Although much more difficult today, many are still considering early retirement. The idea of working well into a person's mid-sixties is simply not very appealing to a large portion of the population. People want the freedom to travel, play with their grandchildren, enjoy their hobbies, and contribute time to churches and charities. With escalating costs fulfilling that dream is having the means to financially afford it. This requires some serious advanced planning to ensure that your golden years aren't spent accumulating debt.
Start saving for retirement early since the later in life that you start saving the harder it will be to accumulate the necessary funds. Be realistic about how much money you will need so plan correctly and develop a long range savings strategy. If not, this will cause problems during retirement and could seriously affect the quality of life.
Don't rely solely on your 401K since this should be a big part of a person's retirement plan. However, it is designed to have access at 59 ˝ so if you retire in your early fifties, then you may have a large financial shortfall. Failing to account for this can result in a severe deficit of funds that may require an individual to run up debts or return to the workforce. Be realistic about life spans. The average person's life expectancy continues to get longer. This means that a person's retirement income needs to stretch further. Budgeting for too short of a time will cause problems.
Take advantage of Roth IRAs since this is one of the best investment vehicles available for those considering early retirement. Because the Roth is a pre-taxed investment, it can be withdrawn at any age. The money is available with no penalties and is tax free upon withdrawal. If possible, it is wise to fully fund the maximum allowable limit on an annual basis. Don't sacrifice your emergency savings because it is important to always maintain a proper level of liquid savings that is available for emergency purposes. It is tempting to forgo these savings in an effort to accelerate retirement savings but, resist the urge. While many dream of retiring early, few actually have the financial means to carry this out but with proper planning it can become a reality.