Advice on early retirement - who's done it? (1 Viewer)

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Dec 2, 2019
4,366
9,807
South Lincolnshire
Funster No
67,140
MH
Rapido 7065+
Exp
Broken most bits now
We were left with no option but to leave our jobs in 2020 due to a vindictive manager and a woeful HR system. We decided to say $0d it and never went back to work (I was 56 partner was 49). We sold the house, bought the moho and headed off to France. This was a couple of weeks before Covid hit so any plans we'd made went out of the window. We have lived in the moho ever since then and now spend our days restoring a Georgian house. We get by on profits from the house sale and I've recently started receiving a modest final salary pension. We've not consulted an IFA for years as we got burnt last time with average advice and we don't have any complicated financials to worry about nowadays.
 
Oct 16, 2019
146
101
Bishop Auckland, UK
Funster No
65,648
MH
Elddis Accordo 105
I retired at 57, 2 years ago on the 31st May. This was mainly due to the health reasons of me and the family

I did basically what VXman has suggested above. I also used Aviva/Guiide to model if I had enough cash to do it.

You need to know how much you need/want to have as income, then this will tell you when you can retire.
I had a small Final salary pension, and the rest is DC, so it needs to be invested to give you enough returns to meet your predicted retirement lifespan.
I saw an IFA a few years ago to consolidate a few DC pensions and afterwards realised I could have done it myself.

Have a look at the Martin Lewis MSE pensions forum - you will learn alot
 
Oct 10, 2022
27
60
Funster No
91,825
MH
Avantgarde300
We both retired at 52. We were lucky that hubby had a very good lump sum and a good pension each month. We are now 68 and get our state pensions which are the icing on the cake. and all used for pleasure. Mind you hubby uses his to keep his 4 motorcycles in fine fettle and I like to dabble at the auctions. To anyone who is fortunate enough to be able to afford to retire early, I would say "go for it", life's too short.
 
Apr 3, 2019
1,666
3,055
UK
Funster No
59,597
MH
Burstner Travel Van
Exp
Few years now
Be very careful when you cash pensions, especially after 4 July…….
Asked our IFA about this yesterday, he has told me not to worry about it (at least in the short term).

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Oct 22, 2019
1,802
4,995
Hampshire
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65,995
MH
Chausson 640 welcome
Exp
Since October 2019
When the election was announced my fund dropped 3-4% , a week later it had rallied almost to its high , down a bit , up a bit
 

Holly's mum

Funster
Jan 29, 2017
788
28,288
nr Huntingdon, Cambs
Funster No
47,102
MH
Elddis Autoquest 175
Exp
Since 2010
Absolutely retire early if you can. I retired 2 years ago at 57, my husband had already retired a few years previously at 59.

Prior to my retirement we did a lot of research and watched a lot of You Tube videos from the likes of James Shack, Meaningful Money (Pete Matthews who is mentioned by JMHerts above) , Damien Talks Money & PensionCraft, worked out our sums and then went to see a couple of IFA's as we wanted to consolidate our pensions pots into 1 SIPP, as they were seriously under performing. The first IFA basically agreed with everything we had worked out and told us to self invest our pension, as our plan was a good one. The 2nd IFA, also agreed that we were fine to retire and that our plan to self consolidate our pensions was a good one and although he offered to consolidate our pensions for us, we couldn't justify the initial fee and he totally understood when we declined and did our own thing.

6 months after I retired my husband started getting his state pension, which takes the pressure off of drawing on our savings but it is definitely the best thing we've done and I wish I had been brave enough to retire a few years earlier.

As others have said, the hardest bit to get your head around, is spending your savings and not increasing them but this is what we've been saving for all our working lives, so we plan to enjoy ourselves.
 
Jun 14, 2014
1,543
3,321
Coventry
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31,965
MH
IH N680CFL
Exp
Since2014
Tired, really just tired of life at the moment and looking at early retirement but only 54 (at end of June) and wife is 56.

For those of you that have done it, Im wondering if you went to an independent financial advisor as part of your research or how did you work out what you could afford?

I am 59 now and ready to retire.

I don’t feel the need for any bullshit from an IFA.

It’s not hard after all is it?
I Gave up at 59 and 3/4 over 3 years ago totally had enough. I did do a thread on here a few years before about how much could you live on. Mainly how little. That had lots of helpful advice
Also like you Chris did not want or really trust financial advisers. I got to where we were without them and decided to spend a long time going through our incomes and outgoings.

I went back 5 years in statements looking at outgoings breaking it down monthly. Most importantly no debt.

Take all your bills add them up to cover a 12month period. We then added £100 pw for our food and fuel.

That's your minimum outgoings as simple as that.

