Early Retirement: Fabulous or Not?

Early Retirement: Fabulous or Not?

Retirement is amazing. Without working, you have all the free time in the world to do what you love without a care. Since retirement is so amazing, why not retire early?

Social media is blowing up with early retirees posting about their fabulous, work-free lives. However, there are a lot of downsides to early retirement that might make it decidedly un-fabulous. Some of them are:

  • You Change Your Mind – If you retire early, you’re pretty much stuck if you change your mind. There are very few employers that would take a chance on an older worker with an employment gap, especially if the gap is because of an early retirement and not family or health related.
  • You Can Run Out Of Money – No matter how amazing you are at saving and scrimping, there is a strong chance you will run out of money if you retire early. First of all, retirement usually costs much more than people think, and you might not have saved enough in the first place. Second, something unforeseen might happen, like a severe illness in you or a loved one, massive economic downturn, or a natural disaster. Unless you can save millions in a short time, early retirement isn’t financially feasible.
  • You Lose Touch – If you’re the only one in your friend or family group with all the time in the world, you’ll get lonely pretty fast. Amazing vacations, daytime hikes, luxurious lunches and other retirement splurges aren’t any fun if you don’t have anyone to share them with. Not to mention, it’s harder to make connections with people you don’t have much in common with, and most people work.
  • Its Harder to Support Children – Kids are downright expensive, and most early retirees won’t have enough money to support a child, much less send Junior to a goof college or help pay for his wedding one day.
  • Its Selfish – Early retirement is selfish. It’s important for everyone to do their part as a working member of society, from adding to the economy and paying taxes. If you retire early, no one is going to step up and cover that tax loss. While taxes may seem trivial, they are crucial funding for Social Security, Medicare, roads, utility structures, and other integral parts of society.
  • You Might Lose Self Respect – As humans, we thrive on having a purpose. Getting up and going to work every day gets a closer to a goal, from saving money to saving the world. When you retire early, you might miss out on that purposeful feeling, causing you to lose self-respect and stop enjoying all the retirement fun you’re having.

There are definite downsides to early retirement. The longer and harder you work, retirement will feel that much more fabulous.

What is a good age to retire? Take a minute to calculate your best retirement age with online tools like Retirement Age Calculator and Smart Asset.

If you’ve already retired and you’re looking for more purpose, check out volunteer sites like Volunteer Match.

What age do you plan to retire? Comment below, and tell us how you came to that decision. Don’t forget to read more about retirement and other topics on our site.

Return to category Editor Pick 2, Purpose

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