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Has anyone retired early or plan on early retirement?
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:21 pm    Post subject: Has anyone retired early or plan on early retirement? Reply with quote

Here I am sitting at work and not enjoying this career (PhD in mechanical engineering) and at 45 years old thinking it is about time for me to try early retirement. I know, 45 is a bit young for retirement, but it can be done if you're frugal. I live in a very inexpensive town and so when I compute my yearly expenses and consider interest rates, inflation and my savings, I think I can pull this off without having any loss of enjoyment and avoiding the poor house.

I also have many hobbies: classical music, old films, audio electronics, cooking, gardening, so I am convinced that I won't be bored.

Guess my big financial concern is health-care insurance, but I know of these policies which have a large deductible ($4000 USD) and aren't expensive -- $200/month.

Very curious to hear other stories pro and con.
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yum beth



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 8
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm afraid I don't have any thoughts on early retirement because at 24, I'm a long way from considering any kind of retirement, but have you considered changing careers? You still have a lot of years ahead of you and there might be something out there that you would love to do. In my field there are a lot of people changing careers mid-life. If you can afford it and you're bored, maybe take some time off and do some volunteering or work on all the hobbies that you love; you never know, something may develop out of that.

Whatever you decide, good luck with your journey!

~Beth
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caridade



Joined: 25 Aug 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject: not quite- Reply with quote

I'm only 32 but seriously considering a version of retirement - sort of a scaling back of work.

You can always sign up for guru.com or keep up your professional networks to take on short-term consulting work from time to time.

My goal when I 'retire' young will be to not dip into savings, but find either part-time or consulting gigs that will just cover my living expenses (live paycheck to paycheck so to speak) so my savings is my comfort cushion and not the actual main source of income. Once housing is paid for, expenses will decrease quite a bit.

Go for it!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee Sarape! Wish I had your dilemma Very Happy Won't be retiring until at least 60 here. My concern for you would be--do you like the place you are living currently enough to spend the next 30 years there? Other than that-well this is a government town and many of my friends and clients were able to retire on a fully indexed pension in their early-mid 50's and I know very few who suffer from boredom--although many have picked up volunteer work or do contract work from time to time.

Meanwhile we have a mortgage on our place and a mortgage on the house we bought for the kids to live in so it will be awhile before we consider anything---course if we sold off the kids.................................
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, David, part of the problem with me is that living in the middle of Alabama isn't inspiring. There really isn't another career path for me down here.

I suspect my attitude about this early retirement would be completely different were I living in NY or Budapest or Paris. In those places, I'd likely see many alternatives to engineering.

However, no possible way to retire early in NY or Paris. That's why this Alabama living has me thinking that retirement is very possible. I don't have dependents, so working for a long time and dying rich and leaving it all to my nieces and nephews isn't really a good idea.

I should probably pack my stuff, put it on a boat, and head for Budapest. Think I'd love living there.
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bluedog



Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape - you are still so young, why blow your whole game now? As you said, expenses are low where you are, but cost of living in a place that would inspire you will likely not be. Perhaps a relocation, or as others suggested a career change is a better thought. Maybe a sebatacle to recharge yourself?

Now, let me say that when you don't like your work, it is a drag, and represents nothing but time away from what you love. I have come to realize that my time is more valuable than any possession I have. But when I love my work, it is fueling, and pays for my other passions.

The real issue I see is 2 things: I suspect that since you are on this forum your hobbies are as expensive as mine: traveling, good food, etc. Being on a life long budget is not my kind of retirment. The second, and more significant is long term health. I am 38, but my husband and I have parents in their 60s. They are in good health, but still have constant future planning issues. Inexpensive insurance and medicare are not sufficient. Medications alone are unbelievable, even just a few cardiac meds. I also have an aunt with ALS, and her health care costs are astrinomical.

What I would recommend is a financial planner to advise you what you need to live on for the next 40 years. Yep, 40 years! I wish you a long healthy life. Meanwhile, do consider a year off and relocate to somwhere that inspires you!
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice Bluedog. It is pretty accurate. I suspect a year off to think about things, visit family, think about a major career change, and also another move to a more attractive region of the country (or world), is exactly what I need.

That year off would also give me an idea if at 45 I am too young to retire and how much it does cost to live.

It is a bad sign when Sunday evening rolls around and I begin to dread going to work on Monday morning. I love the weekend so much when I can relax and do what I want and not pay attention to all the rules.

I think this job may be giving me clinical depression or something.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello dear Sarape,
That is surely the most personal topic I've ever encountered on this blog. At first, I thought maybe you try to test the bloggers' sense of humour, - with this little smile on the corner of your lips, a smile who G. knows why I think it's there , on your face*- something like" let's see if they will answer me seriously". So I waited, and to my surprise, people did answer you seriously , giving you a lot of "eitzes" - Yiddish for advice. I chose the Yiddish word because it has a sort of ironic connotation, like those advices from people you just met and who begin to bombard you with a lot of ... eitzes, though they don't have the faintest idea who you are and what you need.
So, no "eitzes " from me. Though I'm old enough to think of something- 56 in 16 days-I think the oldest of the participants as per now in this specific topic . But I do enjoy greatly to read the posts, what a helpful bunch!

