but still need to find a activity in case I pick up an injury.

Winter seems to be longer but can still get out most days if too cold I can use the walls.

 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020
In reply to WVRox:

> Your body doesn't allow climbing more than 3 times a week (in my case) so kayaking/walking/cycling/skiing are essential for me to complement climbing

I know, tell me about it! I have memories of three days on and one off climbing in France and Spain in the 80s-90s. Now I wince if someone suggests a very long day at Stanage!  I've really upped the road cycling this year. The peak was a heaven on earth during lock-down

 Timmd 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

> Funnily enough, it was meeting a semi-retired academic a few years ago that set me on my present course of thinking.

> I was running a university PhD programme and he was an "adjunct" faculty member who took 4-5 supervisions at any one time. No admin, no ties. I thought ... I could do that, especially now that coronavirus has given us a glimpse of the future of remote working.  

> Cheers

I guess the future being unknowable, can mean that how much one needs to live can go up potentially. I'm still only 40, but I was pondering about posting about my Mum and Dad planning things to do on his retirement along the lines of seize the day, due her getting the cancer diagnosis at 66 on the day contracts were signed to begin him taking a backseat role in the company, and it turning out she only lived for six weeks, and that being that (thankfully my parents took a lot of trips and longer holidays together, from appreciating how life can be), but on the other hand if one can still work at something, there's more money to use potentially before one needs to use the value of the home, if one needs to go into care or a partner does, or care needs to be paid for. Pardon the slightly gloomy post, but it suddenly struck me that the unknowable nature of things could mean working remotely at something and having money still trickling in with more free time available too, might be a handy thing to have, or quite reassuring.

Post edited at 19:54
3
 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Trangia:

> >  There is a huge difference between working to earn a living and working for the interest it provides you with

Very true. I recall Marx also recognized the emotive significance of work in his early writings, but the poetic impulse behind his understanding of the nature of “labour” was soon swamped by a much more functional understanding of the idea of “production”.

Cheers

 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Timmd:

>  I was pondering about posting about my Mum and Dad planning things to do on his retirement along the lines of seize the day, due her getting the cancer diagnosis at 66 on the day contracts were signed to begin him taking backseat role in the company, and it turning out she only lived for six weeks, 

Sorry to hear that Timmd. I understand and share your feelings. My mother also died of cancer. She was an otherwise fit 72.

A lot of replies here suggest finding the right balance - as with most things in life.

 Doug 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I retired early (62) a little over a year ago & I'm glad I did. I was still enjoying work but was getting very tired with the daily commuting plus frequent trips abroad. Did the sums & decided I'd rather leave then than work another couple of years for a higher pension while my health was still good. I now live in the mountains & although at the moment I don't do any paid work, I'm still involved in some parts of my old work with contributions to several publications over the last year & I would have done a few days teaching at a European summer school for postgrad students in Italy if it hadn't been cancelled. The internet allows me to keep in touch with former colleagues very easily & I've managed to keep my access to my old library & electronic journals.

Helped by my wife retiring a few months after me, might have been difficult with one working & the other not.

 dovebiker 04 Sep 2020

I've done it this year at 55 - was made redundant a couple of years ago as since Brexit need for my expertise evaporated. I've set up my own little online business (not related to career) and doing a bit of part-time work but it barely pays the bills. Had a pension review earlier this year and wasn't too bad thanks to a defined-benefits scheme. Detached house in Hampshire, no mortgage. My wife was part-time carer for her mum.

We agreed to sell the house just before lockdown and finally moved at end of June - now in rented cottage in Speyside. We're in negotiations to have a new house built on the Isle of Mull and the extra proceeds from the sale with pay the bills until my pension kicks-in at 65.  Getting out walking, running and cycling most days - very much a healthy lifestyle choice as once you lose it, it doesn't come back easily.

House will be ready in spring, hopefully get some part-time seasonal work and the online business is busiest at Christmas. We chose Mull because we want to be far more actively involved in a community - we don't have kids but it will be nice to have people we know around in 20+ years.

