Before I begin I have to admit I’m envious of anyone who “loves” their job so much they’d do for free. Now don’t get me wrong I do like my job, but I don’t love it. However, even if I did love it I still wouldn’t want to do it for 40hrs a week, every week for the next 30 years. Actually, I don’t think there is a single thing that I’d “love” to do every day for the next 30 years. I love doing lot’s of things, fishing, reading, investing, watching movies etc... but like working I wouldn’t want to “have” to do them for 40 hours a week for the next 30 years.
Early retirement is a risk to your future earnings - what if you retire at 45 then decide 5 years into your retirement hiatus that you want to work? Will you be happy with that Wal-Mart greeter job? ;) You greatly risk your future earnings potential.
I disagree that the only jobs available to young early retirees out of the work force for 5 years is Wal-Mart greeter type jobs. Using the same logic the only jobs available to professional working women who take 5 years off to raise their children are Wal-Mart greeter type jobs. With the exception of some high-tech jobs most people could re-enter the work force in their previous profession after a five year hiatus.
Early retirement likely means a decrease in your disposible income both in retirement and today
I agree. That’s why it’s important to determine how much you’re going to need before retiring early. Of course you’re going to have less disposable income but the trade off is you’re going to have lots of time…what's your time worth?
Think about yourself today! What does it mean to work at something that you don't enjoy?
I’m like many people I talk to, I like my job however I don’t want to have to do it for 8 hours a day everyday. In fact there’s probably nothing (hobby or job) that I’d like to do for 8 hours a day, every day, for the next 30 years. If anyone out there has anything they would “love” to do rain or shine for 8 hours a day, everyday for the next 30 years please post it in the comments section.
Why sacrifice a possibly a lower quality of life / enriching life today for the purpose of a possibly lower quality of life / enriching early retirement life?
I think “quality of life” is a term that is very subjective. For many the quality of their life would be elevated by having more time instead of more money. The only thing you can’t buy in this world is time and for most the freedom of retirement will allow them to spend more time pursuing their hobbies and visiting with friends and family.