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It's been a while, but I started SS this year (age 62) and cut my work hours to about 10 a week. I may give those up next year, but am kind of waiting for my husband to retire (he's 68 and retired one, working as a consultant now). The first couple months were hard for me as I used to work tons of hours, but I'm learning how to spend time without working for much of a paycheck finally. I sew, volunteer, garden, walk, and sometimes do nothing at all :)
 
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I’m in the U.K. so my retirement age is 67.
My first company I worked for which I spent 13 years as an air movement and calibration managed to tap into our pension pot and as it collapsed we were left with nothing.
I’m lucky in that I Owen land and a property with no mortgage but I’m classed as property rich and capital poor.
I’m fast approaching 52 and my companion is trying to help me sort out the best way to turn my situation into one where I can turn property into capital and invest.
Can’t see me working till I’m 67, not in my line of work!
 

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We are 50 and probably can't ever retire. Even though DH had a stroke and I have medical problems since a child, we both work full-time plus. I will probably need to decrease my hours, however, as my bloodwork is not good and complications are setting in. We have a huge mortgage that includes rental properties. To be debt free, we would have to sell 2/3 of the properties. My guess is that will probably end up happening at some point due to health issues.

DH has life insurance that he purchased many years ago and I have a very tiny policy through my job.

Kids still live with us and we don't ask for any money to stay here.

Our income allows for the necessities with a bit left over for gifts. This year, we'll take a vacation but once my hours drop, there can't be any more trips. DH needs a car very soon as the car costs way more to fix than what its valued at (valued at $400).

Both of us purchased long term care policies 12+ years ago. If we tried that today, we wouldn't be eligible due to our health. Just like life insurance-neither of us could buy a plan due to our health. So, we keep paying for that.

Our jobs offer pensions after 5 years but it would extremely small.

I guess we'll see what happens in the next 5 years and make more decisions at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
There's a saying, "you make plans; God laughs."

I can't believe I started this thread in 2014. I had a well designed plan but in 2015, at age 60, I was diagnosed with ALS. I'm very slow progressing but it through all my plans into the trash and I had to come up with a new plan.

The good thing was that my house was paid for and I had no debt. I immediately qualified for SSDI and Medicare because ALS is an exception to the 24-month wait for Medicare. I decided to take my pension in a lump sum and that generates a decent income stream. I collect $2,400 a month in SSDI, and another $1,100 a month in long-term disability from my work. I bought a new car in 2015 and paid cash. Sold my smaller condo and bought and remodeled a larger one on the beach.

I was denied long-term care insurance because of a minor heart arrhythmia and my life insurance through work was discontinued at my termination.

I have enough to pay for home health care when I need it but my life is very different than I planned. I don't have a family so there is no need to scrimp. All my nieces and nephews are successful and have plenty of money so nobody needs an inheritance.

I trust God has a plan for me. I've made tons of new friends at my new place and joined a new church. I can still drive. I play cards, swim in the heated pool and deal with my progressing disability by finding new and interesting things to occupy my mind
 

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that is true CPA kim! we were late doing most things so still have teens at home though we are in our 50s. I have worked part time since my oldest was born esp since dh works long hours so I take care of stuff at home. Real estate has gone nuts here so even to rent it is $$$$ so who knows what will happen when the kids gets older. I expect them to live at home while going to school to save money. lots of choices close by. we will help with school but they will have to work for it too. and pay rent if they aren't going to school. Pensions are not common here anymore unless in govt or medical fields or teacher. most do some rrsp matching (ira's for you guys) so we do save some, have plans to pay off mortgage by retirement in our 60s. live in walking distance to libraries, senior centre, malls etc. except all our costs to go down when we retire and kids. have life insurance but won't need it later when the kids are older. because really that is why we have it because of the kids.

We have some home repairs to get done like upgrading original 40s wiring lol refinish floors and some pipes. Either one of us is fancy. like nice things but w a deal. More worried about things like cancer or something like that. I have had ripped bicep muscles, torn rotor cuff, spine going so limited in work options at the moment. I rather travel now and have some debt from it and not have the chance later. We can sell the house and downside and pay off everything too. have all the angles covered.

Really everytime we make plans, (seriously we have been though lots) something has happened as soon as I was pregnant with second child ..fil cancer for 10 yrs and last 2 yrs mil dementia. so plans went pear shaped for dh doing home renos and things rotting or going to waste because of no time. wasted money and now his eyes are bad so his drywalling/painting skills etc are not the best like really off. and he had always wanted to do his own home renos. we both have enough crafts and hobby stuff to keep us busy for a while.
 

