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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:43 pm
by flyingaway
birdog wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:49 am OP,

I understand your concern. It's a balance between leaving too soon and working too long. It's a big decision that I'm also currently grappling with. It's a big step to go from a lifetime of accumulating to all of a sudden de-cumulating. Fortunately (I guess), the disdain I have for my job is acting to make the decision to leave much easier for me. (Maybe some time in prayer or meditation will provide some insight?) Anyway, I've enjoyed reading the posts in this thread and am glad you posed the question.
I agree with you. Although I do not hate my job, I prefer not doing it, if not for the money.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:04 pm
by Old Guy
I worked until I was 71, 78 now. I do not regret it although the 30 years in the federal government were often painful. My second career at a major B1G university in one of the best college towns in the country was taxing but wonderful. Not only was the money a great add on to my already substantial pension, I was in a position where I knew stuff, was respected for it, got to make major decisions, and had finally smoothed off a lot of my rough edges. My wife, now 74, also retired from the government with a large pension and had a second career in the same state/town. We had a great time. Bought the most expensive residence we ever owned and had a condo in a nearby major city. We retired to a beach community five minutes from the ocean in a larger house then we need but often filled with friends and relatives. We have more money then we need so we have been giving to charity and our son. No regrets.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:21 pm
by JBTX
tibbitts wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:19 pm
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.
Honestly "take more vacations" is not relevant to 99% of people. I've never met any of these people rumored to be losing vacation days they can't accumulate. Most people get 10-20 annual days of personal leave, plus usually 10-12 holidays, and they take every one. Some people I know in executive positions with the same employer for decades still only get 10 days (as does every other employee in those businesses.) And time off without pay is not an option for the vast majority of people - it's a nuisance and burden on the employer. It's the same for part-time work - just not an option. Sometimes it seems that Bogleheads operate in a different universe where all kind of possibilities that don't apply to the vast majority of people do actually apply to them, and sometimes we lose sight of how life works for everyone else.
I guess we all have different experiences. Most companies I worked for allowed you to accrue paid time off, and many people saved it up as an eventual severance. My last full time employment, about a year, didn't allow accrual of PTO. The only company I recall that did that.

I agree, taking unpaid leave is a bit of an HR oddball process, but if one is seriously thinking of retiring because they are getting worn down, it may be worth the hassle. I know a couple of successful people that substantial breaks (many months) and when they came back they seemed to have a healthier perspective on work and not nearly as stressed. I suspect this is only an option for somebody who is viewed as highly valuable.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:11 pm
by JS-Elcano
visualguy wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:34 pm
mptfan wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:21 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:19 pmSometimes it seems that Bogleheads operate in a different universe where all kind of possibilities that don't apply to the vast majority of people do actually apply to them, and sometimes we lose sight of how life works for everyone else.
I agree with this. There are many working people who just don't get paid vacations, either you work or you don't get paid, it's that simple.
OP is in academia, though.

Also, the fact that something doesn't apply to most people doesn't mean that there isn't a significant number of people out there for whom it does apply. For those who have jobs where it's possible to take meaningful time off to travel, it makes sense to travel while working (if they love it) rather than waiting until retirement.
In academia, the vast majority of people are on 9-months contracts and do not get paid in the summer. Many choose to work in the summer because they cannot afford to not get paid. If they do not work (so they can travel) it's an unpaid vacation.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:47 pm
by helloeveryone
FandangoDave5010 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:20 am Health must be considered in deciding when to retire. I retired at 63, moved to Reno, Nevada to get away from the crowds and humidity of New York City. For 10 years, my wife, dog and I traveled the West with bikes hanging from the back of our SUV. Memorable trips were up the Oregon coast, down the Colorado River, Yosemite Valley, Moab, Santa Fe, Lake Tahoe, Eastern Sierra, American River Trail, Palm Springs. Then, my knees gave out and vacations became sitting-at-the-pool-all-inclusive resorts in Los Cabos and Cancun. We gave our bikes away to a younger retired couple. Two years ago I needed total knee replacement in one leg and another TKR may be needed after the Covid-19 vaccine frees up selective surgery space and our fear of infection.

