Some people love their job and going to work each day is a reason to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The thrill of the task at hand excites them and keeps them busy with to-dos, meetings, and projects. They will likely retire someday, but the urgency isn't forcing them to cross the days off the countdown calendar.
Then there are those folks who cannot wait until retirement rolls around. The 9-to-5 has gotten stale, stress is through-the-roof, and they relish in the day when they can sit on their back porch, lemonade in hand, with their days free for whatever life may bring.
However you may feel about working, the idea of retirement has surely crossed your mind at one point or another. As great as your job may be, retirement sure sounds dreamy. And if the last time you'll clock in will be as exiting as getting your first paycheck, retirement seems like a trip to paradise.
While the average age of retirement in the U.S. is 63, some people have the luxury of retiring sooner. And retiring early, while not commonplace, certainly has its perks. Here are three benefits of retiring ahead of the curve.
Improved Mental Health
While working keeps our minds active, it is also a major source of stress for many. Not to mention the tension of working with people we may not agree with, pushy bosses, demanding schedules, and commuting chaos. These things will be over and gone come retirement.
As per The Motley Fool, "More than 50% of Americans consider themselves unhappy at work. Of course, unhappiness comes in varying forms and degrees, but if your job is a major source of stress, retiring early might actually be a smart move health-wise."
You'll also likely get more sleep, keeping you on the ball and invigorated. You won't be as cranky or short-tempered, creating a more mentally-sound you. De-stress, decompress, and delight in your mental health boost while your mind is still young and sharp!
Time for Personal Interests
After a long day at work, there is little time left for hobbies, passions, and non-work-related goals. Although you may have weekends and a bit of free time after work to pursue personal interests, your job usually comes first. You need to make money, and that trumps tending to your garden, hitting the free weights, or brushing up on your Spanish. Travel is limited to set vacation days and you can't practice with your church choir if rehearsals are at two in the afternoon on Wednesdays.
According to U.S. News & World Report, "Having free time when you are still relatively young is better than having those same hours when you are older. An early retiree will have more energy to travel, perhaps live in exotic places and try out physically demanding new hobbies. Maybe you will find a new hobby that ends up turning into a lifelong passion."
You may even want to start a new career. As Investopedia notes, "If you dream of switching fields or starting your own business, sooner may be better than later. You'll be a more desirable job candidate to many employers the more years you have ahead of you. And if you want to be your own boss, you'll have more time to get your business off the ground."
Improve Relationships… and Form New Ones
More hours at home means more quality time available to spend with family and friends. Reconnect with people you have not seen in a while, bring back the romance with your partner, and give your kids an opportunity not many have by being there day in and day out as they grow.
U.S. News & World Report adds, "Not everybody can make it out during the week, but don't underestimate the number of people who don't work on a 9-to-5 Monday to Friday schedule. You will find new people to socialize with in your area who have similar schedules."
Most importantly, you can get to know yourself all over again. When focus is shifted from work to retirement, you can take a deep look inside and rediscover what makes you tick. Doing this earlier in life can leave you with fewer regrets that you didn't live up to your full potential on your own terms.