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Old 02-05-2018, 10:11 AM   #1
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Retire at 55 and live to 80

Retire at 55 and live to 80

Work till you’re 65 and die at 67. Startling new data shows how work pounds older bodies.

September 10, 2013


Here’s a very sobering piece from financial planner Alec Riddle, who looks at the relationship between how long you work and how long you’re likely to enjoy your retirement. Citing some interesting research, Alec argues that those who continue to work right up to the maximum retirement age tend to have shorter retirements than their peers who retire younger. This article will certainly make you think about your own retirement plans and strategy, especially if you’re like me and hoping to work until you’re 95. – FD
By Alec Riddle*

Imagine working as long as you possibly can, or until your maximum retirement age, to ensure you have sufficient funds for your Retirement, only to die within two years of retiring?

An actuarial study conducted on some of the larger US Pension Funds including Boeing Aerospace, indicates that employees who retired at the age of 65, died within two years of retirement.

Dr Ephrem (Siao Chung) Cheng provided the results from an Actuarial Study on the correlation between Retirement Age and Longevity.

“Ten working years could cost you twenty years of your Retirement!”
The studies were based on the number of Pension Fund cheques sent to Boeing retirees. The Boeing experience was that employees retiring at age 65 received pension cheques for 18 months, on average, prior to death. A similar experience was discovered at Lockheed Martin, where on average, employees received pension cheques for just 17 months.

Apparently the experiences at Ford Motor Company and Bell Labs were similar to those of Boeing and Lockheed. Statistics at a pre-retirement seminar illustrated that the average age of retirement at most large corporations in the US was 57. So people retiring at age 65 are a minority, but it is still a startling statistic.

The thought is that the hard working late retirees (65) are more than likely putting too much stress on their ageing bodies and minds and due to the stress, they develop a variety of health problems. The associated stress induced health problems lead to them dying within two years of retirement.

Another startling statistic from the same Corporations is that those who retire earlier, say age 55, tend to enjoy their retirement on average for more than 25 years. The chances are that those able to retire earlier have less stress, have planned and managed their lives better, with respect to finances, health and career and are able to retire comfortably.

One important observation is that these younger retirees (55) aren’t necessarily idle in retirement, but they are far less stressed than their working counterparts from age 55 to 65. This means they may be busying themselves with part time work, hobbies and things they enjoy doing, so much so that ‘work’ becomes fun and is done at a more leisurely pace.


People should plan their careers and their finances, enabling them to retire, or at the very least be financially independent, as early as possible. This will ensure they are able to enjoy a longer, happier and more leisurely retirement to age 80 and beyond.

Don’t switch off and be idle when you retire. You can still do things that are of interest to you, or you can get involved in things that are of value to your community, all at a pace you feel comfortable with.
The flipside of the coin is that you may have to keep on working very hard and under stress, till age 65, before you retire. In that case and if the actuarial studies of some of the world’s largest Corporations hold true, then the chances are that you would probably die within a few years of retirement.
In a nutshell, by putting in 10 more ‘hard’ years, after the age of 55, you could potentially forfeit 20 years of your Retirement. Or saying it differently, for every year you work beyond the age of 55, on average one forfeits two years of life span.

* Alec Riddle was recognised by the industry as an authority on Financial Planning, when he was crowned the FPI/Personal Finance Financial Planner of the year for 2009/10, after being named a finalist in 2008. Has a BA degree, majoring in Mathematics, from the University of Port Elizabeth, successfully completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning in 2005 through the University of Free State and became a Certified Financial Planner. In addition to being awarded SA colours in 3 sporting disciplines, he also coached numerous national champions and Olympians and qualified for the World Iron Man Champs in 2011/12 and was World Champion in his age category in 2011.

Read more of Alec’s writing by clicking here. (https://plantoretire.wordpress.com/)

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Old 02-05-2018, 10:16 AM   #2
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I retired at 51 and started getting my retirement checks immediately. I'm 71 now.

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Old 02-05-2018, 11:00 AM   #3
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I was able to retire at 55. I'm currently 62, enjoying retirement, and find plenty to keep me busy most days. Not often, but I certainly enjoy a day here and there doing nothing, if I so choose.

