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by 50 (possibly earlier) you will probably be able to coast.

An excellent point.

Many professionals fail to realize how your career opportunities change when you hit 50 or so. Age discrimination tends to make it difficult to find another job if you happen to lose yours. And long term employees often find themselves in upper salary brackets, where they are easily targeted for early retirement, replacement by younger "more up to date" candidates or whatever.

Most professionals eventually go through this. Having a nice nest egg to work from gives you many more options. You can consider early retirement, or starting your own company, or teaching at say a university, consulting, etc, etc.

But if you have minimal savings, big debts, a mortgage, kids in college, etc., life can get stressful.

It's sort of like a queen-fork in chess: you are skewered and forced to put up with what ever "stuff" they send your way.
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