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  • FIRST POST
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 19th Nov 16, 12:08 PM
    • 116Posts
    • 359Thanks
    excelpaul
    Everyday Ordinary Man Approaching Full Retirement at 59.
    • #1
    • 19th Nov 16, 12:08 PM
    Everyday Ordinary Man Approaching Full Retirement at 59. 19th Nov 16 at 12:08 PM
    I am setting up this thread as an ordinary everyday man moving towards full retirement.
    I say ordinary, in the sense that I am neither poor nor extremely well off. I have been reading these forums for several years especially the sections about savings and investment.
    Of course they provide lots of great support and advice but for the most part for people whose savings and pensions are the stuff of dreams for most of us. I do not say that as a criticism just as a point of fact. Indeed I nearly fell into the trap of measuring myself against other people in these threads and found myself becoming a little bitter and envious which I know is irrational! In my heart of hearts I know I am extremely fortunate. So I decided to set up this thread as therapy, a reality check and a genuine place for discussion for everyday folk approaching or into retirement. The emphasis initially will be on implications for finance and life plans for the next phase of our lives. It is not for advice but more for the sharing of ideas and experiences of other everyday folk. Let us see where it goes!

    First of some background about myself. I taught full time for 35 years until August 31st this year. I am now working just under two and a half days a week until next June when the plan is to finish completely. By then I will be just shy of my 59th birthday. I took phased retirement at 55 and the rest of my pension at 58 albeit reduced. I took the maximum lump sum as it suited my needs. Of course such a decision was met by derision from the pension experts in the other place but to me quality of life has become much more important than maximising returns! I am very fortunate in having a defined benefit pension that is index linked. It was reduced owing to taking it early and also taking the maximum lump sum. I also have a very small annuity that pays the grand total of £37 after tax a month! However it is better than nothing! I have recently received a state pension forecast which owing to being contracted out for nearly all my working life is currently £119.54 a week from the age of 66 (due in 2024) As I am working until next June I will add another year ‘contracted in’ this amount. When I finish work next June my income will be about £1350 a month after tax until 2024 (all at current prices) Quite interesting that although I will have contributed for 40 years to the state pension they only include(at the moment) the 35 ‘contracted out’ years in my pension calculation and none of the others!

    I co-own a house with my mother. My grandmother lives with us too, who is still going at the grand age of 101. Hopefully this means I may be retired for quite a while! My total share of the house will allow me in this area to buy myself a decent house in the future. (After other members of the family have received their share of the proceeds of the current one) Sounds morbid to talk like that but one has to be practical. I am debt free and the house is mortgage free too. We did some upgrades recently and have plans in hand to redo the drive and the kitchen in the next 2 to years. I may also need to change my car in the next couple of years. I have a lovely extended family that includes several nephews and nieces who are very special to me. Unfortunately I lost one of my sisters four years ago at the age of 42. She left 4 children. Such a tragic event certainly makes you re-address your priorities! Other illnesses in the family also provide timely reminders to enjoy life rather than worry too much about the finances!

    I used part of my pension lump sum to clear the mortgage and all other debts. I had some left over and have done the following with it.
    • A Loyalty Saver. Easy access and includes emergency fund.
    • Cash ISA
    • S&S ISA (See this as long term and will not look at it for 8 years!)
    • Premium Bonds
    • Nationwide Regular Saver (5% at moment! Started with £500. Can add £500 a month for a year only)
    • Personal Current Account
    • Joint current account for all household expenses. (We all contribute each month to this)
    Hopefully by next June I will have total savings and investments of just under £50000 before my income drops by 50% as I give up work completely. It sounds healthy but I am planning on being around a long-time! I also want to travel. Any constructive comments about any of the above most welcome.

    I do feel guilty about not having managed to save more during my working life but things happen. For example, I lost a lot of money during the property crash in London in the 1980s. Interest rates on mortgages were then 15%! I had to borrow to sell! Fortunately that is all behind me now and I have been fortunate to work solidly for 36 years. When I entered teaching I had little idea about the pension scheme. I do feel fortunate now.

    To my shame I do worry about money and probably should not. I suppose as we approach retirement we all get nervous about the regular salary stopping. Of course I could always do supply in an emergency but after 36 years I feel I have done my bit! It’s just in the past I went through some close financial calls. I do want to enjoy my retirement and tick some things off the to do list!
    I have planned my finances for after June 2017 and after all expenses and spending money should still be able to save some money each month.
    I also want to spend some savings travelling. I am keen to do the train journey across the Canadian Rockies as well as maybe spend some time renting a property in Cyprus an absolute favourite place of mine! We are fortunate that also my mother and grandmother also have adequate pension provision.

