8 Early Retirement Drawbacks
So, just what are these so called drawbacks to retirement? Why wouldn’t everybody want to retires as soon as possible? Let’s take a look.
- Loss Of Social Security Benefits
You might not know how social security benefits are based, but they are based on your income. If you worked all of your life and then retired when you became eligible for social security, your benefit would be calculated based on your average annual income.
Now, let’s say that you retired 5 years early. For those 5 years you had zero income. The government would factor in those years of zero income, drastically lowering your income.
So, if you are factoring social security benefits into your retirement income, retiring early might not be to your advantage. It could leave you desperately in need of money at a very inopportune time.
Solution: If you plan on retiring early, you should not consider social security benefits. If you get any in the future, consider it bonus money.
- You May Have An Identity Crisis
How much of your identity is wrapped up in what you do and your title. Probably quite a bit. Once that is stripped away with retirement, you might find yourself lost. You might have been an important person in your company but now you are just the person people ask to walk their dog when they are away.
It can also be quite the shocker to suddenly be out of the loop. You used to be a part of the inner workings of a business and now, that is all gone. You might find yourself wondering what is happening at your old company or job. This can be a bit maddening.
Solution: Now might be a time to re-evaluate who you are. Form some new goals, giving yourself a new identity and purpose. Barring that, just give yourself some time to adjust.
- Becoming Fat & Out Of Shape
Ever notice how athletes tend to gain a lot of weight after they retire. This is because their activity level dramatically changes while their diet does not. A similar thing can happen to you, although more gradual and not as dramatic. You might be surprised how much activity you are actually getting at your job.
Gaining a little weight is not the worst thing in the world however, within reason. The real problem is getting out of shape. Losing muscle mass and bone density can be a quality of life problem. This is why people shrink as they get older.
Solution: Be sure to make physical fitness a priority in retirement. Join a gym or at the very least, go for a daily walk. Buy a puppy so that you have some company on your walks.
- Lack Of Ambition
You have reached your goal, so now what? Once you retire, you might find that you have no reason to get up in the morning. Your main purpose in life, up until this point, was to go to work and advance your career or grow your business. Without these challenges you might find yourself lost. How depressing.
Solution: You need to find something else to switch your attention to. Everybody needs a challenge and you will need to find a new one. Hopefully, it will at least be more fun that your previous career.
You might think that you have a million things that you would like to do but often enough, this is not the case. After the first six months or so of retirement many people just get bored.
Those hobbies are not quite as rewarding when they become a full time thing. After all, how many days in a row can you fish? Planning on traveling all of the time? That can get a bit tedious. That leaves you at home trying to find ways to fill your days. Don’t count on your friends, they will be at work.
In addition to all of this, you can also get the decline of cognitive abilities from being home and bored all of the time. Use it or lose it they say.
Solution: Plan on doing more than just a few hobbies and travel. Take on some challenges when you retire. Go back to school, open a business or just do something that you can start feeling passionate about.
- Domestic Issues
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. You and your significant other are probably used to, at least, 40 hours a week of time apart. Do not underestimate the value of this time.
Once you start spending much more time together, you might start feeling some marital stress. Little things that did not bother you before will suddenly highly annoy you. Few couples can take the stress of spending every single moment together.
Solution: Replace your 40 plus hours a week of work time with another activity. Get a hobby or participate in a charity that you can do away from your partner.
- Affording Adequate Healthcare
Healthcare is extremely expensive and not very comprehensive when you are not on a group policy. Retiring early can mean making sacrifices and paying a hefty monthly premium.
Eventually, you will qualify for medicare coverage but until then, you have to come up with a solution.
Solution: Be sure to include a healthy budget for health insurance in your retirement plan. Minimum coverage policies start at around $1000 a month and they go up quickly from there. Add some wiggle room to this budget allotment as prices will rise.
- You’ll Be Disappointed
Retiring early is all that you have ever wanted and now you have reached your goal. At first, it will be exciting, then not so much. You will wonder if this is it. Will you ever have anything else to look forward to?
You will be loving life for several months and then, all of a sudden, you will start taking your new freedom for granted. Now what else is there?
Solution: There is going to be a transition period after the original high of retirement wears out. You have been driven for so long that it will take time to learn how to take life a little slower.
Retiring early is the dream of so many. Once you reach this goal you will be elated but soon see the many drawbacks. You will have nobody to vent to because they will all be jealous of your newfound freedom. It will be up to you to make the needed adjustments to your life so that you can continue to enjoy yourself.