Thanks to Syd at Retirement: A Fulltime Job for directing me to Financial Sumurai's post on The Dark Side of Early Retirement.
At age 61, it's too late for Grace to retire early. But some very interesting questions are raised. Is it selfish to retire early? Are those who tout early retirement really covering up for career failures? If it requires super-frugality to retire early and remain there, does volunteerism go by the wayside?
And perhaps most interesting of all--are those who have retire early really as happy as they sound and is their life in retirement as easy as they make it seem?
Reading through the many comments left in response to Financial Sumurai's initial post, it is easy to see that others besides myself question whether the whole concept of retirement is really for us.
Syd addresses this over and over in her blog. Ultimately, she thinks it comes down to temperment.
I have to agree. And we need to be honest with ourselves as to what it will take to keep ourselves satisfied.
Some of us depend upon external stimuli to keep us in the game.
Left to my own devices, I'd happily stay ensconced at home with books and my television set, at least until the Ben & Jerry's ice cream ran out. But I know me. Heck, I got bored when I spent a month at home after my heart surgery.
That's why, even without the financial impetus my debt provides, I'd still work beyond the average retirement age. I see my retirement as requiring volunteer work of some sort just to get me out in the real world. I see the need for a schedule of sorts, even if it is a much lighter one that my work world requires.