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(9,259 posts)
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 07:06 AM Nov 2018

Thoughts on retiring - update!

Last edited Mon Nov 26, 2018, 11:48 AM - Edit history (1)

Today I am telling my boss of my intention to retire at the end of January. I am going to be the FT caregiver to my 3 grandchildren when my daughter goes back to work after her maternity leave. The baby girl will be 3 months then and the other kids are 4 (in preschool) and 8 (3rd grade).
I fully understand this is the definition of a first world problem. I have been payroll and benefits admin for a PA school district for 14 years. At 62 I qualify for “full retirement” in PA public schools. Plus here in PA, public employees qualify for full SS as both sides contribute.
My husband (age 60) has a good secure job; of course no job is really secure these days but he’s been there 15+ years, it’s a stable company that treats their people well. I will go on their insurance for the next 3 years. It’s a good Blue Cross PPO, comparable to the Aetna I have now but more expensive for the employee. Not a high-deductible plan (thank God).
The only debt we have is the mortgage. Paid off my car loan and the rest of the Parent Plus loans we took for our son. No credit card balances. We can afford to live on his pay and my pension. If I have to I could start my SS too but would rather wait on that if we can.
I like my job and I’m good at it, but I don’t define myself by my career. I play in and I’m business manager (volunteer) for a community concert band. I’m very active at my church. None of those things will change.
But I’m terrified to do this. I’ve been putting off telling my boss for a while now. I told her I would give her lots of notice when I decided to retire. At my last review she basically begged me not to retire but she knows how old I am and that this day is coming sooner or later.
Am I an idiot for giving up a good job with great benefits, a short commute, that I can pretty much do in my sleep? Am I an idiot for trusting my husband’s employer to keep us afloat for the next few years?
But...I promised my daughter. And I love my grandkids more than anything in the world. I’m healthy. I don’t want the baby going to daycare and getting sick all the time like my kids did. Kid #3 is their last so I can really retire in 5 or 6 years. I was never a SAHM with my kids. Here’s my chance to be a SAHG. I’ve been doing the “business world” thing for almost 40 years. I’m looking forward to going to “work” in jeans and a T-shirt and no makeup.
Yes this is a first world problem. Tell me I’m doing the right thing.

I just told my boss. I did it. She was very nice and understanding. I have a lot to do before I’m gone. So relieved I got that over with.

39 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Thoughts on retiring - update! (Original Post) Freddie Nov 2018 OP
My advice to anyone Sherman A1 Nov 2018 #1
First of all, I hereby give you permission whathehell Nov 2018 #2
Absolutely! Do it! Croney Nov 2018 #3
Do it vlyons Nov 2018 #4
My husband is 8 years older than me iwillalwayswonderwhy Nov 2018 #5
I agree duforsure Nov 2018 #6
Freddie, I have been retired 3 years come February. TexasProgresive Nov 2018 #7
Enjoy those Grand kids Soxfan58 Nov 2018 #8
Of your gut says yes snowybirdie Nov 2018 #9
If you have some doubts maybe talk to a financial advisor first and think over what they say mart48 Nov 2018 #10
I retired 3 years ago. TNNurse Nov 2018 #11
Enjoy your grandkids.. I'm jealous.. mountain grammy Nov 2018 #12
The last paragraph says it all. Do it. 3Hotdogs Nov 2018 #13
My understanding marked50 Nov 2018 #16
I heard that option had changed. That's why I said to check with S.S. before trying to do it. 3Hotdogs Nov 2018 #17
You're doing the right thing! DFW Nov 2018 #14
I went at 63, in Pa. watoos Nov 2018 #15
My parents were retired teachers Freddie Nov 2018 #21
Go for it. LiberalBrooke Nov 2018 #18
Only you know if retiring is right Raven123 Nov 2018 #19
I only told my boss I'd give her plenty of notice Freddie Nov 2018 #22
Gotcha. Raven123 Nov 2018 #25
Go for it. I retired at 59 and haven't regretted it for a minute. I miss seeing my friends at catbyte Nov 2018 #20
I retired last June and have never looked back. mglamb Nov 2018 #23
Well, since you asked... zaj Nov 2018 #24
I am not opposed to daycare at all Freddie Nov 2018 #26
If you can... and you want... zaj Nov 2018 #27
Retire H2O Man Nov 2018 #28
I retired at 70. Just went back to work at 72. wasupaloopa Nov 2018 #29
Being with your grandchildren is the best work WhiteTara Nov 2018 #30
I do payroll Freddie Nov 2018 #31
Yes, you could not leave them now WhiteTara Nov 2018 #33
I retired on my very first day of eligibility Siwsan Nov 2018 #32
Family first mitch96 Nov 2018 #34
Go for it! It sounds like you have a great plan. woodsprite Nov 2018 #35
Thank you so much for this thread. I'm ready to retire, but not ready to retire. AnotherMother4Peace Nov 2018 #36
It is scary, isn't it? Freddie Nov 2018 #37
Congratulations! You've taken the first step. Callalily Nov 2018 #38
Message auto-removed Name removed Dec 2018 #39

Sherman A1

(38,958 posts)
1. My advice to anyone
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 07:23 AM
Nov 2018

Is go as soon as you can. You never know what tomorrow brings. Certainly everyone’s economics are different and must be considered along with many other factors, but go as soon as you can do so.

