Retirement dreams?


I considered going part-time myself. If I thought there was any chance of it actually working out to be part-time, I’d have done it. But at least in the IT department where I was working, there was really no such thing. The management was so bad that we were always in a constant state of emergency for one thing or another…and in the rare times that nothing was blowing up, everyone was catching their breath for the inevitable next explosion and not getting anything useful done. When you’re already working late nights half the time, it’s really hard to see how going “part time” wouldn’t just turn into every night being a late one.

If you count the volunteer work that I do, I guess I’ve kinda created my own part-time job. One day a week, though, not four.


That’s a great point and I wish I was more optimistic about our government’s competence at handling labor issues. With the onset of increasing automation, outsourcing, and robotics it would be interesting to see more research into things like reduced work weeks, telecommuting, and UBI. I cannot say that any of those are good or bad things but they could have big effects on labor and also the concept of retirement.


I disagree. Right now I spend 50 hours a week at work and another significant but unmeasured chuck dealing with work related things when I’m not at work. Retiring will suddenly give me the time to more actively pursue some of the hobbies that I currently only dabble in. It’s easy to keep myself from spending on a project when I know that it will take forever to finish as I just don’t have the time.


I think spending vis a vis work/retirement depends a lot on what you do and where you do it. Me, I have a very short commute, don’t eat out much, don’t have to buy fancy clothes, etc. My expenses are pretty much totally disconnected from anything work related. Now, when I was working in a different field, in a different place, I did spend a lot of money on gas, meals, clothes, and things like that. So, as usual, YMMV.


At the end of the day it comes down to how much money you want to spend - mostly driven by your car, house, vacations, hobbies, and entertainment.

Driving a newish Ford Explorer costs $1,000 a month on average (total cost of ownership). Buying a used Toyota Corolla and running it to the ground can bring that down to $300 or less. A 40 year old that chooses the Corolla could have another $150K in the bank at age 55, reducing retirement age by 3 years.

But, that 40 year old makes $100K and all his friends have nice Ford Explorers (or better). He can afford it, right?

Consider a higher-end townhouse instead of a lower-end detached - less space to fill with stuff, lower maintenance and less frequent renovations, lower property taxes. Get one in a City and live with one car instead of two - walk to the waterfront instead of driving everywhere and be healthier too.

But, who wants to raise their kids in a townhouse? They’ll end up plumbers or something.

PC Gaming is maybe $1K a year, golfing can easily run $15K a year, walks to the park are free.

Vacations - two overseas and one in-country can easily hit $15K a year. Vacation property / cottage? Nice to have, but expensive.

I think the hard part is deciding what makes you happy during that free time. There’s nothing wrong with driving a new Audi or having a summer house or being rich.

I think about this all the time, wife and I are considering moving to a bigger house.


That depends on what your work is. I think a great deal of work is soul draining and mind numbing. Sitting in a cube processing loan paperwork all day, pure data entry, etc. It is just watching 8-10 hours of your life every day tick away on something ultimately meaningless to you.


Sure, but doing that 4 days instead of 5 helps. I like my job but there’s a certain amount of tedium associated with it at times. And for all that I like it, I like my free time more.

Retirement and not having anything to do worries me a bit. I’m confident I can find interesting things to fill my day, but until I have that opportunity, I just don’t know how it will play out. A part-time job wouldn’t be a bad thing if I was able to keep the hours at 20 or so a week and take weeks off. That description sounds more like self-employment, really.


In many ways we’d love to have less home maintenance stuff to worry about, but we absolutely have to have our dogs, and that rules out a huge variety of choices that would be less work and worry. That, and it’s hella cheaper here to live in a detached single-family house with land outside of the city than it is to live anywhere not a slumlord’s paradise in the city.


We have a dog, a beloved member of the family, and she is putting a big crink in our travel plans. We want to move to Europe on a short-term basis and I just don’t see how we can take her, so I think we have to put off that plan. We are thinking we can probably retire in three years but the dog will be 11 then and could live a few years longer.

The girlfriend wants to economize by selling the house when we retire but I have problems with that while the dog is around. We’d have to find an apartment that allows dogs and of course we’d lose our doggie door. Anyway, those decisions are a few years down the road.


My neighbors are moving to Australia for 2 years and they are taking their dog. Its a whole thing with quarantines and all sorts of stuff but apparently it can be done.


Probably easier to take a dog to Oz than it would be to find a condo that would let us have two.


