Regrets postponing retirement too long?

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flyingaway
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Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

There have been several threads asking about retirement regrets, mostly about retiring too young, too soon, with too little money.

I would like to ask for experience related to regrets postponing retirement too long. As people usually say: you can correct it if retiring too early, you cannot correct it if retiring too late.

Retiring too late means working too long, for the money that you probably don't need. I am interested in the cases that you KNEW you had enough, but continued to work, and later found regrets.

I am in a situation that I know I have enough based on the historic data, e.g, the 4% rule. But I am hesitating to retire for the following reasons: I am only 56 (long period of retirement); my job is relatively easy (academic) and I don't love or hate it; my children's future is unpredictable (one is currently unemployed and moved back home). (My children's future is probably the main reason).

However, I have started to have knee pain for about a week, walking stairs becomes difficult, although it gets better now. I am starting to worry about my future plan for travel in retirement. I would regret for late retirement if I could not do a lot of travels in my retirement for health reasons.

I don't know if anyone can relate to my situation.
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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by MikeWillRetire »

Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
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GerryL
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by GerryL »

I probably could have retired earlier than planned. A couple of years before the planned day (a few months before my 67th birthday) I had my portfolio evaluated and learned that I was waaaay ready financially. But I was determined to hold on until a year after my 3rd sabbatical.

As it turned out, I did retire a year earlier than planned thanks to an offer. So I got the 2-month paid sabbatical and a nice severance package, which combined to pay me for almost the first full year of retirement.

If I had not been focused on getting that final sabbatical, I still would have been concerned about healthcare coverage. (The ACA marketplace opened up the same month I became eligible for Medicare.) So, it all worked out. No regrets. But then I am not inclined to waste time regretting things in the past that cannot be changed.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by JoeRetire »

flyingaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:11 pm I am in a situation that I know I have enough based on the historic data, e.g, the 4% rule. But I am hesitating to retire for the following reasons: I am only 56 (long period of retirement); my job is relatively easy (academic) and I don't love or hate it; my children's future is unpredictable (one is currently unemployed and moved back home). (My children's future is probably the main reason).

However, I have started to have knee pain for about a week, walking stairs becomes difficult, although it gets better now. I am starting to worry about my future plan for travel in retirement. I would regret for late retirement if I could not do a lot of travels in my retirement for health reasons.
Are you financially independent or not?

So why don't you retire now and choose to have no regrets? You aren't responsible for your adult children's future.
Either that or keep working with no regrets? You can always change your mind later.

I worked a few years longer after gaining financial independence. I worked because I wanted to. No regrets at all.

I don't really understand how polling others can help you? Choose to live your life without regrets!
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
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mrspock
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by mrspock »

Question: How many threads have you seen on here asking if folks retired too *early* and asking how to get back in the work force after regretting it?

I can remember maybe 1-2 threads in the last 4+ years. It’s pretty rare, which is a good data point.

Can you take an extended leave of absence (1yr?) perhaps to test drive retirement? If that’s an option it might be a good idea. Barring that, I’d begin setting things up for your retirement: buy a new car if needed, fix up the house, do Reno’s or prepare for selling, tweak your asset allocation to be more conservative etc. While you are doing that you can think through if you want to pull the trigger.
Last edited by mrspock on Sat Jan 09, 2021 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Watty
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Watty »

MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
+1

I had one year when I was in my 50s when I went to three funerals of people that were about my age. None of them were real close to me but that does get you thinking. That is part of the reason that I decided to retire in my late 50s as soon as I could.

Last year I went to my wife's 50th reunion and there was a wall full of people that had already died. There was also a long list of people they were not able to find that they were looking for contact information for. I would assume that some of them had also died.

If you are married then you also need to consider how long both you and your spouse will live and be in good health.
visualguy
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by visualguy »

I can relate to your worries. I'm close to your age, and also developed a knee problem recently, although mine seems more serious than yours. There are other non-fatal but annoying health issues as well. Impact on future travel during retirement is something that I'm concerned about as well.

In my parents' case, health deteriorated enough starting their late 60s to limit physical activity very significantly. Fortunately, they had traveled a lot at earlier ages. My dad was a professor and my mom didn't work, so they could travel extensively during the summers.

