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What is the best age to retire?
Sadly, there is no one size fits all "best age". There are so many variables that it is impossible to say with any certainty which age is best. Instead, we will have to generalize for now. At least until you have read farther along to decide for yourself.
Ordinarily, the best age to retire is about 65 years old. 60-65 is a pretty universally acceptable retirement age. By this time you have likely earned enough to sustain yourself and your pension will start to payout.
It depends on where you live and which pension you use, but most of them don't even allow you to start receiving payments until you are well into your sixties. The age you can retire is also likely to start increasing as medicine improves and life expectancy increases. If you are already approaching retirement, this isn't an issue, you will likely be grandfathered in. If you are still in your 40s/50s, well, you might want to pay attention to the rules about this development.
What are the advantages of retiring younger?
The biggest advantage of retiring younger is the increased time you will have to spend as a retired man or woman. Retiring early will give you more time to spend with your grandchildren and children, while you are still fit and healthy enough to do so. Being retired affords you lots of free time. But that's no good if you are too old and tired to do much with it. Realistically, this isn't a major problem. But the difference between the early 60s and late 60s fitness-wise is night and day. If you want to go hiking with your family, early retirement might be the way to go. Retiring early also gives you the chance to make money in other ways. Retiring and cashing in on your pension might allow you to enter new ventures. As a business investor, buying and selling real estate, or blowing your money down the track. The choice is yours. Most people don't have the time or financial freedom to do these things while working nine to five.
What are the advantages of waiting to retire?
Just as retiring early affords you more time, retiring later affords you more money. It is interestingly a lot more money when you consider a few factors. First, if you work a few more years your pension will grow. It's important to remember that interest rates on things such as savings and pensions are going to be more and more every year (as you have more money). So working a few more years will net you your best years of passive income. Additionally, the more years you work the less you spend retired. Meaning you have more money on a per annum basis. Would you rather go on 20 amazing vacations during your retirement or 30 just great ones? That is an oversimplified question, it is far more complex than that in reality, but that is the gist of it.
How to know when you are ready to retire
Knowing when you are ready to retire should be easy, in theory. You just wake up one day and decide, "I think I've had enough of this". And put in your two weeks' notice. In reality, it is not quite that simple. All of us have good days and bad days. I'm sure there have been many different occasions where you have come home from work and swore that you would be quitting tomorrow. Only to go to sleep, wake up fresh, and trudge back to work again. Make sure you KNOW, not that you just think you know. That sounds a little silly but the distinction between the two should be clear. The best way to know whether you truly want to retire is to think about it every day for a few weeks at least. Speaking to your accountant or checking your pension plan during this time is a good way to start the ball rolling without ever committing to anything. Having a good idea of your finances is the best way to know whether you are ready to retire for real. Not just that you feel emotionally and physically ready.
What are some things to consider when deciding when you want to retire?
Before you retire, you need to think about how and when you want to let your employer know. Do you have a good working relationship with your boss and colleagues? If that's the case, you may want to give them a few months of notice. This allows them to find your replacement with the added benefit of you being there to show them the ropes. This is not a requirement by any means, but it is the right thing to do. If you have a bad relationship with your employer, then give them the bare minimum notice and laugh all the way to the bank to cash your first pension check. Ensuring you understand the rules of retiring is something you will need to consider before you start the process.
You will also want to consider your financials. This was touched on briefly above, but there is more to it than checking how much your pension will payout. You need a good idea of how much you truly have. Your stocks, shares, bonds, trusts, ISA's, 401k, government pension, state pension, private pension, savings, checking, and any other accounts you may own. People tend to have their money strewn all about the place. It may only be a little in here, a little in there, type of arrangement. But you still need to know. It's a good idea to try and pay off your mortgage before you retire, too. This will give you the freedom to move around without the need for financing. Getting a mortgage in your seventies isn't the easiest.
You will also want to make a plan for what YOU want to do. Do you want to retire and then travel? Do you want to retire and move down south to Florida? Are you happy where you are? Would you perhaps want to work part-time somewhere to keep you busy? It isn't a steadfast rule that you must consider these things before retiring. But it is strongly recommended. If you don't feel a particular drive to do anything, it might be best to keep working until you do. That way when you do decide what it is you want to do - you will have the means to do so!
Lastly, you will want to think about how you leave the company. Whether you are the owner, the boss, a manager, or a regular employee you will have an effect on the business and those around you. If you want to retire, that's all well and good, but is the business ready for you to retire? If it is your business, is it set up in such a way that it will run smoothly once you are gone? Do you have a replacement for yourself in mind? Even if it is not your business - Is you leaving going to have a profoundly negative effect on others? Giving your notice is all well and good, but leaving without thinking of the repercussion for others is slightly selfish. That being said, you are retiring. You haven't earned the right to be a little selfish.
Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the reality of retirement a little. There is no hard rule about when the best age to retire is. But, most people will agree mid-sixties is the sweet spot. You will have enough money to live comfortably all while remaining young enough to live an active lifestyle