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  • Retirement – what’s it really like?
  • Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Full Member

    I know there’s a few folk on here who are retired, so I’d like the benefit of your wisdom (you’re old, so you must be wise…)

    I’m 61, and at risk of redundancy. I can’t decide whether to even bother fighting for my job or look for another one, or whether I should just retire. My mortgage is paid off and the children are independent. Retirement looks very tempting. But what do I need to know? What have I likely not thought of? What surprised you about retirement?

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Full Member

    What surprised you about retirement?

    Covid….I retired the week this all kicked off. Seems the whole world retired at the same time as me.

    Not knowing how I managed to fit in full time work, have a PT job 15 hrs a week which is fine, no responsibilities or pressures pays for extras for bike and other little luxuries. Not sure I’ll continue with job once covid is under control as we have so much we want to do travel wise

    Retirement is the best job I’ve ever had.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    I’m 52 and said I’d never really retire then lock-down happened. Now I’m trying to think of ways how I can retire a lot sooner that 67! 🙂

    Premier Icon hotstuff
    Free Member

    I retired 3 years ago at 60 and I’m loving it. We’ve got a few irons in different fires to keep us active and give the bank balance a boost now and again. You can’t be “on holiday” permanently, you’ll soon get through the cash like that but the lack of pressure will allow you to find what works best for you and you’ll wonder how you ever managed to fit a days work into things.
    Go for it if you can and the best of luck.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Full Member

    Just that I wish I could wind the clock back & join the railways at 16 like my cousin, apparently his pension at 55 is larger than my current salary ☹️

    Premier Icon mildbore
    Full Member

    I think it depends on your attitude towards your job and your own sense of self worth. For me retirement has meant a second childhood, I still wake up and feel great that I’m able to choose how to spend my day, focus on the things I enjoy rather than squeeze them in to a busy must-do agenda. This is also true for my long-term bike buddy. I know one or two more career-focused people who have struggled though, with filling their time and with feeling valued/useful.

    Premier Icon andy5390
    Full Member

    I retired this time last year at 55.

    A good DB pension along with a severance/bribe payment for older workers sealed the deal.

    Don’t regret it one bit. Thing that makes me laugh is, a lot of people have said “Are you not going to get another job?”      Err, no, that’s not retiring, that’s just changing jobs

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

    I retired at 50. Got bored and felt aimless for a while, then offered to help out a mate doing some IT work for his bike shop. That led to me becoming a bike mechanic. Then I moved house and got a job doing bike hire and cyclist/walker taxiing round the Scottish Highlands. I’ve also been doing voluntary work for both Sustrans and Scotways. I didn’t see any of that coming in my initial retirement plans.

    I retired again at 60 (last year) and have enjoyed not having those commitments now.

    It very much depends on your own personality and drive. For some folk it’ll be paradise. For others it can lead to boredom and unhappiness. My advice would be to find some part-time and/or volunteer work to ease yourself into it and then just take it as it comes.

    Premier Icon suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    “What surprised you about retirement?”

    How I ever found time for work!

    Premier Icon Caher
    Full Member

    Being self employed at a young age then university when the company went bust left me with no pension until later. I reckon I’ll be 90 when I retire.

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Full Member

    How little you need to get by was what surprised me. So much of my outgoings (the commute, food on the go, paying other people to do stuff ‘cos I was too busy etc.) just disappeared.

    Retired a couple of years ago at 52 after 30 years of high-pressure work. Prompted partially by my wife being diagnosed with PD, so we decided to enjoy the next few years. I fully expected to be looking for part-time work by now, but no need.

    Get up when I please, do what I want, lots of time with friends and family, quality time for hobbies and interests. Big thumbs-up from me.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Full Member

    Check your pension pot is adequate to meet your needs. If so, go for it. It beats working.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Full Member

    A good DB pension along with a severance/bribe payment for older workers sealed the deal.

    My Dad did the same at 55, with his BT pension payable from day 1. My parents spent a lot of time with my sister in Spain to see more of their grandchildren. They may have spent more time there had Mum not had my Nan still around. Other than that they visited friends around the country, had short break trips.

    Probably helped that the mortgage was paid off c 10 years prior (though I doubt it would be much on a £4K house bought in the 60s).
    They joined a few retirement clubs that had sessions and activities. Was an active group rather than sitting round playing bingo.

    As others have said, my parents also did they don’t know where they had the time to work. It helped that Dad was of the mindset of work to live rather than the other way round. His cousin, who was a pit deputy was the opposite. When the pit closed, he suffered especially as he had the perceived “status” on the neighbourhood that came with the job title

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Full Member

    You only get one life. You’re nearing the end of it.

    So why go back to work if you’re young enough to enjoy what’s left of your life?

