Be aware of five big challenges to retiring early

 Be aware of five big challenges to retiring early

With the stock market and real estate values hitting record highs, some folks are thinking of early retirement. But retiring early comes with challenges. Consider that if a couple retires at 55, there are fairly good odds that one of them will need their retirement nest egg to last close to 40 years.

Here are five big challenges that come with an early retirement:

Photograph by Ellen Jaskol

Charlie Farrell

Health care. If you work for someone else, you may not know just how much your health care costs.  But if you retire early, you’ll need to obtain health care for you and your family until you are eligible for Medicare at age 65. For a couple in their mid-50s, a good health care policy can easily cost between $24,000 and $30,000 a year.  Moreover, you should figure these costs will rise between 5% and 8% a year.  The earlier you retire, the bigger this number is. Consider that if you retire at 55, 10 years of health care…

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