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To retire. Or not to retire. That is the question?


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The way you've written your post makes me feel that you've been offered something rather than you've independently started thinking about retirement?

If your pension affords the lifestyle you already have without the need to work, why would you? How much do you love your job, would you do it for free? 

How long will you live? Eventually it dawns on all of us that we've lived for more than half our lives. You're a long time dead so make the most of the time you have in whatever way gives you maximum enjoyment, retired or at work.

I've started thinking about this but have the typical financial worry of can I afford it? I've got 2 Lotus to restore in retirement so I definitely won't get bored!

I find work a security blanket, I've persuaded myself that working is the only way to be financially stable when in fact my pension would likely offer the same protection. It's an interesting journey and you can only get to the end when you are ready to accept the change.

I love my job but I also love free time. 🙂

 

It's getting there......

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He's already accepted my offer as non-Exec Director of Thread Drifting with a min post count target close to 150 per day. 

To me its all about enjoying your life.  Only you know what you enjoy.  Maximise what you enjoy, minimise what you don't.   If you're not enjoying more of your time than not then make changes until th

Retired a month before my 55th birthday because the company had become intolerable.  Was in discussions with a similar company, but quickly realised I was done with it all.  Much lower pension, but ri

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I've followed this with interest as I threw the towel in almost 2 years ago at 59. 

If it's financially affordable for you, there are just 3 questions to ask yourself. 

1/ What will you're reason to get out of bed each morning be (i. e. What will you do with you're time)? 

2/ Will there be variety in what you are doing with you're time? - like many on here, I've got a full restoration Lotus on the go and a running restoration of my other Lotus, but I couldn't do car work even 5 days a week, let alone every day. 

3/ Will you still maintain good variety of social contacts? Working in the garage or in the garden is fine and very rewarding, but you won't get much people interaction, and I think many people have realised this last 12 months that working from home EVERY day would not be their first choice, many for the loss of direct contact with colleagues. 

If you can answer YES to those questions, the only thing left do do is hand your notice in. My biggest driver was I'd seen my own parents, some colleagues and social contacts either loose their life or at least quality of (strokes etc), literally overnight, some at only 50 years of age. Non of us know what tomorrow brings, so if you have a life (or will build a life) outside of paid work and can afford it, retire. If you can't see past washing the car everyday or cutting the lawn with scissors because you need to make it a long job, then stay working.

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14 hours ago, TAR said:

I find work a security blanket, I've persuaded myself that working is the only way to be financially stable when in fact my pension would likely offer the same protection. 

This is another factor to consider, but I see it from another angle.  Pensions have changed significantly over our working lives.  My parents generation had the (then derisery) State Pension and potentially a work pension which had defined benefits, typically final salary related.  In the eternal moves to greater "efficiency" there have been many moves to cut the costs of pensions - not because they were unaffordable as is often portrayed but because you cant spend the money twice and more people prioritise wanting to spend today and not worry about tomorrow.  Part of the reason I could afford to retire early was because I'd being paying an additional 15% of my gross salary in AVCs to my pension for well over a decade.  Clearly that gave me less disposable income through my 30s and 40s.

The issue for me is that despite "terms and conditions" signed up to that should have translated into benefits 40 years later, there have been a series of raids on pensions and "terms and conditions" changed on a totally unfair frequent basis and with too little time to adjust contributions to make up for new shortfalls.  But my main point here is that the raids and changes are always done on future pensions.  Once a pension is in payment, that's it, its fixed - its what you get.  Even where pension schemes go bust, (as my Dad's did after it was in payment), my Mum still gets her full payment from it, she just had to sign up to acknowledge that she would never get a rise - which she should have got under the original scheme.   Those women who got their state pension at 60 didn't have it stopped for a couple of years when it changed to 65.   The waspi women had a very bad time of it.  Mrs MPx had a couple of colleagues of a similar age, one 6 months older, one 6 months younger.  The older one got hers at 60.  The Mrs got hers at 62.3 and the younger got hers at 66!  And they only knew of the changes a couple of years or so before they were subjected to it. 

So if you leave taking your pension as long as possible in order to maximise the eventual benefits, just remember that until you get it, the chancellor or pension fund trustees may decide that they have a higher priority claim on it and all your judicial planning will be wasted.

