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Early-retirement wannabe

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  • edited 13 November 2010 at 11:29PM
    Marine_lifeMarine_life Forumite
    1.1K posts
    Hung up my suit!
    edited 13 November 2010 at 11:29PM
    ok, a while since my last post on RFW but I thought I would give a progress update.

    My OH has started to maintain records of how much we are spending. We will look at it over the next few months to see where we are. The main excess seems to be food shopping where we are spending somewhere around £20 per day (no junk food but I am wondering where it is going).

    Next - we have been looking at the cash we have saved which looks like around £700,000. I know it sounds a lot but I am aiming for retirement in around 5 years so that cash would need to last the rest of my life! I am hoping we can add another £3-400,000 to that over the next three years but we will have to really cut back if we are going to hit that figure. I am confident that if we can get to £1 m with no mortgage then I can retire at 50.

    3 years 11 months to go!
    Money won't buy you happiness....but I have never been in a situation where more money made things worse!
  • lilac_ladylilac_lady Forumite
    4.5K posts
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    Good luck Marine_life. Even though I don't have an income like you hope yours will be (far from it!), retirement is wonderful!

    IMO opinion if you have no debt, no mortgage and some safety net savings, retirement could be an option for lots of people.
    " The greatest wealth is to live content with little."

    Plato


  • GatserGatser Forumite
    607 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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    Yes, Good Luck Marine Life
    ...and very interesting/useful thread.

    I started THE NUMBER thread because, as Loughton Monkey states, it is EXPENDITURE that is the key to a well planned retirement at any age...
    knowing what you need/want to spend is crucial in trying to work out how much you need to save in pensions/investments.
    The majority of people miss this point. (but not on here!)

    We use one credit card to purchase all Food/Fuel(petrol)
    so its easy to keep track of expenditure on those items
    (and we get cashback too :T)

    The non-financial aspects are equally interesting to discuss.
    We have a growing number of friends that have semi-retired and
    (as mentioned on here) are finding the reduced stress factor alone is a major positive of early (semi) retirement.
    Working 3 days a week is so much more relaxed than the usual 5-2 routine.

    Personally, I want a mix of activities in retirement and that includes "money generation"
    (but let's not call it working eh? :))
    Income of around £12k is my aim, to top up pension/savings income.
    Target age: from 55.

    Great experience last year following sudden "redundancy" ... made me realise the true value of more free time
    and opportunities to enjoy it (while we are fit & healthy).
    Needed F/T job to continue pension saving... but it confirmed that early semi-retirement
    is just what I want. (although not sure OH wants me around all those extra hours! ;))

    Places are quieter and more relaxed Monday-Friday 9-5 too!
    THE NUMBER is how much you need to live comfortably: very IMPORTANT as part 1 of Retirement Planning. (Average response to my thread is £26k pa)
    My Other NUMBER: ZERO Working Days to SEMI-retirement: Achieved! :beer: :j :T ;)
  • lvaderlvader Forumite
    2.6K posts
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    Great thread.

    I'm also looking to retire early. I used to earn a lot of money and would spend it all on unimportant things. Then 2 years ago (age 43) I got made redundant and my outlook has completely changed.

    I had to take part-time work and while I enjoyed the extra free time I was always under pressure to find another highly paid full time job. 18 months later I'm back in full time emplyment but had to take a 25% pay cut compared to before.

    I have cut my expenses by around 50% and I'm much more careful with my money. My plan is to be in a position to retire by the time I'm 55. I've made a decent start with my pension but I still have a long way to go,I figure if I make a real effort over the next 10 years I should be fine.
  • Gatsa

    That's a good idea about using a single card for petrol. That happens anyway as i have a fue card and actually only pay petrol once a year (company car).

    In this thread I am going to call wasting money "leaking" as that is what seems to happen - it just leaks away.

