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To retire, that is?

I know a lot of it is “pandemic fatigue” but I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to calling it quits.

I’d really hoped to hold out 2 more years, but I’m starting to feel like I won’t make it. I’m feeling increasingly disengaged from my work, there have been changes to my company that I’ve lost patience with, and the structure of my job has changed a lot. (I’m super bored but also irritated all the time....). Also a clear preference by my company for younger people lately.

I’m not quite where I want to be with my stash, but it’s do-able with some juggling, and I’d probably try to find a “bridge job” for a while. On the one hand, it would be really hard to walk away from my salary and benefits, but on the other hand.... I just feel done. (I’ve actually felt this way for a long while, but definitely more pronounced these days....) I’m going to wait for sure until this pandemic stuff is more resolved before I do anything rash.

But curious about how you decided it was finally time. Layoff with a sweet package? Just got to a certain dollar amount and walked away? Realized you hated going to work and figured out how to do it? I know parts of some of your stories, but do tell.
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I've posted about it previously. A few times. Rather than bore everyone again, I'll give the short version. After mine and my wife's health issues I realized -I mean really realized- that "average" life expectancy is just an average. Lots of people don't make it to the "average". I didn't want to die chained to my desk. If COVID had not hit I would have retired last fall. I plan to retire by the end of this year. Live life while I still can, before I become infirmed or worse. I have no assurance I'll reach "average". No one does.
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It was the same for me--I felt disengaged and annoyed with work. Amd DH was still working, providing income and health insurance, while teaching college so he had a month off for winter break and 3 months for summer vacay. We did a lot of domestic and some foreign travel.

Eventually, kind of like 1pg says, my husband developed an early onset dementia. Thank goodness we had fun while we still could. There are things other than death to be concerned about--like severe disability. Plus my family needed me when they became disabled (mom, bro).
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The decision was made for me. I struggled through a few years of often feeling depressed, unmotivated and disengaged at work, but I probably would have struggled for a few more years to further fluff up my financial cushion. Then, the firm for which I worked decided our group of four (plus 2 support staff) no longer fit into their business plan. They gave generous severance packages and that was that. For about a nanosecond, I considered getting another job, but could not even imagine myself in the work world anymore. DH was still working as a teacher and enjoying it, so we had medical insurance. It has been over 12 years, and every day I'm so grateful for that layoff.

Wishing you clarity as you ponder your options.

regards,
Kris
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Shame on Miss Edith for reading my mind. Same same.
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Just got to a certain dollar amount and walked away?

Yes to this. I project this will happen next year.

PSU
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I’m feeling increasingly disengaged from my work, there have been changes to my company that I’ve lost patience with, and the structure of my job has changed a lot. (I’m super bored but also irritated all the time....).

It's funny, Miss Edith, that I am in a similar situation time-wise, career-wise, age (I assume), but almost the opposite of the above.

My job is as engaging as ever, there have been few changes other than COVID ones, which **has** affected the structure of my job. Instead of going to work five days a week, I go as as needed - mostly my need. This amounts to once or twice a week. The rest of time I work from home. I have never had an easier, more relaxed work experience as during the past year. I had planned a few years ago to retire for good at the end of 2022, but I could retire anytime. The fact that work is now easy (although with some welcome challenges), the people I work with are mostly great, and I can all the while accumulate more money for that eventual retirement and also get a better SS payout, too, has me staying the full nearly two years through 2022.

It is good knowing, though, that I COULD retire at any moment I choose from this point forward.

Pete
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It just became the right time.. I'd been there nearly 40 years, liked what I was doing in many ways, but new pressures, , less qualified help, management was hiring for checkmarks, nit actual qualifications, and then, as I'd not expected it, they made an 'Offer', if taken, added monthly dollars I hadn't expected, soI made the jump.

Nearly 62 years old, I had to take a hit on SS, but DW was still working, we made it happen. A bit tight the first year as I spent it sorting out all the bits and pieces of stock shares collected over the years of Bell System breakups and mergers, while all the while resisting taking a lump sum settlement of the 'offer' to force them to deliver on the promised annuity..

