How do you know when to retire?
Most people think this is entirely a financial proposition... not true at all... we had been retired since 1994, I was 49 at the time, I would not change the time that we've been retired for anything.
I feel the answer to the question when to retire should be very close to the first time you really stop and think about how old you are and what you want to accomplish when you do retire.
I am reminded of a good friend...a wealthy one...that would get really stressed whenever the stock market would take a dive.
If he had stopped working...and he could have at any time...and started to enjoy himself, he would have been better off...I have lost contact with him but I would bet he will wait until he is forced to retire.
Most people let the financial companies determine when it's the right time to retire... the same financial companies spend billions every year on advertising to convince you, that their products and only their products, will enable you to reach your retirement goals.
Do you ever think your retirement planner is going to suggest early retirement to you? I didn't think so... they are in business to sell annuities and other investment products designed around conventional retirement planning.
IMHO it should be as soon as possible when you realize that you are swapping the remaining years of your life for money for retirement... accumulating more money is actually reducing the amount of time that you will be retired.
The financial planners, at least the ones that I have dealt with, the same ones that told me I could not retire in 1994, they were wrong then they were wrong now... will never point out that the older you are the less physically able you will become.
When it hits you, that if you want to take hiking trips for instance when you retire... you cannot do the hikes you can do at 40 at 60...THIS IS SO SIMPLE... but you are the one that has to come to that reality.
You are not going to get the idea of early retirement from your friends or your coworkers or neighbors...IMHO it is nothing more than misery loves company or pure jealousy.
Think about your last vacation, in our case it was an Alaskan cruise... try and think about the various physical ailments you observed on your last trip... it doesn't have to be a cruise, it's more obvious on a cruise ship, because you see the same people so often.
But take any vacation venue, you will see people in wheelchairs, you will see people using canes, you will see people moving very slowly... if you are 40 years old when you read this, you may shake your head, and say to yourself they waited too long to retire.
Isn't that what you're doing now?
You have the energy to do your hiking because you're young... the infirm have no chance of taking the hikes that you are able to take right now.
Some of the people that I saw on our recent cruise that were less than 100% physically, had lots of money, wore lots of nice jewelry, some had traveled much more extensively than my wife and I... however you have to come to the point, of realizing that you wouldn't trade places with them for all the money in the world... sure they're retired but they're not enjoying retirement like you could right now.
The worst that can happen to you is that you have to return to work, may be full-time may be part-time... if you do...nothing is going to take away the retirement memories that you have accumulated by retiring early... or when you first realize you were swapping time for a larger retirement nest egg.
If you are coming to the realization, that now is the time to retire... I urge you to act.
Look around are you buying the latest clothes, do you have a new car, do you eat out four times a week, do you really need that huge house you're living in... get the picture... thank goodness I had this revelation a few years prior to 1994.
Please don't wait when it comes to determining when to retire... Instead look at it as how much longer can you afford to continue to work?
Take a look around the site, and discover the low-cost lifestyles that we have enjoyed, and others are that are enjoying right now, and doing it safely and frugally...it may give you the little push that you need to answer the question When to retire?...real soon.