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Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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The moment I feel I can retire, then I absolutely would. I’ve still got 30 years before I can officially throw in the towel but aiming for a lot sooner.

I totally get you love what you do, and there’s no reason you can’t continue that on an ad-hoc / part time basis. But as for what you’ll do in your spare time, go for walks, exercise, meet friends, make new friends, travel, take up a new hobby, enjoy the downtime and drive your car. And given your love for dogs, maybe open up a doggy day care?
 

In short, retire. If the lifestyle doesn’t suit, then leverage your experience to date and upskill / advise other charities, or even start one yourself. 

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@C8RKH I retired at 58 and so glad I did given the health shock I received 4 years later back in 2016. 
I looked at our finances the year before I retired and decided I could do so whilst maintaining a similar standard of living and in the knowledge that my previously deferred final salary pension schemes would be there a few years hence, one which had a normal retirement age of 63.

When my planned date came I had just completed 4 years working in Saudi and despite receiving a very interesting offer to sign a 2 year contract extension I stuck to the retirement plan.

We went travelling for 12 months and afterwards, to keep my brain active, I took on some consultancy work which enabled me to work when I wanted to. However, as time went on, I realised that the consultancy work was getting in the way of me enjoying myself. Although I could work when it suited there were still deadlines to be kept and it involved a little bit of travel to meetings etc. After 2 years I gave it up and have never looked back.

It can only be your decision but you just don’t know what is around the corner, as I was to find out. Getting more cash is one thing but continuing to be in good health is another,

Of I had my time over again would I take to same decision? In hindsight no..................... I’d have done it 1-2 years earlier!

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Damn, I’m late to this thread due to enjoying my retirement time!😁

Maybe you’d call it entrepreneurial, but I’ve been working in some form or another since I was 7 years old. I’d spotted a niche in the market for renting out comics at school for 1d a time, until the head teacher shut that down, so had to take it underground!😂

Later I would build control line model aeroplanes for other lads who didn’t possess the build skills - for a fee obviously. 

This sort of thing carried on throughout my early life, leaving school at 16 but working all hours, including 3 jobs at one time to fund my motor racing during late teens. It never seemed odd to me that I had this work ethic, inherited from my father, and it set the scene for my life going forward. My own son is similar. 

During my 30’s, one event affected me and changed the way I would later think about retirement. A very hard working and quite inspirational older workmate of mine was retiring at 65. He’d been looking forward to travelling the world and pursuing his hobbies. On his last day, we arranged a work farewell party for him and, not surprisingly, he had a few to drink. Anyhow, he was taken home, in good spirits, but decided to take to his bed for a couple of hours rest before his wife took him out for a celebratory dinner. 

The poor sod never got out of his bed again, passing away from a previously undiagnosed heart condition an hour or so after laying down!

That made us all think about our lives and how we lived it. This chap and his wife were so looking forward to what they had planned, but that was all gone in the blink of an eye. 

I made a decision then to retire as soon as I could and enjoy my life whilst I was still able. At 42, I started a business with a good mate and boy did we work hard. Nevertheless, I kept in mind I was retiring at 60 and worked towards that goal. Didn’t quite make that, for various reasons, but did manage it at 61 and I am so glad I did. 

It’s been 10 years now, I’ve been incredibly busy doing a wide range of things I enjoy and probably happier than I’ve ever been.

If you can do it without impacting badly on your finances Andy, I really recommend it. Do it, JFDI my friend! 😁

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I have just retired at 75 and don't regret it. I have  worked with people on the electricity supply industry take early retirement on a full 50% final salary pension and laugh at me. I am sad to say most have sat on their backsides and done nothing at all but go to the pub watch telly and sleep. Most are now dead from either heart attacks or cancer.  What ever the choice just keep active, keep the brain working, (my brother in law suffers from Alzheimer's and he is still in his sixties). The choice is yours and yours only, just make the most of life while you can.  

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@dave excell I can tell you from experience that keeping active and keeping the brain working does not prevent cancer, neither does going to the pub and watching telly possibly result in cancer.

I’m sure you didn’t mean to imply this but it does read that way.

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Certainly not. Cancer is something no one can predict. But you can do things that aggravate its onset. Smoking cigarettes at 40 a day wont help. 

