Commentary: What factors are involved in deciding if and when to retire from the workforce?

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By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr. Being able to retire has always been a part of the American dream. This long-held belief was passed on to me in my early years of growing up in North Carolina. I saw happy retired senior citizens who once worked for a living. I thought to myself, this must be a good life. They would share stories with us as children about the good old days. I found them to be both funny and interesting. During the early years of my working life, I never really thought about retirement. I was too busy providing for myself and later, my family. One of the old school talks that I listened to intently was that it was important to save some money. Plainly said, you shouldn’t spend more than you make. That message resonated with me, so I began a conservative spending lifestyle. I was fortunate to have had some role models in my life who taught me about savings, stocks and retirement accounts. It also helped that I had parents who gave me the foundation about spending and saving. That foundation was layered with a neighborhood who had people in it who practiced those habits....