Fellow retirees gave in, took the cash, I think I was the only one, at least in my area, that forced that annuity setup. Down the line as we moved to other companies, the pension survives, but has been merged into one from separate amounts due to the annuity, toss in other investments, rolled into VZ, T, and APPL, dividends added up a bit, more than expected, allowing us to do quite a bit of travel... Until Covid.. But I've been out nearly 20 years, still relatively healthy...

We once had a SS seminar, advice was, from the local SS representative, was, if possible, take retirement as early as you can, 62, if possible as there is no guarantee you'll be there at 65, in my case it would be 65+8 months for full retirement.. Made sense, we wanted to travel, and I was pretty much done with the job. if I stuck around I'd be living out of a suitcase even more than before, didn't rally want to re-train new managers to my needs, my old timer, long time managers, supervisors had already been pushed out, it was time to go...

Fun while it lasted, great people, places, projects, but..

weco
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It was a combination of many things that pushed me into retirement.

1. Administrative hassles (former teacher here)and increasing mandates made my job a lot less....fun. Still loved my students and teaching, but all of the *other stuff* was wearing me out mentally.
2. We were starting to see people our age in the obituaries.
3. Financially we were ok to retire.
4. Grandkids started arriving and I wanted to spend time with them.
5. DH and I wanted to travel while we were still relatively young and healthy. Yeah, COVID kinda screwed that one up.

Isewquilts2
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MissEdithKeeler:

I have enjoyed the thread you triggered!!! Let me share our story...

Since college, I had worked in a field I liked very much, but suffered when some corporate BS triggered a big change in my job responsibilities, so I started looking. In about a year (surviving with the same money but doing less pleasant work), I jumped ship to be a manager for another, smaller company in my preferred line of work. I was there for another dozen years, enjoying what my team and I accomplished... and then one day in my late fifties I got hit with the scary words "You're being laid off today." It was part of much wider layoff.

WHAM!

I packed up, being careful to also unload my PC (to prevent my team from suffering when successors started prying into my comments, etc.) And off we went into the next chapter of our lives...

I did consulting work, and we made out okay. Kids were done with college, too. One day, my wife had to retire, for various reasons, asked me if I really WANTED to do that work any more! (We'd had no bites from agencies for a while, either. After all, I was 60+ by then.) Truth was, no, I didn't want to do it any more, so she smiled and said "Why not just admit that you're retired -- like me!?" So that was it.

We both started SS at age 62 -- for various reasons, mostly because other factors forced us to do so.

That was almost a couple of decades ago, and we're still doing okay. We love our retirement home on this ridge, on several acres. It's peaceful and quiet here, and one of our grown children and her family live nearby and help us when we need them. Other kids do, too. Bills are paid, almost no mortgage is left, and we're very content.

It can be done! Be honest with yourself and ask "What do I REALLY want to do with the rest of my life?" We did, and have no regrets!

Good luck, whatever you decide!

Vermonter
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I decided in 1999 due to the following (at least in my mind):

*DH was diagnosed with cancer, not terminal.
*I worked in the medical field, becoming increasingly frustrated with the bureaucracy
*elderly and in poor health mother died 3 years before
*elderly dad needed me - I'm the only daughter, the eldest, and living closest to him in Florida
*DH needed me,Dad needed me, and I was disgusted with the chaos of my career
*Daughter presented us with grand children and I was also able to provide her some respite so she could continue working on her career

Called it quits and was never sorry....

Every once in awhile I wonder how I did it all.....however, you do what you have to....life has its ups and downs...
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Same, same here too.

I've pretty much decided this will be my last year of work, but I'm thinking maybe July 1 so that I would have most of Summer and Autumn to enjoy (subject to pandemic requirements, of course) before the Winter sets in.

I tried to resign almost exactly two years ago, but my firm persuaded me to stay and keep reminding me that working keeps your mind in shape. :)

Wessex
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Hated my new boss enough to get fired. Talked with my corporate godfather to make sure I would get a decent parachute, was assured, became mildly insubordinate until I got the pink slip.

