Author Topic: Why Don't More People Seek Earlier Retirement?  (Read 129702 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Why Don't More People Seek Earlier Retirement?
« Reply #450 on: March 03, 2017, 10:59:14 AM »
My parents lived paycheck to paycheck when I was growing up.  Credit card debt and seems like they were always making payments on everything.
Even when my brother or I wanted something we could make payments to our parents for it and they'd buy it for us.  Dad worked part time into his early 70s because he was bored at home and wanted something to do.  He always said to save in 401k to get the match.  So I saved enough to get the match.  So my early education was work until retiring at 65 and make payments on everything.  All was fine for sometime as I enjoyed my job for 20 years.  However after a merger the work environment is now super stressful I had a wake-up call.  Don't want to do this any longer than necessary and doing what I can to shave years off retirement age.  Since I'm in my late 40s won't be really early, but trying to get under 60 now or even sooner.  Need to figure out what to do about upcoming college expenses and make plans.  Good thing is we have no debt other than the mortgage, never upgraded our first house in low cost of living area so will be doable to shave years off retirement age.

Kiwi Fuzz

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Re: Why Don't More People Seek Earlier Retirement?
« Reply #451 on: March 03, 2017, 11:10:34 AM »
For me it's culture (both familial and National), socioeconomic status of my parents/older siblings, political values, relationship choices and social/economic conditioning.

National Culture: New Zealand didn't have a private retirement system, that I'm aware of, until 2006 when they passed the KiwiSaver Act. I don't think I was aware of the idea of saving in general, or saving for retirement, in 2006 when I was 21 years old. Child poverty is a huge problem in NZ.

Familial Culture: Choosing a career for the sole motivation of optimizing your earning potential was basically considered wrong, or not considered at all, in my family of origin. Starving artist seemed to be considered the ideal. The only reference I ever heard to savings was that we, the children, once had savings accounts. Homeownership is unusual in my family. My mother doesn't believe in inheritance. She had 6 children (3 are my half siblings). Only one of my siblings broke the mold, working in finance and hating it, to become financially stable. He has a child and a wife with MS, though.

Political Values: This is pretty much linked to the family culture - wealth accumulation is only possible for the upper class and they are morally reprehensible for doing so. Unless you win the lottery. Obviously I don't feel this way any more.

Relationship Choices: I have never had a partner who paid 1/2 or more of the household expenses nor did 1/2 or more of the household work. I do not expect to ever do so. Deadbeat boyfriend from 16-23 y/o. Disabled husband from 24-onward (married at 26). I don't state this with bitterness - I am happily married - it's simply my reality due to the choices I have made (I'm not looking for pity). This added to the paycheck to paycheck mentality though I was starting to like the idea of an emergency fund after I married.

Social Conditioning: In NZ I never ever thought about retirement. I had a KiwiSaver account that took 3% of my income and I received tax rebate contributions from the government. I looked at it occasionally. Since moving to the USA at age 27 I have been constantly told I will never be able to retire. The very first time that it occurred to me that homeownership might be possible for me was when I heard of the Tiny House movement. Since finding MMM I am working on paying down debt (auto loan 0%) and planning to save for a (small but not tiny) 20% house down payment and eventually reach FI and RE with the goal of 45 y/o but I have my doubts if I can reach it. It's only 14 years away at this stage.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Why Don't More People Seek Earlier Retirement?
« Reply #452 on: March 03, 2017, 12:14:09 PM »
Most people just go with the conventional line of thinking. I remember hearing people bitch about never being able to retire when I started work. They would say things like "$1M, hell $2M, is just not enough to retire on these days."

Isn't it strange people complain about how they think they need soooooo much more than they actually do... then rather than working harder to hit a more hefty goal... they actually do even less to achieve it.

Actually no. I think there is a certain amount of lethargy when looking at a really difficult goal. Easier to just keep rolling with the punches. Realizing that early retirement or even semi retirement was an actual option was a game changer for me.