by John F. in Florida
I turned 61 years old in September and am still working in a high-stress job.
Deciding when to retire is a very important decision as there are no do overs. The appropriate time is determined by a person's health, their spouse's health if married, the age of both the retiree and their spouse, their income, their interests, etc.
I have seen several retirees that left the workforce early and ended up running out of money. Sometimes this is unavoidable due to health issues and sometimes it is due to poor planning.
I have one friend who is doomed to sitting on her back porch day after day because that is all she can afford to do. That is very sad. Of course if you have plenty of money but are too old and sick to enjoy it is no good either.
I constantly do the math trying to figure out the best time for me to retire. The oldest at which I retire will be 65. I may retire earlier depending on the stock market or if my wife or I start having serious health issues.
I certainly don't want to end up like my poor neighbor with no money and unable to go anywhere or do anything. I love to travel, camp, hike, cook, fish, build things, etc. That all takes at least some money, gas at the very least.
My goal is to retire at just the right time to maximize my retirement with adequate resources and decent health so my wife and I can enjoy our remaining years.
I hope and pray that I make the right decision on the best time.