In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Dad retired from police at 50. Few months later diagnosed Parkinson’s. He did some work but enjoyed life best he could. At 58 he developed odd lesions on his arms, prescribed steroids, started suffering mental health problems (hallucinating, insects burrowing into him).  He got paralysed from waist down, left arm amputated and developed neurosarcoidosis. This happened over a 14 month period, 12 of which in hospital (inc Walton Centre in Liverpool).  Came home, spent £40k making the house accessible. Lasted five years which included regular visits to hospital. Bloody glad he retired when he did and he did cram plenty in.  
As an aside, Andy Burnham was his MP, whom he got to know and had total respect for - not bad for a once staunch Thatcherite! Andy B challenged the benefits my dad was given, resulting in a £24k back payment!. 

 Arthur Parkin 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Doug:

Thanks Doug

>  contributions to several publications over the last year

A better REF than me, then!

;-)

In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I am far too young to retire but I have a couple of points to bring up.

My dad planned to retire at 60, he had a fatal heart attack at 59 and 6 months. You only get one go at life so I say go for it if you can afford it.

My second point, I set a 60 year old on at work in November last year who ended up on Furlough in March and he came back to work on the 1st of July, the first thing he said after saying hello was that he wishes he could afford to retire because he loved the paid time off. (A few unlucky breaks in life screwed his financial plans so he will be going for at least 6 to 7 more years)

 abr1966 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Thanks for posting....same dilemma for me. I'm 55 and have an enhanced pension in the Nhs and also a military pension from my first career....I don't know what its all worth but reckon I could retire, pay my mortgage off and live ok but not comfortably like I do now. I'm thinking of doing it but still working a couple of days a week to top up the pension so I can afford holidays, trips etc. I know a ha.dful of former colleagues who have done this and a year after retiring they all look 5 years younger!

 Graeme G 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Bear in mind you will only be receiving replies from those who have lived to enjoy retirement.

I’m sure there is evidence that there are some, who having chucked it in completely, die shortly after. They just don’t adjust to not working.

You could consider part-time if money is a potential issue. My plan is to do that at 60, then continually wind down until I’ve decided I’ve had enough. Or earlier, if my health changes. 

2
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I retired at 53 after 30 years in education, 12 of them as Head of a large 11-18 state comprehensive. It was a job I loved and the school was on a high, so I know a number of my colleagues couldn't understand why I went so early. But I felt I'd achieved everything I wanted to and not being a fan of the ideology underpinning academisation I had no interest in becoming the chief executive of a chain. Having come to climbing late in life I wanted to do as much of it around the world as I could while still relatively fit. My wife was a high earner and we've got no kids so we lived off savings for a while until we could take our pensions without losing too much. I've enjoyed retirement just as much as I loved work. There were new things I wanted to do and I've never regretted it. I made a promise to myself that I'd never do any consultancy and I've only broken it once - for a mate who paid me with a curry and a couple of pints of Cobra. I still do a (tiny) bit of part-time work with kids at the local climbing wall, so I can keep my bantering and bollocking skills in good working order. 

 petemeads 04 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Clean break from work just before 61, mostly shiftworking but last 3 years on a project. Not tempted to stay on doing contract work on silly money, decent lump sum and adequate pension, wife still at work.

Stayed with BUPA after leaving, they paid for my hip replacements but eventually got to be too expensive to justify, given that everything else still seems to work OK. Deferred my state pension, probably start taking it this Xmas as the sweet spot in the %increase versus lifespan equation. My parents died before retirement, my wife's parents and aunts since so there has been a lot of estate/probate work which eventually nudged my wife into retirement from her 60% teaching post. Both kids fully grown, one still with us. Exercising every day, mainly running and biking with some bouldering indoors, slowing down but still being competitive with my peers. Still looking at mountain challenges for next year, aged 70. No regrets!

In reply to Graeme G:

> I’m sure there is evidence that there are some, who having chucked it in completely, die shortly after. They just don’t adjust to not working.

I think the trick is to retire to do more of something, not to just escape work. I've an elderly related who retired late and is in an endless loop of crosswords, sudoku and day time tv, with practically no outside interests, mainly because their life was just too work focused even in their 50s and 60s, they never developed any hobbies. They've got cash in the bank but when asked about things to do, nothing really interests them. 

 girlymonkey 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I think (from what I have seen as I am way too young to be there yet!) that something has to give your life purpose. For many on here, that will be climbing and general outdoor pursuits so early retirement works well. 

My dad was contracting in Germany when he found out he had asbestos cancer aged 64. He finished that contract and moved back to Scotland. He had an operation and when able he and my mum went on some holidays and did the "bucket list" stuff. But eventually he started taking short term contracts again which he could do from home as he loved what he did and needed the mental stimulation from it. He opted for no chemo, so was "well" until his last couple of months. He finished his last contact at the end of Jan and died at the start of May. He was happy with his decision to work as much as he could. It wasn't about the money for him, just that he found it interesting and stimulating. 

