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  • FIRST POST
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 19th Nov 16, 11:08 AM
    • 161Posts
    • 538Thanks
    excelpaul
    Everyday Ordinary Man Approaching Full Retirement at 59.
    • #1
    • 19th Nov 16, 11:08 AM
    Everyday Ordinary Man Approaching Full Retirement at 59. 19th Nov 16 at 11:08 AM
    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 7:00 PM.
Page 1
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 19th Nov 16, 12:53 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 538 Thanks
    excelpaul
    • #2
    • 19th Nov 16, 12:53 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Nov 16, 12:53 PM
    I must say I am looking forward to full retirement even though I will miss my colleagues and the students immensely. The job has been such a big part of me and my life for so long. However I really feel it is time to 'leave school' and have some new experiences.
    Last edited by excelpaul; 19-11-2016 at 1:18 PM.
    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 20th Nov 16, 8:46 AM
    • 5,798 Posts
    • 40,247 Thanks
    Caterina
    • #3
    • 20th Nov 16, 8:46 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Nov 16, 8:46 AM
    Dear excelpaul,

    What an interesting post, and what a good idea! It looks like you have really thought this through very carefully and I am sure you will enjoy a good retirement.

    I am going to subscribe to your thread and look forward to reading about your adventures in retirement-land, or semi-retirement for the time being.

    Meanwhile, have a look at the Old Style thread, there are a lot of really good suggestions on how to live well with very little. It made me smile that you called your 37 per month annuity "paltry", as in the OS forum you will find a thread on how to live for 1 per month! Not that you need it by what I read, but just as an example that no income is paltry if you administer it wisely.

    Looking forward to new posts, all the best!
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • Gers
    • By Gers 20th Nov 16, 4:28 PM
    • 7,425 Posts
    • 50,407 Thanks
    Gers
    • #4
    • 20th Nov 16, 4:28 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Nov 16, 4:28 PM
    You sound really sorted! Well done.

    My SP date has been moved to 2019 so I was fortunate enough to be able to take my occupational pension in March 2014, moved back up north from a life in the NE and now doing the retirement thing too.

    After a wee while I got ''restless brain' from missing the teaching / learning environment and now do one day at week at the local college plus a couple of other bits and pieces.

    Once major items have been bought and mortgage paid off it's amazing how ones needs shrivel. I no longer need to have new clothes or shoes etc (just an example). Not being near to tempting shops each day sharpens the mind about organisation and removes temptation!

    I too took the lump sum which set up everything nicely and allowed me to kit out the new home just the way I wanted, no compromises anymore. Now I'm bought out, more than surviving on pension and earnings.

    As for your SP - I have 46 years NI contributions and am still two years short of achieving the full new SP. You can buy voluntary class 3 contributions or work part time to get credits.

    Have a look at the pensions board, there are loads of people who are willing to help and very knowledgable too. They helped me in my investigations into class 3 contributions and, when I messed it up, gave me great advice about claiming some back.

    Enjoy your retirement whatever you do! My only sibling died at the young age of 54 and his second eldest child died this year at the age of 33 and that certainly does concentrate the mind!

    Do what you need to do... and have fun doing it.

    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 20th Nov 16, 5:04 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 538 Thanks
    excelpaul
    • #5
    • 20th Nov 16, 5:04 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Nov 16, 5:04 PM
    Many thanks for your comments GERS. As for increasing my state pension entitlement I am seriously considering leaving things as they are. I will have enough for my needs. I think I would rather use the extra contribution NI lump sums for some memorable short holidays! We shall see!!
    By the way have also had a similar discussion on the TES forums. A couple of people there still dithering at going early with hundreds of thousands of pounds behind them. What are they waiting for! Also trying to keep rational and not feel envious of being in a such a position!!
    • srn
    • By srn 20th Nov 16, 5:21 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    srn
    • #6
    • 20th Nov 16, 5:21 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Nov 16, 5:21 PM
    A very interesting post, I too will look forward to following it.

    My husband (then 58) took voluntary redundancy a year ago last april so I (then 61) decided to retire as well. We also worried about the reduced income but we did our sums and have not regretted a minute of it, in fact we spend far less, without denying ourselves anything, than we thought we would. We aren't huge spenders, but enjoy our caravan, we went away for 8 weeks this summer, wonderful, we toured the south east of England. To be honest I agree with you, if you think it's possible do it, it's the best thing we ever did.

