For Mark Roberts’ Use: If you’re like a lot of people, you can’t wait to retire! In fact, you might be analyzing your finances and running the numbers over and over, trying to decide if you can retire a few years earlier than planned.

There’s no single retirement age that works perfectly for everyone. And of course, sometimes life is just out of our control, and plans change. But if you’re hoping for an early retirement, that might be a possibility. There’s just one catch…

Your Social Security benefits will be lower. You can claim your benefits as early as age 62, but your checks will be 25 percent lower than they would have been at your full retirement age (currently 65 to 67, depending on when you were born). That might be acceptable if your retirement income is otherwise robust. Perhaps you will enjoy a sizeable pension from your former employer, or you’ve diligently saved and invested over the years.

Consider inflation. If that other stream of income seems healthy enough, ask yourself whether you’ve considered inflation. If your retirement lasts twenty years or more (a very real possibility, with longer life spans these days), then you want to ensure that your income will continue to provide for rising costs of living.

Consider your lifespan. This variable can be a bit of an unknown. But if you’re in great health now, and your parents lived well into their 80s, you could reasonably assume that you will also enjoy a long life. That’s great news, but you should plan extra diligently to make sure your retirement funds will last.

Social Security beneficiaries do receive regular cost of living adjustments (not every year, but most years). However, those adjustments are sometimes quite small. That’s why starting off with your maximum possible benefit can be important for many retirees.

If you’re considering an early retirement, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We can help you review your potential income versus expenses, and evaluate whether this plan could work out well for you.