    So that is my introduction. I am now just off to walk the dogs and then meet one of my nephews. I am fortunate that I live in a semi-rural area with plenty of countryside around me. Weather not looking too promising though. Have some schoolwork also to do. Working part-time has been great for getting the garden organised and actually being ahead with the Christmas shopping! As 2017 approaches I now need to plan more activities and long term aims for the retirement years.

    I do hope you will join me on my journey and feel able to share aspects of yours too!

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by excelpaul; 19-11-2016 at 8:00 PM.
Page 4
    • bournefree
    • By bournefree 16th Apr 17, 12:44 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 241 Thanks
    bournefree
    Thanks excelpaul. Like you, I have no inheritances to come now so it's down to me to make sure I'm financially secure. Having got married a few years ago, than now includes supporting my other half. I don't intend converting part of my pension into a higher lump sum. I read what you put about beaches in Cyprus by the way - one day soon we won't have to go in school holiday periods!
    MFW #59 2017 target met, now mortgage free!
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 20th Apr 17, 3:44 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 359 Thanks
    excelpaul
    Decided to open one of the new NS&I Investment Bonds introduced by the government. Have put in the maximum of £3000 for the fixed 3 years. May not be as great as made out, but enables me to put some money away at 2.2% for 3 years, rather better than most are offering right now.
    • savingpennies
    • By savingpennies 20th Apr 17, 6:33 PM
    • 632 Posts
    • 4,002 Thanks
    savingpennies
    So glad I discovered this thread as a lot of it resonates with me.
    I'm an ex- FE teacher, of nearly 32 years, but only 29 years count for my pension as the early years were part time. I planned to pack in working in the summer of 2015 but thought I could manage one more year, until my youngest graduated. Sadly, I hit a brick wall, metaphorically speaking, in November 2015 and was off work with work related stress, until I finally finished in June 2016 at 58.

    My other half took voluntary redundancy at 56 and decided he did not want to find a full time job and took on intermittent work as a management consultant until he was 60. At which point he cashed in two private pensions. His final salary pension is due this August when he is 62 and I have decided to take mine now at 59.

    Because he finished working before me, it gave us the time to think about what we wanted to do when we both finished working. We have a list of places we want to travel to, crossing Canada by train is one of them. I was worried I would miss the intellectual challenge of work but finding the U3A and starting a part time MA with the OU means my brain is fully occupied. My husband has started researching his family tree and is able to go bird watching more and see his beloved football team at every home game. We now also have the time to go to the local gym to keep fit and healthy.

    For the first time in years, I feel really happy and content, rather than permanently tired and stressed. I now sleep all night and have fewer migraines. The only problem now is arthritis but by keeping my weight down and keeping active that is manageable.
    Books - the original virtual reality.

    2017 in 2017: £2090.11
    • bournefree
    • By bournefree 20th Apr 17, 7:55 PM
    • 98 Posts
    • 241 Thanks
    bournefree
    Hello Savingpennies,

    Your post really resonates with me. My sleep patterns are awful; it is a real struggle to engage with the job, which (when I'm engaged) I do fine. So glad that you are happy now. Waiting for the outcome of my voluntary severance any day now, and feeling incapable of doing anything much in the interim! Has anyone else felt like this?
    MFW #59 2017 target met, now mortgage free!
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 1st May 17, 9:53 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 359 Thanks
    excelpaul
    I hope you all enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend! May 1st today, just 61 days to the end of my present contract! 23 more working days for me until then!
    Finances plodding along ok. Just wish I had saved more! Yep Mr Doubtful breaking in again. However determined to have at least three clear months before looking for alternatives. I have said that I will be available for private tutoring from October.
    Travel plans on hold a while owing to family health circumstances but hopefully for not too long.
    Would be good to have updates from others as well as some new contributors. Have a good week !
    • bournefree
    • By bournefree 2nd May 17, 5:47 AM
    • 98 Posts
    • 241 Thanks
    bournefree
    Hello excelpaul and everyone!

