Early retirement is something few of us are truly prepared for. After all, when you’ve spent most of your adult life in the rat race, opting out of it is a huge change to make. You may wonder how you’ll cope. The truth is, you’ll probably be just fine. Maybe even more than fine. This is one of the things about early retirement that might surprise you but it’s not the only thing. Read on…
1 / 20
You become healthier
Better health is common among people who retire early. You’re not only less stressed but you also have more time for exercise, getting out in the fresh air and preparing healthy meals rather than junk food. If you’re suffering from poor health, it may be one of the signs that you need to quit your job.
2 / 20
You’re not as tired anymore
Even if you don’t have one of the most sleep-deprived jobs in Canada, working full-time drains you of physical and mental energy. Some new retirees discover that they don't even need to nap.
3 / 20
You don’t spend for instant gratification
When you have a regular paycheck coming in, especially if you have one of the world’s highest-paying jobs, it’s easy to spend your money on luxuries. As Dow Jones & Co.'s MarketWatch points out, however, your spending patterns change once you’ve retired. Instead of looking for instant gratification, your spending becomes more goal oriented.
4 / 20
You realize how little you need
As your mindset about spending changes after retirement, you also discover you don’t need all the stuff you’ve been filling your home with. You become more minimalist and realize that giving up some of the things you used to buy regularly isn’t necessarily a sacrifice. It can be very liberating instead.
5 / 20
Mondays become your friend
Unless you have an awesome job with one of Canada’s best companies to work for, you probably know the feeling of dread that starts on Sunday afternoon already. However, as personal finance blog Budgets are Sexy says, in retirement Mondays mark the start of a week where the shops, the gym and restaurants are all blissfully quiet. You’ll even come to love Mondays.
6 / 20
You realize just how stressed you were
It's often not until you retire that you realize how stressed you were. When you're working, it just seems normal. But when you don't have to work, it becomes very apparent how much of a toll your former job took.
7 / 20
Work becomes fun
Retirement doesn’t always mean that you’ve stopped working. There are some great jobs for retirees that you can do part time to keep busy. However, working now becomes fun because you get to do what you want to do and you work for enjoyment rather than money.
8 / 20
You Realize What You Did to Escape Your Job
As ThinkSaveRetire points out, you may find that some of the things you thought you enjoyed doing were really just an escape from work. Post retirement, you might find you enjoy those things less and discover new things to do.
9 / 20
Your nest egg can grow
Of course you need to have built up a decent retirement nest egg by the time you quit your job. However, not getting a regular paycheck anymore doesn’t mean you risk your savings running out. With shrewd investments that allow you to earn money while you sleep, your nest egg can actually grow.
10 / 20
People will keep offering you jobs
People may find it hard to accept that you’re retired. They’ll keep offering you jobs or try to network on your behalf. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little consulting as it can put some spending money in your pocket.
11 / 20
You’ll be busier than you thought
Early retirement conjures up images of sitting back and drinking piña coladas on the beach. However, you’ll be surprised at how busy life after retirement can be. Suddenly you have time for travel, book clubs, hobbies and many other great things to do after you retire.
12 / 20
Your social life gets better
Of course there is a risk of becoming cut off socially, especially if your social life revolved around your work colleagues. However, your social life can also get better after retirement because now you have time to go out and stay out as long as you want. Being out and about also means you get to meet more like-minded people.
13 / 20
You have a better relationship with your family
Even if you chose one of the best jobs for moms, work will still interfere with your family life. Once you’ve retired, however, you’ll have more time to spend with your partner, your children, your parents and other relatives. Your relationships with them can now become more meaningful.
14 / 20
You dress differently
Many people will become so used to wearing the most comfortable clothes possible that even putting on jeans feels like dressing up. When you don’t have to abide by corporate dress rules anymore, you can dress in any way you like.
15 / 20
You can travel for less
If you’ve retired early, you have a few years to wait before you can take advantage of discounts for seniors. However, you can still travel for less because now you have the time to shop around and with your flexible schedule, even score last-minute deals.
16 / 20
You can spend less on entertainment
When you’re working full-time, you can spend quite a lot on entertainment, from eating out with friends to going to concerts. Once you’ve retired, you may find yourself spending much less. Not only do you have more time for throwing dinner parties at home but you can also find volunteer opportunities at venues where you can see concerts for free.
17 / 20
You get up earlier and you like it
There are good reasons for getting to work earlier, even if you’re not a morning person, and you’re probably dreaming of sleeping in as long as you want once you’ve retired. Surprisingly, when that day comes you may find you’ve become a morning person. You sleep better so you’re more rested in the morning and you may be more excited about the day ahead.
18 / 20
You keep learning
Whether or not you’re making a concerted effort to do so, you’ll find that you keep learning after retirement. Maybe you just have more time to read or listen to podcasts or maybe you accidentally discover a skill you never knew you had. Whichever way you do it, your brain will stay much more active than you may have anticipated.
19 / 20
You can enjoy living abroad
To make your retirement savings go further, you may want to consider moving to one of the best places for Canadians to retire. This can be scary, especially if you’re older and set in your ways. Early retirement, however, means you still have the sense of adventure and the adaptability to enjoy living abroad.
20 / 20
You get to forge a new identity
During your working life, your job may define you as a person. Suddenly not being your job title anymore may be hard for some retirees to adjust to but there is a great advantage to this too. You can now become who you want to be: “world traveller” rather than “retired doctor”, for instance.
For more, don't miss 20 signs you're going to retire broke.
For more, don't miss 20 signs you're going to retire broke.