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Who are they and what do they live on?

(147 Posts)
kittylester Fri 27-Jan-23 13:50:27

I keep hearing about people who have taken early retirement since the lockdowns and how we need them back at work.

Who are these people, what did they do and what do they live on?

Do you know anyone who has done it or have you done it yourself?

Norah Fri 27-Jan-23 13:55:55

Very interesting question. I often wonder the same.

I don't know anyone retired at 50 and not going into consulting.

Maria59 Fri 27-Jan-23 14:01:27

I retired at 55 with a reduced pension bought a house and use rental payments to top up pension. Only a couple more years to go now until state pension unless they change the age yet again

TinaB57 Fri 27-Jan-23 14:04:19

They'll be the ones with good private pension. You can access that money as early as 55

Galaxy Fri 27-Jan-23 14:08:08

Yes a number of my colleagues in their 50s retired after lockdown, I didnt ask them what they were living on!

AreWeThereYet Fri 27-Jan-23 14:08:30

I retired early (pre-lockdown) and MrA during lockdown. MrA had been planning his retirement before lockdown so the timing was just a coincidence. The answer to what do we live on is private pensions at the moment. We both worked in IT and project management.

I wouldn't mind working again - although I do a lot of things I quite miss working. The problem is that I can't drive anymore because I am slowly going blind, and buses are few and far between so unless MrA took me to work and picked me up I couldn't get anywhere. We've joked about both of us getting a job in the nearby Co-op but we would need to work the same shifts for me to get there.

Riverwalk Fri 27-Jan-23 14:11:04

I assume they're around 60 and have private pensions or down-sized and released funds.

And of course many will be grandparents who are now providing unpaid childcare.

kittylester Fri 27-Jan-23 14:12:04


Yes a number of my colleagues in their 50s retired after lockdown, I didnt ask them what they were living on!

But a good private pension wouldn't be a substitute for their wages.

I hope noone thought I was being rude asking what people live on - I am just intrigued.

Galaxy Fri 27-Jan-23 14:14:42

No I didnt think you were being rude at all but I think I would have been if I had asked them!
I work in the public sector but of course they may have had private pensions. A couple of them had no children which always helps financially grin

Riverwalk Fri 27-Jan-23 14:15:52

But a good private pension wouldn't be a substitute for their wages

That's exactly what a pension is though isn't it - what you live on when you no longer have a wage?

kittylester Fri 27-Jan-23 14:18:24

DH has a good private pension but there is no way that we could have managed if he had retired early.

Then again, we had far too many children!! grin

lixy Fri 27-Jan-23 14:38:59


I assume they're around 60 and have private pensions or down-sized and released funds.

And of course many will be grandparents who are now providing unpaid childcare.

Exactly this Riverwalk.

We both have decent pensions and had paid off the mortgage a few years ago, so can keep ourselves afloat (we hope!) until State Pension is available. Not high living at all but lucky to be frugally comfortable.

Unpaid childcare is an enjoyable part of our lives, as is care of elderly relatives - we are saving the family and the State a fortune one way and another!

dragonfly46 Fri 27-Jan-23 14:45:51

I know a number of doctors who retired during the pandemic. They were unable to add to their pension and can easily live on their pensions.

fancythat Fri 27-Jan-23 14:51:55

I know several.

Various reasons.

One, her workplace wanted redundancies[dont know the right word] so she took the package on offer.
Always lived at home and doesnt pay that much in rent.

One was self employed. Got fed up. Retired for 18 months, and went back to work because bored/didnt think all the new sitting down was terribly healthy. Went into a different job enirely, but is multi skilled so able to do many different jobs. He is able to work the hours he wants. The industry he has gone into is crying out for workers.

Another has health issues. Unable to go back to work currently. They keep asking if she will go back. I think it will happen at some point. Now owns her house.

henetha Fri 27-Jan-23 14:51:56

My son did it at age 55, three years ago. He now lives in a motorhome on a small private pension. He and his partner absolutely love it and have no regrets despite being worse off financially. It's worth it after years of working for an incredibly horrible boss.

eazybee Fri 27-Jan-23 14:52:32

The only people I know who retired early are women, who all worked no more than two days a week. They have /had husbands with well paid jobs and excellent pensions and were also fortunate in inheriting family money; my parents' money all went in nursing home fees.

Jaxjacky Fri 27-Jan-23 15:10:32

I retired at 61 on a private pension, mortgage free, MrJ still works p/t self employed.

Grandmabatty Fri 27-Jan-23 15:12:59

I taught four days a week and retired at 60 as I was constantly exhausted and had a couple of health issues. I also downsized so had a bit of money there. I exist on a very small teacher's pension, under £1000 a month. I won't get my state pension til next year. I have a private pension due to mature this year and I'll need it. The cost of living has been awful. I could have managed up til then.

Fleurpepper Fri 27-Jan-23 15:14:54

OH retired at 63. I retired at 55, but without any pension or benefit. I chose to retire, and I took the consequences.

Redhead56 Fri 27-Jan-23 15:15:22

I was talking to a woman a few days ago about early retirement. She said she is sick of hearing about sudden deaths. Losing friends only relatively young and going to funerals every week. She also has a few relatives who are counting each day as they are terminally ill.
She said her husband told her they are both giving notice of early retirement and that's it. They don't have fantastic pensions but they will do until state pensions are paid. They are willing to cut corners and cut down on holidays abroad.
We are retired being 72 and 66 and to be honest glad to retire from running a business. Since Christmas two good friends of mine are now terminally ill both younger than me. They won't reach retirement unfortunately and won't see their GC grow it's so sad.

HousePlantQueen Fri 27-Jan-23 15:16:55

I retired early, I had a small pension from a previous employer, both kids were through university, mortgage paid off so we worked out that we could manage with DH working part time ( he is self employed). As to the huge number not returning to the workplace after covid; I have heard a few phone ins on this subject and most people seemed to have had a period of reflection while in lockdown and worked out that they no longer needed the hassle of working full time. Many had gone part time, sometimes to very different jobs, and combined it with making a small income from hobbies. Not surprisingly, a lot of those I heard on Women's Hour were teachers who had burnt out.

Aveline Fri 27-Jan-23 15:17:39

I retired at 60 with NHS pension. I had been paying in extra to buy 'past added years' to increase eventual pension. With state pension on top it's about half of my old salary. Fine. There are far fewer outgoings so I'm doing OK.

DaisyAnne Fri 27-Jan-23 15:21:41

This seems like a repeat of a recent thread. Two male extended family members retiring this year at 55 and 57. I presume they have good pensions (wouldn't be rude enough to ask) and neither have children.

I imagine many found they could live on less during Covid, are happy to leave what are very stressful jobs for many, and are lucky to have had their financial planning work out for them.

If you can, why wouldn't you?

DaisyAnne Fri 27-Jan-23 15:23:58

The other side of the coin is those who are sick - Long Covid took its toll - and those who have had to give up work to care as there are few carers and little help financially to pay them if you can find them.

MrsKen33 Fri 27-Jan-23 15:24:29

My DD and her husband retired last year they are in their mid fifties. Both with very good pensions which they have been able to access. I have never seen my DD so happy.