My wife and I have also done a lot of travel already while working. I think it's important not to wait until retirement if you can, and maybe that's possible for you as an academic.

I would like to have at least a decade of good health in retirement. I think that means retiring at 60 at the latest, but late 50s is a bit safer. Actually, maybe it's already too late for me considering the knee thing, but I think I can still bounce back from that - it has been improving.

One of my concerns is health insurance. Not the costs of the ACA which would obviously be much higher. The concern is the quality of the insurance. I have truly awesome insurance now at work which is PPO, has an excellent network, and approves everything without issues. Multiple specialist appointments without referrals, no pushback and battles on expensive tests or procedures, no pre-approvals required, etc. I doubt an ACA plan would be like that. Also, not sure how the ACA will evolve. This is not enough to prevent me from retiring by itself, but it's a factor in my thinking.

Another factor is that even though I think we have enough, I'm not really sure. After all, I could still live for 40+ years, and my wife for 45+ years. That's a lot of time for stuff to happen.

Yet another factor is that I'm not sure I'll be happy not working beyond the first few years of retirement.

Bottom line - it's a difficult decision. I was thinking about 60 as a compromise, but, yeah, as health issues pop up I keep revisiting that thought process.
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

Do you need to retire (as in never work another day for money for the rest of your life)?

One of the positive things about "having enough money" is the flexibility to use your time/energy the way you want.
Have you thought about doing a job you'd actually enjoy doing? Have you thought about trying some other sort of job in academia but were hesitant because you didn't feel comfortable with the risk of it not working out? It's ok if it doesn't work out. You don't need the job.

I guess you'd need to do some introspection about what is and is not a 'failure'. I'm really good at "failing". I do it all the time. It makes life interesting and worthwhile. I learn a lot and it keeps things fresh. I realize not everyone views "failure" that way.

Why not come up with a plan? With actual steps and action points. Give yourself some milestone dates. You have very little to lose.
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vitaflo
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by vitaflo »

flyingaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:11 pm However, I have started to have knee pain for about a week, walking stairs becomes difficult, although it gets better now. I am starting to worry about my future plan for travel in retirement. I would regret for late retirement if I could not do a lot of travels in my retirement for health reasons.

I don't know if anyone can relate to my situation.
One option is to just take more vacations now while you're still working. I assume you have time off during the year. Use that time to travel more than you otherwise would. Then you don't need to worry about retirement or retiring into a state where you couldn't do the things you want when traveling.

There's this odd phenomenon where people seem to wait until some event to do certain things. You see this every year with new years resolutions, but also with retirement plans. Certainly there are some things that you need to be retired to do (say a 3 month trip around the world). But in my experience, if you're not already doing the things you want to do, any "event" that is a catalyst to do them will be short lived anyway.

That said I will second others opinions on the dead not being able to respond to the question. I lost a coworker friend last year to cancer. We talked about retiring together not even 2 years ago before she was diagnosed. We're both in our mid-40's. In my opinion, people should be much more afraid of death and not being able to live out their dreams than in living too long.
Pandemic Bangs
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

I think this is mostly going to be health-related -- health of the retiree or a loved one. Hard to predict. A huge swath of the population will have this regret, even if they actually retired too early from a financial perspective.
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jello_nailer
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by jello_nailer »

MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
Cold.
But true statement. Some of them probably even planned that outcome.
ad2007
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by ad2007 »

"One thing" from City Slicker (80s movie) comes to mind.

If supporting your kids and their future is a priority to you, why not just stick to working and not worry so much about travel plans in the future.

We retired and haven't taken a trip since March and we're completely OK with it. Travel was just one of many things, but wasn't THE thing for us when we decided to retire. Looks like you have to decide on your ONE THING.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by MDfan »

Watty wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:48 pm
MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
+1

I had one year when I was in my 50s when I went to three funerals of people that were about my age. None of them were real close to me but that does get you thinking. That is part of the reason that I decided to retire in my late 50s as soon as I could.

Last year I went to my wife's 50th reunion and there was a wall full of people that had already died. There was also a long list of people they were not able to find that they were looking for contact information for. I would assume that some of them had also died.

