Can You Retire in 2016?http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/retirement/2006/01/05/can-you-retire-in-2016.aspx Rick Aristotle Munarriz
January 5, 2006
Where do the years go? At age 38, I still have most of my hair, though a gray strand or two has joined the neighborhood. I feel young at heart, though my occasional aching joints and bones remind me that I'm not a kid anymore.
I certainly don't feel like hanging up my jester cap anytime soon. However, after coming to terms with the aging process and my own mortality, I've found myself pondering my eventual retirement.
After all, that's something you have to plan for if you want to do it right. I live in the retiree hotbed of Florida, and I see the differences between the planned and the planned-nots every day. I see the active octogenarian, merrily teeing it up at the golf course. Yet I also see his high school buddy flipping burgers or sweeping theme parks because he just couldn't make ends meet after retiring.
There's no shame in working at any age. I feel more confident placing my fast food order with someone who is 80 than someone who is 18. The only shame here is that some folks either take too long to start planning for their retirement or plan so poorly that they don't realize it's not enough.
I don't want that to be me. I don't want my Retirement Party to be followed by my Coming Out of Retirement Party a few years later. So I decided that I should check out Robert Brokamp's Rule Your Retirement newsletter service to see how far along I am to one day retiring on my terms -- and staying retired on my terms.
The 10-year plan
Obviously, retiring at 48, before my IRA withdrawals and Social Security distributions start kicking in, was going to be a challenge. I'm a modest guy with a modest wife, and we abide by the "Live Below Your Means" credo. My two sons are a different story, but we've still got time to raise them right. However, going by my current savings, and factoring in the magic of compounded returns for another 10 years, I would be retiring at 48 and scraping gum off the Fantasyland floor by 50.
If you will be old enough to qualify to start pulling money out of your pensions, IRAs, and Social Security come 2016, you will be in much better shape -- but only if you save and plan accordingly.
It's all about the Callaways
Rule Your Retirement isn't going to make my golf game any better. It's just going to make it possible.
Living in the watery oasis of this fine peninsular state, a boat would be a nice big-ticket retirement goal, though I have always been partial to recreational vehicles. The problem is that my older sister and her husband financed $70,000 for a new RV last year that they really can't afford. If and when I go that route, it's going to be for keeps.
Perhaps that's why I've been looking at many of the stocks behind my inspiration lately. How cool would it be to beef up my retirement nest egg by buying into the companies that may claim my cash when I do reach the point where I'm able to retire?