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Thread: Retire at 55 and live to 80

  1. #11
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    I completely disagree. I love my work. It is extremely stressful.
    I had several stressful jobs in my career. Some of them were the jobs I liked best.

    But I do believe that haviing control over one's surroundings makes the biggest difference. I burned out on my last job because a Pointy Haired Boss who didn't have any idea what I did dictated the tools I had to use. Because I had a One Minute Manager who valued my butt being in my seat between 7:30 and 4:30 each day more than she valued what I got done during those hours. Because there rarely was reprioritization of workload or staff when some critical project came in (or took longer than everyone's optimistic estimates). And it happened over and over again.

    There was no intellectual reason I could not have done what I was doing for another decade or two. I would have no problem handling the whiplash project schedule or the poor management or the crappy toolset. But not all of them in concert. Tthere was no emotional reason to completely cede control of my work life to others. I was out by 53 and never looked back. I'd rather eat cat-food tuna at 79 than live through that again.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  2. #12
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I don't think there is a one size fits all. I worked in laboratories and manufacturing environments where people were exposed to a variety of chemicals and microorganisms. I've seen statistics hinting that laboratory workers may have a shorter lifespan. No regrets at all about taking early retirement, but it has more to do with personal fulfillment rather than wearing things out or other health risks. Part of that fulfillment is leading a healthier lifestyle that includes the time to cook healthy foods and get routine excersize.

    I've heard stress called the silent killer, but some people seem to thrive with stress and others wither. I think the actual retirement event is disturbing to some people and those without a constructive plan or outside interests can stress out in retirement as much as some people do while working.

  3. #13
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I think people who find a very strong sense of purpose in their life work may be at a disadvantage when they retire. Kind of like when you get sick on vacation. Somehow the body hangs in there when you are doing something that needs to be done, and, in my experience, when you get time off you're body says "OK, now I can relax let myself be sick."

    I've known people who have died shortly after retirement--and IMHO it wasn't because their work had worn them out, but it was because they had lost a sense of purpose. Obviously not everyone gets validation and fulfillment from work, but many people do.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar View Post
    I don't think there is a one size fits all. I worked in laboratories and manufacturing environments where people were exposed to a variety of chemicals and microorganisms. I've seen statistics hinting that laboratory workers may have a shorter lifespan. No regrets at all about taking early retirement, but it has more to do with personal fulfillment rather than wearing things out or other health risks. Part of that fulfillment is leading a healthier lifestyle that includes the time to cook healthy foods and get routine excersize.

    I've heard stress called the silent killer, but some people seem to thrive with stress and others wither. I think the actual retirement event is disturbing to some people and those without a constructive plan or outside interests can stress out in retirement as much as some people do while working.

    I would agree with Rogar. I have one friend who is going into semi retirement at 76 (looks like a big corporation is buying some of his property), but still does what he wants when he wants. He is a machinist/engineer and is currently building another hot rod. He has built cars and planes for years. He frequently gets asked if he golfs or does tennis, because of his physique (I think he would be considered better shape then me if a doctor tested us both).
    Another person I knew, I was his last customer as he retired at 95 and died at 96 (six months later), and he worked with lead and a lot of chemicals (radiator repair).
    What about those in for instance, New York? My understanding is the day to day stress level is higher, but people both adjust as well as probably having easier access to medical care throughout the city. (be interesting to see stats)
    It isn't just stress. Problem solving involves stress, but if you hate problem solving then you deal with the stress differently, then if you love problem solving. Nutrition, genetics (cancer history in family, etc), access to healthcare, finances, all play parts.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    The only regret I had retiring at 55 was that I didn't do it sooner. Life is so much less stressful and definitely more fulfilling.
    At 6am Simplemind, I yelled your post response to my hubby as he was headed out.

  6. #16
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    We speak of this topic every single morning honestly. Hubby is struggling with retirement.

    So why is it that some over 70 just keep working? One that comes to mind as he is one of our topics Wilbur Ross born in 1937 and more money than imaginable, why would he want the stress?? Is it because that is just what he does? Is there a thrill of the accomplishment? Mine question is does he take a nap at 2pm?

  7. #17
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikingLady View Post
    We speak of this topic every single morning honestly. Hubby is struggling with retirement.

    So why is it that some over 70 just keep working? One that comes to mind as he is one of our topics Wilbur Ross born in 1937 and more money than imaginable, why would he want the stress?? Is it because that is just what he does? Is there a thrill of the accomplishment? Mine question is does he take a nap at 2pm?
    I remember when I quit my job partially to be a stage mom to two of my kids who were involved in acting for a while. We were staying at an apartment complex in Marina del Rey, on the water, with two pools and all of LA at our disposal. I was euphoric.. for about 5 weeks. The last 3 weeks we were there I was bored silly. The day before our plane back east, coincidentally my old boss called and asked me to come back. I was thrilled and jumped on it.

    To Steve's point, if you have freedom and fulfillment in your job, even though it's stressful, there can be many good reasons one might keep working. My MIL worked until 75, commuting into New York and taking two subways to get to Herald Square where she worked as a union administrator. They had given her that position in her late 60s and she loved it so much she didn't want to quit.

    I realize a lot of simple livers think the end goal of YMOL is not only financial independence, but the freedom to quit working, which is a fine goal. But some people become financially independent because they are devoted to their work. A work life and and FI life don't have to be mutually exclusive.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  8. #18
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    thanks Flowers for some hope that those of us who may not retire early won't necessarily plop dead ASAP. It mostly seems out of my control, if I'm just burning savings being unemployed and looking, gotta keep on trucking, there is little else to do. But the future isn't exactly so bright I need to wear shades. My bf gets by financially but not much more in the second insane job in succession he has held in a row (he quit the prior insane job for a "better" offer - at this point sure quit and try another job if your job is genuinely bad but whether the next one will be better ...). At least I planned darn well enough not to have everything locked up in retirement accounts I couldn't access without penalty, so I shouldn't need to touch them.

    I may very well retire at 62, in poverty possibly, but yea poverty with a check coming in every month sounds a lot more viable than working at a time when the age discrimination hurdles will be near insurmountable in all likelihood anyway, as if it wasn't already hard enough. Heck if I had a meager can't barely live off guaranteed income now I might take it, it's just too crazy out there, but no such thing exists. Or if not 62 then 65 when Medicare kicks in sounds good. My dad retired a few months after 65 (beyond full SS collection for that generation) and lived to 89, so I might not be too bad off if I do the same (of course he also took 5 years off in middle age before he had kids to travel the world so there is that).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    My opinion, our check out date is time stamped. Efforts to manipulate our ephemeral existence ...futile. Doesn’t that take the fun out of it?

  10. #20
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    I retired at 58 and then did some p.t. consulting. For the past 5 years I have been teaching one college class and I can't see ever quitting. I have given up the consulting work. For me this is the best of both worlds)

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