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"Maybe more important, at my job I feel like I'm part of something. I'm afraid that when I retire, I'd be bored out of my mind."

I echo the observation that if boredom in retirement concerns you, you might think about what you'd do when and if, and stay working until you get that thought out.

We both pretty much had to retire at age 61 or so for various reasons, one of which involved her mother's health, and I was laid off, so we had to start SS at 62 -- not ideal in terms of the payout, but it has worked out for over 15 years. We were married, so she took her SS based on my higher earnings, and gets about half of what I do.

She has no pension and what tiny one I have is all but negligible, so our SS income is most of it, plus a quarterly dividend she gets from some stock and occasional withdrawals from my IRA to help when needed.

Depending on living habits, housing and other costs, you CAN live on SS, pretty much. We do, even with some mortgage remaining, Medigap payments (supplement to Medicare), taxes, cars, etc. We live frugally, even though we usually eat lunch out (our bigger meal, usually, and lunches cost less). She's an excellent shopper, uses grocery coupons, etc. Thankfully, our health has remained fairly good.

It can be done. I wish you luck.

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