I’ve found that in my almost 2 decades of working with people, no one has really liked the word retire.  We retire old socks or worn-out tires, let’s not retire people the same way.  Gaining popularity instead is the term financial independence, which I define as – having the financial ability to choose whether or not to work. 

So, when will you be financially independent?  When will you have the option to say no to the next re-org, boss, client, or business? 

Recently I’ve drawn a line in the sand encouraging people to be prepared for that ability by age 60.  There are several reasons for this, let me outline a few:

  • There’s been a steady trend that about half of people retire sooner than planned. This number generally jumps above 50% during recessions and falls just below 50% during economic expansions and recoveries.  Do you know people who retired early after the financial bubble of 2008?  How about in the last year due to the pandemic?  Economic downturns tend to impact the oldest and youngest of the labor force the most.
  • Health – about half of the people who retire earlier than planned do so for health reasons. Some for their own health concerns, others to care for a spouse or other loved one.
  • Technology – You’re probably reading this email on a device that didn’t exist 20 years ago. While the World Economic Forum reports that Artificial Intelligence (AI) & automation will likely create more jobs than it will destroy, many argue that we are in a period of transition now where people must re-skill or up-skill before their jobs become obsolete.    When I used to read statistics like that, I would immediately jump to the grocery cashier being replaced by self-check but the reality is that there are many high skilled jobs that AI can do better than humans too.   Radiology for example, an AI program has the ability to scan and “learn” from millions of images, something a human brain doesn’t have the capacity for today.

My hope is that if you are reading this, you are confident in your financial independence strategy. 

Here’s a simple retirement calculator to help determine if you are on track, just for fun, use retirement age 60 or younger.  If you find it helpful, forward it on to a friend!

Be kind to yourself and others,

Jen Sapel ChFC WMCP


Investment advice offered through WCG Wealth Advisors LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Utor Wealth is a separate entity from WCG Wealth Advisors and The Wealth Consulting Group.