What to know about early retirement

How to prepare

Written by Nitin Manohar
July 6, 2018

When you’re in your 20s or 30s, retirement may feel like a distant goal; a finish line that you get to cross in your older years after decades of hard work. It’s not uncommon to spend decades building a life – a family, a career, a home – protecting and growing your wealth with the hopes of one day taking a step back to enjoy it all (stress-free, of course).

We want this dream retirement for everyone, but with a few stipulations. First of all, we strive to help clients enjoy their wealth before retirement – not just after they’ve crossed that proverbial finish line. Secondly, we don’t think you have to reach a certain age to retire. If your goal is to retire young (a loose term, we know), there are a few things to consider. You may be in your early 30s with a successful business and a substantial portfolio, or feel that retiring at 45 or 50 is ideal – the decision is extremely personal and depends on your goals, lifestyle and financial situation. Whatever the “early” age, we can guide you through and ensure that your needs and covered today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life. In the meantime, here are some things to consider before taking the plunge (or slow glide) into retirement.

Financial readiness does not equate to emotional readiness.

Having the money to retire is not the same as being ready to retire. If your life is centered around work – particularly if you’re a business owner, medical professional or executive in a demanding role – it can be difficult to adjust to life without it. The solution may be as simple as creating a schedule (workshops or fitness classes, sports, common interest clubs, time spent with family and friends). Others may want to work part time in their field or pursue a new career opportunity. Some will travel, and others will volunteer. Remember – volunteer work doesn’t always mean delivering meals on wheels (as great as those programs can be). You may want to mentor a new grad in your field or join the Board of Directors at a charity you’re passionate about – if it’s something you enjoy, you’ll find fulfillment as you give back.

Your goals may change – and that’s ok.

Sometimes, the grass is truly greener on the other side. If you dreamed of retirement but find yourself enjoying it less than you expected, it’s ok to change your plans. You may go back to work until you reach that emotional readiness, or change your approach to life after your working years. Thought you’d love travel but feel unsettled? Try creating your dream retirement in your hometown or at a cottage. Just plain bored? Find something that excites you and throw yourself into it, whether it’s a creative project, work, a trip, a home renovation, community involvement or – yes – even work.

Retirement is a journey – not a finish line.

Whether you retire at 27 or 75, your life is going to change and naturally, it’s going to take some time to adjust. Be kind to yourself, allow yourself time to find your footing, and give this article about the stages of retirement a read – it may help you understand your own transition. Finally, while the emotional elements of retirement are critical, the financial elements are what allow you to make choices about how and when to make it happen. If you dream of retiring early or phasing into semi-retirement at a young age, let us know – our team can look at your financial plan and discuss strategies to help reach your goal.