Dropping out

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  • Has anyone here reached middle age with a well paid job and decided they couldnt put up the system any more? Over the years ive cut my hair, worn a collar and tie, worked my way up the chain, had a mortgage, family etc but yearned for the life i should have been leading. Like the boiled frog ive got used to my circumstances but enough is enough. Ive sold the house, cleared my debts and am living in my truck but still have the well paid job. However, the workload keeps increasing and its not going to get any easier. I could take early retirement next year when i turn 55 and have enough of a pension to get by with a small part time job and id get a decent lump sum as well, about £25k. To a lot of people the decision is probably obvious but id be sacrificing about 25% of my pension by going early. Has anyone else here had a similar choice? If so what did they do and did they regret it? Help! :-)

  • I am not in your position, but my experience may offer something. The decision was more or less made for me by three things happening.


    I was made redundant from a good local authority job I had held for thirteen years. I could have looked for another job or have gone back into a school as a class teacher, but decided to continue making music independently and on my own terms. Of course my pension has been frozen at where it arrived in 1998 and my annual earnings are a fraction of what I had been earning.


    My marriage finally fell apart and I let her have everything while I moved in with my father temporarily ...


    Temporarily became eight years as I became his carer and only ended when he died from cancer about two and a half years ago. This led to his house being sold from under me for about 80% of the valuation and I was eventually given just two days' notice to get out.


    Any one of these could have resulted in bad things happening and, of course, the events themselves and the times surrounding them were pretty awful at the time.


    My income was not enough to sustain paying even a modest rent and a mortgage was out of the question. My partner helped me buy the narrowboat on which I now live. I have been steadily working on reducing my outgoings to match my means and life feels very good indeed. I now only need to work a couple of days a week on average and am finally able to spend more time writing and composing.


    Moi, je ne regrette rien.

  • Interesting... the dilema of following what people consider "the dream" or sticking with the "norm".
    Sometimes our hands are dealt (and played) for us.
    Only you BF can make your choice on what to do--but of course...other folks, esp on here can be a decent barometer of what might be a good idea etc.
    Me... 55yrs old--- worked from leaving school...occassional spells on the sausage--inevitable in sales..... never considered a pension of any sorts...my "hippy" feelings have always been there--y`know that side of things...but I`ve conformed in terms of soceity...often longing for that "escape"--but responsibilities...children etc.
    So now.... I`ve got jack shit..everything went tits up with last wife...returned to my home town with abs jack-shit...and thats how it remains.
    I have a rented house...so roof over me knapper...but no job and life on a daily basis is somewhat of a struggle.
    So... lets hyperthetically... compare... you wanna swap?
    Could you just piss off...leave whatever you might have wherever you are...just go...bugger off...on a whim?
    I cant...I dont have the spunk now.
    Maybe you should consider "dipping yer toe in"...whatever that might entail... try something...
    Me... whilst i have fuck all.... I do have the safety net of a roof over my head...and thats huge for me.
    Ey.... do you need a cook and a mentor?
    I`m easily pleased.......
    But look---go with your heart...fuck 25% of yer pension or whatever.
    Good Luck either way.
    xx
    den

  • I'm 52 & chucked in my well paid job in March of this year. Taken my reduced pension and am loving every second :D


    I was crushing myself under the workload (senior database geek in the NHS) and had several bouts of depression. In the last 18 months I've lost 2 sisters & 1 brother, all in their 50's. All of the above screamed at me to get out, so I did. All it took was a little planning & a good dose of courage, helped in many ways by just browsing through these very forums!


    I converted the mortgage to an interest only offset (with First Direct). We've rented 2 rooms in the house to lodgers which pays all the bills and gives us the freedom to come & go as we please without having to mess about with agencies, etc (spareroom.co.uk is good for that bit). We've just bought a grown up motorhome (selling Bob, our lovely LDV because she's too small for 3 people long term). We've researched & made contact with lots of people who home-school their kids, went to see the headmaster & Ali is finishing school on 26th Sept, ready for us to head up to Scotland to see Dawn's family then off to Turkey for the winter - where we can live very nicely on my reduced pension. The plan is to come back in April but we all know what happens to plans...


