Many folks have a hard time with the concept of retiring early; whether it be because of financial reasons or even guilt. Whether you plan to retire early or not, here are three reasons to contemplate doing so.
Despite what you may think, retiring early is a real possibility. Why put off retiring if you don’t have to? If you take some smart steps now, you may be able to retire a year (or two or three) sooner than you planned. So if early retirement appeals to you on any level, here are three reasons to go for it.
1. ‘YOLO’. (You Only Live Once.)
Not only do many people not know just when they’ll actually retire, most of us also have no idea how long we will actually live. Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that plenty of people die earlier than expected. If you’re putting off retiring longer than you need to, you might end up cutting it short, with relatively few work-free years to enjoy.
Check out this life expectancy information from the Social Security Administration:
- A 65-year-old man can expect to live, on average, to 84.
- A 65-year-old woman can expect to live to 86 1/2.
While it’s great to know that you have a 50% chance to reach 84+, remember that those are averages, meaning that about half of men won’t reach 84, and more than half of women won’t hit 87. So it’s worth trying to make the most of the time you do have.
2. Because You Can.
For many, another great reason to retire early is that they can. If you haven’t taken the time to figure out how much money you’ll need in retirement and how well you’ve been growing your nest egg, you may not even know whether you can retire early or not.
Spend some time estimating how much income you’ll need in retirement. Then use that number to figure out how much you have to save by retirement. Here’s how you might do it (According to The Motley Fool):
If you figure you’ll need $65,000 annually in retirement, you might see that you will have $25,000 coming to you from Social Security, so you’ll need to come up with the difference: $40,000. Using the 4% rule as a rough guide, multiply that by 25 (the inverse of 4%) and you’ll arrive at a required nest egg of $1 million. Do you have that much now? You probably don’t, but you might be able to amass that sum sooner than you think.
Give some thought to how much you’ve already saved, how much more you might accumulate, and when it will be enough to generate sufficient income to support you in retirement. (Try out our Financial Calculators here for help.)
3. You Hate Your Job (& It’s YOU time.)
Living with less stress is reason enough to consider retiring early and figuring out whether you can make that work. Hating your job is a far-reaching problem, even affecting your physical and mental health. If you’re counting down the days, minutes and seconds until your “ideal” retirement age, you’re not alone.
Here are some of the consequences that could result from hating one’s job:
- Weight gain
- Sleep problems
These health issues have corresponding problems, such as fatigue and irritability. The National Institute of Mental Health said:
Health problems can occur if the stress response goes on for too long or becomes chronic, such as when the source of stress is constant, or if the response continues after the danger has subsided. With chronic stress, those same life-saving responses in your body can suppress immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally.
People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold.
Retiring from a job you hate doesn’t necessarily mean retiring from work altogether. It might just mean switching to a different job – perhaps in a field you’ve always wanted to try. They may or may not pay as much, but they could offer greater satisfaction and less stress.
Many people simply can’t — or should not — retire early. But after a careful consideration of your finances (perhaps along with consulting a financial advisor) you might find that you can indeed leave your job early. If you have the power to make early retirement work for you, it certainly pays to leave the workforce prematurely and enjoy the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed about.