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  • FIRST POST
    • excelpaul
    • By excelpaul 19th Nov 16, 12:08 PM
    • 133Posts
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    excelpaul
    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 !!!8216;contracted in!!!8217; 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 !!!8216;contracted out!!!8217; 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!!!8217;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 17
    • missile
    • By missile 2nd Jan 18, 5:26 PM
    • 9,477 Posts
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    missile
    . I'd be really grateful if anyone who has been in this position could give some insight on how you dealt with these issues.
    Originally posted by rosy
    Been there done that. It is difficult to predict the future and I was fortunate that I was able to find employment when circumstances changed.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 2nd Jan 18, 5:51 PM
    • 1,260 Posts
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    dunroving
    I've been reading this thread with interest and have found it really useful - thank you to all who have posted. OH and I are seriously considering stopping work this year but would need to use our savings to bridge the gap till we could access public sector DB pensions when we are 60 in three years time ( OH's would be reduced for early payment but we can cope with that). What does make me anxious is what if regulations change in the meantime and we couldn't access the pensions till much later? I would also be very reliant on the spouse's benefit from OH's pension if anything were to happen to him and it's a concern of mine that if there was a significant downturn in the economy that benefit would be withdrawn ( I know the chances of that must be really small but it does niggle away at me ). Plus the psychological aspect of not having any income and swapping from a lifetime of saving hard to seeing a lot of money going out of the savings account each month... we are pretty frugal but it would still be a substantial amount over three years. I know we could hang on in there and go at 60 but I am conscious we will never get this time back again, on paper we can comfortably afford it and I don't want to lose this opportunity because I'm being unnecessarily and unreasonably risk averse! We've been going round in circles tbh. I'd be really grateful if anyone who has been in this position could give some insight on how you dealt with these issues.
    Originally posted by rosy
    That is similar to my situation. There was something about watching my "savings" increase every month that I found very satisfying. I have recently retired on a pension that won't quite pay the bills so I have another 6 years to go until State Pension kicks in. During that time, I'll be watching the savings balances gradually decrease.

    I know it's not going to be easy to see that after a lifetime of frugality and saving, not spending, I've just told myself to get over it.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 2nd Jan 18, 8:57 PM
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    Katiehound
    I know in the great scheme of things we are only talking peanuts but are you playing the current accounts game? If you diversify your savings a little you could be earning 3% or even 5% on a regular saver by having maybe 8 accounts each! You are then in a position to also play the switching game- the best of these was Clydesdale/Yorks bank which is just starting to pay out £250 to customers who met the t&cs with a switch.

    The point is that if you have a few extra pounds coming in per month you won't have to bite so deeply into your savings.

    If you are interested look on the banking & budgeting board- or you can pm me
    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 ..2319 cc+.2205mm (£2.20.5) + RK £5.21= £30.64.5
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 3rd Jan 18, 9:56 AM
    • 24,049 Posts
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    pollypenny
    Rosy, if you!!!8217;re in good health you could have 30 years in front of you. Unless work is causing enormous stress, I!!!8217;d say stick it out until you can access your occupational pensions without loss.

    I was reminded that our 60s are our golden years. Have enough money to enjoy them. We are still enjoying life at 70 and 74.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • joansgirl
    • By joansgirl 3rd Jan 18, 1:55 PM
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    joansgirl
    That is similar to my situation. There was something about watching my "savings" increase every month that I found very satisfying. I have recently retired on a pension that won't quite pay the bills so I have another 6 years to go until State Pension kicks in. During that time, I'll be watching the savings balances gradually decrease.

    I know it's not going to be easy to see that after a lifetime of frugality and saving, not spending, I've just told myself to get over it.
    Originally posted by dunroving


    This ^^^^^

    I sometimes feel a little anxious when I see the savings balance dropping but not anxious enough to do anything about it.

    It is a hard adjustment from saving to spending.

    I think you need to think about how much stress it will cause you if you stop working but are constantly worried about finances. It's all very well not having to work, having all that time to do "stuff" but if it's taking a toll on your peace of mind it might not be for you.

    It took me ages to do it, I COULD have stopped work 5 years ago but was too nervous to take the plunge.

    Now I have I know I've made the right decision for ME. Horses for courses. Hope you can get this sorted out in your head.
    Some people only exist as examples of what to avoid...
    .


