View Full Version : Retirement

29th Aug 2010, 15:34
One is in a bit of a quandary.

I am in the fortunate position of:

1. Having enough money by way of pensions and investments of various sorts to do more or less as I please.

2. Doing a well paid job I enjoy and which gives me enough influence without the responsibility of hitting the numbvers on a month by month basis. In short, not stressful; I can do it on cruise control.

I had planned on retiring in January 2011. I had told my boss this and hoped he might have some succession planning in place.

This appears not to be the case and I have been asked to continue for another 2 years with an increase in salary.

I have a certain loyalty to the company. I have helped build it over the last 10 years and have enjoyed the fruits of its success.

However, I had made plans to:

1. Write the great 21st Century novel.
2. Finally complete a west/east pacific crossing solo in the boat.
3. Run a small hotel.
4. Spend more time with the Sproglettes now 3 and 5.

I am hitting 60 and have worked every day since I was 19 and, in truth, am a little afraid of not working.

29th Aug 2010, 15:39
me similar Lars
Decided to continue as I love the challenge so much (I'm a computer techie on large systems support). Also I learn something new every day ;)

Um... lifting...
29th Aug 2010, 15:43
Consult. Sail the boat and get the boss to get you a high-powered satellite connection so you can keep your finger on the pulse for a while.

Soon after that, the person who's doing your work in your place won't need you (nor want you, it has to be said) so much, you gracefully step back, go forward with your life's plan.

The rest will unfold in due course.

29th Aug 2010, 15:46
Put the kids in the boat, along with some paying guests. Take a laptop to write the novel, and keep working by satellite connexion.

OK, it's not solo, but you will have ticked every other box!

1. Write the great 21st Century novel.
2. Finally complete a west/east pacific crossing solo in the boat.
3. Run a small hotel.
4. Spend more time with the Sproglettes now 3 and 5.

Sir George Cayley
29th Aug 2010, 15:48
Quite a number of people I know who've retired before or at 60 with financial independence tell me they're so busy enjoying life they don't know how they had time for work!

I had planned 60 but life and some crap decisions pension wise will see me working well past then :sad:

My advice? Retire as planned then go back on reduced days to suit you and the boss.

Sir George Cayley

29th Aug 2010, 15:49
You've left it too late to retire. Retirement is essentially a job for the younger man.

My elder daughter said to me, when I was 53, "What do you want to be when you grow up, Dad?" I replied "Retired". So I did.
I took up a retirement vocation which has proved very satisfying and fulfilling, but the essential bit was retiring and doing all those other things.

If you leave it too long, you may find it's too late to do those other things. It's all about priorities!

29th Aug 2010, 15:50
With two Sproglettes aged so young, you won't have time
to do anything but keep them under control.
The demands on your time and attention will only increase
with time.

29th Aug 2010, 15:55
As long as you have got your health and the job is not causing or going to cause harmful stress in the future, fine.

...but you may regret putting off the things that you wish to do, if later, you find that you can't do them.

29th Aug 2010, 16:01
I was going to sail round the World.
But I can't remember the route now.

tony draper
29th Aug 2010, 16:08
You could live a normal retired life during the day but at sunset you could go out into the night wearing a tight fitting lycra costume and mask and fight evil and injustice.

29th Aug 2010, 16:11
You've left it too late to retire. Retirement is essentially a job for the younger man.

You are too right. I have already retired twice! But, somehow, a new challenge or opportunity seems to come along and I can't help but have a go at it. I admire you and your faith and the opportunities you have to influence and do good. In my small way have similar projects ongoing but based more on temporal needs.

With two Sproglettes aged so young, you won't have time
to do anything but keep them under control.
The demands on your time and attention will only increase
with time.

Agreed. This is my second family and I am enjoying it immensely. Age and experience have - just perhaps - given me more patience and an ability to understand better than when I was a young thruster.

As regards time; I/we are lucky enough to be able to afford staff to look after the more mundane aspects of rearing children and household chores.

29th Aug 2010, 16:12
But I'm scared of the dark Cap'n Drapes.