If income is more than minimum expenditure then you have a chance :LOL:

It's worked for us in fact I now realise I could have gone earlier.

I don't regret going either
 
Apr 17, 2016
6,264
37,005
South Coast
Funster No
42,523
MH
White One..
Exp
3 years….
Tried it at about 45 but got fed up after 6 months then 7 years ago at 55 didn’t have a choice as major health issue made me stop😳😳
Lasted a few years but now just drive a digger for people I know doing extensions and other works.
Probably work about 15 weeks a year and that pays our 12+ weeks a year away in the van and the running costs
Don’t think I could ever give up completely as I need to be doing something even when I’m home I’m fixing or building😁😁

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May 13, 2024
70
207
Lancshire
Funster No
103,088
MH
Adria Matrix Axess
Exp
Caravan since 1983 - Motorhome since 1997
Firstly:
What is your ’Real’ reason for wanting to retire early. It really needs to be a bit more than being fed up? How will the empty hours be filled? Hobies? Travel? Have you enough funds, not just to retire, BUT to do what you want to do in your retirement?

Secondly:
Do you have a mortgage, will you be relied upon, by offspring, for educational support, or house purchase support, somewhere down the road? Have you elderly parents, or other relatives, that may need to be factored into the equation

Thirdly, imponderably, and perhaps most importantly:
How is your personal health, and the spouse’s? Maybe that is part of the reason for wanting to take early retirement ?

Obvious questions perhaps, but having retired early, 25 years ago, I have some experience in the aftermath of leaving gainful employment behind.

Having had some very disappointing’ experiences with financial advisors, I did all my own pre-retirement research, and calculations.

The most important thing to do is to get State and Company/Private Pension Forecasts. Until you know that the sums you, and your spouse, are going to get will cover your monthly outgoings, then you can’t plan for anything. It is only then that you must consider all the other factors that will be a potential drain upon your resources

Have you a company pension, or an Armed Forces pension, even if it is of the deferred type? I know of several ex-service chaps who completely forgot about their entitlement to a deferred pension. (Entitlement only if you left the Service after 1975).

How are your savings and investments looking? Good, bad, indifferent? Maybe move some of them ?

Do you have any investments that generate a regular, tax-free income, if not, maybe now is the time ?

There are many other imponderables to consider, some of which will have an impact upon any plans that you might make.

Changes to Governments may bring about unwelcome changes to the Tax and NI systems, and who can predict what the future may hold there?

Further raids on company pension schemes by greedy Chancellors, or further shifting of the current retiring age (not holding my breath on that one).

There are so many things to consider now, from the price of electric cars, to the cost of private medical treatment, that I admit to not having considered back in the day.

If I had, I might still be working.

Perish the thought.

:giggle:
 
Jul 10, 2017
1,124
3,043
Ireland
Funster No
49,405
MH
Coach built
Exp
Newbie
I retired age 54 , 10 yrs ago this October , wife has just retired 2 months ago .
I have loved every second of it as is the wife now she has got over the initial shock that every second of time is her own.
We dont have kids ( through choice) and have been mortgage free for 15yrs so life ( financially ) is sweet .
We have always got on well in each others company ( married for 31 yrs ) and love being together in retirement . We do have separate interests so dont live in each other pockets 24/7 .
My days are absolutely full and im usually asleep before my head hits the pillow at bedtime ( never go to bed before 11:30 pm )
So yes i recommend early retirement , if you can , do it .
We may be the very last generation of “ working class “ people who will be afforded this luxury .
And my advise is get an IFA , a good one is worth every single penny .
 
Oct 22, 2023
35
145
West Midlands, UK
Funster No
99,467
MH
Autotrail F60
Exp
Newbies as of June 2024
We finished last October. Me 56, him 58. OH was lucky enough to get redundancy (affectionately known as the dundy bus). When the bus came, he got one of the 4 seats & got his dundy and pension lump sums along with his full DB pension with no actuarial deductions.

Having spent 12 years working for IFAs, we did not seek advice. I used my modest DC pension to buy a fixed term annuity, to bridge the gap to state pension which, along with rental income, provides my own income. We are mortgage & debt-free.

We take advantage of the starting rate for savings by moving cash into accounts in my name to mitigate our tax liability as much as possible.

The main problem we'll have is learning how to spend money in retirement, having been savers all our lives. Nice problem to have, but I'm worried we'll regret not spending.

