Friday, April 6, 2018

Why I Stopped Working and Retired

I don't know why some of my friends call me a cheater because I retired at 60. It's not like it's early or anything. Lots of my friends and family retired at that age. None early than that and even some like my brother-in-law have went back to work to help pay off debts he dragged into retirement.

When to leave the day to day grind is different for everybody. Every situation is unique. These are some of the main reasons I stopped working and decided to retire.

Spousal Support

Without the support and encouragement from my super supportive wife, this would not be possible. She sensed my misery of working steady nights just to be able to enjoy a 3 day weekend every week. Winters were killer on my mind and body. I was just so tired and my time was coming. Her telling me it was time to retire was the final push I needed.

Enough Money

Needless to say if we didn't have enough put away in savings and investments this would not be possible. I also would remind myself that I had been working for 44 years and when exactly would be enough, if not now when? Saving enough is a comfort zone different for all of us.

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Ever since my 20 year career in the military ended I was sick of taking orders from someone else. Problem was, I did it again starting a new career in the armoured car business for another 10 years.

I hate working for other people. It just bugs me and I will NEVER do it again. How my brother-in-law can go back to work is just beyond my scope of thinking.

Paying Taxes

You know you've had a good year when you pay. I don't like it but that's really the reality. With our combined family income it just became unavoidable. When adding in foreign taxes on investments and dividend income it doesn't seem to be worth it.

Collecting pension income while still working really started to bite into the tax bill so the reasonable thing to do on the tax side was to eliminate employment income.

Work Slave

Working for a for profit, publicly traded, private sector, union company there are changes to structure every six months. Just when you think you have a great schedule, for business reasons it gets sacked. Loss of customers was a big one in our industry. When that happened trucks are taken off the road, changes made and possible layoff decisions are announced.

I know people that have worked 10 years steady nights because they don't have enough seniority or opportunity to qualify for a day job. I could no longer be a slave to a company any longer.

Pension Income

Once you set a retirement income target and do the math based on your current savings and pensions, an informed decision on stopping work becomes clearer.  I draw on CPP, VA pension, Military pension and Workplace DB pension. That's 4 clear sources of pension income. When combined with my wife's salary I believe we have enough to be just fine.

In 3 years OAS becomes available and at that point start drawing down my RRSP account or at least start harvesting the dividends through a RRIF.

My Final Takeaway

I have never had a job I truly enjoyed accept for maybe the first couple years of my military career. I have always hated working because for the most part it was something I had to do and not something I wanted to do.

Taking orders from anyone just plain sucks. I am so thankful that part of my life is over. Retirement is such a new and exciting part of my life now. It's a transition that everyone needs to go through but is so worth it.

Get out as soon as you can and as soon as you can afford to. Make sure the house is paid off too.

Related Post: Spending Mistakes in Retirement

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