Regrets postponing retirement too long?

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flyingaway
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

Nicolas wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:50 pm 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.
The bull market might help you feel that way.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by JoeRetire »

Most people have few regrets with the choice they made - no matter if they retired early, late, or "on time".

I do know some widows of guys who retired a bit early and have run since out of money. But I don't believe the deceased husbands had regrets.
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galawdawg
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by galawdawg »

I know that my parents had that regret. My Dad retired a few years before my Mom and they had plans to purchase a beachfront house in NC or SC when she retired. However, my Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers while still working which quickly progressed to the point where she needed more care than my Dad could provide. So rather than enjoying their "golden years" at their contemplated retirement home, my parents stayed put and my Mom was moved to a memory care unit of a nursing home where she remained until she passed away eight years after her diagnosis. With their finances, they could have retired ten years earlier and still enjoyed a very comfortable retirement in a very nice beach community.. Maybe not on the water but certainly very close. And if they could have done it over, a block from the beach and a much earlier retirement would have been their decision.

That was one of the factors which led me to retire once I became eligible for a full pension and retiree health benefits in late 2018 at age 53. While COVID certainly put a significant crimp in the plans we had for 2020, my wife and I have no regrets...we have "enough!"

:sharebeer
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flyingaway
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

celia wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:14 pm
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.
If you have the opportunity to worry about RMDs, that is a good problem to have. You at least made it to 72 and have more than enough money.
Katietsu
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Katietsu »

I am not going to comment on the when to completely retire. But, while you are making your decision, consider whether there is a third option. I have known several people in their last few years in the workforce who were able to both continue working and work on their bucket list. For instance, one gentleman spent two months traveling in Europe. It was a hardship on his colleagues but his retirement would have been worse. Another, made arrangements to be a snowbird and spend 3 months in FL each year during their last 3 years of employment. In other words, once you are OK with walking, you may find that you do not need to.
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David Jay
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by David Jay »

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 believe you are drawing the wrong lesson from this individual. She did have enough money!

The correct moral of the story is: “When you have won the game, stop playing”. She kept playing and suffered, as Bernstein would say: “a permanent loss of capital”. Accepting her advice to keep working when you have “enough” is to accept that you might “go crazy” in retirement and gamble away your portfolio.
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montanagirl
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by montanagirl »

I had to wait to retire, so no choice there.

However we did take some trips in my 50s and that really is the best time to travel imo because the energy and interest is still there. But, alas, I always had to come back to reality.

Maybe the fact that there is no more job to get away from makes staying home more pleasant too.
BedHead2020
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by BedHead2020 »

I’m in a very similar position to the OP. Late 50’s, financially able to retire and just haven’t pushed the button. Males in my family are historically short lived, so that is compelling me to finalize our retirement plans soon. Like others have said, time is precious. My brother once said to me “nobody lays on their deathbed and wishes they had spent more time at work.”
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billthecat
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by billthecat »

BedHead2020 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:10 pm I’m in a very similar position to the OP. Late 50’s, financially able to retire and just haven’t pushed the button. Males in my family are historically short lived, so that is compelling me to finalize our retirement plans soon. Like others have said, time is precious. My brother once said to me “nobody lays on their deathbed and wishes they had spent more time at work.”
True, at the end, but I believe someone else said, "Some people in Medicaid nursing homes wish they had worked longer and saved more." :shock:
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SimplicityNow
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by SimplicityNow »

My 2 cents. I retired several years ago at 58. I tried to convince my wife to retire with me or soon thereafter and relocate to warmer weather. She is about 5 years younger. Originally I was looking forward to spending a lot of my time biking as it had become a serious passion but unfortunately an injury I had from the sport degenerated to the point where I could no longer do so I switched to hiking and walking which was something my wife enjoys as well.
My wife didn't want to relocate until our younger daughter had finished college. My daughter changed majors/careers and she added another year of school to get a 2nd B.S. Since we live in a VHCOL area my wife continued to work while my daughter finished college.

We finally decided my wife would retire at the end of last summer and we'd relocate in the fall. My daughter who graduated last May couldn't find a job due to Covid so we pushed back moving until this summer when my wife will finally retire.

Financially she could have retired when I did. I have a nice sized government pension which covers all our costs, paid insurance and sizable investments to cover any additional expenses. If she retired earlier we would have had less than we do but more than enough and done more traveling before Covid hit. The only inconvenience would have been to my daughter who would have needed an apartment while she finished school. I wish I had pressed my wife more to relocate and either worked part time there or retired.

