i've been thinking about retirement a lot recently. i'm a ways off in terms of normal retirement age, so there are probably more variables for me to think about than your typical retiree. what it comes down to is whether my savings and investment return will be able to at least break even with my spending. since i would be an early retiree, there are some things that i need to consider that other retirees may not have to worry about:
1. mortgage. we recently built a new home and while we did put down 20% on it, we are nowhere near owning our home free and clear, so that means that i'll have to cover my mortgage from savings and/or investments. i don't know about you, but the notion of doing that just seems wacky to me. if i were realistically considering retiring tomorrow, i'd really have to put a lot of thought in selling the house and moving into a place that we could easily afford the mortgage or rent on.
2. college savings. we have a new addition coming into the family soon, and i was planning on saving toward college. i'd have to be able to fund that.
3. medical expenses / insurance. we currently have insurance through our employers, a large portion of which is paid by our employers. something else that would eat away at our savings.
4. a longer timeline. i'm relatively young, so i'd have to cover another 10, 20, or even 30 years more than the typical retiree.
just adding these few things up in my head, i'd be pretty comfortable with about a million dollars in pretty safe and pretty liquid investments to retire tomorrow. so, by the sounds of it, it'll be back to work for me -- at least for another few years.