Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. – Oliver Wendall Holmes
Retiring is a personal decision, and not one to be taken lightly. For many people, deciding when is the right time to retire can be difficult because they may worry that they won’t have anything to do or that their health may decline. A 2017 study, published in Health Economics, suggests that early retirement can have the opposite effect by increasing longevity. Is early retirement good for you? Let’s look at some of the factors that may convince you to live a life of leisure.
To Work or Not to Work
Working past retirement age can be important or meaningful for some people, especially if they do not have enough saved for retirement, need health insurance through their employer, or are truly passionate about what they do. They may struggle with retirement because they may not think their lives can still have purpose. On the other hand, people who work to live rather than live to work may find the stress of their job leads to other bad habits and poor self-care outside of the work place, such as smoking or drinking. People who are unhappy with their work may be more than ready to retire early.
Another factor to consider about when to retire is your personal life. Do you have hobbies and interests, or are you a workaholic? Do you have a happy marriage, or is your home life strained? Will you be social, or will you become isolated and possibly depressed? Without an understanding of how to fill your days and with whom you want to spend them, you may not be fully prepared for a happy retirement.
Getting a Head Start
Here’s the thing about retirement: it isn’t an event, but rather a process. You don’t have to throw a party to celebrate the end of your career and then sit in a chair for the next twenty years. What you actually get from early retirement is a gift, the opportunity to fulfill your goals and dreams that may have taken a back seat to other necessities throughout your lifetime. Some of the reasons that you may want to retire early include:
- The prospect of travel, experiencing new cultures and satisfying your wanderlust
- A reduction in expenses through downsizing and simplifying your commitments
- Improved wellness with more time to exercise regularly, sleep better, and create other healthy habits
- Less stress and fewer responsibilities
- A chance to explore volunteerism, philanthropy, and mentoring
- Development of new interests, hobbies, and educational opportunities
- Ability to reconnect with family and friends as well as create new social networks
Working at Play
At every stage of your life, you probably had a plan to make it work for you, and your retirement should not be any different. The better prepared you are for your golden years, the more enjoyment you can realize. Be creative, be social, and be open to new experiences, all of which are good for your cognitive function and emotional health. You can have a level of freedom you may not have experienced as an adult, so live your life to the fullest!
If you are thinking about retiring early but want to know more about how to make the most of each day, you can talk to the professional team at Galloway Ridge. Our Life Plan Community offers a full range of activities and programming to accommodate nearly everyone’s interests. We encourage you to explore your options and learn more about how our residents have adjusted to retirement with success and happiness. The culture and environment of our community, our caring and attentive staff, and our unparalleled amenities may convince you that the time to retire is now.