Now, all we need now, is for the money-pit motorhome to get delivered so we have something to spend money on. Which will come first, the MH or our state pensions 🙄
 
Dec 25, 2015
1,456
29,344
Nelson New Zealand
Funster No
40,848
MH
Autotrail Tracker FB
Exp
Since 1998
We retired early and saw an independent financial adviser. We were given very bad advice, invested in several schemes, one of which lost us tens of thousands of hard earned dollars and resulted in the head of the investment company serving seven years in prison.
In addition, I was mis-sold a private pension plan by Prudential and had to persue compensation, which I got.
We came out of retirement and set-up our own small business to recover our losses from the investor who misappropriated our funds. After 10 years we tried retirement again, both of us still under 65, and have enjoyed the experience, but mainly thanks to having a large enough nest egg to live off reasonably comfortably.
I've decided that money really does make the world go round.
 
May 7, 2016
7,582
12,510
West Sussex
Funster No
42,951
MH
Malibu Van 640 LE K
Exp
Since 2003
Retired from my main career in my early 50s. Did part time jobs for a couple of years but soon discovered that I could manage well enough on my pension without working. Made some changes to my lifestyle but nothing too painfull and have no regrets whatsoever. Lucky me.
 
Oct 9, 2019
5,066
17,819
Todmorden
Funster No
65,104
MH
Van conversion
Exp
FUNSTER in a PVC
Tired, really just tired of life at the moment and looking at early retirement but only 54 (at end of June) and wife is 56.

For those of you that have done it, Im wondering if you went to an independent financial advisor as part of your research or how did you work out what you could afford?
I didn’t take early retirement but I advised many who did during my career as an IFA.
Before you do take the plunge as others have said, check out your state pension forecast and pay whatever is needed to ensure you both will be entitled to a full state pension.
Next see if your private or company pension has any forecasting tools that you can use to determine both what your income and expenditure may be over the years. See what is a realistic withdrawal rate from your pensions looks like, if you don’t have children don’t be afraid of the money running out at 100, if you do have kids then warn them if you intend to spend it all 🥳🥳
You will find that you will cut your cloth to suit income.
It can be worth using an IFA to both review your existing pension provision and your retirement plan and create one if you’re not sure how to. Don’t hold back with any requests for information, the more informationand ideas of how you see your retirement the better they will be able to help you plan.
I accept the difficulty for a lay person is finding an IFA who is prepared to give advice as many now have to impose a minimum value of savings and investments, this is not because they want to get their hands on your cash it’s simply as they have to charge fees , it has to be cost effective for both sides to take the work on, it has been proved in that an IFA can improve your wealth/income by at least 20%.
You will want to see tangible benefits of using an IFA and that will manifest itself with his or her research into your existing investment/pension funds, will they still be suitable to produce a regular income, will they produce a retirement plan that can be updated to reflect your changing spending habits as you get older? Are they younger than you, you don’t want them pushing up daisys before you, do not go to a one man band for the same reason, if anything happens to them you want your file to remain in house with a seem less move to a new adviser.
There are many things to consider but please consider taking professional advice, this could be the biggest decision you will both make so you don’t want to get the planning wrong.👍🏻
 
Apr 12, 2010
4,916
54,025
Bury St Edmunds, West Suffolk
Funster No
11,027
MH
Weinsberg Cara
Exp
since 2007
Early retirement depends on many factors. Health, wealth, I think having no mortgage or any major debts, and at a guess you need less than when working, around 60/70% I’d say. A big factor for us was we both had private pensions as well as the state pensions.
We both had interests outside of work and never missed it one bit. This wouldn’t be the case if you paid rent or still have a mortgage a huge burden in old age.
Phil
 
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OP
PaulC70
May 8, 2021
1,661
3,177
Bedford, UK
Funster No
81,023
MH
Bailey Autograph792F
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Since June 2021
Do you have special class in the NHS pension, if so I would definitely hang on until 55 even if you dropped hours.

I've asked for a statement and it says I can take one section from 55 even though it says normal retirement is 60 so it's quite confusing, plus even though I joined it in 1994 (this section only goes to 2015 which is 21 years) its only showing 11 years reckonable service so i need to find out what the hell thats about :-/

I am 59 now and ready to retire.

I don’t feel the need for any bullshit from an IFA.

It’s not hard after all is it?

Tis if you've no clue :-/
I retired at 57, 2 years ago on the 31st May. This was mainly due to the health reasons of me and the family

I did basically what VXman has suggested above. I also used Aviva/Guiide to model if I had enough cash to do it.

You need to know how much you need/want to have as income, then this will tell you when you can retire.
I had a small Final salary pension, and the rest is DC, so it needs to be invested to give you enough returns to meet your predicted retirement lifespan.
I saw an IFA a few years ago to consolidate a few DC pensions and afterwards realised I could have done it myself.

Have a look at the Martin Lewis MSE pensions forum - you will learn alot
I'll check out the MSE pensions sections for sure, but gonna ask whats DC?

