When you can retire?

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Retirement age as mandated by government, is a legal age whereby you are not expected to be actively in the workforce, but you can remain if you are willing and able to. This retirement age will change over the years in tandem to economy demand, extension of life expectancy, growing of ageing population, and shrinking of family size.


After exploring your desired lifestyle and the income you have by retirement, it is time to look at how far you can stretch your money without compromise the quality of retirement life. In this article of retirement series, we will look into 2 aspects:

  1. How long can your money last throughout your retirement?
  2. How early you can bring forward your retirement?

How long can you live?

First and foremost, you must have an idea of how long you are going to live. The duration is depending on a few determining factors:

  1. Your health in general
  2. Lifestyle
    • Quality of sleep, anger and stress management, and dietary pattern can affect your overall health.
    • Whether you have problematic lifestyles like sedentary, smoking and drinking.
How long can your money stretch?

  3. Congenital diseases and family history

    • Are you born with any congenital diseases? For example, heart defects and Type 1 Diabetes.
    • Do your family and closed relatives carry any health conditions that pass down through generations such as some cancers, hypertension, heart diseases, etc.?

  4. Living environment

    • Exposure to environmental hazards such as heavy pollution, noise, electromagnetic field, radiation can have serious consequences and shorten your lifespan.
    • If you are living in places that have natural disaster, unstable politic, high crime, etc., it can affect also your safety.

5. Conscientiousness

    • Conscientiousness plays an important role in how long you might live. In the book written by Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin, The Longevity Project, it emphasizes that being diligent, organised, responsible, and careful will ensure you can live well into old age.
The longevity project

Life expectancy calculator

There are many online calculators that estimate your lifespan by factoring in multiple contributors and deducing using statistical data. Generally, they include basic demographic data, diet patterns, health conditions, exercise intensities, and lifestyle.  

  • Blueprint Income: A rather simplistic (and optimistic) life expectancy calculator that does not include diet, health and lifestyle conditions.
  • Big Life: A better calculator that factors in diet and health conditions, but not much on lifestyle factors.
  • Living to 100: A rather detailed and comprehensive life expectancy calculator that takes many aspects into consideration, including diet, health, and lifestyle.

Each of these calculators has its strengths and weaknesses, there is no perfect and accurate calculator. You can try them out and have a feel on how they inspire you to pursue better health and lifestyle.


When can you retire?

Now that you know how long you may live, let’s work out how much you can stretch your dollar.


Let’s lay out some facts from the previous example:

  1. You have $1,000,000 nett worth of assets.
  2. Assuming you are going to live until 85 years old (through the life expectancy calculators).
  3. Your average monthly expenses by the time you retire is about $2,500.

For illustration purpose, you divide $1,000,000 by $2,500 to get 400 months, which is about 33 years. This is the number of years your $1,000,000 can last. If you use 85 years minus off 33 years, you will get 52. This will be the age where you can retire early.


However, a better choice is still to practise the 4% rule, use your money to grow more money. You can live off passive incomes from investment, endowment and annuity plan, social security or pension, and other sources as shared in previous blog. If you have a well-planned strategy, you can even have extra cash for traveling, life experiences, and excitements.


Murphy’s Law

Of course, life is never going to be smooth sailing. There will be time you may come across unforeseen incidents happening to you or your loved ones, such as, acute medical conditions, accident, disability, and even death. If this happens, it will definitely jeopardise your retirement plan.


To make sure your plan doesn’t get affected and you end up pushing back your retirement, you and your loved ones must get sufficient insurance protections, so that it doesn’t eat into your retirement fund.


Murphy's Law


Make good planning to enjoy retirement life while you are still healthy and able. Start sowing seeds for passive income as early as you can. Do not wait until you cannot work, then start thinking or forced to retire. Most likely, you won’t be enjoying life too.

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