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Am I unreasonable to wish I could ‘retire’ at 60?

(80 Posts)
MrsEBear Sat 08-May-21 10:27:34

By which I mean stop attempting to increase my paid work at the expense of family responsibilities. I promise you I wouldn’t be idle!

I have next to nothing in pension savings due to divorce so it’s not as if I will have a basic income at 60 as some people do. On the other hand my living costs are low and I will have some capital from inheritance after probate goes through (would much rather still have my dear Dad of course).

My current work has been affected by the pandemic (whose hasn’t?) but if I accept it’s going to be half my previous hours I could claim carer’s allowance as I look after a disabled relative.

If you’re in your late 50s like me you can probably remember growing up with the knowledge that ‘women retire at 60’. Is this now a completely ridiculous idea? The last year has made me feel suddenly 10 years older - I was quite vigorous in 2019!

I think my Dad’s death has made me think about my mortality and how I’m using my time. Should I be looking for something to keep me afloat for the next 2 or 3 years or trying to find a situation I could manage for 10 years or more?

timetogo2016 Sat 08-May-21 10:31:42

If you can afford to retire from work,go for it.
You don`t retire from life so just keep busy.
I have yet to meet a woman who hasn`t got something to do on a daily basis.

CafeAuLait Sat 08-May-21 10:37:30

You're not unreasonable to wish you could retire. Whether it's realistic or not is a separate issue. If you can and want to, good on you.

EllanVannin Sat 08-May-21 10:38:57

I think if I were you I'd carry on working for as long as you can manage, healthwise. At least that way you'll have a regular income as whatever savings you do have, soon dwindle especially if you think you may have another 20 years ahead of you.

Elusivebutterfly Sat 08-May-21 10:41:07

I desperately wanted to retire at 60. Luckily for me I only had to do a couple of extra years. I don't think I would have managed to 66 and would have probably been on Jobseekers allowance.
I think you will have to look for a job you can still do as you get older, as long as your health allows.

deanswaydolly Sat 08-May-21 10:43:29

Losing your Dad will have made you realise we only have one life and if at all possible live it the way you wish. I have a nice collection of ailments and struggling massively to keep working at 62. By the time I retire my grandchildren will be at high school and I feel so sad that because of covid our relationships have diminished. I am a childminder and its awful that they have to go to an after school club as my work is from another school. I would give anything to be able to retire and be with them and also visit my daughter and other grandchildren living abroad. Good Luck

Newatthis Sat 08-May-21 10:46:46

I am 68, still working part time, could retire if I want but I am afraid to because I would be bored to death. I have always been very independent and although never earned an awful lot. It was always enough for family holidays etc. Work has given me a purpose, especially since the children/grandchildren live 1000's of miles away. I have worked now for 53 years and would be lost without it, I have lots of hobbies and each year i say 'it's time to retire' but each year I still go on.

Babs758 Sat 08-May-21 10:47:52

Is there a way of asking to reduce your hours a bit and work, say, 3 or 4 days a week? Less income but maybe better to live that way for a while before retiring completely.

Westcoaster Sat 08-May-21 10:50:43

I retired at 55 really on a whim when the boss annoyed me once too often. DH was retiring then (he was 60) and I was able to claim my NHS pension.

7 years later, DH died and I'm so glad we had these years together unencumbered by work. I could easily still be working now!

Life is too short, if and when you can afford to retire, do it and you'll have a whole new lease of life to enjoy!

Calendargirl Sat 08-May-21 10:56:05

I retired at 60, on a modest bank pension. Had to wait another 3 years for state pension.

I was fortunate in that DH was still working, and financially we could manage.

Have never regretted it. I did not enjoy my work latterly, I was then able to help out family with school pick ups and child minding, it gave me more time for hobbies and activities. Plus I just enjoyed being at home and no work worries any more.

tanith Sat 08-May-21 11:05:36

I was lucky enough to take early retirement with my NHS pension at 58 I only regretted it briefly DH was still working but once my state pension kicked in at 60 I was a happy bunny. DH went part-time and as it worked out we had lots of time together for trips and holidays before he became ill and died 8 yrs later. I’ve never regretted it and can’t imagine how hard it is for many women now I appreciate how lucky I was.

tanith Sat 08-May-21 11:06:07

I don’t think you are being unreasonable at all.

Nonogran Sat 08-May-21 11:14:03

I worked until I was 65. I left on the crest of a wave from a job I loved and with lovely colleagues. I have never regretted it albeit I worried I would. Life is very busy but very enjoyable. I'd rather be a bit short of disposable income than have worked beyond 65. It was absolutely the right time for me but took me 2 years prior to make the retirement date a reality decision!

Maggiemaybe Sat 08-May-21 11:41:42

It all depends on your circumstances, of course, but if you feel you’ll be happier and can afford to, my advice is to go for it.

