Steve Radley, 50, Wichita, Kan.
Works as: President of the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship
Aiming to retire in: 2022
Radley still has a decade's worth of savings to stash and three kids to put through college before he gets to retirement. So, seven years ago, the lifelong entrepreneur decided to take a job as the head of the non-profit Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship, a position that would offer him greater stability in these key pre-retirement years.
He's also started a blog on entrepreneurship and tweets at least two to five times a day to stay relevant. "You better have valuable skills or you won't survive in this marketplace," acknowledges Radley.
Planning his career for later. Radley's fantasy for the future doesn't include quitting work altogether. "I think my life will be fuller if I'm still doing something I'm passionate about," says Radley. And, continuing to work in some capacity will reduce the amount he and his wife will need to draw from their retirement savings.
Aiming to teach university classes, coach executives and mentor entrepreneurs, he's been building his reputation and contacts by speaking at conferences on entrepreneurial economic development. He's also planning to add an executive coach credential to his résumé.
Paying down debt -- and keeping it down. Radley paid off his mortgage 18 months ago and his only other debt is a small car loan.
The family's biggest expense is their kids' education, with two in private school and the oldest just starting college.
Radley and his wife plan to keep the college tab down by having the kids go to in-state schools. "I want to go into retirement debt-free," he says.
Once you're within 10 years of your quit date, you've already faced down some tough challenges. But you'll still have to navigate tricky waters in the final leg of your career. Here's Money magazine's guide.