Gransnet forums

Legal & money

To retire or not to retire?

(60 Posts)
tanith Sun 29-Jan-12 19:29:07

I'm already retired through ill-health at 58 I'm now 63 , OH is still working he's 62 , we have a very small mortgage that will finish when he retires at 65 . Now we have some savings , enough to pay the mortgage off so that OH could retire now and if he took his small private pension we could probably manage fine but would of spent more than half our savings paying off the mortgage.
He works long hours and is finding it harder every week to drag himself out of bed in the mornings although he does enjoy his job and I find I'm feeling guilty being at home while he still works.

I would like others opinions on whether I should be encouraging him to take his pension early, and enjoy some extra years of retirement while he can , there is a history of early death in his family although he is fit and healthy at the moment.. it would mean we would be struggling a bit till his State Pension kicks in and would leave us with less than half of our meagre savings...

Any thoughts would be good..

Butternut Mon 30-Jan-12 10:57:20

My husband often says he lives the life of a millionaire without the money! We both retired quite early, and have made a lot of hard financial compromises (and others), but what we have gained in the enjoyment of daily life more than makes up for it. It hasn't always been easy, and at times I have found the transition quite difficult, yet overall we feel fitter and happier, are able to engage in our interests fully.

tanith - I hope you're able to find a way forward that suits you both. All the best.

tanith Mon 30-Jan-12 11:37:37

I'm still reading and taking in all your thoughts , lots of different views is perfect as its making me see things from all angles.

Gracesmum he really would love to retire but for him its a balancing act for the next 3yrs of having to rely on me really to pay the lions share of the costs till his State Pension kicks in as the very small pension he would have would be his sole income for that time and it wouldn't be enough we would be using what was left of savings after paying off the mortgage to supplement our income leaving probably nothing by the time he is 65. I am going to sit down and work out our finances in detail (not very good with spreadsheets unfortunately) because I'm sure if I tried I could persuade him it would be ok.

I too had a crisis of confidence when I learnt I was going to have to take ill-health retirement and wondered how on earth I would manage on so little but it was fine and I think that is where he is , not seeing beyond no salary coming in each month , it frightened me to death (almost).

Keep your thoughts coming and thankyou everyone.

Annika Mon 30-Jan-12 11:43:26

My DH was made reduntant 3 years and as a result was "forced " into early retirement, but we had to live off his private pension (which hardly covered our day to day living) , he will not get a state pension till May.
We have had to be very careful with our spending , but as he was never in a very high paid job we have always had to watch the "pennies" so it didn't come hard to us living this sort of life.
We enjoy the fact that our days are now for us to do as we want, no more clock watching !
When DH was first made reduntant he had to "sign on " and he hated it after all he had worked non stop from the age of 15 so it was hard for him to do that . He felt he was begging for the huge sum of £60 per week we had to live on ! That money was only paid for a short while and as he had paid all his national insurancrance contributions he no longer need to sign on, and that cheered him up no end

ninnynanny Mon 30-Jan-12 13:05:26

Hi Tanith could you claim Carer's Allowance for your friend it's not means tested?

tanith Mon 30-Jan-12 13:10:31

I doubt that ninnynanny , I only spend about a day and a half with her per month although we text daily and I check up on her on the phone regularly . I don't think that would qualify..

jeni Mon 30-Jan-12 13:12:36

No it wouldn't. Anyway you have to be under 60, and she has to have middle rate dla or lowest rate aa65+

tanith Mon 30-Jan-12 13:26:23

Thanks jeni I knew I wasn't missing anything, she actually won't claim anything she is one of those that drops through the net because she refuses to be means tested and believe me I've tried everything I can because I know she would qualify but she won't disclose her finances even though there really is nothing to disclose.. she won't discuss it so to avoid falling out with her I have to avoid the subject I learnt my lesson with her a long time ago.

Annobel Mon 30-Jan-12 13:31:55

Tanith, please tell your friend that Disability Living Allowance (under 65) and Attendance Allowance (over 65) are non-means-tested and not taxable.

jeni Mon 30-Jan-12 13:59:39

Quite. But the form is tricky if you don't know it. Particularly the aa one. It is best to get expert help. CAB or someone like that. A lot of failures to award are due to poorly completed forms.

flowerfriend Mon 30-Jan-12 14:08:17

Because my husband was seventeen years older than me I retired when I was 53 and I am so happy that I did. It meant we had ten happy years retired together before he died just over a year ago. If I had gone on working until retirement age I would now be so much better off. But only financially. I would never change those ten years for an enhanced income now - and I am living on a very modest one.

jeni Mon 30-Jan-12 14:12:46

I agree, I wouldn't change the 9 years I had with my husband for a fortune!

