Insights from savvy seniors on navigating the joys and challenges of early retirement

Nov 19, 2023
What advice do you have for those looking to retire early? Source: Getty Images.

Retiring early is a dream for many people, but it can also come with a lot of uncertainty and questions, which is why hearing from those who have already taken the leap can be invaluable.

Turning to the online community Ask Old People on Reddit, someone seeking guidance asked: “The old people that retired early, what don’t they tell you about retiring early?”

One 60-something-year-old said retiring isn’t nearly as “scary” as people will have you thinking, encouraging others to take the leap if they’re ready.

“That if you have built up some savings and your house is paid off, it’s really not as scary as almost all of the financial “experts” want you to believe (i.e. Suzi Orman telling people you need at least 2 million dollars, etc.),” the comment read.

“I retired at 59 from a stressful job,” someone else said.

“I have a house, no debts and enough saved and invested that, with my pension already covering my basic needs I live simply and comfortably and can still afford occasional extras.

“It helps that I live in a country where medical expenses are covered by our taxes so any future illness won’t drain my retirement account.”

“How great it is, how you can re-invent yourself and give up old responsibilities. It’s wonderful. I highly recommend retiring ASAP,” another person said.

Whereas others advised it’s crucial to find things you love to do to fill your time to avoid feeling as though you’re wasting away. 

“Recently retired (early 50s). It’s easy to feel like you don’t have a purpose anymore. I’m looking into volunteer opportunities to keep busy, socialize more and hopefully feel that sense of purpose again,” someone said.

“I didn’t realize how much I identified myself by my career until I didn’t have it as a way to introduce myself anymore,” offered another.

“I didn’t have stuff to talk about with people other than current events, so I felt super boring.

“In 2018, my son graduated and moved out and I found myself playing video games 24/7. I was 46, and I come from a long line of women who live to be 90 or 100. I realized that I was staring down the barrel of 40 or even 50 years of nothing but video games and ennui.

“Then I happened across a volunteering opportunity that centred around voting rights, and from there I basically made myself a second career that doesn’t pay me anything.”


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