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Have any of you thought much about retirement and have you made any plans?

If you are retired how was the transition?

And a quote from "The Journey of Adulthood" 8th Edition, Barbara R. Bjorklund.
When retired men and women were surveyed about which stage of their lives have been the best, 75% of those who had done extensie planning for thei retirement years responded with "the best is now." Only 45% of those who had not done much planning rated their current stage as the best (Quick and Moen, 1998). Considering all we have covered on this topic, it seems clear to me that (to paraphrase an old joke) the three most important factors for successful retirement are planning, planning, and planning."
 

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@Wellsy

Good for you to start thinking about the later chapter in life.


Eventually we all have to quit working full time. Be it age, health, circumstances (taking care of others), it's inevitable that most ppl will not work until they die (unless they die young before contemplating retirement).


1. MONEY

Most working stiffs complain about having money but no time. Retirees have time but may be lacking in the money front. To not feel cramped by the lack of funds, advance planning is vital.

Money is best accumulated by stashing away systematically (so you don't feel the pain or live like a pauper) and let the compound interest help with its growth. For me I maximize my 401 contribution yearly and invest it aggressively (only do so if you are not near retirement age) and save unused take home pay because I don't care for toys or living large. I have a goal in mind. Once I reach it I'd be in a position to quit working regardless of my age.

2. LIFE OUTSIDE WORK/INTERESTS

Time is equally important. You hear ppl saying something like they get bored after a week of vacation and want to get back to work. The retirees in my department all had developed a full life outside of work before they retired. One is a photographer. One is a guitar player with a band. One loves traveling. Although some retirees fill the time taking care of grandchildren, it's better to develop something you love doing often.


3. RELATIONSHIPS

Another element is human relationship. The happy retirees who are married were happy married ppl before they retire. They don't find it hard to stay home 24/7 with a spouse. The happy retirees who are single were happy singles before they retire. They typically have a social group or two. To maintain and keep contact with other ppl is vital for retirees. If not, you'd be sitting at home not having anyone you can text or talk to. No one is inviting you to play golf, bridge, or lunch. You clamor time with spouse but she/he may still be working full time or have long ago stopped caring about you (because you didn't care about her/him).



All the above take time to achieve. It'd be sad to be 60 and then start panicking because none is in order.

Money takes about 30 years to get to a level that you can live and play modestly (travel, cruise vacation, dining out, insurance to cover long term care and medical expenses).

Outside life/interests and social circle take about 5 to 10 years to build and get going.

Close relationship is on going, never stops; be it with your spouse, children, parents, SO, or BFFs.



Good luck and start thinking about planning this most important chapter in your life.
 

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I started planning for my retirement when I was 15. I started trading and investing at 19. At 26 I took a calculated investment risk. If it had paid off, I would have been able to retire by 28. As evidenced by the fact that I still have a job, it didn't work out :tongue: Unfortunately, in failing, it also added 10 years to my retirement plan.

In theory, I'll be coming into two fairly substantial inheritances. They are large enough to fund my entire retirement, so I could quit working as soon as I get them; however, I'm not counting on them.

At the moment, my retirement strategy is to aggressively pay down my mortgage and save/invest 15% of my salary each year. I'll be debt-free within about 5 or 6 years. After that, I can either stay on working full-time for another 10 or so years before retiring completely. Or I can cut my hours in half and continue to work part-time indefinitely.

While I've managed to be quite disciplined with my finances right from my first paycheque, I've had to walk a fine line to make it work. I think it's important to plan for the future and make smart choices. However, I don't believe in sacrificing today's happiness for a future that may never exist. If I had been really aggressive about my savings and decided to forgo many of my hobbies, adventures/travel, I would have been retired by now (mid-30s). On the flip side of that, I've known too many people who put off doing things, only to die or be crippled by illness before they could get there.

Trying to balance a carpe diem lifestyle with prudent financial planning is a real tight-rope walk.
 

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Have any of you thought much about retirement and have you made any plans?
Yes, I've thought about it quite a lot. Not in terms of what I'll do, but how I'll be prepared for it. I had the fortune/misfortune to work in a job where I met many elderly people who had never given a thought to their retirement until they reached it. Seeing them looking for money, practically screaming for it, was very eye opening to me about needing to plan for the future. None of them were bad people, just people who had lived life without regard for the tomorrow.

I've set up some basic things for my retirement; I'll aggressively put more into it once my salary bulks out a bit.
 

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@Impavidus I like your approach. I might be a little more inclined to spend on adventures, but somethings I pass up to save, because it seems foolish to spend X amount of money on something. It's important to use our money responsibly.
Personally, I can't imagine wanting to retire early, because I'd miss feeling constructive.
 
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A few dollars a day going into stable stocks will pay off in the millions after 60 years. Compounded interest and dividends are pretty important, it's all about consistency and long term gratification. There was a janitor who made over 6 million dollars, lived a very frugal life and when he died all of the money was donated to a local hosptial and local library. Maybe you won't make the same millions but expect a lot if you start early and pay attention.
Or so that seems the case. Alas, the communist revolution will probably destroy the stock market and my life will be ruined.
 

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Personally, I can't imagine wanting to retire early, because I'd miss feeling constructive.
For me, "retirement" is synonymous with "financial independence." There really isn't any early or late to it. It's just the point where I no longer need to work for someone else. I have multiple side projects/businesses outside my full-time job. Retirement will allow me to focus on those instead.

If I had nothing else planned to fill my time, I agree that stopping work earlier would seem rather pointless. It's strange because even as a teenager, I always had the feeling that my life would begin at retirement. My working life is really just an extension of school for me - a necessary means to an end. So the sooner I can finish it the better.
 
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