I'm almost 63, and hadn't planned to retire for another two or three years. I like my job, make enough money and hardly ever dread going to work.
But there's a but: They offered me a buyout this week. Complicated formula, but what it amounts to is I can work three or four more weeks, then get pay and benefits through the end of 2008. I'd have about a year of health insurance to pay for before I qualify for Medicare in January 2010, a tough nut ($1000 a month or so, probably) but we can do it.
The alternative: I stay on at regular pay, which really means (since I can get a year's worth for nothing) I'd be working at half salary. There's a small chance of layoffs in 2009, but I'm very unlikely to be involved. I work for a newspaper, and that business is changing dramatically in ways I don't like--my job will be much less fun in six months than it is now, and even worse in a year. It's much worse now than it was six months ago.
It's financially possible for us, and my wife, a writer, has just signed a book contract that will keep her working (and money coming in) for four years. There's really no reason NOT to do it, but I'm sort of freaked about it. I didn't realize how much I identify with my job (not healthy; I never wanted to be one of those guys), and I'm not sure WTF I'll do with my time once I get the house whipped into shape.
I know nobody can answer my personal questions, but anybody have stories of their own about this?