I often feel like most of what I bring to your attention tends to highlight more of what’s wrong with our retirement preparedness than what’s right. So to change things up a bit, here’s a great article from US News and World Report I wanted to share about how early retirement can make your life better.
Being able to help a client retire earlier than they originally planned is probably one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Early retirement is not an impossible goal - the caveat, of course, is that achieving it takes a lot of saving, investment and planning discipline. If you’re able to achieve it, you’ll often find that retirement very rewarding.
By David Ning
Saving enough to retire early can still be a long and tough journey. Luckily, the reward of not needing to answer to a boss is well worth the struggle. Aside from the freedom and time you gain from escaping the grind, you may not be aware of these additional benefits many early retirees enjoy:
1. You will likely be healthier.
Improved mental health because of reduced stress isn't the only health benefit of early retirement. Not having to sit at a desk or commute means you have an opportunity to be more active than ever. You will have plenty of time to exercise, lubricating your joints and strengthening your muscles for a higher quality of life.
2. You will find new interests that truly excite you.
An early retiree will have more energy to travel and perhaps live in exotic places. Having free time when you are still relatively young is better than having those same hours when you are older. An early retiree will have more energy to travel, perhaps live in exotic places and try out physically demanding new hobbies. Perhaps you will find that a country you visit fits the way you envision life, prompting you to plan on settling down there. Or maybe you will find a new hobby that ends up turning into a lifelong passion. There are an almost unlimited number of things to try and places to see. No matter how adventurous you are, you probably haven't tried everything you are interested in and been everywhere you want to go.
3. You will find opportunities to spend less.
Many retirees don't spend as much as they used to because they have more time to look for good deals. It's not difficult to find opportunities to save money when you have the time to look for bargains and negotiate. For example, you can simply wait for something you want to go on sale. You can also save on many events and attractions if you go during non-peak hours, which is easy to do once you no longer work. The same strategy works for travel. The fact that you can travel off-season will save you a significant chunk of change.
4. You will find plenty of people to hang out with on weekdays.
You will find new people to socialize with in your area who have similar schedules. Some people are hesitant to retire because they think no one will be available to have fun during weekdays. But all you need to do to tame that fear is to go to a ball game during a weekday afternoon. Do you see any shortage of fans? Not everybody can make it out during the week, but don't underestimate the number of people who don't work on a 9-to-5 Monday to Friday schedule. You will find new people to socialize with in your area who have similar schedules.
5. You might find other streams of income.
Even if you no longer want to work at your current job, you might find other activities that end up making you money. New income streams after retirement might include online writing or selling crafts or art online. The profits for these activities may not be big, but if you love perfecting your art, getting paid for that never hurts.
Early retirement takes years of continually living within your means, saving aggressively and investing prudently to achieve. But for those who make it, there are plenty of rewards for your discipline.