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Retire while you can enjoy it!
Old 10-24-2019, 07:24 PM
  #1

DH just told me of a colleague who retired last year and just passed away this week. This makes me so sad! I am a firm believer in retiring while youíre young enough to enjoy it. I plan to retire at 55. Thatís 7 more years of teaching. DH and I want to move abroad and travel and enjoy retirement. What are your retirement dreams?


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Old 10-24-2019, 07:39 PM
  #2

We are planning to retire at 55. Thatís 5 years for DH and 6 for me. We donít know what we want to do, but when I was in high school I tossed around the idea of doing event planning with two of my friends. We joked about it because we decorated and planned tons of events in high school. Now that we are all ready to retire, we are considering it.

My dad started woodworking when he retired. He also spent three months a year fishing in Florida. He had about 15 years to enjoy.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:52 PM
  #3

I have seen this unfortunate retirement plan happen in my family twice. Be vigilant about your finances but be sure to retire as soon as you can afford it. I could afford it at age 60 so I did and enjoy every free moment. Young teachers need to be very very sure of every penny they spend because this pays off later in a very big way.

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Old 10-24-2019, 07:59 PM
  #4

When DH started working 2 of his colleagues who had worked until their 70s passed away very soon after retirement. He swore that would not be him. He retired at 55, I stopped full time work at 57 and retired completely at 62.

But itís a balancing act deciding when to retire because itís no good to retire early if you donít have enough money to actually enjoy that retirement. Weíre very lucky that he has a good pension.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:00 PM
  #5

I'm nowhere near retirement age, so it's hard to say. I need 35 years to get a decent amount from our retirement system, which would be age 57. That seems pretty young to stop working to me. OTOH, it's hard to imagine what kind of nonsense will be in education over the next 25 years. I imagine maybe getting some sort of more relaxing part time job. Currently, I enjoy my summers, but I'm always ready to go back to work and get back to a regular structure and schedule. Perhaps I'll feel differently when I'm much older, but "endless summer" actually doesn't sound that appealing right now.


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Old 10-24-2019, 08:04 PM
  #6

I remember my dad telling stories like yours. I think your advice to retire at 55 might be good for some people, but certainly not for me. I retired at 65 and am living my dream.

I feel very strongly that we all need to decide for ourselves when to retire. If I had followed your advice, I would have had to live on a very limited budget. For me, not worrying about money is the second-best part of retirement.

We Americans are living longer and, of course, the cost of living rises. It is my opinion that people should not choose to retire because of their age, but because they have the financial resources to live the life they choose.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:09 PM
  #7

Anna's so right. Set up a retirement account and pay yourself first and automatically. Be sure you know how your state handles pensions. In some states you qualify for a pension but not Social Security. Also find out how your spouse's pension affects your retirement funds. I never realized how complicated it can get, depending on the state.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:30 PM
  #8

I plan to move to different places for a year. Hawaii being one.

I plan to join the "Return to the Land" movement. Build a home, grow food, hunt, raise bees, make my own bread, candles, sew, write, travel, play guitar, and enjoy my second husband, grandchildren, daughters, family & friends.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:33 PM
  #9

Between the ages of sixty and seventy is where medical issues pop up . This is how insurance and pension execs think. So if you wait until sixty five your chances of enjoying ALL that money taken from you for retirement are greatly diminished. There's no way I would work for more than thirty two years ,enjoy my pension for just a short while and then head off into the sunset. I live comfortably in retirement because I planned for it since my twenties. Retirement planning is both gambling and planning carefully with every dollar you have.

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Old 10-24-2019, 08:44 PM
  #10

I did retire early, but I had planned to work for a few more years. I just got kind of fed up with all the ridiculous demands placed on teachers and feeling like I had no life. Now, two years later, I'm so happy I did. I agree with those who have said to plan and save for retirement. Decisions I made a long time ago led to having a financially secure retirement. So now I can read, sew, knit, and enjoy my grandson!


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Old 10-25-2019, 12:34 AM
  #11

I think so long as you have planned for your medical insurance and other financial issues, your point about retirement is well-taken. I retired at 63. I had hoped to work till 66, but laws were passed in NJ that had us contributing significantly to our medical insurance and the evaluation system was changed as well. When I had my pension consultation, the difference between working the two more years did not result in a significant pension increase for me, and the small negotiated raises for the top of the guide in my district would be eaten up and then some by the insurance contribution. I am holding out for social security till at least next summer, when I will turn 66, my full age, and possibly a little longer than that to maximize that check as much as I can.