My knees were good for 10 years of biking, great photos from my Nikon SLR with 18-300mm lens, and wonderful times/adventures with my wife and dog (seated in a milk crate). Look at yours and family health/longevity history and try to determine if you can get 8-10 active years after retirement. As a Boglehead, money should not be a problem. We don't mind giving up the bikes; they made our retirement!
Do the TKR’s improve mobility or just resolve the knee pains? Wondering if TKR’s help restore one’s ability to do hikes in moderation

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:12 pm
by jt90505
Lots of good advice regarding your retirement date. Regarding the knee pain...

Have you been to a good trustworthy orthopedic surgeon? I was dealing with knee pain which was interfering with what I could do. A scan revealed my meniscus was basically shredded, beyond repair. After surgery life was good again, increased risk of arthritis since much of the meniscus was removed. After 7 years, no problems yet with a mix of walking, backpacking, trail hiking, bicycling for exercise.

Post surgery I think there was a week or two before starting physical therapy which was over after 2 sessions.

Your knee issues may be more complex and require total knee replacement, but worth checking out your options.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:41 pm
by flyingaway
jt90505 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:12 pm Lots of good advice regarding your retirement date. Regarding the knee pain...

Have you been to a good trustworthy orthopedic surgeon? I was dealing with knee pain which was interfering with what I could do. A scan revealed my meniscus was basically shredded, beyond repair. After surgery life was good again, increased risk of arthritis since much of the meniscus was removed. After 7 years, no problems yet with a mix of walking, backpacking, trail hiking, bicycling for exercise.

Post surgery I think there was a week or two before starting physical therapy which was over after 2 sessions.

Your knee issues may be more complex and require total knee replacement, but worth checking out your options.
Thank you for the information. I am going to wait until the virus problem gets mitigated. My knee pain seems to be getting better after a week. I do remember that my keen was hit by something heavy many years ago.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:47 am
by Stubbie
phxjcc wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:51 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.
If you have "enough"; enjoy life--and if that is work, then keep going; otherwise stop.
Agree!
We have a limited time on this earth. Spend it wisely. After "enough", then it's all about choices. Covid has put the exclamation point on this statement.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:09 am
by MDfan
JBTX wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:21 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:19 pm
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.
Honestly "take more vacations" is not relevant to 99% of people. I've never met any of these people rumored to be losing vacation days they can't accumulate. Most people get 10-20 annual days of personal leave, plus usually 10-12 holidays, and they take every one. Some people I know in executive positions with the same employer for decades still only get 10 days (as does every other employee in those businesses.) And time off without pay is not an option for the vast majority of people - it's a nuisance and burden on the employer. It's the same for part-time work - just not an option. Sometimes it seems that Bogleheads operate in a different universe where all kind of possibilities that don't apply to the vast majority of people do actually apply to them, and sometimes we lose sight of how life works for everyone else.
I guess we all have different experiences. Most companies I worked for allowed you to accrue paid time off, and many people saved it up as an eventual severance. My last full time employment, about a year, didn't allow accrual of PTO. The only company I recall that did that.

I agree, taking unpaid leave is a bit of an HR oddball process, but if one is seriously thinking of retiring because they are getting worn down, it may be worth the hassle. I know a couple of successful people that substantial breaks (many months) and when they came back they seemed to have a healthier perspective on work and not nearly as stressed. I suspect this is only an option for somebody who is viewed as highly valuable.

It may be mostly federal employees who get this type of leave. I know I get 8 hours of leave every pay period so almost 5 weeks a year. Had to use almost two weeks in December so I don't lose those hours This is the first year in nearly 25 years that I've had to use leave in December, but I almost always carry over ore than 200 hours to the following year. This is my last year so I've got some nice trips planned before I go.