29th Aug 2010, 16:19
You could live a normal retired life during the day but at sunset you could go out into the night wearing a tight fitting lycra costume and mask and fight evil and injustice.

Lycra, bloody Lycra.

Cotton guy me!

Loose rivets
29th Aug 2010, 16:24
You're no fun anymore.:}

29th Aug 2010, 16:29
Lars, I retired at 60, it was the best thing i ever did. I can live a comfortable life and in the last 10 years, (i am 70), i have enjoyed many things and never felt bored or fed up. I have found that as i have approached 70 the aches and pains of age are increasing and slowing me down a bit, although i consider myself pretty fit. I am glad that i had a busy ten years because whilst i will enjoy the next ten it is quite clear that i will slow down.
My advice would be retire when you can but if you feel an obligation to your boss why don't you split the difference and just do a year............

Gertrude the Wombat
29th Aug 2010, 17:22
Some time ago I reckoned that the amount of capital one needed in order to be able to retire with a decent income from inflation protected sources was somewhere around £2,000,000.

But that was assuming a 5% return net of inflation, and interest rates have fallen somewhat since then and inflation has gone up, so maybe one needs something nearer £10,000,000. As I don't have anything like that I'm not currently contemplating retirement.

29th Aug 2010, 18:14
Retire to do what you really want to do (before it's too late ...). Time alone is irreplaceable and we are all running out of it. We just do not know when ... :sad:


Rather be Gardening
29th Aug 2010, 20:44
Ain't that the truth! Lars, I retired at 50 and although I missed the people I worked with, I have delighted in having time to think, to marvel at the world around me and to make friends with the people in my village. No more moving every two years, no more being ruled by the latest management-speak bolleaux, no more losing myself in other people's expectations. Cherish your family, your health and the lovely things around you. I know that finances aren't your main focus in this equation, so take the next big step into the rest of your life. Who knows what you might find?

29th Aug 2010, 21:42
Time alone is irreplaceable and we are all running out of it. We just do not know when.+1

Get out before the Grim Reaper gets you.

I was essentially forced into retirement because I could no longer stomach the morons in airport security. It was retire or probably get locked up for decking one of the s0ds. Never regretted it for a minute, in fact I can barely remember what I used to do for a living... :cool:

29th Aug 2010, 22:11
Mr L's Dad shuffled off his mortal coil at 62. Retire, your in the fortunate position to be able to do so, so do it.

Yes I am hectoring you here, but it's my right as a grumpy pregnant woman. ;)

29th Aug 2010, 22:24
Retirement has been my best ever career move.
I enjoyed my work, but the last few years were no longer what I wanted to do. Retired at 57 and spent a lot of time building up my woodworking skills, to the point where I now make almost exclusively on commission or for exhibitions (but I wouldn't like to have to live on the earnings.) I started teaching my old work one day a week, and each year, which is very satisfying, and every year, I've had a nice contract for a month or so to do some consulting.

Look on retirement as a career change, and follow the usual rules: Find something you are enthusiastic about, and if someone will pay you to do it, so much the better.

29th Aug 2010, 22:33
Yes I am hectoring you here, but it's my right as a grumpy pregnant woman

To young to be grumpy, five decades plus to be a grump.
Perhaps this alternative: Abundently Irritated.

30th Aug 2010, 05:16
Everyone wants to do twink things like sail boats and write books.
Doesn't anyone aspire to becoming a morose drunk like they did oop north?

Loose rivets
30th Aug 2010, 05:22
Can't we write books and be a morose drunk?

30th Aug 2010, 06:52
Hmmm... :hmm: Hemingway springs to mind, but he never got old....

Um... lifting...
30th Aug 2010, 07:33
Amazon.com: A Drinking Life: A Memoir (9780316341028): Pete Hamill: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Drinking-Life-Memoir-Pete-Hamill/dp/0316341029)

This fellow did both... but then he retired... from the drunk part...

