Unless you are one of the lucky few who absolutely love their job, you probably dream of an early retirement. Not having to wake up to a blaring alarm clock each day and go through the motions of the daily grind seems like sheer bliss. However, early retirement is not that simple, and even those people who can afford to do it may decide it is not all that they thought it would be in the end.
Let’s take a look at the pros and the cons of an early retirement to get a better feel for the factors involved.
Early Retirement Pros
Doing what you want – This is the most obvious reason that people seek an early retirement. Work, no matter how much you enjoy it, means being beholden to the limits and needs of others, from bosses and clients to coworkers and employees. Being retired means that your time is more or less your own to spend how you want.
Health benefits – From stress to physical injuries, work takes its toll on your mind and body. Moreover, the longer and later that you work, the more damage it does in the end. Therefore, the sooner you are able to retire, the sooner you can halt or even reverse the health impact from your years of working.
Early Retirement Cons
Money – The most obvious con to an early retirement. No matter how much money you have when you retire, you will have more if you keep on working. It is just that simple. The earlier that you retire, the less money that you will have to spend during your retirement. It also means the more that you will need to save while you are working to achieve the same or similar standard of living after you retire.
Health costs – It surprises most people to learn that an early retirement has health costs alongside the benefits. Working keeps you sharp and active, which can make a major difference in your old age for keeping your mind and body going. Just quitting your job to slump on the couch can have even worse health costs than continuing to work.
Boredom and loneliness – Yes, you hated a lot of the time you spent working, but you also took pride in your work, met new people, overcame challenges, shared laughs around the water cooler and so much more. Work is an enormous part of modern life, and many people who retire find that they end up missing some parts of their working life.
More Than Just Black and White
As the world of work changes, so does the world of retirement. Now it is possible for more people to retire early, yet more people are actually choosing to work even later in life, and finding that they have the health to do so. Many people are choosing to change careers or work part time as they age to stay busy and keep the money rolling in, while still cutting back from the 9 – 5 grind of a regular weekday job.
After looking at the pros and cons, the key is not so much early retirement as it is smart retirement. Think about what is best for you and your needs, and then plan accordingly to retire in the way that suits you best.