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Full retirement at 58? Sensible?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by -, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I have paid quite a lot of these extra NI things, so it looks as though I will get most (nearly all) of the state pension, assuming that I live to be 66 and able to grab the cash! (Actually, my guess is that soon they will probably change the retirement age to 70 or 80.) Just because you retire overseas, it does not mean that you will never visit the UK or else have friends and family from the UK coming to visit you. If you retire overseas, then you can afford a bigger house, so having some guests is not a problem.
    plot71 likes this.
  2. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Hello Hippo,
    for me, retiring to the UK is a good idea - but that is the crux of it - for me. I realise that (from talking for many years to expats) I am unusual in this case - most would never go back to the UK (or so they say). There are lots of practical reasons for staying overseas, in cheaper countries, but I need to be at 'home' near to my kids (30 and 32 years old) and grandkids (2 years old and 10 months old).
    Far too may years (16) away from home and family mean that, when I am there, with them, the warm glow cannot be beaten by anything,anywhere else. Every year away from them is a year 'wasted' in many ways as I want to be with them, not away from them.
    I am not dissing those who choose to live elsewhere, and if circumstances were different, I probably would go for a more 'feet in the sand,beer in the hand' retirement, but I am just saying that not all sizes fit all.
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    I have 31 years so far, and still paying. I cottoned on quite quickly to this. When I paid up to 30 years, they stopped taking the money...... but then upped it to 35 years. When I called them to discuss it, I end up more confused than before - so just keep paying - £13 a month is nothing (Mind you it is going up to £70+ in April 2018).
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, Stoppers, I have to say that I went back to the UK each year to see my Mum, but after she died I just did not see the point. If we had baby hippos in the UK, then of course that would be different too. Mrs H has been away these six weeks, visiting Mamulichka in the Crimea, so I think that I have some idea of what it might be like to away from loved ones - utterly horrible.
    plot71 and stopwatch like this.
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    What I also forgot to mention (and,again, I might be in a minority in this one) I think that living in Britain is wonderful. I love the culture (the majority of it is nice), I love the people, I love the heritage, I love the seasons - including the rain and the dark mornings and nights.
    Unfortunately the media like to focus on the negatives (bad weather, poverty, crime, Brexit, corruption) as this makes 'good' news.
    I think I am lucky in feeling like this about the UK as most people don't seem to.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, to be honest, Stoppers old chap, I might well enjoy living in the UK - if I could afford it. However, the last few times that I have gone back to dear Old Blighty, I have sensed a sort of anger, mixed with despair and general fed-upness. Yes, the TV news coverage wallows in misery and is at least partly responsible for the UK's pervasive grumpiness
  7. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

  8. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

    Recognise the feelings you express so well. My husband and I have lived and worked in a few different places throughout the last 38 years - Australia, England, Middle East as well as my native country - Scotland. We have also been fortunate enough to have had a small holiday home in Spain for a number of years.

    We have,on the whole,enjoyed our travels and experiences but also thoroughly appreciate being home amongst family and close friends.

    I met many overseas teachers who despised their native country and took pleasure in pointing out any shortcomings to anyone who would listen.They extolled the virtues of their overseas country and overlooked many of the irritations. I was shocked particularly by the amount of English teachers who criticised their homeland in the harshest terms. England has so many beautiful places. Nowhere is perfect but to dismiss their own country in this manner seems peculiar,

    I am happy to acknowledge that there are many things I would like to 'import' from places we have been - not least the Spanish sunshine! However, I can honestly say, that for us ,we value our overseas experiences but nothing can replace the pleasure of being with our family day to day, as well as all the memorable events like christenings, weddings, graduations etc.

    I wish everyone well wherever they are.
    frangipani123 likes this.
  9. heldon

    heldon Occasional commenter

    your native country Scotland is a wonderful country, I wouldn't live anywhere else.
    If you live in the east then you even miss the midges.
    Alice K likes this.
  10. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, well, it might be the case that some teachers cannot wait to leave the UK, Alice K. There might be all sorts of reasons for this. Almost every week I get messages or e-mails from teachers, asking me to tell them how to escape and teach overseas. It is not that they hate teaching - they don't. No, what makes them so angry are the horrible ways in which teachers are often treated. Perhaps the fact that the UK is an absurdly expensive place to live also has something to do with it. Yes, there are beautiful places in the UK, although going to see them on a Bank Holiday weekend might not be a good idea.

