Some of us look forward to retirement seemingly our whole careers.  I admit it, I was born to retire.  I am just not built for working.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t work hard or do my part, just that I never really enjoyed it.  I didn’t like being told what to do, the office politics or trying to “fit the mold” as an old boss used to say.  Maybe I’m lazy, have an attitude problem or possibly just a short attention span (likely all three).

In any case, I didn’t need prompting to retire.  As soon as I could, I did.  But some folks seem hesitant to retire.  Whatever the reason, they put it off, make excuses and avoid it like the plague.  Of course, I’m not talking about the over-achieving workaholics that seem to relish the workplace environment or the entrepreneurs that do what they love and don’t really consider it work or even the back-up second baseman on a major league team (possibly the greatest job ever devised by man).

I’m talking about regular folks.  People who have grown sick and tired of the daily grind and have long been disenchanted by the little slice of Hades we call work.  What are they waiting for?  The portfolio is good, the kids are grown and the hair is turning gray, but they keep working.  Why?  Well, we know why, I guess.  Fear of the unknown, comfort found in the familiar and the perceived need for a little more security.  Maybe they haven’t taken the time to consider all retirement has to offer.

For starters, free time.  You know, that stuff you used to have before life became complicated.  Ah, but then the problem of how to fill said free time.  Well, I’ve gotta cop-out here.  That’s up to you, but you must be a pretty boring, unimaginative person if you can’t find something interesting to do in retirement.

How about being the master of your own destiny?  Do what you want, when you want.  I know you’re used to having the boss tell you what to do all day, but isn’t it about time you stopped complaining about not getting to do what you want and just do it?  I bet if you try real hard you can remember some of those things you day-dream about when your engaged in busy work.

Living longer is always nice (understatement of the year).  The earlier you retire, the longer you tend to live, say studies.  Bonus!  Plus the earlier you retire and the longer you live, the more years you’re retired.  Double bonus!!

Write the great American novel.  Or whatever it is you’ve always dreamed about.  Is filling out paperwork or assembling widgets your passion?  I doubt it.  We all have something we have always wanted to do, some wildly exciting thing that gives us the warm fuzzies.  Retirement gives you the opportunity.  Best part is you don’t have to worry about making a living at it, you’re retired.

Reduce your stress and get healthy.  Work takes a toll.  Stress, pressure and anxiety tear us down.  Just the simple act of retiring often results in lower stress and better health.  Lots of folks see a drop in blood pressure, lose weight and find nagging health problems just melt away.  And with all your free time, you can exercise, take the time to eat right and learn to relax.  Ah, doesn’t that feel better?

Get rich.  Yes, believe it or not many retirees actually live better when they retire.  Assuming you have arranged for a good income, retirement is a great way to save money.  No more commuting, business suits, tools, power lunches, etc.  No more kids eating you out of house and home and leaving the lights on.  No more McMansion, either.  You’re free to move where the cost of living is low.  Plan this right and you could get the big raise you’ve worked for…without working for it.

By the way, if you’re waiting to retire because you don’t think you have enough money, you should really run some calculations, assess your spending habits and consider downsizing and simplifying.  Losing all those work expenses, moving to a smaller home and paying off your cars might be all it takes to be able to retire.  What’s worse, reducing your spending and downsizing to be able to retire or continuing to work to pay off all that stuff you don’t need?

Help our economy and the planet.  If you’re one of those people who need to feel they’re serving a greater good, here you go.  Not only will you open up a job for a college kid or an unemployed fella (or gal), but you will start injecting all that savings back into the economy.  Being retired is green too.  No commuting means no greenhouse gases.  Sure that ones stretching it a bit, but assume the guy that replaces you drives a Prius and wears hemp business suits.

If all that’s not enough, just do it anyway.  You’ve earned it.  Really, you did your part for king and country (or kids and bosses).  They will survive without you…promise.  It’s time to live for yourself.  Life is short and times a wasting.  You could live another 50 years or you could get hit by a bus tomorrow.  Why take that chance?  Retire now!

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