    Well, I have just paid the mortgage off! No doubt it will sink in over the next few days! Have also checked the bank accounts to make sure all the necessary adjustments made are ticking over to cover hubby not working from mid-May. I have also received my offer for voluntary severance for July 2018 and will be returning the signed form imminently. Had a rubbish weekend coughing and with a headache as I've caught a chill, so didn't make any progress on sorting out our summer holiday yet - that's this weekend's job!
    MFW #59 2017 target met, now mortgage free!
    • WeeMidgie
    • By WeeMidgie 2nd May 17, 6:35 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 4,392 Thanks
    WeeMidgie
    Congratulations bournefree on paying off the mortgage! It is a marvellous milestone to reach.

    All looking good, Excelpaul, and I hope your remaining days of employment pass well and quickly.

    I am now retired or should that be, reborn? A new life, for sure. One I'm very grateful to have reached. It's a transition, though, and even positive changes mean adjustments, and not just to finances. So it will be interesting what comes up over the next few weeks and months.
    Last edited by WeeMidgie; 02-05-2017 at 7:17 AM.
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 2nd May 17, 10:49 PM
    • 2,334 Posts
    • 2,696 Thanks
    Newly retired
    I thought I would update with a few less positive thoughts, and maybe try to change my ideas.
    Although overall I am very happily retired, I do find myself getting lazy and wasting time. I suppose I am allowed to but at times I do feel guilty!
    The problem is that I actually sometimes have too much time on my hands, or I want to do things, go places but not on my own, and my husband, although officially retired, is busy working.
    I do have my own interests which get me out and about, mixing with others., I also do two days a week voluntary work which is very fulfilling, and I have family around.
    I spend a lot of time online, especially doing family history, but also playing games, banking, and chatting on forums.
    I don't spend much time doing housework, though I probably ought to do more. I am not one for spending money easily, though I have just paid out a tidy sum to get the drive done. money is not a problem.
    I have a bucket list, but gradually I am mentally crossing things off as realistically I know they will not happen. On the other hand maybe I need to make an effort to make sure that some of them do happen, before I get too decrepit! A balance between realism and optimism is needed.
    I have now been retired nearly ten years, and I could easily have another twenty five years ahead of me.
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 3rd May 17, 7:57 PM
    • 116 Posts
    • 359 Thanks
    excelpaul
    Newly Retired
    Many thanks for your contribution. I wouldn't worry too much. You seem to have a balanced and interesting lifestyle. You seem to have grown into retirement very well. Stop feeling guilty about simply doing what you want to do! In my experience if you really want to do something you will.
    Take care.
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 3rd May 17, 10:47 PM
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    Newly retired
    Thanks for the encouragement. I know that sometimes I need to make the most of opportunities that come my wAy, or even make more effort to do things slightly out of my comfort zone. I am sure it would be worth it.
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 4th May 17, 6:31 PM
    • 3,903 Posts
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    Katiehound
    I have a bucket list, but gradually I am mentally crossing things off as realistically I know they will not happen. On the other hand maybe I need to make an effort to make sure that some of them do happen, before I get too decrepit! .
    Originally posted by Newly retired
    If you have a realistic bucket list then surely they are things that you really really want to do in which case I think you need to start planning to do one or two of them now.
    It would be sad if a few years down the line you suddenly realised that there were things you passionately wanted to do but it was then too late and impossible.

    If there are things you want to do, or places you want to go but not alone can you not go with a relative or friend?
    You could even try going alone- there are lots of opportunities for singles. Many of the people taking part are in a relationship but the other half isn't interested / is working / has better things to do!

    and as to house work? what's that????!!

    It's about enjoying what you have and making the most of it.
    Enjoy and have fun
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!

    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Thank You
    • savingpennies
    • By savingpennies 6th May 17, 8:59 AM
    • 632 Posts
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    savingpennies
    Newly retired.
    I really wouldn't worry too much about housework - it could take up all of my time if I let it and no matter how many times you dust, it always comes back again. If our place looks tidy, the washing is done and the kitchen and bathroom are clean, I feel I've done my bit. We do the cleaning over one morning in the week, when we whizz round like dervishes and then go out for lunch. Box ticked.
    I claimed my pension last month and nearly had a heart attack when I read the letter telling me how much I was going to get (lump sum and monthly payment). It was much less than I had calculated. When I probed further, they had been given the wrong information by my old employer: my last few years salary had been inputted incorrectly and they showed gaps in my service. A visit to my old workplace soon sorted it out and it has now been corrected.
    Warning: do check your entitlement and make sure it is accurate.
    Books - the original virtual reality.

