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Phased retirement or go completely??

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by Beauherne1990, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. Beauherne1990

    Beauherne1990 New commenter

    I am 55 in September and have been a teacher for 30 years. Unfortunately I don't have a full pension history though! I worked as a Headteacher with a good salary for over a decade however so my '3 in 10' looks good at the moment. I was planning to phase retire at 55, but now I am wondering if I should just get out completely. I could then escape the stresses of teaching and find a part-time job doing something else. Anyone else had this kind of experience? I currently work as a class teacher, having left my SLT days we'll behind me!!
     
  2. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Trying to find someone who has circumstances exactly like your own will be the proverbial needle. I left teaching before 55 but I have my own business and don't think I'll need to call on the pension for several years yet but I can thoroughly recommend getting away from the stress. My wife also taught and I can see the difference in her - it took 18 months for her to recharge.

    What I would say is to check your figures carefully, for instance if your best 3-in-10 is from 2009-2012 then have a good look to see if you have any breaks in service that will work to your advantage with regard to the hypothetical calculation that is used to protect members who have had a break - otherwise you may be at risk of losing your 'best' years and may want to consider opting out for a month to create such a break.

    Looking back through this forum you'll find lots of advice and stories from people who have been in similar positions to yourself - I'd recommend searching them out as I think you will be able to extract a lot of help from them.
     
    Beauherne1990 likes this.
  3. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    Indeed. Good advice from the above.

    1. You don't need as much as you think when you retire. You really don't!

    2. Have you sat down and worked out what you actually spend annually on e.g. car, utility bills, mortgage, kids, food, insurance etc? It's a useful figure to know. A big part of planning your retirement is to know exactly where you are financially, making sure you are clear what your OAP is going to be (vreat a Goverment gateway account) and getting teacher's pension predictions. Look at what you might cut back on, that is just silly and frivolous. Embrace the Zen in you and become evangelical about minimalism, recycling, decluttering, simplifying your life, spitting in the eye of consumerism. Also, be wary of still being in 'save mode' rather than 'spend mode' when you have retired. Retirement is about using up what you have accumulated, not forever saving!!

    3. Have you done a projection of how much income you might have year by year until e.g. 80? I did a very basic one in a spreadsheet with rows from aged 50 up to 80, with columns for teachers pension, OAP, savings, interest and income. Year 50 obviously is zero for pensions, so you are using more out of savings. In year 60, your TP could kick in, at 68 your OP kicks in etc. It's useful sitting down and making a spreadsheet because it allows you to play around with the numbers and try out different 'what if' situations, like what if my income was £15000 a year, what if I took my pension now etc.

    4. I'm 57. In the last few years, I've been watching many of the heros from my youth drop dead for one reason or another. Teaching is stressful. Don't die before you have had at least a few good years to enjoy other things.

    5. Retirement doesn't have to be permanent. Retire, do voluntary work, do nothing, try new things to reignite your mojo, dedicate your vast skills to helping the poor, set up a charity, get fit, eat healthily, save the planet, go on a safari - just don't die before you can do some of the above! If you really feel the need after a few months, you can always do supply, get a part-time job - but you won't.

    6. After retirement, give it 6 months minimum - it takes at least that to unwind. Be prepared for people to constantly tell you how healthy you look after this period.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    asnac and Beauherne1990 like this.
  4. JamDoughnut

    JamDoughnut New commenter

    Whilst I'm not in a position to comment on the question of phased retirement I 100% reinforce diddydave's comments re locking in the best 3 in 10. Like you Beauherne1990, my best 3 in 10 was a few years ago and as such I have opted out of the TPS for a month in order to preserve this. Everyone's circumstances are different but I would urge all to read diddydave's earlier posts on this.
     
    Beauherne1990 likes this.
  5. Prim

    Prim Occasional commenter

    Go, go, go. You are only 55 once and young enough to keep on enjoying yourself. Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
    speaker2 and Beauherne1990 like this.
  6. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

  7. Prim

    Prim Occasional commenter

  8. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Currently we sell divider screens to go between computers to create 'booths' so schools can run examinations in their classrooms and still comply with the JCQ regulations on spacing ( edividers.co.uk )...before that I had a company that turned any whiteboard/surface into an Interactive one using the Wii remote - about £50 a whiteboard...and I'm still involved in a couple of A level exam papers.
     
    Prim likes this.
  9. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    OH...and run a few websites for local businesses and church groups.
     
