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The reality of retirement at 55

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by elainerosebud, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. elainerosebud

    elainerosebud New commenter

    I have been lucky enough to have early enhanced retirement at 55
    As I have lived abroad for 28 years I am not sure. New job not supply or volunteer?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    At 55 you might well find it difficult to get a permanent post in the UK (depends on your subject, CV etc..), so if you need money why not look for supply/part-time work? If you don't need money, then enjoy your retirement (I retired at 56 back in 2013 - best thing I have ever done!)
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. elainerosebud

    elainerosebud New commenter

  4. elainerosebud

    elainerosebud New commenter

    Thanks I just have a sensation that 55 is too young.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    At 55 you have experience...but have you used those years to find what makes you happy?

    Leaving the structure of a workplace can be daunting but very much like breaking up with a first love, or grieving for a close relative, that instant pain and uncertainty will subside, so before you rush into any more choices take time to reflect and decide what you want to do. The 'reality' for me is that *I* get to decide what and when to do something - both of which are very big questions and I'm not sure there is a perfect answer to either or any of them. So far, 2 years into my 'out-of-work' life (yes under 60 is too young to call myself retired) I'm relaxing into that journey.
    suzuki1690, ViolaClef and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    From your post I presume you’re financially secure, and you’re worried about getting bored or feeling worthless sat at home doing nothing, is that right?

    I’d say, give it a go. If you’ve lived abroad for 28 years and you’re thinking of returning to teach in a UK school, I suspect you’ll be pleading for a bit of boredom after the first day.

    If I were you (and I’m not), I’d be tempted to give boredom a go. If you can’t hack it, you have the option of a bit of supply.

    If money were no object, I’d be travelling. Plenty of holidays/trips.

    If you’re well off enough to live, but with not a lot spare for holidays, I’d get the odd day’s supply in here and there, and use those funds.

    Whatever you do, good luck. I’m quite envious.
  7. elainerosebud

    elainerosebud New commenter

    Many thanks for all the kind words. I guess we, my OH not a teacher, don't know if the money will workout but as you say not to jump too fast seems a good idea.
    ViolaClef, PeterQuint and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Decisions like this are not irrevocable. Whatever you decide does not have to be for ever. 55 is young to be retired but old for working, I think. I went at 58 which felt right.
  9. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Who says? Unless you really need to work for money,why feel guilty? Just enjoy your freedom and do whatever makes you happy,even if it's watching TV and pottering around.
    suzuki1690, Lara mfl 05 and seasoned like this.
  10. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I really don't get people who feel like this.
  11. Gainingcontrol

    Gainingcontrol New commenter

    It is not traditional retirement at 55! It is the financial FREEDOM to do what you WANT. This COULD be another job or voluntary role that has less pressure, while making you feel fulfilled, or to pursue hobbies and interests that you did not have the time for when working full time. I retired last March aged 56 and I don't know how I had time to go to work. I climbed a mountain yesterday, and am clearing out the garage loft today in preparation for my 6th boot sale in as many weeks. I have done a lot of redecorating, gardening and house maintenance DIY. I am also writing a book on local history and volunteer with things that interest me. I also have TIME for my wife, aged parents and young adult children. I have had two short breaks and am planning an autumn foreign holiday. Enjoy your independence!
  12. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I get it, or at least I understand the fear of it.

    We're in a rewarding profession, and wouldn't have made it this far had we not been able to feed off that feeling of doing something worthwhile.

    Also, the OP has been abroad for 28 years, and possibly not experienced the pull the other way which we have in the UK.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    It's a job. One that allows you to have a better pension that a lot of other working people (my husband for instance)but also one that, at times,can drive you to the edge of despair and madness. Also,one where you are never really off duty as your mind is always on and working overtime.

    I have escaped and I'm delighted to have left it all behind.
    suzuki1690, Jamvic, eljefeb90 and 3 others like this.
  14. seasoned

    seasoned New commenter

    I totally agree..!!! When I drove out of the school car park for the last time in December 2017, that was the end of a significant chapter in my life; I enjoyed my career but it was over. I have moved on to the next chapter which does not involve anything to do with schools or education. The only emotional time was on 2 January 2018 when my lump sum from TPS appeared in my bank account.... :)
  15. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Senior commenter

    Is it still rewarding? I would say it's exploitative and barely a profession any more. Professionals aren't micro managed in the way teachers are now. Pay, respect, professional autonomy and work life balance have all been massively eroded over the last decade while accountability and pressure have increased. I was elated to be getting away from it all and still can't believe my good fortune.You do get institutionalised as a teacher, and it is so all -consuming that it is hard to develop interests and a social life . All the more reason to get out there and make up for lost time once you retire.
    smoothnewt, Jamvic, Prim and 5 others like this.
  16. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    I agree with this - totally - by any sensible descriptors, no, it IS not a profession anymore and also because true professions are respected by the broad, general public. The media constantly reinforce / promote this percepion. For example, I will always remember watching the property programme: Location, Location... you know the one I mean - Phil and Kirsty, about ten years ago I guess... They were talking to a property developer in London - Grenwich, I think - he spoke about two distinct developments in the area: one classy example he referred to as being for professionals such as city people, lawyers, accountants, doctors etc... and a rather more basic model for 'essential workers' such as police, fire, ambulance and yes, you've guessed it - teachers!
    If you want further evidence of our 'standing' in society, the next time someone asks you to counter-sign their passport application, say "Yes, but as a professional I will have to charge you." I tried it once, with a friend partly as a joke and he laughed, refused and said that he might as well take it to his GP!
    Sorry about going off subject... But basically, if you can get away from what I see as an ever-increasingly toxic 'job' , i.e.; teaching on a permanent contract at least, then do so, no matter what your age. Check out my recent thread: Retiring at Christmas 2019 for more 'evidence' . 55 is, in my opinion, a perfect age to open a new chapter that might be more accurately called: semi- retirement with the added bonus of 'getting your life back'. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you all!
  17. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    Edit / addition to my earlier reply. I have absolutely no problem, in fact I am extremely proud, with being put in the same bracket as 'essential workers' by the dominant sections of our current media. In fact, as far as I am concerned we (the 'essentials') are all just as worthy of a 'professional' title as anyone... Perhaps more so than some! For example, should we still be expected to include members of parliament in the 'professional' bracket?
  18. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    For me, the ‘rewarding’ part itself hasn’t changed. I still get (well, used to get, until July) the same rewarding feeling, for the same things, at the same times.

    Had the **** you mention swamped that? Yes, completely.
    eljefeb90 likes this.
  19. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I could have written this,word for word.

    I too am elated to have escaped and pinch myself every morning. I always wanted to get out of my school with my head high,which I managed. I cannot believe that my frugal lifestyle and years and years of saving has meant that I've been able to escape early and even relax about money(I am actually finally spending some money on my house!).
    I've not been that happy in years!
  20. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    I've found that the word "professional" is usually used to beat teachers up with and not just by the general public!
    suzuki1690 and eljefeb90 like this.

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