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Butch

Question for Expats / Retirees

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When you Gents finally finished your job, or wound up your business or handed it over, was it bittersweet?.

Did you see retirement (either in Thailand or in general) as a new beginning, or as something that you felt was a natural and deserved progression?.

Lastly, and be honest , How many of you would have liked to have kept working another year or two, given the benefit of hindsight?.

reason for the topic is because I was chatting with my Dad, he retired at 68, pretty much on the orders of my Mum. I asked him the last question, he told me he would still be working if no one had stopped him, but he was happy that he did when he did. I guess he was as happy at work as he is in retirement.

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I'm not an expat yet, and I'm not yet retired..... but I have decided on a date for taking early retirement and the closer I am getting to that date the more I am looking forward to it.

There is also a chance that date might get brought forward, depending on whether the government forces budget cuts on my employers in view of what has happened over the last 6 months with the virus crisis. Contractors working on the site have already seen numbers cut and there are strong rumours of a sweet deal being offered to allow people to retire early in order to reduce staff numbers rather than making people redundant.

Due to my shift pattern it already feels like I am semi-retired anyway..... I work 12 hour shifts on a 4 on 6 off cycle.

I'm looking forward to retirement and looking forward to getting away from a cold and wet winter Britain!!!

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I retired early.... but it was more about wanting to get out of a job I did not particularly enjoy, and giving myself a well earned break. I never went back! My decision may also have been prompted by the early death of my father and believing it a bitter pill if one never enjoys any retirement in life. I do not have dependents, for many that would keep them in work. 

Now I look back I doubt there would have been any going back, as I am lazy. 

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I planned and could have retired at 60. My wife and i were going to divorce. But looking at the financials we decided to stay together,  putting our kids through private schools and then helping them with college. I would be in Thailand 2-3 times a year.  I retired at 65 in excellent health which i think should be a factor. As a result my pension, SSI, health insurance are much higher than the minimum i would have had earlier.  Because of our support the kids did very well and have good employment in Engineering and Law. As a result i told them i was going to spend my 401k which originally they were to inherit. I have not been happier than ever in my life in he past 3 years of living here and no regrets on the delay.    If not for Thailand i would have continued working until i dropped. I worked 3 days a week ,    5 weeks leave time a year. why not?

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I have had a fantastic life, in the Army, then working as a Permie before going contracting. Bloody fantastic.

Being a contractor meant I didn't "retire" ... Job offers were becoming less desirable for the money on offer so I just stopped replying to job offers from agencies and only worked if a friend called. So "retirement" wasn't a clear cut on/off switch for me but I guess getting my Army pension when I reached 60 was the nearest to being a definitive point. Although I have taken one contract since then and would do so again if a mate called that I could trust.

What has become very important to me is being true to myself in everything I do and therefore am very happy with my life. I won't be bullied into changing my lifestyle to fit into other peoples' view of "normal". There was a YT Pattaya vlogger called Ian Black (I think) and he filmed me sitting in a bar at 8am and went on to disparage my lifestyle without knowing anything about me....He had no idea what I had done prior to having that beer and nor did he know what my plans were afterwards. 

The mate that got me a contract here in '96 died at his PC a few years ago ... It's not worth it guys!!!!

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I've never really stopped working as I enjoy it too much. It helps that the work I do, data warehouse design and implementation can be done remotely. These days I get maybe a few hundred hours of billable work a year from the small consulting company I used to be a partner in. It's a comfortable amount of work that keeps my mind active and my wallet a bit fuller.

As for my semi-retirement move to Thailand. Most definitely it was a new beginning.

In 2008 I made my first trip to Thailand, which was also my first trip to any SEA country. It was quite an eye opening experience coming from a western country of well manicured lawns, clean and well maintained streets, and footpaths that you could walk on without risk of twisting an ankle or worse. The newest of it all was like a breath of fresh air, even though the air could be somewhat toxic at times. :D 

Six months later after divesting my partnership in the company and finalizing my divorce, I moved to Thailand. No natural progression involved, just jumped with both feet into living in a new country half way around the world from my previous home.