Life is short and things like health can change quickly. Looking in the rear view mirror, the decisions are easy. Not so much as when we are faced with them.

Best of luck in your decision.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by TheTimeLord »

To me the problem has never been postponing retirement too long. The question is postponing living too long. IMHO, there is risk in waiting to live, your life needs a balance, none of us is promised tomorrow. We save because the most likely outcome is we will live and in general the most painful outcome is to come to the end of life with insufficient funds. 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. But the decision is a very personal one and one you need to answer for yourself.
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decapod10
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by decapod10 »

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.
Yeah, as another poster mentioned, I definitely wouldn't use that story to discourage you from retiring. She had $3M going into one of the biggest if not the biggest bull run in stock market history. That's not a "retired too early" story, that's a poor money management story. She should have more money now than she did in 2010.
BedHead2020
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by BedHead2020 »

billthecat wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:27 pm
BedHead2020 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:10 pm I’m in a very similar position to the OP. Late 50’s, financially able to retire and just haven’t pushed the button. Males in my family are historically short lived, so that is compelling me to finalize our retirement plans soon. Like others have said, time is precious. My brother once said to me “nobody lays on their deathbed and wishes they had spent more time at work.”
True, at the end, but I believe someone else said, "Some people in Medicaid nursing homes wish they had worked longer and saved more." :shock:
I’m sure! It can definitely be a balance.
RadAudit
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by RadAudit »

flyingaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:11 pm I would like to ask for experience related to regrets postponing retirement too long.

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.
Life is what happens when you are making other plans. I should of known I had enough to retire; but, I didn't run the calculations. My bad. Retired at 63. I'm intrigued with the line " my children's future is unpredictable." All futures are unpredictable. I have one child who made a U-turn after about 10 years out of the house. And while I am concerned about all of my kids' futures, I can't be totally responsible for them, either. He'd probably be better off sooner or later if he lived in a one bedroom three story walk up than staying around here. UMMV. My call would be - not knowing anymore about it - don't let that determine your choice. They have a smart mother. They'll survive, probably.

After one year of staying around the house (minor health problems, COVID, etc.), I've discovered I miss traveling, too. My recommendation is to paraphrase an author from years ago - Go. Go now. Go small if you have to; but, go. She was right then. She's right now.
Last edited by RadAudit on Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bampf
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by bampf »

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.
Assuming she had it all in VOO, VTI or VTSAX and hadn't taken anything out and hadn't messed with it she would be worth close to $11M this year. This isn't an exhortation to keep working. This is an exhortation to not screw up your investment strategy.

EDIT: I see a few other posters made this point before I did. Sorry for piling on...
Faith20879
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Faith20879 »

I probably fit the bill.

My Mom passed in 2013. I retired in 2020. In retrospect, I probably could've retired a few years earlier and spent some quality time to see her off - a BIG regret. Looking at our numbers in 2012, our padded expenses would not be as generous but probably still would've been sufficient.

It is not that I "postponed". Rather, I grew up in a culture where people worked till they no longer physically able. My father was still going to his rentals to collect rents in person at the ripe age of 96. FIRE was a foreign concept and never crossed my mind until somewhere in 2018.
worthit
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by worthit »

Thanks for asking this question OP.

Will be following.
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celia
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by celia »

WhiteMaxima wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 12:47 am 55 is the best time to retire or being fired...
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.
I think you meant to claim SS (Social Security) at age 70. That is the age at which your benefit stops growing.

SSI is Supplemental Security Income for low-income disabled. I hope that is not your goal. (This made me laugh out loud.)
:D
hoops777
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by hoops777 »

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.
Yea but 3 million was plenty of money, but she was not very smart and through it away. The point of retiring early is not to gamble away the money.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
NeedToRetire
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by NeedToRetire »

I'm 64 now and retired at the end of 2019 at age 63.
I wanted to retire at 55, then 60. Always One More Year. Wife wanted the good health plan that my work provided.

A chronic eye condition caused me to lose reading ability a few years ago, in one eye, but still fine in the other. Then in late 2019 I started seeing degradation in my remaining good eye. I'm in otherwise good health. I said to myself "I don't want to spend perhaps my last year of good vision working". So I retired and we planned 2020 to be a great year with a lot of travel.

We managed a Feb/Mar 2019 trip to Australia, and returned just as the pandemic was hitting. But all the rest of my "year to travel" in 2020 was shot to hell due to the pandemic. So now I'm sitting with finally enough time and enough money, but my eye is degrading and I can't travel due to COVID. Being 64, I'm just out of the priority for an early vaccine. So I'm kind of screwed.

