Freddy the Fireman seeks advice...

by Fred

So... i find myself on the verge of retirement.

I work a physically demanding job, and have the opportunity to retire in 3 months, or in 3 years.

If i retire now I'll have a comparable standard of living moneywise, between savings and pension, but i worry inflation could eat me alive if it heats up.

If i wait, the difference in my pension would make for a nice inflation hedge/cushion.

Weighing on my mind is the adage, life is short. A number of friends and coworkers had a very brief time before illness or death ended their dreams of retirement.

More money in retirement would allow for more travel, ect, ect...

I'm in decent condition for 56yrs old. Though I need to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure, and exercise more. I'm single, (divorced) with no dependants. the absence of a crystal ball, I'd love to hear from those who have made the leap.

Freddy the fireman

Comments for Freddy the Fireman seeks advice...

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Keep on keepin' on
by: Anonymous

IMO keep going for 3 more yrs...

(1) you'll not only increase your retirement pension you'll appreciate the comaderie and involvement with your community

(2) it's something to hang your hat on when you're in your late 60's and 70's

(3) you're fortunate to have a job like you do...

good luck and continue your important work

Thanks for all the input
by: Freddy

I want to thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. While i have to admit I'm still torn, your input will help me as i sit down again and weight the pluses and minuses.

thanks again


Think Twice
by: Alison

I retired early with a good pension but had decided I would just work a part time menial position somewhere to supplement my income until eligible for Social Security and to keep myself busy.

Wow. What an experience. I gave up a good lucrative position with some clout and some authority to go join the ranks of minimum wage earners who are mostly unhappy in their jobs!!

I found that some of the reasons I retired from work exist in any job you do.... bad managers, no communication, unwritten expectations, poor training etc. I might have been smarter to stay put until the age of early retirement.

Be sure you have your Plan B in place. If it is a job, make sure its a good one. If is a hobby, make sure its enough to keep you busy and give you identity.

The worst time is in winter when the day looms ahead of you, and you have nothing to do....

by: plp

I retired 2 years still is something I am getting used to. I tried 3 different part-time jobs. My dream part-time is 8-10 hours a week. Keeps you out and about, plus you still can volunteer.

Right now because I am in the tax business, too many hours but it will slow down. I am re-evaluating after this season to know that I will not work as many hours next year. I like part-time, part-time.

I had a terrible life change, we lost our son from cancer the first year in retirement, so honestly, life has been a total adjustment.

I wish you the is very nice to be in control of your time. I love that part of life for sure. I love napping after I work in the morning and watching/reading late into the night. I love the flexibility in life.

I can even imagine working 40 hours again.

But it is hard to adjust.

Best of luck!

Leap of Faith
by: Goldie

Dear Freddy,

I was forced to leap but landed on my feet.
You will too! I often wish I had a crystal ball but find that many decisions in life come down to what you decide for yourself. This is the time to think about what really matters in life. You will be amazed what you will discover about yourself and the world around you.

Peace be with you.

been there
by: Mike Canberra Australia

HI Freddy,

I retied 8 months ago at 61 years of age.

Its a massive dicision to retire and it causes a lot of anxiety for some people . I think you are like me and asking yourself all the usual questions i.e. can i afford it, what will i do, will i be bored and miss work, is this the end of my life , will i loose my identity.
I dont regret retireing one bit and am busy most days with family and golf and community stuff.

My advise would be to take the leap and retire however what ever you do dont sit around and mope, look after your health , go for a long walk every day, get involved in something, I know it sounds corny but take up a hobby, golf or whatever gets you out in the fresh air.

We are not here forever and life can be fragile so we need to make the most of it. Best wishes

Reply to Fireman
by: Lisa, Canada

1st I think most importantly you need to know if you enjoy your job or has it been a challenge for you?

What plans do you have if you decide to retire? Will you be on your own most of the time or spending time with friends or family? It is possible that you may feel lonely and could miss your job/interaction with co-workers. It's possible you might get into a rut. I know I did! I retired early after 30 years with a large corporation. I will admit I miss the interaction and routine and got bored very quickly at home.

Weigh the positives and negatives on a list to help you decide what is right for you.

Best of luck to you!

Enjoy if you can
by: Ron Michel

Freddy, it's your decision to make, but I can tell you that after 4 and 1/2 years of retirement at the age of 53, I have never regretted my decision to retire.

I too rely on a pension check and savings and although I am not and will not get rich... I enjoy every day and manage to take a trip or two each year along with camping as much as I can (leaving Thursday for a trip to Puerto Rico).