    Finito

    Brazil and Serbia
    • rosy
    • By rosy 3rd Jan 18, 6:12 PM
    • 640 Posts
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    rosy
    Thank you all for your thoughts. I know that the savings have all been for this purpose and meant to be spent eventually but it's very helpful to know that others understand how nervous I feel about making that switch - thank you for the reassurance that I'm not being totally OTT worrying about it. I think, having read so many people's experiences of stopping work and even wishing they'd gone earlier, I have been feeling a bit of (self-induced) pressure to just go for it. I'm still not sure whether to take the plunge now or not but now I've realised I shouldn't be feeling guilty for putting the brakes on, it feels like some of that pressure has been taken off and that makes it a bit easier to think. Thanks again!
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 3rd Jan 18, 6:42 PM
    • 302 Posts
    • 710 Thanks
    crv1963
    [QUOTE=rosy;73656521]Thank you all for your thoughts. I know that the savings have all been for this purpose and meant to be spent eventually but it's very helpful to know that others understand how nervous I feel about making that switch - thank you for the reassurance that I'm not being totally OTT worrying about it. I think, having read so many people's experiences of stopping work and even wishing they'd gone earlier, I have been feeling a bit of (self-induced) pressure to just go for it. I'm still not sure whether to take the plunge now or not. QUOTE]



    I think go when you feel comfortable but promise yourself that you wont just think "one more year" every year until you hit state retirement age! Is going at 60 so bad if you keep peace of mind?


    I went on a pre-retirement course and one area of discussion was using retirement from our public sector roles as a way of having a change of direction maybe part time in another job we liked the look of! One has to look at retirement as a whole and happiness is important, 30+ years post retirement thinking I didn't have enough money or worrying that I'd have been better staying a bit longer would drive me to distraction too!


    Good luck with your thinking and planning.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • sukysue
    • By sukysue 4th Jan 18, 9:25 AM
    • 1,722 Posts
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    sukysue
    Rosy quite honesty no one could have been as risk averse as moi over retiring from work lol. I have to tell you I am abso loving it and the impact upon the savings is really not as bad as feared. I don't know what your retirement wants to look like but ours is a very simple deliriously happy one . Walking, cups of tea , reading , music, tv some computer, looking after my very elderly parents and the puss cats lol . Time we never had for each other. I have rediscovered my best friend, my DH and life is wonderful. I finally decided to go, on the decision that if the money was a worry I could always go back to work. The same goes for the two of you my dear, good luck!
    Last edited by sukysue; 04-01-2018 at 8:01 PM.
    xXx-Sukysue-xXx
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 4th Jan 18, 10:15 AM
    • 6,153 Posts
    • 29,607 Thanks
    bugslet
    Hi rosy, as I've not retired myself yet, I can't really answer. However, I do think that once you have time to kick back a bit, you can look and see if there is anything you want to do that might produce income, be it a one day a week job, or maybe a mini business.

    I've half a mind to do some qualifications in garden design ( I do a bit of advice and suggestions for friends now, so it would be nice to have the ability to do it more formally) and I think if I managed to get on average £100.00 a week, with no mortgage in a couple of years, I can count that £100.00 as covering the basics.

    Would something like that assuage your fears a bit?
    • joansgirl
    • By joansgirl 4th Jan 18, 12:05 PM
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    joansgirl
    I think it's easy for those of us who may be in a more comfortable financial position to say "Go for it", I very much understand the hesitancy.

    Maybe getting something part time instead of going completely cold turkey would suit better? Or as others have said get something part time if the financial side isn't panning out as you'd hoped.
    Some people only exist as examples of what to avoid...
    .


    Finito

    Brazil and Serbia
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 5th Jan 18, 6:18 PM
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    dunroving
    I read a couple of fascinating sources recently that discussed the US model of retirement, that follows along the lines of all those American TV retirement ads - you know, the idea that we will live for ever and will always have the energy to run along exotic beaches on the other side of the world, kind of thing.

    Consequently, I think in the US at least there is an overemphasis on "having enough" (money) for retirement. In the long run, many Americans need all that money saved up to pay for medical expenses ... and in the UK, after a certain age we don't have the energy or desire to be living the high life.

    The other part of the American model (the exotic beaches bit) is also a false assumption for many. Like Sukysue, I just want a simple retirement life and have almost zero desire even now for long-haul travel, expensive new toys, fancy restaurants, etc.

    So often I read (usually American) articles that include as part of the "How much money do I need saved up?" question various daft assumptions about retiring on half, or 60%, or even 80% of your working income. WHAT the flip is that all about?!?!?? There are so many things wrong with that blanket assumption that I don't know where to begin.

    So, as Joansgirl says, it all depends on your personal circumstances how much you need to have saved up and whether you should be worrying about the money running out. But in my inexpert opinion, I think the financial industry (and maybe even places like MSE) overemphasis the conservative approach, leading many of us to wait longer to retire than we really need to. Life is finite and the later we leave it (retirement), the less time we have to enjoy it!
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • joansgirl
    • By joansgirl 6th Jan 18, 12:49 PM
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    joansgirl
    I'll tell you how I worked out whether I had enough money/what I needed in reserve.

    I wrote down ALL monthly expenditure, including things like dog food, Christmas and birthday presents etc. Then I worked out how much I needed until state pension age based on that. Then I added about £15-£20k on for unforeseeables. Subtracted any income/pensions I would be getting. The amount left was what I needed to survive.

    Thing is, if you do want foreign holidays, new car or anything like that then those expenses must be figured in as well.

