To retire or not

Just had an interesting conversation with my financial adviser who says I can now finish work if I want to. At 55 just a bit too young to just stop and to honest and bit of a shock to the system . So what to do next get the golf clubs out or find something else a little less strenuous than working in the steel works.

Oh, don’t know whether to congratulate you or not.

Well done, you must have a nice pension pot and saved hard over the years.

Not so good for me in that I would really miss work and the people I work with.

I’m lucky I work in a school so get school holidays. However my daughters have left home and my friends work full time so no one to play with. Mind I do keep myself busy.

Hope you’ve got some hobbies, you mentioned golf and you could get a part time job or you could do some voluntary work.

Think you’ll need a while to think about it, it’s quite a big leap. Also don’t forget people will think, if you’ve retired, that you’re 65!! but you won’t have a bus pass. ha.


Yes i would miss having something to get out of bed for, will probably think long and hard about it.

Doesn’t really sound like you are fully ready for retirement! could you cut down the hours/days and work part time and slowly wind it down to get used to the idea? A guy I knew was past the age he could take his company pension but was carrying on.The norm seems to be that they arrange to retire about a year in advance at this firm. However he left a team meeting not liking something said by a senior manager(which they insisted was not aimed at him) and after firing back his thoughts stormed out and was annoyed all day, went home, spoke to wife and dug out contract and then wrote his resignation with the minimum 1 month notice period as per contract!(this an unusual ending after 30+ years at a place!) Its a nice position to be in to know you can go at anytime you feel like it I would think? I have also noticed that its nearly impossible to judge who is going to like retirement and who will be bored, often the most reluctant seem to take to it better and love it straight away and the people who hate being at work, do as little as possible and cant wait to retire find it does their heads in and are looking for work again a few months later!

Yes it will be nice that I can leave after giving one month notice.I’ve recently dropped down shift levels going from 20 shifts which involves working 12 hour days and nights including weekend to working days( 8 ) Monday to Friday. So it’s like semi retirement all ready

Mostly, the people I know have managed to fill up their lives after retirement. The ongoing joke is always ‘how did I ever find time to work?’

So if you do manage to take your early retirement, just enjoy the golf and other pursuits. My OH goes to the gym most days and there’s actually a gang of retired chaps who meet up for morning tea, gossip (they wouldn’t call it that) and a bit of exercise. They even go out on a Christmas lunch together.

Mr Sssue also discovered once he’d finished work just how much sport is on TV in the daytime! The cycling goes on all Spring and Summer, then there’s the cricket! And countless other sports.

And because we are both at home, we’ve made quite a nice life of little outings and occasional lunches, etc.

Alternatively, there’s always volunteer work.


Congratulations on reaching the milestone and having the choice open to you on next steps.

I also had choice given and decided to go at 55, which I duly did and haven’t looked back since.

Sounds like I hadn’t enjoyed my job (project engineer), but actually I really enjoyed it (28 years in total) - I just always knew I wanted to do other things in life as well.

In fairness the company approached a number of us ‘early starters’ (as we were known by our employee/salary numbers) where they said they could give each of us three basic choices

  1. Stay working as long as we wanted, or felt capable ← there is/was no legal age requirement to retire any more.They also didn’t really want to lose the experience we held

  2. Semi-retire by working fewer hours, and also possibly changing role to become internal mentors for the younger staff in the company

  3. Fully retire, and they would provide a retirement course to help if felt necessary

Knowing I wanted to go at 55 I went (& I took the retirement course as well!). Good thing about the course was it helped us leavers define what we enjoyed (or not!) about our work, and helped clarify if it was role, social, or task related, or a mixture. On knowing this each person then had a basis on which to build their future thinking in retirement.

Interestingly with ‘Brexit’ occurring, the company have approached (18 months later) with the opportunity for us all to return as ‘contractors’ if we wanted as they can’t find the experienced staff they now need. I continue still happily retired similar to most others but there were 2 that took up the return offer (mainly for financial reasons to support their children I understand in speaking with them).

Anyway whatever you decide it’s a very personal choice and not an easy one - but for me I’m glad I did what I did, and could genuinely do with life slowing down a bit again!

I have just left full time work at age 54. I’ve had MS for over 20 years and up until 2 years ago the MS wasn’t really a factor. I work in the finance industry so sitting on my bum either on the computer or in client meetings, so my physical limitations thankfully weren’t an issue. I worked for the same firm for 25 years and had a senior position.

