Should you save less for retirement?

Gwen Merz was fresh out of college in 2014, working an information technology job she hated, when she decided early retirement was the answer. She socked away every dollar she could, saving as much as 70% of her income so that she could quit when she was 35.

Now 30, Merz thinks she may have saved too much. Her job and life goals have changed, but most of her $300,000 savings is in retirement accounts that can’t be touched without tax penalties. If she could do it over, she says she would either save less aggressively or put some of the money into a taxable investment account with less strict withdrawal rules.

“I would pay a little bit more in taxes on my salary but I would have that money available for me,” says Merz, who lives in St. Louis.

Some people save prodigious amounts so they can retire early or because they’re worried they won’t have enough for a comfortable retirement. But aggressive saving can have significant and sometimes unexpected costs. In my latest for the Associated Press, why it’s important to strike the right balance between saving for the future and living your life today.

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