After you have worked for most of your adult life, you may want to retire. Even if there is no mandatory retirement age where you work, your health may be declining, you may be burned out, or you may want to do something else. As long as you can afford to retire, you may make the choice to do early.
Are you contemplating retirement but are not entirely sure if it is “time” or not? As people get to be about that age, there are many reasons why some people decide to retire, and others do not. Reasons ranging from personal finances to health to job dissatisfaction all top the list of reasons people hang up their careers.
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Retire?
Knowing when it is the best time to retire is actually a very individual and personal decision. Things to consider prior to retiring include:
- Debt-Free: Once you have eliminated your debt, you might be in a good position to consider retiring.
- Emergency Plan: Do you have a contingency plan to cope with any emergencies that might come up, including financial difficulties?
- Finances: As you think about wrapping up your last year working, make sure you have enough money set aside to get you through.
Health Insurance: One thing you do not want to worry about during retirement is health insurance and being adequately covered. One way to know you may be ready to retire is if you know you are covered.
Social: Are you ready to be social and enjoy the fun and relaxation of retirement? That is a good sign that you are ready.
Other Goals: Have you always wanted to start a business? Do you want to care for your grandkids during the day when your kids work? Do you have another passion you want to pursue while your health is good?
Is There A Best Age To Retire?
Most people retire around age 65. However, that does not mean that only 65-year-old people should quit. Many careers, such as the military and law enforcement, allow for early retirement. Some people pursue their careers all their lives.
The best age to retire depends on many factors. Some careers are more challenging for older people to perform, so there are early retirement options.
Many people who retire from their first career move on to a second career within the first year of quasi-retirement.
Are There Benefits To Retiring Early?
Retiring early offers many benefits. First, when you are younger, you can enjoy your retirement differently. Waiting to retire can mean that you are too tired to get out and explore the world.
Those who retire early are often in good health, which is a significant advantage. Of course, early retirement also means you need to have more money saved, so you are certain to have enough money to live on.
Individuals who choose early retirement sometimes have a plan to do something else. It is very common for people who were career military to have a second career after retiring. Police officers sometimes enjoy a second career also. Your second career can be something less stressful than your first one.
Younger retirees report that they enjoy the freedom to spend time with their grandchildren and attend functions they might otherwise have missed.
What Are Some Reasons To Retire?
Age discrimination is a very real thing. When a business is downsizing, they frequently will work to push the older workers out the door. Although it is illegal, it happens frequently. Older adults should not allow themselves to be pushed out before they are ready; however, proving age discrimination can be difficult, if not impossible. Employers are too smart to say they are downsizing particular individuals because they are older.
Some individuals find themselves retiring earlier than anticipated because they are becoming a caregiver to a loved one. When a spouse gets sick or starts to have memory issues, it often falls on the partner to provide daily care. Rather than pay someone to come into the home to assist with ADLs (activities of daily living), the spouse retires or finds a part-time job instead.
Talking about change as a reason for leaving a place of employment can be multi-faceted. First, changes to your work life can push someone to retire. For example, many retirees cite new technology as a reason for early retirement.
Personal changes or changes to the household are other factors that sometimes come into play. If a spouse retires, sometimes the partner feels compelled to follow suit. The pandemic led many to retire as the world changes left them feeling uncomfortable and unsure of how work life would look. Retiring gave them some peace of mind.
4. Health Issues
Needing to focus on your personal healthcare is why some people retire. For example, during the pandemic, many older people chose to retire rather than navigate the world of working virtually. Also, if your physical or mental health is suffering because of your job, it might be time.
Retiring when you are in good health and can enjoy those golden years should be everyone’s goal. The last thing you want is to work full-time right up until you are too sick or tired to enjoy life!
5. Reaching Retirement Age
Reaching full retirement age is often the catalyst people need to decide it is time to quit. What this exactly means depends on different factors. If you have a pension, it could constitute being able to draw on those funds. Perhaps being able to receive Social Security benefits and qualify for medicare is your litmus test for readiness.
6. Strong Investments
Recognizing that you have put away a big enough nest egg to last is another reason people give for early retirement. Taking time to be very intentional about your retirement savings can pay off big as you get older. Some people have worked with a financial planner, and after careful retirement planning, they know their retirement accounts are sufficient.
Determining whether or not you have enough money for retirement income should be done with a financial advisor. They have programs that can calculate variables to see if your money is likely to hold out through your retirement years.
7. Unhappy at Work
Burnout is real. If your mental health is suffering because of your job, either choosing to find a new one or retiring are both viable options. Sometimes, after a lot of financial planning, people who are unhappy at work retire from their stressful careers but are not ready to stop working altogether. If you are unhappy at work and still need health insurance, for example, you might retire from your first career and find something a bit less stressful.
Should Your Retire Even If You Can’t Afford It?
If you can’t afford to retire, you may find yourself in a difficult predicament. Your job is stressful and wearing on your health, and you might need to move on for your health. In this case, finding another job might be necessary.
Calculating your benefits, including Social Security if you are eligible and other sources of income, can help you to determine what type of financial situation you will be in. There are ways to cut costs in retirement, such as finding a roommate or getting rid of unnecessary expenses.
Hopefully, you have planned adequately so that you do not have to worry about money once you retire. With rising medical costs, health insurance coverage is a big concern for many elderly people.
What Should You Do After You Retire?
The last thing you want is to be bored when you retire. Having hobbies and things to do to occupy yourself when you retire is a great idea. This can be anything from knitting to reading to crafting.
Maybe you would like to travel. Whether you want to take one grand trip or do it whenever you can, retirement gives you the time. Some seniors RV their way across America.
If you love to be busy, you might sign up to do volunteer work. Just find something fulfilling to occupy your time. Remember, you work your whole life so you can enjoy retirement.
The isolation of retirement can be devastating, so having something to do where you interact with others can keep you connected and purposeful.