How to Retire Early Retiring early sounds like a dream come true, but it’s important to take a look at the cold, hard facts. Share | Related Content 18 Years Worth of Days The average retirement lasts for 18 years. Are you prepared to fill that many days? Catch-Up Contributions Workers 50+ may make contributions to their qualified retirement plans above the limits imposed on younger workers. Retirement Plan Distributions There are a number of ways to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan.