View Full Version : Retirement

05-18-2005, 03:31 PM
I'm making plans to retire next year on my 40th birthday. I've obviously been making plans since I was much younger.

I have more hobbies than I may even have time for after being retired.

Some people think I'm crazy, others are jealous.

Here's my question for the retirees....Would you have retired even earlier if you could have?

Thanks for your feedback.


05-18-2005, 03:44 PM
I haven't retired.

One eye opener was when I heard that the average life expectancy for a guy is 83 years. So the question comes up, do you have enough to live on for another 43 years, more or less?

I don't plan on retiring. I'm saving money but I like the type of work I do too much to give it up. They're probably going to have to pry my corpse out of my desk chair some day. Hopefully later rather than sooner. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

05-18-2005, 03:59 PM
I am 57 now and retired at 54. I am very much enjoying myself but I am not sure I would have retired earlier even if I could have.

Unless I was extremely wealthy (i.e. homes evreywhere and a jet to get me there) I think it would have seemed strange for me to be retired in my 40's.

05-18-2005, 04:12 PM
A friend observed that retiring may encourage one to take on 10X as many new projects, but only roughly doubles your spare time. Plan wisely :-)

Michael Moore
05-18-2005, 04:17 PM
Stacey, I'll be 52 in September and will have 29 years in my career in August, and if they offer an early out this summer (the suspense is killing me!) I'm taking it.

Sure, staying to 55 (or later) would make the retirement amount significantly better.

In my case, "better" is the enemy of "good enough".

But staying until 55 would mean another 7000 hours of commuting and being at work (not to mention continuing to get up at 4:15AM to start at 6AM).

Some people will say "but what would I DO?" Since I've easily got years worth of projects in the queue, and I can think up several new ones on a daily basis, I don't see that as a big concern.

If you are able to retire (with a reasonable level of financial stability) no one is saying you can't find a second or third career if you desire one. Maybe retirement will free you up to work at something that has interested you but that didn't quite pay well enough for you to make a career switch.

I don't hate my job, but it sure has gotten very tedious the past few years. Retirement to me means doing the things I want to do, instead of getting home and thinking "I'm tired, maybe I can get into the shop tomorrow, or the next night, or the weekend, or . . ."

So if you can do it (and congratulations on having the discipline to work yourself into a position where you can consider it at your age) and you WANT to do it, do it.

If you are unsure if you could take the stress of not working maybe you could arrange to go part time and see if you can get used to not going to work an extra day or 2 a week.

Part of my early retirement planning has been to get the house paid off (two years ago), and I've been doing my serious machinery upgrading this past year so I don't have to try and figure out how to make major capital purchases on a reduced income.


05-18-2005, 04:25 PM
I worked at several universities and state/provincial facilities over the years. One day they said early buy out, and I went over to personnel, when down the list of where I had worked with them. I had to buy my miliatry service time in with interest, then I had 25 years of "state service" the university bought in another 5 years, so I could retire within a few months with 30 years. Did that 10 years ago. I can afford to stay in my suburban home, buy a new car every 3 years and do things I want to make money or to just have fun.


Yes I would do it all over again.

05-18-2005, 04:41 PM
good afternoon.

54 now. retired at 38.

had a couple of kids then. had plans to travel some after they were raised.

youngest some born when i was 40. [guess i should have been traveling, huh?]

i wouldn't change any of it for the world.

divorced now and next to youngest son has lived with me the past 10 years. youngest spends school vacations here.

the extra time with my kids has been worth whatever i gave up.


05-18-2005, 05:30 PM
Go for it now.

I retired at 60, didn't do it soon enough.
Should have done it 15 years sooner. Thought
that I needed more money. What a stupid idea
now,in 20 or 30 years the kids will get it all.

Still don't know how I had the time for a job. With traveling, taking care of our
properties, and trying to get in a little
shop time there just isn't enough time in
the day.



05-18-2005, 05:53 PM
i went fulltime for my self 3 years ago. it feels like retirement though. i dont have to punch a clock or kiss someones butt to get a day off. right now i am working on my appartments.
God put me here to complete a certain amout of things. i am so far behind i can never die.

