Why the Digital Era Makes Retiring Early More Feasible – (Author: Tim Schmidt – Entrepreneur, Author, and Life Hacker)
When the Great Recession happened, it wiped out the retirement savings of many. This made it harder to retire. In more recent times, the global pandemic created a lot of economic stress and turmoil. That made it look like retirement might be harder for many and something that would have to happen later.
But, retirement actually got easier between the two crises thanks to the digital era. Also, the pandemic actually helped a lot of people retire.
From easy online side hustles to a list of jobs that are online now, the digital era has simplified retirement for many. Furthermore, the pandemic made many people wealthy and why people are retiring in spite of it.
Once we start seeing all our hard work about making retirement an actual possibility, we tend to start looking into the idea of retiring early. The digital era has made this a lot easier to do, and that’s due to several reasons.
Technology has made retiring a lot easier to do and far easier to enjoy. Some people still get paper statements from banks and financial institutions. But all can appreciate the power of looking up our accounts 24/7 online. Knowing how we’re progressing towards retirement has never been easier. We can manage our money in actual retirement better, too.
There’s no shortage of entertainment, either. Streaming video and TV services let us watch our favorite programs to our heart’s content. We can do this at our own schedule and pace. We have the time to enjoy the volume of content available or go back and rediscover classics.
Keeping in touch with everyone is easier than ever, too. Whether we’re looking up long-lost friends or spending more time with the grandkids, email started easy online communication. This lead to messenger services. Social media helps us stay in touch with people in faraway time zones. Video chat gives us face time and the personal attention we crave. Let’s not forget how wireless phones wiped out long-distance charges too!
Retirement might mean no longer working a full-time career, but it doesn’t have to mean not doing any work at all. Part-time work can offer retirees several benefits:
Sedentary lifestyles wreak havoc on the health of people of all ages. But staying active is even more important in retirement. Slowing down doesn’t have to mean coming to a complete stop.
Any income coming in can benefit you. It raises your quality of retirement life while also making your nest egg last you longer.
Do you have any interests or passions that you never had time to look into during your working years? Retirement is your chance to try new things.
Time With Others:
Technology makes all types of communication possible. But, spending time around others is still optimal to sitting around, lonely at home.
If you’re interested in some easy online side hustles to make money during retirement, then here’s a list of jobs that are online:
Uber and rideshare services are usually in need of good drivers that know how to get around. If you’re up for it, you can help people get here and there for tips and fees.
You have a lifetime of experiences to share. You’re also likely to have quite a few opinions you’d like to put out there, too. Generate enough reader interest, and your website can generate ad revenue. You just need enough visitors to read your thoughts and stories.
Even if you’re retired, you’ll have the experience and insights for others to learn from. Use online communications technology to reach clients anywhere. Coach them towards more career success based on your previous accolades and experience.
Food delivery services boomed during the lockdowns from the pandemic. People are willing to pay to have fast food and meals they want to be brought to their doorstep at a suitable time.
Grocery store chains went through a lockdown boom during the pandemic. For many of the same reasons, people are opting for grocery delivery to their homes.
You might have skills you can use to make money online, one project at a time. Whether it’s creating videos and text content. Or doing voiceover work or editing and graphic design, freelancing suits many retirees.
If you are downsizing or own a second home, then consider listing your property as an Airbnb rental. That way, you keep the asset instead of selling it. This can also produce income if you live somewhere else seasonally.
Have you always wanted to write but feared rejection? Bypass traditional publishers entirely with the digital press industry.
You can downsize your own assortment of things or even enjoy the thrill of the bargain hunt at yard sales. Find out the best times to go to a goodwill store, when merchandise typically gets dropped off. Find things and flip them online using eBay, or Amazon.
You won’t get rich taking them, but they’re fun, and put a few coins in your wallet. You have to hunt around for legitimate businesses that actually pay.
The global pandemic looked to a lot of us like it might derail our retirement plans. But it’s actually made things easier for some. Part of that was making retirement more affordable. Another big factor was how it motivated many to hang it up sooner.
The global pandemic resulted in a lot of wealth accumulation for many households. Those without high incomes or much savings did go through a financial pinch. But older and more affluent people, such as those in high-income years closing in on retirement, actually benefited. This happened for several reasons:
Firstly, with the digital era making remote work possible, we didn’t lose our jobs. Even with income continuing, there weren’t as many opportunities to spend money. For example, not having to commute to work every day resulted in even more savings.
Furthermore, lockdowns resulted in a lot less discretionary spending due to job losses. But, government stimulus checks were extra cash in the pockets of many. And, unemployment benefits were often paying more than lost jobs.
The stock markets actually did really well for many parts of 2020. This created a lot more wealth for those who invested in such things.
In addition to creating wealth for those close to retirement, the global pandemic also motivated many to enter retirement. Several notable trends took place:
Why Go Back?
Lockdowns meant slowing down, and hopefully, we did what we could to enjoy life. With retirement looming and some jobs not coming back, why even return to work? Lockdowns started retirement for many of us early, even if we didn’t know it at the time.
This Is More Affordable Than I Thought!
Whether we had to do remote work during lockdowns or not, many of us learned how much cheaper living was when we don’t physically go to work most days. The leaner lifestyle that we lived for a while was a taste of what retirement expenses can actually be like. So we know just how affordable retirement is. Cheaper lifestyles stretch retirement savings further, making retiring earlier all the more possible.
Other Things Matter More:
The lockdowns from the pandemic made it difficult to maintain relationships. In turn, spending time with people we love became more important. Retirement can mean more time with family and friends, and even attacking that travel bucket list!
It’s Safer This Way!
The pandemic may take years to subside if it even does. Experts are even warning that other pandemics may be inevitable. Some of us are honestly wondering if going back to crowded workspaces and dealing with a lot of people is a smart thing to do anymore. Especially given how the pandemic seems to impact older people more than the rest.
Some of the key takeaways are that the digital era has made retirement much easier to accomplish. Furthermore, the global pandemic created both wealth and motivation for retirement.
Times of significant crisis seem to inflict pain on retirement accounts or delay the age at what people can retire. The digital era had been making retirement easier over the years prior to the global pandemic. But when it arrived, it actually made early retirement much more feasible for many people.
A Florida-based Entrepreneur, Author, and Life Hacker, Tim Schmidt has spent the last decade managing his own retirement finances with the help of a Self Directed IRA. Retiring early (and in style) is his life mission. Learn more about his business endeavors and feel free to connect on LinkedIn.
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