I know there are those that love their job, and wish to gladly continue to work.
I liked my job...but did notice that leaving the stress and daily hassle of the work environment certainly improved my overall health, and pretty quickly.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:08 AM   #4
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I worked 12 Hr rotating shifts for 22 yrs.....plus 8 hr rotating shift for 6 yrs prior

I had seen way too many co-workers retire in their mid 60's and then die within 5 yrs
Due to changes in industry, change of owners and having had enough of rotating shifts I retired at 50 yrs old.
That was 15 yrs ago.

I loved what I did, I was really good at it.....I may not be a as good at this retirement gig but I would NOT change a thing

If I had only realized that retirement was this great I would have worked harder at retiring earlier.
Is it time for YOUR medication or MINE
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:15 AM   #5
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so if you retire at 40 do you live to 100 ?
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:20 AM   #6
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I retired at 60 and find I need to keep a calendar as I’m busier now than before and having much more fun.

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Old 02-05-2018, 11:25 AM   #7
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When I worked at Boeing in the mid 80's, it was said then that the average retiree at 65 lasted about 2 years.

I quit at age 46 and started a small one person business that was totally flexible as to hours and days (maybe 10-12 hrs/week and maybe 2 days).

Coming up on 66 now and our 5th winter in AZ.
Mike & JoAnne
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:46 AM   #8
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I'm not a smart man..... hmmmm I have another 3 yrs to work to pay off my pickup, maybe less, that will put me at 62. "Stress",,, I drive a truck and 'not so good' drivers become more everyday... 60+ hrs a week is wearing on me... I go the garage and look at the rv,,, I do like reading your success stories. It gives me hope !
Monkey, pilot of a Great Dane hauler,
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:06 PM   #9
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Retired at 57 and so far I've made it to 82 and still in reasonably good health.

Long lives to all and safe travels...
Jim & SherrySeward

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Old 02-05-2018, 12:08 PM   #10
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I retired at 50 (30 years) from a very good paying federal job. Wife was a real estate broker so we purchased a Century 21 franchise and she ran that office. I have a Montana full corporation so I started a logging business and a gold mining venture that were both successful. But I had good people running both so I could be kinda causal in my management approach. 5 years later we sold the real estate business and doubled our money, sold the S&B made a killing, and sold the other business too. Bought a smaller S&B and the coach for cash and invested the rest. So I figure it was 5 years with little stress. Oh, wife passed away from COPD and I'll turn 80 this year. I believe the stats reported above 100%. Love driving my rig
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:12 PM   #11
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I'll be 64 in March...still working a fairly stressful management position. Really want to retire NOW, but the income for the next year or two would be really helpful...everyone is telling me to retire now...having trouble pulling the trigger Statistically I'm dead meat!!!
Mike, Betty & Sophie (Guard Cat)
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:17 PM   #12
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I am 61 and would like to retire in March at 62. What do y'all do for medical insurance until you reach 65? That is the only thing stopping me.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:18 PM   #13
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I was forced to retire at age 57 due to company being bought out. Stayed off for 2 years and got bored. Went back to work for 6 years, and got laid off, and retired again at age 65. Worked at Wallyworld in the summer for 5 years. Am now 81 and thinking about going back to work. My idea for someone 62 and thinking about retiring. Buy an old motorhome. You won't have time to stop working. I'm on my 4th one now, wintering in South Texas, looking for a problem with my 12 volt system. Thinking about heading to Southern California when I leave here. Can't wait the next problem to show up. Eddie Elk.
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:20 PM   #14
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Retire at 55 and live to 80

One of the factors I read and I can’t remember where was that many of those who worked longer didn’t develop or already have outside activities or hobbies. Work was their life and focus . The implication was they lost purpose when they retired and were to old or to tired to get involved in replacement activities.

The union job I had also had many retire at 65-66 only to pass within a couple years .. those that bailed early seemed to be much more active and positive whenever I met them for lunches etc. and were easily in their 70’s looking better than their 66’ year old new retired ex coworkers. No real hard study numbers but it sure made me ready to get out ASAP .

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