Are You Sure You Are Ready for Retirement?

Retirement is something that looms over most people. They are filled with mixed emotions. Some are concerned and are filled with questions. Have I prepared? Am I setting enough aside? Will I be able to work long enough to be able to live comfortably during the senior years of life? Others envision taking it easy, sipping drinks on a beach or riding a camper around the country. One common mistake that people make is to compare what retirement will be like for them with what it was like for their parents or grandparents. However, the world has changed and many companies have changed, few are offering pensions and the responsibility of retirement falls much more on the individual than on employers.

Since times have changed one must ask what are the new rules for retirement? Or if one is really brave what are the new rules for early retirement? Somethings worth noting are that most people are retiring later in life. If someone is in good enough, enjoys work, and has accrued enough vacation time to be able to get away when needed, then there is little incentive to retire early. In fact, retiring later allows someone to maximize social security benefits as well as put more away for retirement during the last few years of work. However, if someone has no desire to wait for retirement then a few things need to be considered.

First, how are that person’s investments doing? Some people have managed to save a lot of money for retirement over the years and have little debt. This means that early retirement may be an option. Understanding one’s current investments as well as what the desired post retirement lifestyle will look like can reveal if early retirement is an option.

Secondly, how does that person define retirement? For some individuals retirement from one job is an opportunity to pursue a second career. If this is the case then retirement may be much easier. When the retirement income from the first job is combined with the second job then there is more flexibility to live comfortably than if a person only has one income stream. Some have a hobby that they have always desired to make an income stream and an early retirement may provide a good opportunity to pursue living off of this hobby.

Thirdly, someone should consider what current expenses could be a hindrance to retirement. If someone is able to eliminate long term debts from his or her life then retirement is easier to reach. Expenses like a mortgage or car notes, with careful planning, can be eliminated much earlier than many realize.

Finally, pursuing some side hustles can help build retirement savings and eliminate debt. What is a side hustle? It is a source of income independent from someone’s main job. Some people have driven for Uber or Lyft on the weekends as a side hustle. Others have rented out a spare bedroom on Airbnb or utilized side skill like photography or graphic design to earn extra money. If someone has set a target amount for retirement savings side hustles can help reach that amount sooner.

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