As it turns out Mrs. Goofy got a dream job at about the same time (required relocation) so I became what realtors call “the trailing spouse.” She went ahead, I sold the house, tended the pets until moving day some weeks later, she found a house in the new city (Knoxville), we bought, I moved and set up the new house while she put her nose to the grindstone.

I got a job down here which lasted 18 months, it was a mistake, I resigned. Haven’t regretted it for a single second. Bought an RV, she also quit (after 6 years) and we toured American coast to coast and top to bottom, something that would not be possible for us today (thanks to my slow motion health collapse.)

We’ve never had champagne tastes, but retirement tastes like champagne every day,
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I passed, by a couple years, all the required milestones for retirement.

I was still 'on top' in my job: I enjoyed what I was doing, my co-workers seemed to like me, etc.
(they say to quit while you're 'on top') I had a couple co-workers and friends/acquaintances who worked til they HATED it... or were forced out. And are now bitter.
I did not want that for me, and I remember my job fondly.

I was still at a 'retire EARLY' age, and that was a goal I'd set for myself.

I was still in 'good' health and able to still actively 'do' some travel or really, whatever I decide I want to do. I don't want to 'retire' and 'go to the home'.

so... I retired.

I went out on my terms. Not dictated by circumstance or TPTB.

8^Q
ralph
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This topic came up not too long ago on the Retirement Investment board.

https://boards.fool.com/retirement-trigger-34747797.aspx?sor...
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For us the real question was how much money would we need?

And on some levels that is the question for most people. Right now you are spending X. Some of that hopefully is going into retirement saving. Some is for stuff that is work related. Some things like maybe health insurance can cost more in retirement. Obviously knowing what you spend money on is really helpful in determining what your retirement costs will be.

For most people, it is possible to downsize and/or move the a lower cost location - that will affect the retirement financial issues. We thought we would seriously miss stuff in the downtown parts of Atlanta when we moved 45 miles outside in December 2017. The only thing we really miss is restaurants. And when that itch gets bothersome, we can drive into town.

Once you have enough funds to live, then you are working only because you want to. So to address the specific question you raise, do you want to work for the next 10 years? If not how about the next 10 months? Or 10 days.
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Just got to a certain dollar amount and walked away?

Yes to this. I project this will happen next year.


Seconded.

I'd been planning to early retire as soon as I hit my target for YEARS. Nothing was going to stop me. For the last 2-3 years, I felt just like you do now, because something DID stop me. It took too long to reach my magic number, and I was just too dammed close to a significant "bump" in the form of a full pension and affordable post-retirement health insurance as a bridge to Medicare. I wrote about it a couple of times on this board.

So, I stuck it out 3 years and retired 11/2020, leaving a whopping bonus on the table that I would have received if I'd stuck it out to 4/1/2021, but - no. It was time, and it's been great so far... :)

Draggon
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I had to retire (unwillingly)from my ideal job to help DD with first baby arriving, 15 years ago.I was nearly 65. But I have always continued teaching ESL as a volunteer.

My husband just retired end of last year. He really loved his very stimulating job and others in his field have continued into their 80s, but his eyesight is failing. He felt that was holding him back while he worked virtually. So he retired at 78 and loves his retirement. (However, he helps former clients pro bono now.....!)

My pension is small, he has several, we had saved, invested etc, and selling our house brought us to a wonderful situation and happy new life which I have raved about before, on these boards.

The amusing thing for me is to see DH on a Sunday night completely relaxed, instead of busily preparing for Monday morning. And his long "to do" list is full of things he WANTS to do, not things he HAS to do!

MEK, if you feel you have the financial means ( do you still have another house in another state?) I would say retire and take time to relax, experience something new, enjoyable, stimulating that brings personal satisfaction. You have worked hard and helped your mother and brother all your adult life.... you deserve to enjoy life. If you still want to feel "useful" there are always hundreds of ways to volunteer.....
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It wasn't a conscious planning/decision - although we'd saved for many years.

I could see the writing on the wall. I'd been watching all the "right-sizing", "job actions", etc. for many years. I'd saved around 14% in my 401k annually, since MDH's company went thru rough times and stopped the matching funds. Our parents were aging/dying and leaving us money. Basically, we had enough to live well and pay for our sons' college educations.