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About eight years out for me and six years for my husband.

I feel like we are doing good in terms of preparing for retirement. We both will have government pensions, social security and a retirement fund. Granted our retirement fund is somewhat modest. But with our pension and social security, it only needs to give us a third of our income. We are generally doing pretty well financially. We are doing the "snowball method" of paying of credit cards. Currently over a third of our income is going to paying down debts/savings. And by the end of this year, we should have everything paid off except our mortgage.

But my husband is being very pessimistic. He feels that we can't count on social security still being there and we can't really count on any investments since the stock market performed poorly this year.

I don't agree with his assessment, but after a few minutes got tired of arguing and gave it up. I suppose in the long run a little pessimism is good, if it means my husband will save/invest more money. It would not hurt to save more than we probably need to.

I suppose I might be too optimistic. My husband agrees with my plan to move to a less expensive city after we move. But the areas of town I want to live in are more the more expensive areas of town, so it may cancel out. I want to live within walking distance of a museum or two. I would also accept walking distance of a zoo. These would cost literally over a million dollars in DC. [I live in the “near suburbs” of the DC area.] But I feel like we can pull it off in a low(er) cost of living city.

Cost of living is relative. Since we live in a high cost of living area, a city with an average cost of living would be a lower cost of living city. I am playing around on the cost of living calculator on line. Four cities I am considering checked in at 45% less, 45% less, 37% less and 47% less.

I guess I should add that the lower cost of living cities are not just about costing less. We both want a city that has less crowds and less population density. In terms of how crowed a city feels, population density can be more accurate than overall population. We want a city it where does not take a long time just to go a few miles because traffic is so bad. (It can take 15 minutes just to go 3 miles – and that is in my suburb. Parts of DC are much worse.) And we both like the more relaxed vibe of mid-sized cities in the South and Midwest. It just so happens that those cities have a lower cost of living than the area we are living in now.
 

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Kathy B..... I've been retired for 12 years now. And there is indeed much planning that has to happen before the magical date! I commend you for doing all the research. Here are some of my concerns for you:

1. We retired with a pension from the state..... and now it is in jeopardy. The pension fund is actually in excellent shape; it's just the state wants to make it a 401k instead of a pension. And that would cut out income in half. Just be sure to check what might be in the works for your gov. pension.
2. I would suggest throwing every penny possible at your mortgage. When you get that paid off, then put the entire mortgage payment that you had been making into the bank. For most of us, that's a large amount and it will boost your savings quickly.
3. While it's nice to be within walking distance of museums and the like, the truth is that as you become older, this will not always be possible. The point is that you might not retire to a forever-retirement-home or area..... You might need to consider that you will possibly move a couple more times at the minimum.
4. You are smart to be willing to consider the midwest or south. We moved from a low cost of living midwest state to a higher cost of living midwest state. It was not what I wanted, but we did this in order to care for my elderly parents. It was a jolt to find that our property taxes in the lower state, which were about $1000 a year, suddenly jumped to $5000 a year for a similar sized home in the other state. Car licenses are higher in this state. It just seems that most things cost more in this state. So although both are midwest, there is a huge difference.

My best to you as you continue to prepare for the next stage of life!!!!
 
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I feel like being within walking distance of things is better for when we get older. My husband and I do not drive, we do public transport, taxi, uber, etc. Lots of online shopping. My husband's health is not the best. I want to have places that would be easy for him to get to. He is okay with short walks now. It could be be pushing a wheelchair in the future. But I do not want him to wind up being one of those people who winds up never leaving the house because of health issues.

I think our pension is pretty safe. We are federal government employees. Periodically legislation is introduced to make the federal retirement system less good. However, in all of them the changes would only effect new employees who join the government after legislation is passed.
 

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Kathy, we did similar to what you're doing. We've done all we can, except working till old enough for Medicare. We're going to take an enormous hit due to having to pay our own health insurance. But with one heart attack already having happened and a job that has become excessively stressful and would shortly become much moreso, Husby needed to get out for his own health. We've been planning a long time now and it all should work out all right. If something unforeseen happens, then we will have to roll with it and do the best we can, but that's true of everyone at any time, even if they're still working. Life is uncertain. We've done our due diligence and prepared. It's the best we can do for our current circumstances. We can't predict the future and that's what bothers me the most, but when I think about it, I realize we never could and things have worked out okay so far. :)
 

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I have seen a lot of people with health issues do better after they retire. Not a miracle cure of course. But levels of stress can influence health a lot. I think there is also the sleep issue. You can sleep an extra hour or two a night and that can help. We usually get 7 1/2 hours sleep on a weeknight. Maybe around 9 on weekends. Better than lots of people from what I hear. But during the month long shut down we slept for about 9 hours a night. I think maybe these aging bodies of ours would work best with 9 hours every night, but it just is not possible with our current jobs and commute. I felt like we slept sounder too. Maybe due to reduced stress.

