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Hi everyone,
I decided to retire in 1/1/2022. I said “decided” but I’m feeling a bit scared and lost. My mother died in March from heart attack induced by chronic kidney disease (CKD) just before an operation to prepare for dialysis. I checked myself for kidney in April. My kidney is in normal range but it has been getting worse than three years ago. In short I’m aging. My mom had her business and worked until 70. Before her death, she said she regret doing it. So I decided stop working and withdrew from management. I have never been non busy. In a beautiful morning like this, it feels strange that I’m not tackling with emails, not on the plant floor or in a meeting at 7:00 am! Since I started at my current career at age 40, I had a decent climb on the corporate ladders. you can say I’m at the top of the game. Due to appreciation to data science and process improvement in recent years, I have been receiving great compensation and lucrative job offers. I know I need to get out of the workforce earlier than my body fails to have healthy retirement. I’m just scared. I will have no new money coming for a few years until the social security kicks in. My husband is still working. My house is paid off and I have savings. I decided to enroll in music major in a local community college. But this is new. Pursuing piano as a serious hobby has been my dream. I hope I won’t go crazy for not being busy. I need your advice and encouragement.

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By your Handle on here my guess is you are in that industry. Hard graft for life I bet.

I have been trying to retire for more than a decade but failed to retire that early to make a difference but still battling to give up.

It sounds like you are getting all of your ducks in a row, so my point is you are preparing whether driven by the experience of your Mother etc.

It is not scary to retire as long as you have new stuff going on to replace the work and time leaving your career. My advice is to keep knocking responsibilities off your big list and over time as they become less be quick to fill in with stuff like Piano and others from your bucket list future.
They say when climbing a ladder don't look down. Same for you try not to look back life is way too short.

All the very best to you and remember Piano is your friend smile

Andy

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Thank you Andy for your encouragement. I needed that. I wish you the very best back.

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i think you are doing exactly the right thing. Retirement is on my mind as well, my target is 5 years from now but I'm hoping I can reduce that by a year or two, but that will depend on finances.

Once again health is a major consideration, wanting to have some time in retirement when health is good enough to do the things I would like to. If you can afford to do so, and you've talked it through with your husband and he is on board. I'm not saying you need your husbands permission, but these big life changing decisions affect our partners as well. I would say go for it.

Good luck, and I suspect enrolling for piano at the local college means you will very quickly find yourself to be busy. Life for most of us has a way of filling up empty spaces.

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Sounds exciting, FarmGirl! Similar to you and Sam, I thought it would be fun to pursue a music degree during retirement. But retirement for me is about 10 years away.

I don't think you'll go crazy. Just keep finding new projects to keep yourself busy smile


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Hands on your back Farmgirl. At least this is your decision, which means you can mentally prepare. Life is short and anything can happen. We were on a Galapagos trip years back, we were amongst the youngest people there…we were celebrating a significant milestone, not realizing during this trip many couples waited until the ‘formal’ retirement to take the trip: they were physically challenged by the trip. Many of them told us that they wished they took the trip earlier in life, like us. And regretted waiting thinking they would have more time, not realizing their health would deteriorate.

I never forgotten this story, and like you, I have similar story to yours re your parents. Their passing reminds you that life is fleeting.

If you are financially comfortable, which sounds that you are: go enjoy life. Even during early retirement, days go by fast!


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I retired four years ago. I was fortunate enough to be able to retire young due to my employment ( 30 years w/ age 55). I was 59. I am living my best life! All it really comes down to is planning. Like others have said, if you talk with your spouse and determine what your needs are and how your lives will be financially, you can decide when the best tome to go is. The earlier the better, I say. Good luck to you.


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I retired 5 years ago not long after my sister was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I’m more physically and socially active and more focused in my piano journey than when I was working. I have never looked back or regretted my decision. Best of luck with your plan.



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While I'm sure such a big change can be scary I would also think how fortunate you are, lucrative job, paid off house, the option to retire early. Many will never have the option to do any of this. Don't get me wrong as I'm not you're not grateful for this opportunity, I'm saying I hope you take this opportunity and retire as soon as possible. Imagine the things you can learn and do all that time you can spend on piano and the forum too! I'm excited for you!

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Originally Posted by Music Me
I retired four years ago. I was fortunate enough to be able to retire young due to my employment ( 30 years w/ age 55). I was 59. I am living my best life! All it really comes down to is planning. Like others have said, if you talk with your spouse and determine what your needs are and how your lives will be financially, you can decide when the best tome to go is. The earlier the better, I say. Good luck to you.

I do think there is an element of luck involved, yes you should plan but life often throws large spanners in the works that makes plans harder or irrelevant.

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This is the kind of question that you need to sit down with a Certified Financial Planner and ask them.
A CFP will be able to give you a lot more constructive advice, but it sounds like you are in a financial situation where you can pretty much do whatever you want to do. Enjoy life!


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Took lessons from 1960 to 1969, stopped at age 16.
Started again in July 2020 at age 67. Lots more fun now!
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I’m looking forward to the day I can sell my practice and retire which hopefully won’t be too many years from now. I started taking lessons again in my late 40’s as I didn’t want to wait until retirement to get serious about my studies. It’s so hard to balance life and find the time to do things we thoroughly enjoy. I’m jealous that you are already there. Absolutely make the most of your time in retirement and shoot for the moon if you really enjoy the piano.


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I retired at age 60. I thought I would need something to organize my time and give shape to my days, but that was not the case at all. I haven't looked back or regretted the decision at all. My husband retired at the same time. We do serious hiking, I do vegetable gardening, and of course I took up piano, from scratch. I took two years worth of music classes at the local community college. I (regrettably) don't do any more house cleaning than I did when I was working.

