Who doesn’t dream of having the freedom to retire well before you hit your twilight years? After all, the dream is a good one; you work very hard while you’re young and able, and then, while you are still youngish, you quit your job and enjoy an early retirement.
Unfortunately, some people get so wrapped up in the goal of reaching early retirement that they don’t quite know what to do with themselves when they get there. In other words: they may realize that they don’t actually want to be retired.
This may sound crazy, as many people would love to not have to work longer than needed, but it is quite a common thing. It’s almost as if the hoarding, investing and frugal living is a hobby or lifestyle that you just kind of do.
You identify so much with the movement and spend your time reading sites like this one and Money Monarch that by the time you reach your goal, you sort of lose the identity and aren’t sure what to do.
Let’s go over some of the things to keep in mind as you forge ahead in the quest for early retirement. You may end up deciding to keep going or that it isn’t really what you wanted.
Pro early retirement
When you ask many people who plan to retire early what their motivation is, they almost always respond freedom. What this freedom looks like will vary between different people as it is subjective.
It can mean freedom to do nothing or freedom to travel. It can mean that you have the freedom to pursue a higher education or to fix up that old cabin in the woods.
The allure is very clear when it comes to this aspect of early retirement.
Another reason to go for it is because you never know what could happen along the way. Suppose you are in bad health when you reach your traditional retirement age. That wouldn’t leave you any time to enjoy being retired. Since you never know, it makes sense to retire as early as possible so you can enjoy your life while you are healthy.
Lastly, another valid reason is to make a change in career. For instance, not everybody thinks retiring means not working. It can also mean that you just don’t want to work a job you no longer enjoy. Having financial freedom can allow you to make a career change late in life.
Why you shouldn’t retire early
If your idea of retirement is to lounge by the pool or beach all day and not have any responsibilities, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. This may sound nice, but life is long; can you really imagine doing nothing for 30 years or more? Not many people can enjoy that kind of lifestyle for very long.
If this indeed is your main motivating factor, then it is probably much wiser to ease up on the frugal lifestyle and splurge on an occasional vacation.
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