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Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:06 PM

How Do You Know it's Time for Retirement?

I've worked for my organization for over 32 years. The people are fine, but it's work I don't enjoy, and for all intents and purposes, actually dread doing. Its a good paying job, and that is all that kept me doing it day after day for some years now. And, due to changing conditions and an increased workload, it's become almost unbearable.

My wife says she supports my decision, but I can tell that she's worried some. We have cash reserves and will be fine financially for a while without having to dip into long-term savings.

Ideally, I would find something else to do, though, I really have no clue what that might be (so, calling this a "retirement" might be a bit of a misnomer, even though my company will classify me as such because of age/service). I'm not technically savvy nor mechanically inclined, and snagging a new gig is daunting enough without doing so in a Covid world.

As you can see, I have more questions than I have answers. I actually don't know where to begin or how to reinvent myself. All I know is, I want out. I've written my resignation letter and plan to turn it in in the next day or two, and then they'll be no turning back.

Any thoughts from those who've trod this path before?

27 replies, 813 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Do You Know it's Time for Retirement? (Original post)
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 OP
Skittles Nov 2020 #1
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #2
Squinch Nov 2020 #3
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #5
OnDoutside Nov 2020 #4
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #7
OnDoutside Nov 2020 #23
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #25
OnDoutside Nov 2020 #26
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #27
rzemanfl Nov 2020 #6
JenniferJuniper Nov 2020 #8
Shermann Nov 2020 #9
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #10
Marthe48 Nov 2020 #11
The empressof all Nov 2020 #12
captain queeg Nov 2020 #13
tblue37 Nov 2020 #14
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #16
Pobeka Nov 2020 #15
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 2020 #17
ret5hd Nov 2020 #18
TwilightZone Nov 2020 #19
abqtommy Nov 2020 #20
Major Nikon Nov 2020 #21
Kitchari Nov 2020 #22
Dagstead Bumwood Nov 2020 #24

Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:12 PM

1. does your wife work?

that factors in, for sure

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Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:14 PM

2. Yes, she's a professional

and we make roughly the same salary.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:16 PM

3. I am having the same thoughts myself. I used to love my job for many years. Now with Covid,

I loath it.

If I go now, I will be leaving some retirement money on the table. But I will not have to drag myself through my days any more.

I MUST make it to the first of the year. After that, I think I can go week to week and decide. My plan was to make it for another year. I don't know if I can.

If I could go now, and there was no financial incentive to stay a few more months, I would.

Good luck, and keep us posted on what you decide.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:20 PM

5. Sounds a bit like me.

I too was wanting to making it into next year. I'll be forfeiting some money by going now, but, the thought of staying that long is disheartening.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:19 PM

4. My wife's in her job 31 years, and like you, she wants out as well

If she was offered a package tomorrow, she would bite their hands off, but I think she's too young to leave without a plan of what to do next.

With Covid, why not give yourself 12 months to prepare yourself for life after this job ? It's often fear of the unknown that worries people.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:22 PM

7. I'd like to, but I don't know that I have it in me.

I feel like I'm on the verge of some sort of breakdown, be it physical or emotional. I get out of bed with dread each day and it only lets up briefly on the weekends. The whole thing has become untenable.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 3, 2020, 03:25 AM

23. That's certainly something you need to address, and it's good that

you can talk about even here. It sounds like where my wife was at. Part of my wife's problem was she was on the point of being stressed out by her supervisor, who was promoted beyond his abilities, and hid away in his office with the door closed for much of the time. She took on the worries if everyone else, to cover for his incompetence.

It was just at the point where she had enough, and was going to go to the company doctor with stress, that the company moved the guy sideways and put the other group's supervisor (highly competent) in charge of both groups. The day she heard that news, was the first good night's sleep she had in months.

So, something needs to change, and it is vital to talk about it. Does your company have an employee wellness program where you can talk this through, or even a professional outside that you could speak with ?

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 3, 2020, 08:33 PM

25. I ended up talking to both my boss and manager

(see post 24). So, rather than a long-term solution, I'm hopefully getting a stop-gap that will carry me into next year, when I'll be in a better situation financially to give it serious consideration.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 3, 2020, 08:40 PM

26. That's great, I hope it works out well for you. At least with the stop-gap it can afford you the

time to prepare. Best of luck !

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 3, 2020, 08:42 PM

27. Thanks

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:21 PM

6. I decided to retire quite suddenly on a Tuesday morning at 8:15. I had had enough and walked out.

The circumstances were such that for quite a while I had what I called "the trifecta"-social security, a pension and unemployment compensation.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:24 PM

8. I haven't, but my mother went early

and she always warned me "you just can't turn the spigot back on when you want". She was 59 and never could find any sort of decent or enjoyable work after that.

I feel your pain as I'm in a similar boat. I despise the work I've been doing (for the most part) for the past 35 years. I'd love to leave, but have no idea what I'd do next. And I'm very well compensated.

My suggestion would be to focus on finding something you can do next, and then leave. Just knowing you are half way out the door may help you through the tough days.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:29 PM

9. You definitely need a solid financial plan

I'd have that worked out before the resignation letter (even though working on the letter may be more satisfying).

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Response to Shermann (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:30 PM

10. It did feel good.

On my third draft as we speak.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:32 PM

11. My husband

was in The Steelworkers' Union. His contract had an over 80 clause. If your years of work and age equaled 80 or more (Ithink it was 80), you could retire with full benefits. So he retired on his 55th birthday. I had a great job working from home, so we did okay. He took some time off, then looked for a job. He went to the local VA, and the rep there said he'd help my husband find a job to 'keep him in beer'. My husband actually found a job on his own, a janitor at a local church. He worked there until he was 59 1/2, when he got IRAitis and began drawing from his savings. He took his SS when he turned 62. So he had a pension and SS. I resigned my job around the same time he started drawing SS. We were finally going to be grandparents. Our daughter and her husband have careers, but have always had to be flexible, so we got to babysit starting about 3 months after the first baby was born until this year. I started collecting my SS when I was 62.

My husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away just short of his 70th birthday. I am really, really glad he retired when he did and got to enjoy the last of his years doing what he wanted. I opted to stay retired, although before Covid-19, I thought about being a babysitter for others. I know babies and kids will be safe with me, and I'm a good influence Can't do that now.

Whatever you do, make sure you have several options for financing. Things got a little tight a few times, but it all worked out. If you feel like going to work, maybe you can find something that isn't really work. I once worked at the library, for pay, and it was all my dreams come true. Good luck!

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:33 PM

12. I retired from high stress position when I was 50

My intention was to look for something else but I was fortunate to be able to scale expenses down a little and had a supportive spouse. I really worked on cultivating a belief that my identity and self worth was not tied to my employment. Who I was ....was not my job. My employment did not define me. I spent the last 15 years pretty much doing as I please. I read, putz around online and follow current events with a passion. My time is my own and I've never been happier.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:38 PM

13. I had been planning on working at least one more year

But I had a lot of health problems and missed about 6 months of work. I'd been getting real tired of my job already, and with the health stuff I turned in my retirement They were very good to me, they always have been and let me stay on the payroll till I turned 62 and could take early SS. All the health problems and missing work made me in worse shape than Id been planning on, but its been easier than I thought it would be financially, I liked the people I worked with and made good money, but the last couple years I felt useless, just a paper pusher. Its been about a year and a half and I'm doing fine and glad i did it. Not like Im doing much what with the pandemic, but I'm happy just being lazy and sleeping in, etc. I hope if we ever get past this pandemic I'll be able to do some traveling while Im still you enough to do it.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:39 PM

14. Will you have a pension?

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:43 PM

16. My company had a pension for some years

before finally phasing it out and going the cash balance route. And, I have my 401k, and SS eventually, but that's some years down the road.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:40 PM

15. I worked for the same company for 31 years.

For the most part, it was very enjoyable. I could've retired after 29 years, but I still liked the work. Then at 30 years, the CEO merged us with a known bad actor in the industry, and suddenly it was very easy to leave.

If you are financially set, I'd say no regrets for pulling the plug on unrewarding work. There is a point in time when you can pull the plug and really, really make good progress on improving your physical health and well being. I certainly found that to be true. If you work too long you'll miss that mark.

Here's the other thing -- nothing says retirement means just sitting around, or endless vacations, or something in between. There are loads of volunteer opportunities to get you out of the house and have rewarding days interacting with other people.

I hope you enjoy whatever path you choose!

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:49 PM

17. The decision was made for me, sort of.

I had a job I really liked. The pay wasn't spectacular but it was decent enough, and I'd intended to keep the job until I turned 65. However, before that could happen my employer was acquired by another company. Although I was able to keep my job, and the pay increased, the duties changed, making it less fun and interesting, and the new boss was an asshole. And then, without warning (we learned about it on the news), and after being told months before that our department would remain where it was, my workgroup was notified that the whole department was being moved to the acquiring corporation's headquarters, a city that I had visited previously and had already concluded I definitely did not want to live in. I was eligible for an early retirement package, which I took and ran. Since retiring I continued in the part-time teaching job I had for a few years, and still do a little free-lance writing, but mostly I do the things I've wanted to do for a long time, for fun. I've never looked back.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:49 PM

18. How old are you? That's important info for this.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 08:50 PM

19. If you can handle it comfortably from a financial perspective, I say leave.

My best friend was in a job he hated and it had him on the verge of a mental breakdown. One of his options was early retirement. It meant living a lifestyle a little different from what he was accustomed to, but still fine, if frugal. He chose to leave and quite literally became a different person and it will probably end up adding years to his life.

Mental health is extraordinarily important and it affects every aspect of our lives. If the job is as impactful in that regard as it sounds, I think it's worth the effort to make the change. The "what's next" part is scary but if you're financially able to take some time to ponder it, you may come up with alternatives. That's really the unknown and as you noted, Covid doesn't help.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 10:42 PM

20. I retired on Social Security at age 62. I was tired. I ran the finances and figured that I and

my son would do ok. We do. Make your best plan.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 10:47 PM

21. My dream job in retirement is to be a Wal-Mart door greeter

But seriously I have already started working at my retirement job part time before my retirement. It's a bit busy right now working two jobs, but the part time one is more of a hobby.

So you might check around to see if any places have flexible working hours that can accommodate your current situation. That way you get a 'try-it-before-you-buy-it' crack at post retirement employment.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Tue Nov 3, 2020, 12:46 AM

22. Dreading going in to work

Is a terrible feeling. I have felt that way, and consequently left the job in question. No regrets.

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Response to Dagstead Bumwood (Original post)

Tue Nov 3, 2020, 08:12 PM

24. An update

This morning I nearly sent the email to my boss indicating that I was going to retire. I thought over the replies here and decided to take a stab at asking my boss for some relief from the increased duties I was given. The discussion with him led to a discussion with my manager, whom I've known some 20 years. I explained how exasperated I was feeling and that I didn't believe I could continue on in this manner. We agreed to meet in the next day or two, at which point I will outline the duties that have me most concerned.

So, thanks again to all who contributed here. Despite deciding to stay on for now, it gave me a lot to think about. And, made me realize I definitely want to go sooner rather than later.

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