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A retiree who stopped working at 52 shares a 'major financial shock' of retirement: his kids

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Retiring at 52???? Eff that!! 52 isn't that far off from my age, and I thought 4 months of unemployment was bordering on insanity. I can't imagine unemployment for the remainder of my time here on Terra Firma.

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My parents both still work, and did so six years ago when I lived at home for the year after grad school. It was very generous of them to let me live at home rent free that first year working; however, I still contributed to the household. I did most of the housework, helped with groceries, and helped take care of my elementary school-age brother, including transportation, as needed. To be honest, that year was great for my relationship with my brother (for the previous 8 years I had been away at school, except for various weekends and holidays) and my parents. Now I'm independent, but live four hours away. 

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The two biggest self-imposed obstacles to a prosperous and/or early retirement are children and car payments.

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