Consequences of Retiring Early?

I recently came across an article on Yahoo! Finance discussing the Unexpected Consequences of Early Retirement, which named multiple consequences that I didn’t necessarily agree with.  Today, I wanted to give my two cents regarding these items and whether they truly are “consequences.”

Your Career Can Still Feel Very LongID-100206724

The author tells us that even though you only worked until 45, it is still 20+ years of hard work, spending little, and saving lots.  The idea that you can’t have an enjoyable life while working, controlling spending, and saving is not factual.  Just from reading numerous personal finance blogs you find numerous stories and examples of people who possibly have a more enjoyable life by following these principles.  They have learned that spending doesn’t necessarily bring happiness, but life experiences does.

Working hard is not exclusive to people who are trying to save for early retirement either.  Whether you want to retire early, retire in your sixties, or maybe just not retire, the hard work you put in is more of a definition of you than what you are trying to achieve.

Working So Hard Could Make You Want to Retire Even Sooner

As stated above, hard work is not exclusive to people wanting to retire sooner.  However, for people who are implementing the strategies needed to retire sooner they will be able to capitalize on that want.  To state that working hard will want you to retire sooner is not a direct result of early retirement, it is a result of the often stressful, face paced jobs that many people go to every day. The people who do it have a plan laid out, however, will be able to move passed the want of retiring earlier and earlier, and actually be able to do it.

You Might Be Afraid To Quit

I believe that this point is a natural feeling.  I am currently no where near retirement, but hope to be able to retire early someday.  The decision to finally call it quits and no longer have that guaranteed income stream has to be a very hard thing to become comfortable with.  You will be taking a leap and hoping that the planning you did was correct. However, if you work hard, and trust your system and lifestyle, making the jump to early retirement will be much easier.

Other People May Not Be Happy For You

Ahh, the main issue I have with this article.  Retiring early is not about what other people think.  A person trying to retire early has been going against the cultural grain for their entire career.  We live in a culture where materialism and spending are commonplace.  To be able to get to a place where you can retire early, the need to keep costs down and save more are huge.  Why would a person change their opinion on what people think of them now?  They haven’t cared for their career, while they have passed up spending on status items and instead saved the money, why would they began caring what people think of their lifestyle now.

I personally believe that while people may be envious of you for retiring early, they still would be happy for you.  Retiring early and having the freedom of time is a big dream for a lot of people.  Unfortunately, some people aren’t willing to commit to the strategies needed to get there.

It’s Scary To Spend Down Your Life Savings

Passive income is extremely important when planning to retire early.  Whether it is dividend streams, income from side hustles, or rental income, it helps make income more predictable and help in not having to tap into principal early in your retirement.  Yes, it will be hard to tap into the principal when that time comes but if you set up good strategies, you can keep this amount to a minimum and make your retirement savings last a longer.

There Will Be Parts of Work You Will Miss

Now this is an item that I do agree with.  For most people, they don’t dislike every aspect of their jobs.  If fact, there are probably parts that they enjoy.  In a work environment, you are able to create and grow relationships with co-workers.  You don’t necessarily have this same experience once you retire. Maybe your job provides you with different challenges that you enjoy tackling.  This is something that everyone has to deal with whenever you retire.  It definitely is not exclusive to early retirement.


Overall, these are all things that might go through a person’s head when they think about wanting to retire early, but I wouldn’t consider them consequences.  If a person is dedicated and adapts their lifestyle to a frugal one, they won’t look back at these things as they pass on by to early retirement.

Do you agree/disagree with any of these?  Are you working towards being able to retire early?

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles,