Financial Independence and early retirement

  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jan 14, 2009 1:41 PM GMT
    Most of us dream about it, but very few actually achieve it. After working since I am a teenager , I plan to do just that by the time I reach 50 , just 6 years away. I have 2 houses that I can rent out and live with the rental income from tenant. I been try hard to pay all my credit card bill to zero. As soon as I do that I plan to build up my saving. I should be able to withdrawal partially from my retirement fund (somethig like Social Security in USA) at 50 and full amount at 55 . I plan to move to my home town and live in my farm with low cost of living . Of course , hopefully nothing unexpected surprises happen like losing my jobs, disability, or I get married to a women and have kids. From the look of it , I seem to be in a right track.

    Any of you guys in this category . How about sharing some tip with me?
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    Jan 14, 2009 3:32 PM GMT
    Unfortunately no. I get to retire on November 5th, 2018 just short of my 58th birthday. I have a defined benefit plan so I know to the day when I can leave on an unreduced pension.

    I envy you Zak for being able to retire at such a young age.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Jan 14, 2009 3:39 PM GMT
    I think I would get bored retired. One of the things I love about working in Real Estate is that it is something I can still do well past retirement age. As long as I'm still active and healthy I hope I can still be working because I do believe it helps keep you young and your mind sharp. That said, I will probably still be working in the year 2040. Now, whether I'm still able to walk is another story icon_rolleyes.gif
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Jan 14, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    Curious is right ... retirement is deathly boring. As hard as you've worked, I'd bet you'll end up doing SOMETHING to keep the synapses firing.

    Get old, don't grow old.
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    Jan 14, 2009 4:03 PM GMT
    Zak, yes !!!! I am one of the lucky ones to be in the 'early retirement' catagory. I was able to start my early retirement at age 48, from a Government job that I quit after 22 years. What made it possible for me though was my personal investment in real estate. Like CuriousJock I liked working with real estate, I had and sold rental property, open land and river lots. I was able to keep 3 places, and paired down my commercial debt to a mere $301.00 payment per month, a little over $200.00 for an 07 car payment. All thanks to real estate, I love being retired, but the key to being happy in retirment is doing things everyday that you love to do, idleness is not happyness to me. You hinted at this when you said you would retire to your farm, you will probably be busy there, so that keeps your mind and body active, which is a must. I'm doing landscape work, gardening, and work on my places nearly every day, and love it. In a way retiring is ending the work you do for someone else in trade for an income, so that you can do the work you like in your own time, at your own pace, place and in your own way. My son and daughter say that I'll be building a house or something when i'm 90, ha !!! they are right !!!! The ones who die early after retirement are the ones who had no interests of their own, while off work. The Job for me was always an interruption in what I had and wanted to do (on my real estate investments) but it was a means to an end. Just like you !!! Good luck to you !!!!!
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    Jan 14, 2009 4:28 PM GMT
    I don't plan on being around long enough to reach retirement. And I better not be cause I'm not saving for it!

    *shakes fist in air in defiance*
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    Jan 14, 2009 4:34 PM GMT
    I'm eligible in 4 1/2 yrs but after having just received one of my retirement account statements, it might not happen...yikes. Would love to have the option and then decide what else to do. Definitely wouldn't be sitting around doing nothing but so many things to explore and anytime you can be in the "KMA" club (kiss my ass for you younger folks), it's a good thing!
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    Jan 14, 2009 4:35 PM GMT
    o lord no. i'll be working right up to the day i die icon_sad.gif
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jan 14, 2009 4:44 PM GMT
    My first retirement will come in 3-1/2 years at the age of 38. I've been planning for the last 1-1/2 years in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. I want to start a business, or a few, when I get out and am nervous as hell.
  • olden

    Posts: 194

    Jan 14, 2009 5:03 PM GMT
    I am just the opposite of the majority of Americans. I have worked for almost 55 years and am still going. I own my own firm, so the only one who can make ME retire is me, and I consider ME to valuable to the company to let ME go. As a consultant I work about 50% of the time, get a lot of travel, and am treated with great respect by my clients. Just got a request yesterday to do a quality audit for a company is Switzerland. I sure can't say no to that one. This job allows me lots of time to hit the gym and pretty much set my own schedule. I don't want to sit around and stagnate. I say that happen to my father and grandfather.

    Before cutting all ties with your employer and industry, look at converting to a consultant. Many companies will hire you back. They get the same work from a known commodity (you) and, without the fringes, for less money, even though your rate is higher than you get now.

    Good luck either way.
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    Jan 14, 2009 5:06 PM GMT
    zakariahzol saidAny of you guys in this category . How about sharing some tip with me?

    I retired at 45 in 1994, possible after 25 years of service in the US military, and do not work. My pension as a Colonel is modest, but I have other sources of income, plus living with a partner who's retired on his own income lowers the cost of living for both of us. Sharing expenses is a real money saver.

