Retirement Has Already Cost Us At Least $5 Million



When the dessert cart rolls around after dinner, difficult decisions must be made.

“If I eat the tiramisu… then I won’t have room for gelato*… And what is this? A complementary serving of limoncello!?”

In economics parlance we might call this gastrointestinal dilemma the opportunity cost; When we choose one option, we lose any potential gain or enjoyment from alternatives.

A couple recent articles highlighted the financial opportunity cost of not working, either short term for raising children or long term for (early) retirement. These articles inspired me to recalculate the opportunity cost of our own decisions.

The Center for American Progress evaluated taking a few years off to raise children, and concluded that you should work instead, because parenting has zero financial value (and on those extra difficult days, maybe even negative value ;) ) Sounds like progress to me.

The Finance Buff discussed how early retirement is the ultimate luxury purchase.

I’ll buy that ;) When we decided to retire in our 30s, we chose to forego the income we could earn in our 30s, 40s… 80s…

After nearly four years of early retirement, this cost already exceeds $5 million.