You are doing the right thing. Enjoy!


(29,067 posts)
2. First of all, I hereby give you permission
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 07:24 AM
Nov 2018

to stop apologizing' for having "first world problems".. People in the first world are allowed to have problems reflective of the world they live in. Enough with the guilt tripping .


(4,657 posts)
3. Absolutely! Do it!
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 07:42 AM
Nov 2018

We have a lot in common. I quit work at 60 to take care of my daughter's baby, and she had another and another, and they never had anyone but me taking care of them while she worked.

Fast forward... Those kids are now 13, 11, and 9, they don't need babysitting, but we are extremely close.

I started SS at 62, knowing I'd get more if I waited, just because I wanted to. My husband is younger and has worked until now. He just set 1/1/19 as his retirement date and we've chosen a health care plan, which is scary because what if we chose wrong?

He starts SS in January and also starts a monthly withdrawal from his company funds, managed by Fidelity. We moved the money to a safer risk percentage, but still -- the stock market!! I've always kept my own little pension in the most secure option, earning little but losing nothing. I think he should do that too.

Like you, we don't have debt. We paid off our house. We have other grown kids and lots of grandkids, and even great-grandkids, but the only ones who live near us are the daughter and her husband and three kids I see almost every day.

You will be a huge help to your daughter, and the kids will be very lucky. Time flies, we don't know what lies ahead, and you will be a happy person hanging out in a t-shirt and no make-up. You are an extremely valuable person, and can choose to give yourself to the office, or to your family. So exciting! Do it.


(10,252 posts)
4. Do it
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 07:50 AM
Nov 2018

There are no certainties in life, except death and taxes. You are sitting as pretty as anyone can. You are simply afraid of the unknown. Think about the joy you will get taking care of your grand kids. I retired at 56. I'm 71 now. I don't regret it one little bit.

It's time for you to start your next great adventure in life. Plus retiring will create a job for a young person, who really needs a jon.


(2,601 posts)
5. My husband is 8 years older than me
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 07:55 AM
Nov 2018

I retired at 62 because we wanted time together while we are both healthy. Cannot recommomend it enough, it was the best thing I ever did. I feel grateful and fortunate to be able to pull it off.

Although I must say taking care of children, while lovely, isn’t exactly retiring. You’ll be very busy. The best kind of busy. Enjoy.


(12,157 posts)
7. Freddie, I have been retired 3 years come February.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 08:01 AM
Nov 2018

I can really understand you angst about the prospect of retiring. While there are no guarantees about what the future will lay at your doorstep it sounds like you are in a very good place to retire with finance, health insurance along with grandchildren and volunteer activities to give your life structure. That last bit is really important. It is amazing how much of our sense of ourselves centers around our employment.

It's your choice as it was for me. I am grateful that I could choose without too much burden financially and otherwise. It has never been a problem for me to keep busy. I will throw one thing into the scales. Your workplace will survive without you. They will have to make adjustments but will probably do okay. These grandchildren is a whole 'nother thang. Already the eldest is speeding towards an age where they become more and more independent. It happens so fast. Becoming their caregiver you will give them a great gift and receive one even greater in return.

That's all this grandpa has got for you either than prayers and wishing you well.


(5,223 posts)
9. Of your gut says yes
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 08:24 AM
Nov 2018

Go for it! We retired in our 50s to rekindle us after raising a big family. Best thing we ever did! Trust your instincts and enjoy that time with grandchildren that you'd miss if working.


(6,926 posts)
11. I retired 3 years ago.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 08:35 AM
Nov 2018

It has been a wonderful decision. I did not take on a big job of being a caregiver for 3 grandchildren but I imagine it will be greatly rewarding.
You are giving your daughter a wonderful gift.


(12,372 posts)
13. The last paragraph says it all. Do it.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 08:38 AM
Nov 2018

Regarding S.S., if you are living on your present salary, you don't need S.S.

When you collect your pension, you don't pay into S.S., medicare, unemployment and so forth. Your take-home pay will be about the same as you take home, now.

