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Depending on when you were born in the '50's you're getting near, if not already there, to the new "official" retirement age of 66. I was born in 1951, just turned 65, which used to be the "official" age for retiring and getting some of your Social Security money back. I was debating retirement before Bunny passed, but now I'm almost thinking "What's the point?" I'm not sure I'm prepared to be completely by myself all day.

I have a secure job, been there for nearly 20 years. In addition, I'm a musician and I've been writing a bit lately, so I could go back to some type of music career (I was a full time musician until the age of 45) and being free from a daily job would give me the time to explore writing more seriously. And I'm blessed, financially, to be able to retire ... I'm far from rich but I live within my means and was lucky to be married to a good "money person" who taught me how to handle the dollars we do have responsibly. If it were left up to me to handle the finances all of those years I'd probably be living in a cardboard box somewhere ...

What's the opinion, '50's folks? Who is ready to quit the daily grind? Or, have you already done that?

Peace, Ed

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There's a really vibrant live music scene here in the Triangle area of NC.  I used to tell my husband that there was more of the music we like in NC than in the NY/NJ area and he didn't believe me...but it's true.  If you decide to relocate, you could do worse.  I'm pretty contented here, much more so than when I was in NJ, where the entire cultural life seemed to be centered in Manhattan.  Here I can go to live music just about any day, movies, revivals, film festivals, street fairs -- so much going on!

Sadly, the music industry in the greater NYC area, in general, is lousy for the average working professional. I did it full time until I was 45, then heavily part time (while working this current "real" job) until I was 60.  The last 5 years have seen it bottom out, mostly due to the advent of electronic music, DJs in place of bands, and poor business management by the real musicians. 

I do understand that your area, some parts of Georgia and many sections of Florida have a booming live music industry ... I have many friends who relocated for that specific reason. On the other hand, I have been a Jersey guy forever, my whole family is here and I have the "Jersey attitude" that sometimes doesn't play well with other non-Jersey roots folks ...

Go for it!

I too am struggling with this. I love being around people and would miss that. I am swaying more toward at least cutting down to per diem in the summer. That would give me a little time to adjust. I have other things I would like to do and am trying to convince myself it will all work out. I believe there is more I am supposed to do like write another book.

I was going to retire in 2 years when I am 63, collect my husband's Social Security and switch over to mine at age 70.  By then I will have 10 years with my employer and be eligible for retiree medical, which isn't all that special, it just allows me to keep on the company insurance but pay the full premium until Medicare kicks in.  But now that I'm hearing about changes to Social Security and a change of Medicare to a voucher program that would pay only a small fraction of a private insurance premium, my retirement plans are off indefinitely.  What I'm hearing is that the cutoff age will be people who are 62 now and I am 61, so I don't make the cut.  So I'll keep working till it all shakes out.  Or until I drop dead, if what I'm hearing comes to pass.

I retired in 2014 at age 61 due to toxic politics. I took a look at the numbers and decided that I didn't need to work for a living anymore. DH was 76 and had been retired for years. While deploring the nasty politics that led to my resignation, it turned out to be a blessing since DH and I got in two more wonderful trips (Alaska and Iceland) and when he needed caregiving I didn't need to worry about working for a living.

DH died on November 15 so I'm not too far into widowhood. Since then I've spent a week with DS and DDIL (3 hours away) after they had their second baby. My job was holding down the fort with her 2-year old sister. I had a great time! Two days ago I got back from a 9-day road trip to visit extended family members in the Carolinas- covered 2,500 miles. Not sure what the winter will bring- no lawn/garden projects so I may have to take on some other things. Both Toastmasters and my church would be HAPPY to find more things for me to do! I love travel but have to pace myself. In April I'm headed for the Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Definitely not interested in having to work for a living again. I'd have to set my alarm clock 5 days a week and carefully plan my travels so I didn't run out of vacation days.

So, based on my limited time as a widow, yes, retirement can still be enjoyable if you have outside interests, and it sounds as if you do.

Just as a follow up to this posting, I have "semi-retired" from my job.  I was trying to retire completely, but the company has been unable to find a suitable replacement for me so I'm doing 20-25 hours a week remotely from my new home in Atlanta. It has been working out okay ... my new life relationship partner still works, so my putting in some more time isn't causing any issues so far.

Honestly, it's easier to be away from the office and the daily pressures that I faced. Now I just work on project stuff at my own pace.

Congratulations on your retirement!  Best wishes : )

I turned 62 in December 2016, and am also considering retiring at the end of this year.  My husband passed away 3-1/2 years ago this month.  My company pension is based on retirement at 63 (! odd, I know) and I will have been there 20 years at the end of this year.  I have survivor benefits from my husband's company pension, and from his Canada Pension (which will somehow combine with my own CPP at 65).  I'm also not rich but should be OK financially.  I'm renovating the house we bought when we married 37 yrs ago and plan to stay as I have lots of support in the neighbourhood and it's small enough for me to manage.  It's a big decision, but I decided if something happened to me in the next 2 years I would regret not having taken time for myself to make myself #1 priority,  I have no time to exercise regularly, gained a lot of weight since my husband got sick and passed away, and feel I need to focus on myself without all the stress associated with full-time job.  I started working full-time at 17, with a few years off when the children were born then right back to full-time work when the youngest went to Grade 1.  My company was great to me when my husband was sick and allowed several leaves-of-absence so I could care for him and not worry about losing my job and the benefits.  I must say although I'm eternally grateful I am losing interest in work.  Many things which used to be so important have lost meaning without my husband - we were working towards a common goal - retirement together - and we never got there.  So, I think retirement alone will be a bit daunting but better than coming home each night to an empty house, the toughest part of every day even 3+ years later. He would always be waiting for me with his beer and a glass of wine for me, we were so happy and so lucky for such a long time. I have a ton of hobbies I never have time for so I won't be bored, plus visiting my son and daughter and their families.  Thanks for listening.  

Hi!

   I don't know I want to. Right now I only work part time maybe 2 times a week at the most. I think I need to be around people once in awhile.

Susan

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