30th Aug 2010, 08:22
I retired from full time employment aged 56. Despite being financially secure I did a variety of part time jobs for the next 10 years, though I still found the time to relax and do the things I wanted to.
Fully retired now and extremely busy doing ... not a lot!
My advice, Lars, would be to give up the commitment to full time employment and work on a consultative basis, until both you and the company are weaned off each other. I enjoyed my work but there are more interesting and worthwhile things to do in life.

30th Aug 2010, 08:53
Lars,I'm sure you realise it but the book,voyage and hotel can all sit on the backburner if necessary but the sproglettes wont. They will be grown up before you know it.

Is your next 2 years salary going to change your nest egg/lifestyle that you can have now?

Bite the bullet/leap in... the waters fine!


Rwy in Sight
30th Aug 2010, 09:00
My ex-boss who had been on the field for over 30 years, took a retirement early 2009. Everybody keeps telling him it took the retirement at the best possible mommenet.

I have seen him a couple of times both in the office and at the seaside property where he spends most of his times and to tell he has the time of his life it is an understatment. a very poor one.

He looks much younger keeps going to the beach practically every day and please note he enjoyed his job vey much.

Rwy in Sight

Howard Hughes
30th Aug 2010, 10:58
I think George Carlin said it best....
“The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating...

...and you finish off as an orgasm.”....:ok:

Ancient Observer
30th Aug 2010, 11:48
Spitting Image got it spot on...............

Time alone is irreplaceable and we are all running out of it

Keep to your plans.

30th Aug 2010, 18:06
Quit while you are ahead, I always promised myself I would retire at age of 50 but actually did it at 51 and on the change of the millennium as I wanted to finish a project. 10 years on never regretted a second. I have though seen wealthy friends who chose not to retire because they may not have quite enough only to loose the lot......

30th Aug 2010, 23:05
My dad "retired at about 50" also. Thought his old age and pension requirements were covered. Having bought a bit of land and made other (at the time, seemingly adequate) provisions. But then came the oil crisis of the early '70s. For some years, he'd also ran a small hotel of about 30 bedrooms, the management of which he later transferred to a Chinese contractor after his "early" retirement.

Back on the market in his early 50s, he "almost" got a job as director of a timber company in Liberia (when you think about it, it was probably fortunate that he didn't move the family there). After which, he "almost" got to run an off-license back in UK (except that the company didn't think that his "foreign" wife could assist him adequately). He "almost" got a lot of interesting jobs at 50 years old...

The beginning of the end was when he got a job with the local council. "Cleaning and maintenance" of a building in which the council occassionally used to hold meetings or rented out. In which he was very unhappy dealing with the other staff. Then taking on a position at a doctor's surgery as caretaker (ie. cleaner) with accommodation provided on the 3rd floor. The job he fulfilled quietly and humbly for the rest of his working life, supporting himself, his wife and on occasions, several of his offspring when they needed it. From about 1984 to 2004, before trully retiring, deceased 2007.

Nowadays, evertime I hear about someone intending to retire, the memories return. The questions I would ask you include "Are you really sure you're truly financially solvent?" Much better perhaps to continue in an activity in which you have some control, compared to being thrown out on the rubbish heap...?! My father once ran large tea and rubber plantations. In Malaysia, he was even given the use of an armoured car (with supporting troops) at one stage. Yet he ended up as he did.

In "the great scheme of things", nothing we personally accomplish, all the work or effort put into jobs etc. counts for very much. One night soon, when the skies are clear and you can see the stars. The same stars that so many people in the past have raised their heads up to gaze at, ever since mankind existed. Not only people, but animals (I've seen my pudicats look at the night sky too) and dinosaurs why not? You might decide that you're better off continuing to work a little bit (in a job of your choosing) and spending your free time with the younger members of the family. Before it's too late, realising that all you've done is to pay taxes and help raise other peoples' young. So that they too become slaves to modern governments and their taxes. In the wild, tigers have no taxes, but no retirement or pension either. If there weren't all those Chinese who considered tigers' bones to be a panacea, that would be fair too.

Allah cum salaam (as the phophet wishes), or whatever takes your fancy... :sad:

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2010, 05:20
Don't know about the prophet. All I know is my stars are misaligned.

