Retire at age 55? Don’t count on it.

I frequently read articles and blog posts by people who have or plan to retire at age 55 or sooner. I read that so frequently one could get the impression that is close to the norm – far from it.

The average retirement age for men is 65 and 62 for women. Interestingly it’s lower for minorities who are less financially prepared for retirement, but often retire out of necessity, not by choice.

Saying you are or will retire at a young age often is not retirement at all, but rather leaving a job and working part-time, a side gig or monetizing a hobby. They still generate income.

If you can voluntarily retire at 55 or earlier, you better have sufficient income to last for decades including dealing with inflation, be prepared for a lifestyle change and the many possible vicissitudes of life.


  1. Cops and firefighters. Many retire with full pay* after 30 years. Some even have mandatory retirement at 55 (California Highway Patrol) New Jersey also. I think. It’s more common than not. They usually don’t get SS, but have inflation adjusted pensions.

    *and family medical care


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