    Prim likes this.
  10. Treacle3

    Treacle3 New commenter

    You can do whatever you are interested in... early retirement with the support of some kind of pension gives you a certain amount of freedom to take a few risks, I believe. For me it has been a gardening business.
     
    border_walker likes this.
  11. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    Would also advise jumping with the intention of doing another job. But check your sums.
     
    install and Beauherne1990 like this.
  12. speaker2

    speaker2 New commenter

    Well, I think that if you can 100% retire , then do so. I am in a rather different position in that I have not much teacher pension to look forward to, yet am unable to get a job even at a no-frills teacher level. I think the applications just go in the bin when they work out that I am in my fifties. I am really struggling to know how I am going to support myself now, let alone in the future, as I cannot get a job, despite all the teaching shortages that are reported.
     
    baitranger and Beauherne1990 like this.
  13. Beauherne1990

    Beauherne1990 New commenter

    Oh that's disappointing! I won't have a vast pension either, whenever I do it. My quandary is whether to go part-time or just get out completely & remove myself from all the stress! Good luck with your applications...
     
  14. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    Personally, I can't think of anything worse than phased retirement from a contracted post - I saw a colleague do it and with much regret after the inevitable 'with hindsight' moment(s) that followed! He described it at self- inflicted torture and his words and experiences contributed towards my decision to leave full time teaching just now - see Leaving at Christmas 2019 in the Retirement section. Yes, I MAY do a little supply teaching after some time off to recharge and/ or perhaps do something completely different part time, but only on a daily basis as and when I want to. Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
    Beauherne1990 likes this.
  15. Beauherne1990

    Beauherne1990 New commenter

    I can relate to the 'self inflicted torture' as in many ways I've been enduring this during the past five years! I resigned from my headship and returned to the classroom as a teacher. I've had to do so much lip biting along the way. I know I just can't continue full time but I am now wondering if I can tolerate part-time and if I might be better just escaping completely from the increasingly toxic situation that education is becoming...
     
    baitranger and speaker2 like this.
  16. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    We jumped as soon as we realised we could which when we did the numbers was a lot sooner than we thought it would be!

    One of the key aspects was realising just how small a drop we would actually be taking...going from a £45k job to a £20k pension sounds HUGE...but when you take out NI, pension contributions, tax etc the drop isn't nearly as much as at first it seems. The drop was, in reality, less than half that headline figure of £25k.

    I've one close colleague who went part-time for a year after retiring and he is very firmly of the opinion that it was a big mistake...the small taste of freedom coupled with being tied to school terms and with the typically conscientious attitude of most teachers found that the work he did expanded to fit the available time...so he didn't actually gain anywhere near the benefit he thought he would.
     
    Beauherne1990 likes this.
  17. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Well, early days for me, but I have phase retired and gone part time. I’m 57, 32 years mainly UPS. It’s absolutely the best thing ever. I do around 0.5 and have taken 75% of my pension. Overall no real drop in take home for doing half a timetable! I get whole extra days off each week. As a Science teacher I don’t think they’ll be getting rid of me too soon, but even if they do hey ho I’ll survive. I’m not liking the fact that I still have to go on holiday during school holidays but other than that, life is good. So I think phase retire see how it goes.
     
    Beauherne1990 likes this.
  18. Prim

    Prim Occasional commenter


    Out of interest what would be the comparitive figures as a take home 'salary' between the two? Not paying as much tax or NI couple with other expenses such as petrol, parking etc would obviously make another difference.
     
  19. speaker2

    speaker2 New commenter

    Having read this thread since I first posted,it is a bit reassuring to know that others have same considerations and career changes as I have had. I am going to sign up for supply this term , but also keep looking for different non-school based roles. Not sure how much supply there will be though and not really a positive option when I think how supply teachers seem to be treated in general.
     
    Beauherne1990 likes this.
  20. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    I made a simple comparison here: https://edividers.co.uk/contemplating-retirement-my-path-and-other-notes#howmuchdoyouneed

    From the £45k job the take-home was about £29k
    From the £20k pension the take-home was £18k

    Gross drop of £25k only equated to an £11k net one.

    As you quite rightly point out there are other expenses that you might expect to drop but don't forget there are others that take their place. For instance when you spend all day at home the heating and other energy expenses go up. One surprising drop in our expenses was food...now we have time to prepare and cook we spent less on 'emergency' food, buying school dinners and takeaways, this was also coupled with the fact we are now growing far more of our own produce.
     
    asnac and Prim like this.

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