So I guess you might want to consider what keeps your brain ticking?

In reply to girlymonkey:

Because I've always been freelance, I have no concept of 'retiring', because there's nothing to retire from. As you say, what really matters is keeping your brain ticking. ... But not just for oneself, but in a useful way.

 Neston Climber 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I'm a long way from thinking about retirement, however my dad retired early at 56 5 years ago and had been just as busy. He cares for my mum who has a disability, but also volunteers at a museum one day a week and for a charity taking disabled kids on boat rides. He never had the time for this while working and appears to be far happier, and is learning lots of new skills as he becomes more involved in the running of the charity.

I'd see it as an opportunity to find something you really want to do and enjoy the flexibility it gives you.

 Vigier 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Retired from teaching full time aged 61 but did next year part-time: made the transition to full time retirement easier I think. My wife retired the same year I retired full time but did not do the same transition and found it more difficult to adjust from full on teaching to full time retirement ( although that was also about our different personalities!).

Into our sixth year of full time retirement and have no regrets about it. Spend time between Scotland and small property we have in the South of France. Not climbing as much as I’d hoped; however, time certainly hasn’t dragged ( is that a good thing at my age?!).

Having good sets of friends in both Scotland and France and one grandchild, with another on the way, has helped us to fill most of our time since retiring and I haven’t felt the need to go back to teaching on a part - time basis or do volunteer work as many seem to need to do. 

As someone said: “ All life is socialising”, that has never felt more important to me than in retirement.

Post edited at 09:11
 Arthur Parkin 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Vigier:

Well, like a good epilogue I think your story can serve as a satisfying close to the thread.  

Thank you

 neilh 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

A passing observation that virtually all the posters saying it’s a good thing are those with education pension schemes. 

I do wonder if you did not have the benefit of such a scheme whether you would be in a position to consider retiring early. 

For  me at 61 it’s too early  to retire. I would get bored. 

 artif 05 Sep 2020
In reply to neilh:

Seems like a lot of teachers retire early, who can blame them. 

For me there's no chance of an early escape, first time buyer last year at 48, and first child at 38, but I did the fun stuff when I was younger fitter and more able.

No regrets it's been great and I get to see my son enjoy life.

Work (engineering) is fun and interesting, hope I can keep going for a while yet. I have plenty of interests to keep me busy in retirement but need money from work to pay for them.

Certainly not interested in a long degenerative decline, I've experienced too much of that, other options will be used

 John Ww 05 Sep 2020
In reply to neilh:

As I said earlier - it depends on whether or not you can afford it. What your occupation was (or is) is irrelevant.

1
 baron 05 Sep 2020
In reply to neilh:

> A passing observation that virtually all the posters saying it’s a good thing are those with education pension schemes. 

> I do wonder if you did not have the benefit of such a scheme whether you would be in a position to consider retiring early. 

> For  me at 61 it’s too early  to retire. I would get bored. 

I actually went into teaching because of the benefits that the job came with.

It was always fun to see people’s reactions in the staff room when I told them that I couldn’t stand children.

Which wasn’t strictly true but a love of children certainly wasn’t a reason for me becoming a teacher.

14 weeks paid holiday, no working at weekends, a decent salary and excellent pension scheme were all deciding factors.

I paid as much as I could into AVCs to enable me to retire at 55.

With hindsight I could have used that money more wisely.

But anyway, I had a long term plan to retire early.

I used to worry when others just seemed to bumble along with no real idea of how or when they would be able to retire.

As for getting bored in retirement - not a chance!  

2
 BnB 05 Sep 2020
In reply to neilh:

> A passing observation that virtually all the posters saying it’s a good thing are those with education pension schemes. 

> I do wonder if you did not have the benefit of such a scheme whether you would be in a position to consider retiring early. 

> For  me at 61 it’s too early  to retire. I would get bored. 

When I said goodbye to the colleagues who’d helped me build my company and handed over the bank mandate to its new owners, I thought I was retiring (at 55) to travel the world and tend the roses. However I think it took about three months before I’d re-invented myself from a private equity entrepreneur to a public equity fund manager. Some of us are simply not built for the easy life. Mind you, a combination of a serious health scare last year and coronavirus this has certainly forced an excess of time at the desk instead of travelling.

