Retirement is not a matter of how old you are, it's whether you have the money to walk away from paid employment.It is true. One of my fellow teachers, who had been just hanging in there for several years, recently let the administration know she was leaving at the end of the school year. (both being tired of teaching, and physically exhausted because of medical problems - I don't know, but I suspect that it was a self-reinforcing loop - she was not well, so didn't enjoy the teaching, and she didn't enjoy her working hours, so tended to make her sicker).
She didn't have the age to get Social Security yet, so hesitated to retire, because of the need for medical. This year, she realized that her retirement savings could make up that shortfall until she qualified for SS.
And, she will be gone - hopefully, to enjoy the rest of her life.
Most people are hugely in debt (we have more than I would like at the moment). Consumer debt is the worst - the highest interest, the most difficult to say 'No' to. For many of us, there is little to no available cash in savings, and we are then left to fall back on credit if an appliance breaks, or if a car dies, or any other crisis hits.
There are resources for those who want to get out of that Debt Trap:
- Dave Ramsey - he runs a successful business teaching others to bootstrap themselves out of debt. I've known several who like his approach - I've not tried it, myself.
- He's created the Debt Snowball Plan - you start with the SMALLEST debt first (yes, I know, it's counterintuitive, but it seems to work well). Pay that off, and re-direct the money that would have gone to that into the next smallest debt.
- Why does it work? Because you can quickly see progress, unlike other plans where you might still see a mountain of debt for years. I'm guessing that it's one of those things that hit people in a deeply emotional part of the brain, and that makes it easier to follow.
- For a more traditional approach, try this. He favors starting to work on the highest interest-bearing debt first.
- What Credit.com has to say about getting rid of debt.
- Here is Dough Roller's take on the process, and 23 practical tips.
- The Simple Dollar has more on the subject.
- Forbes Magazine has a more traditional take on the subject, but this personal experience might ring a bell with you.
- I enjoy Lifehacker, mostly because they focus on what works, and how you can stand apart from the crowd to have the life you want. Some good advice here. Besides, anyone who takes the nom de plume of Johny Moneyseed HAS to be different.
- The Motley Fool doesn't say much that is very different from others, but they say it so entertainingly!
- Don't let the gloomy title put you off! This Kiplinger article focuses on the ways you might look at debt, that keep you there.
- Seed Time looks at debt (and other topics) from a Christian perspective.
- Becoming Minimalist - this blog looks at debt, and other topics, in terms of LESS stuff, for MORE live enhancement. I have to be honest, this does appeal to me in some deep way.