8 Inspiring Reasons Why People Retire Young

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Not everyone can retire young, but even those with the financial means to quit their job often opt to wait.

In a recent Facebook post on the NewRetirement group, there were hundreds of comments in response to the question, “why retire young when retirement lasts so long.” The responses fell almost equally into the following 8 categories. Here is a summary of the answers for why people retire early:

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time

Bertrand Russell

Retiring young isn’t always about a specific discreet goal, lots of people retire to access freedom and the simple enjoyment of having full control over their time.

In fact, having control over their life and a sense of freedom was the most often mentioned reason why people wanted to retire young. Whether it was to sleep, do nothing, or have the time to pursue hobbies – golf, woodworking, knitting, and more (the activities mentioned were varied)

Joseph commented, “That’s the best thing about retirement. You don’t have to have a set plan. I take it one day at a time.”

John was even more direct, “I do absolutely nothing and I don’t start that until after noon. I love the freedom of doing anything that I want, whenever I want, however I want. It’s not for everyone, but it works for me!”

Rosalyn is looking forward to, “the day I wake up early because I want to and not because I have to.”

Brad planned for financial freedom and for how he would spend his time after retirement. He wrote, “I started making a plan for my time years before i retired. And while like most things it has not gone according to my plan, i am not sorry i retired at all. Work was not my life just a need like money and shelter. I am only limited by my level of ambition as to what I do.”

Michelle is pursuing entertaining, swimming, pickleball, boating, reading, biking, Bunco, travel and more. She sums up her retire young philosophy this way, “Some people life to work, others work to live.” Retired because there’s a thousand other things I’d rather be doing.”

Need some inspiration? Here are 120 ideas for what to do in retirement.

2. Want to Get Away from the Job

“I’d rather eat rice and beans so I can do the things that I love instead of having a job that makes me miserable, but pays well.”

Darius Foroux, author of Think Straight: Chan. ge Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

It appears that many people find their work to be soulless and opt for retirement, even if it means financial sacrifice (though often it does not).

Getting away from a stressful job is the second biggest reason people cited for an early retirement. Janet summed it up with this comment, “It’s not what you do. It’s what you don’t have to do anymore.”

James wrote, “If working has become your identity and self worth metric, you’ve already failed at life.”

Patrick echoed, “Work was not going to define who I am. Some people hang on to their job because they can’t think of what they would do without it. My goal in life was to not be beholden to a job. Which are you?”

Being “knee deep in menopause” triggered Stacey to retire young. She said, “I just don’t want or need to put up with all the workplace nonsense any longer.”

It is important to note, that many people actually do enjoy their jobs, find meaning and purpose in their work. And, that is 100% okay too. Delaying retirement because you love your job and feel that you are making a contribution to the world is admirable. And, you are lucky to have a job that is fulfilling.

“Jobs fill your pockets, adventures fill your soul.”


There is just something about travel and retirement. Research indicates that it is the number one goal for most people and the replies to this question confirm that to be true. Whether it is camping or RV trips or full world tours, having time for travel is a big reason why people retire early.

“Family is not an important thing. It is everything.

Michael J. Fox

Love is always the answer to everything, including why retire young.

People retire early to spend time with spouses, children, grandchildren, and aging parents.

Bryan wrote his comment from a lanai in Hawaii. He said, “I realized that when my wife got cancer (now cancer free), we should not be spending most of our waking time away from each other at work… Work was great, I did a lot of good things. But now I can do what we want when we want to. I wish I had done this sooner.”

Wendy prioritized time with her daughter. She said, “I traveled 80% as a consultant, would have missed at least 50% of my daughter’s activities and she would not have been able to do as much. I am glad I left my soul crushing schedule for family.”

Many people mentioned that retiring young gave them time to spend with and help aging parents. Nancy’s mom needed her to move in with her. She recounts, “My finances were such that I didn’t have to work. It was an incredible gift to spend four and a half years with my mom. She passed away last Summer.”