    Here in Shenzhen, in southern China, Mrs H and I live in a two-bedroomed apartment, right in the centre of town. The accommodation allowance that my school gives me each month is more than enough to cover the rent. It takes me about 25 minutes to walk to school through the park. We do not need to run a car because the public transport in Shenzhen is so efficient, clean, cheap and easy-to-use. So what I would like to know, Alice K, is how many schools in the UK pay for the accommodation of their teachers. Is public transport in the UK efficient, clean, cheap and easy-to-use? Here in China, my students are polite, hard-working and respectful. Are all British students like that, I wonder?

    Yes, I suppose that I might feel differently, if I had lots of family and close friends in the UK, but I don't. All of Mrs Hippo's relatives and most of her friends are still in Russia.
    suzuki1690 likes this.
  11. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

    I appreciate that many people choose to live their lives in different places and enjoy experiencing other cultures. My husband and I have also enjoyed our travels and the benefits of overseas teaching posts. My husband comes from Iran and despite 40 years of political turmoil, Iran remains a diverse beautiful country with many wonderful, welcoming people. I, personally have witnessed this first hand throughout our 38 years of marriage.

    Regarding the current teaching climate in the UK, I am also appalled at the pressures placed on many teachers, in particular, those who are at the 'chalk face'. I am aware that many hard working and dedicated teachers are often under valued by management teams and others. I know that their experiences shape their view as my experiences do as well.

    However, I must say that I often found that many criticised the UK particularly England, extremely harshly. In my experience, many exaggerated the plus points of their overseas posting and spouted many clichéd phrases such as :
    'All children in our previous schools were behaviour problems...' ,'The children here, are wonderful compared with...' That may be their experiences, but I find it hard to believe that everyone in the state system never had decent pupils in front of them.

    As the mother of 3 grown up children who have all succeed academically, with two granddaughters going through the state system presently, I do take objection to this. There are also many wonderful children within our system who are succeeding and having a positive school experience. To dismiss an entire education system with such vigour could indicate a very narrow view. There are many shades to this discussion and I welcome other opinions. I am merely pointing out that using such a 'broad brush of disdain' can sometimes reflect a person's own prejudices, experiences and does not represent the whole picture.

    I also acknowledge that financial considerations are often paramount. We also had the advantages of free accommodation etc. whilst abroad. A very welcome bonus!

    I am glad that you are advising teachers who are disillusioned and seeking overseas post. I hope you continue to enjoy your teaching career in China.
  12. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Again, we are all talking about horses for courses. The point is that we should respect each others' choices and reasons for doing so. Neither is necessarily bad or good

    The good thing that comes out is that people can read about options/choices available and come to their own conclusion about what is right for them.

    My wife is from Goa and I know that, although we will reside and settle in the UK, I for one will be over in Goa regularly sampling a cheaper lifestyle and sand and beer.
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    When I started this thread I didn't expect it to develop into a 'for' and 'against' debating society. If some of the posters above want to continue in that vein please state your own thread. It would be nice to hear from those who retired earlier.
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Of course I meant to say 'start' your own thread.
  15. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Unfortunately it is the nature of the east when starting a thread, any thread. A bit like a conversation it starts with a specific topic, but as people converse, the topic will change.
    It is a bit unrealistic to expect it not to, although I do feel your frustration :)
  16. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    ... of course that should be 'beast'....
  17. happilyconfused2

    happilyconfused2 New commenter

    Getting back to the question ..........Yes retirement at 58 is a sensible idea. I am aiming for earlier and am happy to retire in the UK. My plan is to turn a hobby into self employment.
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, happilyconfused2, it is perhaps in the nature of retirement that you do not have to do everything today, so maybe retirement threads may indeed have a tendency to wander off the point.

    Yes, if you can find an alternative source of income, then why not retire sooner rather than later? Yes, I do have a lot of work planned for my retirement, but alas it will not bring in any dosh.
    happilyconfused2 likes this.
  19. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    In answer to to opening question...... it depends.

    I think that provided that:
    • You are not financially compromised
    • You have some kind of plan for what you will do in retirement
    • You won't miss your life as a teacher (not much likelihood of that I hear you say)
    I would say that retiring at 58 is a jolly good idea!
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, Stoppers old chap, I have heard from some retired folk that they are amazingly busy and they wonder how they ever found time to do a full-time job!

    But seriously, the "financially compromised" bit is a real conundrum. On the one hand, you do not have a regular salary coming in each month, but on the other hand there is a lot more time available in which to spend what money you do get!

    Mrs Hippo and I usually "splurge" during our summer holidays in BG, but living there permanently will be another matter altogether. Some of our expenses will be the same, whether we are just there over the summer or for the whole year. The fees of the security company, the Bulgarian equivalent of Council Tax, a vignette (car tax), insurance for both the car and the two properties: all these will be the same. Some will be new expenses, such as the Internet and new mobiles. It will be a bit scary, until the lump sum arrives on my 60th birthday.

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