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Did all of you gulp when you took the plunge? Like a lot?

If you have a good handle on what your living costs are or will be in retirement, you should be in good position to know how well your income covers your needs--at least for the first dozen years or so.

You know costs will rise. You should have a plan to increase your income over time. After a while, you begin to see if your numbers are working out or not.

Building reserves beyond the minimum is a good idea. Something unexpected you hadn't planned on is the most likely cause of problems.

But there comes a point when the reserves are so large, you have lots of confidence.

Your employer can also offer incentives to retire now rather than later. That can be a factor too.

Going back to work or working part time are always ways to compensate if the numbers go the wrong way. Keeping those contacts active can be a good idea. But you also have the problem that the longer you are away from the job the more rusty you become. And the more likely that those key contacts who know your work will retire themselves.

Of course as they say, you can always be a greeter at Walmart.
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