Don’t know where to start and didn’t see a thread on retired FBGs. Anyways I had a couple of medical scares recently that I’ve pretty much come though ok but now my wife really wants me to retire. I’m 58 ,have a federal pension and would receive a social security supplement from the OPM based on my SS payment at 62 . Since the pandemic I’ve been working 60-70 hours a week and now it seems weird to be suddenly on the sidelines. Can’t do much right now until after a scheduled surgery in early December so at this time this isn’t the retirement I envisioned but that will change.
That said what do you guys do during the day?
I'll give a different perspective. From experience.
The average person who hits 70 is going to start seeing some physical decline accelerate. ( Assuming they were able to hold it off until that point, many people fall off a cliff before then based on lifestyle/poor health care choices) Once you pass 75, your mind begins to work differently. Slower. Harder to remember things. You also lose much of your edge, you are losing muscle mass and your T levels are spiraling naturally, and that too moves extremely fast.
If I was in your shoes, I'd create a ramp out period of about 2 years and retire at 60, if you can. If you still have a lot of dependents or complex financial obligations, wait until you are 65. But if you can, do it now.
Also get as much of your medical care stuff done now. No time to wait, no time to delay. It's much harder to recover and heal when you get older. Also the way America's medical care/health care system is going to see a major shift soon ( I'm not going to talk about it in the FFA, I'll leave that there) and you don't want to get squeezed between both sides when the changeover happens.
I always took care of my health, ate well, exercised a lot, and didn't smoke. Didn't drink except rarely and socially. Drugs? Beyond the 80's, it was just too expensive and too much of a problem. Here's where I suffered - Lack of sleep/Long term sleep deficit and stress level. I worked a lot, long hours, non stop, like most other small business owners.
Things I did to ease my decline phase - I started taking naps. If you work somewhere where you need X amount of output and you can control your hours, and no one is going to punish you for it, then take a nap in the middle of the day. Most people just aren't sleeping enough and it adds up.
The next thing is making sure you are exercising and doing lots of strength training relative to your situation. No matter how long you live, you want quality years and quality of life. Limping around and suffering in a dimly lit room because you are too beat up to walk is not a real life. The average male in America can probably afford to cut some weight, and that would make it easier on them over the long haul. The extra weight you carry punishes you in old age, even if you lose it in retirement.
When I was young, I fasted because I was poor and starting out. Later I was doing intermittent fasting and not realizing it, because I'd work all day and be too busy to bother eating. If you aren't right now, start some fasting. One full day a week at minimum. Intermittent fasting/One Meal A Day on the regular is also only going to help you.
Cut out all toxic elements from your life. You want to ramp down all possible stressors. Stress is like a bank account that works like a time bomb. Just adds up. It does kill and it shaves years off your life. If you have toxic people in your life, they need to go.
I'm retired now, but I still have to do the big decisions, deal with the a few legacy clients, and deal with the major financial decisions at my companies. So for the small business owners, you never truly fully retire. There is no such thing as real passive income. No such thing. But I'm ten million times better off than the average American.
For the regular working guy, even when you retire, you'll still have to manage your investment accounts, and it becomes more critical once you age out of the workforce. I've had people who worked for me basically all their lives, retire, then had to come back to ask to come back to work, because the financial strain was too much. One thing I never talked about in the FBG forums was finance, financial markets, stocks, investments, etc, etc, because I still have to do that crap all day long but on a global scale for my companies. Even if you "retire", you have to keep your eyes on the wheel, and that's another form of stress.
While you are still younger than 70, start getting rid of things out of your life you don't need. And you'll find you need very little. Sell off everything or give away things or donate things. But you want a clutter free life. Because all that crap turns into stress and things for you to deal with as you get older. I've seen it too many times with other people around my age profile. Get ancient and then get too old to deal with the boxes upon boxes of stuff and junk that just adds stress and mess. I had a giveaway thread here in the FFA a while back, and I could have easily gotten rid of a couple of hundred things that I'll never use before I die. I made some bizarre purchases in my old age. Why did I need two HCARs? No idea. I'll probably give one to @BladeRunner
, but it will probably cost him 100 dollars to load a single magazine in a few years the way things are going. But someone who shall not be named had to ruin my giveaway thread, so don't do any mass giveaways here, that's for sure.
At 58, start thinking about moving to a state that is more forgiving for you tax wise. Decluttering helps this goal too. You want a place that has a good water source ( tragic it's gotten to this point, but again, another topic I'm not going to discuss in the FFA) and where people will leave you alone.
As for keeping a part time job, better still, take some time to figure out a passion you have or you know about and didn't explore enough in life, then do that. If that turns into a part time job, then sure, that's OK. But remember the point of retiring is removing OBLIGATION, not just work.
My godson didn't set back my retirement. The agreement I made with his father was that I'd only be the fall back option if the kid would be financially secure under my watch even if I died the first day that I took him in and became his only guardian. However I spent an ungodly sum of money across my life raising him and putting him in a good position so he'll be protected after I die. So if you have kids, you have to really weigh where your kids are at, because the situation with them makes it close to impossible for many people to retire at all. That's just the hard truth of it.
The term "Gray Divorce" is a big deal now. Lots of people get divorced in retirement. Each person, especially men, need to face the reality that they may have to deal with retirement all alone. It happens. It happens more than people think. I've had lots of employees go through ugly divorces later in their lives. A huge red flag with men and the retirement question is if the wife wants to move somewhere specific in a certain timeline and there's no practical reason ( i.e. the majority of the couple's family is there) Most people underestimate their retirement expenses, but many don't account for their spouses possible retirement expenses. If you are a saver and she is a spender, it's not like she's going to stop spending even in retirement. A spouse is retirement is functionally a liability, not an asset. I'm sure that will offend some people, but there are people here now, long time posters, who have spoken over many years how their marriages were basically full time liabilities long before the retirement question came up.
Where I see American society headed in the next decade, you want to be lean, healthy ( as much as possible), have flexibility and be mobile.
"Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."
Take care of your health. Make a plan. Don't talk about it much to anyone. Trust no one.