Why You Need To Retire Now!

Why You Need To Retire Now!

When it comes to retirement planning, everyone, myself included, looks at life expectancy tables to get a gauge of how long they’ll need their money to last. 

They’ll look at a table like this:

And say, “I’m 60 years old today I have between 23 and 29 years left”.  

Or they’ll come across an article like this that shows a 65 year old woman today has a 34% chance of living until 90.  And for a married couple there’s nearly a 50% chance that one of the spouses who are 65 today will live beyond 90 years old.

As such, we’ll plan for a LONG retirement, meaning we’ll need lots and lots of money, meaning we should continue to work in order to have the money we will need for this long retirement.  Makes sense, no?

But it’s wrong!

The whole point about retirement is what exactly?  Think about this. Why do you want to retire? Take a moment and really, REALLY put some thought into this. 

I venture to say that most people want to retire to enjoy the remaining years of their lives. They busted their behinds for decades, squirreling money aside each paycheck in order to be able to spend that money on things they want to do later in life.

They listened to their bosses tell them to do stupid stuff.  They played corporate politics. They sat in traffic for hours on end. They attended countless mind-numbing strategy sessions.  They heard an endless procession of leadership “visions”. They basically sacrificed meaning today for what they assumed would be enjoyment in retirement. 


Look, before you throw rotten tomatoes at me, I grant not everyone works in some mind-numbing job.  Some people actually do enjoy their work. Fantastic..for them. In fact, when I was at USAA I enjoyed my work, sometimes; The times when I actually got to do the work I loved.  Unfortunately, like is the case with most of corporate America, at least in my experience, you only do what you’re actually paid to do a fraction of the time. The rest of the time is taken up by doing stupid stuff. 

Again if this is not you, congrats.  But still read on because what I’m going to hit you next with is applicable to everyone.  Look at this table:

Anything jump out at you now? 

Well two things do for me. 

First, in 2006 a 65 year old man only had 8.1 years of living without any disease, a woman 11.3 years. What kind of disease you may ask? Well, heart disease is HUGE among older folks.  So, let’s put it bluntly, while your life expectancy may be decades, your ability to last without diseases is in the single digits.  

Can you truly enjoy retirement when you’re fighting disease? I don’t know. I would suggest the older you get the more prone you are to disease, infirmities, cognitive issues, etc.  I am not saying you can’t enjoy retirement with these issues, I am rather saying it’s less likely.

In fact, look at this table:

As you can see, for men in their 60’s over a third develop a CRITICAL disease or die.  Even though, according to life expectancy tables, a man in his 60’s has nearly 25 years of life left. 

The question, obviously, will be how many of those men are living yet infirm? By the time these men are in their 70s, more than HALF die or have a critical illness.  So, I ask you, are you waiting until your late 60s or 70s to retire to the life you’ve always wanted to live?  May I suggest you’re taking a BIG risk in waiting that long? Maybe it’s time to revisit your retirement plans in order to account for not just your time on this earth but the time you’ll ENJOY doing the things you’ve actually wanted to do.

As Fred Vettese says “Once You Hit 60 It’s Time To Take Carpe Diem Seriously.”

“We may be living longer than we used to, but we aren’t living healthier. Once you hit 60 your disability-free life expectancy shrinks, so you might want to front-load your retirement with fun”

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, Fred talks about his own situation as a very healthy mid-60’s guy.  He’s healthy but he sees his own body starting to deteriorate. Aches and pains he can no longer ignore. A mind that simply isn’t as sharp as it used to be.  Shoulder surgeries coming up, etc. And thus, it appears that Fred has retired from the job it appears he enjoyed because he wrote so much while working as an actuary.  

But according to LinkedIn, Fred is now listed as “Retired Actuary”. 


By the way, I can’t recommend Fred’s book enough for anyone who needs a quick kick in the pants regarding retirement planning.  

In fact, a guy who read it, emailed me and said “Josh, this book sounds like YOU wrote it!”  Trust me, I didn’t write it, but man oh man, do I agree with the conclusions. 

Moral of the story, don’t wait too long to retire.  You simply might not get that time to enjoy.




Oh remember when I said 2 things jumped out at me regarding this chart?

Well, the second thing that is concerning is that in 2006 the years for people without disease DECLINED almost 10% from 1998!  We are living longer, but living longer with disease.

What the H*LL???

All the years of government and academic propaganda about the evils of fat and cholesterol in our diets has done more damage to our well-being than nearly anything else.  Yes, we have an abundance of food, unlike what was predicted by Paul Ehrlich and Thomas Malthus, but we certainly are not healthier. 


Change your diets, folks! Start by reading this book.  It will change your life.  It did mine. 


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