Stopping work early with big change to lifestyle?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Pensions, Annuities & Retirement Planning
65 replies 12.8K views
cns06cns06 Forumite
299 Posts
Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
✭✭
Lets say you are 40, don't have much debt and have reasonable savings and really hate working. I am not talking lottery winners or anything, so lets say you can go from earning £60k+ but working full time, hard work - long hours - lots of stress, down to say £15-£20k but not working ever again. (based on having enough savings at 40 to cover that figure each year and then a pension of that value from your proper retirement age)

Obviously that would bring a large hit in lifestyle. But life would be very simple and although flying first class might be a problem you can probably just about afford to do some basic travel and the like. No kids or other commitments of any kind.

Would you do it? Too risky? Better to maybe split the difference and wait till mid / late 40s? Do it and get a basic job maybe 2 days a week to pay for trips and stuff? Or just carry on in the hope that the daily grind gets better and you can maybe still retire a bit sooner than you hoped anyway?
«134567

Replies

  • WobblyDogWobblyDog Forumite
    512 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts
    ✭✭
    I'm asking myself the same question, although I'm in my late forties. I'm arranging my finances so that I could retire comfortably at 55, but I would struggle if I "retired" now.

    I've come to the conclusion that what I really need to do is find a similar job for a different company, they can't all be as bad as the one I'm working for.
  • uk1uk1 Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    What many can do (I don't know about your situation) but often do not consider, is starting a business up during their spare time and build it slowly sufficiently to be worthwhile. Other's in "knowledge" or "expertise" based professions could also consider offering themselves in consultancy roles. You only need find a handful of clients to earn a decent living.

    Jeff
  • grey_gym_sockgrey_gym_sock Forumite
    4.5K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    how much of your £60k salary are you currently spending? if you're spending much more than £15-20k, then try cutting spending while you still have the job, and see how that works out (it might - that depends on you).

    you can do some things more cheaply when are not working and have more time. holidays can be done quite cheaply if you don't go at the most popular times, and you can go for longer holidays than you would when working (flights will cost the same with a longer gap between out & back).

    but how would you want to spend most of your time? supposing (even if it isn't quite true) that money is no object. are there aspects of your current job that you like, even if it's only incidental things (e.g. meeting more people)? is there some other kind of job that would suit you better? you have more options, if there's no requirement for it to pay as much as the current 1.
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
    19.6K Posts
    10,000 Posts Fifth Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Start with a plan.

    So, first of all, work out what you'd really need, not what you think you could struggle by on.

    So the basics like housing - is your mortgage paid off? Car? Will you need one? Any major expenses coming up ? Perhaps double glazing, roof, new boiler, all those big expenses! If so get those done now while you can pay for them with a few weeks work.(that's what I'm doing right now prior to retirement in a year or two)

    Once that's sorted, how much money do you have and will that last you 25 years before pensions kick in ? That's a lot of money. Do you have that now? If not how would you get it? Some savings, the part time job you mentioned?

    Next thing, do you hate the job or the company ? Perhaps you could do the same job with a different company? What other jobs could you do and would you do? Look at getting one whilst still working. Always easier to get a new job whilst in one, for some reason.

    Lastly, location. Where will you live? Where you are now? Could you save money by downsizing and / or moving to a different part of the country ? Perhaps live near city or town or village centre and public transport so no car needed?

    Once you've sorted all this and have a plan I think you'll find your current job is more bearable even if only for a year or two before you change jobs or pack it in. Also, if you have your plan then you'll know what you need to do, and also each year you are working is a year you aren't taking money from your retirement fund and it becomes more bearable whilst you look for a new one plus you know what sort of income you need from a new low pressure / part time job.

    But don't just carry on and hope.

    Plan, get ready, go.
  • Alter_egoAlter_ego Forumite
    3.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Did it 1986.
    2 of us stopped work, each sold a property. Bought a small yacht and sailed the Med and French canals. Interest rates on cash savings in those days was 10-12%, so didn't need to spend capital.
    Did it for 17yrs only returned when elderly parents needed support. Finally sold the yacht 2 yrs ago when we realised we were only using it as an holiday cottage in France.
    I am not a cat (But my friend is)
  • cns06cns06 Forumite
    299 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    uk1 wrote: »
    What many can do (I don't know about your situation) but often do not consider, is starting a business up during their spare time and build it slowly sufficiently to be worthwhile.
    Jeff

    Yes good idea but that's not something we are interested in as we have run our own business for a long time.
  • saver861saver861 Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    Can it be done, sure it can. However, I'm guessing at early 40's that potentially gives you a long time doing naught. If you are on a tight budget for all that time then the novelty might soon wear off.

    I would not do it personally - but I probably would do something to change from the current working situation to something more amenable.
  • cns06cns06 Forumite
    299 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    The figures were pie in the sky really, just examples - but probably do scale roughly to where we are at.

    Re the job, its our own business so nothing is likely to change ref work and there is absolutely nothing I enjoy about it. We both say and have said for a few years if we could stop going to work tomorrow we would.

    Our current savings pot would (just about) cover us till we hit 55-57, based on us having all bills / general costs covered plus maybe £5k PA for unexpected costs / holidays.

    We don't have any debt so to speak, we do have a mortgage but we could pay it off if needed, although we might have to wait until our current fix is up due to fees.

    One thing we have not accounted for is any value from the business, genuinely don't know what its worth or if anyone would buy it.

    We are hard working people but the last couple of years we have just started to really wonder if its worth putting ourselves through another 15 years of stress and long hours etc for what is basically going to be a couple of grand a month better off. Yes it will make for a much nicer lifestyle at 55 but think of all the places we could go and see and things we can do in 15 years?

    Hmmm...
  • Let me tell you that if you 'retire' at 40 you will go out of your mind with boredom.

    The first few months will be great, then you'll miss your £60k+ salary, then you'll go crazy trying to fill those long empty days.

    Find a job you like, part time maybe, earn £25k and then your life will be great.

    I did that, I work a three day week, get 20 days leave, that equates to six weeks of three days.

    So JDI or more firmly, JFDI!

    Good luck fj
  • cns06cns06 Forumite
    299 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    saver861 wrote: »
    Can it be done, sure it can. However, I'm guessing at early 40's that potentially gives you a long time doing naught. If you are on a tight budget for all that time then the novelty might soon wear off.

    I would not do it personally - but I probably would do something to change from the current working situation to something more amenable.

    We had a sit down and discussed what we would do and we got about 3 years worth of stuff to do - full time. I think if we spread that out it would be more like 5-6 years, maybe more. The main issue being cost as most of it involves travel of some kind or other but I am well aware you can travel most parts of the world on a tight budget.

    As I have not had a proper day off work since my early 20s I think we could fill our time - but money is always going to be the over riding factor.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Energy price cap could be extended beyond 2023

New plans have just been announced by the Government

MSE News

Cheap contents insurance for tenants

DON'T assume your landlord covers you

MSE Guides

Summer sizzlers round-up

Incl £2ish sun cream & £1.50 disposable BBQs

MSE Deals