My husband's health is one of the reasons we are not looking to max out our retirement benefits. But even without that I would prefer to have more retirement years with less money than less years with more money.
 

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We have financial options we would rather not do, but it's aces in the hole just in case. Agree about more years with less money.

Husby has been having back pain for several weeks and it flared up over the weekend. He said it felt much better after he talked to his supervisor this morning. A retired coworker told him last week he will be surprised about all the aches and pains that go away after retirement. It won't surprise me because he internalizes unpleasant stuff. I eat instead and just gain weight.
 

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My chiropractor mentioned that when people retire their visits to him drop off a lot (he waved his hand basically like dropping off a cliff.)

It appears I will be retiring sooner than planned. The company takeover that happened on Feb 1 has simply caused too much havoc. I was told to either sign the non-compete agreement or be fired. So I will sign it but planning to leave before the end of the year. And job prospects look poor due to the non-compete. Unfair, but not worth the stress of trying to stay there or find a new job. So I'll be thinking of what I want to do next and ways to make that happen. There are some things that need to be done (getting parents' house ready for sale for example). But after that I'll want a new "occupation".
 

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It's kind of scary but you'll get through it. Sorry your job situation got so bad.

Our biggest issue was how to pay for health insurance, but in the end the answer became obvious for our particular situation.
 

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Talking to co-worker about my intended last day of work (was going to pick the last Friday in Dec which is also end of a pay period.) She suggested I wait until January. She thinks as soon as I give notice they will send me home and not pay. So I might as well get the 2 paid holidays first. I agreed that made sense. So I'm moving it out a month, keeping in mind I probably would not have to work part of January if they send me home. Not that much needs to be done in January anyway.
 

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don't know about the states but here non compete agreements don't really hold up because employers can't prevent you from earning a living.
 

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I get recommended articles in browser sometimes of expat living for retirement. In other words moving to another country after you retire. The articles I read generally focus on moving to a country where the cost of living is lower than the country you live in. But when I look at the costs for things listed in the article, it seems to me that the prices are comparable to many cities in the South or Midwest. For example, in one I read recently it said rent was only around $800-$1200 in the foreign city they were touting. While I can't get that something that cheap here, there are lots of US cities where I could get someplace for that price.

There may be people who want to live in other countries. There is nothing wrong with that. But choosing it primarily for economic reasons seems questionable. It seems to imply that to get a good deal for your money, you need to go to another country.

Are people who live in high cost of living areas ignorant of the fact that large portions of the country have a much lower cost of living? I am very aware of the difference since I came from a city with much lower cost of living than where I am now.
 

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I've been retired for 7 years having retiring at age 70. I never had a retirement plan at work and always had to pay my own health insurance. My dh became disabled and was on SS disability and Medicare but due to his numerous health issues we paid a LOT for medical beyond premiums. I started drawing SS at age 66 my full retirement age and from that time forward we lived on our joint SS and I saved all of my income for retirement. My dh has since passed so I added his 401-K to my retirement savings. My mother will turn 99 next month and I keep thinking how I'll manage if I live that long so I strive to live on my SS and not touch my savings because who knows what needs lie ahead. Its comfortable to know if I need a major house or auto repair the money is there.

The major expense increases each year have been supplemental health insurance premiums, RX insurance and property taxes. Household repairs are another big expense plus paying someone to do mowing and snow removal. I find it frustrating that I often know how to do a repair and have the tools, but due to arthritis my hands just cannot manage the project.

With the country in chaos due to the pandemic and the violence protests, violence against police, the crazy weather (fires, floods, drought, derecho and hurricanes), shortages of food and supplies, fast rising prices and so forth, I'm not sure I would be in a hurry to leave a good paying job. Throw in the election and the huge national deficit and talk about reductions to SS and Medicare benefits and possibility of failure of various states funding for state employees retirement, I think I'd hang tight and ride out the storm before retiring. I know my sister's retirement fund from the state took a huge hit shortly after she retired at 62.
 
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