05-18-2005, 06:19 PM
Stacey,I was made redundant from my job 13yrs ago,at age40.In reality,they did me a favour,if I had stayed on in my high-pressure job,I probably would have had a heart attack by now.
I did a few part time jobs,and a bit of voluntary work(tramcar restoration,(I think you call them trolleys in usa).
I am by no means wealthy,but my wife and I are happier than we've been all our life.We get to do things that simply weren't possible while I was working.Some people think we are selfish,but those same people want a new car every year.I drive a 10year old mitsubishi,and it serves my needs.
If you can live comfortably,take the retirement and don't look back.Life's too short!my2cents.best of luck,whatever decision you make.


John Lawson
05-18-2005, 06:44 PM
Iretired at 64, 11 years ago.
Prices have gone up, taxes have gone up, all kinds of emergencies have come up.
Now, at 75, I have gone back to work so that I can keep what I have intact. I did not figure that my prescriptions would cost 250 a month and that I would have to build a fence around my property, put on a new roof after only 11 years, cut trees in the yard and as health got worse, do more house work and yard work and live on after my spouse died, etc. etc. etc.
Live fast; die oung; make a good looking corpse.

Charlie Rose
05-18-2005, 07:07 PM
I did it at 55 never looked back. If you don't need new stuff every time you turn around $$$$$$. DO IT you wo'nt be sorry.If you want to do something you can and if not you don't have to it's all up to you.

05-18-2005, 07:10 PM
If the money is there, then do it and don't look back.

More money can be earned if needed, you only get to live each moment of your life but once. Live it the way you want to and not how someone else wants you to.

Be prepared to encounter considerable jealousy from others...remember it is their problem, not yours.

You may want to consider that fact that you will not be tied to a location to generate an income. Consider whether you might want to spend part of your life in a different place or climate. The world is an interesting place that most of us never see.

Be sure to spend as much of that time as possible with those you love...years from now you will understand why I mentioned this.

Good luck with your retirement!!!


A parting comment...

A point for those who will work forever...in a number of large companies the retirees who retire at the normal age only normally live an average of THREE YEARS after their retirement date. Consider this in terms of when you will retire and when they talk about extending the age where you will collect Social Security.

05-18-2005, 08:39 PM
Due to my misspent youth, I had to work til' 59.
I love it!It is a 7/24 job tho, so much to do.
As mentioned, if you can afford it, do it.
I've known a few people who said they would work to 65 or so, have lots of money, well they did not make.
Suppose their widows appreciated the effort tho.

05-18-2005, 08:50 PM
I retired at 54 and think it is the best thing you can do if you have the money. You have to stay busy and do something that you like.


05-18-2005, 09:05 PM
For the most part have been self employed my whole career.At 43 was financially able to retire.But wasn't prepared for it emotionally,simply had been working for so long it didn't seem right? to not be building for others.3 years later am still adjusting.I do agree with the posts about spending time with loved ones.When my boys were small we were working ourselves to a frazzle trying to get ahead.So wasn't spending time with them(out working),now I have way more time to help them and wifey out.Its very rewarding.Best of luck,BW.

Rich Carlstedt
05-18-2005, 09:49 PM
Retired at 60 due to health.
Mediacl was way more $ than planned for , but would do it again hands down..Not enought time in the day for shop projects, and my wife and I spend as much time together as possible. Its a wonderful life if you can swing it.

From what I have observed, those with hobbys that can be expanded and "as demanding as needed" do the best.
Guys with an "interest" but no strong desire seem to meander and loose interest in life itself.
I still attend night school periodically..lots of fun!

Duct Taper
05-18-2005, 10:11 PM
Retire as soon as you can and do all the things you really want to do. And remember that it is your time, you earned it, nobody has a claim on it, so don't be afraid to say no when they say "now that you are retired you have time to do this...." That includes a "honey-do" list! Make sure it is a mutual benefit. From the beginning!

I retired at 62, then went back to work for a little over a year until I realized how few years are really left. And suddenly you find you can't physically do the things you did just 5 years ago. Things that never entered your mind like fingers that hurt at 66 so you can't spend all day in the shop. I am too young for that pain that was not there 5 years ago. It happens. Too much.

You can always go back to work and probably in some new field that grabbed your interest while in retirement. You won't be sorry.

Michael Moore
05-18-2005, 10:43 PM
One attitude on retirement can be easily summed up by "when you are on your deathbed, how likely is it that you'll remark "I wish I'd spent more time at work"?" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif


05-18-2005, 10:45 PM
I'm curious as to what the annual cost of living is for those of you who are retired? Are you still paying a mortgage?

