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Old 09-19-2021, 07:02 AM   #1
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Default Forced to Retire Early

Hello My Asylum Brothers,

While I'm not financially independent I got caught in a situation in which I can either retire now at 51 with a pension or wait until I'm 65 to collect a dime. The union changed the pension rules and I qualified by the skin of my teeth. One of my friends was hired three months after me and he didn't qualify.

I'm confident in my decision to leave after 30 years and worked two jobs to be able to live on my pension alone if I have to. I'm also a grad student and I'm three courses away from graduating with a masters in marketing so I'm not retiring so much as I'm giving myself options to do something I want to do and not have to do like work jobs I would hate.

I've found a good niche for my geographic area and would have no problems putting my education to work and paying off what I do owe within two years but here is the rub....I'm dealing with a lot of anxiety about this. Everyone that I work with would trade places with me in a heartbeat. I know it's just the fear of the unknown but I feel I've planned really well. We all know what happens when "life happens" and your plans are altered dramatically but as October gets closer I'm not sleeping, maybe three or four hours a night. I'm eating less.

It's a stressful situation because I've held this job since I was 22 and now that idea of a secure job is going away. I know I can't be the only one that's dealt with this before a huge chapter in my life closes and another begins.

Any advice from my inmate brothers other than enjoy a cigar today and let tomorrow take care of itself
I am not as active here as I need to be, but to be fair I'm not active anywhere online other than schoolwork right now.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

I'm not rich by any means but I've been retired since my early 50's, partially retired since late 30's. Just find a way to live within your means and enjoy life.
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

Andy: You'll Be Fine!. Try To Live On Your Pension For At Least A Few Months. You'll Find Out You Really Don't Need All Those Things You Thought You Did!
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

You are close to finishing your degree. I assume that you want to keep working.

A lot depends on your type of pension. Some pensions require that you withdraw a certain amount and many do not allow you to reduce your amount -- this last part could be important tax wise. Is your pension tax free or taxable? Is there a difference between the pension amount taken today verses waiting to 65? Would the amount you get at 65 be too low for your later years (no medical plan is cheap, btw)?

These are all the type of questions that only a financial advisor with all your information can answer. I am most certainly not one of these.

I wish you the very best.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

Well, changing careers is inherently stressful. You can’t really change that but you can try and take good care of yourself. Mark’s suggestion to check your financial plans with an advisor is correct. But, you also need to get your beauty sleep. Try getting more exercise, maybe a long, relaxing walk. And, stay off the caffeine. If that doesn’t work, you might want to check with a doc. If you’re sleep deprived, it’ll make that new job tougher.

The reality is, once you start the new job, you’ll be excited and happy and this stress will fade from your memory. Good Luck!
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

I went through a similar experience. Due to a hostile buyout I had to decide between accepting an early retirement offer and leaving a few years before I'd planned to, or holding on and see what happened. I took the offer and retired in my mid fifties. Best decision I ever made. Those that hung on ended up pretty unhappy. Me, on the other hand, I've had a stupid grin plastered on my mug ever since.

In the final analysis I lost the identity I had as a long term employee at a major corporation, and to a lesser degree the daily contact I had with folk I considered friends. But I gained total freedom to do whatever I want on a daily basis and the ability to get up whenever I feel like it rather than when I had to. Like I said, I've been grinning ever since. You end up with the choice to pursue hobbies and interests, or the opportunity to start a new job/career.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

One thing I've learned about work, Andy - it's just a job, not your life. Chillax, and get some sleep.
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

I had something similar so I will try to keep it as short as possible, but I hope my experience will bring some comfort to you.

I started full-time with my County's 911 Ambulance in 2003. I kinda got into the game later than most. I was 37. I vested in the Florida Retirement system after 7 years. In Florida First Responders have high risk retirement so we accrue 3% of our top 5 years pay per year. My dad was diagnosed with dementia about two years before I retired and I knew my years there would probably be cut shorter than I anticipated due to the illness advancing. Our county hired a new chief in 2019 and it seemed like it would be great at first but he turned out to be a jackass of the highest order. Due to his lunacy I entered the DROP in May 2020. I had intended to work until December of this year and retire. That would have given me about 35k in my drop payout, plus 10k of leave time they would have paid me out for. But the new chief didn't like my style of questioning his illegal shenanigans so he thought he was going to set me up to fire me, I just retired and said screw it. I collected my 12k from the drop and 9k of leave money. So I retired in November of last year and really thought I would miss it after almost 19 years but I really don't. I had been doing lawncare as a side job for 3 years previous to retiring so I was making pretty good money with both jobs. I think COVID screwed up the lawncare business somewhat so I stumbled into a job with a local family owned pest control company. Already making more than I was at the lawncare and with my state retirement and the income from the pest control I am way less stressed and the income on the pest control will probably be over 1k a week within another year. So I aint looking back and I suspect once the shock of it all passes and you settle into the new routine you will feel the same way brother.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

