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Early Retirement

Part 3 - When is the Right Time?

The right time to take early retirement is when we feel that it is right. This will be at the end of a lot of thought and planning (click on Part 2 in the link box below) and the real belief that it's the right thing to do.
 

Guide to 'Early Retirement' Content Links

There are a number of factors that might influence and aid our thoughts on the right time to take early retirement:

Firstly, the offer of a redundancy package allied to the ability to take any company pension that is available will be influential in our early retirement thoughts. For the latter, we have to be at least 55 years of age. There may also be other restrictions and conditions applied to individual company schemes, so we need to make absolutely sure that we understand all of those before we make our decision. So one of our actions needs to be to talk to our HR department or Pension administrator.

Second, we must consider what we want to do in retirement and when we want to do it. For example, if we want to travel extensively and go to unusual places, these sometimes require us to be reasonably fit and agile. Therefore, if we can do them earlier rather than later, that has to be good. Also, if our hobbies are of the physical nature, such as running, climbing, skiing etc, then, again, we will probably feel that the earlier we retire the better, so that we can indulge them to the full before we get too old to do them.

mature lady drinking coffeeLongevity is also something to consider. If our, or our partner's (if we have one) family has a history of dying sooner rather then later, then that might influence our decision on when to take early retirement..

Mention of a possible partner leads to the fourth consideration - their retirement. If they have already retired or are able to retire at the same time as us or just a bit later, rather than having to work for a considerably longer period, that may well influence our timing decision.

The fifth thing to think about is whether we want to move or not. If we do, it's sometimes a good idea to do it earlier rather than later, to give ourselves time to create a new network of friends and so on. Therefore, we might conclude that early retirement is appropriate for us.

Finally, there are family considerations. These can be many and varied but, for example, the wish or need to look after elderly parents might influence our timing as might the need to look after grandchildren whilst their parents go to work or even a request to do a grandchild's school run!

When we are thinking about whether to retire early, some of these things might conflict. That, of course, will make our timing decision harder. If that is the case, we must prioritise them and give the appropriate amount of weight to each item so that we make a well-informed decision.

There is no definitive answer to 'When is the Right Time?' The answer must come after a lot of thought and planning and it can only be right for us as individuals and families.

When we are thinking about if and when to retire early, the issues covered in this Guide are those that we should consider; now that your thinking caps are on, you may come up with others. They are all important matters; finance and lifestyle are interlinked and we need to consider both when thinking about and planning early retirement. Whenever we have to make choices and decisions in life it's useful to receive some help and advice in order to help us clarify our thoughts, confirm that we're on the right track and give us some expert help.


This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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