Age is irrelevant. Whether you retire at all is irrelevant. The question is, is your retirement or non-retirement (as the case may be) something you get on your own terms? For that matter, is the life you live well before retirement age lived on your terms? If not, there’s always the future. By retirement, it’s uncomfortably close to game-over and you have every reason to fear that when they close the books on your life you will have been a net liability. How humiliating. If the reason for your retirement is mandatory retirement age or some less forthright form of age discrimination, or worse, obsolescence of skills or failure to keep up with the treadmill due to declining faculties, then you are not retiring on your terms. If the reason for your non-retirement is that even by old age you have not established yourself, and gotten your head far enough above water to breathe, then your non-retirement is likewise not on your terms. The board game called “Life” (at least the 1960 edition that my senescent self grew up on) has two possible outcomes for each player, called “Millionaire Acres” and “The Poor House.” While I think the creators of the game got it dead wrong by stacking the deck in favor of those who choose “to college” over “to business” (higher education being a key part of that postwar propaganda we were swindled into believing in) I think they got the end-game exactly spot-on. At the finish line there is no middle class. In the final analysis, the long trajectory of an individual career is a sorting algorithm. It’s a question of winners and losers. As our formerly-mixed economy develops in a more market-oriented direction (by the conventional wisdom, which might differ from a “freed market”) through risk-shift, denunciation of the social safety net as “socialism,” and global labor competitiveness (you can call it global labor arbitrage, but competition is what arbitrage literally runs on), and of course the emerging attitude that retirement is a privilege rather than a right, the stark contrast between the winners’ circle and loserdom will continue to be amplified, and the percentage of us headed for the poor house will increase.