Having decided to call it a day after 9/11 closed our little airline, almost nothing I have done in the material world, has gone right. The odds are impossible, except that I've been very lucky in the past, so I suppose on average, I'm moderately lucky. But you can't retire on memories or a history of good luck.

I often think of Oscar Wild. Such a tedious ending, and I can see my last years being much the same. Darn stars.

Nothing mechanical works, nothing electrical electrificates, nothing with a gland attached to it functions in any way remotely glandular. It has to have been written.

So, it's just the book now. Bit or shust. It'd better be good because I've grown attached to the idea of a luxury jet and a second wife. Mind you, I suppose I could get a wife with dowry. That might work.

31st Aug 2010, 06:51
In a similar position, Lars, (but no sprogs) and I am sure you feel a sense of obligation to the company as I do. I finally encouraged the boss to start thinking about replacement by going part time. First step 3 days a week - long weekends every weekend, then 3 days a fortnight. Now I do the odd day or week holiday relief - since the full retirement (i.e. no regular attendance) at end Jan I have worked a total of about 4 weeks, with one more arranged for October. I have probably had 3 or 4 phone calls when they just wanted advice.

It works for us.


Ali Qadoo
31st Aug 2010, 12:39
To those PPRuners considering writing a book as a means of providing a comfortable retirement, all I can say is good luck. However, be aware that if you're not very careful, that way madness lies - believe me, as a wannabe novelist who's recently had a fiction MS accepted by a literary agent, I speak from experience.

Now, I'm assuming you've done your research, and being a red-blooded chap or chapess, you've decided to eschew limp-wristed literary fiction where stuff-all happens and instead you've decided to write knock-'em-dead, plot-driven commercial fiction with lots of car chases, sex, violence and maybe even the odd aeroplane or two.

Of course you've looked at the current market and worked out what's hot and what's not - gravy-wrestling vampire nazi lesbians are sooo last year - and now you're ready to begin.....Harder than it looks isn't it? Coming up with a plot that will keep the reader interested, creating characters that aren't just sock-puppets doing and saying sock-puppety things in cardboard-cut-out land, and putting it all into a package 90,000 to 120,000 words long that doesn't sag in the middle like one of the pouting, fragrant Mrs Qadoo's cakes, ain't easy. But let's assume you've not only done it, you've revised, edited, checked for plotholes and honed it to perfection. Well done: most people who start novels never finish them. Now the fun starts, young Skywalker.

Feeling justifiably pleased with yourself, glass in hand, you sit back and allow yourself a few moments of reverie - after all, there's so much dreck hitting the bookshelves (and making the best-seller lists fer chrissakes) that with a fair wind the agents and the publishers will be fighting over your masterpiece...and as for Hollywood, well why not? But then, being the modest, all-round good egg you are, you tell yourself that if nobody wants the MS, then so what; it was great fun writing it and at least you've achieved something most people never do. Dream on...

Next you write a synopsis (harder than writing the flipping book, let me tell you), together with a killer query letter which is short, to the point but somehow hints at what a silverback you really are; and now you're ready to enter the nightmare of ritual humiliation which makes airport security look like a fun day out - the submissions process.

Undaunted, and with a carefree song on your lips, you take out your well-thumbed copy of the Writers' and Artists' Year Book and start sending out submissions to agents - many of them still don't accept subs via e-mail and your first shock will come when you find out just how much it costs to post the first three chapters, the synopsis and the letter. And then you wait, and then you wait some more.....