I regret not having retired 3-5 years earlier. I could have afforded it.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

JoeRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:52 am Most people have few regrets with the choice they made - no matter if they retired early, late, or "on time".

I do know some widows of guys who retired a bit early and have run since out of money. But I don't believe the deceased husbands had regrets.
IMO, anyone active on this forum for 5+ years is in a different category. I'd bet $ that no established BH will run out of money after FIRE.

To the OP, I'm sure my father regretted not retiring early. He talked about retiring, but sadly didn't get to see his 60th birthday. As others have said a 'lot' of people who regret not retiring earlier, are no longer with us :(
This time next year, we'll be millionaires!
hoops777
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by hoops777 »

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.
Probably 90 pct of posters here have knee pain :happy
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.
Rdytoretire
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Rdytoretire »

+1 on the knee pain. Fortunately it comes and goes. Activity such as cycling or hiking as long as not over done actually seems to help.

I'm sure many on this forum are familiar with this calculator. Seems like it belongs in this discussion.

Rich, Broke or Dead?
https://engaging-data.com/will-money-last-retire-early/
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flyingaway
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

NeedToRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:35 pm I'm 64 now and retired at the end of 2019 at age 63.
I wanted to retire at 55, then 60. Always One More Year. Wife wanted the good health plan that my work provided.

A chronic eye condition caused me to lose reading ability a few years ago, in one eye, but still fine in the other. Then in late 2019 I started seeing degradation in my remaining good eye. I'm in otherwise good health. I said to myself "I don't want to spend perhaps my last year of good vision working". So I retired and we planned 2020 to be a great year with a lot of travel.

We managed a Feb/Mar 2019 trip to Australia, and returned just as the pandemic was hitting. But all the rest of my "year to travel" in 2020 was shot to hell due to the pandemic. So now I'm sitting with finally enough time and enough money, but my eye is degrading and I can't travel due to COVID. Being 64, I'm just out of the priority for an early vaccine. So I'm kind of screwed.

I regret not having retired 3-5 years earlier. I could have afforded it.
Thanks for sharing your story. I hope virus things will be cleared soon, so that we can travel at least within the U.S.
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flyingaway
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

hoops777 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:26 pm
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.
Probably 90 pct of posters here have knee pain :happy
This just made me feel not so painful. Sorry, I did not mean to be happy with other people's knee problem. Out of the 90%, not many are complaining it here makes me feel that is a problem that could be managed.
visualguy
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by visualguy »

robphoto wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:20 am
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.
I know the costs. What I don't know is the quality of the insurance as I mentioned. My work insurance is extremely good at approving everything without having to fight them, without requiring referrals and pre-approvals, etc. I think the reason is that my megacorp is self-insured, and the medical insurance companies just manage the claims and don't have a financial incentive to ration the care.

I have no idea what the ACA would be like in this regard. I don't know anyone who is on it.
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

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.
It’s because the future is uncertain. How would a person know what they need when they aren’t able to predict the future?

Also, it’d perfectly doable to see the world and have a job too. My wife and I took a month long vacation this October and two of them last year. We both had full-time jobs.
3 Fund Portfolio. 70/30 AA. No mortgage. Simplicity is key.
mptfan
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by mptfan »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:47 pmI hope virus things will be cleared soon, so that we can travel at least within the U.S.
You can travel within the U.S. now.
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flyingaway
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

mptfan wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:04 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:47 pmI hope virus things will be cleared soon, so that we can travel at least within the U.S.
You can travel within the U.S. now.
Sorry. I meant to feel safely and confidently to travel, neither do I have now.
tibbitts
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by tibbitts »

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.
mptfan
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by mptfan »

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.
visualguy
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by visualguy »

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.
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GerryL
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by GerryL »

JoeRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:52 am Most people have few regrets with the choice they made - no matter if they retired early, late, or "on time".

