Skip to main content

Many individuals wait too long to leave their careers and enjoy their retirement (work-optional years). How about you?

See if this sounds familiar. You have built a decent financial foundation and the years keep ticking by, faster and faster. Fifty shoots by, then fifty-five and maybe even sixty as you wrestle with society’s default retirement age of sixty-five and figure out if you can make the transition sooner.

What is happening during this time as you delay retirement? Quite simply, a shifting of the scales. At some point the time you are giving up every day  at work is now worth more than the money you are earning. Why? Two things are happening.

First, chances are you will never have more energy and desire to truly enjoy your retirement’s biggest dreams than you do today. You are much better equipped to enjoy an adventure trip to explore Indonesia’s remote tribal communities today than you will be 10 or 20 years from now. Yes, you probably can still do it at these ages but chances are your body and mind will perceive it differently and the desire usually reduces as we age. Your 50’s and early 60’s are often referred to as the go-go years of retirement, and you don’t want to let them disappear because you are on auto-pilot with your career.

 The second reason you should consider an earlier retirement, is many retirees don’t tap into their financial nest egg early enough to get maximum enjoyment, for either themselves or those that they wish to give money/time to. Counter-intuitively, spending usually shrinks as we age into our 70’s, 80’s and beyond, even when health care is considered. As a result of delaying your spending/giving, all the decades of trading your time for money get a less than optimal return. Would you get greater value of a year-long adventure/photography/cultural journey costing you $40K or have that money spent on your estate probate fees;)? Would your children receive more value from you giving when they are 30 and looking for a first home or when they are in their 60’s and already have their foundation?

Your action step – check your auto-pilot status. Early or temporary retirement may indeed be the best investment you make in your life so that your go-go years are truly worthy of all your desires and all the sacrifices you have made getting to them. Retirement is your winning lottery ticket, so make sure you cash yours in.