How did / do you prepare for retirement?

Rusty Blade

Forum GOD!
Retirement is on the near (or far depending on the day) horizon for I ask this question of everyone I meet who has retired: How or did you prepare yourself for retirement? How have you adjusted to retirement? Did you leap cold turkey? Or ease yourself out? Some I meet have adjusted easily...others seem like they are struggling. Some of the folks I talk to about retirement planning said their workplace focused too much on the money part and not enough on the part after retirement, in other words what are you going to do with all this time? What say you?


Grumpy old man
I had a company pension plan but started saving for retirement in a private plan the year I started work. That took care of the financial end. I knew I was going to do nothing when I retired but what I wanted to do even if that was nothing. Retired 1 year early at 56 on a reduced company pension and have enjoyed what I want when I want ever since. I do not feel an overwhelming urge to be a productive/contributing member of society like getting another job to keep busy and feel useful. I have done my time at that and now it is somebody else's worry. Feels good to be a useless git. :happy:



Forum DOG!
Staff member
I've got 24 years to go but I can't wait, I have a list of books that I want to read, movies and TV shows that I want to watch, leisure activities that I want to do more of all of which I don't currently have enough time for. A couple of years back I was off work for a month after an operation on my elbow, I had no trouble at all filling my days and didn't want to go back.

I'm now able to work four days a week which is great, and I'm hoping to drop another in a couple of years.


Forum GOD!
My wife and I have only just turned thirty so my answer to this question is very much financial.

We have thirty-eight years to go until we can access our DB (NHS and Teacher Pension Scheme) pensions - without ARB for taking early. That’s if future governments don’t push the normal retirement age back beyond 68. Our financial planning disregards the state pension since there’s no guarantee that we will be entitled to them in the late 2050s, despite our NI contributions. We are also discounting inheritance.

Our current strategy is to salary sacrifice our way back down the basic tax limit to make use of the higher rate tax break on pension contributions. This is currently through DB pension contributions but I’ll soon be considering SIPPs for greater flexibility. The Lifetime Allowance may possibly become an issue for me (currently Assistant Headteacher of a state secondary) and will probably be an issue for my wife (GP) if we intend to contribute into our sixties.

Along with other savings goals like replacing cars and mortgage overpayments, we’re also putting money into S&S ISAs with a view to this funding the gap between early retirement and NPA. These are 100% in equities since we’re measuring our ‘accumulation’ timeframe in decades! As we move forwards in life - kids, house moves etc - we’ll change our investment focuses and strategies.

Now, in terms of what we would actually do when we get to retire, and our health allows it, I’m sure it’ll involve travel. Neither of us did a ‘gap year’ and I’ve only once been outside of Europe. I’m certain that my wife will be gardening-mad (she already is) when given the chance to dedicate herself to it. As a history teacher by training, I see myself volunteering in a National Trust property or similar. I’ll probably do a lot of hill walking and trekking when I can. I look at some retired friends and ex-colleagues and see them on the slow decline - I don’t want that.


Forum GOD!
Staff member
Love reading threads like this, great source of info. Retirement isn't anywhere close, we are both 34. Mortgage payments/over-payments as well as saving for the future, kids being on our mind, as we are getting older. I would love to run a fishing excursion or beach bar when retired. Can't see myself doing nothing but I suppose time will tell. I would also like to learn several languages and write poetry once retired. May even be living on another planet by then!


Forum GOD!
I somewhat got lucky that I was able to retire at age 50, normally that would have been 56 but the ministry of defense decided to give some folks the chance to retire early with a loss of around 100 euro's a month (I paid more on gas to get to work) and full pension when reaching age 56.

I'm lucky in that my wife was already accustomed to me being home during the day since I worked nightshifts during the week and 24hour shifts on weekend days during my last years in the service. That seems to be a problem for some folks, being around each other constantly.

The first year I worked security during festivals and at the discotheques (did that as second job when still in the army) but low and behold the year after I had to pay so much extra taxes that it's actually better to do nothing at all :o_o:, the few $$ that you're left with are not worth it IMHO.

But don't worry about filling all that free time, I had a very busy life before pension and now I even have less time :)