ESI • August 10, 2018 • Newsletter
Last modified: April 24, 2019
Two misses on the pro side: 1. By retiring early, you are more likely to be physically able to enjoy many activities. I am planing to spend the first 10-15 years of retirement living aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean. Not a bad plan at 53. But at 65-70? – not so much. 2. Working until 70+ just isn’t an option for everyone. Many people are forced out of the workforce due to injury or disease. So even if you plan TO work until you die, you better plan FOR the possibility you will have to retire early.
My wife and I are in our sixties and we hike, play tennis and distance run with many people in their late sixties, seventies and eighties. For people who have a lifetime commitment to fitness sailing the world at 60-75 should be duck soup, I have a friend in his nineties that is still winning at tennis tournaments. I would humbly submit that your view of old age decline is out of date for people who take care of themselves. And it is a dangerous way for you to view the world in terms of your own health. If you really think you’ll be limited at 60 then you may well be. Me, I’m in my sixties and I can still beat all the high school tennis team players and some of the small college ones as well. But part of it is mentally not accepting that age has to limit my life!
As to retiring early, or slightly early in my case, I’m all for that. It can be awesome if you have an idea of what that life will look like for you. It has certainly been a great experience for me!
Great post! Having retired a few years ago at the age of 43, I can attest to all of those pros and cons.
For me, the biggest obstacle has been your #1 cup – Interesting. I worked in the Internet tech sector in SF for many years, and had the pleasure of working with many weird, interesting, intelligent people.
To make up for no longer having access to that, I try to reconnect with former colleagues and meet new people as often as possible. Although I’m more of an introvert, I almost always feel energized after a good conversation.
And the good news is that when you’re retired, you can more easily carve out time to meet with others. When I was working, I usually only time to connect with fellow co-workers. Now I find I spend time with all sorts of people — neighbors, local business people, family members, etc.
I am on the Early Retirement bandwagon for sure.
Although I agree with some of the counter-arguments with those 8 cups, I think someone who is dedicated enough to save and plan for early retirement is also dedicated enough to plan for avoiding pitfalls you mentioned.
Without relying on money, you can engage in activities you want to and still be connected with others. Teaching, writing (such as blogging) and other creative endeavors still allow you to keep social interactions in early retirement.
Those in early retirement have likely saved enough to not worry about saving any more (FIRE people are extremely conservative and tend to overshoot the “number” they need to FIRE by a lot and also have planned for health insurance, taking those 2 cups out of the equation.
In the end, the biggest thing is that you can enjoy life when you are physically able to rather than waiting till traditional retirement age and maybe have 5-7 good years left to travel etc. Plus the future is never guaranteed, who knows if you won’t keel over 1 week after you retire at 65? If you can retire early and enjoy as many years as you can, I say go for it.
My response is “get busy living or get busy dying”. If working feels like dying a little every day and there are other things you want to do, and you can afford to retire early, then do it! I agree with the people who said they want to do a lot of active things in retirement. My parents retired at 62 and by 75 were really slowing down quite a bit. That’s not much time to enjoy all the money they saved. My second motto is I have a bucket list and a f—-it list, the latter list was too long and the former too short. Now they are reversed. Retired at 58 (a week ago).
Early retirement all the way!!! I think the 8 Cups argument is a case for early retirement as well – all these things can be achieved, but with the financial freedom to do all those things on your own terms. I like that Dash2Retire website – many funny but true stories! They are a great writer and very creative…bring us more Dash2Retire!
Thank you Harold! You made my day!
How about the middle path- a long career of very part time work? As a nurse, I work summers, as well as 3 weeks in the fall and 2 weeks in the spring. That lets me pay the bills and spend over 8 months a year playing and living like a retiree.
Working so little makes my job feel novel and exciting, but doing it full time would be such a drag. I’m nearly through my 9 weeks of summer work and I’m ready to get back to total freedom. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to buckle down and churn out 7-10 years of the full time work that early retirement would require.
Frugality, geographic arbitrage, a decent wage in a high demand profession, and a sizeable emergency fund make my lifestyle easily attainable. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why more people don’t do this?
I think there’s a dichotomy in the early retirement section. Let’s say you take up a second act in your retirement – like running for office or starting a business. That completely negates the part about getting rid of stress, deadlines, clothing bills, commutes. But the reason you include stuff like work on your passion as a retirement goal, is because a lot of people are afraid of losing meaning in their lives when they retire. But you can’t have all the good stuff and none of the bad. Either you throw yourself into something else – and all the stress and obstacles it incurs – or you lay on the beach and have other stresses.
While everything you said about retiring early is true (I mean the cons) I think most of us would still choose to retire as early as possible. Today there are so many more things to do and experience than 30-40 years ago. The possibilities are limitless – all we need is TIME and a bit of money (in some cases).
I’ve started my retirement process by saving money and also investing in stock and cryptocurrecies. Hopefully, in 10 years I will get there and be able to do anything I want to and not be dependent on anyone else or a job.
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