Sam Huszczo: Can you afford to retire at 40? Or do you need to wait till 70?

Can you afford to retire at 40? Or do you need to wait till 70?

Susan Tompor | Detroit Free Press | October 10, 2018

We’re looking at a new dust-up in the retirement universe. What, exactly, is a reasonable age for retiring?

Is 70 the new 65? Or is 35 the magic number?

One guideline suggests you need 10 times the last year of your salary saved for retirement if you’re retiring in your 60s. But even that might not be enough if you retire earlier or live in a high-cost community.

To retire in your 30s or 40s, some suggest, you could need to have saved up 30 times or more of your living expenses before you retire. If you’re spending $40,000 a year, that’s $1.2 million. But remember, you might need much more money because you could have higher expenses in retirement if you suddenly need to pick up the cost of your own health care, instead of receiving coverage from your employer. Medicare doesn’t kick in until age 65.

“The reason most people have this ‘pipe dream’ but never execute it is because of health insurance,” said Sam Huszczo, a chartered financial analyst in Southfield.

“To be responsible for your own health expenses for 20-plus years is asking for disaster.”

As a result, he sees his average client retiring at age 62.

Huszczo said some are more comfortable with turning to a phased-in retirement where someone who has excelled in one career chooses to switch to a less demanding job for another 10 years to 20 years.