Ask Terry Questions Can I afford to retire?

Can I afford to retire?

By Terry Savage on March 27, 2024 | Financial Planning / Retirement

I’m soon to be 60 years old, owe $8000.00 dollars on our house, no car payment and about $4000.00 in credit card debt.pension would be around $2200 a month and my wife earns around $60k a year and would carry benefits on me. I still plan on working but at a less demanding job I currently earn $100000 a year but due to almost 40 years of hard labor my body is saying it’s time.I also have my youngest daughter in college that has 2 years left. I have been working hard to try and keep her debt low. My mind is spinning on what to do?

Terry Says

You have reached the inflection point — and your approach sounds sensible. Now you need to have an income plan for retirement, since you won’t be eligible for Social Security for at least two years. I’m going to give you a link for a financial planner to work with — but I’ll take a stab right off the top.
Could you possibly keep working for two more years??? That will do three things.
1) your daughter will be out of college
2) you can use that money to completely pay off your credit card balances
3) you’ll be able — though it’s a bad long term idea — to access Social Security in 2 years

If you can hold out for two more years– think of it as a prison sentence! — you’ll be able to start retirement on a much better footing. And during those two years, start a side business, or start searching for additional part-time work to make a dent in the card balances. That will give you a “running start” on post-retirement income.

You didn’t mention anything about a pension or retirement savings. So losing $100,000 in income is bound to create problems. And if you do have retirement savings, you’ll definitely need them later on in life. YOu should plan on creating a cash flow from current income for 10 years — holding off on SS until at least age 67.

If you’d like to pay a fee for the free advice I just gave you, find a fee-only Fiduciary planner at

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