I too have seen people close to me pass before enjoying a good retirement. My own parents were two of them, and recently, several colleagues have been stricken with cancer or other diseases and have passed on. I would have not been ready mentally or financially to go out at 55, but for those who can, retirement is great. I have never regretted not working those two years I originally planned.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:06 AM
  #12

I have a different perspective. I LIKE to work. I'm in my late 60s, and I just became a teacher in my late 50s after another career. I love teaching! On a more practical note, I still have a DK in college and a DK in high school--the financial "blessing" of adopting later in life--and there are schooling and life expenses still to pay, so my income is important.

I agree that you have to save early and often for retirement. Public school teachers still have defined-benefit retirement plans, some of which are pretty generous. For most of us who work or worked in private industry, though, defined benefit has morphed into defined contribution. If you don't save, you don't have enough to live after retirement, and you have to work longer to get the money. (And I will be honest: This "25 or 30 and out" attitude among teachers is pretty elitist when most people can't afford to do so.) DH and I are lucky that we have saved well. But...why retire just yet? I'm not ready. I LIKE to work, and I love teaching.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:35 AM
  #13

My situation is a bit unusual. I planned to work a few more years, but my public school district was/is turning into a business model, so I retired at 60.

Before I actually retired, I was offered my dream job- teaching kindergarten in a Catholic school for my former P. It involved a 800 mile move south. I love teaching again, and will work at least a few more years. It feels like a working vacation- no stress, challenging enough to not be boring, and I get to teach and play with 5 year olds! Teacher Heaven!

When I am done with this gig, I’ll truly be ready for retirement, and will appreciate it greatly. We kept our house up north and will go home. I won’t work forever- just as long as I love it and DH is happy being where we are.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:55 AM
  #14

This is my last year of teaching. I'll be 65 next Oct with 27 years in. We've planned financially, so I feel set. We want to travel, spend time in our home, gardening, projects we never seem to get to, and hike and bike. I cannot wait!
But it's true, we have experienced colleagues, friends, and family who have retired and did not enjoy the time they had due to illnesses. Two of my DH's co workers died within a couple of months of each other. My SIL retired 2 years ago and has battled 2 different cancers this whole time. It's freaky and sad. It really kind of scares me.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:34 AM
  #15

55 is not doable for many. You are in luck if your husband has a wonderful 401K or a pension. Most of my friends will be retiring between 62 and 65 mostly because of insurance. It's sad that medical insurance is in the way.
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:31 AM
  #16

I technically could retire at 55. I will have enough years in TRS. BUT I would be able to get full amount.

Before divorce, it was looking at 65 to receive full benefits and medical coverage.

Post divorce, I donít know. I do have a saving plan that I contribute to each month in addition to TRS. I will find out more next week when I meet with my financial guy.

While I agree with being able to actually enjoy retirement, it just isnít feasible for some to do that so early in life.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:46 AM
  #17

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And I will be honest: This "25 or 30 and out" attitude among teachers is pretty elitist when most people can't afford to do so.)
I don't get how this is elitist? It's the way it is set up. Firefighter, military, etc. all have this, too. It's a public service thing, I think.

Depending on what my school feels like when the time comes, I will either stay 'til I get the max retirement, or retire early and work a few years in a private school. My state ranks among the top 10 states for educational retirement benefits, so that helps. And I get all but two available stipends, so I'm padding that retirement with endorsements and certs.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:16 AM
  #18

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And I will be honest: This "25 or 30 and out" attitude among teachers is pretty elitist when most people can't afford to do so.)
. Elitist only because most companies don't even offer retirement plans or pensions anymore, which is down right wrong of our country to encourage companies to do so. We have created a world that most people will not be able to ever stop working unless they really planned well starting when they were young.

