Early Retirement Isn’t Always the Fairy Tale It’s Made Out to Be

As an early retiree, I ought to know.

Being retired gives me a lot of flexibility to pursue more of the things I want to pursue, but along with that flexibility come some drawbacks.

My Early Retirement Journey

I retired 6 years ago at the age of 58. While not super early retired, I left my job earlier than I’d originally planned (around age 62), and much earlier than the “full retirement age” of 66. Being retired, especially at a younger age, comes with disadvantages that you’d better be prepared for going in.

Redefining Your Life and Purpose

You see, there’s suddenly a big hole in your life after working for so many years and having so much structure, and you need something to fill that hole. It’s not as easy to do so as you might think. Once you’re retired you must completely redefine your life and purpose around things other than your career.

Filling Your Days

One of the struggles of being retired is filling your days in a meaningful way. Sitting around and “relaxing” is fun for a while, but if you’re anything like me that will get old really fast. Next thing you know, you’ll be looking around for ways to fill the days, especially if you’re single or your spouse still works.

Decreased Income

If you’re an early retiree relying on investments and frugal living to make your retirement work. No matter how you slice it, your lifestyle takes a bit of a hit when you retire. There simply isn’t the same amount of money coming in.

Loss of Benefits

This is a big one that most don’t seem to think about and is one of the major advantages of a regular 9-5 job. Healthcare! Healthcare is EXPENSIVE! Especially if you’re a little older and require more care.

You’re Not Working, You Have Nothing Better to Do

Moving away from income and expenses, another disadvantage to being retired is that everyone thinks you have all the time in the world to do whatever they want you to do! Think you’ll fill all that extra time with things YOU want to do? Think again.

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