May 24th, 2004



What do you want to do when you retire? And are you saving up so that you can do this?

I enjoy what I do, but I'm not so fond of the business of writing software. So my goal has been to retire early. I want to buy a bookstore. Or teach. Or go into journalism. All basically second careers, but where I wouldn't need to worry about the pay anymore. Hopefully that making the job seem less like work and more like a passion.

However, I worked for a number of struggling or failing businesses, so just as I was eligible to participate in their retirement plans (if they had one), I was off looking for another job. I managed to save about $6,000 toward retirement during the first 6 years I worked. Even at compounded rates of return, that wouldn't be enough on which to retire by the time I turned 65.

My mom and dad both worked at places that gave them defined benefit pension plans. I suspect not more than one or two of the people reading this work at places that have that benefit. A bunch won't even have defined contribution plans. Those who do I suspect aren't able to save nearly enough to actually retire at 65. With the economy any whatnot, most of my friends are more interested in making enough money for rent. But I wonder how many are thinking and planning for 30 years down the road. Or if it's just so bleak and far off that everyone just tries to move on to other topics when the mind wanders that way.