I started teaching older, but got certified earlier. I will have worked 16 years teaching when I retire, if all works out well. I have a couple more years. I am hoping this gig I have going lasts that long. Not sure I can deal with going back into GE teaching again after this year.
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Medical issues?
Old 10-25-2019, 05:20 AM
  #19

I am almost 64 and do not take any prescriptions and am in better shape than when I was teaching. Way more time to exercise. Just because you turn 60 does not mean health issues follow. Take care of yourself and you can live a long time!
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I agree with you, Zia...
Old 10-25-2019, 05:21 AM
  #20

Before I read your post, I was going to highlight the same thing. A pension is not a free entitlement. We contribute a hefty amount, at least in my state, to have that pension. We have paid for it and we have earned it, no matter when you take it. We also have given up the heftier raises and perks that some professions with comparable education (such as those I know working in the financial industry) get to be able to have decent health insurance and retirement. It is a trade-off. Does everyone in the working world have what we have? Of course not, but the retirement package is part of the terms of my negotiated contract.

It certainly is not elitist. It is an earned benefit, and we opted to teach with the premise that we would get it if we had the right number of years of service in. Others opted for other career paths. While members of the general public don't always get that, we in the profession should. And whenever someone opts to go out, they deserve whatever benefits and/or pension they get, no matter what age they are.
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Old 10-25-2019, 05:29 AM
  #21

Good advice, along with wise planning. I have a relative who is about 75, just retired about 5 years ago. He and his wife bought a ranch with a lot of acres about 30 miles from the nearest town.

He wants his wife to work 2 more years, after she retires, he plans to update their home before putting it on the market to sell. He wants to do most of that remodel himself.

Then, only after that, they plan to retire to the ranch.

They've had ample money for both of them to retire years earlier.

Considering his age and his present health, I doubt that his planned working and relaxing on the ranch will be as he expects. Add to that, to be so far away, at their age, from the nearest town along with health issues. The ranch life has been his dream, but I think he's waited too long.

I think one has to consider many aspects of when to retire and how you realistically expect your retirement years to play out.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:08 AM
  #22

teacherwriter, you just became a teacher. Teachers burn out. To you, it's all new and that's great. But don't criticize those who have taught for many years and want to retire. I loved and still love teaching. It's all the other stuff that wears you down.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:21 AM
  #23

It is a gambling game we all take. At any moment in time our lives can change . Health insurance is the number one reason why some of my teacher friends are still teaching in their sixties. I planned for retirement as if I was single with no other income even though I am married . One of the reasons I went back to work after my youngest was eighteen months was to secure a future retirement for myself. Don't take anything or your health or your spouse's health for granted.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:32 AM
  #24

I get it. Dear fil was retiring on a Friday. He passed away suddenly on the Wednesday before. Thankfully his paperwork was in and mil did receive his pension. After that, i realized life is too short. I can retire in two at 55, but Iím waiting until 57 until younger ds is out of college. I will work part time and receive my pension. Life is too short.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:40 AM
  #25

I am a two time cancer survivor so my goal was to retire at 60. Started working with a financial planner in my thirties. With great planning and lots of savings I retired at 59. I still loved teaching and it was nice to go out at the top of my game. My DH retired at 57 but took a great new job that pays well and gives him lots of time off. And really adds to our pensions. We like to travel and are currently trying to see all 50 states.

I agree with PPs that it is not elitist that I retired at 59. I taught for 37 years and saved for this.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:56 AM
  #26

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And I will be honest: This "25 or 30 and out" attitude among teachers is pretty elitist when most people can't afford to do so.
Are you kidding me? You didn't, and won't, experience it because you started teaching too late for it to apply to you, but in this area, once you have your 30 years in you start to feel the foot on your backside. Districts make it tough on teachers who are eligible for early retirement but who don't take it. They want you out the door so they can hire a rookie at half your salary. So, don't tell me about "elitist."

And, my retirement pension is not a gift! It is compensation, earned by my own hard work. Anyone could retire early if they were willing to give up as much income as I was forced to give up to contribute to my pension. I was able to take early retirement at 58 in part because I lived below the poverty line for the first 5 years that I was a teacher.

Where teachers are fortunate in this state is that the rules for working after retirement are quite lenient. I actually don't know many teachers who took early retirement and didn't continue to work in some capacity. Part of the reason the rules are so lenient is that there's a teacher shortage. Part time positions, substitute positions and private school positions would all be very difficult to fill without retired teachers.

