Early retirement seems like a wonderful dream to a lot of people. You’ve been in the workforce for decades, all focused on the goal of enjoying the rest of your life on your own terms. But just wanting to get out of the rat race isn’t quite enough of a reason, if you’re not ready.
Retiring at age 62 is quite a bit different from retiring later. If you’re wondering whether it’s the right thing to do, here are 7 reasons why you really should go ahead and retire early!
Reason #1: Retire Early if You Want to Stay Healthier Longer
There’s no doubt that working and being active can help keep you stay healthy much longer than sitting with your feet up. But not all work is good for you; sometimes it’s detrimental to your health.
Retiring at 62 from a backbreaking job or one with a disproportionately high level of stress can help you retain, or regain, your good health and keep it longer.
Reason #2: Retire Early if You Have a Goal
Do you have a dream that you’ve always wanted to pursue, but never had the time? Maybe you want to write a novel. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to raise your own food on a farm. Maybe you want to raise sheep, harvest the wool, and open a yarn shop. If you have a real goal and you know you’re passionate about it, you’ve got a good reason to retire early, says USA Today.
They say that no one ever reached very old age regretting the things that they did. What’s regretted are the things not tried, the chances not taken, the dreams left dusty and neglected on a shelf. If you are able, retiring at 62 can give you many years to seek out that dream and really enjoy it.
Reason #3: Retire Early if You Have the Security
Having the means and having security are a bit different. You might have enough to retire on, including early Social Security benefits, but can your finances withstand an unforeseen upheaval?
If you’ve got the early years of retirement covered and will have access to more financial security maturing and becoming available as you get older, you’ve got little reason to hold back on retiring early.
Reason #4: Retire Early if You Want to Learn New Things
If you devoted your education and life to a career, there might come a point when you want to try something completely new. Taking retirement at 62 means you have time to pursue education in a different direction, and still have time to use and enjoy it.
Adult students typically perform better than their younger counterparts. And even if you don’t pursue a new degree to use in the workforce, learning for personal edification can be rewarding. You might even gain a new skill set to use in starting a business of your own.
Reason #5: Retire Early if You’ve Really Thought it Through
Early retirement isn’t something to enter into lightly. You might have your finances in order, but you also need a solid understanding of how your life will change. For example, it can be more stressful than you imagine, spending every hour of every day with your spouse, especially if you’ve only spent a few hours together daily in the past.
For someone who is accustomed to going to work Monday through Friday, the sudden change of having no schedule and everything that accompanies it can be difficult to deal with, suggests Bankrate. If you’ve already done your homework and are just waiting for 62 to arrive, then there’s nothing holding you back.
Reason #6: Retire Early if You Have Health Insurance
When you retire at 62, there are still 3 years left to wait before you’ll qualify for Medicare unless you qualify for disability. You’ll need medical coverage to see you through until you turn 65.
Being healthy doesn’t mean it’s OK to go without health coverage. If you can obtain a private policy to bridge the gap, then you’re all set, according to Bankrate. If not, you might want to wait a bit longer to retire.
Reason #7: Retire Early if You’re Debt Free (or Almost)
Probably the biggest indicator that it’s really ok to retire early is that your debts are paid off, or they’re very close to it. Debt-free living, financial freedom, or whichever way you choose to refer it, means you’ve fulfilled all or most of your obligations, and you’ll be under much less strain in the years ahead.
If you’re debt free and your retirement income is in line, there’s little reason to continue working if you don’t want to. This is the time of life that you’ve worked hard to reach. So go out there and enjoy it.
NewRetirement’s calculator is an easy way to help you decide whether you can retire early. It only takes a few minutes, and what you’ll learn can help you chart your new course. Or, visit NewRetirement’s Early Retirement Forum and Guide for dozens of resources related to retiring early.