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Are you sure retiring early leads to a long life expectancy? I would expect the opposite. My father still works and he is very healthy for an 88 year old. Anecdote is not data, but people in my family seem to stay healthy by working or staying very active.

I think part of the point is to find a avocation that is not stressful, you enjoy, and can do a long time. That may be worth more than money.

> My father still works and he is very healthy for an 88 year old.

This is usually related to the kind of job you are doing.

My mother was cleaning schools and that is a killer for the back. Being retired, she takes long walks and keeps herself active and healthy.

But when I was studying I saw quite old teachers still active, and happy. But that's a different kind of job with different effects on your health.

> I think part of the point is to find a [a]vocation that is not stressful, you enjoy, and can do a long time.

I agree. If you are lucky enough to get a job that fulfills you, then continuing working can be a good thing. That's why we can't just delay retirement age, but we need to take into account personal circumstances.

A not stressful and enjoyable work also helps you to keep your good health for longer, so you get in better shape to old age.

Still working can also be related to still being healthy enough to work.

Great point. I wonder, if everyone should, in their middle ages, really think this through. And perhaps make a career change if their work requires something they wouldn't be comfortable doing later in life.

One of the best professions I can think of retiring in is probably academia... I've worked/studied/socialized with professors very much older than me, and they seem to continue to enjoy teaching/talking to students despite their age.

I sometimes wonder if a lot of the freshly educated programmers I hire really know what they are in for.

In 25 years they'll still have 25-30 years of work left in their lives, and by then most of them won't have received any significant reschooling, and they will still be competing in a tech world, where 10 years ago there wasn't a thing called smartphones.

Some of them will do just fine. I know a lot of old programmers, but I also know a lot of former older IT employees who are spending their 60ies in the unemployment lines.

An engineer educates him/herself with foundational knowledge, supplemented off course, with programming. By "foundational knowledge" I mean the knowledge and experience in the application of software to solve real world problems. The insight you gain doing that, makes you an engineer, not a programmer. And this makes you valuable. More valuable than a kid of the street who knows the latest buzzword tech.

Moral of the story: Be an Engineer, not a Programmer. Be Valuable, not Replaceable.

True, but engineering and CS moves forward as well, and freshly educated engineers cost less money than you.

> In 25 years they'll still have 25-30 years of work left in their lives

If you don't care about having a wife or kids you can easily retire forever after 10-15 years of work in SV or NYC.

You can't, really. Not in the US. There's no way you can budget health care for that many years.

Yes you can.

1. mrmoneymustache.com 2. earlyretirementextreme.com 3. gocurrycracker.com 4. madfientist.com 5. thepowerofthrift.com (I could go on for a while here)

It's not only perfectly possible, it's not particularly difficult.

No, that doesn't address the problem at all. If you retire thirty years before you qualify for medicare, you have no idea what your medical expenses will be. None. They could amount to millions of dollars over those three decades, depending on your particular issues, and you're never going to close that gap by minimizing expenses.

It does. Just because you aren't comfortable with that risk doesn't mean it's impossible. It just means your risk tolerance is lower than the aforementioned people who did retire 30 years early.

Well, if you're willing to be homeless you can retire any time you'd like.

The amount of people who will actually do this and go through it is so tiny that this comment is worthless. Give and take a few years (and perhaps not in SF/NYC), you could say this about any decent paying job.

Or you'll spend it all on rent?

Why would you do that if your goal is to retire early?

In 10-15 years in SV/NY you can earn $1MM after tax + growth and then move to a lower COL city/town and take it easy.

The problem with that is that your COL in those 10-15 years is significantly impacted. That's probably 10% of your entire life. While I understand some people might be comfortable with the tradeoff... its important to remember there is something you are giving up.

I don't think I understand what you're giving up in that 10% of your life.

I'm living in a studio, have a parking spot, walk to work and go out with my coworkers/friends after work.

What am I missing out on?

After tax? Sure, it's possible, but there aren't actually that many people who make $300k/yr.

$100k after tax is only $140k pretax

Eh... sure, if you're only paying federal taxes. But in on that $140k you're going to end up with about $92k. And everything is more expensive in cities. The idea you're going to live in SF and save more than about half that, even living like a monk, is kind of fanciful.

NYC is even worse - lop another thousand off and pay even more to live.

I've personally lived in both cities and you can live perfectly well on $4k a month with a couple of roommates. Better than the average American even.

Then, if you invest $46k a year for 15 years at a real return of 4% you end up with ~$943k in present day dollars which is right around what the parent was saying.

Not to mention $140k total compensation is relatively low for a senior dev in SF/NYC, you will likely be making a lot more 10 years in.