    It’s better to be free and a bit impecunious than working and trapped into a routine set by someone else.

    Jobs suck the life out of you.

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Full Member

    whats this retirement you all speak off?

    Premier Icon OwenP
    Full Member

    Some good stories here of people taking a steady progression into full retirement. 30 years to go for me, if I assume state retirement age in principle (and it’s how all the finances are calculated). I’d much prefer to start reducing responsibility (assuming reducing income) before that though, rather than climbing the career ladder to the end and effectively collapsing over the finish line.

    Premier Icon mariner
    Free Member

    Great. Do nothing all week and get the weekends off or so I was told.
    Mrs m was struck down just after we retired and moved to the coast so I am now a carer plus the cleaning, cooking, gardening, shopping, learning classical guitar, watching TdF/Snooker when on and still get time to ride my bike – phew.
    We didn’t have a master plan things just filled in the time available and life is still great despite the inevitability of how this ends.
    Visiting our favourite gardens and tea room today as the weather is good.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    If you think that waking up in the morning with too many things you have to do is bad, try waking up and not knowing what there is to do!

    An afternoon off when you know there are other things you “ought” to be doing is more precious than an afternoon watching daytime TV.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    It’s better to be free and a bit impecunious than working and trapped into a routine set by someone else.

    Very much my view. i am retiring in just under 6 months at 60. Mrs TJ has effectively already retired ( long term sick and will not be going back)

    We will have a much lower retirement income than people say we should – around 30% of current salaries. However we are prepared to cut our cloth accordingly. We do not get state pensions until 67

    covid has rather effed things up for us tho but we have plenty of plans to fill our time. mainly involving walking and cycling long distances and letting our flat out as a holiday let. We have yet to see how it will all work out – the first adventure will be the test – a walk from Edinburgh to Cape Wrath.

    Premier Icon fasthaggis
    Free Member

    Covid has changed a lot of our plans ,it’s going to be very different to the retirement I had imagined ,hopefully I will remain healthy long enough to enjoy all the projects I have lined up.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Full Member

    Reading with interest, I’m ‘only’ 43 but I’ve been thinking a lot about work / life etc, again because of lock-down.

    ‘My’ plan was to keep this up until I’m 50 and then downsize my job, try to a nice, secure, low-stress public sector role, the money on offer is scary low though. At 50 I’d still have 10 years left on the mortgage and a teenager at home (hopefully the eldest will at least semi-self sufficient at 22, but I have my doubts).

    My Boss/Mate’s suggestion is to crack on, build the business up (which we’ve been steadily doing for nearly 10 years now) to the point when I can employ 2/3 people to do what I do now (on a larger scale) and work 3 days a week for the same money… It sounds lovely, but I’m always very wary of “stick with me kid, riches are just around the corner” stories from Bosses, never works out that way does it?

    I already know the biggest barrier will be my wife, bluntly she’s greedy. It’s taken forever, but we now have all the material possessions we’ve ever wanted, it’s the sort of modest stuff everyone wants – I don’t have a vault cum swimming pool of gold coins to swim in, but house / car / **** big TV – we’ve got ’em all, but it doesn’t seem to be enough, it’s the new kitchen next, the 2 story extension after that, the new garden, the **** knows what else. She won’t be happy until our (her) gilded cage is shiner then her friends.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Sounds like you need a new patio P-Jay! 🙂

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Full Member

    A couple of alternative views to mine…

    My stepdad sold his business in his early 50s, complete opposite to me, entrepreneur, lived to work but decided he was burnt out. He’s always saying he shouldn’t have done it, is bored, thought about starting work again but didn’t. He def lost his mojo for a while.

    A mate retired from the army, again early 50s. Pretty high up so decent pension. But after a couple of years (his wife was still working) he said he was bored and got another pretty full-on job, international travel, the lot. He seems much happier now.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    I already know the biggest barrier will be my wife, bluntly she’s greedy.

    Does she work?

    Premier Icon oldgit
    Free Member

    Retired at 60, this year and moved to Brighton and mortgage free.
    It’s great. I do always get up early, clean the house, make the bed, shave and shower. Then make a coffee and look out onto the garden. I just can’t tire of that little routine.

    There’s always something to do, or someone that needs a hand. But also I can go out on my board, or swim or ride or walk the Downs any day.

    Cost of living is so much cheaper when you don’t work, we have two cars but mines going this year.

    Strange thing is I’ve always had piss poor menial jobs, barely minimum wage all my life. I was really worried about how I’d ever retire. Then all of a sudden, I’m retired. No mortgage, little place of mine I rent. #### knows how, I’ve never been given a thing. Put it this way I could never afford XTR or Dura Ace and the last time I could afford a new bike was in the 90’s and it was £500. I really don’t know how I’m here. It must simply be attitude to life, not having to have stuff or maybe starting full time work at 15. I don’t know, but its just great.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Full Member

    Does she work?

