Preparing for the future when it’s only two years away

With just two years until he turns 65, Doug Sheehan was looking forward to a comfortable retirement, dreaming of relaxing evenings spent at restaurants around the Bay Area, splitting bottles of wine with friends. Then coronavirus hit, and the 63-year-old’s plans, like those of millions of others, fell apart. The pandemic has derailed the finances and careers of individuals of all ages, but for many workers in their 50s and 60s like Sheehan, it has also upended their retirement security.

Source: Workers in their 50s and 60s are retiring early because of coronavirus

Fearing the virus for himself and his family the above individual quit his job at age 63. According to the article, Sheehan said, “I walked away, and it cost me a ton,” he says. “We’re surviving, but it’s not what I expected in retirement.” Since he quit his job there was no unemployment and he began collecting Social Security early. The article says, “Visions of a comfortable retirement in the not-so-distant future were replaced with the realities of an under-funded present.”

Recognizing that these types of articles not infrequently leave out relevant information, “not-so-distant future” are key words.

If you were planning on retiring at 65, you should be near totally prepared by age 63 don’t you think? While you may have accumulated additional funds in the last 24-months, it should not mean getting to just surviving.


  1. He made rash BAD decisions based on unfounded fears. But he might still have a nice retirement if he moved from San Francisco to a less expensive [and less draconian] part of the country.


  2. 65 was not his SSNRA, it would be 66, so @ 63, he was retiring and commencing SS benefits three years early. It was commencing two years earlier than he planned, just not sure what he was planning.

    Quit vs. laid off, no unemployment insurance payment. What was he thinking? No one was traveling to his hotel after mid-March, and he need not meet up with his son, whether or not he continued employment. I certainly haven’t seen either of my two adult children since January.

    “Comfortable retirement”? The article states: ” … he estimates he could have saved another $20,000 for his retirement had he worked two more years at his hotel job. That, combined with the higher Social Security checks he planned on, would have yielded him a comfortable living. …” Not likely. Consider, $20,000 more amounts to $100 a month, more or less, for life. With respect to Social Security, he could have (and probably should have) delayed commencement of Social Security until SSNRA.

    He is quoted as saying: “If 20 years ago someone had told me I would be worried about not having enough money to survive, I wouldn’t have believed it,” says Sheehan. Now, “I’m not really sure what will happen.” Apparently, he didn’t give much thought to the Great Recession – 12 years ago.


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