Old 09-08-12, 07:57 AM
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People have different viewpoints as to what financial measures to take, but here are some undisputed things to do leading up to retirement:
No credit card debt. Period.
Health care is taken care of (insurance, money set aside if self-insuring etc)
You know what your monthly/yearly expenses are. It's crazy to retire early unless you know the specific expenses you pay every year. Having a "general idea" isn't close to good enough, unless you're so wealthy it doesn't matter.
You know what your NET retirement income is. Presuming this number is less than your expenses, from where will you draw funds to make up the shortfall?
You'll need a contingency fund for large expenses - major home repair, replacement car, etc.

Some people believe you should carry a mortgage, but I strongly disagree.

I suggest you check out www.bogleheads.org/ and www.early-retirement.org
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