    Oh yes, decent salary too, but less than mine so me downsizing has a larger impact on our income.

    Don’t worry, her appetite is enough for two salaries.

    Premier Icon highpeakrider
    Full Member

    I’ve just retired at just over 60.
    I plan jobs round the house in the morning and the afternoon is for going for a ride.
    I’m finding it fine as long as I have something planned to do.
    A kindle and the new Microsoft flight simulator ensure I have something to use my brain on if I can’t get outdoors.

    The weekends are rest days and I do no home improvements on these days or I’d be doing a seven day week LOL.

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Full Member

    Really interesting.

    Im 41 this year. Finally got a decent job, mrs has always been on very basic pay. Im the materialistic one. Seeing my mates drive around in porsches and gtrs while i have  11 year old golf and a 185k mortgage we just make ends meet.

    Nice to see there is a potential for light at the end but i dont see it for me personally.

    Premier Icon salad_dodger
    Full Member

    I’m 50 and retired a few years ago. The first couple of weeks were a bit odd but you soon get into a new routine. I went and got myself qualified as a swimming teacher and if and when I’m bored I go and teach a few lessons to break up my week. I’m rarely bored though. I’ve just got home from a spin round Blade at Afan.

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Full Member

    Thanks everyone for your contributions so far.

    In my head I see myself riding my bikes, fixing stuff around the house, tinkering with my Guzzi, tackling some long-distance hikes, making inroads on my pile of books to read. But then I worry that I’ll end up watching daytime TV and arguing with people on the internet. I’m encouraged that most people seem to tend more towards the former than the latter, although it might be just that the daytime TV watchers haven’t seen the thread.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    although it might be just that the daytime TV watchers haven’t seen the thread.

    We don’t have a TV precisely for this reason – I find it addictive and hours vanish before you know where you are. Don’t miss it at all now, watching TV is no longer something I even think about.

    Premier Icon TheLittlestHobo
    Free Member

    45yrs old. Will be mortgage free next year because we decided over and over again not to upsize when everyone else did. We have lived in a 3bed semi with small garden and small 3rd room for the last 18yrs and we really could have done with something bigger. BUT it was always a choice of slightly bigger costing £100k more minimum and putting decades back onto my mortgage.

    We both have pensions and we both have family at the kind of age where when we do inherit lifechanging amounts, we will be pretty set by then anyhow so I hope to help my kids better. I drive a brand new company car. My wife has a car. My son bought his own car. I have a campervan. If I want something I usually get it but if its effects family finances I tend to err on the side of not getting something. My parents have started sending me some money from time to time which means I have quite a bit of savings. We have huge (For me anyway) outgoings each month as I want the mortgage gone. I reckon I have £2k direct debits each month. Once the mortgage and all the other stuff linked go I will be able to cut that in half easily.

    ll in all I reckon I will spend the next 10yrs getting my kids to the point where they are settled, have a bit of money come in through family etc and be able to go semi retired at 55. A nice job pushing a lawnmower or trollies around a supermarket.

    Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    quite startled at the amount of people retiring in their 50s (or earlier!!)

    Me and MrsD won’t be retiring much before state pension age, due to ‘following our dreams’ in early life and consequently not starting pensions or getting on the property ladder til our 30s/40s. Which is fair.

    But it does strike me that retiring in your 50s may disappear soon (except for serious earners). 40 years ago, an average house cost about 4 years of the average wage, and FTBs were in their mid 20’s. Now, an average house is 8 or 9 years of the average wage, and FTBs are in their mid 30’s (this was us – our mortgage would run until MrsD is 65, if we weren’t overpaying). And the increasing age of childbirth – several of my friends were in their late 30s when they had kids, meaning they could be paying for them until their 60s too.

    Oh, and of course the decline of the DB pension. I had a look at MrsD’s pension statement the other day. 30 years of 5% contributions, matched by the company, will buy her an estimated £289 a month at 68. I look at my dad’s BT engineer pension with envy!

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Full Member

    Retirement looks very tempting. But what do I need to know?

    If you decide to try retirement and it doesn’t work out, you can always find another job (not really much different to where you will be shortly).

    If you decide to carry on working for a few more years you might drop down dead* before you even get to retirement. No options to back-track on this one.

    (*or develop health problems that mean you can’t do what you would like to.)

    Check your pension pot is adequate to meet your needs.

    And there’s the rub: How long are you going to live and how much are you going to spend? It’s an interesting question to contemplate in the abstract, but when you sit down and apply it to yourself (and wife / partner / why) I find it weirdly morbid, yet one must come up with an answer.

