Saving for late retirement: Why some of us are retiring later



Once upon a time, retiring early seemed possible. You know all those books that have covers with young, happy couples frolicking on a sunny beach? You know the ones. Their titles exclaim that, “You Too Can Retire Early!” Ha! I may have read a few of those in my younger days, hoping for that glorious future.


Could I retire at 30?


Nope. Low-paying jobs and too much fun left me little for saving the millions needed for me to retire. In fact, how do people earn millions when they are in their 20s?


Could I retire at 40?


Nope. My 30s had me working harder and I did open a retirement account. But I wasn’t retiring with less than $100,000 in that account…way less.


Could I retire at 50?


I wish. I may have begun earning more money, but I also had debt and not enough savings to live comfortably for more than four and a half months.


So, frolicking on that beach in my 40s and 50s didn’t happen.


Now that I’m in my late 50s, I wonder about my retirement plans.


Can I retire at 60?


Well, if I want to work full-time in retirement, live frugally, and hope I do not live as long as my grandmothers and mothers, then yes, I suppose I could “faux” retire, but I’d be a fool to do it.


So, now I look at the money saved in my retirement account. I look at all the retirement calculators that plot out how much I might have by the time I turn 62, or 67, or even 70. Panic is close.

White Rabbit with watch
I’m late! I’m late!

Please tell me I can retire by the time I turn 70. Please.


I made it my late 50s with a decent job, a good education, and a lovely home. What I don’t have is a million dollars saved in my retirement funds. I also have a big chunk of debt. So how the heck am I going to retire within 5 to 10 years?


You know my new dream? I dream that I can retire someday…and before I turn 90!


My time window to save for a cushy retirement is getting smaller and smaller. Yet, though I feel stress about my future, I no longer am panicking. Why?


I have a plan.


I am no longer saving for an EARLY retirement. I am now saving for a LATE retirement. If I give myself 12 more years of saving I think, just possibly, I can retire at 70. And who knows? I may retire a few years before I turn 70. Retiring later gives me more options.


Not only am I planning to pay off my debt, I am planning to have the amount of money I need to live comfortably when I retire. Plus, retirement is not just about money, but what to do after I stop working a full-time job.


Are any of you facing the same fears? Do you realize that your chance for an early retirement has passed and are not sure when, or if, you can retire? A lot of people are retiring later for various reasons.


Join in on the fun, and we can plan our retirements together. Though we weren’t early to the retirement party, let’s see if we can make it fashionably late.


After all, it’s better late than never!


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