If you are married then you also need to consider how long both you and your spouse will live and be in good health.
I ma 59 and we know approximately 5 people my age or younger who have died in the last couple of years. I'm a federal employee and will make more money if I wait until I'm 62 to retire. But I'm retiring this year at 60. Time is way more important than money to me. Although since I've been at home since last March, I almost feel retired now. Have 3 very nice trips already planned for this year (summer 2021 and beyond).
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by ad2007 »

jello_nailer wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:18 pm
MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
Cold.
But true statement. Some of them probably even planned that outcome.
Yep, knew a doc that was selling his practice to early retire. He ended up with a massive heart attack, died in his office.
jello_nailer
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by jello_nailer »

Hopefully he was not a Cardiologist.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Nicolas »

I have some regret now as, in hindsight, I now realize I could’ve retired earlier. But I did not retire then as my whole drive at the time was to pile up as much cushion as I could. And now that I have it I realize I don’t need it all. But at the time I didn’t know that. I also credit a long bull market which I could not have predicted.
visualguy
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by visualguy »

vitaflo wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:03 pm One option is to just take more vacations now while you're still working. I assume you have time off during the year. Use that time to travel more than you otherwise would. Then you don't need to worry about retirement or retiring into a state where you couldn't do the things you want when traveling.
Exactly. I think that's the best approach as I mentioned as well.

One of the paradoxical aspects of all of this is that once your health deteriorates somewhat and you have, say, a bad knee or back or whatever, it actually starts making sense to be working again (assuming non physical labor) rather than being retired since your ability to engage in travel, sports, etc. is much diminished.

I always believed in seize the day and try to do as much as you can when relatively young, healthy, and working.
BrightEyes
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by BrightEyes »

I’m awfully glad I retired from military service when I did, at 58. That was my first real opportunity to do so, and for a variety of reasons, including wanting to travel at will while my body was still holding up, I decided to go for it.

Even with a pension that should cover at least my basic necessities and health care covered, making that decision was pretty scary! I think that may be particularly so when the position or career you are choosing to leave is one that you really can’t return to. Staying in the military as your body ages is hard enough, but except those few individuals a service calls back to Active Duty for their specialized knowledge and experience, it’s pretty rare to be able to return to where you were once you opt out. I suspect a University professorship might be similar, as opposed to more-or-less interchangeable Mega-corps jobs? But even with those, I see lots of postings on here regarding age discrimination and the difficulties of getting hired in your 50’s or 60’s.

So—I have no regrets on timing my retirement. Sooner wasn’t really an option, but I wasn’t really ready much sooner, and the extra time working helped financially, of course. I did make as sure as I could that I WAS financially ready, and that was important. At this point, I am SURE that if I had NOT retired, I’d have regretted it severely this past year, if not sooner. Any extra money would NOT have made up for my loss of personal choice during this pandemic— for example.

If your children are adults, and not special-needs/unable to become independent, it is perhaps about time to let them determine their own futures. It’s nice to be able to help them, or provide respite (Hey, one of mine let me move in for a while after my retirement, and that was nice!), but I’m sure you don’t want that to slide into enabling them to not become fully functioning adults. As JoeRetire said, “You aren't responsible for your adult children's future.” Sort out your priorities, and it’s OK if doing things you want to do or not doing things you no longer want to do is now your top priority. As I used to tell the people I supervised during career counseling, “ If I care more about your career than you care about your career, one of us is mixed up.” Let your kids care most about their careers.


As some have suggested, if part time or sabbatical or taking some extra time off to “test the waters” is a possibility, that might be a good idea. Telling family about your plans so they have a little time to wrap their minds around what that changes for them isn’t a bad thing either. But once you are SURE you have “enough”, and you feel mostly ready… it’s probably about time!

Best Wishes!

Bright Eyes
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Hebell »

Retired at 58. Husband is working a little bit longer. Because he's in a position to get paid well for not doing very much work, haha. That helps preserve healthcare for me, but there will be a spell where I will need the ACA.

But bad knees, or anything that affects your mobility, certainly can change your plans on the spot. I had an acute knee injury as a young teen, which through physical therapy over 45 years, kept it in good stead. In fact my husband and I had been ballroom dancing for 30 years.

A few years ago, we came down to South Florida and picked up salsa and all sorts of nightclub dancing. Well, turns out that was the last straw for my knee. All the soft tissue damage and scarred ligaments from my youth could not withstand the torsion of spinning on a dance floor. I had a terrible setback. Multiple times. On and off crutches, finally after 3 to 4 years got back into cycling and walking longer distances. But no steps.

