Are you considering early retirement? The idea of permanently clocking out early is always enticing, but like with any big decision, it’s important to have all the information first.
To better prepare you for the idea of early retirement, we did some research and collected this list of early retirement lessons from people that actually retired early. From things to watch out for to retirement hacks, benefits and more, this list will give you a better idea of what its really like in early retirement.
- Burnout is Real – A lot of people retire early because their career is so stressful. If this sounds like you, be aware that you may need time to bounce back from a career burnout. This doesn’t just mean taking extra naps and de-stressing with yoga. It also means being aware that it may take time for you to lose stress habits like rushing through everyday tasks or getting frustrated when simple things take longer than expected. Be aware of this lingering stress, and try to nip stress-creating habits early.
- Boredom is Self-Inflicted – Retirement depression is a very real phenomenon, as people who are used to busy schedules and other being dependent on them can feel lost after they retire. However, getting rid of boredom can oftentimes reduce this down-in-the-dumps feeling. Take advantage of your newfound time and do all the things you never had schedule space for.
- Your Schedule Fills Up – Other early retirees have the opposite problem: they’re busier than ever. From picking up old hobbies to learning new ones, traveling and visiting friends or finding more creative outlets, your retired calendar can fill up fast. Embrace this different kind of busyness, and enjoy it.
- Improved Relationships – One of the best parts about early retirement is being able to improve your relationships. Having the time to really connect with a spouse, child, parent, partner or friend is truly wonderful.
- Don’t Sacrifice Finances for Retirement Time – Having enough money is always better than not having enough money, so don’t retire early if you’re not financially ready. You wont enjoy your retirement if you’re worried about a strict budget or running out of funds. You can check out our article about how much money you need in retirement to give you a better idea of how much you need to save.
- You Can Still Make Money – In the same vein, don’t forget that you can still make money after you retire. While you shouldn’t rely on these small incomes for all your retirement funds, they may take some of the saving pressure off when you’re working full time. Plus, a side-hustle is a great way to stay engaged, motivated and purposeful during retirement. Need some inspiration? Check out lists like this one about ways to make money post-retirement.
- Don’t Make Fun Work – As good as it can be to have a side-hustle, be careful you don’t turn a fun hobby into a stressful job. Remember, you retire to avoid work stress, not create more. Similarly, don’t put pressure on yourself or make your hobbies stressful. Didn’t make it to all three yoga classes one week? That’s ok. Forgot to write that blog this month? No stress.
Early retirement is different for everyone, but these lessons and tips can go a long way in helping you decide if retiring early is for you.
Did you retire early? Share your lessons and tips in the comment section. Be on the look out for more helpful articles.