 Si dH 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Like one or two other posters I'm way too young to retire* but can provide one perspective anyway. My dad (a solicitor) was lucky enough to be able to save up and retire at 56. For the next 5 years he really enjoyed himself for the most part, although I think until my mim also retired there was the odd day of boredom - it's worth considering the timing with your partner if you have one. However at 62 he got dementia, things went gradually downhill and 18 months ago at 68 he passed away. We were immensely glad he had retired early enough to have a good few years before becoming ill and it's certainly influenced the way I am planning my own future.

At work, one of my staff was planning to retire at 62 and had been making plans for years. At 61 he got myeloma and lasted less than a year. Very sad.

I'm sorry this is so morbid and everyone has to look at their own situation, both psychological and financial. But if you can afford it and think that you will enjoy yourself, I would 100% say to take advantage of your time while you have it.

Si

* my wife has a friend from university who did very well at work, then married an older rich bloke too, and has retired in her mid thirties with an annual holiday to the maldives. However I'm not going to manage that! 

Post edited at 13:28
 PaulW 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Retired 8 years ago from a "proper" job aged 58. Worked part time, 2-3-4 days a week at things that interested me. Didn't pay much but the cash did mean I could enjoy my extra leisure days doing things.

Now reducing it even further to one or two days a week doing voluntary community work.

Don't regret leaving my job at all much as I enjoyed it while I was doing it

 Big Bruva 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

When I was young, the thought of a full-time job filled me with dread so I never went down that road, preferring to work freelance on short-term contracts. I've kept my financial requirements low by living in a fairly 'undesirable' town (I like it!) and learning building and mechanical skills to keep me lodged and mobile.  

Now I'm in my mid-50s, it's the idea of full-time retirement that fills me with dread. It seems like it's the last stop before the grave. I plan to keep on working as long as my body and mind are able. If nothing else I feel it will continue to give me a sense of purpose.

However I love my job and don't really differentiate between work and leisure time. I need more rest days than I used to though!

 Timmd 05 Sep 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I think (from what I have seen as I am way too young to be there yet!) that something has to give your life purpose. For many on here, that will be climbing and general outdoor pursuits so early retirement works well. 

> My dad was contracting in Germany when he found out he had asbestos cancer aged 64. He finished that contract and moved back to Scotland. He had an operation and when able he and my mum went on some holidays and did the "bucket list" stuff. But eventually he started taking short term contracts again which he could do from home as he loved what he did and needed the mental stimulation from it. He opted for no chemo, so was "well" until his last couple of months. He finished his last contact at the end of Jan and died at the start of May. He was happy with his decision to work as much as he could. It wasn't about the money for him, just that he found it interesting and stimulating. 

> So I guess you might want to consider what keeps your brain ticking?

I think that's what kept my Dad working until he was circa 67, he always found metal fatigue interesting and buzzed off growing and running his business (with it always in mind he'd sell his share). Once he got to a point of it being in a good enough position to sell it and had found the right buyer, I get the impression he suddenly had a moment of having had enough when 'people being people' made him glad to already be retiring.  At 65 and 66 he was still enjoying himself and not seeming like he'd had enough.

Edit: Having had mental health wobbles up until very recently I'm hoping that I can shape a life in which I'll happily keep working until I'm in my late 60's, so long as I keep in mind that it won't 'just happen for me' I hopefully can do.  It'd be satisfying to feel to have contributed something still if I can do.

Post edited at 16:32
 Sl@te Head 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I more or less retired at 52 after a fortuitous (though stressful at the time) set of circumstances led to me being paid off by my employer of 20 years. Now I'm only a few months off 55 and being able to dip into a couple of pension schemes. I have no interest in going back to full time employment ever again but may return to working short contracts as a Husky Guide in Scandinavia and leading overseas Expeditions once things return back to normal...I feel blessed having so much time on my hands, I'd far rather be skint but 'time rich'

 John Ww 05 Sep 2020

In reply to

It was always fun to see people’s reactions in the staff room when I told them that I couldn’t stand children.