Which is all to say that our retirement dream of taking Cunard cruises and spinning the night away on the Queen's ballroom floor, went kaput. I thank God everyday that we took so many trips where we made strenuous hikes, climbing rocky trails, because they are out now too. Dreams of walking the Milford Track in NZ- gone.

So our retirement plans now are to cycle rails to trails networks in the USA. and probably use a battery assist bike in the event my knee gives out on a trip.

Our whole plans for the future changed based on my knee going bad. And I'm too young for a total knee replacement nor am I having any pain at all, so surgery is not recommended. I grieved for about 6 months over the loss of all that I can't do anymore. It's only then that you are thankful for the ability to simply walk.

I'd say if you're having mobility problems, get yourself in the best shape you can, and then take trips right now that don't push you beyond your functional envelope. Do not injure yourself further! Build up your strength and stamina so that when you do retire, you're at the best you can be.
Wricha
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Wricha »

flyingaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:11 pm There have been several threads asking about retirement regrets, mostly about retiring too young, too soon, with too little money.

I would like to ask for experience related to regrets postponing retirement too long. As people usually say: you can correct it if retiring too early, you cannot correct it if retiring too late.

Retiring too late means working too long, for the money that you probably don't need. I am interested in the cases that you KNEW you had enough, but continued to work, and later found regrets.

I am in a situation that I know I have enough based on the historic data, e.g, the 4% rule. But I am hesitating to retire for the following reasons: I am only 56 (long period of retirement); my job is relatively easy (academic) and I don't love or hate it; my children's future is unpredictable (one is currently unemployed and moved back home). (My children's future is probably the main reason).

However, I have started to have knee pain for about a week, walking stairs becomes difficult, although it gets better now. I am starting to worry about my future plan for travel in retirement. I would regret for late retirement if I could not do a lot of travels in my retirement for health reasons.

I don't know if anyone can relate to my situation.
I was right around your age when I pulled the plug on full time work. 10 years later, looking backwards I could have left a few years sooner and given how well the markets have done I should have left sooner so there maybe some regret.
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celia
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by celia »

jello_nailer wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:18 pm
MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
Cold.
But true statement. Some of them probably even planned that outcome.
I think the majority of them had no choice since they weren't yet financially ready. (Remember the recent study showing 40% of the US population didn't have enough money to cover a $400 "emergency"?)

As far as having some medical issues before age 60, that may or MAY NOT shorten your life. So even if you have health issues and don't plan to live more than 10 or 20 years, what will you do in 20 years if you're still the same health-wise but spent down your money? It's easy to look at the past and conclude you could have retired earlier, but there's no guarantee what the future will do.

What we did when we weren't sure if we had enough, is that we nailed down our expected living expenses and agreed to try living on that amount for a whole year, while saving the rest of our income. You have to include taxes and "emergencies" in those estimated living expenses, because that's what you will spend when retired. Then we estimated our future income streams and looked at the shortfall. We even included early Roth conversions in the mix.


Honestly, I thought this thread was going to be about those who retired so late that there was not much time left to do Roth conversions. So take that into account as a way to avoid age-72 high RMDs because you didn't level out your "Taxable Income" over your remaining years.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.
musicmom
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by musicmom »

Travel is tops on so many retirees list.
Not ours.
We live our homebody life.
Exercise, cooking, house projects, kyacks, swimming, reading, binge streaming, sleeping in, family.
We are so happy to have the freedom right here at home.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by JediMisty »

MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
So true. So I'll speak for a colleague. Just a week or so before he died suddenly, he was in my office helping me with some technical questions (he was a geologist, I'm a chemist). I noticed him hanging his head, he seemed weary. I asked if he was alright. He said, he wished that he had retired several months ago when the contract our megacorp has with the feds was renewed. Corporate had talked him into staying despite his long commute and traveling often. He told me he was worn out and just wanted to spend time with his wife and extended family. I suggested he resign ASAP. He said he had given his word he'd stay. He died about a week later, age 72. His wife blamed the company for his wearing himself out. She wouldn't let any of us attend his funeral. That's when I started getting my accounts simplified and eventually found myself here at BH forum. I'm retiring this year at 63 1/2. My health is great and I have "enough". Yes, these are my best earning years, but I don't want to be that guy. He was one of the nicest people I've ever met. Huge shame. I can only imagine how hard it was on his wife. They had been together their whole adult lives.
Normchad
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Normchad »

