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Retirement Journey.

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by Baron_Hamstead, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Baron_Hamstead

    Baron_Hamstead New commenter

    I took my final benefits, after a phased retirement ,nearly three and a half years ago at the age of 58. Then I decided I wasn’t completely ready emotionally and financially to retire! Therefore, since September 2016, I have completed 3 part-time fixed term teaching contracts of various lengths. The current 4th fixed term contract finishes at the end of this term. This will be my final one, as I am now ready to pursue the next chapter of my life. I still enjoy the actual teaching but, after a career covering nearly 38 years, the ‘other stuff’ gets in the way too much!

    I want to contribute here here for two reasons.
    1. to keep myself on-track and accountable.

    2. to indirectly help others to reflect and maybe share their own thoughts and experiences.
    I have always found the retirement section of the TES Community very informative and inclusive. It is obvious that we all approach retirement in different, but equally valid ways. Similarly, our views on finances are equally diverse. I hope that my contributions will be a positive addition to the general debate.

    My next post will outline how I have planned my finances up until the age of 66. This planning and budgeting has given me the confidence to fully embrace retirement from teaching after, what could be considered by some, too much of a delay!
    plot71, bonxie, Prim and 1 other person like this.
  2. Baron_Hamstead

    Baron_Hamstead New commenter

    After taking my final pension benefits after a phased retirement I used part of my lump sum to pay off my mortgage, carry out some house maintenance, buy a newish used car, have a couple of holidays and clear all other debts. I decided to maximise my lump sum and take the lower pension. I have no dependents and after a long career the lower pension was adequate.

    During my subsequent fixed term contracts, I opted to pay into the new career average pension scheme. I have decided to take this from this May, rather than wait until I am 66, as the money is more useful to me now. It is not a huge amount and after actuarial reduction will add about £850 to my annual pension.

    From May this year my guaranteed income will be about £19250 a year. This is all index linked. In addition, I will earn about £1200 to £1500 a year from invigilation. I also make about £600 a year from Surveys and loyalty cards. This money goes towards Christmas presents and the festive food shop! I may pick up other smaller amounts on an ad hoc basis. I have a zero hours contract with my former school for invigilation and other one-off events.

    I am fortunate to share bills with another relative. My share is just over £600 a month. I pay more than half as I have more income. This amount covers council tax, all food, pet supplies, fuel for both cars, utility bills, British Gas Homeserve Insurance and charitable donations. This Household account usually runs at a small surplus.

    I set aside a further £400 a month into savings to cover the larger annual bills such as Car insurance, car tax, car service, Buildings and contents insurance, (the other relative also contributes towards this) routine house maintenance, birthdays, Christmas and clothing. This account also runs a surplus, which is put towards the travel budget.

    I contribute a modest amount monthly to a low risk S&S ISA which is growing steadily.

    I budget about £250 a month for personal spends which covers such things as meals out, days out etc… I don’t always spend this amount.

    I have saved most of my earnings from my fixed term contracts. This has replenished the funds spent from my lump sum paying off the mortgage etc. as mentioned above. I now have savings and investments of a few tens of thousands. Not loads I must stress, but enough not to worry anymore. They are distributed between Premium Bonds, the S&S ISA, Cash ISA and a couple of other savings accounts.

    I have put together a budget and spending plans on an excel spreadsheet for the next four and a half years until I collect my state pension at 66. In addition to regular bills and spends I have set aside a generous (for me) amount for travel, a new garage roof and a kitchen refurbishment. I can adjust these as necessary. During the next 4 years or so I will be running down my net worth by about £6000 a year. I am very comfortable with this, as it is right that assets are run down in retirement!

    When my state pension becomes payable, I will have more disposable income then ever! The extra time working has enabled me to build up my state pension entitlement. I will also need to contribute another 4 years of voluntary NICs to qualify for the full new state pension bar a few pence.

    To conclude, I do not regret working again after my ‘retirement’. For the most part I have enjoyed the teaching and it has certainly put me in a position where I can really look forward to retiring without money problems. However, I am now ready to go.

    Now to plan the next few months organising the garage repair, the new kitchen, enjoying the garden and just relaxing. From September some trips within the UK and to Europe. Longer term hopefully return to Canada and trips to Australia and New Zealand. Just need to keep healthy, relaxed and focused!

    I will post my progress from time to time.
    plot71, eljefeb90, bonxie and 2 others like this.
  3. HannahD16

    HannahD16 New commenter

    Baron-Hampstead, you’ve clearly thought things through carefully fir the years ahead and I wish luck with your plans.
    I’m also interested in you’re post-retirement realisation that you weren’t emotionally or financially ready to retire. I’m planning well in advance from a financial point of view but am curious to hear from everyone who has taken the plunge about when you really know it really is time to go?
  4. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    I could see it was time for my wife to go before she did...she knew I could have carried on longer...so certainly talk to those who know you best.