A man after my own heart 😂

1
 Timmd 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Vigier:

> As someone said: “ All life is socialising”, that has never felt more important to me than in retirement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiHMvpQWCTI&

 Vigier 05 Sep 2020
In reply to artif:

I was one of the last generation of teachers lucky enough to collect my teacher’s pension at aged 60 and for it to be still based on final salary. Teachers retiring after me are faced with having to wait until their state pension age before they can draw on their teacher pension without financial penalty ( huge disincentive) and will be increasing based on an ‘ average’ salary over their teaching career. In addition, teachers’ pension contributions have risen over the years. E.g my regular climbing partner is younger than me and a teacher but now has to wait until he is 67 years old to collect his teacher and state pension.

I appreciate that this still might seem generous compared with many people’ s private pensions ( as my  painting and decorator friend might say: “ Pass me the world’s smallest violin!”).

PS My wife is a ‘WASPI’ woman and, having expected to collect her state pension at 60, has to wait until she is 66 to get that ( Kinda  the ‘swings and roundabouts’ of life!).

Post edited at 17:38
2
 baron 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Vigier:

Wait till you find out how much your state pension is reduced by because teachers were contracted out of part of the state pension.

Planning for retirement is a minefield.

 Timmd 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

> Sorry to hear that Timmd. I understand and share your feelings. My mother also died of cancer. She was an otherwise fit 72.

> A lot of replies here suggest finding the right balance - as with most things in life.

Thank you, the surprise element isn't easy at the time. It's occurred to me that to become as strong as one's parents can seem, possibly certain processes need to be gone through, but that's more of a hindsight thought once in a better place. It doesn't make one any weaker, so it might be true, perhaps that's how very old people can find that state of tranquility and peace of being.

Edit: Something of a tangent, pardon that to the OP. Back to retirement.

Post edited at 20:06
1
 Rob Parsons 05 Sep 2020
In reply to Vigier:

> ... Teachers retiring after me are faced with having to wait until their state pension age before they can draw on their teacher pension without financial penalty ...

Presumably those changes haven't been applied retrospectively? I.e. the pension earned to the date of the rule change is still subject to the state of the rules as they previously were - correct?

 SouthernSteve 06 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Apart from the financials - USS will only get worse over time. The best retirements I have observed are when people have a sensible life plan and enough good health to do what they planned. Some form of part time work seems to be a useful step rather than just stopping. 

Personally I am not ready to retire in some ways - there are things I really want to do, but I am constantly reminded of my parents who worked really hard and then really didn't enjoy their late retirements with ill-health compared to my in-laws who bumbled along with a little work for much longer, but did the trips and things they wanted. 

On this site, there is a fair chance that people have a better work-life-balance than many, but some jobs / roles don't allow that and that would be a big decider for me.

 profitofdoom 06 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

"Early retirement, good or bad?" I'm retired with no job at all now. I'm happy and enjoy retirement a lot

As others have said / hinted, it depends, on having enough money to be comfortable and to do at least part of what you want to do, and on your personality (e.g. if you do well out of work, if you miss it a lot)

Just from my viewpoint you need structure in your life after retirement and need to engage with society in some way and need something to do. Someone upthread said "not just crosswords" but I disagree with that: that may be enough for some people

(Reasonably) good health and preserving it are crucial, so must definitely put effort into that. My take is that some have more time to do that after retirement, e.g. people tied to a desk at work 40 hours a week no longer have that drawback

Don't fear retirement and getting old. Embrace it and be positive

I have a friend who hates retirement and misses work a lot, even though still busy with many things. I'm not like that at all

 steve taylor 07 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

The next 12 months will hopefully see me pay off the mortgage and then I'll be retiring. Both myself and my wife have small defined benefit pensions that we'll be able to draw upon from that point, plus a little rental income. I've been adapting spreadsheets for the last year or so to make sure we can afford to make this move. I'll have just turned 57 at that point. When we hit 67, state pensions will mean we will be able to travel a bit more and help the kids out.

I'll take on some basic part-time work to pay for some decent holidays for us until state pension age, but hope never, ever to work in an office again. 

I have plenty to keep me busy during a (hopefully long) retirement. A decent-sized garden to renovate, lots of work on the house and the whole SW of France (and Europe) to explore, climb in and cycle in. 

 turtlespit 07 Sep 2020

Here's a challenging thought experiment:  instead of considering retiring at 60 "early", what if it's "late"?

If you fancy jumping down that rabbit hole, search for a podcast interview Tim Ferriss did with "Mr. Money Mustache" (aka Pete Adeney, a Canadian living in America who retired at 30).  

After that, look for the MrMoneyMustache blog, particularly these 2 posts:

  • The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement
  • The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?”