Eleven years later, still happy I made the move and no regrets at all.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, jacko said:

I retired early.... but it was more about wanting to get out of a job I did not particularly enjoy, and giving myself a well earned break. I never went back! My decision may also have been prompted by the early death of my father and believing it a bitter pill if one never enjoys any retirement in life. I do not have dependents, for many that would keep them in work. 

Now I look back I doubt there would have been any going back, as I am lazy. 

I'm the same as you. I was in a job which I grew to hate. I was lucky to have been given some very good financial advice when I was just starting to work which luckily I was smart enough to accept.

I worked out the numbers and realised that I had sufficient funds to retire so within 2 days of that I had quit my job and have never been happier. 

I was 51.

Edited by knortyboy

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Some great replies chaps, much appreciated.

Given the retirement lifestyle you've all chosen (wisely :)  ) does anyone "miss" their work, or maybe even the guys they worked with?. Sometimes one drawback is missing the social angle of sitting and chatting with workmates.

 

 

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Just now, Butch said:

does anyone "miss" their work, or maybe even the guys they worked with?

Very good question and I don't think you will be surprised to hear my response.

I "lived my dream" whilst working! I travelled the world on shit loads of money, shagging everywhere I went, drinking and eating in shitholes and in top class restaurents in equal numbers.... But I don't miss it...Where I live at the moment is me. It is who I am deep down inside my Psyche.

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I moved to Thailand at 50 and retired eight years later.  I grew tired of working and don’t have a problem finding things to fill my day.

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1 hour ago, RhinoTusk said:

I moved to Thailand at 50 and retired eight years later.  I grew tired of working and don’t have a problem finding things to fill my day.

I retired early as well and likewise have no problems occupying my time. 

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Retired at 62 so not really early.  Could have retired earlier but there were significant financial benefits to hanging in as long as I did.  The last five years were a bit month to month due to my boss.  Looking back at those five years, the most positive memory was the folks who worked for me.

A few months after I retired I found myself asking whether I had done the right thing.  Then I thought about the commute which hadn't really been that long and almost had a panic attack.

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I worked for a large telecom firm from when I was 18 to the age of 55 when I was able to retire early with full benefits; I have returned for part time summer work nine out of the ten years since and this helped finance my increasingly longer trips to Thailand during our cold winter months. I could have gotten the job back again this year but just didn't feel like it, especially with all of the Covid BS to deal with, and don't need the money that badly anyway. Last year marked 45 years of involvement with that corporation and I just decided that enough was enough. I usually manage to find enough things to do every day with home and vehicle maintenance and the pubs are open again if I feel social. My outdoor activities have been hampered by the exceptionally wet and cool summer we are having and I am not looking forward to spending the winter up here for the first time in years but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it - if I am unable to fly anywhere warm overseas I'll drive out instead to a more southern part of my own country for a while and do some exploring. As for retiring overseas, I haven't totally discounted that option but there is not much point doing any planning with the world in its present turmoil.

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Posted (edited)

^ I was in a similar situation when I retired a few years ago, with thinking of returning to work.  It's a difficult decision and a real compromise that requires some sleep time to think it over.  If you have time on your hands, have you thought about working part time, maybe even in a different field or for yourself?  There are a lot of options to consider.  We just need to be critical and creative with our thinking.

But who doesn't want more money?  The question is ... will more money, after a certain point, make like better?  I'm not sure, once we're comfortable with a certain standard of living.  I decided that I could no longer work for anyone: no more boss or bosses lording over me.  I had enough and left in my early 50's.  I'm so glad I did, but did I ever encounter a lot of envious and jealous people, who wanted out but couldn't afford to do so after they lived the high life of keeping up with the Jones, living beyond their means.  Some will work till the day they die, forced to b/c of debt, but they'll never admit that.  Instead, they say they "like working".  And I reply, then why not volunteer somewhere?

Btw, I travel to Thailand twice a year, staying 3-4 weeks each time, which is perfect for me.  By then I look forward to home and my routines.  That way Thailand never becomes boring and I get the most out of each trip.  I know I could never spend 3-6 months in a second world country.

 

Edited by elche

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10 hours ago, nkped said:

Retired at 62 so not really early.  Could have retired earlier but there were significant financial benefits to hanging in as long as I did.  The last five years were a bit month to month due to my boss.  Looking back at those five years, the most positive memory was the folks who worked for me.

