At Can I Retire Yet? we accept occasional submissions from highly-qualified writers who understand our audience of near- and prospective- retirees and are not overtly trying to sell products or publicize their own interests.
We publish new posts only to provide our readers with unique information that is not readily available here on the blog or elsewhere on the Internet.
The purpose of your article is to communicate meaningful, useful, actionable information to our audience. You are writing to serve them, and you must do the legwork and sweat the effort to make that happen, whatever it takes, with no shortcuts. That is the burden of being a writer.
Our readers tend to be relatively affluent 40-, 50-, and 60-something individuals who are nearing or aggressively saving for retirement. They are savvy about basic personal finance and interested in more advanced subjects. Topics such as getting out of debt, credit cards, and investing 101 are a mis-match for our audience. If you don’t have a clear handle on our readers, read more of the blog!
Use a neutral tone: Can I Retire Yet? enjoys a long history of even-handed coverage on topics important to near-retirees. We don’t shy away from covering the details of health care or taxation in retirement, for example, but our focus is on how they affect the real-world retiree, not on how the world ought to work. Please leave political viewpoints and policy agendas out of any writing you do for our blog. Be especially careful to avoid any inflammatory or harsh language on sensitive topics.
You must be a strong writer and command the English language as well as a highly-educated native speaker. We are happy to provide minimal copy editing (minor spelling/grammar corrections), but will not generally spend time helping you understand and express your ideas clearly. If a post is not well-structured and well-argued, we’ll reject it.
You must also have strong professional and/or personal qualifications to write about your topic. Seasoned engineers, accountants, financial advisors, and professionals in other fields who have personal experience with financial matters are persuasive voices here. Inexperienced voices speculating about future plans are a poor fit.
Can I Retire Yet? is known for longer, more in-depth posts backed up by original research and linked to other respected references on the Internet. While we don’t maintain academic standards for sources, we strive to back up any arguable fact with a link to another reputable source. Don’t write “it is generally known that,” rather say “according to Money magazine…”.
We have no specific length requirements, though very short articles are unlikely to measure up to our standards. Aim for 1,000 to 2,000 words.
The first paragraph is critical. Readers are busy and have too much to read online already. If you don’t interest them and sell them on the value of continuing to read, you’ll lose them, and all your work will be for naught. Stories, anecdotes, or open questions can be effective starters. Edit, polish, hone, and re-edit your first paragraph to be as compelling as possible.
The following are topics that have historically done well on the blog or for which we are seeking expert writers:
- retirement modeling
- retirement income
- health care
- real estate investing
- retirement lifestyles
- retirement locations
- retirement calculators
- Social Security
- your personal early retirement story
If we publish your article, you are entitled to a short-paragraph byline describing yourself and linking to your own site. You also may use a reasonable number of links in your post to lead readers to other reputable sources including your own. Obvious keyword- or link-stuffing that is not in the reader’s interest, will probably lead us to reject your article.
Titles and Images
We reserve the right to title your article ourselves and provide our own properly-licensed images. Suggestions are welcome, but titles are critical to article uptake and we understand our audience best. If you want to suggest an image to use along with your article, send us link(s) from Adobe Stock, our preferred image bank.
We require all original, unique material. No more than a few sentences of your article may appear elsewhere on the Internet. By submitting your article, you are offering us copyright to it along with exclusive rights to publish that material forever, at no cost to us. If you aren’t comfortable with those terms, don’t submit.
Be very careful not to plagiarize even a single sentence in your work. (“Fair use” of small portions of other works, with attribution, is acceptable.) As many painful examples in the news over recent years have illustrated, it is all too easy for even experienced authors to mistakenly copy others’ work. Be especially careful about incorporating notes you may have made from other sources on the web. Plagiarizing can result in nasty legal and financial consequences for both you and us. Beware, and take responsibility for the originality of your work.
Once your piece is up on Can I Retire Yet?, it is acceptable to publish a short excerpt of it on your site, including a link back to our blog. But it is not acceptable to republish more than a few sentences of your article, much less the entire piece.
We won’t generally open unsolicited attachments, so if you meet all the above requirements, please query us in email about your proposed article first. Include a brief outline of the piece. If we don’t already know you well, please describe your qualifications for the topic and send us links to writing samples on the web that demonstrate your capabilities.
If we reply positively, you can submit a final draft in Word format. We may reply to that draft requesting some modest revisions. But, more likely, due to time constraints, we’ll need to either accept or reject it outright. So your initial submission should be your best effort, fully proofread, with all references and links finalized. If in doubt, let your writing sit for a few days and proofread again before submitting.