Retirement Decision

by John F. in Florida

I turned 61 years old in September and am still working in a high-stress job.

Deciding when to retire is a very important decision as there are no do overs. The appropriate time is determined by a person's health, their spouse's health if married, the age of both the retiree and their spouse, their income, their interests, etc.

I have seen several retirees that left the workforce early and ended up running out of money. Sometimes this is unavoidable due to health issues and sometimes it is due to poor planning.

I have one friend who is doomed to sitting on her back porch day after day because that is all she can afford to do. That is very sad. Of course if you have plenty of money but are too old and sick to enjoy it is no good either.

I constantly do the math trying to figure out the best time for me to retire. The oldest at which I retire will be 65. I may retire earlier depending on the stock market or if my wife or I start having serious health issues.

I certainly don't want to end up like my poor neighbor with no money and unable to go anywhere or do anything. I love to travel, camp, hike, cook, fish, build things, etc. That all takes at least some money, gas at the very least.

My goal is to retire at just the right time to maximize my retirement with adequate resources and decent health so my wife and I can enjoy our remaining years.

I hope and pray that I make the right decision on the best time.

Comments for Retirement Decision

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Retirement Dilemma
by: Canadian Retiree

When is the right time to retire? Who knows.

It sounds like you are not quite ready even though your job is getting you down. I made the decision to retire before I was ready and even now I find myself wondering if I could have continued to work long past 65.

I'm 67 now and there are days, like your friend where I feel doomed. It's not for lack of funds but just lack of companionship that I feel down.

My husband retired before me but his health prevents us from doing many of things I imagined we would do in retirement.

No one here can tell you what to do but like you said there's no do overs when you retire.

by: Bernard Kelly - Geelong

I have commented into this thread previously, but it's still alive, and calling out for additional input.

From my on-going research, I've discovered that the best approach to retirement (whatever your income level or state of health) is to set your target goal as "Maintain Your Zest for Living"

I'm now 77, and I keep pushing out there.

I volunteer as a Treasurer for a nonprofit (a miniature railroad that will one day become a major tourist attraction) and have offered my managerial expert to a homeless shelter - but the boss there thinks that I'm after his job, so I have back-tracked).

Then I've joined a multi-level marketing company (selling cell rejuvenation products - to complement the metformin that I've been taking daily for some time) and my online business RETIREMENT HOBBIES continues to bubble along.

And I'm a frequent visitor to my local library - I'm addicted to thrillers.

Let's keep in touch, and feel free to Like and Comment when you visit RETIREMENT HOBBIES on Facebook.

When and how much
by: Franklin

When is the right time? What is enough? No one can answer for you. It is one of those things that you have to own and take full responsibility for. The complicating factor is your spouse of course.

I guess first things first. Know what you will make monthly when that paycheck stops showing up. When you know that then ask; can I live on what I will have coming in or do I need more?

If the answer is "I'll need more" than ask: 1) can I make that "more" with a part time gig? 2) or should I gut it up and keep going with my 9-5? 3) can I cut expenses without crippling my life?

There used to be no such thing as "retirement". Your kids were your retirement or you worked until you died. Or if you were smart you had a sustainable income. We have returned to this today.

Stress on health
by: Ron/Illinois

I left a stressful job at 63 & it was a good move. I took an income tax class & now work seasonal/part-time and draw SS. High stress can cause health issues that end up costing more than the job can hope to earn. Food for thought.

Budget for expenses, the unexpected, and your dreams
by: Michael - Sunny and Warm Venice Florida

I retired at 51 because my husband was 60 and he decided to retire. I never found work to be fulfilling. Fortunately, I was disciplined about saving and investing.

I never carried debt. That is one important thing to remember. Do your best not to enter into retirement with debt. Don't start spending like there is no tomorrow on credit cards. Pay them off monthly.

