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L2F 024 Early Retirement Our Take on Critical Early Retirement Topics


Show Notes

  • Our subject is early retirement.
    • What is early retirement?
    • Adjustments
    • Motivation
    • Is it worth it?
  • Claire’s definition of early retirement is any time before reaching for Social Security benefit age.

Early Retirement Adjustments

  • Some of the challenges we faced after retiring earlier include:
    • Retirement is a top 10 stressful life event
    • Relocating which meant leaving family and friends.
    • No longer having the socialization that work provides.
    • Since most people Claire’s age were still working, there weren’t a lot of people available during the day.
    • Leaving work also means leaving your identity. And it’s a very sudden change.
    • You also go from being valued (i.e. paid) to not having any income. Now you have to pay yourself from your savings (de-accumulation).
    • We were confident in our finances because we used Fidelity’s Retirement Income calculator which enabled us to create a plan tailored to our circumstances (including contingency).
    • It took Claire about a year to settle in before she focused more of her time on her creative pursuits.
    • Ted recounts how he slipped into stage 3 of the 6 stages of retirement (disenchantment) after about a year of being in the honeymoon stage.
    • Claire talks about how my unhappiness affected her.
    • You can’t look back because we all make choices and you have to own your choices.
    • Ted eventually worked his way through stage 4 which is reorientation. He did an inventory of what made him unhappy. Ultimately his work involved not only forgiving his father but forgiving himself too.
    • You have to accept the decisions you made.
    • You can’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you have and accept it’s good enough.
    • The process of adjusting to retirement is continuous. Nine years into retirement we realized we missed belonging to a community. We moved into a 55+ community. It has truly amplified our happiness!


    • How do you stay motivated after retiring? Claire’s motivation stems from her desire to be happy. If something bothers her, she finds a way to restore equilibrium. Ted’s motivation comes from wanting to always do better and be better. They both share a desire to help people and improve financial literacy.

Is Early Retirement Worth It?

    • Our last topic is whether early retirement is worth it. Claire’s perspective is you can’t buy time and she had other things she wanted to do with her time instead of work. Retiring early has given her time to do what she loves to do.
    • Retiring early allows you to enjoy healthy years for yourself. Plus you avoid work stress which could have a negative effect on your health after you eventually retire.
    • For another perspective on early retirement check out our podcast with Chris Mamula of Can I Retire Yet.

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