    We also have no debt whatsoever. You're wise to be trying for the same thing, because debt mean interest charges that rob your income.

    We pay everything cash, and in fact don't even have credit cards, just debit cards for convenience. Our 2008 car was paid cash, my 2008 Vespa cash, my camper trailer cash, etc. The house is ours and about the only recurring bills we have are for property taxes, utilities and insurance.

    As a result, more of our income is disposable to use as we wish. And though not very great, it's still really too much for us to spend it all, since our needs are fairly simple, enabling us to donate considerable amounts to charities for HIV/AIDS and GLBT causes, including political campaigns. Our one expensive vice is eating out, which we do far too often, and which doesn't help our attempts to lose weight.

    I have no interest in working ever again, but I do volunteer for some of the non-profits that we support financially. It keeps me busy, but on my terms. Just 2 weeks ago an agency tried to pay me for several days work coming up, and I refused. I'm a volunteer, I reminded them, and not getting into servitude again. And please don't deny me the personal pleasure of donating my time to a worthy cause. To pay me would be almost insulting; pay someone who really needs the money.

    But, for retired persons with less money, temporary and part-time employment can help make ends meet. And those kinds of jobs are often easier to find quickly, and incur no long-term commitments, so you can walk away when you no longer need the money. Lots of retired people in the US do that, working shorter hours than in their previous career, doing it as needed.
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    Jan 14, 2009 6:41 PM GMT
    I work in real estate and venture capital. I also do a fair amount of charity work for HIV-AIDS victims and support animal charities. I work with my alumni association and Rotary club to help students. I believe in good, long vacations, but retirement - no. Sitting around a pool, or skiing - having fun - is great as long as it is a vacation from something - but if that is all you have to do, it could be deadly.
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    Jan 14, 2009 7:22 PM GMT
    I'm definitely planning for my retirement, but I just plan on working less. I actually enjoy working. I would get bored with that much time on my hands. I like being challenged.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jan 14, 2009 8:11 PM GMT
    Guys,

    Just like everybody here. I dont plan to sit on my ass doing nothing and waiting for my death after retirement. Even now, I have all kind of plan in my head of what I plan to do. From back packing around the world, motorcycling thru every single road and highway. Just like I mention earlier, I inheritated a small farm from my father and plan to move there and try my hand to do something more simple ,less stressful and less complicated. Frankly, I dont even believe I cant survive with such a small farm (less than one acres) and my ability to be a productive farmer. If I want this to be successful I need a source of income from somewhere else.The good thing is living in some Malaysian village dont require big expenses and I probably can work part time to support myself. I also need money if I want to maintain my lifestyle of backpacking travelling and those other activites I love.

    Anyway thank guys for sharing your retirement story with me. This is definetly something I gonna work for and plan to achieve.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jan 14, 2009 8:48 PM GMT
    Animanus,

    Now the different between our two government start to make a different . You see in Malaysia , the hospitalization is highly subsisdize. Most Malaysian go to a goverment hospital and pay pittance for a stay is hospital, going thru major operation or getting medical treatment. I was in a car accident in 2003 stay for 3 days , get an operation to remove some broken glass from my injured hand and only pay 80 ringgit (about 20USD) . My father stay in hospital for 1 month before he die and we paid nothing upon his death. Of course , you can get a better care in a private hospital where they charge you all kind of money, but as far as I am concern those government hospital is not to bad.

    Malaysian can withdrawal from retirement fund (something like Social Security in USA) to reduce their housing loan and that should take care of mine . Mandotary retirement ages in this country is 55 years old and you will be able to withdrawal all of your fund upon reaching that age. Mine should be pretty large and hopefully can help me during my retirement years.

    I own one more house in the city, that I still pay installement. But I can always rent it out or sell it when the times come. I dont forsee a major repair for this houses in the near future. Other utilities like electric, water bill, cable tv and internet can pobably be paid for less that 50 USD (I am sure the interest from my saving is larger than that). Taxes on property is nominal here (the city house is 30USD a years, the farm situated on agriculture land is only 3 USD.

    I do have some company stock option I plan to sales when the market improve (wonder when with this economic slowdown). I also have some goverment bond that paid me some dividen at the end of the year , probably about half month paid I am making right now.

    Off course , we cant really tell the inflation situation 6 years from now and if those goverment policy (hospitalization benefit, low cost of living, etc) still remain.
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    Jan 15, 2009 12:16 AM GMT
    animanimus said
    Red_Vespa said Just 2 weeks ago an agency tried to pay me for several days work coming up, and I refused. I'm a volunteer, I reminded them, and not getting into servitude again. And please don't deny me the personal pleasure of donating my time to a worthy cause. To pay me would be almost insulting; pay someone who really needs the money.


    i never went into government work which can provide a cola'd (cost of living adjusted) pension. in my family, as in much of american society, it was considered, well, maybe not lazy, but certainly not ambitious or maybe just a little too safe to live off taxpayers' efforts, retiring to the illusion that you're some self-made millionaire when really you are just the beneficiary of the continued labor of others.

    while government work might not be a bad way to go, it certainly is in poor taste to have taken advantage of that and then to belittle the working world which pays government pensions and which, in any case, is merely a matter of participating in society. perhaps i am misreading you (and if so, than i apologize) but it seems arrogant to berate life as indentured servitude. how haughty to flaunt one's so-so success of gaming the system to a forum of young men currently working their way through the world.

