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Retiring early

Retiring Early: What You Need To Know

October 14, 2022


When it comes to retirement planning, there are a lot of things to think about. One question that many people ask is whether they can retire early. This is a complicated question with no easy answer. In this blog post, we will explore some of the factors you need to consider when making the decision about early retirement. 

One of the key aspects of planning for your retirement is ensuring that you have taken the right steps to ensure financial comfort in your golden years. Another key aspect is ensuring that you start to plan as early as possible to give your money more time to grow. The main way to do this is through savings, pension plans and savvy investments made earlier in life which lead to strong returns down the line. Setting yourself up to afford the lifestyle you want should be carefully considered and working with an experienced financial planner is the best way to do this. Working with our clients to secure a future with careful considerations and effective action is at the heart of what we do here at FitzGerald Flynn.

Options Available to You

In order to accrue a retirement fund large enough to allow you to retire early, you must be aware of the options available to you. One of the most popular options available to people in Ireland is a pension scheme. A pension scheme is a long-term saving plan that allows you to invest into a retirement fund on a consistent or even once off, lump sum, basis. Pensions are not just something that older people in the twilight of their careers should consider. In Ireland, the main types of pension schemes available are the Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA), Occupational Pension Schemes (Defined Contribution), Personal Pension Plans and Annuity Pensions (Defined Benefit). To read more about the various pension schemes available to you, why not take a look at our previous blogs “Investing In Your Pension” and “Contributing to Your Pension: When and How to Start”.

Another option available to those looking to retire early in Ireland is private savings. This could be in the form of property investment, stocks and shares or simply putting money away into a savings account each month. Private savings can be a great way to top up your pension and ensure that you have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. Speak to our team of expert financial advisers today to learn more about how FitzGerald Flynn can start you down the right investment path.

Initial Considerations

The first thing you need to think about when considering early retirement is your financial situation. Can you afford to retire early? This will depend on a number of factors, including your current income, your savings, and your pension. If you are thinking about retiring early, it is important to speak with a financial adviser to get an accurate picture of your finances. If you have a private pension, you are far more likely to be in position to retire early than if you were relying on the state pension alone. The state pension in Ireland is currently payable from the age of 66. The Government has initiated a commission to review this age. The retirement age may increase in the coming decade. If you are thinking about retiring before you reach the state pension age, it is important to make sure that you have enough available to support yourself in the period between retirement and receiving your state pension. 

There are a few different ways to access your pension early if you decide to retire before the age of 65. The options available to you will depend on the types of pension you have in place. Assuming you have a Defined Contribution (DC) pension, with the maximum fund of €2 million, you can claim your pension early in the following way: 25%, up to € 500,000, of which the first €200,000 is tax free. The next € 300,000 is taxed at a rate of 20% only. The balance of the fund, € 1,500,000 will be transferred to an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF).

In Ireland, individuals who hold pensions under Defined Contribution Occupational Pension Schemes and Personal Saving Retirement Accounts (PRSAs) can begin to access their pension pot at the age of 50, however, under PRSA arrangements this is only an option in specific circumstances. Individuals who hold pensions under Personal Pension arrangements, such as Retirement Annuity pensions, can begin to draw down on their pension pot at the age of 60. 

Another thing to think about when considering early retirement is your lifestyle. Do you want to retire early so that you can travel the world? Or are you looking to retire early so that you can spend more time with your family? Your lifestyle will affect how much money you need to have saved up before you can retire. If you want to retire early and travel the world, you will need to make sure that you have enough money saved to cover your travel expenses. If you are looking to retire early so that you can spend more time with your family, you will need to make sure that you have enough money saved to cover your living expenses.

Get An Early Start

Starting as early as possible is the most important factor when it comes to early retirement planning. The earlier you start, the more savings, investments and pension contributions you can make and the more time you afford your retirement pot to grow. 

Let's take a look at some rough figures to try to get an idea of how big of a pension pot is required to realistically take early retirement. For the purposes of this calculation let's assume the following:

Here we have two people, Prudence & Extravaganza: Prudence is prudent, and Extravaganza is not! 


  • Starts paying € 100 per month from Age 18-38, then stops.
  • Assuming a growth rate of 5% at age 38, Prudence has a pension pot of €41,660.


  • Pays nothing to age 38 then adds € 100 Per month to age 65.
  • At age 38, Extravaganza has nothing , but then starts paying €100 per month.                            

At age 65…….   Assume a growth rate of 5%.

  • Prudence's fund is now worth € 155,795.
  • Extravaganza’s fund is worth € 68,500. 

The sooner you start your pension, the bigger the fund at retirement!!!     

Here at FitzGerald Flynn we have years of experience putting together tailored retirement plans to help people achieve their dreams of early retirement. 

It's difficult to say just how much one should be putting away each month to achieve their retirement goals. A good place to start is to use an online pension calculator, however, it is important to bear in mind that the results offered by these calculators are only rough figures. To gain a greater understanding of how much you should be contributing to your pension, it’s best to reach out to an experienced financial adviser such as those we have here at FitzGerald Flynn. 

The bottom line is, the sooner you start contributing to your pension, the better. Even if you can only afford to contribute a small amount each month, it's important to get started as early as possible.


With careful planning and forethought, early retirement can be a reality. Reviewing your pension and investment plans, making a budget and sticking to it, and knowing your options when it comes to pensions are all key steps in making early retirement a reality. So, if you are looking to retire early, get in touch with us at FitzGerald Flynn and start planning your retirement today!

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