I also have a 20-something son who works for a major consulting firm and gets almost as much leave as I do. So there are people out there.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:40 pm
by Eagle33
Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote
Time is the most precious gift in our possession, for it is the most irrevocable.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:40 pm
by Charon
TheTimeLord wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:42 pm Personally, I believed and still believe on balance postponing retirement so I can live in the present is a better investment than postponing life so I can retire in the future.
+1

Whatever travel you want to do is easier in your 30s than your 50s, and easier in your 50s than your 70s, etc. Hiking, cycling, trail work, gardening... even enjoying a good book is easier when your eyes are better. My wife took a full year off in her 30s and it was a great decision.

OP is a professor, and thus has something like four months a year they could take off entirely (summer + winter break). Yes, I'm fully aware that an early career professor is expected to work through all that time, on scholarship and course preparation, but someone close to retirement can easily take it all off. Do so.

But don't wait too long to retire, either. You don't love your job, and there's a new PhD waiting in the wings who would love the opportunity, and would breathe new vitality into your department.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:49 pm
by JackoC
JS-Elcano wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:11 pm
visualguy wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:34 pm
mptfan wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:21 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:19 pmSometimes it seems that Bogleheads operate in a different universe where all kind of possibilities that don't apply to the vast majority of people do actually apply to them, and sometimes we lose sight of how life works for everyone else.
I agree with this. There are many working people who just don't get paid vacations, either you work or you don't get paid, it's that simple.
OP is in academia, though.
Also, the fact that something doesn't apply to most people doesn't mean that there isn't a significant number of people out there for whom it does apply. For those who have jobs where it's possible to take meaningful time off to travel, it makes sense to travel while working (if they love it) rather than waiting until retirement.
In academia, the vast majority of people are on 9-months contracts and do not get paid in the summer. Many choose to work in the summer because they cannot afford to not get paid. If they do not work (so they can travel) it's an unpaid vacation.
I don't think that's a big distinction practically, where you get paid X per year in a permanent job to work 9 months, whether you consider that X/12 per month with three months 'paid vacation' or X/9 per month with 3 months 'unpaid vacation', unless one has a real paycheck to paycheck mentality. Also an annual salary 'not enough' to live on for one person is enough to another. It doesn't make jobs in education the best for everybody, but the built in flexibility is a real advantage compared to jobs where you have to quit and count on being able to get rehired in a similar position to take a few months off, not just trim down your spending a bit because you didn't work the off season that year. It's also true if you're a merchant seaman (I was for a little while) on a different kind of schedule. You work 7 days a week when you work, can be 12 rather than 8 hours/day depending, for a few weeks, then you're off a few weeks. You can develop a side gig for the off time, or you can have more flexibility to do other things in life. It's a real advantage compared to jobs I had the vast majority of my working life, in that respect. For years I had a job where I never took more than a week at a time, and could expect phone/computer interaction with work during that week. But it suited my overall goals much better than previous jobs, and I never wanted to work in education.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:18 pm
by JS-Elcano
JackoC wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:49 pm
JS-Elcano wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:11 pm
visualguy wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:34 pm
mptfan wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:21 pm
tibbitts wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:19 pmSometimes it seems that Bogleheads operate in a different universe where all kind of possibilities that don't apply to the vast majority of people do actually apply to them, and sometimes we lose sight of how life works for everyone else.
I agree with this. There are many working people who just don't get paid vacations, either you work or you don't get paid, it's that simple.
OP is in academia, though.
Also, the fact that something doesn't apply to most people doesn't mean that there isn't a significant number of people out there for whom it does apply. For those who have jobs where it's possible to take meaningful time off to travel, it makes sense to travel while working (if they love it) rather than waiting until retirement.
In academia, the vast majority of people are on 9-months contracts and do not get paid in the summer. Many choose to work in the summer because they cannot afford to not get paid. If they do not work (so they can travel) it's an unpaid vacation.
I don't think that's a big distinction practically, where you get paid X per year in a permanent job to work 9 months, whether you consider that X/12 per month with three months 'paid vacation' or X/9 per month with 3 months 'unpaid vacation', unless one has a real paycheck to paycheck mentality. Also an annual salary 'not enough' to live on for one person is enough to another. It doesn't make jobs in education the best for everybody, but the built in flexibility is a real advantage compared to jobs where you have to quit and count on being able to get rehired in a similar position to take a few months off, not just trim down your spending a bit because you didn't work the off season that year. It's also true if you're a merchant seaman (I was for a little while) on a different kind of schedule. You work 7 days a week when you work, can be 12 rather than 8 hours/day depending, for a few weeks, then you're off a few weeks. You can develop a side gig for the off time, or you can have more flexibility to do other things in life. It's a real advantage compared to jobs I had the vast majority of my working life, in that respect. For years I had a job where I never took more than a week at a time, and could expect phone/computer interaction with work during that week. But it suited my overall goals much better than previous jobs, and I never wanted to work in education.
The continuous number of weeks off is certainly helpful if one wants to/can travel. But being in academia myself (for over two decades), I don't know people who actually take summers off. Either you are an instructor and make so little money that you have to teach in the summer, or you are research faculty who teach during the academic year and then finally have time to do most of their research in the summer so you can stay competitive in your field (either paid through a research grant or unpaid).

