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What made you 'pull the trigger'?
in Pensions, annuities & retirement planning
289 replies 71.1K views
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I moved jobs at 53 as I was increasingly under pressure to deliver in a demanding job that gave me a great pension but also lots of stress and frustration. I therefore (having unsuccessfully tried to be made redundant) moved into a role in the private sector that paid fantastically well pre COVID but I slowly came to the conclusion that whilst the money was great I couldn't see I had the desire, hunger or drive that I needed to keep see myself doing it for many years.
So I basically ploughed as much of my salary into the DC pension as possible using available b/f allowances which saw me get a DC pot of some £150k in 2 and a half years alot helped by the tax man whose benefits I was not going to be able to exploit as well from January 2022 onwards. My wife who is 3 years older than me had finished her job in April 2022 and embraced her new found time and freedom so I worked out I could easily go with a combination of built up savings and pension (I will drawdown from April 2023 the £150k (now £140k in line with investment downturns) and a sizable pot of savings so pulled the trigger
I did have a backstop and agreed to do 18 days consultancy for my old employer (this has now finished) and also agreed to do another 15 days work that brought me in over £20k in the last 12 months but even that small amount of work and excellent recompense for my now endless free time isn't enough for me to think I want to do the same in 2023 and instead I would just rather concentrate/enjoy the things I want to do as none of us know what is around the corner and the grand old age of 57
We have the certainty and luxury of two DB pensions of circa £77k when they come into payment (my wife is already in receipt of her half) so not subject to the stock market performance but even the crash as had an upside as suddenly the cash pots I had to determine what to do with are earning good interest meaning I have more than enough to keep the wolves from the door so good luck in making the right decision for you which is I have found as much a mental one (not feeling guilty about not working full or even part time( as a financial one
So I was called into a meeting and basically told I was being let go, with a 2 month lump sump (only been there just over 2 years). I snatched their hand off and never looked back. Now with DB pension, SIPP drawdown, 2 state pensions and a small Civil Service pension I have more income then I've ever had. Still manage to spend it all mind...
I'm where you were - at 53, suddenly ground to a halt in the City (albeit I've been around many different firms, and not had the DB fortune).
I'm just trying to get back into work after 6 months off, but feeling a bit of trepidation to be honest.
I think I have a few more years before I can pull the trigger. Certainly in another 12 months or so I will have the fallback of my DC money, but will still have 12m of school fees and several years of uni support.
I'm pretty confident that I could move out (back) into consulting, or get a senior SME role at any of my clients doing an easier version of what I do now.
Objectively, I have it really easy, but it feels awful. I'm trying to get away from feeling like I'm hanging on.
At some point the markets will recover and I suspect that will give me (us) the confidence to step away from current role. Whether to zero, or p/t consulting - not sure at present.
I've no idea what the markets are going to do in the medium term. I'm guessing that the next couple of years are going to be filled with nervous volatility as the "bottom" is called several times and the external factors develop.
Whether 2 years, or 3 or whatever, there will come a point where things improve, and psychologically once this happens it will also hopefully take me through the LTA and beyond. That's likely to be the trigger - a combination of LTA and confidence, with a side smattering of family issue as a possibility (caring for parents / children / etc).
I have more self-respect than to work four years for effectively three years of salary. At the LTA, work becomes optional. I opted to stop. With close to a year of lifestyle planning already done, the transition was very easy to make. The pre-planning was crucial, though. Retire to something, not just from something.
So this year I’ve taken the first steps on what is going to be a fairly long “glide path” to retirement, taking one DB pension a year early, while dropping down to 4 days a week.
Then next year I’m taking my CS Premium pension, and dropping to 3 days, to ease myself into the idea of retirement.
My main issue then is deciding when I can finally pull the trigger, with enough coming in, and enough savings to cover the gap between taking my CS Alpha pension early, and SP kicking in