And then it happens - your very first rejection slip. Ho, hum, you say and file it in the bin, but if you're not very careful that little demon on your shoulder whispers to you, "Isn't agent X the one who represents writer Y, the one you said couldn't write a laundry list?" You shrug it off, but deep down it bothers you, just like you said it wouldn't. And then the next one comes and then the next, and the next - all using the same format: "Didn't love it enough, not quite right for our lists, good luck finding representation elsewhere etc". But then one day it happens: an agent asks to see a full copy of the MS. You mortgage the house to pay the postage but you don't mind because this time, you're convinced that you've made it - you've done well to be asked for a "full" but don't count your chickens....and you thought the boiler-plate rejections hurt. I should at this point mention that agents are deluged with submissions and don't have the time to craft a personalised rejection to each one, so if you don't like the boiler plate replies, that's tough. The ones who don't even bother to reply or use the appallingly arrogant, "If you don't hear from us within x months then please assume we can't represent you," do need shooting, however. On the other hand, if you've sent your steamy, shopping and fishing bonkbuster to an agent who specialises in non-fiction, don't expect a reply: you're the numpty, not them.

Anyway, back to the "request for full". If you're very lucky, you'll get a rejection that goes into a bit of detail and gives you helpful guidance on where you're going wrong. You may not agree but don't argue, don't moan, the referee's decision is final and please don't send the agent death threats either - believe me, it happens. The reality of rejection at this stage is all too often a semi-literate and incomprehensible letter, clearly not written by the agent himself but by the post-room intern who's only just worked out which side of the stamps to lick. The good news is that if you do get a "request for full" it means you're doing something right, yet it's even more frustrating to know you got close but didn't quite make it. Again, if you're not careful, you go up one more notch on the bitter and twisted scale.

Guess the final message of this long-winded story is that you've got to be honest with yourself. They say everyone has a book inside them but in lots of cases it clearly wasn't a good idea for the author to put his fingers down his throat to bring it up. Try to find someone who will review it for you and give an honest opinion - there are plenty of editing companies whom you can pay for the privilege - I've never used one so I can't comment on whether it's a good idea or not. Don't ask your nearest and dearest for their opinion, in most cases they won't want to hurt your feelings by being brutally honest. And then, even if everyone thinks it's the best thing ever written, get ready for rejection, disappointment and rudeness (most agents aren't rude, just busy). When I wrote my first novel I started out thinking of it as a bit of a lark, but with each rejection slip, I found myself minding far more than I ever thought possible - I'm now allowed to use sharp objects and hope to come off the medication soon - and having spoken to other writers: published; non-published and all points in between, it's a recurring theme. What starts as fun very soon starts assuming an importance you never thought possible and can, if not watched, become akin to addiction.

As a final note, 80% of published UK writers earn less than the average wage from their writing and a frighteningly large number of these earn less than £10,000 pa. To anyone contemplating writing, I wish you every success, but don't count on it making you rich....although I hope it does!

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2010, 13:19
A pal back in the UK has a father - a retired professional man - who has completed a book. It sounds interesting, but people were rude about it, some even laughed at the writing technique - or lack of it - and so he put it in a drawer . . . forever. Shame that.

It's a bit like peeling back the covers on a pram and exclaiming: "Oh, my! What an UGLY baby." You just wouldn't do it . . . would you?

There's not much fear of me getting rejection slips, cos I'm running out of life at the rate I'm going. Working back to reduce the book from 1,000 pages, I realize that my earlier work was crap, and am having to totally rewrite a lot of it.

My people are so real, to me at least. When I'd decided one of the main characters time was up, I was . . . still am, very sad at her passing. When I'm not going back to her for combing, I'll really miss her.

I hope I can finish this book. Some of the children I see now remember their parents talking about it when they were little. Just a hobby then, but it's become much more now. A private jet? Well, a used car would do.

My pilot pal has written a book. It's a darn good yarn, and really different to the norm. He's talking about ignoring all the reject slips and self publishing. Mmm . . .

Frankly, the story's too good for that, but he has a way to go before the writing technique is going to get him read by an agent. That's a shame, cos despite not liking shooty-chasey, novels, I really like this one.

There's a pilot somewhere that's self-published a substantial book. At a glance it well presented, but the first few pages left me numbed. Mostly on his behalf. The misuse of ; and : were so frequent, it made decoding the story difficult. Well, you know what I mean, the writing didn't flow into the appropriate part of the reader's head-bone.

Still, I'm waffling on PpruNe again when I should be working. But it's been a while, let's have another Writing a Book specific thread.

