Current economic policies will obliterate the idea of retirement for many people. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
What happens when these monstrous speculative bubbles pop?
Let’s start by stipulating that if I’d taken a gummit job right out of college, I could have retired 19 years ago. Instead, I’ve been self-employed for most of the 49 years I’ve been working, and I’m still grinding it out at 65.
By the standards of the FIRE movement (financial independence, retire early), I’ve blown it. The basic idea of FIRE is to live frugally and save up a hefty nestegg to fund an early comfortable retirement. As near as I can make out, the nestegg should be around $2.6 million–or if inflation kicks in, maybe it’ll be $26 million. Let’s just say it’s a lot.
You’ve probably seen articles discussing how much money you’ll need to “retire comfortably.” The trick of course is the definition of comfortable. The conventional idea of comfortable (as I understand it) appears to be an income which enables the retiree to enjoy leisurely vacations on cruise ships, own a boat and well-appointed RV for tooling around the countryside, and spend as much time golfing or boating as he/she might want.
FIRE retirees might opt for socially aware volunteer work or hiking trips in remote regions. Whatever the activities, the basic idea here is: retirement = no work = enough cash to do whatever I please.
Needless to say, Social Security isn’t going to fund a comfortable retirement, unless the definition is watching TV with an box of kibble to snack on.