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:20 pm
by rich126
I'm contemplating this issue now. In 2 years I can start a pension and health insurance from my former fed job. Right now my current job requires me being in the office and the work is, being polite, not my thing. My living expenses for now until we decide to buy a place are negligible so I am reducing my hours to 70%.

Today I was sitting out on the front porch enjoying the beautiful sunny warm day we had in AZ, 70s. I have a job offer to go back to the fed job which, work wise, is exactly what I want to do although the government bureaucracy is something I am not looking forward to dealing with again. Also I am enjoying these 3 day work weeks. If this job was more enjoyable I think I would stay. The gov job provides a job for as long as I can deal with it, 60, 62, whenever. It also takes me back to my father who is getting up there in age and I should be nearby.

Life is full of decisions and compromises. And unless you know the future for each decision it is often a tough call. And it is understandable that many fear running out of money, especially if you have a spouse or family to support.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:50 am
by JackoC
JS-Elcano wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:18 pm
JackoC wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:49 pm
JS-Elcano wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:11 pm
visualguy wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:34 pm
mptfan wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:21 pm I agree with this. There are many working people who just don't get paid vacations, either you work or you don't get paid, it's that simple.
OP is in academia, though.
Also, the fact that something doesn't apply to most people doesn't mean that there isn't a significant number of people out there for whom it does apply. For those who have jobs where it's possible to take meaningful time off to travel, it makes sense to travel while working (if they love it) rather than waiting until retirement.
In academia, the vast majority of people are on 9-months contracts and do not get paid in the summer. Many choose to work in the summer because they cannot afford to not get paid. If they do not work (so they can travel) it's an unpaid vacation.
I don't think that's a big distinction practically, where you get paid X per year in a permanent job to work 9 months, whether you consider that X/12 per month with three months 'paid vacation' or X/9 per month with 3 months 'unpaid vacation', unless one has a real paycheck to paycheck mentality. .. It's also true if you're a merchant seaman (I was for a little while) on a different kind of schedule.
The continuous number of weeks off is certainly helpful if one wants to/can travel. But being in academia myself (for over two decades), I don't know people who actually take summers off. Either you are an instructor and make so little money that you have to teach in the summer, or you are research faculty who teach during the academic year and then finally have time to do most of their research in the summer so you can stay competitive in your field (either paid through a research grant or unpaid).
My parents were both public school teachers. My mom always took the summer off, my dad sometimes did. I mean it's a fairly common job, not as if one needs to go to the internet to find somebody in this kind of job do, as might actually be true of merchant seaman say; almost everyone knows somebody who gets paid to work a school year. :happy The real answer to what people do with the schedule flexibility is 'it varies depending on the person, 1 v 2 earner household, childcare needs, etc'. Anyway it's a plain fact not subject to interpretation that the job allows this flexibility. Office jobs with much less vacation and sometimes a culture of not even taking that, are distinctly different in this respect.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:56 am
by JS-Elcano
JackoC wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:50 am
JS-Elcano wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:18 pm
JackoC wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:49 pm
JS-Elcano wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:11 pm
visualguy wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:34 pm
OP is in academia, though.
Also, the fact that something doesn't apply to most people doesn't mean that there isn't a significant number of people out there for whom it does apply. For those who have jobs where it's possible to take meaningful time off to travel, it makes sense to travel while working (if they love it) rather than waiting until retirement.
