Emily Brandon, at US News & World Report's Planning To Retire has a scary post about 'earlier than planned' retirements.
My goal has always been to retire on my 69th birthday. The view from here makes my plan look feasible, but, according to Brandon, almost half of workers wind up retiring earlier than they planned to. All but 10% do so involuntarily.
Job loss, age discrimination, family duties (such as caring for a spouse or one's parents) or a personal health crisis make a mockery of well-laid plans. Only 3% of potential retirees INTEND to retire in their fifties, yet 18% do so. 21% want to work into their seventies, but only 5% will still be employed when they reach their seventh decade.
I, of course, fall into the group of seniors who haven't saved enough to have the retirement they want (modest though that might be) if they retire earlier (or even "on time" at age 65), so continued employment is a must.
It gives me pause to contemplate all the things that can go wrong between now and age 69.