I do know some widows of guys who retired a bit early and have run since out of money. But I don't believe the deceased husbands had regrets.
There was a time when an employee did not have to get his wife to sign off on his pension choice. My dad's friend was notoriously skinflinty and opted for the simple annuity option so the monthly checks would be larger. After he died, the pension payments stopped, and his widow had to live for years on a much reduced income. Regulations were eventually enacted to require spouses to sign off to try to avoid this kind of situation.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Nestegg_User »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:49 pm
hoops777 wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:26 pm
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.
Probably 90 pct of posters here have knee pain :happy
This just made me feel not so painful. Sorry, I did not mean to be happy with other people's knee problem. Out of the 90%, not many are complaining it here makes me feel that is a problem that could be managed.
FlyingAway ___(the OP)

I'd had knee pain bad enough that, in the worst days, I couldn't even make it down the hallway. I'd been bone-on-bone for over a decade (had it "scoped" after a bad athletic injury in the 80's, and rehabbed) and knee replacements had a history of needing difficult future replacement due to wearing out (so I delayed).

I'd already had scheduled a trip before it became so bad I had no choice. Three months after full replacement, and even needing a remanipulation, I was on the trip {a few years before my retirement}. This included the Parthenon, which those who have been there have some seriously difficult large steps, so if I could manage that more strenuous journey an easier trip should be no difficulty.

I'd say that the onset of knee issues isn't a sufficient reason for retirement, but I do understand that it could make one recognize that there will be a finite period for future easily ambulatory travel. But that could be quite some time away...
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

Nestegg_User wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:02 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:49 pm
This just made me feel not so painful. Sorry, I did not mean to be happy with other people's knee problem. Out of the 90%, not many are complaining it here makes me feel that is a problem that could be managed.
FlyingAway ___(the OP)

I'd had knee pain bad enough that, in the worst days, I couldn't even make it down the hallway. I'd been bone-on-bone for over a decade (had it "scoped" after a bad athletic injury in the 80's, and rehabbed) and knee replacements had a history of needing difficult future replacement due to wearing out (so I delayed).

I'd already had scheduled a trip before it became so bad I had no choice. Three months after full replacement, and even needing a remanipulation, I was on the trip {a few years before my retirement}. This included the Parthenon, which those who have been there have some seriously difficult large steps, so if I could manage that more strenuous journey an easier trip should be no difficulty.

I'd say that the onset of knee issues isn't a sufficient reason for retirement, but I do understand that it could make one recognize that there will be a finite period for future easily ambulatory travel. But that could be quite some time away...
Thank you for sharing your experience.
Last edited by flyingaway on Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by RadAudit »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:03 pm I was on the trip {a few years before my retirement}. This included the Parthenon, which those who have been there have some seriously difficult large steps, so if I could manage that more strenuous journey an easier trip should be no difficulty.
And some of the steps are slick as glass.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by flyingaway »

RadAudit wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:21 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:03 pm I was on the trip {a few years before my retirement}. This included the Parthenon, which those who have been there have some seriously difficult large steps, so if I could manage that more strenuous journey an easier trip should be no difficulty.
And some of the steps are slick as glass.
I was there two or three years ago. I did see a couple, probably in the 60s, and the man was using a pair of walking crutches. I remember to tell my wife that I do not want to be in that situation.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by tennisplyr »

Retired 10 years @61. If your are financially ready and have a solid feel for what you are going to do in retirement...do it! I've found as I've gotten older, it's a bit tougher getting around (am very fit) and my interest in major trips is waning. Life is seeming to pick up momentum for us, please enjoy it.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Hebell »

Don't feel bad for the guy in crutches.

I've had off and on knee problems since my youth, from an acute accident.

Sometimes I walked and danced great, sometimes I was in crutches for 7 months at a time. Had 45 good years of hiking when not using crutches, now I'm down to walking and cycling and swimming.

I take crutches now when I go on any foreign travel. And I use them, even if I don't need them, to not overload my knee. I'm so good at crutches I can go faster than walking! And it keeps my arms strong.

The guy at the Parthenon may have been using them for offloading stress on the knee, just like I do :-) it also gives you access to the freight elevators, which I need because I can't do steps anymore.

Conventional crutches, are much better than the EU style crutches with the forearm holders, and much better than a cane, for traveling. Sorry for hijacking the thread on knee problems!
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by tibbitts »

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.
I worked for higher ed in two different states, for about 17 years, and never had more than 15-20 days of annual personal leave, so I'm not seeing academia as being that different from other jobs.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Elric »

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.
That happened to someone I knew well. They were planning to retire within 6 months after a big project they were leading a major part.of was completed. He died in his sleep.

This didn't change my early retirement plans, but it confirmed them.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Barkingsparrow »

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.
My grandfather worked in the coal mines most of his life. A good friend of his died in a cave-in just one night before the friend was to retire.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by JoeRetire »

GerryL wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:35 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:52 am Most people have few regrets with the choice they made - no matter if they retired early, late, or "on time".

