15 Advantages of Early Retirement for Americans Ready To Throw in the Towel at Work

Early retirement may seem like the dream for many Americans, who notoriously work long hours with little vacation time. But some might feel nervous about retiring early for various reasons, such as fewer benefits or limited savings.

While it’s worth knowing the potential drawbacks of retiring early, don’t forget to consider the advantages, too. More free time and less burnout are some of the perks.

If you dream of an early retirement, consider these 15 benefits. By weighing both the pros and cons, you can decide whether retiring early is the right choice for you.

1: Health Benefits

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It’s true: Retiring early may be good for your health. One study found retiring at age 60 led to an improvement in people’s mental health. At the same time, retiring early didn’t negatively impact their physical health.

When you leave the workforce, you may experience less stress. You may also have more time to develop healthy habits, such as going for walks or practicing yoga.

2: Quality of Life

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In addition to health benefits, retirement can also contribute to an increased quality of life. While some people may worry about adjusting to this transition, there’s evidence to support that retirement can lead to improved well-being.

One study found that after two years, both men and women reported better life quality in retirement. In comparison, those who were still working or had recently retired experienced a lower quality of life.

3: Free Time

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It sounds obvious, but retiring early gives you more free time in your day. You can use this time however you want, without an employer telling you what to do and when.

American employees in the private sector work 34.3 hours per week on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some industries, like manufacturing, mining, and utilities, average 40 hours or more per week. Leaving the workforce can allow you to gain this time for yourself.

4: Pursue More Hobbies

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Have you always wanted to speak a different language or learn to play a musical instrument? When you’re spending many hours each week at a job, you may have less time to explore other interests.

Retiring early gives you the opportunity to pursue new hobbies, whether you’re interested in cooking, painting, bird watching, or hiking. One financial adviser even believes hobbies can lead to a happier retirement.

5: Profit From a Hobby

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While you’re picking up some new hobbies, why not earn a profit from them? Many Americans turn their hobbies into side businesses during retirement.

For example, you can make some extra cash by dog walking, refereeing youth sports, or selling artwork online. You may find it’s fulfilling to earn money through hobbies you’re passionate about doing.

6: Flexible Jobs

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If you’re ready to be done with a 9-to-5 job but don’t feel prepared to leave the workforce entirely, early retirement can allow you to pursue more flexible jobs. You can apply for part-time, temporary, or seasonal jobs to work fewer hours.

Some people also use early retirement as a way to change career fields. Just because you retire from one field doesn’t mean you have to be done working completely.

7: No More Burnout

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Burnout is common for many American employees. In fact, recent data shows as many as 65% of employees say they’ve experienced burnout in the workplace.

Burnout can have adverse effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health. If you struggle with burnout at work, an early retirement may feel like a breath of fresh air.

8: Self-Care

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Busy work schedules can prevent many Americans from engaging in much-needed self-care. A recent poll shows two in three Americans don’t make time for self-care.

Without a 9-to-5 job holding you back, you can make more time for some TLC. You can take care of yourself by getting more sleep, eating healthier, exercising more, or practicing meditation.

9: Travel More

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Many American workers get a set amount of vacation days each year. After 10 years of working for a company, about 33% of workers get 15 to 19 paid vacation days each year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For some Americans, that’s not enough time to take the vacations they want. When you retire early, and provided you saved well, you get more free time to explore new places or revisit your favorite destinations.

10: Family Time

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Work often gets in the way of family time. By retiring early, you can free up your schedule to spend more quality time with your loved ones.

Depending on your situation, early retirement may allow you to spend more time with your aging parents, your children, or your grandchildren. You may also have extended family or close friends who feel like family, all of whom may cherish the extra time they get with you.

11: Volunteer Work

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Retiring early can provide more time to volunteer for causes you care about deeply. You can tutor children, drive meals to seniors, or walk dogs at the animal shelter. There are many ways you can volunteer your time and give back to a community.

Recent research shows there are numerous benefits of volunteering for older people. Not only can volunteering increase your mental well-being, but it can also contribute to stronger, more inclusive communities.

12: Make New Friends

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Many people find it harder to make new friends as they get older. While an early retirement may mean you lose some closeness with your work friends, you can also find ways to make new friends.

Some retirees, for example, join social clubs or organizations to meet other like-minded individuals. You can also find friends through recreation or community centers.

13: No More Commuting

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While some Americans work remotely, many commute to their jobs. By retiring early, you can say goodbye to your daily commute on congested roads or crowded public transit.

Without a commute, you may also save some money. For example, you may need to fill up your car less often since you’re not driving it every day for work.

14: Freedom to Move

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Working in an office can also restrict the geographic areas where you can live. After all, you may not want to commute two hours each way to make it to work every day.

An early retirement can give you the freedom to move wherever you want to live. Without the need to travel for work, you can move to your preferred city, live on a rural acreage, or enjoy a warm-weather climate.

15: A Longer Retirement

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When you leave the workforce earlier, you get to enjoy retirement for a longer period. For some people, having a longer retirement can be a motivating factor in their decision to retire early.

Additionally, retiring at an earlier age gives you more time to enjoy retirement before the end of your life. The average life expectancy in the United States is 76.1 years. Retiring early can allow you to enjoy life more fully for as many years as you have.

Most to Least Expensive States To Retire

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Are you hoping to settle down in a cheaper state during retirement? These are the states to consider and, equally important, those you’re better off avoiding.

Most to Least Expensive States to Retire Ranked From 1 to 50

12 Reasons Why Older Generations Aren’t Retiring

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Baby boomers are no strangers to criticisms from younger generations, and some youngins are stuck wondering why they won’t retire. But when broken down, it makes sense why boomers are forgoing retirement during their golden years.

12 Reasons Why Older Generations Aren’t Retiring

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