Retirement - Benefits of Early Retirement

The short answer is probably not. But for a good reason! We are all living longer, and therefore we will need to work a little longer to make sure we have enough money to live on in retirement. If you are considering early retirement, however, there are some things to consider before you make any decision.

No matter how rewarding your job as an educator may be, it can also be very demanding. Perhaps you're thinking an early retirement would be nice. An essential step in determining whether an early retirement is possible involves crunching the numbers and considering factors such as retirement assets and desired lifestyle.

Things to think about 

Can you afford to fully retire?
You need to start thinking about how much money you will have to live on, and what your lifestyle and income needs will be. We are all living longer, which means you should plan how much money you will need to live on for decades.

Part-time work
Finding part-time work is a good way to stay active and to help cover your costs of early retirement.

Lifestyle changes

Early retirement might impact your lifestyle in several key ways: You will likely have to live on a reduced income, many people become socially isolated, and for some people, not working causes a void in their life.    

How much will inflation affect your savings? Early retirement means your money will have to last longer. You should factor in the effect that rising prices will have on your buying power. Living on a fixed income that doesn't keep pace with inflation can leave retirees short on funds.

Increased medical care and other services
The cost of health care is another major factor that makes retirement expensive. Even if you are at least 65 and eligible for Medicare, you will likely want to purchase a supplemental Medigap plan or choose a Medicare Advantage plan to help cover health care expenses.

Penalties and fees
If you withdraw from your 403(b) retirement plan before age 59½, you may incur a 10% penalty on that amount, as well as the taxes you have to pay.