Will not be investing for the next 7-9 years, can I still catch up?


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currently 40 years old male, who recently left the U.S for an overseas job. So essentially, since I no longer work in the U.S, social security build-up has stopped, 401K has stopped. My overseas employer and culture does not have a strong retirement benefits, and it is a high cost of living area, so cash flow savings is minimal. This is a temporary move and for family reasons.

currently, at 40 years old, I have about 200K in savings (150 401K and 50K in tech stocks), and it is just sitting in my account at the moment...growing with the market. My salary in the US averaged around 135K the past few years, so it is decent.

My plan is to come back to the U.S when I'm closer to 50 years old and start "catching up."

How much will this 10 year gap set me back in terms of social security earnings and 401K?

In today's dollars, If I retire with $120-$130K per year, that would let me "maintain" my current lifestyle. But obviously, $120K x 25 years if I live that long is like 3 million dollars....in todays dollars. so I feel like I'm screwed?
@saskia Because sometimes life isn't about money.

My mother worked her entire adult life, retired at 66, and died within a year.

Don't sacrifice enjoying today for a dollar you may not live to use tomorrow.
@egibson133 Sure I agree. I didn’t see a reason given for why he was doing it. I sold my 3% house to buy a bigger one in a better part of town. No one knows this better than me. But my question was why take this job if it only makes your future life worse. Someone else answered, they took it for family, maybe to live closer to their family, great answer.
@egibson133 This is blatantly bad advice. The life expectancy in the US is 79.25 years and rising. Not saving enough because you might die and not spend it could make your retirement awful.
@hazelelponi Conversely, so many people do not LIVE, and instead save for some yonder years "retirement" with regret. With no relationships, memories, hobbies, kids, wife, personality. I think the comment poster meant nothing is guaranteed so live your life. I know many successful career people who sacrificed their youth and young adulthood for career success to be wildly unfulfilled and lacking real substance in life.
Conversely, so many people do not LIVE, and instead save for some yonder years "retirement" with regret.

Have you seen the median retirement savings? I really don't think that many people are saving themselves into a spartan current living situation
@anointed48 I’m sure you’ll appreciate having bought that Beamer 30 years before while you’re buying wonder bread and kraft singles that have to last till your next social security check.
@moonblader I had a beamer when I was 25, it was GREAT and I loved that car. I eventually sold it at a loss. Was it the best financial decision? Absolutely not. Do I regret it? Absolutely not :) Am I on track for Kraft singles at 65? Not planning on it.
@anointed48 While I was being hyperbolic, this is something I really encountered. This little old lady at Walmart, we were stuck in line, and she reminded me of my mother, who had passed a while back. I asked if that’s all she was getting, and she said it’s only got to last a couple weeks. One package of singles and one loaf of wonder bread. Said it like it wasn’t completely absurd. I forget that poverty like that exists. I asked if she would let me buy her some groceries, that I couldn’t do this kind of thing for my mom anymore, but could for her. She declined until I asked if she’d exchange some conversation for groceries.

I wasn’t trying to pry about her financial situation, and she didn’t talk about it, but she’s the one that mentioned this Beamer that she and her husband bought. Told me that it meant a lot at the time, but looking back, it didn’t matter. She told me that I shouldn’t waste money on strangers, that I should save it. I asked about government programs like food stamps, and she said she doesn’t need that, this was only temporary. I don’t think it was.

My mom was frugal, and had saved her whole life, she never would have been in this kind of situation, and I already save probably more than I should, but I’m pretty shocked at how many people I know are either in debt or aren’t saving at all. I don’t know what they expect to happen when they retire, but they have no plans. It’s like that’ll happen to some other person, not them.

Don’t live like a monk, sure. But the world isn’t a kind place. It’s not going to work itself out and psychopaths are eroding government assistance everywhere they can. This game is just math, and if you can’t afford to save, then you can’t afford your current standard of living. People end up living very lean lives in retirement every day. The peace of mind that this won’t happen to me is a benefit I don’t have to wait for as well. Running the numbers and seeing that I’ll be okay is worth it for me, even if I never see retirement.
@moonblader Yeah all good points man. Let's save and live comfortably in our retirement. Let's live comfortably and forge lasting memories with the people and places we care about in the present time as well.
@egibson133 Yep it's a delicate balance growing the funds while enjoying life. I have taken my folks on multiple vacations and cruises because that's what they enjoy but have still been able to grow their slush pool. Could we have grown the pool larger with the trips? Yep but surely that's what the money is for to enjoy with family and friends.

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