- Can afford it. Once we saved enough, we were open to the option of retiring. In addition, getting good affordable health insurance was an important factor for us.
- Time is a precious resource. I'm very glad I had an opportunity to be present during our daughter's infant, toddler and pre-school years. I would have missed a lot if I had been working full time.
- Don't need more. We have avoided extravagance and live a moderate lifestyle, which is sufficient for us.
- Getting older. My mental and physical capabilities aren't as good as in my 20s and 30s. Unlike good wines, these capabilities don't improve with age.
- Changing priorities. Adopting our daughter made me quickly realized there is much more to life than a career. Career and career advancement is a lot less important to me nowadays.
- Personal interests. I've been rediscovering my childhood interests since taking early retirement, including playing sports, stamp collecting and volunteering.
- Physical health. Since retiring, I'm more fit, eating better and sleeping more.
- Less stress. To me, retirement has definitely been less stress and more fun.
- Mental health. I've enjoyed expanding my mental capabilities outside of my career.
- Giving back. For me, this means making a difference. In addition to spending more time with our daughter, I've started teaching science to first graders.
Although I wasn't able to articulate them this well, every one of the reasons were a factor in my decision to retire early in October, 2007. Even after the Great Recession, I still consider the choice to retire early a good decision.
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This is not financial or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
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