In academia, the vast majority of people are on 9-months contracts and do not get paid in the summer. Many choose to work in the summer because they cannot afford to not get paid. If they do not work (so they can travel) it's an unpaid vacation.
I don't think that's a big distinction practically, where you get paid X per year in a permanent job to work 9 months, whether you consider that X/12 per month with three months 'paid vacation' or X/9 per month with 3 months 'unpaid vacation', unless one has a real paycheck to paycheck mentality. .. It's also true if you're a merchant seaman (I was for a little while) on a different kind of schedule.
The continuous number of weeks off is certainly helpful if one wants to/can travel. But being in academia myself (for over two decades), I don't know people who actually take summers off. Either you are an instructor and make so little money that you have to teach in the summer, or you are research faculty who teach during the academic year and then finally have time to do most of their research in the summer so you can stay competitive in your field (either paid through a research grant or unpaid).
My parents were both public school teachers. My mom always took the summer off, my dad sometimes did. I mean it's a fairly common job, not as if one needs to go to the internet to find somebody in this kind of job do, as might actually be true of merchant seaman say; almost everyone knows somebody who gets paid to work a school year. :happy The real answer to what people do with the schedule flexibility is 'it varies depending on the person, 1 v 2 earner household, childcare needs, etc'. Anyway it's a plain fact not subject to interpretation that the job allows this flexibility. Office jobs with much less vacation and sometimes a culture of not even taking that, are distinctly different in this respect.
We were talking about academia though. I agree it's different for public school teachers.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:58 am
by JackoC
JS-Elcano wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:56 am
JackoC wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:50 am
JS-Elcano wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:18 pm
JackoC wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:49 pm
JS-Elcano wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:11 pm
In academia, the vast majority of people are on 9-months contracts and do not get paid in the summer. Many choose to work in the summer because they cannot afford to not get paid. If they do not work (so they can travel) it's an unpaid vacation.
I don't think that's a big distinction practically, where you get paid X per year in a permanent job to work 9 months, whether you consider that X/12 per month with three months 'paid vacation' or X/9 per month with 3 months 'unpaid vacation', unless one has a real paycheck to paycheck mentality. .. It's also true if you're a merchant seaman (I was for a little while) on a different kind of schedule.
The continuous number of weeks off is certainly helpful if one wants to/can travel. But being in academia myself (for over two decades), I don't know people who actually take summers off. Either you are an instructor and make so little money that you have to teach in the summer, or you are research faculty who teach during the academic year and then finally have time to do most of their research in the summer so you can stay competitive in your field (either paid through a research grant or unpaid).
My parents were both public school teachers. My mom always took the summer off, my dad sometimes did. I mean it's a fairly common job, not as if one needs to go to the internet to find somebody in this kind of job do, as might actually be true of merchant seaman say; almost everyone knows somebody who gets paid to work a school year. :happy The real answer to what people do with the schedule flexibility is 'it varies depending on the person, 1 v 2 earner household, childcare needs, etc'. Anyway it's a plain fact not subject to interpretation that the job allows this flexibility. Office jobs with much less vacation and sometimes a culture of not even taking that, are distinctly different in this respect.
We were talking about academia though. I agree it's different for public school teachers.
Yeah OK sure.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:19 am
by flyingaway
Charon wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:40 pm
Whatever travel you want to do is easier in your 30s than your 50s, and easier in your 50s than your 70s, etc. Hiking, cycling, trail work, gardening... even enjoying a good book is easier when your eyes are better. My wife took a full year off in her 30s and it was a great decision.