If retirement is financially feasible (and it sounds like it is for you) and you have at least some other interests, then do it. If you keep working, you will never get back that time. Reducing chronic stress from a high-powered job will add years to your life. So will keep your body moving in order to stay as healthy as possible.


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Deciding when to retire is difficult. In the US, you've got to have health insurance until you are old enough for Social Security/Medicare. And enough money to cover your bills. I retired at 59, was able to continue the same insurance, and immediately went back to work at the same job, but as a contractor. I did that for a year and a half before retiring totally. Our house was paid off, we had no debt, and we only had to pay taxes and utilities and so forth. We have retirement savings.

The first thing I did was go and hike the Appalachian Trail, which took 5 months. Then I went back to work at a part time job until I turned 62. It turned out we really didn't need that money, but it was hard to know that at the time.

Of course, at 62 I went back to college for a piano performance degree. 62 is the magic number in Georgia to get free tuition at state universities.

Now, at 67, I am busier than I can manage. I volunteer for a sports club, and we put on a couple of events a month. I volunteer for a local art project, installing outdoor art. I practice every day for a couple of hours, and I belong to two local piano groups and participate in their recitals. I run and ride my bike for exercise. It can be hard to find time in the calendar for everything I want to do. So far, no health problems other than hearing aids, poor eyesight, and generally not being able to do as much as I used to.

One reason I retired when I did was that my family had a history of poor health. Both my father and brother died at 59. My wife and I are both retired now and having lots of fun together. We live within our means. With our retirement funds and SS/Medicare we don't have any money concerns - I hope that continues.

So if you can afford it and have health insurance - go for it. Don't worry about being bored!

Sam

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I kept nodding my head at everything Sam and Stubbie said.

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My husband and I are both retiring as of July 1 this year, and yes, it's an intimidating decision with lots of unknowns. Like you, we decided to do it while still healthy enough that we could have kept working longer, and also at a high point of achievement in our careers. We didn't want to wait until people started to think we ought to go! And we want to be able to do some things we didn't have time for before.

Everyone we know who has taken the option of retiring says it was the right thing to do--so I think and hope that's true.


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What I've noticed early on, being in a high-stress job ever since I graduated from university (chronic sleep deprivation, the constant fear of the consequences of any mistake, lives at stake.....) is the high burn-out rate among my peers. There is also a high suicide rate. Many took early retirement, or went on to other jobs.

I was lucky enough to know what I could manage and how much - and after the early years, when it seemed my life consisted of nothing but work, lack of sleep, trying to catch up on lost sleep on nights or days off, then repeat - I got myself out of the rat race when I was able, and took up activities that benefitted my mind and health (hiking & other outdoor activities, mountaineering etc) rather than keep competing on the career ladder, and eventually, was able to stay put, settle down and buy myself a piano, and restart my piano playing. (Which was how I came to be here in PW whistle.) As well as being able to take time off to go off on expeditions around the globe, using the excuse of putting my job skills to good use in testing environments (not that I needed any excuse.... grin).

And I can see how I've retained my physical & mental health whereas many of my peers didn't. Even during the worst times of the pandemic when I was under a lot more extra strain in my job, I was never close to burnout - and of course, knowing that the piano was always there waiting for me when I managed to get home (not necessarily to practice, but just to play) gave me the respite I needed, even though the other avenues I normally had (outdoor activities etc) were severely curtailed; and of course, flying off to remote climes to climb mountains and immerse myself in new vistas was out of the question - even this year.

Therefore, though I don't need to pay for things like health insurance in my country and could technically retire now, I don't really want to, nor do I need to for the sake of my well-being. No, I don't own a mansion for my dream Bösendorfer Imperial on which to play my perfect Gaspard (which is also a dream, of course wink ), but I have my health and my piano, and have the means to keep pursuing my hobbies and activities for as long as I like (subject to pandemic restrictions).

Incidentally, as someone mentioned the Galapagos, my last trip abroad was to there, in October 2019, where I had fun getting caught up in the sudden and unexpected riots on mainland Ecuador, getting stranded high up in the Andes due to roadblocks before making our escape over the mountains on foot, carrying what we could in our backpacks (while singing songs from The Sound of Music, of course whistle) and then - with the help of Ecuador's Tourism Minister who got us plane tickets (and waved us off at the airport hotel), escaped the troubles on the mainland to see the friendly - sometimes, over-friendly - wildlife on the islands (even the sharks were friendly when we went snorkelling & scuba-diving).


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You will. LOVE being retired and your health will likely improve. You will be surprised what new things you will now have time for. You can throw a load of laundry in at 10 a.m. on Wednesday instead of after a long work day or weekend.

I just took up learning music/piano 2 years ago. I quit my job 5 years ago after my husband retired. If financed allow, don't be afraid!

Enjoy school! It will take your time.


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Thank you all your comments. I’m encouraged to know that no one’s regretting. As Sam mentioned concern about health is my number 1 driver after having seen what happened to my mother. You all gave me courage to say no to my ex boss for his very generous offer.

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There are many aspects to whether or not retirement is the best decision and I doubt strangers on the internet could possibly be in a position to advise beyond generalities. Money is the one everybody talks about but health and likely happiness are just as important if not more so. People whose whole life has been more or less based on their work or who identify themselves by their work or are used to discipline being imposed by others should consider working longer even if just part time. I have seen several people, usually men, who disintegrate physically and mentally upon retirement because they have no other active interests to pursue and they argue with their spouses because the domestic balance changes. I always had an abundance of disciplined interests which had been restricted by the time constraints of my work, so I experienced a tremendous opening of the gates when I retired, especially in music but also in other areas. Think about it carefully and good luck.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
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