    Having taken the plunge we realised we could have gone 1-2 years earlier and having gained the experience of being on this side of the fence we should have!
  5. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Thank you, Baron-Hampstead, that’s an interesting account. I’ve also benefitted from doing some part time work that wasn’t in my original plan. This has now been three years but will I do another three? I’m not sure. That gap between finishing as a teacher and collecting the state pension can be more significant than you think. Reducing down from full on full time teaching career is a good thing, in my opinion, to avoid that cliff edge effect.

    Do keep us posted. Hearing these stories helps people to ponder their own decisions.
    Baron_Hamstead likes this.
  6. Baron_Hamstead

    Baron_Hamstead New commenter

    I also plan to replace my car in about 3 years time. My current vehicle is only 3 years old with relatively low mileage. I plan to finance this purchase through savings.

    Thanks for all the replies so far.
    plot71 likes this.
  7. Beauherne1990

    Beauherne1990 New commenter

    I appreciate reading about other people's experiences. I'm still working full-time, nearly 54 & a half, getting more tired by the week! Contemplating a phased retirement next academic year & have mentioned it to SLT but still not certain whether they will agree. Making the retirement leap is tempting especially when others give an impression of life after the end...
  8. speaker2

    speaker2 New commenter

    If I had a pension of 19000 available I would not hesitate to retire too. However, like others, I will not reach that amount as I entered teaching later on but am ready to retire as soon as I can and am finding it difficult to get even supply work at moment.
    Beauherne1990, Ezzie and Morninglover like this.
  9. Brianthedog

    Brianthedog Occasional commenter

    I officially retired at Christmas, having reduced my days from 5 to 4 then to 3 last Easter when I actually drew my pension 6 months early. I did this because of the 3 in 10 calc dropping off significantly.
    I had 27 years service so not a huge pension, and chose to take the max lump sum meaning my pension is just below the tax threshold. I didn't plan to work again, and obviously have to wait 6 years for my state pension ( I am on track to get the full amount). As I now look after my grandson one day a week, I am able to keep my NI credits going via my daughter.
    I calculated that after paying off my small remaining mortgage and a couple of interest free loans I took out to renovate my house, in real terms the difference between my old full time net salary and my new monthly pension is only £100 a month. I was able to save all my salary I earned once I received my pension, which was good because it showed me that I can indeed live off my pension relatively comfortably.
    I now work half a day a week as an advisory Senco in a primary school, and also do various bits of work for exam boards with over the next few months will bring in a couple of thousand to go into my holiday fund. I was very anxious that I'd be a bit lost when I finished completely, but actually I've had lots of things to do since Christmas. I'm really really excited though because next week I will be going on my first term time holiday in 30 years!
  10. Baron_Hamstead

    Baron_Hamstead New commenter

    Had the opportunity to pick up another zero hours contract with another school today for invigilation. However decided to turn it down. Just didn't want to start again in a new institution with maybe different protocols and another layer of safeguarding training etc...
    I will stick with what is familiar! I know the routines where I currently work and my other training is up to date.
    Four weeks until my contract finishes! Looking forward to it, as feeling very tired at the moment.
  11. Baron_Hamstead

    Baron_Hamstead New commenter

    That is my teaching contract finishing not the zero hours one!
  12. Baron_Hamstead

    Baron_Hamstead New commenter

    Sorry about the mistake above I pressed the submit button too early!
    Well just over a week to go until my contract finishes. I am working remotely from home at the moment setting lessons for my students and providing feedback as necessary. Its going well but is a surreal way to finish!
    I am staying within my house and garden for the foreseeable future as I have an older relative living with me. We are well stocked up and other family members are delivering food and other necessities.
    As well as working from home I have been sorting the house and garden. I feel more relaxed already, in spite of the current situation. I am looking forward to totally finishing on April 3rd.
    Obviously no invigilation for a few months!
    I am pleased I chose a low risk S&S ISA! its value has declined somewhat, but it is manageable. I'm sure it will make up lost ground in 4 to 5 years. It has always been a long term investment for me.
    I plan to claim my extra accrued teacher's pension from July (rather than wait until I am 66) assuming the TPS is functioning normally by then. I will get 87% of it. Its not a huge amount but it all helps!
    I will update again sometime in April.
    Best wishes to all of you. Keep safe and healthy.
    plot71, Prim and Beauherne1990 like this.
  13. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    Well done for retiring. Lots of people think they need far more money than they really do. Retirees generally all say the same thing, that they need far less than they thought they would, for a range of reasons. Anyone who can get their retirement income to about £1k a month should seriously think about retirement imo. Once you get past 50, you are in danger of dropping dead so best stop work asap and enjoy life!
    plot71, Prim, seasoned and 2 others like this.

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