Media Q&A - How do I retire early?


Published  15 September 2023
   2 min read

Consumer Question

I’ve just turned 50 and I want to retire early. How can I make that happen?


You are not alone, research from pension providers Royal London Ireland found over a third of Irish people would retire at 60 if they could, and a fifth saying they would “stop working today if finances allowed”. Twice as many men as women say so, and younger people were more likely to want to become pensioners earlier than older people, which is surprising, until you realise it is simply that older people recognise they are less likely to be able to afford to retire earlier. So while you are in good company, for most the prospect of early retirement will remain a fantasy. The truth is, affording “the longest holiday” of your life takes immense planning, dedication and time.

People generally underestimate how much they will need to live on in retirement and consequently the amount of money they need to save for retirement.

Begin by assessing where you are now…

Many of us will retire with a variety of pensions, because we don’t stay in one job all our working lives. The first step is to locate the money you have previously paid, the second is finding out how to get it. Begin this today because there is a distinct possibility you may not recall when you are older. This may be particularly significant if you spent time working abroad. If you contributed to a pension scheme, chances are it’s out there, waiting to be claimed and it all adds up.

State pension: In Ireland we have one of the most generous pension payments in Europe, but it remains paltry and depending on the state pension is not ideal. Most people do not want to simply survive in their golden years, but thrive. A good pension is the difference between a 70 year old sitting at home worried about paying for heating or the same 70 year old having friends over for cosy bridge evenings, or planning their next holiday in the sun. So, when clients say they can’t afford a pension, my response is always, you cannot afford not to have one.

Try to estimate what you might need: There’s no “one size fits all” answer here. Talking options through with a financial advisor is useful will help you to be realistic in what you are planning for.


This question was submitted to and first published by The Irish Independent