In my part of the country -- the DC metro area -- the cost of living is exorbitant. A three bed Cape Cod is $500k. The other areas where my family lives -- NY, NJ, PA -- are also similarly expensive to live. I don't know many people who have decent standards of living around here that who make less than $100k/yr. Absolute min burn rate here is $3k/mo. Decent living $5k/mo. Comfortable living $8k/mo.

I'm not looking to retire just yet. But I am curious as to how people managed to do it at a young age without going broke within a few years? How much do you have put away? Do you own your house? Where do you live? What kind of pensions are you getting from your past employment?

Michael Moore
05-18-2005, 11:17 PM
Having the house paid off makes a big difference in the monthly disposable income and how much you'll need to not just get by, but to have a reasonable (not necessarily lavish) lifestyle.

Having a DINC household and steady jobs with a pretty reliable pension/benefit plan helps too.

Frankly, here in the SF Bay Area I look at some of the clerks and other people in low-grade level jobs at work making half of what I do and I can't figure out how they'll ever be able to afford to retire, even if they aren't paying a monthly note/rental fee.

Our fixed costs (1100 sq/ft house paid off) are about $2K/month. Taxes and insurance are about $4500 a year of that, which would work out to about $400 worth of monthly rent. I don't think you could do anything here other than a pretty crowded roommate deal for $400/month, and that would be per person, not for a couple.

I'll have to plan on getting rid of the stuff in my remote storage ($480/month for about 680 sq.ft - even storage is expensive in San Francisco) as $6K a year to store what is realistically about $8K worth of stuff isn't going to be justifiable when my income drops 35-40%. But I've got a lot of stuff that just sits year after year in dead storage, so I can't honestly say it makes a lot of sense to keep all of it (that doesn't mean I'm looking forward to not having all my stuff!).

Having zero debt seems to me to be a huge factor for many of us in making the retirement decision. The times years ago when I had $4-5K sitting on the credit cards (going racing can do that) I noticed that sending every spare dime out to pay off the debt for 8 or 9 months really puts a crimp in things, and now I'm very much in a cash/pay the cards off every month mode.

You've got to have some fun along the way, as you never know just how short your lifespan is going to be, but you've definitely got to strike a balance between grinding away 24/7 and blowing all your cash as soon as it hits your pocket.


05-18-2005, 11:34 PM

Seems pretty clear to me. If you planned for it for years, meaning retirement, and have a butt-load of hobbies, then of course. I retired at 54 and don't miss my profession in the slightest. It was great getting away from all the brown nosers, those un-qualified and over paid employees, all the politics, stress and the daily constant baby-sitting. I planned as well and have quite a few hobbies ...... but lost my ass in the stock market a little over 3 years ago. So I do wish I has a few more greenbacks but I don't. Even so, I DON'T miss work in the slighest and never "plan" on going back.


[This message has been edited by Smokedaddy (edited 05-19-2005).]

05-19-2005, 12:31 AM
I worked at installing, repairing and rebuilding NC machine tools from almost the beginning of commercially available NC equipment, first for three different machinery manufacturers and for the last 15 years before I turned 65 in a company I partially owned. It was totally satisfying and rewarding. I couldn't quit cold turkey at 65, I had to taper off for two or three years. I had customers I enjoyed and who were truly friends. I still meet some for lunch occassionally. I quit working for one main reason - I could no longer stand the unbearable Houston traffic.


05-19-2005, 03:47 AM
I say if you can afford it, and you really want to, go for it. In my case, I can't ever see me totally retiring. I didn't get into machining till I was in my 40's. I fixed cars for 24 yrs, and I'd have retired from that in a nanosecond without a second thought. I did actually in the end, got tired enough of it that I just went and did it. But, I finally found a job that's mentally stimulating enough to hold my interest, which fixing cars never was.

I guess when I'm 62 I'll want to be in a position to slow down a bit, but I don't think standing around in my home shop by myself will be enough for me either.