I stopped working (in an increasingly stressful job I was glad to escape from) at the same time as DH retired, when I was 60. His 65th birthday and my 60th were 4 days apart, so that’s what we’d planned for for years.

We had two very small grandsons then and have picked up several more since smile. It’s been wonderful to be able to help out with every one of them and build up close relationships. With the added benefit of being able to spend time on my interests and with people I like. We’ve dipped into savings for holidays over the last 6 years, but that’s fine - life’s short.

I’ve got my state pension this year and a bus pass I can’t wait to make good use of. And no regrets at all!

MayBee70 Sat 08-May-21 11:45:56

I went through a very painful and unexpected divorce 20 years ago and it was only because my solicitor negotiated a small pension from my ex that I’ve been able to retire. It wasn’t something that crossed my mind at the time: old age and retirement seemed such a long way off. I’ve always been quite fit and healthy, thankfully but if I was still working now I think my life would consist of working and sleeping. It horrifies me to think that people now have to work into their 70’s. In retrospect I wish I’d downsized and sorted out my house and life when I had more energy.

Polarbear2 Sat 08-May-21 11:50:28

If you can afford it do it. I was forced into retirement at 61 by changes at work. I was devastated but quickly learnt there is a big life outside work. I never thought I’d be able to cope without working but I don’t even think about it now. It’s almost as if it was another person in another life. You never know what’s round the corner. Enjoy it while you can. ?

Redhead56 Sat 08-May-21 12:05:32

I have a pension from my job before I had my children. I worked with my DH on our small business for over twenty years. We are comfortable enough to have no financial worries. I spend most of my money on my DS and DD families I love spoiling them.
I worked part time with DH he worked full time and ran the business over forty years. It was nice to retire we did need to adjust though I think that is something to consider.
It would be a good idea to reduce your hours to suit you intially. See how that works for you on a weekly basis you may enjoy reduced hours. I know lots of people who work in their seventies its social life for them. If you decide to finish work entirely make sure you have hobbies and plenty to keep you occupied.

biglouis Sat 08-May-21 12:13:52

I was lucky and retired from employed work on a state and several occupational pensions at 60. I registered as self employed and now run an internet company selling antiques albeit on a part time basis (about 16 hours a week). Antiques have always been a passion of mine and Ive been involved in the trade since the 1970s. It also gives me an important extra income. I dont think I could ever just sit at home and watch TV. However my mobility s not good nowadays and my travelling days are over. I still have plenty to fill my life.

eazybee Sat 08-May-21 12:24:21

I never expected to retire at 60, always expected to work until I was 65 minimum, which I did,probably because both my parents enjoyed their jobs and neither wanted to retire, my mother at 65 and my father at 70. Never understood why women should be allowed to retire earlier than men and expect the state to keep them.
That said, I have never been bored since my retirement, and I don't have elderly parents or grandchildren responsibilities.

MrsEBear Sat 08-May-21 12:26:45

It’s been a surprisingly emotional experience reading all your kind and helpful responses.

You have helped me put things in perspective and understand why I am feeling this way.

I’m going to do a sort of stocktake of my situation as if I was planning to stop my current type of work when I’m 60.

I can understand how torn you feel deanswaydolly funnily enough I have wondered about trying to become a registered childminder so I can look after my little granddaughter (plus a friend or two).

Redhead56 Sat 08-May-21 12:54:06

It's nice that you got back to us and enjoyed the comments from grans ?

ineedamum Sun 09-May-21 15:04:05

Life is too short to be miserable in work. If I could retire early I would grab the opportunity. The age has gone up now to 67, maybe higher

Blossoming Sun 09-May-21 15:12:44

I worked until aged 67 despite being in poor health. I loved my work. I reduced my hours after I turned 65 as I was feeling worn out but not ready to give it up completely. If you can afford it and you would enjoy life more then do it.

Hithere Sun 09-May-21 15:17:16

From your posts, looks like you are not financially ready for long term requirement.

Maybe work part time?

Doodledog Sun 09-May-21 15:40:51

I retired at 57, and have never regretted it. I lost out financially, because of the increase in the state pension age, but I felt that I'd had enough and that the time was right for me to go. Also, my husband is a bit older than me, and he had retired, so it made sense to do it when I did.

I had some savings, and after a couple of years my (small) occupational pension kicked in.

I am not, and never have been bored. I do a bit of consultancy now and then, and have taken courses in things that interest me. I have always had hobbies, which I now have more time to pursue.

That's just me though, and we are all different. I am not easily bored, but some people are, and might struggle to fill their time.

I do sometimes miss being amongst other people, although that hasn't been helped by lockdown. My work brought with it a decent social life, which I sometimes miss.

In the end it comes down to what you want to do, and whether you can afford to do what you want to do. If you can, go for it, but if not you might be better to wait a couple of years and save as much as possible to ease the way.