For Those Retirees

Discussion in 'The Lamp and Sandbag II - The Tall Story Strikes B' started by exbleep, Jul 15, 2010.

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  1. OK, so some months ago I took early retirement at 60. I have been spending half my time in Spain and half in the UK but will be moving to Spain permanently in a couple of months. 29 Years in uniform and then got a job as Practice Manager for 14 years. The stopping work was not a big shock at the beginning and I quite enjoyed the lay ins, the pottering round the garden, the doing the little things round the house that I never quite got round to doing. I especially liked the not being a slave to the alarm clock and binning the 12 mile daily commute up the A46.
    However, I think terminal boredom is setting in. How do those of you who have retired, whether at the 65 point or earlier, manage to fill your days? I just find myself getting lazier and lazier and thinking "why paint the fence today when I have al the time in the world?". Surfing the net and reading the various chat sites seems to occupy most of my day and evening and, really, I think I am starting to fester. What with the Army pension and the NHS pension coming in I don't need to work and, to be quite frank, don't think I'd want to anyway. The lump sumps from both jobs have paid off the mortgages on both houses in UK and Spain and I have enough in reserve to keep me, shall we say, comfortable. The reason for retiring was because I was getting a bit pissed off with people running my life and I thought I wanted to do what I wanted to do. Trouble is, I can't find out what it really is that I want to do!
    Any hints, tips, niggles? One of the other things that is worrying me is seeing some of the other expats in Spain who seem to just hang around bars morning, noon and night and I don't want to end up like that.
  2. exbleep, you sound like you are switched on and can use a PC.

    Here's a couple of easy ones.

    1. Genealogy. Sort out that family tree. Not just PC based, although there are loads of sites to get you started, and it will usually involve legwork around various official offices and churches in the UK.

    2. Education. Get on the OU website, choose a subject you are interested in and start that degree course.

    3. Got a hobby? Could you turn it into a work-from-home small business?

    Still make time to pop down the local though.
  3. Good on you Ex Bleep. Enjoy these years, they really are the golden years.

    Keep physically active, I swim a kilometre four days per week but whatever turns you on. I also took up the guitar though I had been in musical circles for years.
    Catch up with your reading and maybe try a little writing. With twenty nine years in, you'll have something to say. Try doing voluntary work, it keeps me humble and is really rewarding.
    If you've a mind to, stay sexualy active, there are many benefits from this for yourself and your partner.
    Life and luck have allowed me to continue to sail and to fish, and my grandson grows apace. Life is full of blessings.
    Good luck.
  4. I'm 50 this year and not fully retired, but I still try to fill my days the same way I did when I was 20. With whisky, ale, lasses, dogs, guns, motorbikes, heavy rock and a good punch up at least once a week. When I stop enjoying myself, well lets just say that I'll stop. I won't face life sitting in my own piss being spoonfed and listening to Moira Anderson.

    It isn't much of a philosophy, but it's mine and I'm seldom bored.
  5. Hi

    I packed up work last summer at 52 - company was being reorganised and there was no future opportunity for advancement beyond current manager grade. Decided to take the small amount of money on offer and embark on early retirement with my early reduced pension. Luckily, I had paid off the mortgage and the wife is happy to work which along with my pension keeps me, the wife and four kids in the style we have become accustomed to over the years.

    Apart from painting the local church last month, I have been foot loose and fancy free ever since - that is once I have taken the wife to work at 6.15am , cleaned up the house, put the washing on, prepared the dinner and then rest of the day is my own until my dad's taxi duties kick in later that night.

    I seem to fill my day, but not too sure with what. I am currently working on my suntan for a family cruise next month and fighting an unsuccessful rearguard action with the wife who is determined to spend all our savings on a holiday wardrobe for her and our four daughters.

    At the beginning I had great plans about a busy actioned packed time full of places to visit, things to see and courses to sign up for, but when it came to it I could not be arsed. Best days are those when the wife is off during the week and we go out walking or for meals etc. Probably like most people in the same boat, I seem to spend too much time on the internet which can be very restricting!. It would be so much better if it was not available until the evening.

    The summer is not an issue, the weather has been great and as I am no longer stuck in an office I get to enjoy it - last year I wore shorts right up to the end of October and this year since April. But the winter was a bit bleak, that was until I brought a multi-fuel stove - boy do they burn up wood! I then had a hobby and focus to my life and spent my time searching and savaging for wood or reducing a friend’s apple tree. Then once I had all this wood, I needed to build log stores in which to store this free fuel, lots of then using old pallets I picked up at every opportunity. These stores then needed to be tided up and painted to ensure the garden looked nice for the summer which then led onto another outdoors project which expanded into gardening etc.

    The big issue for me seems to be the perceptions of others, I like pottering about - others seem to think I am just drifting! The wife wants a dog, but I suspect it is just a ploy to broaden my day during the colder months, but the idea has some merit, it will inject a degree of additional routine back into my day and widen my circle of contacts. It will also be nice to have a friendly face in what its otherwise a female dominated household – we could go to the pub together!

