No. 1: You are emotionally ready to quit working
Both the big picture and the fine details of your financial and emotional states are important to consider when assessing your readiness for early retirement. If you're not emotionally ready to quit working, you may not be ready to retire.
"What are you planning on doing that will continue to allow you to enjoy your life, allow you to stay active mentally, emotionally and spiritually?" asks Richard Reyes, a CFP professional and coach with The Financial Quarterback in Maitland, Fla. "In retirement, every day is Saturday."
Being ready financially is a no-brainer. Jeff Currie, an adviser with Icon Financial Services in Boise, Idaho, offers this quick assessment of financial readiness: "no debt, a good pension that includes health insurance benefits, good savings and low expenses. All of these factors can lead to a person retiring early. In most cases, the early 50s is about the most realistic and early I have seen. It usually involves an inheritance to boost a person's normal assets."
While some tend to associate retirement with a specific age, "It's really about getting your budget and liabilities under control, then having a clear understanding of the resources available to create the desired and consistent retirement income you need," says Sean Lee, a financial adviser with SPL Financial in Salt Lake City.