Where are you going to get a real return of 4%?

US stock market has averaged 8 over the past 50 years

That's unlikely to be true in the future for a whole host of reasons.

You will be making $200k+ in SF even in your early years, if you climb the corporate ladder you can get to $300k in 5 years.

You can definitely sock away enough even without a 4% rate of growth to put away $1MM of after-tax money in 10-15 years, if you're smart with your money.

Well yeah, the old "job for life" where one specific set of skills with perhaps some minor updating here and there is good for 40 years is long gone. Sadly many were raised with different expectations.

Well there is that, but there is also an unwillingness to reeducate especially in the private sector.

I've worked in public service all my life and I took a master degree in business and leadership which was paid by my employeer. Which moved me from engineering to management.

When I see my old study buddies, who all work privately, none of them have gotten any form of reeducation and very few have kept up with the tech.

I'm sure most of them could learn the new buzzwords if they wanted to, but who would hire them until they do when you could simply pick a fresh candidate with newer CS knowledge, all the buzz and a lower pay requirement?

Why don't they go back to school and do a 2yr trade degree w internship

The principles are the same, the details change.

Many of those folks are probably chill because they are established and have tenure.

People switching careers at 40 or 50 aren't going to be established and have tenure after a few years in academia.

That is a great point. Not every job can be extended late into life. But like your mother, I think you have to stay active and find something that challenges you.

The general consensus is that you're correct.

Mostly dealing with octogenarians+ whom I know; the more active you are (more so socially, as well as physically) the better off you are at living a long and healthy life. Having a routine like a job sets also seems to help human psyche. Your point about vocation that is not stressful, enjoyable, and is lasting satisfies all these requirements.






That's from both sides of the pond.

I didn't say inactive, I just said retired. I agree than people who 'stop' will tend to die of boredom. I've got a prime example in my family at the moment. I've also got the other side of the coin where that chap is nearly 90, is on several councils, charities and never seem to sit around for 2 minutes. He's as strong as an ox!

Agreed about dying of boredom. The brain needs stimulation. I've seen shut-ins go in a downward spiral quickly, while 98-year-old gardeners die peacefully in their sleep on an otherwise normal, active day.

Working with your mind in a stress free environment will make you old. Mining coal, crawling around in asbestos, being pushed by a never ending competition or sitting still doing nothing won't.

So there are upsides and down sides to work/retirement thing. The best you can do is academia or a retirement spent learning new things.

This may just be selection bias. Had your father died at age 70, you'd be thinking the reason was he didn't retire early enough.

My dad retired at 55 as his health began to decline. He's still alive at 78, and there's no way he would have lived this long if he didn't retire when he did.

Economics is not a monolith of wages and taxes. In a family there are many householding activities where retirees can contribute to the economic health of society.

Retirement should be a focus for these types of activities. Things like tending a small garden, or playing with grandchildren.

At least in the US, this is going to require a shift in both the workplace and the home.

My father is 65, my mother in law is 59, and my father in law is late 50s (my mother passed away recently at 59). All three of them must still work full time because they can't afford to retire, preventing them from helping with our 1 year old (causing us to have a limited support system, which I supplement with a part time nanny).

But heh, GDP!

Optimum age for taking Medicare and SS also play a factor. Even if I had enough money in my 401K to retire at 45, medical insurance would eat it up. Need to wait to get on Medicare.

Agreed. My wife and I plan on moving to Canada or Europe before preparing for retirement so we don't have to work into our 60s for healthcare.

Please come early enough that you're not just a burden on the system and pay into it long enough. Seriously.

Of course. Always give more than you take.

I'd assume the increased life expectancy is more about the free healthcare than the earlier retirement.

Free treatment for everything. That does help a lot when you get old, starting with all the minor problems happening with an aging body, and concluding with the last few years where you could literally be kept alive despite a critical condition requiring constant care, all paid in full by the tax payer.

Yeah, again, anecdota is not data, but I knew a few people who fully retired after just 15 years of work(in Poland certain professions are allowed to retire that quickly with full benefits, that includes policemen,firefighters and miners) and they all died before reaching 60, having only worked until the age of 33-35.

I suspect retirement and age expectancy is a correlation NOT causation type of deal. People who have the privilege of affording to retire early are more likely to be educated and chose a healthy lifestyle, thus living longer.

It seems like a positive feedback loop to me. You would expect healthy people to be able and willing to keep working instead of retiring. Esp. if their work involves some physical activity it helps keeping them healthy.

I've actually heard the opposite - that people can tend to die within a year of retirement, generally because they don't have anything purposeful left to do.

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