31st Aug 2010, 13:42
BBC - Peston's Picks: Penury that unites old and young (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2010/08/penury_that_unites_old_and_you.html)

Working isn't so bad is it? Future retirement plans will not involve yachts and places in Provence, they will involve turning down the heating, counting your money to see if you can afford a lettuce this week. Getting your driving licence taken off you just for not being young anymore, downsizing to a bottom-rung house, waiting for a committee to decide if you ought to be euthanased.
Meanwhile our kids meach us of every penny we have stashed away to get on the property ladder. No problem, not until we realise that in a few years that fat middle class, mid-life bank account will dwindle to sod all.
I have no plans to retire, anyway I don't want to. I like my lifestyle to much. Retirement will be hard for us, not that we could afford to anyway. I'll work till I drop if I can, just like my old grandad did. Our parents lives were an anomaly. Forget it, you'll never replicate their easy retirement. Being a tail-end baby boomer has always been a [email protected] You older buggers are lucky.

31st Aug 2010, 14:43

What a sad tale that is about your dad. Thank you for sharing it with us. I give him credit for soldiering on when the odds seemed to be stacked against him.

I am about as financially independent as I think it is possible to be. This has been achieved by hard work and avoiding the advice of spivs and shysters offering investment advice. Except for the first house I bought nearly 40 years ago, I have never owed money.

Of course, the Third World War might start and the subsequent nuclear winter might bugger up my plans.

Ali Qadoo

I have already had one book published. It was under a pen name and was written as a bet. The book was women's erotica and was published by Black Lace. The research was fascinating but I worked out later that, for the amount I was paid, I had earned around about 50p an hour!

The one I am working on started out as a rather scholarly treatise on this history of the place I live (in another life I was a very junior history prof) started because no-one had really done one. The story was so fascinating and relevant today (clash of civilizations etc) that I thought to change it into a novel. The research is done. Much is written. To tell the truth too much! Somewhat in the style of J A Michener and the way he tackles such yarns.

Goudie and others

My advice, Lars, would be to give up the commitment to full time employment and work on a consultative basis, until both you and the company are weaned off each other. I enjoyed my work but there are more interesting and worthwhile things to do in life.

I have been offered something similar. Another year and then to work on a consultative basis. I feel this is the way to go.


Lars,I'm sure you realise it but the book,voyage and hotel can all sit on the backburner if necessary but the sproglettes wont. They will be grown up before you know it.

I realise this! My problem is to live long enough to see them grow up. This is my second family and I have romised myself not to make the errors I made with my first when I was a young thruster anxious to carve out a 'career' and did so at the expense of my family. I think I have the balance pretty good at the moment. The sproglettes are 3 and 5 now, there is money set aside for their education later, I would like to spend as much time as I can with them in the formative years and feel I am doing a much better job this time round.

Thank you all for your generous input. Much appreciated.

Nick Riviera
31st Aug 2010, 15:26
No one ever lay on their deathbed regretting they didn't spend more time at work.

31st Aug 2010, 15:38
I could be the first Nick.
I loved my job, and really miss it.
But I'll get over it , eventually, I suppose??

I'm still mildly surprised that aircraft aren't falling from the
sky since I did retire.
Must've done a good job is all I can think.

31st Aug 2010, 15:58

No one ever lay on their deathbed regretting they didn't spend more time at work.


I could be the first Nick.

Only if you beat me to the deathbed, mate!

I'm with Norm on this. I love my job. Alas, no longer aviation connected as I needed to earn a living. However, serendiity led me along a path and I now, basically, write my own ticket, am not sure who my 'boss' is, have influence without reponsibily, don't have to chase KPIs and do what I really love which is to 'grow people'.

Very satisfying.

Um... lifting...
31st Aug 2010, 17:58
Like this, larss?


Nick Riviera
1st Sep 2010, 11:22
Norm, Lars

I actually find your comments quite sad. I really enjoy my job but if it was a choice between it and spending more time with my family then there would be no contest. Essentially, however much fun I had at work I would retire in an instant to spend time with the wife and kids - there is nothing more important. Maybe it's just me?