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Apr 24, 2012
751
1,464
Worcester
Funster No
20,716
MH
RMB Concorde
Exp
Since 2010
I stopped when I was feeling much as you describe. The only calculation I made was how much more I’d get if I stayed another three years and that calculation made me realise no amount more would help.
Rather frightened OH but very very quickly our cloth was cut according to our new means. And only yesterday driving back from a very sunny Brittany I said how lucky we are.
I do think if I’d carried on - I was 56- I’d have completely cracked. So think about your health as well as your pocket
 
OP
OP
PaulC70
May 8, 2021
1,661
3,177
Bedford, UK
Funster No
81,023
MH
Bailey Autograph792F
Exp
Since June 2021
Firstly:
What is your ’Real’ reason for wanting to retire early. It really needs to be a bit more than being fed up? How will the empty hours be filled? Hobies? Travel? Have you enough funds, not just to retire, BUT to do what you want to do in your retirement?
We've talked about it for a year or so, it is more than being fed up, I guess some of our recent health issues have made us consider it more than just talking about it. Empty hours? Photography, touring, etc.
Secondly:
Do you have a mortgage, will you be relied upon, by offspring, for educational support, or house purchase support, somewhere down the road? Have you elderly parents, or other relatives, that may need to be factored into the equation

We do currently have a mortgage, on 1.9% for another 3 years then less than £18000 left on it. There's an inheritence of circe £80,000 coming to the wife in the next few months too. Shouldn't be relied on by either kids or parents which is good, they are all sorted.
Thirdly, imponderably, and perhaps most importantly:
How is your personal health, and the spouse’s? Maybe that is part of the reason for wanting to take early retirement ?
Prostate cancer thankfully caught early and treated plus a bad back which comes and goes. For the OH, diabetes, high BP, eye problems related to the diabetes, mobility affected by old achilles tendon injury so needs a mobility scooter for distances, recent mild stroke that luckily didn't affect her actual mobility is no one sided weakness etc.
And yep its certainly a factor in looking at early retirement for sure.
 
Jul 18, 2009
11,491
18,739
Manchester UK + Javea/Xabia Spain + Abu Dhabi
Funster No
7,543
MH
HYMER B644
Exp
2004
I know people with squillions in the bank, property rich, but every pound is a prisoner .

They don’t enjoy life though.

Same as many dole lifers.

If you can do it, do it.

If you can get through and live with the silly NLV rules of Spain or Portugal. Probably two of the best places you can retire to.

Send me a Pm if you need any advice on Spain or the Uk

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Jun 22, 2012
4,014
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Sherborne Dorset
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21,586
MH
Van Conversion
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Since 2012
We've talked about it for a year or so, it is more than being fed up, I guess some of our recent health issues have made us consider it more than just talking about it. Empty hours? Photography, touring, etc.


We do currently have a mortgage, on 1.9% for another 3 years then less than £18000 left on it. There's an inheritence of circe £80,000 coming to the wife in the next few months too. Shouldn't be relied on by either kids or parents which is good, they are all sorted.

Prostate cancer thankfully caught early and treated plus a bad back which comes and goes. For the OH, diabetes, high BP, eye problems related to the diabetes, mobility affected by old achilles tendon injury so needs a mobility scooter for distances, recent mild stroke that luckily didn't affect her actual mobility is no one sided weakness etc.
And yep its certainly a factor in looking at early retirement for sure.
I am going to be very blunt. If Nick and I had your health issues at your ages we’d already be retired. We’d not be thinking about it. You’ve both had more than enough health warnings. Do it now or the moment you can as I think you have an NHS pension. Your wife might be able to go on health grounds if she’s an NHS worker or is she already on disability.
 
Last edited:
May 26, 2016
1,445
4,904
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low profile
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moderate
Most importantly make out a list of everything you think you would like to do in retirement. include little things like bus trip or a train trip. Make the list as big as you can. The potential for boredom in retirement can be very high.
 

jumartoo

Funster
LIFE MEMBER
Oct 19, 2015
7,281
195,663
Alhama de Murcia, Spain
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39,634
MH
Hymer Tramp
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Since 1994
We retired in 1998 at ages 42 and 47 when Martin had a serious health warning.

We sold up and went on the road. We "invested" our money via a PFA but watched it dwindle when the crash happened. We lived on one pension and were careful in the beginning.

We spent most of our time in Spain, with some trips to Oz, NZ, Peru, Canada, where we lived cheaply as well. We don't have expensive tastes!

We dabbled with a few things in Spain, but they didn't work out to our satisfaction so we walked away (they weren't our businesses we were just helping).

We now have a comfortable, lock up and leave, golf view apartment and an old Hymer (we need to change it soon, but can't get round to it) that we spend more than half our year in. We now have 5 pensions between us so we really need to get spending.

We love our lifestyle and regret our decision, all those years ago.

If you can retire, just do it.
 

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