JediMisty wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:09 pm
MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
So true. So I'll speak for a colleague. Just a week or so before he died suddenly, he was in my office helping me with some technical questions (he was a geologist, I'm a chemist). I noticed him hanging his head, he seemed weary. I asked if he was alright. He said, he wished that he had retired several months ago when the contract our megacorp has with the feds was renewed. Corporate had talked him into staying despite his long commute and traveling often. He told me he was worn out and just wanted to spend time with his wife and extended family. I suggested he resign ASAP. He said he had given his word he'd stay. He died about a week later, age 72. His wife blamed the company for his wearing himself out. She wouldn't let any of us attend his funeral. That's when I started getting my accounts simplified and eventually found myself here at BH forum. I'm retiring this year at 63 1/2. My health is great and I have "enough". Yes, these are my best earning years, but I don't want to be that guy. He was one of the nicest people I've ever met. Huge shame. I can only imagine how hard it was on his wife. They had been together their whole adult lives.
Terrific post. I’m early 50s, and go to more funerals than I ever thought I would. It really does make you think. Tomorrow isn’t promised, gotta find a way to make today count. Although we all seem to,plan for a possible life span of 95 years, an awful lot of us won’t get there.
MathWizard
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by MathWizard »

In general,people get retired too early, but not by choice

On this board, with the "anything above 3% real for a WR is crazy talk" sentiment, almost everyone is going to die with more than they retired with.
Last edited by MathWizard on Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
surfstar
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by surfstar »

I'm 40.

Every day I regret that I am not retired. Unfortunately we don't have the money to FIRE yet.

Why would you work a single day more than you had to? There is an entire world to see and things to do.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by JediMisty »

Normchad wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:13 pm
JediMisty wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:09 pm
MikeWillRetire wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:00 pm Keep in mind that some of the people who waited too long can't respond to your question. They retired to the afterlife.
So true. So I'll speak for a colleague. Just a week or so before he died suddenly, he was in my office helping me with some technical questions (he was a geologist, I'm a chemist). I noticed him hanging his head, he seemed weary. I asked if he was alright. He said, he wished that he had retired several months ago when the contract our megacorp has with the feds was renewed. Corporate had talked him into staying despite his long commute and traveling often. He told me he was worn out and just wanted to spend time with his wife and extended family. I suggested he resign ASAP. He said he had given his word he'd stay. He died about a week later, age 72. His wife blamed the company for his wearing himself out. She wouldn't let any of us attend his funeral. That's when I started getting my accounts simplified and eventually found myself here at BH forum. I'm retiring this year at 63 1/2. My health is great and I have "enough". Yes, these are my best earning years, but I don't want to be that guy. He was one of the nicest people I've ever met. Huge shame. I can only imagine how hard it was on his wife. They had been together their whole adult lives.
Terrific post. I’m early 50s, and go to more funerals than I ever thought I would. It really does make you think. Tomorrow isn’t promised, gotta find a way to make today count. Although we all seem to,plan for a possible life span of 95 years, an awful lot of us won’t get there.
I am fond of saying, "I've scrimped and saved my whole life so I can have a comfortable retirement. I will be really mad if I die before I get a chance to enjoy it!"
desiderium
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by desiderium »

I have had mixed feelings about my career and employer for a number of years. A couple of years ago I became fully comfortable with being FI. I have continued to work for some things that are important to me personally, and it has helped to remind myself that I made an active decision--"suck it up or just quit, you're free". COVID has made everything more difficult and has delayed completion of these milestones, but I expect them to come together later this year. I may not retire altogether but work at a greatly reduced effort, at least until the world (hopefully) comes back together.
hoops777
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by hoops777 »

The most valuable thing you have is time. We never know how much we have.

I say do not put things off that you really want to do if you do not have to.
Last edited by hoops777 on Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
swengineer
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by swengineer »

You say you think you have enough based on a 4% rule, but that's just an approximation. A big reason for One-More-Year-itis is that you don't feel confident in your plan. Spend some time looking at your financial situation in detail. Figure out your current spending, how that spending will change when you retire and travel, and then how it will change again as you age and travel less. Figure out how much financial help you want to give your children.

