Is Retiring Early a Good Idea?

Practically everyone has to work for a living, and earn their way in the world. If they don’t, they’re one of the lucky few who inherit tons of money from their parents or grandparents, or win the lottery and are set for life.

For those of us who work, it can seem like endless dreariness, and retiring early may sound like an unequivocally good thing. Truth be told, however, it may not turn out to be that way.

Who should retire early?

Retiring early from your job may be a good thing if your job is scary or stressful. Coal miners, for example, can never retire too early from their jobs because of all the incredible dangers involved.

For people employed in less stressful and more common professions, like supermarket cashiering, or teaching, or accounting, retiring early may release them from what they perceive as the monotony of their jobs, but it comes with risks.

The risks of retiring early

For example, a person who retires early needs to have a serious amount of money set aside that will cover them for the rest of their lives.

Since retiring early means you most likely won’t get a pension, that means you’ll need even more money invested in either savings accounts, CD’s, IRA’s, mutual funds, money markets or other investment vehicles. When it comes to retiring early, the bottom line is that it’s only a smart decision if there’s enough cash to live on comfortably from that point on.

The risk to your intelligence

Another, non-financial risk to retiring early is that your brain will become dull. Many people can’t wait to retire so that they can relax, but as with your body’s muscles, the less you use your brain, the weaker it can become.

Too much free time on a person’s hands can lead to depression and unpleasant feelings of meaninglessness and excessive contemplation of things beyond our control, like aging and death. Retiring early, therefore, may sound good on paper but be more complicated in practice.