At the store where I have been volunteering, you can put an item “on hold.” You think you want it, but you have doubts. It may not be quite right, might not fit, might be the wrong colour, or someone you live with may not want it. You don’t have the assurance of conviction or assurance from other people. But, it’s almost perfect.
We put a tag on it. We add your name and the date you’ll make a decision, and we attach it with Scotch tape to the item you think you might want. Half the time you come back and take it and half the time we don’t hear from you again.
Considering early retirement is like that. You know you want to quit work, you have more-or-less enough money to stop work, and it is very enticing. No one is telling you not to do it, but no one is telling you it is right, either. Most of your colleagues wish they had the choice, but they can’t give up a full pension or they don’t know what they’ll do with all that time. So, for a few years, actually taking early retirement is an “On Hold” tag.
You have too much energy for retirement and not enough for hard work. You have enough money to live on and not enough to play on. You have enough companionship for a social life and not enough to have interesting conversations every day.
I spent about two years thinking about taking early retirement, and as time went on I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I did it. I took the leap, and it’s almost perfect.