    We have a comfortable life, a bottle of wine every night, we are still going on holiday and the kids want for nothing despite what they may say. I know we are very lucky. The only risk to my new lifestyle would be if the wife has enough of me being at home and decided to stop working as well. I would then have to return to the corporate workplace at a more lowly level and with slightly out of date skills and experience if I got a job that is.

    Since packing up I have struggled with how my situation is best described, it varies from retired, semi-retired, early retired, house husband, sad or as one of my teenage daughter best described it “ Dad you are just a bum!”.

    Everyone seems to assume I am unemployed and receiving the dole and are surprised when I tell them that is not the case and as I am in receipt of a modest pension, I am not entitled to anything. It is important not to be mistaken for one of David Cameron’s unfortunate disadvantaged scapegoats in these times of economic troubles.

    Apologies for the length of this reply, but then as a bum who no longer works for a living, I have all the time in the world and I can take all the time in the world sharing my life with you.

    I just hope the wife allows it to continue for as long as possible.


  6. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I took early retirement in December last - best thing I ever did. I have very little spare cash, but who cares, life is great. I am probably busier now than I have been since the kids were wee and loving every minute. As gerryb says there is always something to do to fill the time, if you want. Plus what you do is done when you want to do it - simples.

    I should have done this 30 odd years ago!!!!!
  7. Now that's a scary image. Moira Anderson...
  8. Aye Bleep it's a bit of a problem. I retired at 59, it's difficult to shake off the the ennui without having something definite to do. Enroll in classes to explore things that interest you - establish a regimen that includes physical fitness, wean yourself off the computer - I fell into the same trap as you - spending an inordinate amount of time idly surfing the internet is stultifying.
    That said retirement is also a great place to be when one wakes up in the morning and the sun's shining and able to say "F*ck it.....I'm going to the beach!" Enjoy your retirement mucker.
  9. Well, was expecting replies on the lines of "Get off your fat arrse you lazy git" so was pleasantly surprised. As one of the generation who left school at 15 and has been working ever since, it is a very life changing errrmmmm....change. (No, I am not going through the change, just that it is a change). A few good things to get me going in those suggestions. It's just making the bloody effort to do them. Reading the paper from cover to cover is quite a pleasant change. Just used to scan the details, read the letters and attempt the crossword before. Now I read the whole lot and complete the crossword. I have been doing the real exciting things like clearing out the garage, tidying the shed (sorry, dirty word) and walking up the shops in the village instead of driving round like I used to. Hopefully I will find a few things to do when I'm out in Spain permanently and the "sod it, get down the beach" might last a bit longer there. Not much of a gardener, just keep it tidy. I think I've done enough travelling and have been round the world twice (trains, planes and automobiles....and cruise liners).
    The first couple of weeks of retirement was sleeping in to about 10 but now make the effort to be up by 8 (still a couple of hours lie in from previously) as I get the feeling I could be wasting my life away.
    Anyway, thanks for the suggestions. It just means making the effort and getting an interest in something (no, I am not taking up stamp collecting, train spotting or joining a rambling club, thank you very much). Like most of you, I'm still about 20 odd in my head, just my knees and shoulders don't believe me.
  10. You sound like most of us retired ex-army geezers Bleep. Travel doesn't fascinate us the way it does those who didn't spend their time travelling the world - albeit on the Queen's shilling - and remember countries before they were exploited, deforested, dug up, skyscrapered, etc.
    Though I do plan on visiting India to trace my father's footsteps from his time there in the days of the Raj - by train - though, sadly, Burma and the FATA of Pakistan (British India's old NWFP) are off limits. I live in the USA now and this is a wonderful country to explore - just as Spain is - away from the well trodden tourist traps.

    We'll never stop being 20 in our minds eye though if we are fortunate to live until we're in our eighties we'll look back with fondness on our youthful sixties!

    Take care Bleep - you've paid your dues - enjoy the rewards.

    I wish I could sleep in, I'm up at 4:30am each day!
  11. Mind if I butt in for a bit of advice also.

    I've turned 54 this year and intend to hang up my tired hat next year. I understand that my Army pension will play index-linked catch up so that shouldn't be too bad. What I'm not so sure about is my current jobs pension.

    By next year I'll have been working in a job that has a 'final salary scheme' with 1/60 per year for 15 years. Obvious that would be 1/4 of my salary - however there are penalties for jumping ship early.

    Nearer the time I will be contacting my pension fund people, but it's my current understanding that I should expect to loose about 4% per year that I retire early; in other words 40%. Does that sound right to anyone who was in similar circumstances.

    Also if my civvy pension is reduced through early retirement, does it play catch up when I turn 65?

    Thanks for any response.