Make a budget showing what your income and expenses are now. Then, add in some extra for inflation. That will be your retirement budget. Within that budget you will have a line item for "recreational activities" and "emergency fund." And, you should still have line items for "saving and investing."

While you are still working, practice living on that budget. At the end of the month, set aside any excess and place it into savings and investments - in addition to what you have already earmarked within your budget.

Pick good quality growth stocks that have a long-term history of paying dividends. After retirement, you will follow the same practice of living within your budget and setting aside the excess for saving and investing.

The only "perfect time" items you can decide on are any monthly pension plan and social security dollars that are available to you. You can only do your best on predicting the amount that costs may rise in the future. When the time comes to retire, you will know that you have planned well for the money aspects of retirement.

Throughout your life, you have been able to find the solution to the problems you have faced. You will be able to do the same after you have retired.

Lastly, why not invite your neighbor to go fishing or to a local social or civic event (car show, art gallery opening, lecture, etc.)

It might turn into a wonderful friendship, and the extra set of eyes keeping watch on your home while you are on vacation is always a good thing!

Good luck!!

I know what you are going through
by: Jim in NY

I chose to retire at 63. Like you I had a range of dates that I had in mind. Like you, I also had a stressful job.

I like to look at the pros and cons when I make a decision. Write it down on paper and then ask God for wisdom.

A retirement can feel like a loss of relevance, a loss of prestige and to some degree for me, a loss of friends. But I did a lot of reading, thinking and in some ways I was prepared for it.

It is hard to retire after so many years but I can honestly say it was the best thing for me to do. I feel that I am blessed.


Retirement Decision - the answer is "Don't Retire"
by: Bernard Kelly - Geelong

Hello John F. in Florida

you obviously enjoy your high stress work, and the income that comes with it, so my thoughts are that you should take all that - in some form - with you into "retirement" (whatever that means today).

Set out right now - immediately - and join a firm of consultants in your field.

So the answer is "don't retire" but rather "reinvent yourself" and then work until your body tells you to stop.


When to Retire
by: Deborah/Kansas

As a recently retired HR person, I have seen many people who delay their retirement until a health issue or other crisis requires that they leave the workforce.

"I don’t have enough money" is the common reason that I would hear. To that I say, find a financial planner. They can give you a clear picture of your situation. Be sure they are not selling anything!

This way you will know the facts about when you can retire. It really does ease your mind.

retire in my opinion
by: Ronald, the thumb of Michigan

I got out of the rat race, because of the recession.

Downsized...took a part-time job at a local hardware, no stress. visit with customers, no looking back, enjoyed the last ten years.

No longer at hardware, a different part-time, no time clockwork at my own speed. Kids and grandchildren are close and enjoying everything. Blessed beyond belief.

Took my SS at sixty two, figured out how much I would get at 62, how much I would get at 65, how long to break even. will be 70 soon break even at 74, still would have done it. life is short enjoy, all you can.

My brother, dad and granddad all died at 65.

My Thoughts
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

First, I agree, once you retire from that specific job is no longer available to you. However, you can choose to work part-time, volunteer, work as a consultant in your field, and more. So many opportunities are available if you think out of the box a bit!

Second, to the retiree doomed to sitting on her back porch, I say there are options. She chooses her back porch over socializing with others (though it is a bit tougher because of COVID). Maybe she is elderly and yearns for peace at this point in her life. Maybe she is an introvert who doesn't mind solitary activities. Maybe she loves nature and being outdoors.

I know many who have a small income but keep busy - taking free classes (online), walking outdoors for health reasons, joining a book club at the local library, doing a monthly out-to-lunch group.

And, there is always a way to get around lack of income. You can rethink your bills, live somewhere cheaper, and so on. There really are options...

Lastly, when is "enough" enough? You can save and save and something happens (stock market, illness, whatever) and you wish you had just that one more dollar.

Sixty-One is still young, but I hate the "high-stress" at 61. Not good.

Just know you have many options!

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