An Early Ending

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Signs you might be retiring too early

by Chris O’Shea

While many people get excited about the prospect of retiring, there can sometimes be a wide gap between perception and reality. A recent Gallup Poll found that the average retirement age is 62. Yet a separate study, from Fidelity, found that 30 percent of current retirees would return to the workforce if they could. What that likely means is that some people are retiring too early. We don’t want you to suffer the same fate, so below are some warning signs that you might be checking into your golden years a little too soon.

You Feel Like You Could Keep Working

Working longer not only keeps the cash coming, it also acts as a barrier to boredom. Working is a great way to keep engaged, so if you feel like you could keep at it, you probably should. Not to be fear-mongering, but working longer could also save your brain. CNNMoney reports that a study from French researchers found that people who retired by 60 had a 15 percent greater chance of developing dementia than those who retired at 65.

Your Don’t Have a Good Grasp on Your Expenses

If you’re still wondering how you’re going to pay off that credit card bill, it’s probably not a good idea to retire anytime soon. When you stop working, your income becomes more fixed than it was before (albeit dependent on returns in your investment accounts). It’s a good idea to make sure your expenses are fixed, too. Try to minimize things like credit card debt and mortgage payments before even thinking of leaving the workforce.

You’re Considering Tapping Into Social Security Immediately

While you’re allowed to get Social Security benefits at any point between ages 62 and 70, full retirement age doesn’t hit until 66 or 67. If you’re already wondering about Social Security payments, it’s time to think twice about retiring. Think of it this way: The earlier you tap into Social Security, the smaller your check will be. For example, if you start claiming benefits at 63, your check will only be 80 percent of what you’d get if you waited until 66. Work longer so you’re not tempted to access benefits too early.