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Don't despair--it can be done. I started at 40, and am just over 54 now. I obviously started without the Fool, and made a couple of mistakes along the way. Right now, if I had to retire on January 1, 2000 I could do it.

I just did the calculation a few minutes ago. If I withdraw 6% per year, my income would be exactly the same as my current income less Social Security taxes and the contribution to my 401k. In other words, disposable income would remain the same, or possibly even go up since some of the income would come from periodic withdrawals from a stock portfolio and these will be long-term capital gains.

You have 14 years until you are 65--same as I have been investing. The "trick" that worked for me is to remember that 14 years is long-term money. Head over to the Foolish Workshop and look at the strategies there. I wouldn't put short term money into the aggressive strategies, but with 14-15 years you can do very, very well if you keep your wits about you and don't panic if you have a down year.
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