Even though all of us have different dreams, desires, and goals in life, there are a handful of things we all want. We all want to be happy, have enough money so that it is never a worry, live peacefully, and just stay pleasant. We work tirelessly to achieve these goals of ours, and most of us grow old doing so. Only a lucky few are able to get there faster and retire early.
However, if you think the decision to retire early is easy, you might be mistaken. You see, you have to consider a whole host of factors before you can even think about it. Contrary to what many may believe, retiring early comes with advantages as well as disadvantages. So, if you want to retire early, you need to take these into account before making a final call.
Advantages of Retiring Early
We all have this image in our minds where we retire early and finally do what we have always wanted to do in life. We imagine being free of responsibilities and living life the way it was supposed to be lived. All of these and more can actually come true. Here are all the advantages that you will enjoy if you choose to retire early.
1. It Could Lead To Better Health
Everyone knows how hectic it can be to deal with the countless everyday tasks and responsibilities. You just can’t seem to stay on top of things for even a little while. You are constantly on the go, mired by the pressures of modern-day life. All of this has a terrible impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health. This is why the so-called “lifestyle diseases” have become so rampant. Diabetes, stress, anxiety, depression, etc have spread across the human race like wildfire. If you retire early, it is possible you won’t have to deal with any of these.
If you retire early and have ample savings or sources of passive income, you will escape the rat race. You won’t be bothered by that next project, an important meeting, paying rent, or any of the other work-related obligations. This will have a tremendous positive impact on your mental and emotional health. And as for physical health, well, you will have more time to pay attention to it. So, naturally, it will only improve over time if you keep at it.
2. You Will Be Able To Give Time To Your Hobbies
We all have things that we love to do. These are usually hobbies that we are either good at or really enjoy doing. It could be reading a book, playing a musical instrument, fishing, bird watching, painting, sketching, or any other activity. In our busy lives, we are rarely able to give time to our hobbies. However, if you retire early, you will be able to enjoy all of them.
Just imagine having all the time you need to read as many books as possible, listening to music for hours without having to worry about going to work, or going fishing on the weekend without worrying about a meeting on Monday! This is perhaps one of the first things people realize when they retire early. Suddenly, they have all the time in the world to do whatever they like. This also gives them a taste of absolute freedom.
3. You Will Be Able To Travel More
Who doesn’t love to travel! It is one of the most enjoyable things you can do. Traveling around the world, you can experience mother nature’s beauty, marvel at man-made creations, eat a variety of food, meet new people, immerse in diverse cultures, and more. You can truly grow as a person and discover how people live and work throughout the world. This can really widen your perspective. As it so happens, traveling is one of the main reasons why people choose to retire early.
Some even start living the life of a nomad, staying in a country for a few months before moving on to the next one. It is a life a lot of people live to dream. And if you plan your finances well, you can retire early and actually experience the joy and thrill of constantly being on the go. Just imagine the sheer number of things you will see and experience on your many adventures.
4. You Will Have More Time For Your Family And Friends
The modern lifestyle comes at a huge price. Due to work and personal obligations, most of us aren’t able to spend as much time with our family and friends as we would like to. This is a tragedy if you think about it. Your loved ones are one of the main things that make life worth living. And if you can’t spend time with them and make memories, that is just sad! This is why doing so is one of the top things people who retire early look forward to.
If you retire early, you will be able to spend as much time as you want with your loved ones. You can hang out with them, go on picnics, go traveling, party with them, or do any other thing with them. In the process, you will make a ton of memories, and that will be a life well-lived. This is perhaps the best advantage of retiring early.
5. You Might Become More Self-Sufficient
The more time you have, the more you are able to learn. This is a fact that we have all experienced. So, if you retire early, you will be able to learn all the little and big things that will make you much more self-sufficient. If you achieve this, you will be able to live a much more fulfilling life. Not having to depend on others is always a bonus and something you should aim for regardless of whether you retire early or not.
If you retire early, you will have all the time in the world to learn some essential skills. For instance, you might learn how to cook or grow some vegetables and fruits in your garden. You might also learn how to do first aid or some other emergency health measures. You can even learn how to do some basic maintenance around the house so that you don’t have to keep calling the repairman every time.
6. You Might Find A Better Source of Income
Retiring early doesn’t mean that you can’t earn money or establish new streams of income. It just means that you don’t have to devote most of your time to work or your day job. You can still look for investments that give you good returns, establish a source of passive income, or learn about new opportunities that can help you increase your wealth. If you retire early, all these options open up to you just due to the fact that you have more time on your hands.
And who knows, you might land on something that can give you a much better income than your old career! If you travel a lot or spend a lot of time with your loved ones, you might come to know about lucrative opportunities. It’s all about exposing yourself to the many, many options available out there. Finding a better option will ensure that your decision to retire early was a good one. After all, money is one of the most important considerations you have to make!
