Retirement Planning - Lessons Learned

   #1  

polarred21

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Did a search and didn't find any recent threads so here we go......

At 58 with the Good Lord willing my retirement window is 4 to 7 years out. Job is steady albeit stressful at times and hoping I can just ride it out and be happy until it's time to pull the trigger. Finances are in order and almost debt free! Wife and I have been truly blessed.

I hang out here on TBN hoping to buy that subcompact one day for a retirement toy. It will be the Massey GC when that day comes.

One marital debate is will we uproot and move to a retirement dream home we've always wanted or will we stay closer to home and family.

So for the experts:

- What have you learned in retirement?

- What would you have done/planned for differently?

- Did you move away or stay at home and are you happy?

Thanks for your time.

Andy in N.C.
 
   #2  

RickB

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We moved from Upstate NY to the Piedmont, but had the advantage of moving towards close family rather than away from them. We were the last of our immediate clan to leave NY. We could have chosen a location with a lower cost of living but we are far better off in that regard than we were. Proximity to health care and shopping was/is important while access to rural scenery nearby and many outdoor recreation opportunities make for a great balance. Other than missing two lifetimes worth of friendships we are very happy to be where we are. We planned our move several years in advance but the actual relocation happened while we were both working which wasn't really forseen. Having a longer timeframe to edit our belongings prior to a long distance move was very helpful.

My wife is retired now, I'm working part time but those days are becoming numbered.
 
   #3  

TractorGuy

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WAIT, I was supposed to PLAN?

Seriously I wouldn't start thinking about it that soon before you can do it. It will make going to work that much harder.

I had originally planned to work to age 70. As 65 approached I started to wonder if I could go at Medicare age. I ended up throwing caution to the wind to signing up 3 months before I turned 65. Best decision I've ever made.

Sounds like you have a better handle on the finances than I did. We had the house and cars paid off but refinanced to buy surrounding property. It will be paid off in a couple of months and we MIGHT finally start building up our savings.
 
   #4  

Sheldon Hamblin

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Did a search and didn't find any recent threads so here we go......

At 58 with the Good Lord willing my retirement window is 4 to 7 years out. Job is steady albeit stressful at times and hoping I can just ride it out and be happy until it's time to pull the trigger. Finances are in order and almost debt free! Wife and I have been truly blessed.

I hang out here on TBN hoping to buy that subcompact one day for a retirement toy. It will be the Massey GC when that day comes.

One marital debate is will we uproot and move to a retirement dream home we've always wanted or will we stay closer to home and family.

So for the experts:

- What have you learned in retirement?

- What would you have done/planned for differently?

- Did you move away or stay at home and are you happy?

Thanks for your time.

Andy in N.C.

All good questions. I retired at 55, 10 years ago. I was career fire service, with state retirement, a small IRA (which I strongly recommend to out as much as possible into), and a union retirement fund. The day I retired, I got a raise.

We had always said that when I retired we would move to Florida. However a couple of grandchildren living in town, and experience with my mother-in-law living in Florida, ( my wife visiting her 4 times a year and then staying with her for weeks, sometimes months at a time convinced me we needed to stay right here on Cape Cod, and vacation in Florida.

What ever you do, you must have something to retire to. We raise a few laying hens, and dairy goats. I also am a competitive bagpiper and run a bagpipe band.

My one piece of advice, completely think out moving away from family, they may need you, or you may need them. It is so much easier for us as my son and his family and my daughter and her family all live in the same town.
 
   #5  

oosik

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We moved from Alaska to here in Ea WA state. Alaska is/can be a tough environment. After living there and REALLY loving it - we realized that our retirement was not in AK. We were young when we went to AK. It was fun and filled with great adventures. As we got older we wanted an easier more relaxed style. There were other reasons but "here" is close to family and old friends.

We were able to quit working and retire at a very early age. Due to the wife's meticulous planning and the Alaska Oil pipeline project. We had saved enough money and sold our house at the absolute most advantageous time. We retired in 1982 at age 40 & 38 respectively. Retirement has been an adventure in itself.

Part of all this is that we have always lived somewhat conservatively. So in retirement our living style is the same as when we worked. Our "style" has had to neither expand nor contract.
 
