Our plans to retire early

Both my husband and I have been working since school, both of us, in fact, started working for a shop whilst at school. He used to do paper rounds before school and I worked as a shelf stacker in a corner shop for 2 hours every weekday. I did that since I was 14, earning £3 an hour which to me back then was a lot of money, however, it gave me the freedom to do things I wanted to do. It also taught me that I had to give up a little to earn a lot, giving up 2 hours after school every night but getting the money for doing so.

Other than a few odd months here and there, plus maternity leave, neither of us have not been working since we left school really. It has just been a way of life since we were younger, I even did college in the evenings so I could work full time in the days.

We are not spring chickens any more though and have seen lots of people not get the chance to enjoy their retirements over the years.

It has left us realising that we would like the chance to enjoy retirement properly, we don’t want to be working into our late 60’s or 70’s before we get the chance to say that is us done. It is this dream that has led us to our journey of clearing debts and our mortgage to allow us to do this. With the government pension, neither of us can retire until we are 68, this is just too late for us.

In an ideal world, we would like to be spending our first day as 60, retired and enjoying what the world has to offer.

As with anything in life though, this is not going to be given to us, we are going to have to work hard to achieve this. That is ok though, I want to be able to retire a little earlier and say “we did this”.

Like always though, we are having to plan for our retirement now. It’s not as simple as finishing work and then we are retired, here is what we are doing for our retirement. Some will be for as soon as we retire, others are for when we reach retirement age.

  • Overpaying the mortgage ready to move – We have plans to sell up and downsize to the country when we retire. With this in mind, we would like to be mortgage-free with time to spare before we retire. This way any cash saved from our mortgage can roll into our savings for a nest egg before we retire. We use our mortgage providers calculator to get an idea of how much we can cut each month with the savings, you can see an estimate of your savings using this calculator here.
  • Premium bonds – I’ve played the lottery as long as I can remember, yes I’ve spent more than I have won as I dreamed of winning big. Recently though we have switched to buying premium bonds, nothing massive at the moment just £25 a month. However, if we win that would be a great boost, if not we will have another small pot of money towards retirement in 25 years time!
  • Pensions – When we were young whippersnappers we were a little clueless to the thought of pensions, we had years we thought. Then kids came along with job changes and other things. Then reality kicked in that we needed to look at our pensions. Both of us work in local authority so we have opted into the employer pension now and pay a percentage that is matched by our employer. Again, like the government pension, we are unable to claim this until we are 68 so this will not be something we can touch for a while.

In the long run, on top of the above, we are hoping that we can clear our debts and roll some more money into saving or paying the mortgage off a little earlier. The sooner we do this, the sooner we will be able to really ramp our savings up.

Our retirement is a long time away, or so we thought. However, we are now almost at the halfway point between starting work and our planned retirement date, time waits for no-one!

Our plans to retire early

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