[No doubt the above will trigger cries of 'Impossible!' from some people]

 Greenbanks 07 Sep 2020
In reply to PaulW:

<Retired 8 years ago from a "proper" job 

Interested to know what one of those is...in your view.

 Vigier 07 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Correct. However, it is a change to their conditions of service that they thought they had signed down for.

Post edited at 18:59
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Downside of retiring early - you'll waste more time posting stuff on UKC 😁

Personally, I can't afford to retire early but in latest job I stipulated that I was only going to work Mon-Thu (for 80%) and I imagine that in a couple of years time I may change that to 3 days a week.

In answer to the original post, my main thought is "if money was no object, would you be happy without work or are there aspects of work that you would miss too much". Answering that might help guide you as to whether a gradual reduction or clean break would be best.

My other thought is that it's easy to allow things to expand to the time available. So in retirement, make sure that you fit the things you HAVE to do around the things you WANT to do rather than the other way round.

My parents definitely got that the wrong way round. I'm sure they could have had many more enjoyable experiences if they'd got that right, and now they're too elderly to take advantage of it. Having said that, he's definitely "winning" on his final salary pension scheme having been retired for 32 years (he's 97).

 Rob Parsons 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

> ... Point being, for the past 5 years or so, I've been toying with the idea of retiring at 60

The state pension age should be irrelevant in your situation, and is anyway an ever-receding target. Why do you consider retiring at 60 'early'?

 Rob Parsons 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Vigier:

> ... it is a change to their conditions of service that they thought they had signed down for.

Unfortunately there is an ongoing race to the bottom in many pension provisions, so conditions can (and do) change for anybody. But retrospective changes can't be made - unless you find yourself in the very unfortunate position of being a member of a funded scheme which goes bust.

 mike reed 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

After a career in aviation, I was lucky to be accepted for voluntary redundancy at 52, and left to climb around the EU, living in a motor home for a year before deciding to spend the next while climbing and resoling/coaching in Kalymnos. It was always my plan to get out and climb as soon as possible because as many have said, we are a long time dead. 
I’ve found the experience to be totally worthwhile. As I’ve aged I’ve had to adjust the climbing schedule to suit my energy levels and injuries, as, although best avoided, we will get the odd tweak along the way, and the older we get the longer they take to fix. 
I really enjoyed learning to resole climbing shoes and for a while I was actually too busy to climb. I’ve eased up on that now after taking my company pension at 55 and not needing the shoe money so much. 
I find it straightforward to live on less money and in fact, spending time abroad (where the sun shines) seems to make living cheaply so much easier. My life is mostly spent outdoors, climbing, bolting, climbing, resoling a little, climbing, coaching a little (not much these days)and climbing
Finally I would say this...... If you’re climbing well and cycling a lot, staying fit and healthy, then get out, enjoy that fitness, go climb more, train and give yourself goals. 
You will get old, you will get tired and sadly we all will slow down and pass away. 
Life is short. Do what makes you happy and keeps you healthy. 
Have fun

 Arthur Parkin 08 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

True. I suppose partly because I work in a sector where people tend to go on (much) longer. But maybe 60 is not early at all. What I certainly don't want to do is keep working until I feel completely burned out just to retire with more money.  

Ta

 Rob Parsons 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

> True. I suppose partly because I work in a sector where people tend to go on (much) longer.

I wouldn't worry about what other people do.

> What I certainly don't want to do is keep working until I feel completely burned out just to retire with more money.  

Absolutely. In that respect, you can start doing the calculations now to see whether or not your pension (when taken at 60, say) would provide you with an adequate income.

Post edited at 08:37
 neilh 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

And people at 60 generally get their calculations wrong and that is why you come across people having gone back to work part time a few years later.

It s too easy to do optimistic forecasts when you have in mind a nice alternative planned.

And always remeber you only ever hear of the good stories, people are generally reluctant ( naturally) to concede they made a bad decision to retire early.

Post edited at 12:50
 Rob Parsons 09 Sep 2020
In reply to neilh:

> And people at 60 generally get their calculations wrong ...

> It s too easy to do optimistic forecasts ...

Obviously it's crucial to get the calculations/forecasts as correct as possible; no point just 'hoping.'

The OP will be able to get a completely deterministic forecast for his University pension.

 laurie 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

 laurie 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Hi Arthur.

