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3 Reasons to Retire as Early as Possible

By Katie Brockman – Oct 1, 2020 at 9:01AM

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Sometimes retiring sooner rather than later can pay off.

More and more retirees are choosing to work longer, with roughly one-third of baby boomers saying they expect to continue working until at least age 70, according to a report from the Insured Retirement Institute.

But continuing to work well into your senior years may not be appealing to everyone, and when you've been working for decades, retirement may seem like it can't come soon enough. Fortunately, early retirement can sometimes be a wise decision. And there are three reasons why you may be better off retiring as soon as you can.

Older couple dancing on the beach

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Claiming Social Security early could be a smart move

The earliest you can begin claiming Social Security benefits is age 62, but by doing so, you'll receive smaller checks than if you'd delayed benefits. However, in some cases, you could actually receive more money over a lifetime by claiming sooner rather than later.

Social Security benefits are designed so that, in theory, you should receive the same amount over a lifetime regardless of what age you begin claiming. However, these calculations assume that you'll live an average lifespan, which is approximately 79 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you have reason to believe you may not live that long, you could collect more from Social Security by claiming as early as possible.

2. It's easier to enjoy a more active lifestyle

Retiring early can help you enjoy your senior years to the fullest, particularly if you expect to live an active lifestyle. If you plan to travel extensively, spend more time outdoors, or even just run around the house with the grandkids, these activities may be easier when you're relatively young and healthy.

In addition, by retiring earlier, you'll have more years to enjoy these activities. You never know when your health might start to decline, so the sooner you retire, the more time you'll have to check items off your retirement bucket list.

3. You can avoid regrets

More than half of Americans have retirement planning-related regrets, a survey from Global Atlantic Financial Group found.

Regrets may be an inevitable part of life, but they can easily ruin your retirement. Time is your most valuable asset, and it's a resource you'll never be able to get back. If you delay retirement but then your health takes a turn for the worse, you may regret not retiring earlier.

Keep in mind, too, that you can go back to work after you retire if you change your mind -- but you can't go back in time and retire earlier if you regret working longer.

Is early retirement the best choice for you?

There's no single right answer as to when is the best time to retire. Holding off on retirement could be a smart choice for some people, while retiring early is the best bet for others. If you can afford to retire early and are eager to get a jump-start on this exciting new chapter in your life, early retirement may be the right move for you.

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