View Full Version : Retirement--staggered or simultaneous?

August 8th, 2012, 01:49 PM
H will be retiring from his full-time job which he has held for over 4 decades in the near future. His pension will be enough for us to live comfortably on and also provide health insurance for the rest of our lives, with us paying a portion toward the premium. I work part-time and am weighing the pros & cons of "retiring" with him. My "job" is working at a non-profit that I started which I enjoy--most of the time. I am leaning toward continuing to run it, so we will see how things play out. Don't enjoy having to chase grants, but that is mostly how our non-profit is run, like most non-profits.

Do any of you wish to share about whether you & your partner retired together or at different times, how well/poorly that worked for you? Some of H's friends tried retiring & ended up not liking it much, so they went back to different jobs--some now teach at the local U or other schools while one was hired at several different sequential jobs and others dabble at a lot of things they didn't previously have time for.

August 8th, 2012, 03:20 PM
My DH is 10 yrs older, although he looks & acts younger than 65. So he retired about 3.5 yrs ago. I still work, for financial as well as insurance coverage. I wish I could retire now so that we could travel more, but am happy with the way it is.

Our arrangement works for us, he does most of the housework while I am at work. He has been called back out of retirement once for a few weeks- I admit I enjoyed that as we work for the same company & I had a chauffer for those few weeks. He wishes I could retire sooner, so we could hop in the RV & not worry when we had to be home. But as I said the arrangement works out pretty good the way it is. I get about 5 weeks vacation ea year, we use that to travel.

August 8th, 2012, 04:59 PM
We retired at the same time (last year) and fortunate to be able to retire aged 57. It's worked fine for us and we are always busy, caring for our grandson and undertaking community voluntary work. The main bonus is that we can travel whenever we want, for however long and thankfully we can afford it. So we will do the long haul trips whilst our health is good and enjoy life and the opportunities we are blessed to have.

August 9th, 2012, 12:55 PM
I guess I'll just see how well and long this goes for me at my non-profit. H will retire when he wants & I'll see. At least we COULD have both of us decide to retire and my job has a ton of flexibility. I also love most of what I do. Hmmm. Good to read the options & different view of folks.

August 13th, 2012, 03:13 AM
I retired last year (mandatory from my employment). My husband will be working another 3-7 years. He is making good money to put away (did I also mention 3 college kids?). Since he doesn't adore cruising, I am getting in a lot of solo travel right now.

It works for us, but would not work for everyone.

August 13th, 2012, 08:15 AM
It's nice to hear that many can and do retire early. My DS (25) says that we have it backwards. We should only start to work when we've done everything we want to do... :roll eyes: I will try to work as long as I can. In the next 8-9 years I will try to find a less stressful and more flexible position. DH is self employed and has partnered with our younger DS so he too plans to work as long as he can. I always say if I work I don't have time to do everything and if I don't I won't have the $ to do anything:p. No kids in college anymore, no mortgage, but I guess we have a comfortable lifestyle and like to help our kids as needed.

August 14th, 2012, 02:55 AM
Neither H nor I have a job kids want to join. The closest we have is that S works for the fed govt, as H did. :) D wants to blaze her own trail in LA & I'm excited for her. We want to support her as much as she needs and we are able.

I always think it's neat when parents have a job/business that the kids want to and can join/further. It would be cool if things worked out for us in that manner, but so far it hasn't.

My mom just had an auto accident where the airbag deployed & fractured her sternum and two ribs! Helped remind us that we need to live each day to the fullest as the time when we need to care for them may be sooner than we think (or would like). She's recovering well, but it was a scare seeing her in the ER all hooked up to monitors.

August 19th, 2012, 09:20 PM
Several months ago I was trolling the cruise line's sites and discovered a really neat cruise that I thought might be good for us. 28 days to Hawaii and French Polynesia. We both have the time, although our work places would not be really happy having us gone that long. The more we looked at the cruise, the bigger the light bulb that indicated we should both pull the plug at the same time. We are both mid-60s and are working full-time.

So, we made the decision. January 10 is the day and then the cruise starts February 1. What will we do when we return? That is a big question for our co-workers. They don't believe that either or both of us will be content to be at home 5 days each week.

Less than 150 days. We'll see what we shall see!


August 20th, 2012, 02:21 PM
Just wondering whether either or both of your workplaces would consider giving you the right to return after your vacation/retirement, if it doesn't turn out to be as rosy as you had predicted?