If it was me I would retire wright now. If you can afford it and feel you can function happy with out it then what's stopping you?  Spend your time doing the things that make you happy, because you never know whats around the corner or when you time is up.

I look at work like this

Work to live not live to work.

Good look with you decision 

Loz

 neilh 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Its outgoings that people have difficulty with on forecasting.Anybody who says with confidence that they will know those in 5 /10/15/20 years time is the crux. Running on a tight budget for leisure in 5 years time is not good.

 GrahamD 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Discuss ? I'm finding it good so nothing to discuss for me, really

In reply to neilh:

> Its outgoings that people have difficulty with on forecasting.Anybody who says with confidence that they will know those in 5 /10/15/20 years time is the crux. Running on a tight budget for leisure in 5 years time is not good.

Indeed active retirement isn't cheap. Whatever is spent on weekend free time should be doubled or trebled for retirement. Many of us don't have cheap hobbies; climbing, cycling in all its types, skiing etc.  aren't free. Factor in travel, some cafe time, accommodation, club or association memerbships etc. It soon mounts up. The savings from not commuting every day are unlikely to fund an active lifestyle. 

1
 Graeme G 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

Has peoples’ partner’s ability to retire early affected your decision? I’ll be able to retire up to 5 years before my partner. This is clearly a source of significant frustration for her. The idea of me swanning off enjoying myself whilst she’s still trudging away in the office, unsurprisingly, doesn’t sit well. 

 baron 09 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

> Indeed active retirement isn't cheap. Whatever is spent on weekend free time should be doubled or trebled for retirement. Many of us don't have cheap hobbies; climbing, cycling in all its types, skiing etc.  aren't free. Factor in travel, some cafe time, accommodation, club or association memerbships etc. It soon mounts up. The savings from not commuting every day are unlikely to fund an active lifestyle. 

Some of us will be saving a small fortune by not going skiing next year!  

In reply to baron:

> Some of us will be saving a small fortune by not going skiing next year!  

Maybe. The Scandinavian season end early due to covid of course, but they are taking bookings for this winter. Because it's competitive we'd booked for this coming winters trip in February. 

They have been open for lift served downhill biking all summer, from the places I've been to they have systems in place to cope with current covid rules, queuing on the first few days of the half term weeks are likely the only problem. The rest of the winter there isn't really any lift queues at all. And accommodation is more individual cabins than hotel. Time will tell. 

 Doug 09 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

Much depends on where you choose to live. A little before we retired we bought a place in the Alps which is now our home. I have a small downhill ski resort on the doorstep (100m walk to the chairlift, can often ski back almost to home) & a season ticket is about €150 which also covers two other small resorts in the same valley. Three XC areas within 5 -10 km and I can go ski touring from home although much more choice if I drive a few km. Good cycling & walking on the doorstep & a limited amount of rockclimbing close by. Alpine style climbing means a drive but not far. So I spend less on 'outdoor sports' than when I was working for a lot more days.

Of course I miss out on the cultural offerings of Paris but for me it works well.

In reply to Doug:

I agree, only in the UK downsizing to be  close to outdoor activities is often beyond the average retirees budget and cheap public transport is often absent. 

One place near us often runs a scheme where if you work 24hrs on the tows & lifts, they give you a season pass. Perfect for the pensioner or those working part time. 

 Arthur Parkin 09 Sep 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

No. My wife doesn't work and we've no kids. If we did, I doubt I'd be having this conversation now.

   

In reply to summo:

> Indeed active retirement isn't cheap. Whatever is spent on weekend free time should be doubled or trebled for retirement. Many of us don't have cheap hobbies; climbing, cycling in all its types, skiing etc.  aren't free. Factor in travel, some cafe time, accommodation, club or association memerbships etc. It soon mounts up. The savings from not commuting every day are unlikely to fund an active lifestyle. 

But is that necessarily true? It seems to me that, given that the bulk of the excess cost of UK trips over staying at home is the cost of petrol, I would be saving by going to, say the NW of Scotland, for two weeks rather than making three consecutive weekend trips. Likewise I would envisage making fewer but longer foreign trips once retired (why would I only go euro bolt clipping for one week when I could go for two or three, or to the US for one month when I could go for three?) - I would hope to spend no more and possibly less on flights by going on fewer but longer trips. 

