Will we ever be able to retire? The answer remains the same as my message in the first edition of The Savage Number: Yes. You can and will retire—but you will have a different definition and time frame for that decision.
In the few short years since the first edition of The Savage Number, the question has changed from "How much do you need?" to "Is it possible?" The massive stock market crash, the swoon in real estate values, and a major recession have shaken Americans' faith in their financial future.
But, just as Americans were too optimistic about their retirement prospects a few years ago, I believe we have become far too pessimistic about the future.
As I prepare this updated edition of The Savage Number, I am pleased that my message remains the same: You can reach financial security, if you make a plan and stick to it—and if you have realistic goals.
My original purpose in writing this book was to give a reality call to all those who had been planning to retire early—and live on their inflated house values and stock market profits. The recent economic and market activity haven't changed my advice—but the world's financial woes have made more people open to the message.
Some of the writing seems prescient, as in my warning chapter about stock market valuations, or the danger of relying on residential real estate to fund your retirement. I had even written about the dangers of mortgage-backed securities and their impact on real estate values!
But it's not "game over" for America—or ...