At H's workplace, he can (& did) complete a form so if they NEED him back, he could be temporarily rehired. Some places offer a transition of less than full time before full retirement, for folks interested in that as well. H's workplace doesn't offer it and he's not sure he'd be interested if they did anyway.

August 20th, 2012, 10:57 PM
Interesting that you mention this. My supervisor and I had a discussion about whether I should postpone my retirement for a couple of weeks, then take my 4 week cruise and then return to work. I think not! I hope that they have my replacement at the desk. If they need me for something, I will be gracious and advise. No returning there. Nice folks, but...

Karen has had a verbal offer from someone, but she would work only on her terms. That would be 2 full days a week, not 5 half days. I gave up with her trying to guess on things like that.

I am 66 and Karen is 65. At sometime in one's life, ya gotta pull the plug! We have 70 days of cruising set for next year. I don't believe that I will return to my old job. Maybe I'll get one of those things that has you standing in a grocery store, heating up whatevers to tempt people to buy. One for the customer, one for me, one for the customer, one for me! Our food budget would be minimal!!


August 21st, 2012, 04:19 AM
Yea, there are some of H's buddies who were bored in retirement and have started new part-time careers, like teaching at college/community college level, manage property, active in community organizations, etc. H is hedging his options and has completed paperwork so he COULD go back when requested, IF he wants. Hard to say what he will ultimately decide he wants--whatever he wants in terms of full-time retirement or continuing to work full time or anything in between is fine with me.

I'm lucky that H has always been fine with me working as much or as little as I want, pursing what interests me. :)

August 21st, 2012, 07:55 PM
OK, I understand your concern about his retirement, but what will happen when you eventually stop working? Are there plans? With you around, will that drive him to find work?


True Texan
August 21st, 2012, 10:08 PM
My husband (65) retired 3 years ago (got early retirement) and I am still working (63). I am working for insurance. Some days it is not so bad but some days are brutal. He helps our daughter and her husband ferry our grandkids to sports and visits my Mom in the nursing home a lot but when I call him during the day and he is napping I want to crawl through the phone and strangle him. When I retire the first thing we will do is the Panama Canal cruise.

August 22nd, 2012, 10:36 AM
I work in a nursing home and most of our residents nap both mid-morning and right after lunch. When people ask me what I intend to do when I retire, I respond that I am going to catch up on my naps!!


August 22nd, 2012, 10:46 AM
My wife passed away 7 years ago, and I continued working to have something to fill the days. I was blessed to meet a widow, and we were married over 4 years ago.
I retired in 2009 and have not looked back.
I am active in Civil Air Patrol, a Railroad Historical Society, and a food pantry. We live a half mile from a small airport that I fly from.
We are traveling as much as possible while we are in good health. We have been on 13 cruises and have 3 more booked for next year.

August 22nd, 2012, 12:46 PM
My current job is one that I do mostly out of our home & has great flexibility in how much/little I choose to do. It is one I can keep as long as I continue to get funding for it. I am getting tired of chasing grants, so am not sure how much longer I will keep this job.

August 25th, 2012, 05:32 PM
Almost daily at work, someone comes into my office to make a comment something like, "You can't retire!"

Every time I hear that, it makes me want to tell them how many days it will be. Unfortunately, I don't keep track of that, so all I do is smile!


cb at sea
August 26th, 2012, 08:29 PM
If you enjoy what you're doing...keep doing it! Being happy is a big part of life. My hubby is working toward his retirement.....I've been semi-retired for years....(I work for our business, but I make my own hours....and about 2 hours daily is all I put in! Lucky me!)....I don't mind what I do....and I can do it from almost anywhere, so even if he totally retires, I can continue on, if I choose.

I doubt you'll want to be "joined at the hip" every single second of every single day during retirement.....so figure out how much "togetherness" you want...and go from there.

August 27th, 2012, 03:16 AM
Almost daily at work, someone comes into my office to make a comment something like, "You can't retire!"

Every time I hear that, it makes me want to tell them how many days it will be. Unfortunately, I don't keep track of that, so all I do is smile!

OTOH - I can say that I have been retired for 1 year, 3 months and 27 days,but who is counting ......
Retirement for me has been great!

December 8th, 2012, 02:25 PM
We're getting closer! Karen on December 31 and I will finish on January 10. Then a 28 day cruise to Hawaii and South Pacific. Mentally, we are ready.


