I had always said I was going to retire when I was 50. I had worked and saved since I was 16. Retiring without Medicare and Social Security is a scary thing. I wound up retiring then going back to work. At 53, I took a part-time job with a decent salary for the hours but I was sooooo bored. And then life rang my bell.
I had major medical problems. So major that when I was able to return to work they let me go because they didn’t think I could keep up with the workflow. They were probably right. Nobody else felt comfortable enough with my health issues to hire me. I applied for disability but was denied. I appealed and got my rejection to the appeal while I was in ICU. I appealed again and I was denied because they didn’t think anything changed from my original application.
I am assuming you can imagine what my savings is now. I took early retirement, with the penalty, because I needed income. $4,000 a month wouldn’t have put a dent in my prescriptions.
Everybody needs to know there’s no such thing as a safe amount of money set aside for retirement. Life happens and in the blink of an eye your whole life and everything you worked for can be gone.
See: I’m 68, my husband is terminally ill, and his $3 million estate will go to his son. I want to spend the rest of my days traveling – will I have enough money?
I normally only feature letters with questions for this column, but your note was just so important for other readers that I had to respond – and let others see what you’ve shared.
I’m so very sorry that you experienced this. Wanting to retire early isn’t inherently wrong – so many people wish to do it, especially after decades of working. But without the proper planning, it could lead to despair, especially if an emergency occurs.
“Retiring early is a dream for many people,” said Landon Tan, a certified financial planner. “But those years of not working diminish your chance of a successful retirement more than almost any other metric we toggle when making financial plans.”
Retiring early means there are more years you need to be able to financially cover, and that requires money – a lot of it. When planning to retire early, those extra years need to be considered – at the forefront of retirement, but also in the back end if you live longer than anticipated.
“Today’s retirees are expecting their accumulated assets to work for them for 10-20 years longer than before,” said …….