Chances are you’ve been asked that question before.  Maybe by your spouse or a co-worker.  Maybe by your kids.  When someone asks you that question, is the answer you give a date or a dollar amount?  For most people it’s a date.  Something like “March of next year.” or “When I’m sixty-five.  Two years to go!”

When you think about it, though, your age has very little to do with it.  Sure, you can start taking Social Security at 62, but the average Social Security payment couldn’t lift you above the poverty line.  If you’re like most, your nest egg will be doing the really heavy lifting during retirement.  It will take over the job that the payroll department handled while you were working.  So instead of basing retirement on your birthday, consider basing it on your bank account instead.  Figure out the amount of money you need in order to generate the annaul income you require to fund the retirement you want.  Get that amount saved and you’re retired, regardless of how old you are or whether or not you are still working.

The arithmetic of loss
Three crucial questions