9 Great Reasons to Retire Sooner Rather Than Later

While early retirement isn’t for everyone, there are times when it’s a great idea.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Waiting until full retirement age to retire can seem like a safe option. Ensuring you'll have more money on hand in your golden years likely feels reassuring, but it’s not always the best decision. There are some good reasons to retire sooner rather than later.

It might take some extra planning, but it’s possible. If any of these reasons apply to you, you might want to see if you can retire early.

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If you want to work part-time

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If you just want to work part-time, “retiring” from your full-time job can give you the time to do so. Social Security can supplement your income, since you can work part-time and still receive Social Security retirement benefits.

Looking at it the other way, your part-time pay can supplement your Social Security checks, which will be smaller if you claim them before full retirement age.

As long as you don’t make more money than $21,240 per year, you can work as many or as few hours as you want to without further reducing your Social Security benefits.

To start your own business

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Some retirees choose to go into business on their own. It's easy to see why. You won’t need to report to a boss and can put as much or as little time into your venture as you decide.

You could invest in real estate, start a landscaping business, and so much more. The possibilities are endless.

When you aren’t reporting to a 9-to-5 every day, it allows time for you to build the business you’ve always wanted to. Starting your own business could even boost your bank account more than if you stayed at your job.

If you don’t expect to live as long

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Few people really want to work until the day they die. If you have a decreased life expectancy due to health issues, early retirement can allow you to enjoy those years you have left.

It doesn’t always make sense to work until full retirement age if you won’t live long enough to spend your increased savings.

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For more time with loved ones

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Some people retire sooner to care for a loved one with an illness. Leaving the workforce to care for someone else is a difficult decision, but spending time with them while you still can be reason enough.

In fact, retiring will give you more quality time with your family and friends whether they need your help or not. If you don’t want to wait to start enjoying your loved ones more, it could make sense to retire sooner rather than later.

When you can afford to

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If you have enough money saved to live out your retirement comfortably, there is no reason to continue working if you don’t want to. Not everyone can do this, but the sooner you begin planning for retirement, the sooner you can leave your job.

Be sure to factor in all your retirement income when deciding if you can afford to retire. In addition to your savings, you should consider your pensions, 401(k)s, Social Security benefits, and investments.

Just be careful to leave a cushion for things like taxes, long-term care, and unplanned expenses.

To enjoy more free time (while you can)

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Seniors often face more health problems than younger people. Reduced mobility, in particular, is a common aspect of the aging process.

You’ll want to spend your retired years having fun and enjoying freedom, not at appointments every day. You can retire sooner to enjoy more years of good health and independent living before age starts to limit your abilities.

To improve your health

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Working 40 hours every week can take a toll on the body and the mind.

If you feel that working full-time is negatively impacting your health, it’s time to think about retiring early. Your well-being isn’t worth waiting those few extra years to retire.

If your health is already suffering, maybe it’s time to call it quits and start focusing on yourself. Spending your time improving your health so you can enjoy a more fulfilling retirement is always worth it.

If you’re burnt out

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When you hate going to work every day and feel burnt out from the daily responsibilities, retiring sooner becomes a more appealing option. You can always work part-time at a less stressful job if you’re not quite ready to give up working altogether.

Spend your extra time doing things you enjoy to help preserve your mental health. Poorly managed stress can lead to health problems, like heart disease and high blood pressure. No job is worth your health.

To follow your dreams

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There is nothing wrong with retiring sooner to follow your dreams. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do and your job is holding you back, maybe it’s time to consider retiring early.

Life is only so long, and it’s important to find fulfillment and happiness while you can. You’ve given decades to your career. Consider giving more years to yourself so you won’t regret it when it’s too late.

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Bottom line

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Retiring early isn’t easy. Making sure you are financially prepared to leave the workforce takes planning and years of smart financial decisions.

If retirement is on your mind, it's never too early to start planning. Just make sure you take the necessary steps to lower your financial stress before you get there.

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Author Details

Katelyn Washington Katelyn Washington is a writer with a passion for finance and business. She put herself through business school as a single mother of three and has had pieces commissioned by national magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and editing manuscripts for indie authors.

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