The last 18 months or so have changed many people’s perspectives and expectations.
I’m roughly 5.5 years away from the oldest component of my final salary occupational pension which I can draw at 60 or from 55 with actuarial reductions. The other newer enforced component is a CARE scheme, with a ‘state pension retirement age’, that annoyance is partially offset by the fact that I’m many years in so recent contributions have been on significantly higher salary than new scheme members on lower pay early in their careers.
I’d envisaged working into my 60’s to support kids college/university plans, but I’m actually wondering if I should simply step back and enjoy life a bit more and focus on lower aspirations - I’m fairly fit but my health is not perfect these days.
I’d like to say I enjoy my job, but I rarely do, and it is probably the biggest stressor in life currently - sad to say but if I was confident I was financially secure I’d resign tomorrow.
We’ve seen threads regarding retirement before, just wondered if in the light of the pandemic, if those with a few years to go traditionally are thinking about retiring early.
When i retired i had a free consultation with St James place and they went through the finances, just in case i missed anything. I already had a nest egg in shares so did not need their investments, but advice on inheritance, wills, etc gave us confidence. Best of luck, life is too short.
My Father died a couple of weeks short of his 65th birthday. As a business owner financially he didn’t need to work, he died at work covering for a sick colleague in a foundry working in 40 degree heat. If you can retire, my advice is, do, life is too short…
Unfortunately, I rather like my job. So, although i’m well past any recognisable “retirement” age and hopefully reasonably secure in a financial sense - mixture of government pension schemes, private pensions, etc - I still feel a need to work. But I have cut back to three days a week and I really do enjoy having four consecutive days to spend with Mrs D.
If you really aren’t enjoying your work, and you feel that you can manage reasonably well on your pension/savings, then I would say retire. And enjoy.
I retired at 60 , I intended to go at 62, I was good at what I did and was well appreciated but I got to the stage where stress levels got to me. We worked out our finances, and got my financial advisor to give an opinion…and that was it. It was a great feeling to offer about 8 months notice, we started planning a few nice holidays, I also managed to spend a few quid on my systems…with more soon. That was 5 years ago, as many will say…if you can DO, and enjoy life with rather less stress.
If you think you are healthy and you enjoy what you are doing at work, then working part time at a main job and adding in other part-time work or voluntary things can be good too. Or take your pension and still add in part time work or voluntary things.
Sitting listening to music and taking the dog for a walk is all very well, but there is a lot more to life out there than that.
So I caution against just cracking on with retirement, although I recognise that works well for many. I think you need to have some demanding, interesting, and fun things to need your time or you may just as well give up and start planning that final project….
Just before my kids went to university I happened to be working part time (15 hours a week). I realised this meant the kids where from a low income family and would receive a high level of funding. Over 3k grant from the council (not repayable), over 3k living allowance from the government (that went onto their student loans) and my daughter received a nice bursary from Oxford University. So, I turned down a couple of offers of full time employment and the kids received approx. 45k funding.
When they finished university I continued working part time. My wife said, “What’s the point in working full time, we’ve managed for 5 years with you working part time”.
I’m transitioning to semi-retirement with in the last few weeks moving to a 3 day week and having the school holidays off. The same reasons as you really, a combination of health scares for both of us, friends and colleagues not getting to retirement age and a general dissatisfaction with the state of my professional industry.
There are aspects of my self employed work that I do really enjoy, so I’m very focussed on only working in those areas. Once I’m financially able to not work in a year or so, I’ll move to semi-retirement and just have niche work for a bit of discretionary income and keep in the loop with the work community.
But, I do recommend that you have an end game system and your home sorted out first whilst you have income.
I would have liked early retirement, but because of two failed investments it was not to be…. I will be retiring very shortly, but it is late retirement not early! At least I have enjoyed my job (most of the time), and it has been both stimulating and rewarding, but after 50 years of work it is time to have some leisure time…!
You are lucky you enjoy what you do. I suspect I took a wrong fork in the road career wise, and have never really enjoyed what I do when there were perhaps too many professional options available, but a combination of bad luck, pride making me actively decide against certain things, and at the time despite knowing I’d perhaps made a mistake it was not the ‘done thing’ to admit that and change career paths - different now.
Changes at work in the name of ‘covid response’ have resulted in significant changes in work intensity, and to me it seems it’s now all quantity over quality. Many colleagues are quite unhappy with some of these changes, some have left, younger colleagues are more resilient but those of use nearing retirement age are generally less so, especially having done the ‘hard graft’ for decades when younger with the expectation of improvements with seniority.
Cheers BobF - my job has always been stressful, it was par for the course, but I cannot do what I could in my 20’s and 30’s, and have found work increasingly stressful since my 40’s when a few health issues crept in and also later had to deal with parents who became very unwell and dependent far sooner than I’d expected.
Part of me thinks I could just do with a 6 month break to recharge. There’s also the feeling that certain aspirations will no longer be met simply as I’ve reached a certain age which makes it harder, so why not just let those go and enjoy the simple things in life.
Sorry to hear that. Speaking to many people, friends/family/colleagues we’ve all seen those who never reach retirement age, or become very unwell almost as soon as they retire. Rising state pension ages are all very well but fewer and fewer people will reach them.
My advice would be if you hate the job and it is causing you stress then look for something else. I first retired at 52 when my then employer offered me a retirement redundancy package I couldn’t refuse plus I hated what the job had become. Within 3 months I was climbing the walls so took a new job on the basis that I just wanted to do what was required and then go home, no management involvement.
As you can perhaps imagine that didn’t last long but I found that doing a job that I didn’t really need was great on the basis that if they didn’t like what I was doing then I could walk. I honestly believe I did a better job because of it, no ‘emperors new clothes’. Moreover I suspect that you may undervalue the experience you have. There is considerable satisfaction in responding ‘I’ve seen it before’ to a ‘how do you know that question’.
Towards the end, the job began to involve a fair bit of international travel and that began to be tiring so I retired at 61 but I can honestly say it was the best of my working years. Life is too short to regularly do something you hate and gives you stress.
The retirement blip is a noted factor, I remember being shown some actuarial mortality tables prepared for a prospective car manufacturing client .
They showed a reasonably smooth curve except for two noticeable blips, one was for 17-21 (can’t be exact) caused by motorcycle/ car crashes and the other 63-67 (again can’t be exact) the second blip was retirement and an awful lot of people can’t cope /find it very stressful.
When I worked for Guardian Royal Exchange they ran classes to help retirees adjust, from an actuarial point of view rising retirement ages are probably an inevitable by-product of longer life expectancy but don’t take into account that health and energy levels decrease.
I have posted in a thread like this not long ago, so I won’t repeat everything in case I bore anyone.
I was reluctant to retire and when circumstances at work meant I more or less had to, I was luckily able to move to a similarly paid advisory role in another organisation and work half time. I did 2.5 days work spread over 3 days, generally Tuesday-Thursday. So my weekend was suddenly longer than my working week. And I cut my commute by 40% by only travelling into London three days a week.
Anyway the point of posting this is that I think working three or four days a week instead of five gives many of the advantages of early retirement with fewer of the disadvantages.