Happy Birthday

… to me.  Happy birthday to me… etc. etc.

Yes it is my birthday today.  I’m 54.  So as my darling daughter pointed out in her Facebook post to me this morning I’m indisputably into my mid fifties.  Actually it is an interesting thought that at my next birthday I could officially retire.  UK pension legislation allowing you to draw from an occupational or personal pension from age 55 onwards.  Whether I want to retire or can afford to next year is a different story but I then will have a dilemma of whether I do or don’t.  For years my plan has been to “retire” some point in my mid fifties.  However all the predictions of doom and gloom for pensioners who don’t consider how much they actually need to survive for how long have made me start to reassess.  Now the time is here when I could (should?) seriously sit down and think about it I’m procrastinating and putting it off.  I wrote recently to my old employer with whom I have the largest chunk of my pension stating that my predicted retirement age should be adjusted to 60 from 57 to alter the profile of my investments, many invested funds have a pattern of adjusting where your money is invested as your retirement date approaches so that your fund is less exposed to market volatility just as you plan to take the pension it should fund.  My current employer have just changed their scheme to encompass a similar scheme for your additional contributions and when I set my preferences for what fund to use I again put my retirement age as 60.

Why the hang up?  Well…. no male antecedent of mine that I know of has ever made it to 60.  My Dad got the closest when he passed away at 59 years and 10 months. This is why for much of my life I had looked to getting retirement started in my mid fifties, leaving it any later looked like it had slim chance of any realisation.  However when my Dad died male life expectancy was about 74 years in the UK and the latest figures are about 81.  So in 30 years a 5 year increase.  Even if I accept my families predisposition to popping our clogs early if I had 5 years to my Dad’s life I look to be on target for about 65.  But that is ten years away so will life expectancy have risen another ~2 years?  Or is this all just me using my usual researching skills and over analytical brain to avoid making a tough decision?  Hmm….

Enough of the doom and gloom about getting older though, actually getting older is a good thing since it means I’m still here to get older and luckily I continue to get older sober which is a bonus too.

So what did I get for my birthday?   A bunch of blu-ray films which means the next few Saturday nights I can avoid that National Lottery nonsense, an Amazon voucher, a CD from Miloš Karadaglić and tickets to see him at a small gig this month at the Canterbury Festival.  Oh yes and some Big Bends Nut Sauce well I mean all men my age need some nut sauce don’t they?


About furtheron

Music and guitar obsessive who is a recovering alcoholic to boot
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14 Responses to Happy Birthday

  1. byebyebeer says:

    I’m not clicking on a nut sauce link, sorry. Happy birthday!! 60 seems young to retire but more power to you if you can swing it. I’m sure family history is hard to shake. I would argue your mid 50s officially starts next year so party like a young (sober) person 🙂

  2. Happy birthday! You’re definitely a young 50s from what I saw a couple years back 😉

  3. Lily says:


  4. C says:

    Happy birthday Graham! I’m only a year behind. We are young!
    Thanks for the tip-off about the nut sauce (which is nothing like I imagined from that name!). I’ve just told Mr SDS all about it as he recently bought a Strat and he is all excited about getting some now! (I’m thinking… Christmas present? I bought him the Haynes manual for Fender Stratocaster for his birthday… best thing I could have ever bought him I reckon!)

  5. Happy Birthday, Graham!
    You are young guy!
    I retired when I turned 60, and hubs is going to retire when he is 64.
    I had a hard time adjusting to retirement, but I like it now!
    Hubs wants to retire while he is still young enough to be active.
    I was lucky that my teacher pension is good, and hubs and I saved our money.

  6. Happy birthday, golden throat. Many more. Retirement at 57 would be a dream but I don’t think it’s going to happen for me, either. I blame my children.

  7. JJ says:

    Happy Birthday Graham! I had to look Milos up–very neat.

    The spouse bought himself a Kala tenor ukulele in September and a book on Beatles tunes for uke. He found the neck on the mandolin hard to use and the uke neck is slightly wider, and the tuning much more like a guitar and easier to learn.

    Retirement–hard to wait BUT at least you have things to do in your retirement life. I’m amazed at how many people retire and have nothing to do. You’ll set a new family record and live to 94, I bet.

  8. looby says:

    Happy belated birthday Graham. Hope you can knock off work as soon as possible. I hardly work at all now, and never want a full-time job again (I’m 52).

  9. daisyfae says:

    Happy – very belated – birthday! I’ve planned my retirement date for a month after my 55th birthday. Until i did a reasonable retirement income estimate, i didn’t know if i could afford to go. My circumstances (being single, and not sharing a pension) make it very lucrative to just retire when eligible… i’ve also been saving additional funds into a separate retirement account, so i should be good. But the key thing – i had NO idea what cash flow would look like until i crunched the numbers.

    highly recommend you spend a couple of hours doing a solid estimate – maybe one for 55, one for 57 and another for 60. You will get a sense for the added benefits of staying on a couple years more. Having a child at university may also affect the math – mine are long out of my wallet…

    Good luck! There’s life on the other side of an office job!

  10. Happy Very belated birthday hope it was a good ‘un! When I turned 50 I was a little concerned – that middle age! Eeek! but so far I’m loving it. I’m finding more time to do things I haven’t had time for before – Grab your fifty’s by the scruff and enjoy 🙂

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