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Early retirement, any regrets?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by eljefeb90, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    I have been looking over an old thread from a few years ago, seeing regular posters who were still in harness and who were discussing their countdown clocks and their hopes, and a few fears, regarding retirement, particularly early retirement.

    Looking back , is there anyone out there who regrets taking the decision to leave early?
  2. Lucy2711

    Lucy2711 Occasional commenter

    In my current position, I shall watch this with interest!
    Dorsetdreams and eljefeb90 like this.
  3. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter


    3 years into 'no longer working as a teacher' and with a few years to go before I take my pension I have come to realise that if I'd started planning in my early 40s rather than towards the end of that decade I could probably have gone even earlier!
  4. HannahD16

    HannahD16 New commenter

    Great thread idea. I’m waiting ...
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    7 years (in 2 weeks) since 'the Great Escape'. In the immortal words of Piaf 'Je ne regrette rien'!!:D
  6. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I do regret retiring early (at 59 in 08/19) but it was forced on me rather than planned due to medical circumstances and me also becoming a carer for my end of life husband who died 2 months after I retired.

    I still miss my role as headteacher but also recognise that it was no longer the job I loved due to politics, etc.

    I think if I had been able to plan it more (not the financial side) I would have been happier although I am starting to accept and live with it more.
  7. meister

    meister New commenter

    Left headship last summer, after 15 years, and given what the school has gone through since - building works throughout the autumn term that caused major disruption, OFSTED in last week before Xmas and now Covid-19 - I am SO glad I got out!!!!
    Particularly when I see the mess the DfE is making of things at the moment and the unjustified slagging off in the media by ‘armchair experts’ (I’m looking at you Mr Wilshaw) of teachers and heads.

    Now enjoying work in a support role in a secondary school and working from home - happy days!!
  8. seasoned

    seasoned New commenter

    I took early retirement in December 2017 aged 57 after 36 years' service. I'm glad I made the decision to go; I enjoyed my career but towards the end I lost motivation and passion for the job and it was time to go. My teaching career is in the past & I now have absolutely no interest or enthusiasm for schools and education related matters; I've done my bit & now it's time for someone else to have a go.... I'm of a ' certain age ' & although I'm healthy at the moment I'm aware that life is very fragile & temporary. I enjoy every day of the next stage of my life ; good times....!!! :)
  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I went a bit early about 10years ago and wasn't given a lot of choice. I had stopped caring about what I had to do although I still enjoyed my class. But this is real life now, being part of the local community and having time to think about my family and friends. Love coming on here and read a bit about educational matters but not much. My years of feeling really involved were in the 80s and 90s.
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I retired about two years ago. Then I retired again this year.
  11. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    Great answers. @meister , your timing was impeccable. It seems you dodged a bullet or three.I have often cycled past my last school where I had been a head of department for 25 years and a teacher governor.
    Surprisingly, perhaps, I feel nothing. Not a sausage. My time there is very much in the rear view mirror and I have a new, and infinitely better life now.
  12. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    can't believe how fast the last two years have gone!!

    went aged 56, wanted to make the most of hopefully "fit and able " years as I am aware how quickly they can disappear.

    I keep fit, rune,cycle, swim, yoga and hillwalking. I keep my brain busy with arts and crafts, u3a, future learn courses. Love cooking from scratch and growing my own produce in the veg plot and polytunnel.

    Love planning the next adventure whether it be a cycle tour or trek.

    Sleeping better.

    The colleagues I called friends, I keep in contact with. Possibly miss the really nicest pupils but not having the less than nice ones tips the balance. Also don't miss the pointless admin stuff, what a waste of life!

    No I am happy to be out
    Lidnod, plot71, Sundaytrekker and 7 others like this.
  13. Baron_Hamstead

    Baron_Hamstead New commenter

    I suppose to some extent the enjoyment of early retirement depends on your financial situation too.

    I retired in June 2017 (when nearly 59.) for a few months then again in April 2020 (at age 61), just in time for lockdown!
    Not feeling too bad at the moment, but its getting monotonous. Only been to the shops several times and try to have a daily walk in the forest. Hopefully in a few months time I will be able to do more.

    Probably spending too much time at the moment sitting around! House is very tidy and the garden spruce!

    Finding motivation a little difficult even for reading. Not a very practical person at all and my hobbies tend to be solitary ones.

    Looking forward to being able to travel again too.
    Lidnod and eljefeb90 like this.
  14. maz403

    maz403 New commenter

    Went in 2016, after 34 years, at 56. No regrets whatsoever. Time for my family and friends . Lots of travel - that will be curtailed for a while I think. New hobbies. No lying awake at night worrying about how to keep up with everything.
    Would do it again in a heartbeat.
  15. Treacle3

    Treacle3 New commenter

    No... is the short answer:D
    jlishman2158, Lidnod and eljefeb90 like this.
  16. FullTiltBoogie

    FullTiltBoogie New commenter

    I’ve had no regrets. I very much enjoyed the job but left three years ago, aged 56, with the aim of enjoying my health while I had it. I was worried I would miss the job, having been a bit of a workaholic, but can honestly say I haven’t. My own recipe for avoiding regrets was to work really hard in the last year so that I could look back on it with satisfaction, and then to move on to study for an MSc immediately on leaving so that I had something else to concentrate on. As many have very helpfully said on this forum, getting your finances sorted is, I think, a big part of feeling confident in retirement. I think the other thing is to have realistic expectations - retirement isn’t necessarily paradise, but I think it’s got plenty of advantages over working! (PS it's taken a couple of years to think of myself as "retired".)
    Lidnod and eljefeb90 like this.
  17. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    I was on Supply for the final 7 years and ended on a high where the schools wanted me. I've been retired 2 years now.
    It's funny I was just reading the thread about the money being injected into education from September and thought, 'Should I go back?'

    Immediately followed by 'Nahhhhh."
  18. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I retired last August at 57. My plan was to go to 60 or possible a bit later as it will be years and years before my husband retires( he's younger than me and will only have the state pension). I went down to 0.6 to facilitate this. As it turned out,0.6 did not help and made things worse.

    I regret that I felt that I had to leave and I regret that the last year felt like an endless death. However,I love that I was able to leave (thanks to the Tory government for allowing access to cash in the stakeholder pension I thought would only get my a small annuity!) and I'm enjoying not being there anymore. As husband is not retired,I'm not doing anything amazing but I don't feel half dead anymore.
  19. Treacle3

    Treacle3 New commenter

    Good post.
    Lidnod and eljefeb90 like this.
  20. wayside34

    wayside34 New commenter

    I retired at 57 after over 30 years working for the MOJ. I delivered programmes and training , I absolutely loved my work working for the MOJ However I was TUPE to a college of FE, I was not happy at all.

    My pension was transferred via the governments actuary's department to the teachers pension, this process took years! . I could not settle with the new employer and new work colleagues along with different cultures. A scheme of severance came along I applied and left. I would have stayed on till 60 if things had been as they were but not to be progression I guess.

    My wife retired before me she was a dep head as she is a little older than I she encouraged me to leave.It took me several years to stop 'missing' my work but time makes you see things differently. Do I have any regrets not really enjoying life with my wife .


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