December 12th, 2012, 12:46 PM
When my husband retired I retired. He had a home office for 15 years so I was use to having him around. We are having a blast - people ask me what retirement is like, I tell them "I get up when I've had enough sleep, go to bed when I am tired, eat when I am hungry, drink when I want and every day is a Saturday" There honestly are days when we have to look at the newspaper to know what day it is. We have a camp and we basically go there from May until October, only come home for Dr appts. Our watches hang on our banana rack for the summer - unless we have an appt who cares what time it is. We volunteer lots from October until April then after that we vanish. In fact I am in the Red Cross office manning phones and tomorrow I am driving. Our adult kids say they need a flow chart to keep track of us. My theory is "if I stop I will get old" and I am way too young to stop.

December 12th, 2012, 01:35 PM
Our circumstances were slightly different. I was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago whilst working in a job that I loved for 30 years. After chemo etc etc I was offered voluntary redundancy, with immediate access to my pension, so I 'retired' at 57. My husband is 8 years older and decided to retire at the same time.

We've had a fantastic few years and really don't know how we found time to work. We really 'got into' cruising, plus we have an apartment (condo) in Spain, and spend about 4 months a year abroad. The calendar is full (19 grandchildren) and I've had to block out 2 days as free time this month. BUT I'm now finding that I need something to do, feeling that my brain needs something to keep it active (if that makes sense), so I've found some voluntary work with a local school and that has made a huge difference.

Perhaps the difference for me was that I 'had' to retire, perhaps it's different when you work until pension age.

December 22nd, 2012, 10:21 AM
The date is getting closer. Karen is counting the number of days of work. I figure that I'll start to count when she retires.

People used to stop at my office and say that I could not retire! Now they are accepting it (I have a complete itinerary of our retirement cruise posted for all to see). And, little by little I clear out some personal things and that is being noticed. I am glad that I did not get fired, I would have had to enlist at least 4 people to haul away my 'stuff'.

The reality is beginning to set in. It is sorta scary, but I will look at it as a new-and-better phase of my life.

December 31 for Karen; January 10 for me.


December 30th, 2012, 08:45 PM
Hi Jim ,
I wish you and Karen everything of the best. I am sure you will both enjoy your retirement. My DH took early retirement 15 years ago while I have always been a stay at home Mom. We both started doing volunteer work twice a week and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves helping other folks trace their family histories (Genealogy) It helped us expand our own family trees also. I can't imagine not having him around me all the time. We cruise as much as possible and are off to the Caribbean again in February for our 29th cruise.
Sheila & Alan

January 10th, 2013, 03:53 AM
Congratulations Jim n Karen, you're going to love retirement ! I retired at age 50, 12 years ago with full benefits and my DH retired two years ago at age 63. i don't know how we had time to work for all those years.:confused: We devoted our time to our children and careers and saved our money for all those years. Kids are grown, college educated, weddings paid for and don't need any financial support from us. No debt or morgage. My DH said it's like when we were dating but now we have the time and a little money to spend on our entertainment. He says every day is like Saturday. We've been on 20 cruises,doing a TA and Eastern Med (22nights at sea & 3 nights in Rome) in April, and many land vacations.You can't always travel so you do need some hobbies and friends.

On a sad note since we retired we have lost our parents and a sister, and our 5 year old grandaughter passed away from brain cancer. We were available to help care for all of them in their last weeks and be with our grandaughter for surgerys , chemo, and radiation. she was ill for 9 months and was treated at St Jude's childrens hospital so we were out of town a lot and if we were working i know we couldn't have been off without a leave of absence which they might not have granted.

There are many people that are healthy and active into their 80's and 90's, but not everyone and not always both partners so if you can afford to comfortably retire financialy, I say the sooner the better. Enjoy yourself instead of spending what you saved on taxes !:p

January 11th, 2013, 02:55 AM
Well, H officially retired on 12/31. He has gotten approval to go back as a short-term emergency hire on 1/28, keeping his pension & all his benefits of retirement, PLUS getting a salary. He gets to go back & do the things he enjoys but is limited to 8 hours/day (when he had been working 10-14). He can only work up to 40 hours/week (tho he had been working about 60-80).

