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Old 10-04-2020, 02:22 PM   #1
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When Is Best Time To Totally Retire?

When truly is the right time to retire? I'm not talking about the obvious, when you can afford it, or when you've had enough working, or health related, but when for sure? Assuming your life work isn't your soul being.

None of us know how long we'll live even as we look at our family history which can be a total mixed bag like in our case: many in their mid 50's to mid 60's (Cancer and heart issues), to some hitting 92, 98, 84. It's a doozie, and reading another obituary today of a 58 year old gone, it started my mind working overtime yet again.

Is it better to retire in your 50's/early 60's and spend as if you were to only live another 15 years mainly, and hope if you live longer you can manage to survive afterwards on just Old Age payments? Is it better to hope you live longer and carry on till almost 70, have more spendable savings to top up your Old Age monies?

Hypothetically, if you were to use Firecalc for your assumptions, what percentage hit would you be happy to pull the plug at? EG: Say it said 80% or 90% or less or more? For example we could probably survive comfortably on $3K a month, but to really be able to have the freedom and flexibility to do lots of "Pre-Covid" things we want to do in our golden years, $6K would be much better. Of course the latter means more savings, and then there's inflation to consider as well.

I get it I truly do, but I've been in this awful conundrum of when is it the "RIGHT TIME", to truly retire. I haven't a clue how long I'll live, or what state my health might be a year from now never mind 20? How on earth do you make the final decision, when you are just reliant on your savings (no other pensions), and eventually Old Age Security at 65/66?
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Old 10-04-2020, 07:20 PM   #2
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No-one can answer this for you. Only you. You know your life. Telling you when and what I did really would not really do anything but confuse. Consider what you like and can do now and ask yourself if this is what you will be happy doing. I have a friend who talks about this a lot. He still works. I retired in 2010 and am glad I did. You are the only one that knows you.
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Old 10-04-2020, 07:24 PM   #3
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Just as soon as you can afford to.
I didn't.
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Old 10-04-2020, 07:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dustyone View Post
No-one can answer this for you. Only you. You know your life. Telling you when and what I did really would not really do anything but confuse. Consider what you like and can do now and ask yourself if this is what you will be happy doing. I have a friend who talks about this a lot. He still works. I retired in 2010 and am glad I did. You are the only one that knows you.
This is so true. Nobody can tell you when to retire.

If you love your work, and can get the time you need for holidays, then keep at it.

If your work is giving you nighmares, and you can afford early retirment, give it a try. Lots of people retire only to find they are lost, and end up going back to another job. If your bank account can staand it, you could even spend your time volunteering somewhere you enjoy.

Happy Glamping.
Happy Glamping.Norman, 2008 Winnebago Adventurer 38J, W24, dozens of small thirsty ponies. Retired after 40 years wrenching on trucks! 2010 Ford Ranger toad with bicycles or KLR 650 in the back. Easy to spot an RVer, they always walk around with a screwdriver or wrench in one hand!
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Old 10-04-2020, 08:05 PM   #5
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when you stop enjoying what you do. i went at 55...wanted to go at 50 but couldn't get the ducks lined up.
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Old 10-04-2020, 09:34 PM   #6
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The "best time to totally retire" is when you want to, AND when you can afford to.

One or the other seems to be the hiccup for most folks.
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Old 10-04-2020, 09:48 PM   #7
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Insurance is stopping me. My wife could be on Medicare but too many variables with costs. If I work until I turn 65 in July I think I'll have earned too to collect SS without paying a penalty. My full retirement age is 66 and a couple of months. I'm thinking about retiring at the end of this year and using my SS check to pay the COBRA payment on our insurance. Our IRAs will take care of the other expenses.
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:09 PM   #8
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If your job defines who you are and it is your "life"......the answer is NEVER.