    2017 in 2017: £2090.11
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 6th May 17, 9:23 AM
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    • 2,696 Thanks
    Newly retired
    Saving pennies, your housework sounds about like mine. DH has so much stuff around that it makes life tricky so the dust stays. I do keep bathrooms clean as top priority.
    I am going to start looking for some singles trips, starting in the uk before I venture further afield. Almost all my travelling in recent years has been by car or local buses, so I do feel out of practice.
    Sorry to hear that your workplace messed up your pension but glad it is sorted now. Enjoy!
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 6th May 17, 11:09 AM
    • 3,903 Posts
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    Katiehound
    Hi Newly Retired, glad to hear you are looking at singles trips.

    Don't know how you feel about travelling on the water but I have become a cruise convert in the last 5 or 6 years.

    Up until now I have always cruised with Fred.Olsen- they are great for singles as they make a special effort to 'be nice to them!'- there is always an intro meeting at the start so you see who is travelling alone. The clientele overall is very friendly as are the staff. The ships are modest sized so you do meet the same folk. Loads to do- talks, classes in bridge, ballroom & crafts, evening entertainments and of course ports to visit! You only need to unpack once. There are a few round UK cruises.

    If you sign up with a cruise specialist travel agent (my go -to would be Ocean World Travel) you can ask them to let you know of any singles deals as soon as they are available.

    The only downside is the cost- sadly travelling alone creates a big mark up. However with cruising it's still usually a reasonably priced holiday because all meals and entertainment are included but not drinks or excursions. I think Saga's price structure might be different & include more but also may be more expensive.

    This is my mantra: a clean house is the sign of a wasted life
    but yes the kitchen and bathroom are clean.......not sure about the rest..
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!

    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Thank You
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 6th May 17, 8:20 PM
    • 23,110 Posts
    • 59,826 Thanks
    pollypenny
    Excelpaul, I was worried about finances after retirement, but am amazed by how we are managing.

    The one increased expense is more heating, but good insulation has helped.

    Much of our leisure time involves U3A which costs very little. We manage cinema trips on the Meerkats and eat out on vouchers and a Gourmet card.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • Fizzy11
    • By Fizzy11 10th May 17, 3:17 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Fizzy11
    My husband & I have both recently retired & we were looking forward to days out & holidays. Then at the end of April I fell & smashed my arm & elbow to smithereens so now we are housebound & my husband is learning new skills like washing & cooking. So enjoy your trips out to all the free museums, beaches & parks, the housework will keep who knows what's around the corner.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 10th May 17, 4:25 PM
    • 5,958 Posts
    • 35,540 Thanks
    Gers
    It's taken me 18 months of 'retirement' (as now do four hours of work a week) to come to terms with the fact that I have always hated doing housework and can afford a cleaner.

    It wasn't too bad when I was part of a couple and we lived in an inner city flat but now I live alone in the countryside with much more opportunity for muck coming in I see it more. So, last month I bit my own bullet and employed a cleaner for once a fortnight. Her tasks are to keep the bathroom clean, the kitchen / utility / back hall clean (especially the floors) and vacuum through. If there's time left she'll do the dusting.

    I'm so happy to come home to clean house, the lino floors were always the bane of my happiness.

    I haven't got a bucket list, most things I was keen on doing I've done. Not that I've abandoned life, far from it. Now I am intent on seeing more of my own country (Scotland) and making time for friends and family. Can't see me doing a cruise though I do use the ferries a lot. Islay... three hours away and stuffed to the edges with whisky distilleries. I'm a simple woman with simple tastes, one of which is a single malt.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 10th May 17, 6:10 PM
    • 23,110 Posts
    • 59,826 Thanks
    pollypenny
    Oh, I'd have a cleaner again if I could justify it!
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • missile
    • By missile 10th May 17, 10:22 PM
    • 9,023 Posts
    • 4,390 Thanks
    missile
    Oh, I'd have a cleaner again if I could justify it!
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    One of the few advantages of growing old is I no longer feel the need to justify things
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 14th May 17, 8:49 PM
    • 14,232 Posts
    • 38,555 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    One of the few advantages of growing old is I no longer feel the need to justify things
    Originally posted by missile
    I know what you mean.

    Well - I'm pretty environmentally-conscious - havent got a big family (though its my choice not to have children anyway), given up flying, no car, don't eat meat, buy everything possible organic

    - but I have a mini-confession to make here - ie that I did book a taxi for a longish journey I had to make recently to a train station (rather than catch a bus that would go all round all sorts of roads and take a lot longer than a car in the process). Further confession being - that I'm likely to do so again for the same trip in future.

    But - with being the only consumer of resources in my house - then I reckon I'm still being pretty darn "good"
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
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