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    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 19th Nov 16, 12:08 PM
    • 90Posts
    • 262Thanks
    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
    • 84 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    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 £18,504.90 to be mortgage free by Nov Oct 2017 Jan £3,012.25 paid / £15,492.65 left Feb £1,801.54 paid / £13,691.11 left Mar £2,504.97 paid / £11,186.14 left Apr £1,668.12 paid / £9,518.02 left
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 20th Apr 17, 3:44 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 262 Thanks
    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
    • 618 Posts
    • 3,942 Thanks
    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.

    £2 Savers £30/£300
    Save 2017: £220.31/£2017
    • bournefree
    • By bournefree 20th Apr 17, 7:55 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    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 £18,504.90 to be mortgage free by Nov Oct 2017 Jan £3,012.25 paid / £15,492.65 left Feb £1,801.54 paid / £13,691.11 left Mar £2,504.97 paid / £11,186.14 left Apr £1,668.12 paid / £9,518.02 left
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