Early retirement Making solid plans for early retirement

Marcel Gaston Morand has decided to retire early. Clear planning and budgeting was crucial for this.

by Simon Bietenhader 24 Feb 2016
Pension planning is important – in particular if you retire early.

Why did you decide to take early retirement?

I suffered from an extreme case of burnout a few years ago. I couldn’t sleep or stop thinking about work. Last year, I fell into another downward spiral and couldn’t escape. That’s when I decided to retire early.

What makes you the most happy?

Being free and having no obligations. Right now, I only want to show up for appointments that are absolutely necessary and do nothing else. I’m also looking forward to spending four weeks in Greece.

What did you do to prepare?

Once I made my decision, I talked to my co-workers. They shared their experience and gave me valuable tips. Then, at the start of the year, I met with my UBS advisor for the first time. He advised me professionally and constructively. At first, I was worried that he might try to talk me out of retiring. However, the consultation – and all the questions – dispelled my concerns. Most importantly, he gave me the confidence that I was making the right decision.

What were the questions about?

We mainly talked about my consumption and investment plans after retirement. Many people want to catch up on things they didn’t have the time or money to do before retiring: taking a cruise or purchasing a home, for example. I don’t have children, so I travelled plenty while working. I don’t have any other expensive plans, either, so I can get by with less money. I also don’t have to worry about leaving an inheritance for anyone when I die.

How are you financing your early retirement?

I’ve set up a clear plan and budget with my UBS advisor. Between my personal assets, AHV pension and pension fund savings, I will be able to maintain my standard of living until the age of 90. I’ll use my assets to bridge the 15-month period until I can draw a pension. I will also withdraw my pension fund savings in one lump sum so I can decide how much I want to draw every month. My advisor already worked out the AHV contributions that I will have to make until the age of 65 as an unemployed person.

Have there been emotional challenges for you?

I don’t miss working and certainly don’t regret making this decision. But I often think about the place where I worked. You see, I had been with the same company for over 37 years. You can’t help but build relationships. I still think about past claims that I handled. And I often call my co-workers or stop by to see them. They usually don’t have time to chat. But that doesn’t bother me. It means that business is booming!

Marcel Gaston Morand took early retirement. Prior to retiring, he worked as a claims adjuster at a car leasing company.