Should You Retire at Age 50? The Pros & Cons of Retiring Early

Available for Interviews: Don Garman

Don Garman is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Mirador Capital Partners and Co-Founder of Tri-Valley Ventures. A seasoned investor in both public and private companies for over 30 years, Don leads Mirador’s Investment Committee and oversees each of the firm’s proprietary investment strategies.

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Retiring Early

Most people in the US will retire at or around age 65. For some however, that day can’t come soon enough. Retiring at age 50 has become a popular goal for ambitious savers who want to embark on a second career or embrace an adventurous lifestyle. If you’re thinking about retiring at the age of 50, review these pros and cons to consider if you’re mentally and financially prepared for the coming decades.

Pros to Retiring at Age 50

 1) You have time to travel and pursue your passions. Clearing 40+ hours from your schedule every week provides for a significant change in your lifestyle. This is the most common reason people want to retire early, and it’s possible to do so effectively if you have budgeted for it. It’s important not to look at your nest egg and think “that’s a big number. It’s going to last forever.”

 2) You can start your own business. Many people develop skill sets in their careers that they can translate into a side hustle in retirement. If you have a comfortable income from your investments and can bear the risk associated with starting a business, this is a great way to create financial security while taking advantage of the freedom that retirement affords.

Cons to Retiring at Age 50

 1) You have to make the money last a long time. According to the latest data from the CDC, the average American will live to be 78-years-old. Ideally, before taking the leap, you should be confident that your investments can reliably produce an income for the remainder of your life. Since returns are not guaranteed, you should have realistic expectations about fluctuations in the size of your portfolio and be prepared to adjust your income or spending accordingly. Consider hiring a financial planner to review your calculations and make sure you’re not leaving out any expenses.

 2) You may have an unexpected health problem. The number one cost in retirement is healthcare. People have a tendency to ignore potential negative outcomes. “It will never happen to me” they say. Even in the best cases, people who consider themselves perfectly healthy at age 50 will incur significant healthcare expenses in retirement. In the worst cases, they will be involved in an accident or become ill. While with your employer you likely had excellent healthcare coverage, if you don’t have a plan for this in retirement, it could bankrupt you.

 3) Foregoing social benefits. The paycheck isn’t the only benefit we receive from our jobs. There are plenty of social and intellectual activities that stimulate your health and happiness. While it may sound attractive to put your phone on silent and take afternoon naps, you may find that these benefits were really a positive part of your everyday life.  If this is something that didn’t interest you all that much to begin with, then this may turn out to be a pro for you.


Interview: Don Garman

Don Garman has earned the prestigious designations of Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Investment Management Analyst®. Prior to founding Mirador, Don served his clients at two of the nation’s largest advisory firms. He is very active in the Tri-Valley area and supports many community organizations, including The First Tee of the Tri-Valley, The George Archer Foundation, and the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Foundation. He also serves as President of the Tri-Valley Cal (UC-Berkeley) Alumni Club. Don lives in Pleasanton with his wife Mindy and has two children, Emma (Georgetown University) and Scott (high school sophomore). He is an avid drummer, golfer, and snowboarder.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.

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