Does your employer have phased retirement? That can be a way to ease into retirement a little earlier and getting some bigger travel in while still working. My wife was able to do that over three years. I didn't have the option, so we didn't get to do the bigger traveling then, but did get shorter trips in. I did some traveling for work, and she was able to join me sometimes.

We made three budgets, the first one is what we really want to spend. The second is a response to a lean year, and the third is a very bare bones budget that could be maintained for a year or two, but it deferred too many expenses to be sustainable.

Figure out your social security benefits and check that things still work if one of you passes and there is only the larger benefit left.

Figure out how the plan changes between retiring sooner and later. Quantifying what the additional working time gets you helps you make a trade off between that and the retired life you give up.

Write it all down and talk it through with your spouse. You'll probably iterate on it a couple times, that's expected. Develop confidence in your plan.

Plan to take some time every day to work on improving your health and your ability to travel and live independently. I didn't do that while working and that's my biggest regret, but I've mostly fixed that now in retirement. There may be hope for your knee pain, my wife was able to get rid of her hip pain by strengthening the muscles that hold her hip in place.

I don't really regret working the few years after and while my wife was doing phased retirement, with the good market returns lately, turns out I probably didn't need to do that, but I got some good experiences and memories out it.
Marseille07
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Marseille07 »

surfstar wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:18 pm I'm 40.

Every day I regret that I am not retired. Unfortunately we don't have the money to FIRE yet.

Why would you work a single day more than you had to? There is an entire world to see and things to do.
For some people, work becomes a pastime. I hear stories of those who FIREd and struggle to find things to do and get bored.
WhiteMaxima
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by WhiteMaxima »

Your life expectancy is very limited number. The purpose of accumulate wealth is to enjoy during your retirement. How much do you want to leave to your heirs and pay tax? That's why FIRE is so popular.
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David Jay
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by David Jay »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:12 amFor some people, work becomes a pastime. I hear stories of those who FIREd and struggle to find things to do and get bored.
Not a lot of those stories here. At least not from those retiring in their mid-50s or later.

Maybe someone who FIREs at age 40...
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius
1andDone
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by 1andDone »

David Jay wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:25 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:12 amFor some people, work becomes a pastime. I hear stories of those who FIREd and struggle to find things to do and get bored.
Not a lot of those stories here. At least not from those retiring in their mid-50s or later.

Maybe someone who FIREs at age 40...
Fired at 40 and have absolutely no regrets!
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David Jay
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by David Jay »

1andDone wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:36 am
David Jay wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:25 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:12 amFor some people, work becomes a pastime. I hear stories of those who FIREd and struggle to find things to do and get bored.
Not a lot of those stories here. At least not from those retiring in their mid-50s or later.

Maybe someone who FIREs at age 40...
Fired at 40 and have absolutely no regrets!
:D
Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future - Niels Bohr | To get the "risk premium", you really do have to take the risk - nisiprius
averagedude
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by averagedude »

What is more likely at age 90? Being on your death bed wishing you had worked longer or wishing you had retired earlier? Most people never get the opportunity to answer this question because they don't live this long. How would you actually answer this if you were one of the lucky people to live this long?
WhiteMaxima
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by WhiteMaxima »

55 is the best time to retire or being fired. You can withdraw 401k no penalty and early retirement kick in. You will get a couple of month voluntary layoff package + unemployment benefit. Between 55 to 72, you can do Roth conversion to average down RMD to reduce your tax. You still have good health to travel and do what you enjoy to do. I would retire in low cost south EU countries with retirement visa and buy private. The premium yoiu pay is lower than copy and out-of pocket expense if you have insurance in the USA. Move back to USA at 65 to claim Medicare and 72 for SSI.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

flyingaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:11 pm There have been several threads asking about retirement regrets, mostly about retiring too young, too soon, with too little money.

However, I have started to have knee pain for about a week, walking stairs becomes difficult, although it gets better now. I am starting to worry about my future plan for travel in retirement. I would regret for late retirement if I could not do a lot of travels in my retirement for health reasons.