The meetings to announce the next corporate "fad"/"line" became increasingly boring. I guess I'd seen through the system or it just didn't matter.

When the time came that my boss's manager called me to say I'd be part of the next "wave", I wasn't surprised. I was ready. I got 6+ months of separation pay, medical coverage for 6+ months and being able to officially retire at the beginning of the next year.

It worked out well!
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I actually liked most parts of the job, liked my coworker whom I worked with on an almost
daily basis ( in 8 years of working together, we never had cross words, or harsh attitudes
toward each other. Both of us chipped in whenever the other person needed extra help, etc ).

The bureaucracy of working for a mega corp was pretty frustrating. Seemed like new
policies were put in place to hamper getting the job done, not aid in getting it done.

After 30 years, it was time to go, zero regrets about leaving.
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Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories. Like I said, I recalled parts of some, so thanks for reminding me!

It's funny: we got our bonuses yesterday, and mine was surprisingly generous. I found myself thinking, "Meh, my job's not so bad! I'd be crazy to give this up right now!"

I told my boyfriend later it's like the old joke: "We have established, madam, what you are (a wh0*e) , and now we're just discussing the price." Sad, but true.

I still think 2 years, maybe less. We shall see. I've got gobs of things I want to do...but I also want to be sure I have the money to do them.
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Input your data into FIRECALC. It most or all of the lines never dip to zero, then you probably have enough money.

https://www.firecalc.com/
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Oh, I play with FireCalc all the time.

I worry that I'm being overly optimistic about how little I'll spend in retirement.

I am reassured though, with the changes to the ACA. I hope they stay.

I'll get there. I'm 1) chicken and 2) not quite sure what I want to do with my next act.
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One scenario that reassured me the most was assuming NO social security. Zip. Not a penny. I then looked at the most expensive year of the last five years (I generated Quicken reports for annual spending), and assumed that was "typical" (which included a house payment that will be going away in a few years).

All my lines stayed above zero. A few of them dipped close to zero, but all of them remained positive. I think that was reasonably pessimistic without being unreasonable. So I conclude we can retire any time we wish.

Especially since SS isn't going to disappear, as much as Reps would like to kill it**.

1poorguy


**Which is odd since their more reliable demographic is seniors.
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By the way, I don't know what I want to do. I may be like Peter from Office Space and do "absolutely nothing". :-)

When I was on medical leave after my brain tumor removal, and then disability after my back surgery, most days I didn't get bored. Sometimes I watched TV. I did some TMF. As I was able I started puttering a bit. Except for doctors, I didn't have any place I needed to be. There was very little stress, other than that caused by my recovery(ies). Very seldom was I on a deadline to do something**.

I'm WFH, and when it's slow I've been clearing out 1poormom's stuff from the garage to make room for my impending ID4. Donated a lot of books to the chemo center where 1poorlady had her chemo. I'm going to take the more "heavy" books (e.g. Sartre, Nietzsche, Miller(?), and some others) to a used book store and get a few bucks for them. Sold her recliner to a nice older couple. Etc. I should have it cleared by the time the ID4 is available. Sort of a deadline, but not really. I'm going at a leisurely pace.

1poorguy



**The only thing I can think of was I had to turn the irrigation off because of a leak, and I needed to fix the leak ASAP to turn the water back on. Our garden and landscaping was without water for maybe three days. That's as close to a deadline as I came during that time.
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One scenario that reassured me the most was assuming NO social security. Zip. Not a penny. I then looked at the most expensive year of the last five years (I generated Quicken reports for annual spending), and assumed that was "typical" (which included a house payment that will be going away in a few years).

For me, I would need to pull out a bunch of old bills and add them up. I do not track one penny of my spending. I have never been into tracking spending and making budgets. Also during the last 5 or so years, I have spend a large sum of money on something. In there, there were two bathroom remodels, one year of law school for my daughter, a new SUV for myself. This year, it may be a nice size plot of hunting land.

PSU
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1. Administrative hassles (former teacher here)and increasing mandates made my job a lot less....fun. Still loved my students and teaching, but all of the *other stuff* was wearing me out mentally.

