10 Reasons Why Now Is a Good Time to Quit Your Job and Enjoy Life
High Unemployment! Bursting of the Housing Bubble! Debt Crisis in Europe! Gridlock in Washington!
Despite today's dire headlines, now is a great time to quit your job and retire to pursue the life you’re dreaming of. Here are 10 reasons why the time is now:
1. Save 50% + on Your Retirement Home. The bursting of the housing bubble has created huge discounts on homes in sunny locales and other popular retirement destinations. For example, according to the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices, home prices in Miami are at a 51% discount from their peak in the Spring of 2006. In sunny San Diego, home prices have fallen by 40%. And in the gaming capital of Las Vegas, home prices have cratered by 62%. While the bubble has impacted much of the United States, the impact has been far less severe in most non-retirement locales, and you’ll likely come out on top by selling your home and buying a new one in one of these popular retirement destinations.
2. Work has Gotten Worse. The benefits of working have been declining for many workers over the last decade. Inflation-adjusted pay has been stagnant. Workforce reductions have shifted more responsibilities onto fewer workers. Pensions have been gutted. Hours have increased now that workers are often expected to take calls, texts and emails at night and on weekends. In short, the benefits of working have decreased, and the cost/benefit analysis for retiring early has been shifting in the direction of retirement.
3. Communication is Simpler and Cheaper. Never before has communication been simpler and cheaper. Cell phones, e-mails, instant messaging, FaceBook and other social networking sites, low-cost (or free!) telephone calls, video chatting, etc. are widely available at low cost. If you’re retired, it’s easy to stay in touch with children, parents, relatives, friends or social groups. It won’t matter if you’re traveling to far off places, moving to another state, or simply enjoying the back porch: you can easily and cheaply stay in touch with everyone who’s important to you.
4. Easy to Save Money by Taking on More Do-It-Yourself Projects. Many retirees look for ways to reduce expenses by taking on more do-it-yourself projects in your home, garden, car, etc. The Internet is an exhaustive source of information for learning to tackle these projects. Many sites offer detailed suggestions and step-by-step instructions (with illustrations!) for handling tasks you never considered when working full time. And with websites like northerntool.com, partsdirect.com and repairclinic.com, you can order tools and parts without leaving home. Big home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot offer training for improvement projects.
5. Free Access to Newspapers and Periodicals. Not long ago, retirees subscribed to several newspapers to follow news and find crosswords, puzzles, etc. This was especially the case for retirees who relocated and wanted to continue following the news "back home". Today, the Internet offers free access to most newspapers and other periodicals. It’s easy to find news about your home town, places you’d like to visit, or people you know or are interested in. You can get free access to major newspapers like USA Today. This easy and free access to news and information keeps life rich for retirees with the time to take advantage of them.
6. Low Inflation Rates. One source of worry for retirees—especially early retirees—is the insidious impact of inflation on purchasing power over time. The recession, anemic recovery, European debt crises and other events have combined to create a tame inflation environment. At least for now, retirees need not stay awake at night fretting about the value of their money. For the lucky few with defined-benefit pensions, the value of those pensions has increased substantially due to the low inflation-rate environment.
7. Heating Costs are Decreasing. While recent headlines focus on the rapidly increasing price of gasoline, home heating costs are low and likely to go lower with plunging prices for natural gas. According to the American Gas Association, fully 62% of homes in the United States were heated by natural gas in 2009. So retirees who heat with natural gas should feel secure that they can remain comfortable in their homes. As for gas prices, retirees can enjoy the freedom of needing fewer trips to the gas station as they no longer need to commute to jobs.
8. More Accessible Second Careers. With the Internet, it’s relatively easy to start a second (or third!) career after retiring. The Internet allows retirees to work from anywhere, work when and how much they want, communicate effortlessly with clients and colleagues, and make use of their intellectual capability to start second careers that they truly love. For people who are worried about having too much time on their hands during retirement, the Internet is a resource that enables them to create their own self-directed careers in fields of their choosing.
9. Easier to Join Groups and Enjoy Hobbies. A few simple searches are all it takes to find groups of like-minded people with interests you share, or learn more about your hobbies. Many retirees meet new people and enjoy new activities easier than it was for their parents.
10. Less Pressure to Keep Up with the Jones’. One side effect of the Great Recession is it has caused many people to reconsider what they value most. In this process, many people have discovered that true happiness is caused more by their life experiences and relationships with people than with their material possessions. Thus, in contrast with the Internet boom of the late 1990s or real estate bubble of the mid 2000s, retirees are less likely to feel peer pressure to buy the newest and greatest gadgets, and are more likely to enjoy their newfound freedom.