    Savings returns are rubbish at present and I don't hold out much hope for the immediate future. We have spent a fair bit future-proofing our house.

    By the way our youngest son has just started his NQT year teaching Computer Science, he loves it, but is exhausted, I didn't realisse that teachers put in 12 hour days!
    • Caterina
    • By Caterina 20th Nov 16, 5:53 PM
    • 5,798 Posts
    • 40,247 Thanks
    Caterina
    • #7
    • 20th Nov 16, 5:53 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Nov 16, 5:53 PM
    With regard to taking the lump sum or the higher pension, in our case there is no doubt, take the money and run. DH suffers from a life-limiting disease and much as we would love to think that he has many years ahead of him, we would much rather enjoy what time he has on this Earth, and me too, who knows what's around the corner? Since his diagnosis last October we haven't looked back.

    Had he not needed to retire on health grounds he was planning to work past his pension age, he loved the project he was working on, but now he sees that not working does not mean getting bored, his time is full and enjoyable.

    We have to be a bit careful even with lump sums etc because there might be a point when we might need serious money to get him care and comfort and will not want to scrimp on that just because we splashed beforehand, so it is a balancing act for us at the moment.

    This November is the first month that he hasn't had a salary but only a small occupational pension, we are holding back from claiming his SP until February 2017 when he will be 66 and will have accrued another nice little lump sum, then get the regular state pension. At the moment we make do with his occupational, my bits and pieces of babysitting and supplemented by savings and bits of the lump sum.

    From Feb 2017 we will be in a much better position to assess what our regular income and expenditure will be, and at that point we will be able to see how much we want to draw from his private pensions, as yet untouched.

    In August 2017 I will be able to claim a couple of small occupational pensions of my own, although my SP is not until 2023. Overall we make do with very little on a day to day basis but splash a bit on travel. We only travel by train for example as I don't like flying and he does not like it on environmental reasons (I am terrified as well!), so if we go to Italy to visit my family it is overnight with a sleeper, much more expensive than a cheap flight but much more pleasurable and civilised, we find. We can do this because we are very careful in other areas.

    I find it very interesting to read how others manage their retirement finances because we are just at the beginning of this adventure and sincerely hope and pray to have quite a few more years to enjoy.
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 20th Nov 16, 6:43 PM
    • 4,398 Posts
    • 26,918 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    • #8
    • 20th Nov 16, 6:43 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Nov 16, 6:43 PM
    Such an interesting and considered post.

    I am not at this stage yet but I will be so it is very interesting to me to see how people have a staged retirement. I think I would like to retire at 60 and start to decrease work from the age off 55. However, I might change my mind!

    I have subscribed.

    I wish you a full and happy retirement.
    Target by end of Aug goal: 2000/4000
    Car costs savings: 500
    Xmas savings 50
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 21st Nov 16, 11:48 AM
    • 4,769 Posts
    • 39,540 Thanks
    Katiehound
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 16, 11:48 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 16, 11:48 AM
    I took very early retirement due to ill health and before the SP kicked in was living on an incomplete occupational pension. I certainly paid voluntary contributions to make the full state pension.

    Treats were certainly allowed as long as they were on the thrifty side! Think 2 for 1 meals , orange wednesdays and similar

    I would suggest with your savings that you look at the banks and budgeting thread. When you have a bit of time on your hands you will be able to play the current a/cs game. Even if TSB, Lloyds & Halifax are reducing their incentives in January they are still paying considerably more than a savings a/c. There's also cashback on debit contactless and credit cards for at least part of next year. It was possible to get 60 per month! plus 100 switching deals.

    Then with your little bit of extra dosh go out and enjoy life.
    There are still reduced rates for over 60s, they are not all tied to SP age

    Make a list of all the things you want to do (oh yes, the bucket list!)

