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Early Retirement. The right choice for YOU?

Most of our working life we spend working towards something. Earlier in our career these things often involve owing own property, putting kids through school and university and going on that holiday. As we get older and we have a home we are happy in and adult children that are independent some of us may start dreaming of a never ending holiday..... Retirement.

Retirement is the light at the end of many Australians and with the average retirement age getting older and older getting "there" early enough to still be able to enjoy life without those little pains that ageing brings is very tempting.

It is important to have a good think about not only financials but also the change it will bring to your life. By the time you consider retirement you have probably spent around 40years in the workforce and lived a life based around annual leave and public holidays. So retiring is probably going to be the biggest life change of your life!

The most significant benefit of retiring early is, well not working. If you are someone that doesn't enjoy their job, this is probably the very tempting option. You might even choose to turn that hobby of yours into a part time business, one where you don't necessarily depend on the income, but enjoy the work and social interactions involved. Alternatively, you can choose to spend your newly gained free time by spending time with you loved ones or going on holidays.

There has been quite a bit of research in the field of how early retirement effects our social health. If you are in a very stressful fast paced role, you will find retirement bringing many mental health benefits; such as less stress and fatigue. However, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health found retired individuals were 40% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than their working counterparts.

Going to work doesn't only give us money but (in most cases) we are given a sense of purpose for our life. We "feel" good about ourselves as we get a job done, complete a task or help someone fix a problem. These are all positive feelings, and while it's easy to forget about the good things about work after a long day that didn't run smoothly, hopefully, you will find that the good times outweigh the bad times at work.

Once this purpose is removed, and the novelty of not having to work has worn off many people find themselves bored and in an idle state of being.

It's also important to consider the financial strain. An earlier retirement means a longer retirement period. So you will need your money to last longer and unlike typical believe your living costs are likely to increase not decrease throughout retirement. You will find your healthcare costs rising, but most importantly all the time you would've spent at work "making money" is now free time and most of us like to spend our free time doing things we enjoy such as holidays, shopping, eating out and immersing ourselves in culture and arts. All these things cost money, and while they might not be massive amounts, they do all add up.

To make things even worse, if you do change your mind and want just a bit of part time work to give you purpose and buff up your income, finding employment at a mature age isn't easy.

Whether you choose to retire early or keep working until you are 80 years old make sure you plan it all out. Make a list of what you want to do, check your finances and make the best out of it!


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