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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..

tanith Mon 30-Jan-12 21:24:32

I agree moores its not a decision I'd want to make not knowing all the facts about DH's finances.. luckily DH and I don't have any secret stashes or debts, we each know where the other stands financially so thats not an issue we have to consider.. I do know how lucky I am but I'd rather not of had to retire early due to ill-health but we are in a position to pay off the mortgage and still have some savings which is not the position for everyone.

moores Mon 30-Jan-12 21:18:17

I'm 67 and still work three and a half days a week. DH has been home for some years and has his own life and interests during the day. Its the adjustment I worry about and also the finances. He has a pension plus state pension. I dont think we have ever had a full and frank discussion re our finances and thats what worries me about retiring. I think I have the full picture but he holds his cards very close to his chest and I just dont think I could cope with any "unwanted" surprises. We dont have a mortgage which makes life easier. I may be unfair but would be happier regarding making the decision if all the cards were on the table. On the other hand, I really enjoy my job - just I hate these dark dank January mornings.

kittylester Mon 30-Jan-12 19:54:49

bookdreamer, phoenix NannaAnna that's awful but the upside is that people who keep working, even if only part-time, live longer and suffer from less illnesses than people who don't! smile

bookdreamer Mon 30-Jan-12 19:31:44

Ditto phoenix and NannaAnna!

NannaAnna Mon 30-Jan-12 18:53:58

I know how you feel phoenix. Don't know how the exes get away with it, but mine did too!! (With mine, him being expat means it's difficult to do much about it)
I guess if we have to work until we drop, so be it. I dream of that big lottery win though! smile

gracesmum Mon 30-Jan-12 18:39:20

{{Hug}} phoenix - hang on in there thanks

Anne58 Mon 30-Jan-12 18:17:21

Ripped off by ex husband over sale of the house, £139k interest only mortgage, no savings, on a sort of debt management plan, Mr Phoenix currently job hunting.

Somehow I do not think that I'll be retiring anytime soon...............

crimson Mon 30-Jan-12 16:59:50

I feel so sorry for young people now that are being told they will have to work till they're 69 because 'we're all living longer'. Just because we're 'living longer' doesn't mean that we will have the health to do the things that we want to do at 70. Especially as some people don't retire, because they never bother to work in the first place! I've seen too many people plan their retirement, only for their health to fail them when they get there.

Annika Mon 30-Jan-12 16:41:16

gracesmum I couldn't have put it better time together is so important and indeed you cannot put a price on it. grin

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.

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!!!

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.

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!!

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

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

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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

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 14:21:16

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

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!

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.