Ed note: It’s easy to say you should save for retirement. It’s even easier to keep putting off that saving because retirement is so far away. So what happens if you move the finish line – say you’ll retire at 50 instead? According to David Ning, a lot.
I always tell people to strive for early retirement even if they love their jobs, because the goal will drive them to save more for the future. There are simply too many benefits to having money in the bank even if they never want to quit. For instance:
Having money in the bank is comforting even if you don’t need the cash.
I used to always worry about every little expense, because I didn’t have much to cushion any setbacks. I’m sure I drove everyone around me nuts, but I couldn’t help worrying about the what-ifs. I’m by no means swimming in money now, but thanks to the saving habits brought on by trying to retire early, I’m no longer as worried about the little expenses. I’m a more pleasant person to hang around with now, and I probably look better too because I’m less stressed out.
You might change your mind and want to retire early one day.
Anything can happen in a 40-year work-life journey. Passion can fade, economic needs for that job can fluctuate and the skill set required to perform the work will change. Many people wake up one day and don’t want to work anymore, but they continue to do so because they need that paycheck. Others may even be forced to quit early. Pursuing early retirement now will give you options later.
You can choose to put in fewer hours even if you want to keep working.
Wouldn’t you want to go in the office a couple days a week, get the social and mental benefits of working while having time for leisure activities? Most people think cutting back hours is only an option for a select few, but a surprising number of employers will allow you to cut back as long as you are a good performer. The real hiccup for pretty much everybody is the need for full time income. Start saving today, and you won’t be one of them.
Financial emergencies are no longer pressing matters.
In fact, you may not even think they are emergencies at all. Far too many Americans declare bankruptcy because of past due medical bills, but most people in the country don’t think twice before seeing a doctor because they have adequate health insurance. A sizable nest egg is like insurance that works for every emergency. And as you grow the pile, you are creating a better coverage for yourself.
You have more flexibility in major career moves.
I remember wanting to expand my skill set by jumping into a sales position earlier in my career, but my boss told me I’d have to take a pay cut until I had proven myself. I still took the offer and ended up significantly increasing my salary by the time I left to start my own business. What made this possible was my pursuit to retire early, because I was already saving a big chunk of my salary. By taking the pay cut, I was simply saving a bit less. Otherwise, reality would get in the way of me taking the initial cut since I would need every penny of my former paycheck.
Having the option to quit earlier than standard retirement age is always comforting even if you plan to work forever. For those who want to have this comfort, work towards that goal by saving more.
Click Here To Submit A News Tip Or Story