HOWEVER, there was a plan that may still exist. That is where you collect S.S. and put it in C.D.'s until age 69 and 11 months. Then pay back the ss and collect full benefits calculated at age 70. Then you keep the interest.

If you want to do this, check to make sure it is still an option.


(1,366 posts)
16. My understanding
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 08:52 AM
Nov 2018

is that you only have one year after starting to receive SS payments to be able to use the payback option. Couldn't do it at age 69 if you start at 62.


(54,349 posts)
14. You're doing the right thing!
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 08:41 AM
Nov 2018

Everyone's situation is different, but if this feels right for you, and constitutes no financial burden, I can't think of one reason to do it any differently.

My wife retired 6 years ago at age 60, and even though all she gets is a lousy €850 (less than $1000) a month for her pension, I still work (we're the same age), and can make up the difference. Our two kids are scattered (one in New York City, one in Frankfurt), and there's only one grandchild between them. I figure I'll retire in 14 years or so (I was thinking age 85, but I've decided on 80). My job takes me to a different country practically every day, but my wife has just as much to do in retirement as she did when she was working. With three grandchildren, I suspect you will, too!



(7,142 posts)
15. I went at 63, in Pa.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 08:49 AM
Nov 2018

I get a pension, Social Security at an 80% reduction because I went early, and I have investment income.

Let me tell you something, please read, Pa. doesn't tax old folks, although you are not that old yet.
Pa. does not tax my pension, doesn't tax my Social Security, (don't know if they treat yours differently), doesn't tax my disbursements from my investment income. If you have an IRA or whatever when you hit 70 1/2 years old, which I did, you need to take out from your IRA.

Pa. doesn't tax old folks, but it is #1 in gasoline tax.


(9,259 posts)
21. My parents were retired teachers
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:10 AM
Nov 2018

So I know PA does not tax pensions or SS. My dad actually collected his PSERS retirement for more years than he taught school (retired at 60, died at 92). If Wolf had lost the election I would probably not be doing this, as I sure wouldn’t trust the Trash Man with not screwing around with our pensions.
Yeah our gas taxes are high but the wage tax (3.07%) has not gone up since the Rendell admin.


(4,828 posts)
19. Only you know if retiring is right
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:00 AM
Nov 2018

I glean from your post that you have a couple of competing issues - the word you gave to your boss and the promise you made to your daughter. These are less about you and more about others. I hope I am wrong and I hope you didn't put yourself in a position of having to make a decision without mentally preparing for the consequences.

Do what meets your needs and desires.


(9,259 posts)
22. I only told my boss I'd give her plenty of notice
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:27 AM
Nov 2018

2+ months seems like lots of notice to me. I was probably going to retire at the end of the school year but my new granddaughter pushed it up a bit.


(4,828 posts)
25. Gotcha.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:56 AM
Nov 2018

Don't know the job market for your position, but 2 months sounds like plenty of time to me as well. Do you fear your employer will see differently?

If you were thinking retirement at the end of the school year you are deciding between working 2 months or 6-7 months. If I understand the issues correctly, for me it would be an easy decision. I'd retire in 2


(34,373 posts)
20. Go for it. I retired at 59 and haven't regretted it for a minute. I miss seeing my friends at
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:09 AM
Nov 2018

work on a daily basis, but not enough to regret retiring. The freedom is wonderful. It's been 3.5 years, and I love it, especially this morning, lol. It's snowing like mad and it isn't supposed to let up until about noon, then scattered snow this afternoon. I can just curl up on the couch with my two spoiled rescue felines, grateful I don't have to venture out on the first big snow day in Michigan. Enjoy it--you never know what tomorrow may bring.


(6 posts)
23. I retired last June and have never looked back.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:31 AM
Nov 2018

Go ahead and do it. Before i retired, I was given all these messages about how bored I would be. It's been almost six months and I am loving it. You are fortunate to be able to help out your daughter and still live a good life. I have found that being with the grandkids is priceless. So, do it. You won't look back. And your grandkids will have memories of their time with grandma that will last their lifetimes. Don't listen to the naysayers. Retirement is awesome!!


(3,433 posts)
24. Well, since you asked...
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:43 AM
Nov 2018

... and have already considered your POV. Here's mine.

1) do what you want, but

2) kids getting sick can be good for the immune system

3) daycare is good for learning and building social bonding


(9,259 posts)
26. I am not opposed to daycare at all
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:57 AM
Nov 2018

My own kids went there and my 4 year old grandson does now. Daughter and son-in-law had a patchwork of daycare, the oldest in school and me picking her up at the bus stop every day, plus for a while SIL was a SAHD. The main concern for them is $$, as daycare is truly $$$ for an infant. Baby was a borderline preemie so we’re all concerned about germs (daughter is an RN) although I’m sure her siblings will bring home plenty. Will probably keep the 4 yo in daycare 2 days/week (he loves it) and baby will go to preschool eventually.
I am NOT cleaning and cooking for them. I’ll do the laundry, a job I really don’t mind.