I teach college, but I know the feeling EXACTLY. The administrative stuff is soul-killing. The classroom experience is great, but there is a lot of added work put onto us by the administration. The administration manages to get in the way of education. Their number grows, and the overall student population grows -- but the faculty mostly stays the same. The new ways of higher ed (with its strange fascination with turning the university into a large business or corporation) has some of the Deans referring to the students as "customers"; one dean even gives an annual award for excellence in "customer service." But diploma mills have customers. We don't.

2. We were starting to see people our age in the obituaries.

Well, yes, I've noticed that. But I like to attribute my healthy lifespan to careful diet, regular exercise -- and good genes.

3. Financially we were ok to retire.

Yes. Check.

4. Grandkids started arriving and I wanted to spend time with them.

Well, grandkids would indeed be a blessing --but that is just not in the cards for us :(

5. DH and I wanted to travel while we were still relatively young and healthy. Yeah, COVID kinda screwed that one up.

I wanted to travel, but DW generally doesn't want to. The only trips she can imagine taking are trips to revisit places where we have lived (in other states and countries). My desire to travel is the opposite: I would seek out new places. So, travel, like grandkids, is not in the cards either...

But one thing that COVID did for us was to remove the classroom situation and have the faculty teaching remotely. For me, that helped to make things worse and to push us closer to retirement. (DW is already retired.)

culcha
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But curious about how you decided it was finally time. Layoff with a sweet package? Just got to a certain dollar amount and walked away? Realized you hated going to work and figured out how to do it? I know parts of some of your stories, but do tell.




A few years ago, I worked at a job that had some good aspects (worked from home, liked my boss and co-workers) but also required me to be on call 24/7 (which was stressful).
I tried unsuccessfully to find another remote job without the on call requirement.
So since I could replace my salary with combo of passive income & safe withdrawal, then I decided it was time to think about retirement.


I checked with my boss to see if I could get a layoff with a package (realizing saying this would be the point of no return). No Dice. So set the retirement date.
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Well I found out there’s a pretty good chance I’ll get laid off in September and I just don’t care. Money? Got enough. I’m only 56 gotta look at ACA but other than that I will be fine.

Who knows this might be the deciding factor I don’t know if I want to scrounge up another job...

Long story short I work in IT and the cloud is taking over and I haven’t been invited to the cloud group so...shrug. My cat will be happy.
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Long story short I work in IT and the cloud is taking over and I haven’t been invited to the cloud group so...shrug.

You can always do some part-time consulting. There's loads of legacy stuff out there.

Pays well. You just have to make sure it really is part-time.

I struggle with this - keeping it part-time.
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Shame on Miss Edith for reading my mind. Same same.

Yes. Me too.
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Pays well. You just have to make sure it really is part-time.
I struggle with this - keeping it part-time.


Mission creep. You really have to be careful of this. Mrs. Goofy went back to work with a previous employer. They begged. They made it very worth her while. They agreed to 15-20 hours a week. (It wasn’t IT, but same difference.)

Within a month she was back to 40hrs, and within two months she was at 60. Seems like “there’s somebody to fix the problems, finally” turned out to be “Oh, while you’re in there, would you work out the issue between the producers and the warehouse?” And “Oh, nobody can seem to get the lighting on the set right, would you...” and ... several etcs.

She did several months of that because she didn’t want to let them down, but SHE WAS NOT HAPPY.
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Mission creep

Same here. OK to pitch in extra hours for a few weeks when things are particularly busy, but after months of that (60-hour weeks), I gave notice. On my last day, boss asked, "Would you like to continue on a part-time basis?"
Me: "I'm already part-time, officially; so, no."
At the time I thought I was just taking a much-needed break, but after about a year I realized I wasn't going back, so relabeled my status from "on a break" to "retired."

I had worked hard to develop a skill set, and regret not being able to use it for as long as I'd anticipated. But the satisfaction of doing good work was outweighed by the stress of long hours and unreasonable deadlines.
DD is also in a high stress job with unreasonable clients, but she's a lot better about saying no and managing her workload on an ongoing basis, so I think she'll stay comfortably in the saddle for as long as she likes. I'm happy for her, and relieved on her behalf.
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