I retired two years before I planned to because of the need to be available for my grandson who lost his mother when he was six. But, after watching my mother be diagnosed with cancer a year before she planned to retire at 65, I was already planning to retire at 60. And, I am still employed at 40% in a private school.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:59 AM
  #27

I believe that each person's retirement might be different. It just depends on your circumstances.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:18 PM
  #28

I always think ...what is a good amount of money to have in order to retire? My mortgage is paid off so we just have regular bills. (whatever that is) Plus I'll have my pension and a pretty good TDA that I've been contributing to for 28 years. Plus my dh works and makes decent money. I am so conflicted on when would be the right time? I wish I could make this decision.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:09 PM
  #29

I retired at 55. We traveled for 4 months, came home, and dh had a series of mini-strokes. We were very lucky that they were mild but it was a good reminder to take care of our health so we can enjoy retirement.

Healthcare is expensive when you retire early. I started saving money specifically for healthcare a long time ago. Early planning helped me to be able to retire with some security.

Dh is 10 years older than I am. Iím glad I retired so we are able to spend time together. !
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:20 PM
  #30

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(And I will be honest: This "25 or 30 and out" attitude among teachers is pretty elitist when most people can't afford to do so.)
The OP really made me angry telling people when to retire, but this ďelitistĒ proclamation makes me furious. Iím so mad I canít even comment civilly. Thanks to those of you who explained why we deserve our pensions. Oooooooh!
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:33 PM
  #31

If I could retire early, and I don't see that being a reasonable option, I would like for my husband and I to spend an extended time in Tokyo with my son and his family... Staying in a rented apartment of course.. My poor son wouldn't want Mom and Dad to stay with him too long !
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:38 PM
  #32

I was 35 and out at age 56 (though mine was 35 from graduation but I didn't teach all those years because I was a SAHM for 10 years, something I was fortunate to be able to do.) DH will retire from the federal government at 35 years too. I also definitely feel fortunate that we can retire early, but not elitist. We can retire early because we lived beneath our means and saved. Yes, we are indeed very fortunate to do that when there are people living in poverty. However, over the years I've noticed that the people who complain it is elitist tend to live in nicer homes, drive nicer cars, etc. than we do.

I retired early to spend half my time in another state caring for my parents. I sub for some income when I am in my home since I can't actually draw any retirement income yet. Again, I feel fortunate that we can live on DH's salary - but nothing about my situation feels elitist.

I could work longer and leave my parents to deal with themselves. I could work longer and have a higher standard of living. THAT would be much more elite than what I'm doing now.
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:47 PM
  #33

All teachers should be sure to participate in conversations where the general public does not understand where their state's pensions for teachers come from .
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Old 10-25-2019, 02:50 PM
  #34

I retired at 55. My husband was older than me and had already retired. He lived for 17 months after I retired. Our retirement plans didnít work out, but we did have those 17 months. (And no, I donít think my retirement was elitist. For too many years I spent more time at work than with my family, and the school always expected more. I worked hard for my retirement, and I am not ashamed of being able to live my life on my terms now.)
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:40 PM
  #35

We must be the same age. Iím playing with the idea of retiring at 55, but that just seems so young!

The idea really kind of scares me. What would I do? Would I feel old? Would I feel like I still had a purpose in life? Do I even have enough money to retire? Granted I might feel way different in 7 years, but right now it is scary that I can be so close.
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Old 10-25-2019, 03:44 PM
  #36

My husband and I retired young at 56. We earned our retirements! Both my husband and I worked extremely hard throughout our careers. We lived way below our income level and were totally debt free by 40 even though we paid most of two kids' college educations. We bought farm land and investments with the rest.

I topped the retirement system in my state having taught for 34 years plus had two years of sick leave accumulated, and honestly, while I absolutely loved teaching and working with kids, it was time to give up the stress and responsibility.

My husband retired from the family farm by selling his share to my brother and father. He still works part time spring and fall at the farm. He has a great deal of back pain and had two sisters die young from lung cancer (one at 33 and one at 46).