    I can’t believe another 5 years of pension contributions will make significant difference to the pension pot at age 61 unless you started it very late, have some massively high income, or houses to sell, or something. Your pension income might go up, but that’s because you’re 5 years nearer to death – you’re gambling your active years against security in later life.

    I can start to draw my pension at 55, and I reckon we could survive (mortgage is gone, last kid hopefully finished uni by then, two cars and a campervan paid for) We wouldn’t be going on 3 cruises a year (or whatever retired people do), but I reckon we could pretty much live as we do now.

    I don’t think I’d struggle with boredom – I’ve always been of the ‘work to live’ disposition – I have loads of things I’d like to do.

    Premier Icon freeagent
    Free Member

    An interesting read – i’m 47, and have a £200k+ mortgage which runs until i’m 66.
    At this point in time – with kids aged 9 + 13 and no ‘life changing’ inheritance coming our way i don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
    My wife (45) is a teacher and has been screwed over her pension, when she started teaching most teachers retired at around 58, she is now expected to work until she’s 67.

    If either of us can retire before state pension age it would be a bonus.. best case would be getting to a point where we can go part time or scale it back in some other way at around 60.

    Other option would be to downsize or move away from London – this might be a viable option once the kids have finished school and our parents are no longer around.
    I made some poor life choices in my early 20’s regarding work and money which are coming back to haunt me now.

    Premier Icon theaccountant
    Free Member

    Great thread

    I tried retirement for 3 months last summer (at 53) but found that I quickly missed the personal and professional challenge of work, not to mention the social aspect of being in an office

    We have no debts – mortgage free since I was 40 – have a very comfortable 4 bed house, and excellent retirement financial provision, so no pressure to return to work. We are both pretty frugal spenders – no massively expensive hobbies and no desire to flaunt consumerism, unlike many of our friends. One son who whilst not fully off the payroll is largely self supporting. My parents are both still alive, but in their mid 80s and starting to creak

    After a period of reflection I decided to eschew more permanent roles and have headed off down the interim assignments route

    It gives me the challenges I want but also gives me the freedom to take longer breaks (not that I have yet) and the flexibility to only do those roles that interest me. Thus far I’ve been very busy but have really enjoyed the change

    Early retirement is still on the cards but at present I’m enjoying what I’m doing. If I suffer I’ll health or simply decide enough is enough I can stop work. I appreciate I’m lucky to have the flexibility

    My partner is effectively retired but seems busier than ever – various choirs, yoga, Zumba, pickleball, none of which interest me so my working allows both of us some personal space

    I do have a few projects I’d like to do when I do retire e.g. completing the remainder of the 92 league grounds (15 to go) but no really grand plans. Probably because I’ve kicked retirement down the road a little. Or maybe that’s just a chicken and egg situation!

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Full Member

    Check your pension pot is adequate to meet your needs.

    And there’s the rub: How long are you going to live and how much are you going to spend? It’s an interesting question to contemplate in the abstract, but when you sit down and apply it to yourself (and wife / partner / why) I find it weirdly morbid, yet one must come up with an answer.

    There is the rub indeed. How much is enough? Even if you have a decent pension pot, with the state of the world economy, brexit and all the other challenges, it could be swept away or at least severely reduced. So it’s easy to think ‘I’ll just work a bit longer and save a bit more’ and then I’ll be secure. But of course I won’t be. And as you point out, I can’t take continued good health for granted either, so retiring while I’m still fit seems sensible – particularly since a lot of my retirement ambitions require a decent degree of fitness.

    This thread is confirming that if/when my redundancy is confirmed, I won’t be looking for a job. Thanks all!

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    I can’t believe another 5 years of pension contributions will make significant difference to the pension pot at age 61 unless you started it very late, have some massively high income, or houses to sell, or something

    No, but not drawing on the pension for 5 years, is probably a bigger factor, means the pot doesn’t have to last quite as long….

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I’m 51. Youngest is 13, so 8-9 years till she finishes uni, by which time my parents will be 90 and I suspect in supported accomodation or a home if they are still with us. Been mortgage free for 5-6 years so far

    I’ve been working 4 days a week for 4-5 years now to help with kids and my parents. Can start to pick up older pension pots with no penalties when I turn 60, so can’t see any reason to return to 5 days a week. I’m hoping that at 60 I can drop to 3 days a week and look at some sort of volunteering which I’ve had to drop in the last couple of years, maybe proper retirement at 65.

    MrsMC also has decent pension provision and plans to go part time when she can for her own volunteering interests.

    Plans could change – parents could suddenly keel over and leave us an unexpected windfall, pension pots could be taxed to death, either of us could get ill and need care, but the plan is to scale back work as and when we can and ease into a productive retirement while we are healthy enough to enjoy it.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Full Member

     cum swimming pool

    Well, we definitely didn’t upgrade to one of them.

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