    It's taken a while to adjust - I guess I went through a grieving process around work. We get a lot of our self esteem from being good at our jobs and need to be prepared to find it in other ways. Sometimes I fret about money, but we have what we need. If we have to stay put for a couple of weeks because there's not enough money for diesel then we stay put - what's the rush? Shopping at the end of the day means cheap fruit & veg. Ali described Dawn as a vulture, hanging round the reduced shelf in the supermarket! Making bread, jam, etc is far more economical than buying it and you know exactly what goes into it.


    As Janis said, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose...

  • I'm the same age as den. Similar in that I worked since leaving school with the nigh on inevitable bits on the dole. I was working on the trains as a conductor for 11 years until I was medically retired. Struggled to get really well ever since...got a few long term health issues that are under control as best they can be.
    Currently trying to become a reiki therapist,having fully qualified, but have apparently messed up the start up loan application ,so have to do more on that. Also just starting an O.U. course............
    Same as den I really,really wish I could just go off somewhere,at times, but just don't have the self confidence that I could do it....a lack of self confidence is a curse for me.
    But, having said that, that's me......if you really,really want to do it, then you'll find a way,no doubt at times you'll wonder "Why the fuck am I doing this ?" but other times everything will just be so good
    Guess come the end you're the only on who can decide......good luck with whatever you do x :thumbup:

  • Was in same boat and at the age of 40 I quit houses got a bus and not looked back since! My advice is simple, do it while your health allows as you never know what's round the corner.

  • I had this choice when made redundant 2 1/2 years ago at age 51 , the lump sums paid the mortgage, the pension options - well in the end I went for lump sum with the rest paid into the mortgage pot - the difference in pension was only about 1k a year, and I figured the extra time of recieving the pension was worth it (I calculated that after 25 years I would start being worse off as that was how long it would have taken for the other options to catch up and overtake the option I chose) unfortunately the pension was not quite enough to live on so I was eating into my savings, so I got what would have been the ideal job, working from home part time - the problem here was that it was a zero hours contract where I was only paid the hours I worked, I calculated that I only needed 20 hours work a month to tide me over - unfortunately this didnt come and after recieving just 1 1/2 hours work in the first 5 months of the year I had to drop back into full time work, the job I got is good, but a huge chunk of my wages go in fuel to drive the 165 miles a day round trip to work (my expertise is in a very limited field with only about 8 companies in the country, and I have exhausted the local opportunities) I did try for similar work, but was overqualified for the posts available. The only advantage I had was that I could accept lower wages than I had been getting as I still have the pension, and take the hit with the travel costs. The redundancy paid my mortgage off so that is another big expense I dont have.
    Given the opportunity I would go back to a part time job working from home (as long as it paid enough and guaranteed enough hours a month for me to pay the bills), I do enjoy the work I do, not the travel so much, but the freedom afforded by a part time job and working from home were enjoyable, working with a cat sat on your lap or draped across your shoulders isa very calm way to work, and part time allows for more hours spent on the allotment keeping fresh veg on the table - my allotment has suffered from my lack of attention to it since I started the new job, a few hours at the weekend dont make up for an hour a day spent pottering.
    Grendel

  • sorry to be boring but to lose 25% of your pension which will be for the rest of your life is a lot of money to lose

    but you get it paid for longer, its a game of chance on how long you live drawing your pension - for me I will be better off for at least 25 years, plus it gave the chance to pay off the mortgage early (the saving on the interest alone will outweigh the reduction in the pension for many more years) you have to do your sums and work it out over the longer term, yes I would have got more by waiting for my pension, but I would have spent all that time paying my mortgage, when you factor in these payments, the loss of pension becomes negligable.
    Grendel

  • Ive spoken to student finance and they would pay for a degree course and give me about six grand a year in loans and grants! So plan A is to work until next september then take the reduced pension and lump sum and live as a student and maybe get a part time job. Plan B is find a rich young babe you likes older men and preferably owns a brewery. Plan C is to carry on working for a while longer but cut back on the hours if possible and chill out more.......

  • hotrodjay

    Quote

    Was in same boat and at the age of 40 I quit houses got a bus and not looked back since! My advice is simple, do it while your health allows as you never know what's round the corner.