I don't know if anyone can relate to my situation.
I'm not retired nor am planning to retire anytime soon. Everyone, i've known whose retired early, has said after a year or so, they need to find something to do besides traveling, puttering around, spending time with family. In other words, after working for decades, they were now bored. But generally speaking, having a pain show up should not be cause to be thinking of retirement. If the problem continues to persist the next logical step is to make an appointment with your local healthcare provider and let them make the assessment about your condition. You are still young enough to fit some of these travels in your current lifestyle if you so choose to and continue working.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
7eight9
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by 7eight9 »

David Jay wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:25 am
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:12 amFor some people, work becomes a pastime. I hear stories of those who FIREd and struggle to find things to do and get bored.
Not a lot of those stories here. At least not from those retiring in their mid-50s or later.

Maybe someone who FIREs at age 40...
My job ended 1Q19 (company sold - stayed for the severance package). My wife wanted to work until the end of 2019 so she would have 40 quarters of earnings. I figured I would find a similar job for a while. Then we would move abroad. Fast forward to today. Due to the panademic we are persona non grata. I've given up looking for a job so I guess I'm retired. My wife is still working until the travel restrictions are lifted. Would I rather be working? Yes. Moving abroad would give us the opportunity to explore a new city (Bangkok, Saigon, etc.) or relax at the beach (Khao Lak, Da Nang, etc.). Sitting here in Las Vegas? Bored to tears. The highlight of my day is when I can go back to sleep.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
mptfan
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by mptfan »

Normchad wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:13 pmAlthough we all seem to,plan for a possible life span of 95 years, an awful lot of us won’t get there.
Right. Half the population is dead by 80.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

mptfan wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:04 am
Normchad wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:13 pmAlthough we all seem to,plan for a possible life span of 95 years, an awful lot of us won’t get there.
Right. Half the population is dead by 80.
By 80?, I thought it was 84.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
averagedude
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by averagedude »

mptfan wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:04 am
Normchad wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:13 pmAlthough we all seem to,plan for a possible life span of 95 years, an awful lot of us won’t get there.
Right. Half the population is dead by 80.
And how many people who live past 80 spend more money than they did when they were 65 years old? Not likely unless they are spending their money on healthcare. If your biggest expense is healthcare, not having money is a secondary concern.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

LittleMaggieMae wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:53 pm Do you need to retire (as in never work another day for money for the rest of your life)?

One of the positive things about "having enough money" is the flexibility to use your time/energy the way you want.
Have you thought about doing a job you'd actually enjoy doing? Have you thought about trying some other sort of job in academia but were hesitant because you didn't feel comfortable with the risk of it not working out? It's ok if it doesn't work out. You don't need the job.

I guess you'd need to do some introspection about what is and is not a 'failure'. I'm really good at "failing". I do it all the time. It makes life interesting and worthwhile. I learn a lot and it keeps things fresh. I realize not everyone views "failure" that way.

Why not come up with a plan? With actual steps and action points. Give yourself some milestone dates. You have very little to lose.
Care to share the jobs you've tried? :sharebeer
This time next year, we'll be millionaires!
politely
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by politely »

I have had enough to retire for a while, but will wait some years until my mid 50s. The reasons for delay include waiting for my spouse's health care package to kick in and to save a certain amount for planned luxury expenses, extra kids' funds and extra financial cushion. While work is ok, I'd rather be not-working. But, I don't regret my current delay or expect to have any regrets when I finally retire, because I know why I'm extending my working years and have made the decision that it is worth the trade-off and the risks. Having more than what I need is part of my plan, so I don't consider that a failing or cause for regret. I don't believe in regretting decisions made thoughtfully with the information available at the time, even if the outcomes turn out to be sub-optimal.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by jminv »

My father, for one. He never did retire, despite being able to do so and becoming less and less happy with work. Before he passed, I was encouraging him to retire. He was very happy when he wasn't at work, with family, pursuing his hobbies which included writing, and on vacation. I wish he had gotten to experience retirement on his own terms. One of my grandfathers absolutely loved his retirement and wished he had done it sooner as the pension would have been essentially the same. The other never retired and would have hated retirement. My father-in-law retired late and wouldn't have done it differently since for him it was all about the money even though he has far too much to use in one lifetime and even though he didn't enjoy the last 10 years of work. It just depends on the person, really.