Our situations aren't completely similar, Andy, but I know that pension has really given me the freedom to make work and life choices that make me happy rather than just secure. I am sure you will work this lout to your advantage and happiness too.
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Old 09-20-2021, 11:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

Life has a way of always keeping you buzy! I worked in the auto body world for around 15 years. Working on cars then running a shop. Then at 36 I quit to become a Stay at home dad. It was very strange not going to a job everyday but I seemed like I was working more Then when it was starting to get easier I was starting to play golf a few times a week and then we had another kid Back to full-time house dad. As the kids got older I got a PT night job at a cigar shop/lounge. (that was a good time, lasted for abut 10 years). Then my moms health stated to go down hill. So I became a PT caregiver. She then fell and broke her hip and I moved her into our house. Well for the next 3 years I became a Full time Caregiver giving meds and wiping butt AGAIN in my life. She passed away last year but I know I did the right thing (it was just me dad died when I was 8 and no other family).Well my youngest is almost 18 so I was thinking I just might be able to finally just do nothing. But NO the FIL is recovering from cancer so he moved into our house and I have became a PT caregiver again! That is till a few weeks ago when he fell doing something stupid (being a pride full old man) and broke his hip So when he gets out of the SNF and comes back home I will become a full-time caregiver again!
So the moral of the story: YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE A JOB TO DO, IT MAY JUST NOT BE WHAT YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD BE!!!

"Life move's fast don't forget to at least enjoy the view"
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

No wonder I love this place!
You're all excellent men!
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

I retired early, when poor leadership at my last workplace sucked all the enjoyment out of my job. Since then I have never, ever, not once, thought to myself "Instead of taking a nice leisurely walk with my wife and dog in the middle of the day before heading to taste some local beers at three in the afternoon and going to get some fish tacos, I wish I was still in a cubicle for 10 hours a day answering the idiotic questions of petty dicks who will use my hard work to advance their own careers."
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

Just because you are retiring from this gig doesn't mean you need to be done working. Even in the same industry. I can think many in several industries that work the same role collecting pension and contracting money.

Do something new, but I would suggest to keep working. "Do a job you love and you'll never work another day in your life" as the saying goes.
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Old 09-23-2021, 03:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

Personally, I envy you. As a 59 year old pastor, I'm looking probably at another 6 years before I can even consider retiring and being able to afford to live on what my pension and social security give me.

I have however thought about going to part-time, and taking a decrease in order to be collecting social security early.

I've watched many people retire however, and whenever it is nobody thinks they're ready to do so. The other thing I've noticed is that those who keep themselves busy with something, hobby, volunteer work, taking care of family, all seem to prosper emotionally, mentally, and physically after retirement.

Of course now my advice is a little different. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to guide your decision. Then after you make your decision, accept it as the guidance of the Holy Spirit and God's will. And then you live your life in the peace and joy the Lord.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Forced to Retire Early

Life forces upon us decisions we never will make on our own because most of us are too risk adverse (Justified by kids, mortgagees etc.) to actually go all in on our dreams as adults. Sounds as if you were planning to make a change thru continuing education and this just accelerates/confirms your commitment to your next step.

Had the opportunity to retire at 47, but with some required life changes, when my partner of 13 years orchestrated a mass firing and exodus from a company we had built. After soul searching and support from former coworkers, decided to do it one more time with my friends.

Twelve years later, we ended up happier and more financially rewarded by an exponential amount vs if we had stayed. Our partner meetings started out cursing my former partner. Over time they became toasts to the man who made it all happen.

Sometimes the worst thing that happens to you (Job Loss) ends up over time being the best thing. You are now free to pursue your dreams with a bit of a financial net (Pension).

Lucky Bastage!
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