    Ideally I would have worked another 3 years, but once I got the idea in my head I could stop work I couldn't shake it off. And in the end I thought sod it, life's too short, do it now.
    Some people only exist as examples of what to avoid...
    .


    Finito

    Brazil and Serbia
    • missile
    • By missile 6th Jan 18, 5:07 PM
    • 9,477 Posts
    • 4,713 Thanks
    missile
    I'd be really grateful if anyone who has been in this position could give some insight on how you dealt with these issues.
    Originally posted by rosy
    Hi Rosy,
    I made an XL spread sheet with my projected income / projected expenditure / cash reserve year on year to estimate how long my savings & investments would last. I can send you a copy if this would be of interest?
    To keep it simple, I have ignored the affect inflation may have on my plan. I hope the profit from investment would balance inflation.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • fatbeetle
    • By fatbeetle 8th Jan 18, 4:55 AM
    • 399 Posts
    • 738 Thanks
    fatbeetle
    I know we could hang on in there and go at 60 but I am conscious we will never get this time back again, on paper we can comfortably afford it and I don't want to lose this opportunity because I'm being unnecessarily and unreasonably risk averse! We've been going round in circles tbh. I'd be really grateful if anyone who has been in this position could give some insight on how you dealt with these issues.
    Originally posted by rosy
    We've just taken retirement at 59 and 54 and will be living on savings until 2022. To be honest it's the best thing we've done, we're loving the time together.

    We have the extra worry of holding our savings in Australia, and moving from Aus to the UK to factor in, but to be honest, we're more than happy to take on the challenges if it gives us this freedom and time.
    “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.”
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 8th Jan 18, 12:54 PM
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    dunroving
    We've just taken retirement at 59 and 54 and will be living on savings until 2022. To be honest it's the best thing we've done, we're loving the time together.

    We have the extra worry of holding our savings in Australia, and moving from Aus to the UK to factor in, but to be honest, we're more than happy to take on the challenges if it gives us this freedom and time.
    Originally posted by fatbeetle
    I can identify with this, having lived in the US for many years. I moved about 35% of my 403(b) funds a year ago while the dollar/pound was at jut $1.25-$1.30. I'd have moved the whole lot if it hadn't triggered higher rate tax. It gave me a 25% "bonus" on what the dollar has been at over the past 20 years or so, in terms of how many pounds I got.

    I plan to move another 20% or so in the next tax year, and then convert the remainder to a fixed-dividend product (TIAA Traditional) that yields a decent fixed interest (currently 3.5%) while preserving capital. As long as the exchange rate doesn't go beyond the traditional $1.40-$1.60 range, I won't cry too many tears.

    Just an additional wrinkle that us expats have to deal with when returning to the UK.
    (Nearly) dunroving
    • fatbeetle
    • By fatbeetle 8th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
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    fatbeetle
    I can identify with this, having lived in the US for many years. I moved about 35% of my 403(b) funds a year ago while the dollar/pound was at jut $1.25-$1.30. I'd have moved the whole lot if it hadn't triggered higher rate tax.
    We've seen the rate fluctuate from $1Au = 32p to $1Au = 68p.

    Currently at 57p which we're happy with, long may it stay stable there.
    “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.”
    • fatbeetle
    • By fatbeetle 8th Jan 18, 8:39 PM
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    fatbeetle
    For those of you pondering "Have I got enough money to retire?"

    I just got the sad news on FB that a friend of mine has passed away at the heartrendingly young age of 43.

    Enough said?
    “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.”
    • sukysue
    • By sukysue 8th Jan 18, 8:51 PM
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    sukysue
    Fatbeetle me too.... only this was a 46 year old colleague I used to work with she left a young son , very fit and slim and active and gorgeous, such a shock. Just found dead in her house no reason at all just 'natural causes'. I think it is a timely reminder for us you are right.
    xXx-Sukysue-xXx
    • Misslayed
    • By Misslayed 8th Jan 18, 9:02 PM
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    Misslayed
    So sorry you have lost, fatbeetle and sukysue, I haven!!!8217;t mentioned up to now that my first husband and I had all kinds of plans - a cruise being one - travel generally, other retirement stuff, then he got The Diagnosis and it was too late. If you can, do it now. Enjoy your time together. You never know what!!!8217;s round the corner.
    Hi. Martin has asked me to tell you I'm a (novice) Board Guide on the Competitions, Site Feedback and Campaigns boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with abuse). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 8th Jan 18, 9:26 PM
    • 302 Posts
    • 710 Thanks
    crv1963
    For those of you pondering "Have I got enough money to retire?"

    I just got the sad news on FB that a friend of mine has passed away at the heartrendingly young age of 43.

    Enough said?
    Originally posted by fatbeetle




    Sad for your losses, me- heart attack at 53, although now given the all clear and back to work, retiring from job this year, will have to do a couple more years in a similar role or find a less stressful role for longer.


    But you don't know what's coming so enjoy every moment!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
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