I am thinking I may allow the non-profit to become more of a voluntary organization and not expend so much energy getting funding. Chasing money is very tiring, especially in this tough economy. Will have to see how things go. We feel very fortunate that we have attractive options and are relatively healthy, as are my parents & sibblings and kids. D is in her last semester of college and S has a great job in his field which has a program to pay for his grad school.

January 11th, 2013, 12:07 PM
Today is my first day of being a retiree! I tried to nap, but am still too wound up from yesterday's activities. I worked all the way to the time to leave. I thought I was organized, but there were lots of loose ends out there. And then there were my co-workers, I got more cards than we did for Christmas. I almost had to put people on a timer so that the next one could come in with best wishes. I told some folks that I was going to follow my wife around the house like a puppy. She threatened that there might be serious consequences to doing that!

Now, for the fun. 21 days from today were are boarding HAL's Statendam for a 28-day to Hawaii and French Polynesia. The suitcases are out, just not packed yet.

So far, retirement is good! It can only get better.


January 11th, 2013, 12:11 PM

A thought for you to consider. Contact your local RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) and see if they have some folks who want to contribute to the community by volunteering for your non-profit. I am on our local RSVP advisory council and I am surprised at the number of 55+ folks who are willing to do stuff just because they want to. At our annual recognition luncheon a couple of months ago, there were 3 women who each volunteered more than 2000 hours in a 12-month period! Yikes! That's full-time...and they did it for fun!


January 12th, 2013, 04:21 AM
Thanks--appreciate your suggestion and will look into it. So far, we had limited grant funding and were paying staff small amounts so we could have more reliable participation. Most of our volunteers have been students, who have many other obligations, to they aren't as reliable as would be nice.

H is easing into retirement and we both like not having to wake to his 5 am or earlier alarms, but rather being able to wake when the sun or our bodies wake us.

It has been great having him home and more relaxed while they kids were visiting on their vacations. We are very blessed that we have these wonderful options available. May start planning some future trips as well. ;)

January 12th, 2013, 06:16 PM
Another idea to consider. We are in a university town...University of Illinois. Lots of students want/need to do things all the time.

Ask around to see if there might be some students who need some experience as an intern. If you structure it right, you can have them contacting you all the time. Younger minds have lots of ideas, some not realistic, but it is great learning from them.


March 10th, 2013, 07:23 PM
Jim and Karen--------followed your plan---how was the 28 day cruise?

March 22nd, 2013, 04:22 PM
When i was 56 the company i worked for said that they was closing my plant. They offered a package deal and i took it and early retirement. My DW had always said that when i retired so would she, she was 53 then and retired with me. That's been 10 years now. 6 months after we retired, we dicided to move to another state, sold our house we had for 31 years and moved. We have love retirement since day one. We up and go to places that we want to now, because we have the time to do it. The main thing is to keep busy after retirement and live your live to the fullist. That's the way i see it. Have fun.

we're sailing away....
March 23rd, 2013, 02:40 PM
Same day same time ...

March 25th, 2013, 08:55 AM
Jim and Karen, Hope you will report back on your cruise. We are doing a similar one in April 2014 on Golden Princess. I retired at the end of December 2012, and DH who is older retired in 2005. He had been doing all the house work while I was working but I am starting to pitch in and also doing a lot of de-cluttering. Turned our 29 year old son's former bedroom into a home office, cleaned out closets, etc. This fall we have a 21 day collectors cruise booked on HAL, it will be 7 days in the Med and then 14 days TA.

March 29th, 2013, 09:36 AM
Several months ago I was trolling the cruise line's sites and discovered a really neat cruise that I thought might be good for us. 28 days to Hawaii and French Polynesia. We both have the time, although our work places would not be really happy having us gone that long. The more we looked at the cruise, the bigger the light bulb that indicated we should both pull the plug at the same time. We are both mid-60s and are working full-time.

So, we made the decision. January 10 is the day and then the cruise starts February 1. What will we do when we return? That is a big question for our co-workers. They don't believe that either or both of us will be content to be at home 5 days each week.

Less than 150 days. We'll see what we shall see!


We did that cruise last October and had a great time in the ports and on the ship. Been retired for over 30 years and enjoying it.