    Above all.... enjoy!
    Last edited by Katiehound; 21-11-2016 at 9:38 PM.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6470cc+3045mm (3.04.5) + RK 8.03
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 21st Nov 16, 8:33 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 538 Thanks
    excelpaul
    Many thanks for your comments Katiehound. To be honest I am not really into the current account chasing and switching banks games. I am vey happy with my provider but do keep a check that my savings keep as far as possible up with inflation.
    I do quite well with Nectar points and my Boots card though. Just managed to buy several Christmas presents from Boots using the 125 I had accumulated with them. As a household we will have about 160 on our Nectar card to help with the Christmas shop. We probably make in excess of 400 a year with the Nectar card. It helps having a Sainsburys Credit card which we pay off in full each month and as a reward are credited lots of points. We also seem to get lots of coupons for certain items, triple points and money off petrol (which we also buy with the CC)
    Also have an M&S Sparks card. I am known as the M&S man both at school and at home!!
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 21st Nov 16, 9:27 PM
    • 4,769 Posts
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    Katiehound
    To be honest I am not really into the current account chasing and switching banks games. I am vey happy with my provider but do keep a check that my savings keep as far as possible up with inflation.
    Originally posted by excelpaul
    Well, you could open a couple of 'donor'accounts or maybe open 2 xTesco current a/c s paying 3% on 3,000 (or 6k in total) with no minimum pay in or outgoing DDs. easy peasy pocket money!!

    I suspect you have seen that there is a Nectar points double up on now- which ends- weds? I use Tesco so don't know the details
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6470cc+3045mm (3.04.5) + RK 8.03
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 22nd Nov 16, 11:36 AM
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    Katiehound
    Later thoughts!
    As you say you are an M&S man, M&S Bank have had 2 switching offers this year: basically switch an a/c with 2 x DDs (easy to create those) I got 100 on an M&S giftcard and then 10 per month for a year. So, 220 donation to my fund!! Also access to a regular saver earning ? 5%?
    I am not a huge M&S fan- 15 miles away and don't like their clothes but I have filled my freezer, for free.

    you don't need to switch the account that you like, just set up another basic a/c and give that the heave ho.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Many thanks

    2018 Wombling : Entrant 8 ..6470cc+3045mm (3.04.5) + RK 8.03
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 23rd Nov 16, 8:16 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 538 Thanks
    excelpaul
    Katiehound many thanks for the information. However still sticking with accounts I have currently. All my savings are keeping up with inflation at the moment and as I said earlier I intend to leave my S&S ISA for at least 8 years although I may add to it occasionally.
    Had a little luck on the Premium Bonds this month with a 25 win.
    Also a few pounds on Thunderball!!
    A non-working day tomorrow so a pleasant walk in the forest with the dogs ahead and some shopping. Need to do some A Level marking too. But life is good!
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 3rd Dec 16, 9:25 PM
    • 161 Posts
    • 538 Thanks
    excelpaul
    Go.
    Been over a week since I updated. Apologies for this but been rather busy with work and Christmas preparations. Spent today marking mock examination papers, just another 40 to go! Although only working part-time all my groups are examination groups. Well if all goes according to plan will be free by June 30th.
    Doing quite well with the Christmas shopping as I have kept within budget. No use of credit card or savings so quite pleased with myself. One final gift to purchase tomorrow and then finished!
    Been thinking a little about travel plans over next couple of years. Definitely going to do the Toronto-Vancouver train journey through the Rockies. Also would like to visit New Zealand. A few months in Cyprus is also in the plan.
    We have accepted a quote for the front drive and work will take place next March. The other upgrade planned for 2017 is a new kitchen.
    Not enjoying the cold weather although had some lovely walks with the dogs in the forest and nearby fields with clear blue skies.
    Added another 500 to regular saver on pay day. Not expecting to save much more this month with Christmas approaching.
    Hope everyone is keeping well.
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 4th Dec 16, 8:28 AM
    • 2,412 Posts
    • 2,822 Thanks
    Newly retired
    You could maybe continue to do exam board marking after retirement if you like. It would pay for a short break holiday. Or invigilation, if you can bear it. As a retired teacher myself, I do neither!
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 4th Dec 16, 9:11 PM
    • 10,482 Posts
    • 38,141 Thanks
    luxor4t
    You could maybe continue to do exam board marking after retirement if you like. It would pay for a short break holiday. Or invigilation, if you can bear it. As a retired teacher myself, I do neither!
    Originally posted by Newly retired
    I do both...