(4,516 posts)
29. I retired at 70. Just went back to work at 72.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 10:05 AM
Nov 2018

I am healthy and look younger than my age. My wife is 17 yrs younger than me and still works.

I have a pension and social security and now an additional salary. I was getting bored and thought I could be making money rather than sitting around the house. I am an accountant.

So I have no illnesses and Medicare and am taking in more money than before.

I will retire again in a few years at maybe tomorrow what ever feels right.


(29,704 posts)
30. Being with your grandchildren is the best work
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 10:31 AM
Nov 2018

you can do. YOu will shape the next generation of young minds and the task is awesome in both rewards and responsibilities. I don't think you will ever be sad for ditching the corp world for the living one.

My dear friend did this when her grandchildren were born and those children are going to be really wonderful adults on the planet.

Here's a happy dance for you!

Edit to add: Why not retire end of December and give yourself a month to acclimate. It's a different world and it does take adjustment!


(9,259 posts)
31. I do payroll
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 11:01 AM
Nov 2018

Going to take them through 1 more W2 and year-end tax filing season. I think I’m going to miss the cycles of the job - pay periods, quarter-end, etc. Or not.


(29,704 posts)
33. Yes, you could not leave them now
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 11:19 AM
Nov 2018

People everywhere would be gnashing and wailing and begging you to stay! Well, then the timing works out perfectly.

You'll miss it like a sore tooth. Your mind will niggle on it and then one day you wake up and realize you are free to reinvent yourself. Of course, reinventing takes time and now you'll have it.


(26,259 posts)
32. I retired on my very first day of eligibility
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 11:09 AM
Nov 2018

My plan was to work for at least another 3 years, but circumstances convinced me that it was time. My work place was increasingly hostile (thanks to just one very vile individual), AND the company was about to be swallowed up by another plan. My job would have been secure, due to union seniority, but once the existing contract ended, it was anyone's guess what would happen to pay and benefits (both were cut).

People asked me if I was worried about becoming bored. HA!! The company asked me to come back and temp in my old job, for 3 months, and I agreed. They guaranteed that I would be 'protected' from the horrible individual and I could pick my hours. None the less, by the end of the first week, I was counting the days until my life would be my own, again. It was work that bored me. Retirement is freedom.


(13,892 posts)
34. Family first
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 11:20 AM
Nov 2018

When I retired it was like jumping off a cliff and it all came out ok... Take care of the kids, help your daughter have fun!!! Sounds like you deserve it..


(11,911 posts)
35. Go for it! It sounds like you have a great plan.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 01:44 PM
Nov 2018

Being involved in outside activities to get some adult friend time is good. My feeling is to take advantage of retirement as early as possible. I plan to, but it will have to wait until our son is through college. My Dad (a total workaholic with no hobbies) retired late and had only one good year with my mother before he took sick. Mom as caretaker lasted a year. Like quite a few have said, you never knows what lies ahead. Live life to the fullest you can at any given moment.

My Mom watched both of our kids until they got to be 2-3 yr old, than they went into the local daycare to start socializing and pre-school. It helped not having them spread out across the city, and to this day, my daughter feels closer to my Mom rather than hubby's mom. Quality time spent and relationships built that will last a lifetime.

Sending prayers, good thoughts, and best wishes!


(4,242 posts)
36. Thank you so much for this thread. I'm ready to retire, but not ready to retire.
Mon Nov 26, 2018, 09:01 PM
Nov 2018

Been working since I was 16, and it's a shock. One of my young co-workers commented about my "golden ticket", but it's scary to me. This thread is very informative and reassuring.


(9,259 posts)
37. It is scary, isn't it?
Tue Nov 27, 2018, 03:04 AM
Nov 2018

Now that I’ve put the decision in motion I’m numb. Going to sink in gradually I guess. I’m also the first person in our close group of friends to retire, which doesn’t help. This discussion here on DU and the responses has made actually going through with it a LOT easier, and I’m way more sure I’ve done the right thing. Thank you all!


(14,889 posts)
38. Congratulations! You've taken the first step.
Tue Nov 27, 2018, 08:05 AM
Nov 2018

My boss cried when I told her of my retirement plans! She was the best boss that I ever had.

I enjoyed my job too, but I knew that it was time to move on. Do no regret my decision at all, and I know that you won't either.

Good luck on a new chapter of your life. You'll truly enrich your grandchildren's upbringing!

Response to Freddie (Original post)

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