P.S. If you're serious, It's a subject for PM. Some of us oldies, have been there.

* maybe I'm influenced by your avatar.


No more war, we are too old for that, let's retire from fighting!!!
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Chicago Bear



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 240
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm already too old to retire early, but it dawned on me awhile back that you don't retire "from something", you retire "to something". So a couple of years ago, I started a retirement diary, putting together a plan for the kinds of things I'd like to do, the places I'd like to go, where I'd like to live, and how much money I'd need. For example, I teach courtroom trial skills at Northwestern Law School right now as an adjunct professor. It would be fun to teach the same thing somewhere cool, like New Zealand or Botswana or even a place like Arizona in the winter. Escaping Chicago winters? Aside from the question as to who in their right mind would want to avoid the delights of arctic zephyrs tickling your forehead at 40 miles per hour, we're about to buy a house in Mexico to live part of the year. Expensive health care? Not so bad in Mexico, where I could hire a caring (and hopefully very pretty) nurse to change my diapers for $5 per day. Fun travel? When it comes down to it, it can be done lavishly or very inexpensively, but it's not easy when you're physically frail. So I'm frontloading the more rigorous stuff, because the years will take their toll. The truth is that I'd be scared to death to retire without a plan for what happens when I take that walk away from the office and the steady income and the habits of how my days get filled. In three years, though, I'll be ready. And anyone out there who wants me to visit and buy them dinner, well, it will be added to the diary. Right now I'm pretty much clear February 2009 and on.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting Chicago Bear buying a home in Mexico. I sometimes think why not take my American wealth and move to some inexpensive land and live the life of luxury. Though, it sounds like your Mexican home is only part year.

simona "maybe I'm influenced by your avatar."

Maybe I should change my quirky grin to a straight face. I also don't look so much like a cartoon character as my avatar shows. But, I do look close to the avatar.

simona wrote: "eitzes" -- we all know in our hearts what we want. I guess we also want confirmation from others so that we know we aren't crazy. So I started this topic knowing full well that I've been thinking about early retirement for the past 5 years. And I also know that I have the personality type (Myers-Briggs INTJ, if anyone recognizes this) which is exactly suited to early retirement.

Some people would look at this and say "You are a mechanical engineer with a PhD and a nice high-profile job, you're crazy for wanting to retire."

And other people would say: "You'd be giving up a PhD. "

These people would likely consider me a failure for retiring at 45.

On the other hand, you could (I do) consider it a great success to be in the position to retire at 45. I view it as, I used my PhD in engineering to earn a living and now I'm able to walk away and have no more boss.
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willson



Joined: 08 Mar 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Madrid & Paris

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well... yes, you are too young to retire. Wait 2 more yeears.
I retired at 47 on a tiny pension, moved to Spain (cheaper) and switched from I/T (information technology) to cuisine (currently at Le Cordon Bleu Paris).
Summary: Find out how to do what you enjoy.
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JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Willson has the right idea. Don't retire: change careers. Find something you enjoy doing whether or not you use your PhD. Education helps to make you a better learner. It really doesn't matter if you are following your specific field. A PhD simply shows that you have enough dedication (& smarts) to do many things.

Personally I couldn't even think of retirement having 2 teenage children, one of whom is off to university this year. I would, however, consider a career change (career...what career?).

I think when we begin to think in absolutes that is when we get into trouble. Don't retire: work part time. Work abroad. Lots of options.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarape - I was a guest at the opening of a new technology block at my sons former school yesterday. The new building is named after Peter Maire, an old boy of the school and the founder of the NZ company Navman . Pete gave a brilliant speech and one of the things he did say was there is a shortage of engineers, not only in NZ but throughout the world. So you can't retire! Or maybe a move to New Zealand could be a possibility.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sarape,
I feel I have to save you from doing a big mistake!!!!
If you want to change the country, please do choose Barbara's offer. At least they speak some kind of english there, even if they drive on the wrong side of the road. Don't move to Budapest, you just can't imagine what learning hungarian means. There are only the Hungarians who speak hungarian and it's an impossible language, it does not ressemble any civilized language ( no, it is not similar to finnish, Attilla the Hun was not a Viking). I know, my husband is an Romanian- born hungarian. And what more, Hungaria is by no means cheap anymore. they count in Euros, and you know what happened to the purchase value of the $ in Europe! I know you were not serious, but be warned! ( The cakes, though are worth a detour when in Europe).

No more war, more dobosh-torte ( a delicious hungarian cake)!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or if there are too many sheep in NZ, Sarape, you could try Australia. Both our high school-age boys are keen to do engineering and at an information night at the University of South Australia this week, they were told that Australia imports 1500 engineers per year to make up for the shortfall.

Or you could switch professions completely and do nursing. There is a worldwide shortage and you could get a job anywhere in whatever specialty you choose.

Don't retire, downsize. I work 2 nights per week as an oncology RN which is enough to live on, keeps me interested in my profession and gives me plenty of time to do things I really enjoy doing.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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