Am I ready to retire early?

We all say it at some point in our career –  “I can’t wait for retirement.”
Often times we think about what’s needed financially to do that, some of us make it and retire a few years before hitting 65.  Sometimes, we get to the point where we can retire, but work a few more years to keep hold of employee health care.
Whatever the reason, many would take the chance to be financially free to do things we want, which is why we try to save for it. Most of us will live in a world where there will be no social security checks, so we have it on ourselves to start putting money away for retirement (401k, IRAs, TSPs, etc).
“Can I retire early?” is another question we ask next.
To figure that how, here’s a thought framework to determine if you can retiring early:

1) Determine what I need at 65+ when I’m no longer working

2) Determine the additional costs will I need to cover if I retire early, before 65. 

3) Figure out if I am saving enough or making enough income to cover all the costs? 

4) Decide how soon I can retire early based on steps 1-3. 

First up, to figure out what you might need when you are no longer working, answer these questions:
What are your current daily, monthly, or yearly costs?
This is really about what you need to live your life comfortably. It covers food, utilities, rent/mortgage, leisure. The best way to do this is to figure out what you currently spend a month, and also ask yourself if it will change over the next few years. A spreadsheet or pen and paper is a good way to figure this out.
How will my costs change in retirement?
There are additional costs you’ll need to account for when you are much older. It’s really the likely hood around unpredicted costs as you age or if others depend on you, like your children’s college or wedding, as well as the additional healthcare costs depending on how well you are at retirement.
How much money do I need to cover my costs?
One you determine your costs, you’l want to see if you can cover those costs. This is really about how much you earn from your investments, or salary now, and how much you need to keep putting away towards retirement. Assume that you’ll live for 30 years from 65. People are living longer than expected these days compared to the past, this is a good thing, but we’ll need to make sure we have enough money for those years where we don’t work. If you’re living 30 years, make sure you have 30 times your costs. That’s how much you’ll need saved up.
How will healthcare be covered in retirement?
Most people 65+ will get Medicare, but if you choose to retire early, you could look up how much out of pocket you’ll need to cover those years before you hit 65.
As you think about if you’re ready to retire early, just make sure you have these questions figured out so you’ll be able to enjoy every second of retirement without worrying about money. Having a good retirement nest egg and knowing what you’ll need is the first step.

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