A few months after I retired I found myself asking whether I had done the right thing.  Then I thought about the commute which hadn't really been that long and almost had a panic attack.

62 is early. You can't get full Social Security until you are closer to 70 and you aren't eligible for Medicare until 65. I retired before 65. I paid my own health insurance premium and lived on my own money for a while.

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I planned to retire at 50 but saw a chance to get a big redundancy payout after 36 years with the company so waited another year. Bought a motor home and travelled, then discovered Pattaya and Angeles and spent less time in Oz

I am 74 now and didnt qualify for any govt benefits so have been self funded all these years. I have never done any paid work, never bored as travel and sex kept me occupied. 😁

Still travel a lot (pre covid) with my Filipina partner of 8 years. Happy with my life and past choices

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Just now, biggles said:

travel and sex kept me occupied.

 

You and I are kindred spirits!

But there is one important point I wish to raise. Some of the people that I grew up with in a small Dorset village have very rarely travelled and I doubt if they have shagged anything other than white women and almost certainly only one at a time! There is nothing wrong with that! It is their choice, nobody is wrong and nobody is right. We are different people with different lifestyles that is all.

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3 hours ago, Bullfrog said:

There is nothing wrong with that! It is their choice,

Providing they even considered there was a choice....

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Just now, jacko said:

Providing they even considered there was a choice....

Very true....perhaps some are born with a stay at home gene whilst others are checking skyscanner in the womb.....I am definitely the latter... but whether it is personal choice or DNA or life experience, we all have different values. Mine just happen to be the opposite of people that I "grew up" with but I wouldn't deny them their lifestyle whether it be a concious informed decision on their part or based on whether their parents watched Corrie or Whickers World........  Fuck I would have loved to have seen Kai Tak through his eyes .....

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When I travelled  by motor home in Oz I would often meet people who had never been more than a few hundred miles from their country town. 

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I enjoyed my job for the most part and the pay was quite good. The main problem was that I hated Kalifornia. I had carefully planned my retirement. I was able to retire at age 59 and sitting on the LAX runway with a one way ticket to Thailand was probably the happiest day of my life. I had over estimated my Thailand living expenses and still enjoy a decent surplus from my pensions. No regrets here. You don't have to be wealthy to enjoy retirement in Thailand, I'm certainly not, but living on a budget would be a bummer. Sometimes plans turn to shit but my plans have worked out well.

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I retired at age 60 after 37.5 yrs with the US govt.  After my first trip to Thailand in 1999, I found something better to do than working. My pension provides me financial security for the rest of my life and I am very happy to be retired with NO regrets.  I enjoy my retired life by:  taking classes, working on home projects, shopping online, watching YouTube videos, exercising, traveling to Thailand and Japan. 

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I left my airline early at 54 in 2005. It was time. We had just filed for bankruptcy, which really had no bearing but I was simply tired of dealing with passengers at the airport for 8 hours a day. It was between retirement incentives that were offered-it was simply time to go. My Father worked for the same airline out of public contact and left at 65-and passed 7 years later. I did not  want to be in that situation of not being able to thoroughly enjoy my retirement years. Sure, each additional year would have added to my pension but the money wasn't the sole decider as it was for some. Everyone has an individual situation regarding retirement and every other life affecting event. I have been an ex-pat in 3 countries, including Thailand,since then. I would have stayed in Thailand much longer if my Mother had not taken seriously ill and I returned home immediately and she passed 12 days later. I've been back in the US since 2011.most recently in Cabo. Travel on my airline is still free, worldwide, but at my age I've seen pretty much everything I want to see. No longer are the overnight trips to Paris or Madrid the adventure they once were. As B.B. King said,"'The Thrill Is Gone".

My 1st visit to Pattaya was in 1972 and I had not returned since then until 2008 when I visited for 2 weeks while living in Mexico and decided when my lease was finished I'd move to Jomtien and lived in VT 2A which I thoroughly enjoyed..

I have my health and this month moved back home, to Miami,which I left in 1982,after spending the previous 9 years on the west coast on Florida.

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