i was talking to my mother-in-law over the weekend about retirement. she had been looking over the obituaries in the paper and was just mortified to see how young people are passing away. all the time i've known her, she's always been working at 100 mph, but this weekend she expressed a desire to retire early. mainly, she came to this conclusion by looking at it from a very pragmatic angle -- if you live until you are 70 and retire at 65 and spend 2 years bedridden at the end of your life, how are you going to enjoy your 3 years in retirement?
i think it's a fine point. if you suppose that you enter the workforce at 25 and use the age of 70 as potentially stopping point, i'd say retiring at 50 would be pretty worthwhile. that would give you 25 years working and 25 years to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
based on this conversation, i'd like to be able to retire within the next 10 years, at which point, maybe i'd change careers or do something part-time. it just doesn't make sense to work so long into your life.