    If you mark for an exam board and want to add to your state retirement pension you can choose to pay voluntary class 2 (self employed) national insurance contributions - https://www.gov.uk/voluntary-national-insurance-contributions/who-can-pay-voluntary-contributions.

    The HMRC don't act very quickly though: they have had my application for a couple of months but so far I have only been asked to pay for one of the 2 backdated years and have heard nothing since!
    Last edited by luxor4t; 04-12-2016 at 9:14 PM.
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
    • fatbeetle
    • By fatbeetle 7th Dec 16, 4:38 AM
    • 501 Posts
    • 945 Thanks
    fatbeetle
    Paul,

    I'm in a "similar but different" phase of life to you. I plan to retire, back in Blighty, in Feb 2018, at age 59. To save me typing it all again, I'll cut and paste my situation from other threads, (and update the stats while I'm at it.)

    (I will be 59 my wife 54 when this happens, we currently live in Australia.)

    We have sufficient cash in my superannuation to give us 25,000 a year to live on for 9 years, or 25,000 a year for 7 years, plus 58,000 to spend on doing up our house, and buying a UK car etc.

    I will take my super as a lump sum, invest half of it in long term high interest accounts.

    With the rest of the money in short-term, easy-access, saving accounts, we will move back to Cornwall, (mortgage free house there.) If we can survive on my superannuation lump sum until the wife hits 59, (in 5 years time,) then her superannuation will kick in.

    This is a substantial size, and will pay the equivalent of 35,000 + pa.

    When this kicks in we can live happily on that. (plus I will take my NHS pension at 60 giving us an extra 3463.00 pa, plus I get a UK pension at 66.)

    (All figures based on an exchange rate of $1.00 Au = 58p, today's rate.)

    Since I've been over here the $ Au has been as low as 32p and as high as 68p, so we're budgeting/banking/praying of it averaging 50 p over the next years.
    If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and who weren't so lazy.
    • Newly retired
    • By Newly retired 7th Dec 16, 7:38 AM
    • 2,412 Posts
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    Newly retired
    Fat beetle, I am wondering if you need to take the whole of your superman as a lump sum? Maybe it is because you are going to leave the country which pays it? If it is possible, might it not be better to just take enough for your immediate needs and draw the rest as a pension?

    Just to update you on the savings scene here in the Uk. There are no longer any decent high interest savings accounts. The rates are pathetic. As you can read elsewhere on this site, the best accounts are current accounts, but only for relatively small sums, and regular savers I.e. Monthly payments, which mostly mature after a year. And who knows how things will be in a couple of years?
    • fatbeetle
    • By fatbeetle 7th Dec 16, 7:52 AM
    • 501 Posts
    • 945 Thanks
    fatbeetle
    Very kind of you to share those thoughts NR. I have to draw the lump sum down when I am an Aussie resident, otherwise I'll pay 35% tax on it, (as opposed to a nominal tax on the first $200,000. as a resident.)

    I'll invest the bulk of it in high interest savings accounts here in Aus, some long term, others instant access. I'll use "transferwise" or another such facility to transfer living expense to the UK when needed, or when the exchange rate is in my favour.

    Any more thoughts you may have would be most welcomed, thanks again.
    If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and who weren't so lazy.
    • Collyflower1
    • By Collyflower1 10th Dec 16, 7:49 AM
    • 45 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Collyflower1
    Hi, I retired in January at 54, I was 55 in October. Had a small business and sold up. I have about 178,000 in savings and that's it. 163k of it bringing back about 3015 in interest from a fixed rate isa, fixed rate bond and Santander's 123 current account. The other 15k is there to dip into when I feel like it. Im living with my elderly mother and look after her with her mobility issues; I get 62 carer's allowance per wk. Lastly I have about 19,300 in a private pension which im going to start paying into again for the tax relief and also its been growing at about 4.7% per year on average......although its down to about 2.5% this year. I don't know if im doing the right thing but im considering leaving the pension to grow ,as an investment, until about 62 then taking it in lump sums which fall below my personal allowance to avoid as much tax as possible! Obviously finishing work so young means im taking a chance. The bungalow is payed for and is registered equally between the two of us.
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