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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone taken an unpaid Leave of Absence just prior to retirement?

I'm targeting to "retire" April 2022 but was wondering if there might be value in trying to request a 1 year leave of absence and then officially retiring April 2023. I was thinking that it might provide me with a bit of a safety net option of heading back to work if my unofficial retirement during the leave of absence runs into issues one way or another. Hoping to get some help thinking through the pro's and con's.
 

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Great question & great concept:
Please accept my reply as someone who struggled with the "retirement thought"
There are IMHO, two valid concerns about retiring.
1. Financial
2. Your loss of self worth from working/spare time/boredome......."what will I do now"?

1.The financial part can be reviewed and analyzed by a fiancial planner, or accountant who is trusted and knows your situation.
Instead of taking a year off without pay. Try living on your expected retirement time income for a year.
2. The emotional part. That being to do with your time and expectations: MY personal observations......
Prior to retirement , I was not sure. Thought I would perhaps work part time, or some day find a less stresful job. So far, absoloutly not!
Love every single minute of my days of freedom. The freedom is unexplainable, other than once you are there it is amazing!

My story is mine. I do have retired friends and relatives. I am with the majority. One other example; Guy loved his job. Proud high paying executive position. Wanted to work well past normal retirment age. Was offered a pink slip & package at age 65. Decision was made for him.
Took about 2 weeks to sink in, he was retired and moved on.
Has no interst in any new jobs, part time or other. Loves every minute of his retirement.
Too be frank, I have met not one person who has regretted retirement.

So, for get #2 you will discover your new life.

Leaving only part #1

Either you can afford to retire or you cant.
To know that?
1. How much do you spend and make now ( all net numbers)?
2. In reirment how much will you net?
If you dont know the answers, you have a year to figure out to your April/22 goal.

All the best & good luck with your retirement
 

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I view Covid working from home with my already retired wife for the last 11 months as being, in a way, the best pre retirement test drive.
She normally has a ton of things on the go with community theatre and all that has stopped. A lot of my hobbies have stopped as well. And we have learned we can co-exist and not kill each other being around each other like we would be a lot of the time in retirement.

In the early days of covid work was very light on the ground for me, so even though WFT, and cut back to four days pay late March until July 2020 I ate up a ream of accrued vacation, like from 6weeks to as low as 3 days in the vacation time bank. We spent that together keeping each other from going bonkers.

In Oct 19 we went on a three week cruise. Longest continuous time off for vacation in likely 20 years. It was very nice to not think about work while away, and what waited for me on the proverbial 'monday'.
 

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Has anyone taken an unpaid Leave of Absence just prior to retirement?

I'm targeting to "retire" April 2022 but was wondering if there might be value in trying to request a 1 year leave of absence and then officially retiring April 2023. I was thinking that it might provide me with a bit of a safety net option of heading back to work if my unofficial retirement during the leave of absence runs into issues one way or another. Hoping to get some help thinking through the pro's and con's.
I did exactly that. requested a 6 month LOA to relocate to another city with the hopes of retiring. My boss said you should ask for a year off...easier to shorten the leave, then ask for a longer one. Stayed home for a year. Went back PT for about a year and then packed it in. I’ve probably turned down half a dozen jobs since then. If you need to make a few bucks or are bored, the work will find you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, for get #2 you will discover your new life.

Leaving only part #1

Either you can afford to retire or you cant.
To know that?
1. How much do you spend and make now ( all net numbers)?
2. In reirment how much will you net?
If you dont know the answers, you have a year to figure out to your April/22 goal.
Thanks for your feedback.
I'm actually not so concerned about issue 2 as I have a similar view as you but am wondering if I'm missing anything. The loss of self worth angle never resonated with me since I never felt work defined me. And while I realize that vacations are not the same as retirement but any time I'm away from work, I do not miss it at all (even though I do check emails though more out of courtesy for whover is covering for me :D). I'm extremely looking forward to using the freed up time for activities and projects.

My main concern about the financials is if we enter into an extended bear market. Mathematically, i think I can handle it. Psychologically, I'm not sure if I'd feel great pulling the plug if I see the the markets dipping to into the 20-30%+ range while not having the comfort of a regular paycheck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
And we have learned we can co-exist and not kill each other being around each other like we would be a lot of the time in retirement.
Yes, I think that's pretty important too: being able to spend a lot of time with you spouse and not kill each other. The missus and I are good in that respect. We spend a lot of time doing stuff together and some long stretches of 24x7 during a few vacations.

In Oct 19 we went on a three week cruise. Longest continuous time off for vacation in likely 20 years. It was very nice to not think about work while away, and what waited for me on the proverbial 'monday'.
That is gold. Not having to think about what was waiting for me on Monday is one of the biggies I'm looking forward to!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My boss said you should ask for a year off...easier to shorten the leave, then ask for a longer one.
That's a good tip!

Went back PT for about a year and then packed it in. I’ve probably turned down half a dozen jobs since then. If you need to make a few bucks or are bored, the work will find you.
I think there might be an opportunity to get asked back to some term/contract work but I'm not looking to rely on it. But I feel it's going to be more of a "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!" :D
Having not needing to apply for a job in close to 2 decades, my confidence with work finding me is not that high :), though a few buddies have asked me to do some work for their small businesses.
 

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In 2015, I took a one year of leave without pay to "test" retirement...! In my case, it was an excellent decision. It confirmed my readiness to retire. Take note that if you are part of a Defined Pension you may have to pay the employee and employer contribution to the pension plan (If you have not maxed the contribution years).
 
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