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”

Earl Nightengale

Some people have known almost their whole lives that they didn’t want to work into old age. And, others set the goal a little or a lot later, but have planned carefully for an early retirement.

In a Facebook group like NewRetirement’s, you are bound to find more people than average who are retiring early because people are actively managing their finances and preparing for the future they want.

Tom D. said, “We were aggressive savers. Worked in high stress, high paying jobs. Had a goal to retire early and we made that happen.”

Denise made major life changes to help enable retiring young, “I moved to Mexico last year so I could pay cash for a house and my car and now that those tings are accomplished I’m asking myself if it’s really worth it to deal with the daily grind. Now I can choose to just enjoy my life on my terms.”

Brad decided in his 30s to retire in his 50s and while he achieved his goal, he has discovered that he could have retired even earlier as his finances are in better shape than he had planned, even with market crashes and inflation.

David retired 5 years earlier than he thought he would. He mentioned the importance of staying on top of his financial situation even after retirement.

The NewRetirement Planner can help you discover how you can retire young. Get started now.

“Happiness is a byproduct of function, purpose, and conflict; those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war.”

William S. Burroughs

Many people consider themselves retired, but are working or volunteering in a job that they enjoy and gives meaning to the time spent on the clock.

Katheryn said, “An early retirement gives you the option to switch to a new kind of ‘work’ without the constraints of worrying about your income level.”

Laura is taking on some really hard work after retiring young. She wrote, “I have a farm and am working with one of my kids to turn it into an income producing endeavor. That work will continue but it is more of a passion project.”

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Health – their own as well as the well being of loved ones – is a major factor for an early retirement. Many people have watched friends and family toil away and then retire just as their bodies or minds begin to fail. Or, their own health scare has made them find ways to make retirement work, no matter the financial consequences.

Rob wrote, “My youngest brother & his wife have been planning to move from KY to a Florida beach in their retirement. Two years ago, he had a heart attack (his first, no notice) at age 55, and he and that dream died suddenly that day. I’m 61 this year and preparing for this to be the year to transition for my wife and me. We will live and love in a new and better way, for however many precious days remain!!”

Laurie recounted, “I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 42. Only about 3% of women survive. I was one of them. I just turned 55 and enjoy every day I am given.”

Also inspired by a family member, Tom commented, “My father died at 39 of heart disease. I retired at 54, 14 years ago. Life is more than working. I thoroughly enjoy it now.”

David intends to sail around the world for 3 years. He said, “Not sure I would be physically able to do that in my 60s. Took last year off and traveled by boat and loved it.. I look forward to doing far more of it.”

Jeff mentioned that he had lost his wife and mother too early to cancer. He says that he wants, “to walk slower in this journey and take time to see the beauty in life. I spent way too much time being productive and efficient and not enjoying the journey.”

The choice to retire young was stark for Brett. He wrote, “If I hadn’t retired at 54, the stress and frustration would have killed me.”

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

M. Scott Peck

You can always have more money. But, your time is definitely limited. And, this tradeoff is one of the most important considerations when it comes to deciding when to retire.

Wendi intends to travel at 55 and said, “No one can guarantee how much time we have so why not retire earlier if it makes sense financially?”

Robbi echoed this sentiment, “I retired at 58. I know how much money I have but I don’t know how much time I have.” (He added that he thinks that his dad, who also retired early enough to enjoy 10 years of retirement before he died at 68 would be proud.)

Retirement at 60 or 65 can be a 30 year prospect, a very long time that you will need to fund without income from work. If you are retiring young can require another 10-30 years’ worth of savings.

A comprehensive financial plan, a back up plan to anticipate what might go wrong, and flexibility to maintain and update your plan overtime will make retiring young less stressful.

The NewRetirement Planner is the most comprehensive and flexible tool for anyone who wants to retire young (or later).

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