If you job is what you do to earn a living (and I might add you like what you do) but does not define you then as soon as you can afford it!
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:45 PM   #9
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I retired at 49 yrs 10 months old --- that was 17+ years ago
Debt free and had enough of 12 hr rotating shift work and the Idiot new owners of Power Plant
Quit on a Friday Morning....Monday afternoon I went from 'unemployed' status to RETIREMENT after meeting with by finance guru
Found out I could comfortably live on the monthly check for next 30+ years

Started drawing SS at 62 cause difference in monthly amount at 65 Full Benefits would take until age of 82 to make it up
Upon getting SS I stopped withdraws from retirement account

She retired 4 yrs after I did at age 50
She started drawing SS at 62 also

Debt free and live comfortably on our monthly income...Plus we pay ZERO in Fed/State Taxes

Medical....VA Med for me and CASH for her until she reaches 65
**fortunately she doesn't have major medical bills --- gamble YES but a lot cheaper then Obamacare unless something drastic happens which is how life goes regardless
This past 10 months have been a medical nightmare for me ....VA has been there === a little proactive involvement at times BUT fully covered everything even the air ambulance

If I had waited until 65 to retire I would have had VERY Little time for enjoyment

Best thing that I did w/o ANY for thought or planning was quit/retire that weekend back in 2003

Friend of mine was the energizer bunny......lean/mean and hard worker
Finally retired at age of 70
Died 2 years later......had pain in gut/Doctor diagnosed Liver Cancer---dead 2 months later

Retirement date..........that is something each individual has to decide for themselves
Go ---enjoy life. More to it then working!
Is it time for YOUR Medication or Mine?
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:46 PM   #10
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If you love your job and are making good money, go as long as you feel comfortable. But remember there are no guarantees in life.
I went out at 53 1/2 back in '99 and haven't regretted it one bit. My advise is to go as soon as you feel comfortable, go and have fun.
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:10 PM   #11
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Depends if you work to live or live to work.
For the DW and I, it was the former, so when the opportunity to retire at 55 presented itself, I did. DW continued to April of this year, mainly for insurance. But when her job became a soul destroying daily grind, we decided to use Cobra for insurance, then see what happens for that last year and a half until we hit 65.
Been around the block, former RVIA & ASE Master tech. Currently running a '17 F250 '18 Durango 318RLT
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:25 PM   #12
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I retired at 57, 3 years after being told both my hips were going to need to be replaced. Right one was replaced 2years ago. Left one next month. I would have had problems paying for insurance had it not been for disability eligible back pay and semi imediate medicare insurance. Also we were debt free and still are. I expect to live into my 80's. Quality of life is a personal choice.
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Old 10-05-2020, 12:11 AM   #13
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I've found the 80% - 90% of pre-retirement income to be an over-statement of my needs. I also read an article a number of years ago that agreed with this, stating that these were estimates put forth by those who would benefit by your investments (financial planners, investment managers and the like).

Clearly, if you're paying rent, your needs will be higher than if you own a home outright. Also, if you're currently living "below your means" you're in a better position for retirement.

Another variable will be how much you've been investing for retirement. If you've attained what one radio advisor termed "critical mass", it's an expense you will no longer be paying.

On the other hand, if you're under 65, the cost and availability of medical insurance will be your biggest hurdle to overcome.

I retired at 59 in 2005 and haven't regretted it for an instant. Despite the hits I took to my (largely "balanced") investments in 2008 and lately due to the pandemic, my net worth has increased significantly since I retired. However, as they say, "past performance is no guarantee of future results".

If your job allows you to scale back you have an advantage. In my case, although I retired in 2005, I contracted back on a part-time consulting basis for two years, which helped bridge the gap between my employer-sponsored health insurance and Medicare.

As others have mentioned, it has a lot to do with your feelings about your job. In my case, I can't comprehend how I ever had time to work and having to go somewhere to work fo 8 - 10 hours a day seems like a terrible imposition.

There's no substitute for analyzing your expenses for the last couple of years and "running the numbers".

Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:47 AM   #14
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We only have so many more get-ups left
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