I've seen people who were absolutely lost in retirement, because they never developed any outside interests, but the retirees I know who are enjoying it all say they are so busy now they don't remember how they ever had time to work a regular job. The one thing I've learned from all of them is that if there is something you really want to do, say a lifetime dream, don't wait till tomorrow, do it now, borrow the money if you don't have it, but just do it, because someday, the situation won't allow it, and there ain't no second go round in this life. Freud was right about one thing, money really is feces.
I know one thing about myself. My idea of retirement isn't laying around on some boring beach getting bombed on pena coladas day after day lol. That'd last about one afternoon and I'd be dreaming about building something at home.

[This message has been edited by pete913 (edited 05-19-2005).]

Your Old Dog
05-19-2005, 06:09 AM
I'm 59 would like to retire now but wouldn't have earlier. I used to enjoy my job but admit I'm skating uphill with the technology. It's getting harder and harder to go to work now and the weekends are getting shorter. Have a few more financial details to take care over the next few years and then hang up my cameras!.

It's all about "the journey". I kept telling this guy at work I envied him retireing. I see him a coupld weeks later and he said he felt compelled to remind me that "retirment is a point in time, not a destination". When you get there, you still need to keep your time occupied! That reminder has made it easier for me to keep working! Got to have fun with life. If you enjoy what you're doing at work it might be a bad move to quit. I'm not talking about the money but what you do with your day.

FWIW, ask any 20 year old if he'd like to retire and most will say "hell, are you s---ing me? Of course!" But that might not be the reality! Just the "Man T" talking!

05-19-2005, 06:43 AM
I went to work when I was 12 and retired when I was 46 but had to go back to work to help fund the kid's college (you'll need more money than you think) but when I was retired here was my schedule
0530: reveille
O6OO: breakfast
0700: check stock market/call broker
0800: yard work
0900: shop/projectime
1300: run errands
1500: shower
1600: go to VFW
1615: meet fellow retirees at VFW and complain about today's Youth, stock market,yard work, today's youth and having to run errands,problems in the shop,today's youth and wive's who complain about beer drinking shiftless unemployed husbands.

05-19-2005, 07:29 AM
Someone asked about how much $$$ you need to retire. I have always heard that if you want to keep withdrawing for a long period of time and also make up for inflation you can't take more than 4% out of your nestegg each year.

That means if you need $60K a year you need one and a half million. Lots of other things come into it though. If you are lucky or especially good at investing you can beat that withdrawal rate, you will eventually get SOME social Security, having no debt helps a lot, also if all else fails there is rich relatives and the lottery.

05-19-2005, 08:08 AM
Medical insurance is a killer for most early retirees. If you start needing prescriptions or get some age related disease--heart problems, diabetes or the like, you might not be able to buy insurance at any cost. I am 53 and healthy and my insurance is $550/mo. with a huge deductible. I would retire in a minute, if I could afford it. My house house payments will last til I'm 78. Got to go to work now. thanks--Mike.

05-19-2005, 08:44 AM
No plans on retiring myself, but my dad retired about 15 years ago...he got way too bored so I now have him working for me part time..He was driving my mom crazy being home every day..

I think by having him working for me is going to extend his life..being bored can lead to depression and other negative stuff..

**and also, he is absolutely just loving doing machining and such..He is sure helping me out a lot..love you dad


[This message has been edited by bspooh (edited 05-19-2005).]

05-19-2005, 09:03 AM
Freedom 75!

Ugly divorce several years ago, two kids in college, both live with me. Damn good thing I love my job.

I'm 51 now. I can retire with an unreduced pension at 55. One of the benefits of being a sniveling servant (civil servant?) is the good pension plan.

If I continue to enjoy my job as much as I do now, I'll keep on working. The journey is still interesting and fun. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.


ps. re: the post about shop class -I have an Australian Red Heeler (cattle dog). A lot like a Lab in disposition. Smartest dog yet. Daughter named him Romeo 'cause he'll hump anything regardless of species or gender.

05-19-2005, 10:06 AM
I really appreciate the various responses.

Based upon what I'm hearing, I'll continue my retirement plans for next year.

Thanks to ALL!!


05-19-2005, 11:17 AM
Here's a good resource (even though the website is not too pretty, it's got lots of good info buried in it)

Has good info on how much money you need to retire.

Also, has some interesting info on personality types and retirement. If you're an extrovert, make sure you'd still have access to lots of people if you leave work (don't take this for granted). It's somewhat easier for introverts to retire early.

I retired early at 40, got a little bored, went back to work because of a great opportunity. That paid off, and I've recently re-retired. Not bored yet this time...