If you have a few hobbies, time will definitely fly by. Had a heart attack at the age of 45 and on much medicine, but enjoying every day while I can.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do

by: Loyce!

Retire NOW and enjoy your life.

To Retire or Not to Retire
by: Irwin

Hi Freddy:

For what it is worth, allow me to share a few comments with you about your recent post.

A couple of things caught my eye in your post:

(1) Physically demanding

(2) Comparable standard of living moneywise between savings and pension

(3) Life is short

Speaking as a retiree that sort of came about when it was least expected, allow me to just share a few things with you that may assist you in your decision.

When I was 55 with 25 years of service with the company I was working for - I got down-sized out of my job. Got another job only to be down-sized out of that nine months later.

Took it as a sign and decided to retire. Reduced income - yes - so what we did was down-size ourselves into a smaller thus less expensive home, and revised our budget accordingly.

When we needed a couple of extra bucks to travel or pay for some unexpected expenses - we took part-time jobs. Beauty of that was - we chose where and for whom we wanted to work. Once the need was fulfilled or we bored of the job - we left it (always on good terms though) and became 'retired' again.

This gave us the additional funds needed to travel, visit with our children, etc.

Bottom line is - we got to choose what we wanted to do and how we wanted to spend our retirement years and here is the good part - as I said I was 56 years of age when we did that.

This past December we have been retired twenty years, aren't rich - but ain't poor either - still get to travel and do things we want to do - and the good part is that we have not regretted one single day of how our lives turned out as a result of retiring at age 56.

Don't know if this helps - but you can check out some of my posts here on Wendy's site which will show you how much fun we have had over these past 20 years. It can be done.

Will it require change - probably. Will you have to adjust a bit - most definitely. Will you have fun and enjoy this time of your life - well - allow me to answer that by reminding you of your own words "Life is short!"

Only you can make that decision - we have no regrets and are still enjoying life. Feel free to check out my blog site here on Wendy's site and see for yourself what we have been doing.

Good luck!

Are you ready?
by: diane

I find your situation interesting and to me the answer lies in....are you getting pleasure and satisfaction in your job.

I was in the same situation as you and chose to retire as I found that the stressful joyless job I had was starting to show in my health.

I have less money than I would have but in the 3 years since I have retired I find myself healthy, and more energetic and I have no stress. the move was worth it...for me.

by: Ricardo

Freddy, maybe it's time to get out of the fire. It does not sound as though you have anyone depending on you.

You will know when the time is right, most of us did. In your position, unlike others, there is an element of danger involved, that would be a huge determining factor in my decision.

You state that you have some health issues. I have found that as we age, most of the time our health does not improve, but slowly declines. With the issues that you mention, they are NOT going to magically go will have to work on them, and that takes effort AND DESIRE.

If you retire sooner than later, you can begin working on your health, your one precious commodity..... without it forget your plans.

You will need activities to fill your days with and NOT, eating, drinking and need a game plan for this.Only being responsible for yourself creates some financial freedom. I do not know your life style.

As we age, health AND time are precious, do not waste them. On ones death bed very few would utter the words, "I should have worked longer!"

Good luck Freddy, no one can decide but you, and when you do, roll with it!

It's Not About Us It's About You
by: Joe W.

I started my 'retirement career' when I turned 45 and was downsized from the last full-time job that I had. It took several years to move from a corporate job to doing what I'm passionate about.

I am the Founder of the Seniorpreneur Project that helps seniors on the topics of lifelong learning & business or social entrepreneurship.

If you had a long career as a Fireman I would start planning my retirement right now. My limited knowledge of being a Fireman as a career is limited. However; there was one Fireman in our Family tree. He passed away at the age of 60. I heard that your career involves being around toxic chemicals and other harmful agents which is taken into the lungs and damages them.

If I knew that my retirement life can be a hazardous career I would get out as soon as possible and startup a new career that is more environmentally friendly. I would be interested in hearing your response to my message. Thanks!

Long term retiree
by: Donald Campton-- Australia


From the comments previously you seem to have been in a position both interesting and stressful you need a rest lad.

I retired at 50 and set about trying to fight against the need to work that feeling of uselessness for a while also I was fighting the result of smoking 30 years too long.

After a few months of being a bear - I grabbed my boot tops and pulled my self up a difficult thing to do .but I got my sense of humour ,as queer as it is operating and in 1st April this year I will celebrate my 87th birthday. I assure you it is not as bad as it could have been.

I live a full life and enjoy the sun rises of a morning and have time to smell the early bush when the dew and mist is rising.

I don' know if that helps much but I guess what I am saying in my clumsy way is ; grab it with both hands and enjoy the life you have as much as you can.

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