First of all, not to be morbid, but we all are human beings. The future is not written in stone. We don't always know what our future holds or how long we will live. Most people who wait until 70 or 75 believe that they have lots of years ahead of them and hopefully we all will. It is one thing (sad but true) that some of us MUST work to this age just to be able to pay the bills. This is not the case for all, especially if you plan ahead.
Retiring earlier than later has given me a chance to enjoy many more work-free years than I expected. It did the same for my husband. At one point, he was saying that he would work until he was 70. I could not be happier for him and for us when he changed his mind. Actually, both of us had a hiccup on the road of health soon after retirement which came unexpectedly. Being retired gave us the freedom to take care of our health with no worries of a 9 - 5 job. We did not have to hurry back to work before we regained our health back up to 100% again.
We want to be able to choose active lifestyles, which include traveling and the ability to work on improving our health without having the stress of work on our shoulders. No longer do hear an alarm clock before we are ready to rise because we get up when we want to and do not have to contend with the daily rush hour traffic. We are able to actually get 8 - 9 hours of sleep each night, waking up refreshed. We are able to eat more nutritious meals and have time to prepare them. That horrible feeling of drudgery waking up at 5:45 AM, dressing, driving to work and then returning home at 5:45 PM, working out a short time, showering and preparing dinner at 7 PM, eating at 8 PM is no longer there. Repeat that schedule 5 days a week and watch the stress levels rise. That was our lives while working. Now we set our own agenda. It is so much easier to be spontaneous, which is ingrained deep in us both. It can be stifling to an individual who by nature is much more spontaneous.
NO MORE! Now our top goal is taking care of ourselves and family. We are working on nutrition, exercise and doing what we both love to do...writing.
Hopefully, one of us or both of us will be published. The good news is that we are working from home and we are our own bosses, therefore we make the hours and days that we work when it suits us. It is much more enjoyable and creative and productive.
Retiring is not just all about sitting down and reading the paper from front to back, or going to the matinee movies during the week when everyone else is out working (although, this is a huge plus)! It is not about sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch.
Retiring, especially early, may mean as it did for us that we now have time for a puppy dog!
Our hours did not allow for such a luxury of having this special addition to our family. It means that we can be as creative as we want in every aspect of our lives; from the way that we dress, cook, exercise, socialize, sleep, and plan vacation getaways. We now have the opportunity to put all areas of our life in proper balance. Retirement is most definitely the beginning of life, not the end.