    Well, I never before heard that retiring after 25 years of military service, that left me disabled, is "in poor taste to have taken advantage of that." I did work kinda hard, ya know, kinda dangerous, too, and wanted to keep going. But my health failed me, thanks to the beating I had taken in the service, so it isn't like I just kicked back and took my pension for fun.

    I'm satisfied that I worked hard enough to have earned it, as provided by the laws of the US, and have nothing to be ashamed of. And as I said in my post above, I still volunteer much of my time to charity work in the GLBT community, for free. So I'm a bit puzzled by your criticism of me.

    My servitude remark (did I say indentured? [sic]) was a bit of hyperbole. Who doesn't often think their working years are a kind of servitude? Certainly when combined with military hours & discipline it's not exactly a 9-to-5 job that I had.

    No, anyone who thinks I was "gaming the system" is welcome to put on a uniform and try it for themselves. And see how much of a "game" it really is, and how many could take it for 25 days, much less 25 years.
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    Jan 15, 2009 5:50 AM GMT
    since the time that i started my own business 4 years ago, i feel like i am retired, since what i do feels more like a hobby.
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    Jan 15, 2009 6:12 PM GMT
    animanimus saidi never went into government work which can provide a cola'd (cost of living adjusted) pension. in my family, as in much of american society, it was considered, well, maybe not lazy, but certainly not ambitious or maybe just a little too safe to live off taxpayers' efforts, retiring to the illusion that you're some self-made millionaire when really you are just the beneficiary of the continued labor of others.
    Am I reading this right? Wow...excuse me for the 25 yrs of service I have provided to the people of this country and as a civil SERVANT receiving a lower pay than most comparable jobs in the area. I started at rock bottom and worked hard to get to a position of what I think is admirable. Being considered "not ambitious" or "too safe" is offensive to say the least. Your perception of government workers is so stereotypical. The same type of thinking that most find appalling when it comes to views on homosexuality. No doubt there are workers for the government that don't carry their weight and the same is true with the private sector. Weeding out government employees is very tough, I've done it. But there are a ton of dedicated men and women that keep your country running day to day and your statements would certainly apply to less than more of those quiet, behind the scenes workers in the government.
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    Jan 15, 2009 6:25 PM GMT
    Who really wants to retire?

    - Most of the guys in the active and outdoor departments in my store are just bored retirees looking for something to do a couple hours a week.

    - My friends dad retired at 55 from Dell and started his own IT business a year later and went right back to 40+ hour workweeks.

    - I've worked with a retired doctor at the former Bombay Co who just got tired of endless vacations and free time after leaving medicine.

    - I know a 5 time Emmy winner and writer who just doesn't enjoy living off his fortune and still seeks new projects and part time employment to pass the time.


    Perhaps it's just a New England thing but like many people I know I could never see myself retired. I think at that point I'd just fall into working for outdoor groups like the AMC and just guide tour groups for fun. While I still keep putting money into my old age fund through work I'd probably rather just spend it on a nice sports exotic once gas cars become out of style and 911's can be had for a bargain icon_cool.gif
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jan 15, 2009 10:39 PM GMT
    Aninumus,

    Yup, you got that correct. The mandotary retirement here is 55 years. Regardeless you are in goverment sector or private , you must retire when you reach 55 . Yes again, you got all those retirement fund one shot. There a talk in parliment about pushing it further but not implemented yet. However some company will give you option for a few extra years if your skill is really valuable . My ex house mate get that option with the condition to let go his pension , which obviously he decline. It common here to have farewell parties in office for folk who reach 55 wishing them "happy retirement.
    The drawback is this system is very discriminitory for older folk past 55 who still wish to work , or dont have enough retirement save to retire. After 55 all the job available to you is probably becoming a security guard, cashier or other low paid job.

    Those stuff you say about withdrawing money from retirement fund to paid for remaining housing loan is true also. However those are not mandatory and it up to you to exercise it or not. For first house buyers , you can also withdrawal some money for your 10% downpaymant (standard procedure here).

    I have live in the USA during my college days , though probably I am not updated with the situation now, I am familiar with the high cost of medical expenses and high taxation of American system.

    But I guess that the price that you guys need to pay for living in the most advance nation in the world, higher salary, gay friendly (probably not anymore with Prop icon_cool.gif , with all kind of convienience and high standard of living .

    Yeah, I know a lot of Westerner who retire in Thailand (I go there regularly)and Malaysia . But I not going to go in detail here as it is not part of the topic with are discussing now.