Our thing is we are going to move around. First, I don’t know if we will be able to get a visa that lets us stay more than 90 days in the EU. Beyond that, we want to live in different cities anyway. We plan to do short-term rentals. I just don’t see how a dog works for that scenario. I don’t want to put her through air travel and quarantine either.


I am the same, i cant stop tinkering around with things. That said I have noticed some of my relatives hit a certain age when they, well they slow down. Do less and less. I have no idea what that age is for each person, I assume it varies case by case. I mean you get people like Leonard Susskind or Roger Penrose who even into their late 70’s or 80’s are contributing to very advanced fields of knowledge so I guess some people just never stop until they are dead.


From my experience with people growing old is that the ones who keep themselves busy, whether it be work, volunteer stuff or just some hobby tend to go down hill fast if that is taken away or lost to them for some reason. Some people can retire and do nothing, others need something to keep them active.


Obviously, it varies by individuals. However., the retirement research I’ve read shows that average spending declines by 20-25% (anecdotally generally not so much the first couple of years as there is a pent up demand for projects, travel, boats, and remodels). People slow down when they are in their 70s and most folks really stop accumulating things by then if not before so you’ll see an additional decrease of 10% or so in your 70s

Sometime in their 80s medical cost start to really rise and people just need more help in doing everything from cleaning gutters, to doing their taxes and then some folks move to assisted living/or continuing care facility.

We moved my mom to an assisted living place last year, and to Memory Care/Alzheimers this year it’s running 7-8K/month.


I wrote this five years on ER board and lot of people like it.

As one of those very early retirees now going on year 14, I’ll admit to be being envious of those with huge passion or all consuming hobby. My dad retired at 55, and immediately threw himself to building a wooden airplane. 7 years later he was done and fortunately enjoy 10 years of flying (and tinkering with it) before dying pretty young.

I honestly expected to find a second career (paid) after a few years, but it didn’t work out that way. Mostly because I am lazy but partly because, companies doing cool things hatch everyday in Silicon Valley and not very many in Hawaii.

Most of us on the forum had a careers not just jobs,and our work provide meaning and a sense of accomplishment to our lives. Plenty of people say they’d be bored not working and I sort of understand that. That hasn’t been my problem, but I do get the lack of accomplishment or purpose.

I have finally come to a few conclusions. Your best months or maybe years working will probably be better working than retirement. The sense of accomplishment when the project you work is successful and your peers and bosses pat you on the back and give you raise. You just do not get that in retirement. Recognition is really just something you get from a spouse or family. Now people who go on great adventures like Sarah,or become heavily involved in overseas volunteer work they may get that sense of accomplishment. I think for the rest of us not so much.

Volunteer work can help but it isn’t quite the same. Partly because for the most part it is hard to find volunteer work that really is intellectually challenging. Of the 1/2 dozen volunteer jobs only couple have provide much intellectual stimulation. But even then nothing quite says, “Clif you did good” quite like bonus and/or a raise.

On the other hand, your worse month or year being retired is absolutely going to be much better than your worse month or year working. There is absolutely nothing I miss about worrying about layoffs, firing people, giving poor performance reviews, or ranking and rating sessions. Likewise I’ll miss nothing about dragging myself into a 2 hour staff meeting, that is a waste of time or dealing with a bad boss. The feelings of stress and exhaustion are so minor in retirement that few times I’ve felt that way in retirement, simply recalling the bad months working brought a smile to my face and feeling “Damn I am lucky I am not working” I also don’t miss being force to prioritize work over my own needs or my family. And I don’t even have kids, I can’t really imagine how bad it would if you had miss a big day in your kids life, cause the job demands you be out of town. When something goes wrong in the retirement it only effects you and your family, work failures impact lots of others.

So retirement for me has resulted in lower highs, but much highers lows, and on average I am happier.


Yep. People spend their lifetimes trying so hard to stick it to the tax man and then find out later that late stage care will blow away tax burdens.

Had to put my folks into assisted living places at the end and did not like it but for an atomic family with little local help there aren’t a lot of options. That’ll wipe out savings real fast.

Edit: my best wishes to you and your mother. Enjoy the time you have.


That’s an interesting perspective. I can see it.


Heh. It would be nice if my worries about this were alleviated by tax benefits. That only matters if you have the money in the first place. I’m pretty sure I won’t have enough money to be taxed, period!


Does @tomchick make $400,000 from Qt3? Maybe he should change his name to MrGamingMustache.