However, the last 2 years have been a huge struggle. Worked full time some months, part time some months, off sick off and on for about 1/2 the time.

Explored various options with the firm, who were very good to deal with and concluded that leaving was the best option. I am very fortunate to have built up a reasonable pension and the firm made me a very fair severance offer.

There are a few consultancy and other work related projects that I can do and I’ll do as much or as little as I want.

I have hardly worked in the last 6 months and the time off has allowed me to recover somewhat and to handle the fatigue so much better (it’s easy to manage the fatigue when you don’t have to get up for work every day and don’t have to be “up” for work every day. The time off has also enabled me to do so much more (gentle) exercising which I didn’t have time for or the energy for before. The time off has also allowed to slowly decide what was right for me.

In the last couple of months, I’ve been walking in the swimming pool at least twice a week, going to MS chair based exercises once or twice a week and going to MS yoga now and then. I’ve been to physio more times in the last year than I have in the last 10 years combined.

I’ve been using a wheelchair for almost two years and for just over a year have been heavily reliant on it. My goal for 2018 is to become much less reliant on the chair and not working will give the chance to do everything I need to do to at least give this a chance.

I know everyone’s circumstances are different and you must do what feels right for you. My only advice is take plenty of time to decide what you want to do, especially if your chosen decision is an irreversible one.


There’s always value in having options, and that is a nice one to have whether you choose to retire now or later. At any rate, enjoy the fact that you are officially no longer a wage slave without the option!


It’s nice to have the choice I’m off on sick due to a slight relapse before Christmas I’m due to go back on the 16th 2 day’s before my birthday. That’s when all my new opptions start will be a strange feeling after 39 year’s of having to go to work.

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I just retired a year ago at 61, worked in a cement plant and did 12 hr shifts, been symptom free for 10 years after taking a batch of steroids, I always said the day I lose interest in the job is the day I need to retire, but I am now into a relapse and thinking maybe I should have retired sooner, it’s a scary thing for the first 6 months, but you do get used to it and it is very enjoyable, get lots of ice fishing and quadding done,lol

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So Neilfdobbo, no stressful ESA Work Capability Assessments for you?

If you can afford it then I would do it. I do suggest you look carefully at your finances, it’s ok your advisor saying you can take your pension but is your pension enough to take you through to receiving the state pension and beyond. You will no longer pay NI through your salary but if not receiving benefits you must ensure they are kept up to date. You will have tax to pay if your pension takes you over the threshold.

I retired due to my health almost four years ago I wish I had done it sooner.

Jan x

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The choice has been made for me really. I had needed to reduce my hours at work. My line manger made a second referral Occupational Health. The first had been made when I first informed that I had dx of RRMS. MS was confirmed in 2015 following MRI scan. This was following a relapse where major symptom was Optic Neuritis. That was at the age of 61. The response to second referral came back with recommendation of Ill Health Retirement. My line manager’s reaction was, and I quote “you don’t do yourself any favours, you never go off sick”. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I can see now that I obviously should not have struggled on! It got to a point where I could not carry on. I went to see my GP who promptly signed my off sick. Long story cut short… I have been off sick since April 2017. I am being finished on ill health grounds (had someone from union with me at all meetings and they advised my to accept dismissal in ill health grounds). I am member of Local Authority pension scheme and I have signed paperwork agreeing to my health professionals being contacted with a view to get pension paid accordingly.

My state retirement age is not till 2021. I am one of the WASPI women.angry

Just to add - while I have been off I have received my official letter from Local Authority thanking me for 15 years loyal service etc. It is now in a frame and I refer to it as my confirmation of being certifiably insane.cheeky


Only gone and done it handed in my notice i finish end of March can’t wait


Great News!

Well done. I hope all goes well for you.

Join the club!

There’s more to life than work.

We have a mate who gave up work at 55 and now he don’t know how he found the time to go to work. He is always doing something, he has a motor home and often has weeks or weekends away. Unfortunately he lost his wife 2 years ago but they had several years of being able to ENJOY his early retirement. He will be here probably tomorrow we spend a pot of time with him. He would tell you Give up and have fun.



I feel a lot better now I’ve actually done it but what’s really strange is family and friends are all sergesing jobs that I could do.