[This message has been edited by bbfmetalworking (edited 05-19-2005).]

John Lawson
05-19-2005, 12:28 PM
To answer the question way above on the cost of living: It costs me 2,000 dollars a month to pay off taxes, utilities, insurance, medicines, groceries, clothes, gas and service on the car,household things like towels, soap, yard chemicals, roof treatment chemicals, paint, Lifeline, TV cable, Computer cable and AOL, magazines and books, a once in a while meal in a restaurant, a movie, fees at the Senior Center.
My 2004 Kia (4 cylinder) is all paid off, the house was paid off. I got by by obtaining a reverse mortgage and going into semi-retirement.)
It costs a whole lot more than you plan on to retire. Meanwhile, the American dollar is in a steady decline, as evidenced by the price of obsolete silver coins and grocery store prices (that go up every week.)
Just one emergency where you call Roto Rooter can cost a fortune. I paid over $650 to have roots chopped out that were stopping the drain. The rooter man told me he had just come from a job for a retiree that cost him fifteen thousand dollars, since the drain from his house to the sewer had collapsed and had to be replaced (it was very deep in the ground.)
In a recent storm, a tre went down, cutting power to our neighborhood for over two weeks. Lost everything in the freezer.
If a freezer, frige or dishwasher or washer and drier go out, it costs thousands to replace...check your local prices.
Floor coverings wear out and have to be replaced. Bathroom floors rot out around the tub (just replaced mine for three grand.)
Welcome to the wonderful world of retirement.
Some of the posts above are through rose colored glasses by people who could come out of a meteor collision without cost, or so it seems.
Think before you cut all ties to your working life. Try to keep a channel open, just in case.

Duct Taper
05-19-2005, 01:49 PM
Canonicalman said: "In my part of the country -- the DC metro area -- the cost of living is exorbitant. A three bed Cape Cod is $500k."

I have had some experience staying in your area for 3 or 4 months at a time and I don't know how anyone can survive there!

I am in a city of 14,000 in rural Minnesota and live quite well on $28,000 from my retirement funds and $35,000 from wife's salary. When she retires in 2 years it will go down to about $24,000. I will say that our medical insurance is dirt cheap and the house is paid for, but you can still live really cheap in a small town in middle America.

For instance, that 500K Cape Cod style house in DC would be about $100-150K here depending on the neighborhood. I have a brick 3br rambler with 28x56 concrete block shop on a 85x385 lot on the Minnesota River that is valued at about $150-170K. (We did buy it much cheaper and then remodeled). Pull your 500K out of that house and buy a house in podunk with a bundle of change leftover to buy a mill, lathe, etc. and pick up hamburger money at any small job or just do machine contract work.

You could retire very well if you were willing to seriously readjust your way of life. There is a lot to do in a small town, just very different things from what you are probably doing now. And, you don't have the traffic and you can actually talk to strangers!

Pork chops at the Legion Club for $8 and a buck twenty for tap beer. Music at the bandstand. Summer and winter festivals. Or drive 25 miles to the next college town for the symphony. Just don't tell them that in DC things were better, or that "this is the way they did it in DC" and you will be accepted. And you can talk about the weather and how the corn is doing without it sounding "corny."

I like it. I couldn't have hoped for anything better. Especially when I sit on the deck in the morning with my coffee and donut and watch the sun rise over the river and the woods beyond. And breathe clean air.

Just don't tell anyone else. We don't want all those city folk coming out here! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

05-19-2005, 04:10 PM
duct taper

I hear you. One day I'm going to leave the area, but for now, this is where the work is. And, that is why the cost of living is so high, because this is where the high paying jobs are. The $8 dinner can be found here in DC but so can the $8 top shelf drink after work!

05-19-2005, 06:19 PM
Do it if ya can! If I could, I'd do nothin' but ride my motorcycles every day for the rest of my life, somewhere different everyday. Never touch a freakin' machinetool again in life. Unless I was making parts for my motorbikes.

05-19-2005, 08:25 PM
Re, the high cost of housing.
Find a nice livable low cost area. This will reduce housing cost by 2/3rds or more.
Why stay in a metro area?
I left the fringes of the Bay Area,to the foothills of the Sierras (my roots are here).
Now buying a place in Idaho.
Bonners Ferry, pop.2000, but I'll be three miles out of town.