Post edited at 23:20
 Arthur Parkin 09 Sep 2020
In reply to laurie:

For 25 years, most of my academic posts have not seemed much like work. I'm not a good enough scholar to call it a 'vocation' but I do enjoy the research process, which has some mental similarities to climbing and cycling. I've even managed to bring climbing and work together at times: https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2017/05/fri_night_video_-_lines_of_flight-71100

Teaching too used to be engaging. The most important thing was to guide students to some knowledge of a discipline and at a level of intellectual sophistication. Nowadays it feels more like ‘operating’ the system. 

But I digress. My decision to retire at 60 is pretty certain. We know how much money we will have and while it is still a while off, as someone else said on here, its not particularly 'early'. Less definite is the real experience of managing retirement. Peoples' responses have been eminently reasonable and sometimes illuminating.

 Graeme G 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Arthur Parkin:

I suspected that would be the case. Would be interesting to hear if the story is similar for other early retirees?

The only person I know who has kids and retired early is a millionaire. 

In reply to Robert Durran:

> But is that necessarily true? It seems to me that, given that the bulk of the excess cost of UK trips over staying at home is the cost of petrol, I would be saving by going to, say the NW of Scotland, for two weeks rather than making three consecutive weekend trips. Likewise I would envisage making fewer but longer foreign trips once retired (why would I only go euro bolt clipping for one week when I could go for two or three, or to the US for one month when I could go for three?) - I would hope to spend no more and possibly less on flights by going on fewer but longer trips. 

Unless you are sleeping in your car, the longer the trip the greater proportionally accommodation costs will become. Granted there are exceptions, but in many cases work fills people's day and once they start filling that time themselves doing more outdoor activities is unlikely to be cost free.

 Doug 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

I have a friend who's not a millionaire but retired at about 40 when he sold his small one company. But in the end it was more of a break while his kids were growing up & some 10 years later he started working again. Say's he has no regrets & for him (& his wife) it worked out well. He's now approaching 60 so will be interesting to see what he does now.

Another friend with kids retired in his early 50s following a reorganisation at BP & an early retirement package that paid him more or less what he would have earned had he stayed

In reply to summo:

> Unless you are sleeping in your car, the longer the trip the greater proportionally accommodation costs will become. 

I do try to avoid paying for accomodation whenever reasonable to do so, but, even if I did pay, a two month trip to the US, say, would not cost anywhere near two one month trips because I would only need to pay for one flight. I would envisage taking fewer but longer trips both abroad and in the UK (weekending is certainly very cost inefficient!).

 Rob Parsons 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> I suspected that would be the case. Would be interesting to hear if the story is similar for other early retirees?

The first thing to do is to define what you mean by 'early' in this context.

> The only person I know who has kids and retired early is a millionaire. 

I know many people with kids who have retired long before the state pension age (and indeed before what might be the 'usual' age for leaving their jobs - but there we hit the definition question again.)

 WVRox 10 Sep 2020
In reply to summo:

A worry that everyone I talked to about retirement had was  'can I afford it'?

They all laugh now, needn't have worried  - not spending money in the way that you did when we were in the rat race is one of the pleasures of retirement.  You have time  - more time for everything. Time to shop around, time to cook better and cheaper meals, time travel off peak, time to do jobs yourself rather than pay someone, you can avoid travelling at school holiday times etc etc In ball park terms I reckon retirement life costs around 60%  of working life in terms of monthly outgoings - and that's before you factor in the massively increased quality of life.  

Post edited at 09:11
 neilh 10 Sep 2020
In reply to WVRox:

As I said before you only hear the good stories. People who have had a bad time of it generally do not talk about it financially, so be wary of all the good glowing reviews of early retirement.

Its surprising what you learn if you speak to older part timers at DIY stores or Tesco who have misjudged things and use to have very good jobs and retired early.

In reply to Robert Durran:

I'd agree with some of that. I'm fortunate to work flexibly for myself and am probably 25-30% retired. If I travel for sport or training myself I often overnight on Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday as it's significantly cheaper.

 Graeme G 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The first thing to do is to define what you mean by 'early' in this context.

That’s a good point. For me ‘early’ is pre-60. Is that other people’s definition of early? Or at we talking about pre state pension age?

 Rob Parsons 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

>  For me ‘early’ is pre-60. Is that other people’s definition of early?

It's clearly not the OP's, for a start.

 Graeme G 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> >  For me ‘early’ is pre-60. Is that other people’s definition of early?

> It's clearly not the OP's, for a start.

Fair point. 


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.