CNN Money lists five signs you retired too early as follows:
1. You're bored
2. Your expenses are unpredictable
3. You don't qualify for Medicare
4. You're withdrawing early Social Security benefits
5. Your financial planner isn't happy
Here's my take on these:
- Yes, it's true that you need something to retire TO, not just retire FROM something. If you have no life outside of work, you either need to find some things to do or keep working. As for me, I have so many fun things I like to do that I'm busier than ever (in a good way) and get up at 5:30 am each day because I want to do them!
- Here's where a budget comes in handy. Not only does it help get you to retirement (by being a tool you can use to control your spending), but helps you predict what your retirement budget (both income and expenses) could be. You do NOT want to retire without completing a solid budget beforehand and one that includes margins of safety in case income is lower or costs are higher than expected. We had 20+ years of data in Quicken, so estimating our retirement budget was a breeze. You don't have to have that much info, but I'd suggest at least five years to have a good guess at what your costs will be.
- Healthcare in retirement is a HUGE issue because it's so expensive. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of great alternatives, but some gaining popularity are health sharing ministries like Samaritan Ministries and Medi-Share. You may want to check them out.
- There's a whole debate on when to take Social Security. No one knows the best time for any one individual since we don't know when a specific person will die. That said, generally taking it later is better and if you have to have it to make your retirement work, it's probably best to delay a bit and build up some more savings.
- LOL! First of all, I'm pretty skeptical on the wisdom of many "planners" (who are really just glorified sales people). Second, he may not be happy simply because you're moving from accumulating assets which he gets paid to manage to drawing down those assets. I wouldn't put much weight on what my planner thought as long as I was confident in my own ability to manage my finances. If you know nothing about money, you're kind of stuck and will need to listen to someone more knowledgeable.
Anyway, that's my take on these five. What do you think of them?