Just a random post to share a few recent conversations I’ve had about retirement:
I had a routine medical appointment the other day and was attended by the same nurse I’ve been seeing for a while.
When I saw her, I made a comment about her not wearing her usual glasses.
She proceeded to tell me how she had finally gotten round to having a minor operation on her eyes, which meant that she no longer needed her glasses.
The reason why she was able to have the time to have the operation and recover from it? She’d dropped to part-time hours, or as she revealed in our ensuing conversation, she’d gone into semi-retirement (Is there a difference? I don’t know, I’m just repeating what she said).
I realised then that she didn’t look different just because she wasn’t wearing her glasses, it was because she looked a lot happier and relaxed!
She told me that after a 30-year career with the NHS, she still wasn’t mentally ready for full retirement but that at age 55, she was drawing on part of her pension and that this, coupled with her part-time wages was enough for her to live on and pay for her holidays and hobbies.
One of my neighbours semi-retired a year ago when she was 53.
The last time we spoke, she was working part-time for a non-profit organisation.
I hadn’t seen her in a while so when I spotted her unpacking some shopping from her car the other day, I stopped for a chat and asked her how things were going.
“Oh I’ve jacked in my part-time hours,” she told me.
“Why’s that?” I asked.
“I’m too busy to work! Too much to do, too many places to visit!” she replied.
So that’s just two examples of people who are very happy with the decision they’d made as regards retirement/semi-retirement, and although not extremely early retirement, still early in that state pension won’t be available til they are 65.
However, I wonder how easy it was for them to make that decision? Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that it was something I could ask either of them!
Which brings me to all the kerfuffle going on about early retirees changing their minds (nicely put in this excellent post by Monevator).
Who really knows what they will do when the time comes (unless you absolutely hate your job, in which case it’s clear what you will do!) and you reach your financial goals?
Jim from SMHD tried the early retirement thing and decided to go back to work.
Early retirement is not for everyone, even for those planning for it!
There’s every chance that instead of going for early retirement when I reach my FI number, that I may choose to work reduced hours. However, like my neighbour, I may find that even part-time hours will get in the way of me enjoying my new found freedom properly!
Or I may actually go for full retirement, which sounds very appealing when I’ve had a tough week at work and wish every weekend was a bank holiday weekend.
Or I might continue working (one more year?), which is how I feel when I’ve had a good day at work, had a great laugh and felt like I’ve achieved and contributed loads. (Yes really, I do have good days!).
I have no idea how I will feel when the time comes to pull that retirement trigger but the most important thing is that I will get to choose what I want to do.
There was a third conversation I had:
Bumped into an ex-colleague at the gym. She’s still at the company which made me redundant and things seem to be going well for her.
While we were chatting, she revealed that her husband had retired some months earlier.
“When will you be retiring?” I asked her, knowing that she was in her mid-50s.
“I’m not,” she replied, “It would do my head in sitting at home with him all day! I go to work to get away from him, the weekends are enough!”
She was joking…I think!
And Another Thing
The nurse and my neighbour? Both single (one divorced) which cements in my mind that I’m fine going it alone, since it appears that most people aiming for FI are married or with significant others, helping them build their FI pot, sharing expenses.
Not that I’m intentionally staying single (or plan to stay single for long…ooooh!) but if things don’t work out on that front, I’ll be just fine! 😉
And on that note, have a great weekend all!