Nearly half of us want to hang up our tools and sail off into the retirement sunset by the time we celebrate our 61st birthdays.

This makes sense. Despite a rising life expectancy, increases to healthy life expectancy haven't been keeping pace.

The earlier we retire, the more time we get to spend enjoying our retirement in good health.

This retirement aspiration might however conflict with the financial reality of retirement. Can you actually afford to stop working at 61?

And even if you can afford to stop working, is it really beneficial to leave the workplace at such a young age?

Retirement isn't as simple as picking an arbitrary age (such as 61) and making the smooth transition from work to not-work. 

It's great to have a goal. That goal needs to be fully costed, and consider more than just the financial implications.