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Hmmm, well I think we’ll leave it there rather than drift off topic 🙄

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I’ve seen several people work work work beyond retirement age only to pass quite quickly after they do finally retire. I’ve also seen people retire early and just vegetate in front of the tv from getting up to going to bed.

I’m not planning either of the above!

if I could afford to retire tomorrow I would, but my plan of 55 looks less likely with how things are going at the moment, maybe 60??

just hope health stays OK as that’s a big thing we don’t necessarily have any control over. 

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Think you are in the wrong job. Was probably right in the past but sounds like a young man's job. Not intended as an insult by the way

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hindsight: the science that is never wrong

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1 hour ago, C8RKH said:

some nice spanish ham and cheese

Pah - and there was me thinking you were a hardcore Brexiteer.....

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Only here once

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@C8RKH, this has been a very thought provoking thread with lots of extremely useful insight. Having just hit 50 I've not had much cause to think of retirement, and the process leading up to retirement, at all. Employment can become one's raison d'être all too easily to the extent that, were that to stop, one would have to know what one's purpose in life is. There's lots of talk of work/life balance nowadays but maybe hadn't appreciated the importance of the 'life' bit until it's put in the context of there being no 'work' bit.  Life's more than just something you do whilst not working. With a few years to prepare I'm going to start to ask myself the question as to whether what I do whilst not working would be enough to become all I do when not. Maybe until that question is answered, one is not ready to retire? 

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I retired a little earlier than I planned.  I was going to retire at 66 but got nagged into retiring at 65 and a half.  My retirement plan was to get a Lotus that needed some work or improvement which I did after a while.  We became grandparents which also keeps us busy for a couple of days a week or more.

I did recently think about applying for a job.  The money would have been nice to build up the savings a bit more and to pay for some house improvements but the thought of getting up early every day, not seeing the grand-daughter as often and the lack of free time stopped me.  I don't need the money that much.

What I do miss about work is being with smart people and learning new stuff.  Working in a technology field, there was always something new to find out and old views to challenge and new techniques to learn.  I also miss feeling that I contribute to something.  I joke about being unemployed and living on benefits but it has a level of truth about it.

It's a shame you weren't furloughed as that would have given you a preview of retirement but, in the end. you have to decide what you want, how you will fill your time and what imterests you want to follow.

And if you don't like it, you can always start working again.

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S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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3 hours ago, C8RKH said:

Going down to 4 days a week, then 3 days a week the following year. Who knows.

just be careful you don't end up doing 5 days worth of work in 4 or 3 days a week ..

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@Spinney - interesting re Brooklands. I was looking at doing the Marshalls training and then volunteering to help at Knockhill (get in to see the BTCC for free lol) and possibly other locations like Oulton Park (just a few miles from my mothers house).

I've also thought about getting a covered car transporter and offering my services to transport peoples P&J around!

I have no intention to just sit in front of the telly or go down the pub every day so a sideline would be good. As I said in an earlier post 3 days a week at B&Q would be ideal!

I also have no intention of getting a dog (everyone around us seems to get a puppy within a month of retirement) or becoming a golfer!

Thanks everyone again for your ideas and contributions.

Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!    

The first guy to ride a bull for fun, was a true hero. The second man to follow him was truly nuts!   

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13 hours ago, C8RKH said:

 

In my heart of hearts I'm not sure I am ready to go just yet. However, some of you have got me thinking about reducing my hours (my company actively supports people over 55 to prepare for retirement with flexible working etc) so that might be the route I take from next year. Going down to 4 days a week, then 3 days a week the following year. Who knows.

 

This was a policy which my last U.K. company introduced to be used during the last 18 months of employment for all those who confirmed their intent to retire at 60 or above. 9 months at 4 days and 9 months at 3 days, all on full pay and full (defined benefit) pension credits etc

One element that I didn’t mention in my previous post was that of being able to pace yourself as well. As someone who has always maintained house/garden/cars etc himself as far as possible I often ask “how did I have the time to work and do all of this”. My wife just tells me that I’ve learned to pace myself rather that go into the garage at 8.00am on a Saturday and only emerge for meals until the task was complete. Now I’m happy to take more time over things because I know I have the time.

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