    Incidently bleep my advice would be to go fishing - it takes time to prepare, time flies when you're catching or thinking up stories about the ones you missed and it gives you things to discuss with other fishermen down the pub; what more could you want ;-)
  12. Hi JJ_Wrinkly_Old_Git

    In response to your request, I can share with you my own recent final salary scheme experience of last year. I worked for TFL for 7 years which also operates a 1/60 scheme and volunteered for redundancy/early retirement a year ago aged 52.

    The TFL scheme as in common with most other final salary schemes, reduces pensions for early retirement from 50 (the earliest point at which I could draw it) by 33% or by 3.3% pro-rata for each year thereafter until 60. If for example you had accumulated a notional annual pension of say £15k pa based on salary and service at 50, it would be reduced by 33% to £10k.

    Looking at your example, you are entitled to a notional pension of 25% of salary at 55 based on salary and service. ASSUMING your scheme is also subject to a 3.3% pa early payment reduction, your notional pension of 25% of salary would be reduced by 16.5% to around 20.8% of salary.

    TFL offer staff taking early retirement a number of options, a) draw reduced pension in full, b) commute up to 25% to a lump sum and draw remaining or c) draw a higher pension now until such time as the state pension kicks and at which point your final salary pension is then reduced to off-set the front loading. No doubt some other schemes may offer similar.

    The early payment reduction is for life. The logic is as you would expect, the earlier a pension is paid before 60, the greater the cost. In terms of annual indexation uplift to off-set inflation, it is generally capped at 5% maximum. Most final salary schemes use RPI, but the government have just announced its intention to encourage schemes to move to CPI to reduce the financial burden on schemes. This index excludes mortgages, rent and council tax and is therefore a lower measure – RPI currently stands at 5% and CPI at 3.2%. This indexation difference will in time substantially reduce the value of our pensions.

    All based on my own experience. . I would have sent this by PM, but it may be others are also interested.

  13. Camper van
    Hill Walking
    Writing stuff for Auld Yin and Ian Allen
    Steam engines
    Astro Physics, I know but its fascinating
    And of course fine dinning ,women ,and getting ratarrsed

    Not enough hours in the day, writing at present on the train to Swindon on the way to RIAT
  14. Welcome to the growing band of lucky and knowledge rich people forming part of society .

    First of all as someone said to me when I took early retirement 9 years ago “ slow down and smell the coffee “ . I was a a very early starter , out of habit , at work i.e. in for about 07.30 as a Manager in an international manufacturing organisation … a great believer in he who has the information has the power .

    It took about a year to get my Income Tax and Pensions sorted …. another story resulting in my writing a short guide on steps to be taken in the final year before and then on retirement .

    After the honeymoon period it took me about 9 months to really unwind and adjust .

    Time freedom is the great thing i.e. you decide how to " sell your time " .... for after all time is a commodity and we all are only given a finite amount to use .

    I have revelled in the freedom of being able to hillwalk virtually whenever I want …. within the limitations set my Mrs B_R . Although I have always had good kit I can now really indulge myself when I replace or update .

    We both joined a national Gym and go twice a week and relax after exercise in the Pool , Spa Baths and Steam Room .

    I do a small amount of voluntary work .

    In a small way I have become the IT advisor in the little village in which we live .

    I have taken up reading again…. books I read years ago …. And some recommended on ARRSE …Amazon is great .

    We have lots of short holidays 4/7 days but in the UK because of Mr B_R and we can go whenever we want .

    Have started the Family Tree thing for both myself and Mrs B_R and back to the 1750's .... activity here was at one time intense but now comes in short bursts .

    Our weeks are so full we have to sit down every Sunday and confirm what free time we have the following week .

    I can honestly say I cannot think how I found the time to go to work .

    To summarise keep mentally active by helping others and ensure you get the heart rate up , by whatever method Hi Hi , on a regular basis .
  15. Just my ten penn'orth... be aware, actually sit down and contemplate the fact that you are now richer, in the true sense of the word, than you have ever been in your entire life, you have ooodles of what really counts - time.

    If you've worked hard all your life so far, you will have concentrated almost exclusively on that and even when you were not actually at work your time off will still have been dominated by the fact that you were really only recuperating in order to go back to work.

    You have essentially skimmed through the remaining part of you life without giving it anywhere near the attention it deserved.

    Start with the small things. Now you don't have to zoom out of the door in the morning after burping down a mug of instant you can afford a decent brew for breakfast. Make real coffee instead, and savour it, or get to grips with all the different types of loose tea.

    Go to the actual shops instead of just the effing super market. You can now afford to have a chat with the butcher, the baker and the veg shop woman.

    Buy a bread machine, it turns eating a piece of toast into a real quality event. Small things, but you can now afford to enrich the daily fabric of your life.

    Get involved in something with a seasonal edge to it, fishing, growing veg, get a greenhouse, keep bees, even astronomy changes as to what can be seen at different time of the year.

    It puts flavour and interest into every passing week or month. May is suddenly not the same as July.

    Then you can deal with the bigger stuff, but get the small things right first.