My Early Retirement story

by Dwayne

I am 55 years old and have been retired for 2 months. I planned for this retirement for years and I had multiple spreadsheets showing my past spending compared to my retirement income.

But when the big day was upon me, I began to have second thoughts (Cold Feet I thought). I have never been good at accepting the decisions which I have made. I always seem to feel that I made the wrong decision.

Well, as soon as I was retired I began to have panic attacks and began to ask myself questions:

  • Will my pension and Social Supplement provided be enough?
  • What do I do now?
  • What if my company takes away the Social Security supplement before I begin collecting Social Security? (If that happens I only have my pension to live our retirement life)
  • What if my wife gets hurt/sick and we cannot keep her medical? (My medical is expensive and goes away when I reach Medicare age.)

    I thought I had covered all my questions during my planning, but all these questions began to arise as if I had not already addressed them. All these doubts began to arise after I retired and I feel like I have let her and my family down.

    I did not have a bad job but it was in a highly regulated utility with HIGH stress to perform. I was not happy with how the job had changed me. I was angry all the time, especially when dealing with other peoples urgent request. As I attempted to perform my job I felt like I was making more enemies at work every day.

    My personal life was also beginning to suffer as I became angrier every day. After determining I could retire early, or so I felt, I made the decision to retire.

    Now my retirement days are filled with regret and fear. When I look at my finances, I am able to make our bills and still have a little extra money. My wife enjoys her job and plans on working at least 5 more years, but I feel like I have trapped her into working longer so I could get out.

    I ask myself: What type of husband puts his wife into that position? Even though I am actually bringing more home now than what we were previously living on, I get so nervous when making even the smallest purchase, something I never felt when working, I have tried meditation to relieve some of the panic attacks but I still get overwhelmed but the emotions.

    How am I going to keep going? Every day is a struggle to make it through the day.

    I do not want my wife to have to deal with me like this the rest of our lives together, She does not deserve this.

  • Comments for My Early Retirement story

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    I know how you feel..we have to change our thoughts
    by: Pam

    I too am living with regrets worry anxiety depresssion..

    I will be 50 this year and left my USPS job after 22 years on disability retirement 7 weeks ago.

    The paperwork has not been completed and I found out I have not been separated from service and can withdraw my retirement. I lost my mail route due to a shoulder injury and worked limited duty in the office. Now they say they don't have work for me.

    If I stay I'm taking a chance of being sent anywhere within 50 miles doing who knows what.

    I lived breathed and now feel like I'm dying that place.

    I know exactly the thoughts and feelings you are having and my heart truly goes out to you.

    Working together and helping your wife
    by: Susie, Woodstock Illinois

    My husband retired 7 years before me. Since I loved my job it was not a burden for me to keep working. but he took over a lot of things around the house that really helped me including grocery shopping, planning and cooking some meals, even did some house work. so when I had time off we could spend more time together and with our family.

    Once I retired from my big job I now have a part time job 2 days a week to bring in a little extra cash. My husband volunteers through the church and several community organizations and is quite busy and find it fulfilling.

    Good luck!! I'm a worrier to in some ways but I find that most of the things I worry about never happen so try to enjoy every day.

    Love life ,not fear it
    by: Dave

    Hi you are in a similar position too me ,although you planned it and mine was more spur of the moment .

    There's a saying here in UK and it is "he is the richest man in the grave yard " live everyday like it's your last,one day it will be .

    Spend that wee bit extra and don't feel guilty indulge yourself and your wife ,you have earned it . I am sure if your wife didn't want too work she wouldn't.

    Good luck, stress less and love life . We only get one shot of the swing might as well make it a good one 👍

    Going back to work
    by: Anonymous


    I retired at 58, went through the same thoughts and feelings like you. That was 2 years ago. I managed to get a part time job which helped a lot to meet my daily expenses without touching SS.

    Go out of the house, find something to do no matter what to keep your mind away from negative thoughts. Exercise and count your blessings. You can see a lot of people worse off.

    As no one is sure what tomorrow brings, just enjoy your day as best and keeping your financial plan as on track as possible.

    It's ok
    by: Anonymous

    You are still 'providing' for your family. It is just in another form now. Your time, affection and love for your wife are the important things for her. Not your paycheck. Some of us go through a bit of a depression when we retire. Stay as busy as you can, exercise as much as you can, and get busy with projects. Money is not the important thing in life, there are billionaires who are as miserable as sin.

    Early retirement
    by: Anonymous

    Whoa, Dwayne, you are really killing yourself needlessly!

    My Father did the same thing with the worry and it did him no good and made himself very sick and he didn't live long. You need to get a grip on things.

    I didn't retire and was laid off before I was ready to retire, so I have lots of regrets on wishing things could have worked out differently.

    My suggestion to you would be to get a job, part time. It will give you some purpose and some additional money. I think you have figured out a good retirement plan. Don't try to overthink every little thing that might happen. It will drive you nuts!

    There are things you can do to alleviate some of this pressure. Sell your house and get a smaller one. Put the extra money in the bank. You will also be paying less taxes on it. If you have car payments, trade the car in for a newer but used car and no payments. Read some articles on the 4% rule on withdrawing money from your IRA's. They claim if you adhere to this rule your money will last around 30 years. I think that is based on from age 65-95 so you would have to adjust your withdrawal rate since you are only 55. This is where a part time job for 10 years comes in. Use that money rather than withdrawing money.

    There is always ACA health insurance if you should ever need it. If you keep your income below $63,000 (approx. for a married couple) you can get subsidies to help pay for it. My Hub retired at age 63 and we went on it till he turned 65 in 2017 and I turned 65 this year then we went on Medicare.

    Stop thinking negative thoughts! Get yourself a journal and fill it with reasons to be happy and what positive things you will do each day. You didn't work your whole life to live in fear.

    Good luck to you!

    enjoy, it will be ok
    by: ronaldj

    You will never have enough in your mind, no matter how much you have.

    Relax, take a breath and enjoy you time together. Life is short, make the best years the ones you have now.

    We are kind of in the same boat, have enough to enjoy life right now, half goes away with me, but wife will be ok.(hopefully)

    I was downsize at 58, with two small pensions and now SS, we are moving along and enjoying our time. I was worried for a time, in my mind still a little. I took a part time job for five years and still wonder if I should again. After nine years some of the worry lingers.

    But I heard long ago most of what we worry about today will be forgotten in a short time. Make the best of what you have and enjoy, you will not regret living life.

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