OP is a professor, and thus has something like four months a year they could take off entirely (summer + winter break). Yes, I'm fully aware that an early career professor is expected to work through all that time, on scholarship and course preparation, but someone close to retirement can easily take it all off. Do so.

But don't wait too long to retire, either. You don't love your job, and there's a new PhD waiting in the wings who would love the opportunity, and would breathe new vitality into your department.
I don't know how many people "love" their jobs. When I was doing my Ph.D. and earning my tenure, I worked probably 12 hours a day and 7 days a week, I had a few years that I really liked what I was doing. But time changed everything. Now although my job is easy, I sometimes wish that I did not have to do my work. The problem is, of course, I get paid and I like a buffer to worry less. (I will probably never worry free.)

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:29 am
by New Providence
Money, expenses and health issues are, obviously, key. But I wonder if there's a cultural aspect which makes retiring so agonizing.

We are trained from day 1 that "work" is our most important and valuable contribution to ourselves and to society. However, "work" is mostly defined as providing your labor to somebody else. "Working" on your poetry book is not going to have the same recognition that allocating all your waking hours for the benefit of the megacorp office.

Some societies are even more demanding about requiring life long loyalty to megacorp, while others couldn't care less.

Even if one has the money, it is courageous to retire at 40 or 50 because the cultural and social expectations are that one's time and labor should prioritize engagement in profit maximizing efforts for as long as possible.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:40 am
by flyingaway
New Providence wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:29 am Money, expenses and health issues are, obviously, key. But I wonder if there's a cultural aspect which makes retiring so agonizing.

We are trained from day 1 that "work" is our most important and valuable contribution to ourselves and to society. However, "work" is mostly defined as providing your labor to somebody else. "Working" on your poetry book is not going to have the same recognition that allocating all your waking hours for the benefit of the megacorp office.

Some societies are even more demanding about requiring life long loyalty to megacorp, while others couldn't care less.

Even if one has the money, it is courageous to retire at 40 or 50 because the cultural and social expectations are that one's time and labor should prioritize engagement in profit maximizing efforts for as long as possible.
I know in some culture, retired people may be considered as "useless" by some, in Chinese culture. That makes it very difficult for the powerfuls to retire, at least some time ago. They had to set some hard ages to force people to retire, for example, men at 60 and women at 50 (used to be).

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:20 pm
by Wannaretireearly
New Providence wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:29 am Money, expenses and health issues are, obviously, key. But I wonder if there's a cultural aspect which makes retiring so agonizing.

We are trained from day 1 that "work" is our most important and valuable contribution to ourselves and to society. However, "work" is mostly defined as providing your labor to somebody else. "Working" on your poetry book is not going to have the same recognition that allocating all your waking hours for the benefit of the megacorp office.

Some societies are even more demanding about requiring life long loyalty to megacorp, while others couldn't care less.

Even if one has the money, it is courageous to retire at 40 or 50 because the cultural and social expectations are that one's time and labor should prioritize engagement in profit maximizing efforts for as long as possible.
This. Plus everyone in a different situation. Single, married, kids, no kids etc. Those factors are huge to determine ER.

Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:52 pm
by beernutz
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.
I think this is the moral of her story. Taking advice from a hot mess is an option though I suppose.