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Why did you retire early (or not)?

I first considered retirement in mid 2014 when I had a bad bout of health related issues.  After three surgeries and associated recoveries, I needed to think long and hard about what I was doing with my life.
I took time last December to re-evaluate the wear and tear of my body and mind from my challenging financial software consulting career, which required juggling many demanding clients in many geographies.  I pared back my client list now to include only those I truly enjoy working with, have respectable payment terms and am working parttime.  I 'work' about 5-10 hours a week now. 
Having been a long-time saver and investor, and being over the magic age of 59.5, I am able now to dip into those 'retirement' funds and continue to generate 1099-MISC consuting income.   Still keeping my consulting business allows me to leverage deductions for business-related expenses and combine work and pleasure travel together.
I retired in 2004 at 55, under an excellent Defined Benefit plan that allowed an early, unreduced distribution (5-year period certain), most of which, along with my 401k was rolled over into a traditional IRA, while the amount I took as income was actually more than my previous salary, allowing us to put our third child through college, with debt for no one when it was done. When asked why I retired, my standard answer was 'because I could, retirement being more fun and less stressful than a management job where I had to be concerned about plant operations 24/7 for 27 years.' Never regretted it.

I doubt there many - if any - plans like I had left (this one was closed to new participants in 1990), and if it weren't for that plan, I'd likely have worked beyond 60.
I retired after 44 years with the same company.  I was getting the feeling that experience didn't count for much.  Then after 15 months, they asked me to return.  I'm working 1 day in the office and the rest at home, averaging 30 hours per week at a good flat rate.
I retired at 57 and have been retired for over one year.  I retired early because I was overworked, stressed out, did not like my job, and was constantly sleep deprived.  I had around $1.5M in savings ($950K in brokerage account, $400K in IRA, $100K seller mortgage note, $50K in the checking account) so I took the plunge.  One year later, I have $1.63M from stock trading and am still living on funds in my checking account.  I am no longer sleep deprived or stressed out.  I hit the gym for a couple hours five or six times weekly.  I feel so much healthier.  I bought a piano to resume a hobby that I left when I went off to college.  Life is good.  I live frugally.  There are moments of financial anxiety from time to time, given I'm actively trying to grow my savings through stock trading.  Hopefully I won't destroy myself financially before I reach my goal of $2M.
I'm planning on waiting to take SS at 70 when I will get $40K annually in 2015 dollars.  I am substituting SS for a longevity annuity, so I want the annual payout to be as high as possible since that is the value that is indexed to inflation.
I retired at 51 after being given a box for my personal belongings and shown the door in thanks for my 29 years of loyal service.
Although very upset at the time, it turned out that corporate downsizing was the best thing that every happened to me.  My wife retired after 30 years of teaching.  She gets a great pension, I get a decent pension and I was always a saver and investor.  Twelve years later, we're having a great time, I've doubled our net worth and we clearly have more than enough money to live out our lives very, very comfortably.
Thanks to my former employer for firing me -- nicest thing anyone has ever done for me!!
Not retired, in late 30s but plan to retire early if I manage to get to a certain financial goal. Motivation for early retirement - regimented lifestyle, corporate politics, fighting for little things, dependence on a boss for growth, stress and often work that feels forced. I am not sure what I would do post-retirement but volunteering, consulting and entrepreneurship are on mind.

