Oct 082007

Once upon a time, retirement was a fairly straightforward proposition. You landed a good job sometime in your 20s or 30s, worked your butt off for the same company for 30 or 40 years, then retired at age 65 with a nice pension and a comfortable Social Security check. Well, needless to say, those days are nothing but a vague dream now. Not only do people skip around from job to job, they regularly change careers a couple of times during their working life. Social Security is in such sad shape that many younger folks today don’t even think it will be around when they reach their 60s or 70s. Besides, as life spans increase, a lot of people are expecting to work much longer than our grandparents even could have expected.

The fact of the matter is that there are no easy answers and, in fact, really no right or wrong answers either. Different strokes for different folks and all that. I know many people expect to retire early, sometime in their 50s so that they can enjoy as much of their life as possible. In fact, we posted a quiz at one point a couple of years ago to help you determine your retirement readiness.

For those of you thinking of working a little longer into your life and beyond the traditional retirement age, there’s an interesting article here. The problem with trying to get or keep a job later in life, according to this article, is that “age discrimination appears to be alive and well in the U.S.” They might just try to force you out before you’re ready to leave.

Another interesting place to take a look to see how you stack up to other families looking to get their financial cards in order is over at CNNMoney, entitled Millionaires in the Making. This series looks through the finances of some families that “are making all the right moves. They save as much as possible in tax-advantaged accounts. They watch what they spend. And they have clearly defined financial goals.” You can compare your financial choices and see how you stack up.

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