    One of this years biggest leaks has been holidays - as a family of four holidays are very expensive. I hate to skimp on holidays as I have a stressful job so last thing I was is a stressful holiday. Anyway this year we did three holidays one of which was Thailand which was very expensive.

    As we move towards retirement I actually think we may want to travel less or at least travel more within Europe which I think will materially reduce outgoings. I have been very fortunate to travel a lot with work and whilst that mainly involves seeing the airport and a hotel room - we have in between seen quite a lot such that I don't really feel the need to roam anymore.

    So whilst holidays will stay an important part of my retirement plan, the spend will be significantly reduced.

    Just thinking on that - is it still fair to call a holiday a holiday in retirement?
    Money won't buy you happiness....but I have never been in a situation where more money made things worse!
  • So whilst holidays will stay an important part of my retirement plan, the spend will be significantly reduced.

    Just thinking on that - is it still fair to call a holiday a holiday in retirement?

    Unlike financial matters, this question strays into the territory of personal choice.

    I notice that people are different. For a start, there are many people who genuinely say they will 'never' retire. I think they just love their job so much. Not necessarily the money. Then there are others, I notice who have to be 'wheeling and dealing' - again, not necessarily for the money, but it is a personal trait.

    Personally, I worked extremely hard over my 34 years. You can count the number of days off ill on one hand. Literally. I was even back at work in the afternoon of a kidney stone operation in the morning. Because of all this, my own aspiration on retiring was simply that. Retire. Forget the stress.

    Throughout my working life I always insisted on three weeks holiday at once. Often resisted, but I always made it. Two weeks was never enough for me in my annual attempt to 'switch off and recharge'.

    Our current strategy/practice is to hitch up the trailer full of camping equipment (luxury tent, plus small one for overnights) and clear off somewhere for 8 weeks mid May to mid July, aiming to get home before the 'masses' of kids get on holiday and pollute the place. [Spain, Portugal, France, Italy etc.] Then July/Sept is devoted to lounging by our pool in the British Sun. Guess which part of that often doesn't happen!!!!

    [Being away more than 60 days invalidates home insurance!!]

    The rest of the time, at least for me, is fully used. Managing my financial affiars can be reasonbly time consuming. It's also usual to have one or two hobbies. Playing Bridge perhaps, or (like me) tracing your family tree can be very rewarding and time consuming. I often go to the BBC and watch recordings. I get hauled out by my wife for walks in Epping Forest and elsewhere.

    My retirement budget also includes an annual luxury spend, and we tend to use that either for a refurbishment job in the house, or a winter holiday in Asia. [Trying to manage the budget and make 'extra' savings for extra luxuries is also fun!].

    In 5 years, I have not regretted retiring even for a minute. Nor have I ever got out of bed 'wondering' what to do today. The only decision I have to make, of any substance, is when the sun has gone down over the yardarm each day so that I can enjoy a very large Gin & Tonic or two. Luckily, my 'yardarm' is fully adjustable!
  • edited 15 November 2010 at 8:48PM
    firesidemaidfiresidemaid Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Bake Off Boss!
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    edited 15 November 2010 at 8:48PM
    i started my 'semi-retirement plan' about 2.5 years ago, which consists of a few stages:

    1) overpay on mortgage big-time to pay off asap (since helped by very low rates).

    started small ebay business to also assist with this. hopefully paying it off completely will co-incide with

    2) leave high-pressure job (in 2.5/3 years by choice if not before due to new government changes:rotfl:) with 24 years pension (to be claimed at 55-60 years).