    ... spotted you on bank holiday monday m1 northbound m18 jct...about 11 am... i had to turn off onto m18 on route for hull...:insane::thumbup:

  • Ive spoken to student finance and they would pay for a degree course and give me about six grand a year in loans and grants! So plan A is to work until next september then take the reduced pension and lump sum and live as a student and maybe get a part time job. Plan B is find a rich young babe you likes older men and preferably owns a brewery. Plan C is to carry on working for a while longer but cut back on the hours if possible and chill out more.......


    Stop stealing my ideas, plan b is mine

  • I am not much of a thinker about this stuff i rather just get on with life.
    The time spend wondering "what if" just aint worth loosing.
    I rather spend time creating experiences and memories .
    Regrets i have none as such. Mistakes i have made plenty but hey we learn from them...


    Get up and do what u think is best today, if that works but ain't any good for tomorrow then just do something else.


    Have a nice day

  • Hi Boiled Frog,


    I'm 43, was in a well paid job which I hated, just had a bout of depression which I've now pulled out of , hopefully. I worked in the same industry for around the last 15 years but was never happy and always down. Often put that down to my employers (all very Corporate) and just switched between similar roles trying to be happy which never seemed to happen. Left school at 16, was brought up to believe that you worked hard for your employer and you get on....I think my parents forgot to mention playing the office politics game bit...which really isn't me. Anyway I digress.....Just left the job, have no pension or savings to speak of and have just started an access course with a view to doing a degree. Soooo much happier already, though money is obviously an issue. I've just put my notice in with my landlord and am now looking for a vehicle, probably horsebox / motocross based to live in. I suppose in some ways I'm lucky that I'm on my own and have no kids or other responsibilities, that makes things a little easier. Yes, people definitely need to think about pensions and the whole money thing, though I know some people have worked really hard all of their lives to either not be healthy enough to enjoy their retirement (as in my father's case) or not able to because they didn't make it to retirement age.


    I guess it's a personal thing, people sometimes need to have a good old hard think and workout what's best. I'm certainly not saying chuck it all in, just that for me personally I couldn't keep playing a game that I didn't want to play any longer.


    Good luck. :)

  • I feel very similar Coose.
    I was a builder and decorator until the depression thing hit me recently, fortunately like you with no dependents.
    In my working life I covered my costs with a little money to spare, but never saved a penny.
    During my working day I quietly observed people in the offices and businesses I was unfortunate enough sometimes to be working on, and could never quite believe that they turned up to endure such mental torture. There was political back-biting, subtle condescending, one-upmanship, alpha-males and females busy crushing the already fragile self-esteem of their victims, tantrums, sulks, hopelessness and tedium, yet they still arrived for work at 8am every day, sometimes weekends too, to carry out the most futile, pointless tasks imaginable. Is that why our parents gave us life, and nurtured us so wonderfully?
    I'm now selling off all the crappy necessities I collected over four decades of frustration, and preparing to go and see what my lovely country is like, and maybe other parts of the world. My van is tiny, a Ford Transit, with shower, cooker, loo, bed, telly, and heating, and it is all I need, 8' x 6'. The world is huge, beautiful and exciting, so my main living room is 25,000 miles x 25,000 miles (roughly).
    It is a crime not to go out for at least part of your life and enjoy taking it all in, and whilst nobody can see it all, there's no harm in trying.
    With a bit of luck you will now reap the dividends of years spent enriching someone else, and start enriching yourself and those you meet along the way. I hope you have a tremendous new life mate, and all the luck in the world.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Has anyone here reached middle age with a well paid job and decided they couldnt put up the system any more? Over the years ive cut my hair, worn a collar and tie, worked my way up the chain, had a mortgage, family etc but yearned for the life i should have been leading. Like the boiled frog ive got used to my circumstances but enough is enough. Ive sold the house, cleared my debts and am living in my truck but still have the well paid job. However, the workload keeps increasing and its not going to get any easier. I could take early retirement next year when i turn 55 and have enough of a pension to get by with a small part time job and id get a decent lump sum as well, about £25k. To a lot of people the decision is probably obvious but id be sacrificing about 25% of my pension by going early. Has anyone else here had a similar choice? If so what did they do and did they regret it? Help! :-)


