Join Date: Dec 2005
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Part of the challenge for those of us considering early retirement (in our mid-fifties) is the need to plan ahead reasonably for a lifetime that could last to 85 or 90. Making assumptions about inflation, interest rates, potential stock market gains, and the cost of a retirement lifestyle is not easy.
In our case, our four kids have all left home and while not fully established, are doing fairly well. We still see the need to be prepared for periodic financial support to help out in an unforeseen crisis, or for weddings and other events to come.
While I will have a decent pension from my job, my wife has been self-employed and will have no retirement income other than Canada Pension (about $5,000 when she turns 60 in 8 years) and Old Age Security (another $5,000 at age 65). We have been saving/investing for the last ten years, and when we downsize our house, that will add to our retirement fund.
After drafting many budgets and revising the spreadsheets, I'm reasonably confident that we can retire next summer with a modest but comfortable lifestyle--sailing our 30 foot sailboat, living in a condo on Vancouver Island, and periodic international travel.
But I continue to be tempted to work just a few months longer to increase the pension "just in case", and have that nagging concern that my assumptions may not be quite accurate over the many years ahead and we may be left short. My wife reassures me that we can always cut back a bit on the budget or earn some extra money--and I agree on good days when the boat beckons.
But I must say, it's one of the toughest decisions I've faced in a long time. I guess we'll figure it out....or just take the plunge when we decide the timing is right.