   #6  

workinonit

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I didn't get my PERFECT job until I was 59. For 15 years I traveled my tail off working on large generator voltage regulators. Had extensive dealings with the guy I work for now and he reached out to me. I had 2 stipulations, cut down drastically on my travel and I work from home. Done and done. Since I was eligible I've been putting 23% in my 401K. I have 2 partial retirement checks that go in the bank and never are used. My wife still works and has a really good job that she could walk away from anytime. I plan to work to 66, I'm 62 now. If I still feel good I may go longer. Mine is a niche job and in very high demand. I've already bought and paid for all the toys I presently own. I need to buy a new truck at some point to replace my 2008 Tundra.
 
   #7  

KennyG

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I've learned you can't expect to plan everything. Make your best judgments and enjoy it.

I always thought I would retire early, but I got into some career situations I really enjoyed and didn't retire until 68. Moving to a warmer, more scenic area always sounded good, but I've got so much of the things I do locked in here, it seems impractical. (I can't even imagine moving the shop at this point.) I was very careful financially because I thought I would retire early and my wife is somewhat younger. Now I have more money than I thought possible and my wife is in poorer health than I am.

Be prudent, go slow and enjoy the trip.
 
   #8  

newbury

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<snip>
- What have you learned in retirement?
As Robert Burns wrote in:
To a Mouse
BY ROBERT BURNS
On Turning her up in her Nest, with the Plough, November 1785.
To a Mouse by Robert Burns | Poetry Foundation
But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o Mice an Men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an pain,
For promis'd joy!
Plans must be extremely flexible.
Plan on needing twice as much money as experts predict and spend half as much as you would like to.

As the saying goes - excrement happens.
We bought our "retirement" home/treefarm in 2010 because it was near relatives, son who had just bought in the area and an aging MIL. We planned on selling out in Alexandria, Virginia by 2015 and be permanently in northeast Mississippi.
Didn't happen. The son who had just bought divorced within ~ 2yrs, sold his land. The MIL is still here thankfully.
We had just had a very successful timber sale in ~2007. Expected another on other land ~ 2019. Prices dropped, trees still growing.
We "rented" (often rent free) another house we have in the area to another son that was DEFINITELY going to move out of the area by 2015. The family grew by two more grandchildren, now it looks like he might stay until he inherits it.

- What would you have done/planned for differently?
Probably nothing. Many people think life is like hunting geese in open skies, give a good lead and they'll run into the shot. It's more like partridge in dense woods- you never know which way they will turn.

- Did you move away or stay at home and are you happy?
We still own the base and spend time in both places. Do to many factors prior to Covid 19 it was usually winter in Alexandria, summer in Mississippi, sort of a revers snowbird. We finally came down in January 2020 to spend 3 months in Mississippi and it looks like we may be stuck in our "safe place" until summer/fall 2021.
As far as being "happy" - it's not what we "planned" but it's working well.
Thanks for your time.
Andy in N.C.
Welcome, I've plenty of it
 
   #9  

Spindifferent

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The future is uncertain. It will not be how you imagine it. However, having plans is good. :)

Here are some resources that I've found very useful:

Book:
The New Rules of Retirement: Strategies for a Secure Future
by Robert C. Carlson

Podcasts:
The Retirement and IRA Show

The Retirement Answer Man

The Retirement Wisdom Podcast

Website/blog:
The Retirement Manifesto Blog
 

Oaktree

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My semi-retirement came a little sooner than I would have really liked it to, the company I worked for went into bankruptcy just before I turned 62. To find another similar job that paid what my old one did would involve a long commute, and most likely no company vehicle so I signed up for SS and scouted around for some freelance work in my field. Fortunately, that turned out better than I'd expected so at 71 I'm still doing that, though on a limited basis. None of my employers had pension plans, though I did participate in 401K's when available.
That and having always been conservative financially I'm doing OK.

We retired in 1982 at age 40 & 38 respectively. Retirement has been an adventure in itself.

Part of all this is that we have always lived somewhat conservatively. So in retirement our living style is the same as when we worked. Our "style" has had to neither expand nor contract.

I "tested the waters" at about the same age...had gotten laid off during a recession, just had a couple P/T jobs...I think my first year I earned less than I'd paid in taxes the previous year, but got by just fine by keeping expenses low. Had a CD mature right around that time so I used it to pay off my mortgage. After a couple of years one of the P/T jobs became a fulltime one so I just kinda ended up back in the workforce.
Gotta say, I was glad in a way to get back to work...'most any projects I had around the house were as done as they were ever gonna be and I was getting bored and antsy.
 
 
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