For those of us who aren't in love with our job, early retirement sounds like an attractive option, but how can we get from here to there?
Eric McWhinnie of The Cheat Sheet news service offers a few suggestions
in USA Today.
"The biggest reason you can't retire noticeably earlier than average [64 for men and 62 for women] is you," he writes. You have to commit yourself to improving your financial situation.
So how to improve?
- Financial education to start with, McWhinnie says. "Too many people would rather go to work, come home and relax, take a vacation every now and then, and worry about retirement later." There's plenty of information available on the Internet for those willing to take the time.
- Savings. "Early retirees stay on track by consistently spending less than they earn and investing the difference," McWhinnie explains. Many tax-saving options are available through IRA and 401k plans. And you can save in taxable accounts too.
- Some of it is attitude, he says. "Retirement should not be seen as a race to accumulate enough assets to fade into the night. Instead, retirement is a period of financial freedom, where you can afford to find fulfillment as desired."
Elsewhere on the retirement front, Bankrate.com has conducted a study
of 172 major metropolitan areas to find the best and worst in which to retire. The Phoenix/Mesa area places first, while the New York City area ranks last.
The survey rates the cities according to their cost of living, crime rate (violent and property crimes), walkability, healthcare quality, state and local tax burden, personal well-being for seniors and weather (temperature and precipitation).
As for Phoenix/Mesa it has an average cost of living, a low crime rate, good well-being, below average walkability, low taxes, average healthcare and great weather.
When it comes to the New York City area, it has a very high cost of living, low crime, below average well-being, great walkability, very high taxes, below average healthcare and below average weather.
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