Ask the Money Lady,

Dear Money Lady Readers,

I wanted to do something a little different this time.  I always get questions from people who want to retire early, leave their careers, and finally make that hard stop to working.  The thought of waiting until they are 65 or longer seems like torture.  So, today I am asking you a question!

Can you really retire earlier? 

You know I’m going to answer it!  For most of us – the answer is NO.  Short of knowing when you will die, there is no real way to know whether you can retire early.  One thing is certain: you must make sure you have a plan for the future and a retirement strategy to get there.  This should be something you have considered carefully and seeking the advice of a professional advisor or financial planner is always a step in the right direction.  Here are 10 questions you need to ask yourself.  Be truthful with your answers; if nothing else, this will be a good exercise to help you understand what you need to work toward to retire earlier if you can.  Good luck!

  1. Is all your debt paid off?
  2. Are you really ready to give up working, or are you just tired of your current position and in need of a change?
  3. Will you need to support anyone other than yourself? If so, for how long, and how much will that cost?
  4. Can you downsize your residence or move to a less expensive area to lower your expenses?
  5. Will you have a consistent monthly revenue stream that is long-lasting and able to sustain you during times of uncertainty?
  6. Do you have any future large expenditures that you have not already saved for?
  7. If necessary, could you make sacrifices to live a more minimalist lifestyle?
  8. Have you made a financial budget for the future and can you write out exactly how you can, to the best of your knowledge, envision your retirement? How much do you anticipate this will cost in today’s dollars?  What about inflation and taxation?  What are your plans for assisted living should you need care as you age?
  9. How will you socialize in retirement and how much will this cost? Do you plan to continue club memberships or join new ones, and how much will this cost?
  10. Have you thought of ways to fill your time in retirement? Does your retirement partner want the same things as you and are they willing to make the same sacrifices to retire early?

So, how did you do?  Do you have a budget or are you going to make one?

Always keep planning.  Remember, you can’t expect to have a future if you don’t plan to have one!

Good Luck and Best Wishes,
Money Lady

Written by Christine Ibbotson, Author of “How to Retire Debt Free and Wealthy”  Follow on Facebook & Instagram

Written by Christine Ibbotson, Author of “How to Retire Debt Free and Wealthy”  Follow on Facebook & Instagram

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