First step towards early retirement is estimating expenses for normal (not extravagant) lifestyle. If you own the house and need 1K for repairs and property tax, 0.5K for utilities, 1K for grocery/gas and 0.5K for medical insurance = 3K per month = 36-40K per year. 30-40 years = 1-1.5M + inflation adjustment - asset growth. This does not even include social security and medical later in life that should ease the burden significantly.
DaMa I had experienced  three  major  (9-months or longer) "burn-out" episodes in my 37-year career.  One of my coping strategies was to calculate my core/base expenses and determine the earliest time that I can retire.  I dreamed of the big day....retirement.  The words of a song rang in my ears and I knew that I must be realistic.  (the Meatloaf lyrics "there ain't no coupe-de-ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box")  The numbers that you have posted look similar to mine in the 1990's.  In retrospect, the expenses were non inclusive of many pertinent items.  Not to discourage you, but realistically, unless you are single and willing to live a demoted life-style that you may not be accustomed, I would rethink those expenses.  I am retired at 63, and my core expenses (wife and I) total 69k per year.  We live comfortably but not extravagantly  Other expenses that you may wish to include:  Taxes, health care and health care insurance, car expenses and depreciation (replacement), personal pocket money, holidays/vacations, emergencies/miscellaneous,  After all, you did not get this far only to struggle when you become less capable of coping,  changing lifestyle.  Age does strange things to the body and mind. 
Another way that I coped with career burn-out was reading the book "What Color Is Your Parachute"  It helped me a whole lot.  In fact, I stayed in my profession and started my own business.  It was successful.  Even then, I suffered an episode of burn-out; but rather than leaving my expertise on the table, I expanded into weekend warrior activities...house rehab and flipping and photography.   I reached my financial goals by 59 and sold my business.  We live below our means and our reserves continue to accumulate.  I am very satisfied knowing that I stuck it out and meet my goals.  We are experiencing a good stock market for the past 5-years (my retirement years).   There will be a time when my NAV reverses course and expenses become deficit spending (reduction in wealth).  Unlike the USA, I can not issue bonds, I must have the reserves to cover the bad days.  So,  Allow for contingencies and surprises in your budget. 
I did IT systems development in a university setting for 30.5 years.  The guy who hired me was my boss the whole time.  We never got along.  I had a plan for retiring, but I enjoyed the work and a couple of the people so I hung on.  After one run-in with the boss, I realized my behavior/attitude was slipping and I needed to get out.  I had an epiphany one day when I realized my 55th birthday was in 6 weeks.  That seemed like a great time to go and so I did.   I then entered a very enjoyable period of part-time work in the same office.  The lady I had supervised for 18 years became my supervisor and I got to do strictly development work (very little contact with the former boss).  I did that for 7.5 years until I could no longer deal with some of the kids coming in who thought they knew everything and resented me being there.  Financially, we were fine due to frugal living, a wife who worked 30 years, and a rising market.  We both drew 45% pensions when we left.  Now we have ss.  In 4 years I'll have to take RMDs.  Harder now to avoid taxes since income is unearned.  We did contribute to Fidelity Charitable Giving Fund which helps with that. Basic living costs are about $3k/month.  Not included in that are a new car every 5-7 years and the occasional $2-3k trip.
I was born to be retired.  I started working right after high school, but only to save enough money to quit my job to travel.  I did that for a large part of my life.  After 28 jobs, and having lived in many places, I finally found a job I liked at age 40 and also started a little business.  I retired in my early 60's, and am doing what I always did - - travel.  I have no pension, but because of a 401(k) and IRA, I accumulated enough money to do everything I want, and even though I have withdrawn much much more than the 4% recommended withdrawals, my portfolio is now worth quite a bit more than when I retired seven years ago.  I did it my way!
I had initially targeted 55 for retirement before entering the workforce years ago but kept working due to convenience and great pay. In the last 2 years, poor management has changed work from being a pleasure to a royal pain. I know people say how a bad boss can ruin a good job but in 35+ years, I never had one that I didn't respect and have as a true friend. I was fortunate to have only worked for two companies during my career. Then came the narcissist boss making the stress and work atmosphere terrible. Rather than look forward to work, I dreaded it and woke up regularly with anxiety attacks at night. My morning routing was to kiss my lovely wife goodbye but now there was the daily question - "Do I have to go in today honey?". My goal was to wait a little longer but I lucked out in getting a package that eliminated the thought of any wait time.
At 57 1/2 I'm now thrilled to be free and follow my own schedule. It's only been a few weeks but I can see great change already and look forward to the future. Now I'm up at 6:30 taking a 5 mile walk as well as additional exercises in the early evening. I have enough hobbies to keep busy so between investing and other small money adventures, the future looks awesome. My only regret is that I didn't follow my plan and do it at 55. 

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