I do know some widows of guys who retired a bit early and have run since out of money. But I don't believe the deceased husbands had regrets.
There was a time when an employee did not have to get his wife to sign off on his pension choice. My dad's friend was notoriously skinflinty and opted for the simple annuity option so the monthly checks would be larger. After he died, the pension payments stopped, and his widow had to live for years on a much reduced income. Regulations were eventually enacted to require spouses to sign off to try to avoid this kind of situation.
There was a time when most folks retired with a pension...
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Calli114 »

flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:50 pm
RadAudit wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:21 pm
flyingaway wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:03 pm I was on the trip {a few years before my retirement}. This included the Parthenon, which those who have been there have some seriously difficult large steps, so if I could manage that more strenuous journey an easier trip should be no difficulty.
And some of the steps are slick as glass.
I was there two or three years ago. I did see a couple, probably in the 60s, and the man was using a pair of walking crutches. I remember to tell my wife that I do not want to be in that situation.
Speaking of observing other travelers, my first overseas trip was to Ireland back in my ‘30s.
I got to know a pleasant elderly couple in our group, and the husband was on oxygen. Not only was he limited in how far he felt like walking away from the tour bus, his wife had to choose between leaving him on the bus at times and seeing things herself. Most strikingly, he was unable to see the Cliffs of Moher.
I told myself at that time that I would travel as much as practical while still working. Since then I’ve also tried to prioritize more active and/or high altitude trips before getting any older.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by Paul78 »

flyingaway wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:11 pm my children's future is unpredictable (one is currently unemployed and moved back home). (My children's future is probably the main reason).
To me that this the only reason to keep working. I am pretty sure you have enough money to live the rest of your life (bogleheads tend to overestimate just how much they need). The question is how much do you want to leave to your kids/future generations. Obviously working another 5-10 years will vastly increase what you can leave behind. But you also lose those 5-10 years of retirement. It also seems to me some people forgot those are probably (in many ways) the best years of retirement. Even if you live a long healthy life and just pass away in you sleep at 100 years old you body is still gonna start breaking down long before you actual die. You will never get the late 50s to early 60s years back.

But having said that I also don't fault people who decide to work those years. It is not unreasonable to come to the conclusion leaving more for you offspring (or other causes you value) and continuing to work (which also provides fulfillment and other benefits) is a better option than retiring.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by GerryL »

JoeRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:14 pm
GerryL wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:35 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:52 am Most people have few regrets with the choice they made - no matter if they retired early, late, or "on time".

I do know some widows of guys who retired a bit early and have run since out of money. But I don't believe the deceased husbands had regrets.
There was a time when an employee did not have to get his wife to sign off on his pension choice. My dad's friend was notoriously skinflinty and opted for the simple annuity option so the monthly checks would be larger. After he died, the pension payments stopped, and his widow had to live for years on a much reduced income. Regulations were eventually enacted to require spouses to sign off to try to avoid this kind of situation.
There was a time when most folks retired with a pension...
Yes. But the regulation now also applies to decisions about 401ks.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by JoeRetire »

GerryL wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:46 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:14 pm
GerryL wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:35 pm
JoeRetire wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:52 am Most people have few regrets with the choice they made - no matter if they retired early, late, or "on time".

I do know some widows of guys who retired a bit early and have run since out of money. But I don't believe the deceased husbands had regrets.
There was a time when an employee did not have to get his wife to sign off on his pension choice. My dad's friend was notoriously skinflinty and opted for the simple annuity option so the monthly checks would be larger. After he died, the pension payments stopped, and his widow had to live for years on a much reduced income. Regulations were eventually enacted to require spouses to sign off to try to avoid this kind of situation.
There was a time when most folks retired with a pension...
Yes. But the regulation now also applies to decisions about 401ks.
What kind of spousal signoff is required for a 401k choice?
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by hoops777 »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:32 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.
I worked for higher ed in two different states, for about 17 years, and never had more than 15-20 days of annual personal leave, so I'm not seeing academia as being that different from other jobs.
You obviously weren’t a teacher
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by vitaflo »

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.
You misinterpret what I meant. When I say "take vacations" I mean "go on vacations", you know, fly somewhere and travel, not "take more time off work". I'm fully aware most people take all their paid time off work. That's pretty obvious. OP is worried about not being able to travel places while he is still relatively young and able. All I'm saying is make it a priority now, with the time off you have during the year. He can keep working and still do this.
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Re: Regrets postponing retirement too long?

Post by FandangoDave5010 »

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!
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