I did not want my husband to have worked 6-7 days a week 12 hour days and die before he had a chance to enjoy the benefits of his hard labor so we retired. We are still careful with our money, especially since we are "young" retired. We sold our house and got rid of most of our belongings. We bought an RV and are traveling full time. We have been at for two years, traveled all over the country, and have had many wonderful adventures!
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:08 PM
  #37

It's always sad to hear about things like that happening. DH and I have been working with a financial planner and plan to join the retirement community the day he turns 65. I can't talk him into any earlier even though we could swing it financially. I am almost 9 years younger than him so we've planned and saved to make sure I can retire the same time. We want to enjoy time together at retirement.

Last edited by all41; 10-25-2019 at 04:10 PM.. Reason: Spelling is hard on Friday.
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:22 PM
  #38

Quote:
I worked hard for my retirement, and I am not ashamed of being able to live my life on my terms now.
BRAVA!


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Old 10-25-2019, 05:43 PM
  #39

I really don't understand how it is elitist to get the pension we have contributed to for many years. Plus the fact that teachers are not paid well to start with. Having that pension is part of our compensation for our work. Since teaching was my second career, my pension is not that large. However, I paid into it and I worked hard, and I am happy to at least get something back now. Fortunately, my DH and I also put money into IRAs, too!
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retirement
Old 10-26-2019, 04:40 AM
  #40

I've heard of several instances like the one of your DH's colleague and it's always so sad.

On that same note: DH and I have a bucket list, and a few years ago he started having some health issues. We decided right then to start doing the things on our bucket list NOW rather than waiting until retirement. We do a few a year and it's been wonderful!

Thankfully his health is much better, but we're continuing to do the things on the bucket list. You just never know.

Our dreams (bucket list) revolve around traveling, food, and sports. For example: visit Chicago, eat deep dish pizza and Chicago hot dogs, and watch a Cubs game. What a FUN trip! We had a ball.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:21 AM
  #41

Quote:
We decided right then to start doing the things on our bucket list NOW rather than waiting until retirement.
Brilliant! I think youíre so smart to enjoy your lives now and not ďwait for retirement.Ē

Other than financial planning, we never put off anything for retirement. In fact, we never even talked about it. When it did eventually roll around, I was surprised, truly shocked, to discover what daily joy retirement brings.

And I want to add 2 things:
1. As I said before, I enjoy every minute of retirement because we were fiscally responsible and now I donít have to worry about money. I canít imagine how awful it would be to have the gift of time, retirementís biggest joy, and have to count pennies or take another job instead of diving into the joy.
(If you hate your job, which DH did his last few years, I suggest you stick it out a little longer for the higher earnings that youíd receive. I always feel terrible for seniors who work minimum wage/low pay jobs.)
2. Iím still furious about the implication that one can only enjoy retirement when young. Furious. I retired at 65, then had more time to take care of myself. I lost 36 lbs, I exercise because I like it, I moved to a great-for-me location, Iím making new friends, joining new groups, taking classes, saying yes to life. I have fun every day and strangers comment on how ďfitĒ I am. Iím, according to the OP, an ancient 68 and loving my retirement.

(For those of you whoíve followed and supported me, you may recall that DH retired years before me because Iíd been a SAHM for 11 years mid-career. He got sick 3 weeks after I retired. I took care of him for 15 months, and it was hard work. So I think itís fair to say my ďreal retirementĒ started when I was 66.5. Old, but blissfully happy.)
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Agree with Zia and NJ
Old 10-27-2019, 01:23 AM
  #42

I was going to highlight the same thing. It's not elitist at all. It's part of the plan we fall into when teaching. Many have chosen other career paths that don't have the same benefits. That's their choice. But, I am out in two years. I'm retiring at 57, and it's my right to do so without guilt.
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:31 PM
  #43

Wow Amiga! Yikes! OP here. I simply said retire while youíre young enough to enjoy it. I said my plan, but never meant to imply that everyone needed to do what I plan to do. ďYoung enoughĒ is different for everyone. Of course financial planning and individual circumstances dictate the ability of when each person can retire. My point was we all work very hard and should be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

I was looking forward to reading about everyoneís retirement plans/dreams. Never meant to ďinfuriateĒ anyone. I hope you have dreams and ambitions to pursue. Again, thatís what I was hoping people would post about. If my post was offensive to you, I apologize. Instead of harping on it, perhaps you should have stopped reading the comments and moved on.
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