Farrell: Can aggressive saver retire at 52? Not quite yet

  • by: CHRIS FARRELL , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 16, 2013 - 3:25 PM

Q: I am a single woman who began saving aggressively for retirement the first chance I got — maxing out my 401(k), investing in individual stocks, waiting until I could pay cash for a reliable used car and carefully considering other purchases before I made them. My income was not great, but it was steady. And I never married or had children. I am now 52. My mortgage can be satisfied by writing a check. The retirement calculator provided by my financial adviser shows I am clear to retire at any time without sacrificing my current standard of living. The calculator assumes a drastically underperforming market and adjusts for inflation. I factored in a sufficient amount for health care, regular vacations, hobbies as well as the necessities such as food, clothing, shelter and transportation. I am desperate to quit and enjoy a work-free lifestyle, but I’m scared to death. Can I actually rely on a computer program to tell me I am safe to retire?

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