    3) do same job at lower grade (and less hours), but same money as a temp worker to keep saving for a few years

    4) eventually just work locally doing a part-time job plus up the ebay side of things to constitute a combined income.

    i am in my early 40s now. we can downsize in the future. after paying off the mortgage (offset). we need to put the same money into savings, which is what we are currently lacking.

    the uncertainty lies for me with a what age will i get/be able to get my work and state pensions - as they keep moving the goalposts.

    with no mortgage, i think we would happily live on very little - no dependents. i worry about having enough for new cars when required and major house maintenance.

    my plans are very low-tech and basic, maybe naive even. my occupationalpension when i get it would be the equivalent today of approx £11-1200 per month.
  • GillMGillM Forumite
    184 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I retired on 31 July 2010 aged 53. I won't get my occupational pension until 60 and state pension until 66 but I actually took voluntary redundancy so with that payout (just over a years salary but only taxed on the amount over £30,000) and my savings I'm confident that I can support myself until 60 and hope to be able to live on my pension (final salary scheme with 37 years service) without dipping further into my savings on a day-to-day basis. The lump sum payment I will get will cover about half of what I'll have spent of my savings up to then.

    I only decided about 12 months ago that I was going to retire, although I'd always hoped to retire before 60. I had AVCs for about 16 years and for most of my working life have saved between half and a third of my income, so my savings are quite high plus the drop in income is relatively lower when you save such a high proportion. Also I paid off my mortgage about 3 years ago so that helps.

    At the moment I have no plans to look for any kind of work, but then it's only been 4 months yet so who knows how I'll feel in a year's time. In any case, I would not work for the money but for something that would interest me. I'd probably start out volunteering.

    I decided to retire early because I was off sick with stress for 4 months in 2008/09 (before that the longest I'd ever been off sick was 3 weeks following cataract surgery, and before that, only the odd day for colds, bad toothache etc). It was hard going back to work, and the stress actually increased rather than decreasing and I just knew that if I continued working much longer I'd be off sick again, which I didn't want.

    I keep thinking I've done my sums wrong, because it's hard to believe I could afford to give up work at my age, especially with no particular forward planning, but so far it's fine. Hope your plans work out.
  • GatserGatser Forumite
    607 posts
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    GillM wrote: »
    I decided to retire early because I was off sick with stress for 4 months in 2008/09

    I keep thinking I've done my sums wrong, because it's hard to believe I could afford to give up work at my age, especially with no particular forward planning, but so far it's fine. Hope your plans work out.

    Good points!

    Ex colleague of mine died last month, aged 56
    We always need reminding of our mortality.

    It's amazing how many folks just keeping working when they could afford to (at least) semi-retire. ....and just think of how many jobs it would create for the under 25's who really do need a job.
    THE NUMBER is how much you need to live comfortably: very IMPORTANT as part 1 of Retirement Planning. (Average response to my thread is £26k pa)
    My Other NUMBER: ZERO Working Days to SEMI-retirement: Achieved! :beer: :j :T ;)
  • GatserGatser Forumite
    607 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭
    Gatsa
    In this thread I am going to call wasting money "leaking" as that is what seems to happen - it just leaks away.
    One of this years biggest leaks has been holidays - as a family of four holidays are very expensive.
    As we move towards retirement I actually think we may want to travel less or at least travel more within Europe which I think will materially reduce outgoings.
    So whilst holidays will stay an important part of my retirement plan, the spend will be significantly reduced.

    Just thinking on that - is it still fair to call a holiday a holiday in retirement?

    I have a "leaking" problem too ... nothing to do with old age or plumbing! The expenditure labelled as "Cash" seems to get bigger!

    Agree on the holidays: getting holidays to fit in with school/college has cost £000's but looking forward to cheaper breaks... I keep saying that some of our best holidays have not been the most expensive.
    I can see the desire to travel distances diminishing...infact in retirement we would like to fuly explore the UK and Europe.

    A holiday in retirement? "Leisure Travel" ? :T
    So retirement means the end of "HOLIDAYS"??? ...but the start of ONE BIG HOLIDAY! ;)
    THE NUMBER is how much you need to live comfortably: very IMPORTANT as part 1 of Retirement Planning. (Average response to my thread is £26k pa)
    My Other NUMBER: ZERO Working Days to SEMI-retirement: Achieved! :beer: :j :T ;)
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