7. You Will Enjoy Life More
Everyone feels it in their heart that life should be more than just work and endless stress and anxiety. It should be enjoyable, it should be pleasant, and one should be happy. Life is a beautiful phenomenon and it should be that way every single day. Unfortunately, with the type of world we have built, this doesn’t seem possible. However, if you retire early, you may actually live a much more enjoyable life.
Just think about it for a second. You will have freedom, time, options, and the savings to make every living moment a pleasant experience. You won’t be limited by everyday stressors or concerns. On the contrary, you will be able to do everything you have ever wanted to do. It will truly feel like living the best life possible. This advantage is what attracts most people to choose to retire early.
Disadvantages of Retiring Early
You may not realize it, but retiring early can have several disadvantages. It is not easy to understand these as your desire to live a free life might cloud your judgment. However, if you want to retire early, you need to be aware of these disadvantages. It might just help you manage expectations and prevent you from feeling disappointed later on.
1. It Could Be Bad For Your Health
Better health can be an advantage if you retire early, but the opposite might happen if you become lax. You see, it is a human tendency to become lethargic if one doesn’t have enough work to do. In the normal routine, you have to get up early to work and stay active throughout the day. And you also have to sleep at the right time at night. However, when you retire early, you don’t have all these restrictions.
So, you may end up becoming a couch potato. Your sleep-wake cycle may get messed up; you may start eating junk food a lot, you may binge-watch tv shows and movies the whole day. Overall, you might start living a very sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. This can be really bad for your health. You might develop lifestyle diseases without even indulging in the stressful lifestyle of today! Now, that would be a tragedy!
2. You Might Get Bored
When you retire early, initially, you might love doing all those things that you just couldn’t do before. However, after a while, you will likely get bored of doing them. Again, human nature is quite weird, and even the things you love doing might end up becoming boring. This can put you in a really precarious situation. You just won’t have the slightest clue what to do next! On top of this, you have all the time on your hands, but nothing you can think of doing!
You may not realize this, but this can impact your mental health negatively. An active mind leads to active mental and physical health. After all, your brain is like a muscle just like any other muscle in your body. If you don’t use it often, it is likely to get weaker and suffer from conditions. If you don’t have a large enough social circle, things might get even worse for you as you might start feeling lonely. So, if you choose to retire early, make sure you have a long list of things to do.
3. You Might Eat Through Your Savings Much Faster
This is perhaps the biggest disadvantage of choosing to retire early. To be able to live a retired life, you need to have a healthy amount of savings. It is also better if you can ensure a steady source of passive income. If not, you will likely eat through your savings much faster than you can anticipate. It costs a lot to live even an average life in today’s world.
So, even if you amass a huge amount of money, it might not be enough. If you retire early without a steady passive income, you will always be concerned about having enough money. Instead of enjoying your life, you might start living in stress. This can have a terrible impact on your mental health, and ultimately you may decide to quit retirement and get back to work.
4. You Might Feel Like You Have No Purpose
This is a disadvantage that only becomes apparent in hindsight. At first, you may be excited to retire early. You may think that it is going to be all rainbows and unicorns. However, you soon realize that you don’t have much to do. This is especially the case when you don’t design your new life with many activities, travel, hobbies, etc. So, you might end up feeling like you are not really doing anything of importance.
As human beings, we have this need to find and fulfil the purpose of our lives. Many people take long sabbaticals to figure out what they are meant to do in their lives. Imagine then, a situation where you voluntarily don’t do anything at all! You would feel devoid of any meaning, and that can be really depressing. Of course, this won’t happen to every single person. But there is a chance it might happen to you!
5. You Might Not Have Something To Fall Back Upon
This one relates to the disadvantage of eating through your savings faster than expected. If you retire early, it is only obvious that you won’t be working anymore. At least not in the same capacity. If you rely on your savings (or a passive income source) to last your entire lifetime, you might be mistaken. A time may come where your savings dwindle, and your financial situation becomes strained.
In such cases, the situation can worsen as you might not have something to fall back upon. If you left your job or quit your career a long time ago, it will take you a lot of time to get back in the game. You might even have to settle for menial jobs offering low pay. And so, you might have to build back everything from scratch again. This is not a position you ever want to put yourself in. It can get really scary and might have an adverse impact on your psychological state.
6. Your Social Security Benefits Might Get Reduced
In some countries like the US, you get social security benefits after you have passed the age of full retirement. This means you can get a steady source of income to live out the rest of your life peacefully. Most people choose this option, either by choice or by compulsion. If you choose to retire early, you might not get the full social security benefits. Many governments actually penalize you for retiring early by giving you reduced pay from your social security benefits if you choose to withdraw early.
So, as you can see, there are major disadvantages of early retirement. If you want to go this route anyway, you need to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for any future events. It would be best if you planned it out really well. Only then will you be able to live the life we all imagine in our heads. A life that is full of pleasantness and joy.