kittylester Mon 30-Jan-12 14:21:16

Age Uk are really good helping with Attendance Allowance forms. smile

Annobel Mon 30-Jan-12 14:27:04

True about the benefit forms, jeni - unusual to find a GP who knows much about benefits! I have known all too many claimants come to grief because of a lack of guidance. Tanith advice from CAB is entirely confidential - there is no need for her to reveal any financial details at all, except for the account she wants the benefit paid into; your friend need have no qualms about asking for help. Could you arrange to go with her? It will usually need at least an hour's appointment to get the form successfully completed.

kittylester Mon 30-Jan-12 14:32:01

Age Uk will come to your home and have advisors specially trained in asking you the right questions. My husband did it for a while but, as he deals with older and/or housebound people in his work, decided he would volunteer with children instead. He also lives with a Grandma! wink

jeni Mon 30-Jan-12 14:33:51

I don't work as a GP any more. I was a senior medical officer with the benefit agency and now I sit on social security tribunals.
Sort of poacher turned gamekeeper, or vice versa?confused

Annobel Mon 30-Jan-12 14:34:04

Good point,kitty - AgeUK probably even better than CAB, because they are more focused on the over 65s.

Annobel Mon 30-Jan-12 14:51:07

Ah, that explains it, jeni. I bet you were far more competent than the Atos 'experts' who do ESA assessments nowadays.

jeni Mon 30-Jan-12 14:58:08

You should hear me rant about them at tribunals. Perhaps that's why I get depressed! Yes we were better in my day, but I suspect nurses and physios and ots are cheaper than Drs
Also I suspect that there is sometimes a language problem .
I must stop before I really get on my high horse!

tanith Mon 30-Jan-12 15:15:25

Thanks for all the tips ladies but we have been there with advisors coming to the house, she took umbridge at something and asked them to leave, she absolutely won't even discuss it she'd rather die poor than ask for help.. its very frustrating she is such a stubborn woman but I've learnt over the last 40yrs how far I can go and seeing as I am her only support I've had to back off and let her lead her life how she sees fit at 85 I guess she's earned that right. Its sad but I'd rather be in her life and helping her than banished as has happened with her own children.

Annobel Mon 30-Jan-12 15:26:37

So be it, tanith. I think she is what we Scots call 'thrawn'.

kittylester Mon 30-Jan-12 15:28:00

And, anyway, Tanith asked about retiring - we do sometimes go off topic! grin

gracesmum Mon 30-Jan-12 15:30:21

I would say leave that avenue as a bit of a dead end tanith and look at some other practical aspects. Has DH paid enough contributions to be eligible for full state pension at 65? Would you need his lump sum (if he gets one) to pay off balance of mortgage and would that still leave you a little bit in the bank? I ask that as I have found that once you are on a pension (unless it is a generous one) the savings flow one way only - out! So "emergencies" or holidays have to come out of savings which are no longer replenished in the way they were when I was earning.
Is his pension index-linked and is it a company or private pension? Have you had a pension forecast? DH saw his privsate pension reduced to less than half when he finally took it - I suspect it might have gone down even further and we cold not live on it without the state pension as well - and while he has managed to negotioate "impaired life" rates, it is still a fraction. We are all paying the penalty for the economic downturn coming when it did. If you can manage on your income I would say seize the moment - I know other people who have postponed retiring and never got to enjoy those years together. It is both a heart and a head decision!!

tanith Mon 30-Jan-12 15:42:20

Yes he will get a full state pension at 65 , he has a small company pension, (he wasn't planning on taking a lump sum but that could be changed I believe), that will be just under £100 per wk, paying off the mortgage will halve our savings but would leave us with some savings . I would have to pay the lions share of bills etc till he was 65 but I could manage barring unplanned expenditures.

It was reading posts on this forum that made me seriously look at our options if I'm honest. As you say gracesmum its a heart and head decision.

Mishap Mon 30-Jan-12 15:46:44

Do it! - do it! - do it!

You do not know what is round the corner.

OH retired at 42 from main job (ill health) and just did fill-in stuff for many years until full retirement at 60. I worked and kept us.

He now has Parkinsons Disease and our proper retirement plans are down the pan. You really do not know what is around the corner. I wish we had had some really enjoyable retirement years first.

We live in the middle of nowhere and had to go to one car only - big problem as virtually no public transport here. You need to do the maths - it might pay you to use a taxi for your friend visits - could very well be cheaper than maintaining a second car.

Jolly good luck with it all. Carpe diem!!!

gracesmum Mon 30-Jan-12 15:59:56

Mishap you have just illustrated the point perfectly - as long as tanith doesn't "leap" before looking, you have proved the best reason for taking the plunge. I always imagined that we would have a comfortable retirement with cruises and holidays out of school time, but while we are not uncomfortable and the house is paid off, DH's health and subsequent gaps in employment over the last 15-20 years meant that the annuity he managed to buy over the last 8 years does not go far. However there are many much worse off than we are. And when the sun is shining and the garden beckons - I no longer miss exotic travel. National Trust houses and English Heritage membership is an investment which can give days and days of pleasure.
Time together is something you cannot put a price on, but it must be a joint decision.