I have known a number of people at work who retired later than they needed to and regretted the decision. Typically, they regretted it because our type of work impacted their personal life since our work was by its nature away from their personal life (relationship with spouses, children, grandchildren). It wasn't worth all the added stress and time away from loved ones. Others enjoyed a delayed retirement as it let them accumulate a lot of money which they used for bigger homes, 2nd homes, a retirement full of trips, funding family businesses, supporting children and grandchildren, etc.

I retired quite early due to extremely aggressive saving but have since opened several businesses to keep me occupied when I feel like being occupied. Retirement on my own terms, I suppose.
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flyingaway
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

OP here. I actually have a story that qualifies. I have a high school classmate who is now 56. She lost her job in 2010, at the age of 45. She had $3M at that time and thought she had enough money, so retired.

In the following years, she traded stocks and lost quite some money. She now has about $700,000 and a rental with a mortgage, in addition to her home. She has a younger husband, who is still working, but they are separated physically and financially. They have a son in college now.

She feels tight in cash now, but could not find a decent job at her age. She has been thinking to start some small businesses, such as a pet store, but the pandemic makes it difficult at this time. She is the one telling me to hold on my job.
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flyingaway
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

LittleMaggieMae wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:53 pm Do you need to retire (as in never work another day for money for the rest of your life)?

One of the positive things about "having enough money" is the flexibility to use your time/energy the way you want.
Have you thought about doing a job you'd actually enjoy doing? Have you thought about trying some other sort of job in academia but were hesitant because you didn't feel comfortable with the risk of it not working out? It's ok if it doesn't work out. You don't need the job.

I guess you'd need to do some introspection about what is and is not a 'failure'. I'm really good at "failing". I do it all the time. It makes life interesting and worthwhile. I learn a lot and it keeps things fresh. I realize not everyone views "failure" that way.

Why not come up with a plan? With actual steps and action points. Give yourself some milestone dates. You have very little to lose.
I think, once I retire, I would not be able to return to the workforce with a job and salary close to what I have now, if I do need money in the future. That is one of the reasons that I am hesitating to leave. As I said in my OP, I do not love or hate my job, just consider it as a means to make money. But I doubt there will be any other jobs that I may consider as "easier" than my current one (teaching for many years).
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by mcblum »

nope. worked until 73. did it for some one else. no regrets. liked my job and had a responsibility. marty
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by robphoto »

visualguy wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:50 pm
One of my concerns is health insurance. Not the costs of the ACA which would obviously be much higher. The concern is the quality of the insurance. I have truly awesome insurance now at work which is PPO, has an excellent network, and approves everything without issues. Multiple specialist appointments without referrals, no pushback and battles on expensive tests or procedures, no pre-approvals required, etc. I doubt an ACA plan would be like that. Also, not sure how the ACA will evolve. This is not enough to prevent me from retiring by itself, but it's a factor in my thinking.
It sounds like you might be worrying about ACA costs and plans without investigating them. There are a range of plans and costs; in our state (RI) they run from high deductible plans to plans from Blue Cross that are pretty much the same as what we are using as direct pay clients.

You can also go to whatever site applies to you for ACA and enter assumptions for income, etc. and see what the plans would cost you. That way you're working with good information.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by k3vb0t »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:01 am OP here. I actually have a story that qualifies. I have a high school classmate who is now 56. She lost her job in 2010, at the age of 45. She had $3M at that time and thought she had enough money, so retired.

In the following years, she traded stocks and lost quite some money. She now has about $700,000 and a rental with a mortgage, in addition to her home. She has a younger husband, who is still working, but they are separated physically and financially. They have a son in college now.

She feels tight in cash now, but could not find a decent job at her age. She has been thinking to start some small businesses, such as a pet store, but the pandemic makes it difficult at this time. She is the one telling me to hold on my job.
A bit of an understatement! Over the last 9 years, someone with $3M withdrawing 4% per year out of a 70/30 portfolio (stock/bond with 70/30 split of US vs int’l stock) would end up at the end of 2020 with $4.7M.

Starting 9 years ago with $3M headed into a 9 year bull market is about as good as it gets. So “she traded some stocks and lost quite some money” sounds like she did a bunch of idiotic things and it’s cost her about $4M. I wouldn’t let my thoughts on retiring at a certain point of time be influenced by someone like that.
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