Why Early Retirement Scares Me

By | November 4, 2012

Often times I talk about how confident I am that I can achieve early retirement. I have ambitious goals, what can I say. While I don’t think that the sky is the limit, I do believe that with enough hard work, almost anyone can achieve early retirement. Of course, if you have a serious illness preventing you from working that is a different story, but other than that, it seems to be fair game. Early retirement may also mean early by a couple years or early by a couple decades. It all depends on your circumstances.

My Retirement Plan

As I have indicated before, my original plan was to aim big. See if I could generate enough money from self employment that I wouldn’t have to work a traditional job. I didn’t like the idea of having to work myself up the corporate ladder or constantly searching for meaning in my job. Instead, my goal was to work less and find meaning through volunteer work and such.

Yet, all of that has changed. Partly because I am pursuing a new career path, but also because there are just too many uncertainties that might cause me to lose sleep. Thinking about retiring before I’m 40 just sounds ludicrous, especially when you consider all of the high costs associated with early retirement.

What Scares me the Most

While anyone can do a fairly accurate job at estimating their expenses within retirement, nothing is certain. Cars can break down, injuries can happen, rates can go up, and so forth. You can budget a large enough cushion or breathing room that you should be okay, but there’s still a huge unknown when it comes to one aspect: health care. With the controversial health care reform act, not only have health care premiums gone up, but there has been even more uncertainty going forward. While I don’t imagine my health care costs to skyrocket in the next couple of decades, retiring at this young of an age just adds so many more years of potential increase in expenses.

Makings sure that you have enough money is a critical part of retirement planning. This is why you hear so many people talking about long term care. It’s important to be prepared for retirement, so make sure to consider all of the expenses.

As I embark upon a new journey, I have realized a couple of important things. Not only is it important to do your homework and calculate your retirement costs thoroughly, but it’s also important to be okay to be afraid. In other words, if something is causing legitimate concern, it might be time to re-evaluate your plans as I have done.