“Think I might be able to retire EARLY?”
When I’m helping clients prepare retirement income plans, I often get this question.
It rarely comes right away. In fact, many are initially unsure if retirement will be possible at all.
But once we’ve gathered the relevant data, estimated how much income they’ll need in retirement, and shown them a clear realistic roadmap for getting there, they brighten.
Not only is retirement possible, maybe they can reach that destination sooner. Who wants to wait until age 67? Why not 62 . . . or 59 . . . or even 55?
Here are three facts to know about retiring early.
1. Early retirement IS possible. Some people are able to enjoy early retirement. They save relentlessly and/or live frugally until they have assets needed to produce the retirement income they desire. This is a very small minority of people.
2. Early retirement may not be your decision. Did you know that only one in three people works full time to age 65? Why are so many leaving the workforce early?
Actually, most of these “early retirees” aren’t doing so voluntarily. The most common reasons for early retirement are:
- Disability. About a third of those who leave the workforce early do so for health reasons. They are no longer able to work.
- Downsizing. Another third are either downsized or their workplaces close altogether. Their jobs no longer exist.
- Caregiving. Some have to quit work to care for an aging parent or an ailing spouse or family member. They lack the time and/or energy to be full-time workers and caregivers.
- Bypassed. Some workers have skill sets that are no longer in demand. Until they learn new skills, they cannot find work.
3. Early retirement can allow you to do other things. A growing number of people are retiring from high stress—even if high paying—jobs to “do something else.”
I’ve seen executives transform themselves into part time handymen, doing for a living what they would done for free in their golden years. Others have gone into teaching (not exactly low stress, but very fulfilling to them). Some have taken jobs at golf courses or national parks, combining the need for an income with a love for a game or for nature.
One day a friend of mine came home from work and announced to his wife, “I’m retired.”
“When?” she asked, as if he were mulling over a future possibility.
“Now!” he said. (Turns out workplace realities had prompted him to retire on the spot.)
When my wife heard this story, she said to me flatly, “You may not do that.”
Conversation over. I learned that she really does like me, but only about four or five hours a day…beyond that, I need to find something to do with myself during the day.
What about you? Are you planning to retire early? Do you even want to?
Whether early retirement sounds like a dream come true, or something you’d only do if forced, one thing is for sure.
The time to prepare for your future is now.
Have you done that? Do you have a good retirement income plan?
If not, and that fact bothers you, I’d love to help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a FREE copy of my new e-book “How to Put Financial Worries in Your Rear View Mirror.” It offers a proven roadmap to the financial future you want. There’s absolutely no obligation.
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