Ten years--give or take. My dream is to go till almost 70 and I'm hoping that I still love going to work then.
My 10 year number is a wake-up call, not so much to saving, though that's part of it, but to decluttering and NOT buying stuff.
What if we move in ten years? Having witnessed (from afar) my in-laws' sudden, emergency-instigated decision to move from a house they had lived in for more than 40 years, I just don't want to go through the agony.
With this logic, I should unload 10% of my stuff every year. That would include books. I really will not be needing my academic books at that point; some, indeed, are worth a pretty penny since they are out of print.
And, no, I should not buy any furniture, no matter how scraggly some things are getting. Same goes for kitchen items, especially heavy ones like dishes and pots and pans. Here's hoping that my children will want some of kitchenware, not to mention some of my zillion cookbooks. See above.
Luckily, I don't need to dress for success. Most conferences don't require suits anymore, except for the most snobbish. Besides, if the whirling rumors (firing! across-the-board pay cuts!) come to pass, I won't want to be looking at the pricey clothes in my closet instead of cash in my emergency fund.
I am, then, between the Scylla of moving in ten years and the Charybdis of economic uncertainty. The first calls for decluttering; the second calls for not-buying-and-banking-savings. It's a win-win situation. Talk about making lemonade from lemons!
What helps you declutter? What helps you save?