Retirement: The Pros and Cons of Early Retirement

Retirement: The Pros and Cons of Early Retirement

By Emily Ferrer

Retirement is thought to be one of the most admirable events that happen in one’s life. However, there is also a darker side to retirement that many people do not know about when making the big decision to take their 401K savings investment and leave their jobs. Retirement, although seemingly glamorous and freeing, can also be extremely lonely, unfulfilling, and cause major financial issues. The average age of retirement in the U.S. is 63 years[1] and the average lifespan of a person in the U.S. is 79.1 years[2].  This means that many people, on average, have 16 more years after retirement to accomplish everything they have always wanted to do. While 16 years may not seem like a very long time to some people, it can feel extremely long to many retired individuals who only make $1,620 a month through social security, become empty nesters in their homes, or have lost their spouse or friends to old age and illness. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the pros and cons before retiring from your job.

Pros:

  • May improve physical health by having more time to exercise, get outside, and eat healthier[3]
  • More time to travel
  • More time to pursue passions
  • More time for friend and family relationships

Cons:

  • May lead to decline in mental health (e.g. depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, panic)
  • May lead to feelings of loneliness and boredom
  • Feelings of loss of purpose in life
  • Lack of daily structure
  • Social Security benefits will be smaller if retiring earlier than your “full retirement age”[4]
  • Losing employer-sponsored health benefits
  • Outliving your savings

It is important to be aware of the issues that retiring early may cause. After retirement, it is vital to keep an active life style, both mentally and physically. This includes keeping up with preventive care, exercising regularly, eating and drinking healthily, staying social with friends and family, and finding a new purpose in life[5]. However, if you are struggling mentally due to early retirement, it is vital to seek professional treatment to avoid any more serious symptoms.

If you or someone you know is struggling with retirement and/or depression, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com


[1] https://www.forbes.com/advisor/retirement/average-retirement-age/#:~:text=While%20the%20average%20U.S.%20retirement,retirement%20benefit%20is%20roughly%20%241%2C620.

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsrr/vsrr023.pdf

[3] https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/073114/pros-and-mostly-cons-early-retirement.asp#:~:text=Pros%20of%20retiring%20early%20include,depressing%20effect%20on%20mental%20health.

[4] https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/073114/pros-and-mostly-cons-early-retirement.asp#:~:text=Pros%20of%20retiring%20early%20include,depressing%20effect%20on%20mental%20health.

[5] https://www.bankerslife.com/insights/healthy-aging/9-healthy-habits-for-healthy-retirement/

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