April 8th, 2013, 08:49 AM
My DH is 9 years older than me, and he turns 65 later this month. He's been semi-retired since 2000 when he got laid off from his job and we realized that for him to get another job in his field would require moving and we didn't want to do that (and didn't need to, since my job was plenty to support us). He officially retired at 62 and started collecting Social Security. So he's basically been retired since 2000 and I've still been working. Yes, the men I work with are jealous. :)

But I lost my job in January 2011. My biggest worry at that time was health insurance, since DH has had some health issues in the past and COBRA would run out before he was eligible for Medicare. Then we got incredibly lucky and I got a 36 month contract job that actually has health insurance. When that contract runs out in 17 months I'll be 57 and DH will be 66 and on Medicare. At that point I am planning to retire.

Like many other people have said in this thread, life is short and you don't know how much time you have left or what your health will be like. DH and I like to travel (although cruising isn't his favorite thing to do :() and we want to do as much as we can while we can. Plus, my parents are in their 80's and I want to be able to help take care of them when/if they need it.

Whether or not you can afford to retire, and whether you really want to, is a strictly personal decision. DH and I have saved all of our lives, lived comfortably within our means, made some good decisions and a few bad ones, and were able to take advantage of some good luck. It's almost time to reap our rewards and spend time with family, travel, volunteer, and have the best-looking yard in the neighborhood. :cool:

April 9th, 2013, 03:20 AM
We're leaning toward dual retirement, as we want to enjoy fun times together while our health is good enough to enjoy it. My folks are in their 80s as well and getting more forgetful.

We have lifetime medical insurance coverage for a reasonable price. H also qualifies for parts A and B Medicare. In 9 years I will too. We can afford to comfortably retire and it is looking increasingly attractive to both of us. We will likely do some volunteering and I may do some very part time work, but that's about it. Want to enjoy and smell the roses while we can.

One day, we'd like to be available to help with future grand kids too.

April 14th, 2013, 12:02 PM
I guess, by strict definition, we are going to be staggered. The DW quit her job as Exec.Sec. for a church, about 10 years ago and she has not gone back to work since. At this point, looks like she has no desire to return to the rat race. I plan to retire in 5-7 years.
Sounds like I'm a prisoner, doing 5-7 years of hard labor, with no time off for good behavior:D:D

August 5th, 2013, 10:12 PM
Oh boy, I have been lax in coming back here. Retirement is sooo tiring!

Our cruise on Statendam from San Diego to Hawaii to French Polynesia and back was great. Lots of sea days. I read so many books I cannot recall how many, Karen knitted socks for half the crew. Our favorite ports were Bora Bora and Nuku Hiva. In fact, when we returned, I tried to find some property to buy on Nuku Hiva, but was unable to locate anything on the Web.

My biggest gripe (and I did gripe) was the service in the Main Dining Room. It was spotty, at best. After my second complaint, we got better, but not great, service; however, they put us at a table for 2, even when we requested to sit with others. Other food services were great!

I don't know if we would do that itinerary again, although we will be cruising to Hawaii in February. In the mean time, we have a 42 day FLL to Europe/Africa and back on Maasdam starting at the end of October. Lots and lots of sea days in a row and then lots and lots of port days!

As to retirement, I find it so difficult to keep track of the days and the dates. Whenever I go anywhere, I have to ask the date and sometimes the time. Wow! I still get up before the sun, but Karen has decided to sleep late every day. And...I have been grabbing some nap time, although not as often as I thought I would.


February 2nd, 2014, 11:51 AM
DH retired in 2000 and I retired in 2010. The staggered retirement was a good choice for us. DH needed to figure out what to do with himself before I retired and ended up as his secretary, chief cook and bottle washer and personal butler! During the ten year span, DH figured it all out and managed to learn many things about himself and what it means to be a "housewife." When I retired, I just slid into a life of travel and leisure. Life is good!

February 5th, 2014, 08:44 AM
We retired 4 years apart. I was able to establish a routine, that included bowling, lunch and outings with friends, joining 3 clubs (including being president of a national one). When DH decided to retire, he knew I already had my new life going strong. We do a lot together on my free days, so the only issue is that I never have much free time!

July 1st, 2014, 11:43 AM
My DH (7 yrs younger) plans to work for a few more years--but I retired 12/2012. I cleaned our house, etc. for 3 months, bought a new car and went to work part time. I decide which days I want to work, so that is very nice! We both love to cruise and travel. Our bucket list includes cruising (Hawaii 3/2015), buying a travel trailer to visit states we have not seen, taking a train across Canada.....and more cruising!

We still have 3 college students and our 3 year old grandchild at home. They keep us very busy as well. I am not really looking forward to having an empty nest.