    Hello Boiled Frog. For what it's worth, here's my twopenny worth.
    I'm delighted for you that you can opt out and start enjoying life. Take the lump sum, reduce your outgoings by not buying 'stuff' and supporting this unacceptable system, and go off to see just how wonderful everything looks when it isn't tainted by the 'back to work' Sword of Damocles hanging over your head. You've supported the system that you don't appreciate for too long already, and you don't have to do it any more. My pal just dropped dead at 60, and it should be a wake-up call to everyone that the ride finishes before you expect it to. Don't be fooled into thinking that because retirement age is 65 you will be guaranteed 25 years of subsequent enjoyment - it may not work out like that. Please start living while you are fit enough to enjoy it. Dave.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Hello Boiled Frog. For what it's worth, here's my twopenny worth.
    I'm delighted for you that you can opt out and start enjoying life. Take the lump sum, reduce your outgoings by not buying 'stuff' and supporting this unacceptable system, and go off to see just how wonderful everything looks when it isn't tainted by the 'back to work' Sword of Damocles hanging over your head. You've supported the system that you don't appreciate for too long already, and you don't have to do it any more. My pal just dropped dead at 60, and it should be a wake-up call to everyone that the ride finishes before you expect it to. Don't be fooled into thinking that because retirement age is 65 you will be guaranteed 25 years of subsequent enjoyment - it may not work out like that. Please start living while you are fit enough to enjoy it. Dave.


    That will save me writing all that ,


    Couldn't agree more :thumbup:

  • Hi there lionheart, anychace of a pic of the insides of your van? Cant believe how much youve got into a swb tranny


    Ha ha, Hi Pyke13. Yes, I'll try taking a couple now and see how it works out. The shower/loo takes up quite a bit of room and the bed is a single. There isn't much room for dancing, but it feels nice travelling along knowing that I'm not carting a lot of wasted space with me. The winter can be a bit claustrophobic, but then I'm planning on spending more time in countries where the winter isn't as wintery as we endure here in good old Blighty.
    anyway, I'm going to attempt some whizz-kid photography stuff now so please bear with me. BRB.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Hi there lionheart, anychace of a pic of the insides of your van? Cant believe how much youve got into a swb tranny


    Ok Pyke13, I've uploaded a few which hopefully will show a bit of the layout. It's not too easy from photos or video to make out what is where, but if you would like any more please let me know what aspect you'd like it taken from, now I'm confident I can upload photos on here.
    The van has an inside and an outside shower, so on hot days or with muddy dogs the outside one is really convenient. The inside shower/loo has a 5 metre continuous double strip of LEDs running round the top which lights it really well. There's a 70 litre water tank, portapotti, fridge, telly, reading and main lights, 1500w inverter, sink unit, hob and grill, plus catalytic heater and water heater. There are two opening skylights and that side window for ventilation. It's really thickly insulated all over with that plastic-wrapped roofspace fibreglass stuff, so it gets warm very quickly in the winter, and stays cool in the hot weather. I wish it had room for a Julian burner though. I realise it's way too cramped for most people but it does me ok for now.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Lionheart888 ().

  • Totally impressed, not just that you can upload pics!! Lol.
    Cant believe you got such a well kitted out van in such a small space, 8ft by 5 n a bit isnt much space but youve used it well. Has given me a few ideas but think i need a bit bigger. Room to store two mountain bikes, snowboard and all the gear that goes with.
    Cheers for the pics, pyke

  • Whats the walls covered with? it looks warm n fluffy.


    It's artificial fur fabric that I glued (with spray-on adhesive) on to all the walls, ceiling and some cupboard sides. The design is called 'Stepping Stones', although my tabby cat Nobby looks at it a bit suspiciously. You buy rolls of it by the metre on eBay and then just cut it to size and stick it on. It covers up a multitude of sins! I was a young chap in the 70's and 80's when blokes customised their car and van interiors with long fur, often pink, and then illuminated it with red bulbs making it look like a bordello.
    It's great for helping with sound-deadening and also helps a little with insulating I reckon.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • lionheart888 your van is absolutely amazing mate! can't believe how well you have worked the space of such a small van. it wouldn't suit me personally as I have the odd things that need a bit of space but wow good job! and love the funky wall's.