With economic pressures, two sons at post-secondary school age and a mortgage that isn’t yet paid off, this goal might not be accomplished for some time. But as a few people have told me lately, sometimes, it’s good, once in awhile, lol, to go to work to get away from home stuff. That is, go to work to get a break! ;)
I sort of felt that way after the Christmas vacation that I took last month. I didn’t go anywhere, just took it easy at home, but there were a few pressures elsewhere that made my “vacation” a bit less restful, so I was almost happy to get back to work on January 3rd.
That being said, every single one of my friends who have retired in the past few years are all looking great and love their new life transition!
I haven’t made any entries on this goal for the past five months.
Because of certain things going on at work, a part of me wants to pick up and retire just as soon as I get my major debts paid off. Yet another part of me wants to relish my last several years before retirement and provide my employer with as much value as I can with my attained level of knowledge and experience.
For the most part, I enjoy working with the “fresh blood” at work, new people with enthusiasm and new ideas. It’s the older staff who are set in their ways whom I have trouble with. Some of them have only one way of doing things, their way. I could easily fall into that trap, too, but I genuinely like listening to and supporting the fresh ideas and concepts that the newer staff bring to the table.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to walk out the door at work, even after we manage to pay off our house mortgage.
In a few years, I will be in a good situation, where if I get tired of silly things at work, I can just send in my letter of resignation and retire with a decent pension. Although I have been paying very high pension contributions over many years, I feel so very fortunate that I will not have to retire into poverty, or be forced to keep working beyond age 65.
No matter what happens, I will stay at work as long as it still brings me satisfaction. If I stay for another five years, it will be because I want to do so, not because I want the extras like a nice 2nd car (e.g. 5-speed BMW 5 series! ;) ), or other grown-up “toys” like boats and such.
I find the older I get, the less important these purely materialistic things are to me.
What’s becoming far more important over time, is: family; having a comfortable but modest home to live in; and my health. Sure I would like to travel during retirement, who wouldn’t? I hope that by living relatively modestly and sensibly in retirement, we will be able to afford a 2 or 3 week vacation somewhere each year.
Todd S. explained on one of my last entries on this goal that his parents were able to take early retirement and have enjoyed many years of traveling and learning about other parts of the world. I think that’s wonderful!
It’s amazing how time flies…
Thinking again recently about early retirement and all, I remember when the father of a close friend of mine retired at age 55, in the late 1970s and is now in his late 80s. He’s left work well over 30 years ago and has had a marvelous long retirement! Imagine, being retired since 1977 or so, such a long time ago! The retirement lifestyle suited Mr. D just fine. :)
My FIL has also been retired for over 22 years now and he’s not missing work at all.
Retirement must be so hard on those people who live to work. How can people whose work is their life, adjust when it’s time to leave the workforce? It must be so difficult for them to get by.
Fortunately, I don’t think that issue will be as much of a problem for me. While I often get much satisfaction from my work, it’s not my primary driver. It’s nice to watch my mortgage debt slowly but surely come down from on high. ;) It has been a bit painful, but a couple of years ago, we accelerated our mortgage payments, so that we wouldn’t be paying the mortgage forever and a day. When that debt is gone, I will start thinking about the opportunity to enjoy a new part of my life.
It’s funny at work these days, in any case. The newest generation of staff looks at people my age as ancient vessels, ready to be put out to pasture. I look back and marvel at how green/inexperienced I was in my very early 20s, thinking, at the time, that I knew everything. Don’t we all do that at that age? It’s also funny, when I look at old photos at that time period and realize how good I looked back then, haha. We are sometimes quite critical of ourselves when we are young, concerning our physical appearance.
It’s so difficult to plan for retirement, because we want to have time to enjoy retirement when we’re still fairly young and healthy, but we can’t retire into poverty, as we won’t be able afford to go anywhere and could end up flipping burgers part-time.
I’m one of those people who work to live, so I have no issues with the whole idea of retiring and leaving the work world. It all sounds good to me, however, I want to be able to travel a bit once a year, so I want to make sure that I don’t quit work before I can afford a modest but comfortable retirement lifestyle.
Several years ago, there was a special early-retirement buyout package offered through work, where the employer was waiving a bit of early retirement penalty for those who chose to take them up on their offer. I know a couple of people who took advantage of that situation and were able to leave work in their early 50s. Lucky people! Too bad that special deal isn’t on the horizon again, hehe.
With everything going on at work lately, I’ve been thinking of moving up my retirement even earlier than originally thought, if possible. ;)
It seems like every time I consider the possibility of being able to retire “early,” circumstances tend to push the thought of retirement back a bit. It’s not that I don’t like working, it’s just that I work-to-live and can think of all kinds of things to do once I do take the retirement plunge. In other words, I don’t live to work.
That being said, I have to make sure I have enough retirement income to enjoy myself and stay above the poverty line. ;)
Too many recent stories have disturbed me, about people who have been retired for 5 years having to go back to work because their nest egg has been decimated by the recession. I don’t think I want to do that, so I would rather stay working for an extra year or two, so that I won’t have to wonder how I am going to pay my bills at the end of the month.
Please tell me fellow 43Thingers, what age would you consider to be “early retirement?” Freedom 55? Age 60? All of my older friends who have already retired seem to be having a great time and have far less stress now.
Dunno if this is going to happen now, with the downturn in the global investment marketplace. I guess I’m fortunate that I don’t have a defined contribution plan, but I might have to delay my retirement later, if I don’t get my mortgage and other debts paid off.
I’ve heard some very sad stories about some people who have been retired for 5 years having to go back to work full-time recently! That must have been very difficult for them.
What bothers me about the workplace is that employers used to complain that employees weren’t loyal enough. With all that has been going on lately concerning layoffs and downsizing, it’s no wonder employees are no longer loyal to their employers! For some families, I’ve heard about both husband and wife being laid off within weeks of each other. Even for some firms that are doing well, financially, it’s been “fashionable” to lay off staff. Disgusting.
Assuming we can get all our debt paid off, I might be able to retire in a little over 5 years. That sounds very soon, but I would like to go places and enjoy myself while I’m young, rather than work a few extra years to attempt to save a few more dollars in the bank. I know a few work colleagues who stayed working a few years longer than they needed to and then didn’t get to enjoy their retirements for very long, as illness became a problem for them.
Every person I know who took early retirement has had a great time and didn’t look back. That’s for me! ;)
Hoping that I keep my health up, the earliest I might wish to retire is in 7 years. I definitely work to live, I don’t live to work, but perhaps I might not want to retire that early.
Maybe I will continue to enjoy the people I work with and maybe I might just want to cut down my hours to a 3-day work week or something like that. We have a special pre-retirement work reduction program at work where one can work a shortened work week for 2 years before retirement and still get a full pension accrual for that time, as if you had worked a 5-day work week! The only hitch is that after the 2 years is up, I don’t think you can change your mind, you must retire. ;)