ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Top Ten Reasons to Retire

Updated on October 19, 2010

The State of Retirement Today

Retirement age continues to be pushed back year after, and the length of retirement only grows. The average citizen of the United States retires at age 62 according to the US Census Bureau. This 'early retirement' average is not always voluntary. The length of retirement is also growing, pushing 18 years in length. But why do people retire? Why should they retire? Why might youretire? Here are the top ten reasons.

Top Ten Reasons to Retire:

  1. You can. The top reason for retirement is financial freedom. For many retirees this is enough motivation in itself. Retirement planning builds for decades and makes the assumption that successful retirement planning results in happiness in retirement. As a result, people equate retirement with happiness.
  2. You have to. Unfortunately retirement planning isn't always the driving force behind retirement. For many American retirees they simply cannot keep working. Health issues are higher among minority and lower class workers and can often force people who can least afford to retire into early retirement without sufficient retirement planning.
  3. You want to. Hopefully, rather than #2 being the motive, #3 plays some roll in it. People have varying reasons to want to: flexibility in schedule, relief from stress, end of being supervised or "bossed", time for vacations or hobbies, etc. If you are considering retiring make sure your retirement planning includes motivation. Why do you want to? Make sure you aren't retiring simply because the culture presses it on you.
  4. Your spouse wants to. Many couples hold an ideal part of their retirement plans together. They want to travel together, spend time together, relax together, or volunteer together. As a result if one spouse decides they are done working full time, and they can afford it (number 1) they do. The reverse can affect some people's retirement planning. If the money isn't there, or one spouse doesn't want to retire yet, many couples keep working until they can both afford it, and both want to retire.
  5. You want a different job. Increasing retirement planning isn't about absolute freedom of responsibility. Retirement planning is directed toward a shift in responsibility. Most careers are built upon specialization and experience. Unfortunately many people grow weary of their narrow specialization by the time they reach retirement age. They have always dreamed of owning a little shop, being a baker, working on a farm, or writing. As a result they don't retire from work, they retire to different work. This of course drastically reduces the amount of financial security needed for retirement planning to be successful.


6. You want a different place. Many people retire for a change in scenery. This is most often true in either landlocked locations, or in high population crowded areas. People want to "live on the beach" or "get out of the city." For this reason location is a key part of retirement planning. You want to find the cheapest places to retire if you are going to make the most of your money. That means finding the cheapest place to retire for the kind of place you want to retire. If a beach is a must, then start planning that beach cottage sooner than later. 

7.  You want a different boss. This actually happens for both employees and the self-employeed, though less often for the latter. Employees often chafe under their boss' way of doing things. Many employees feel they have been passed over for promotion for the sake of pet project people and connected but inexperienced workers. As a result, they want out. Some self-employed workers however grow tired of the stress of caring for their own business, the uncertainty of the market, and the burden of supporting the workers they hire. Retirement planning for the self-employed then usually involves a way to sell the business or pass of contracts to others. 

8. You like the idea. Many retirees do not have specific motivation involved in their retirement planning. If you ask them, they may even say "I have always dreamed of retiring early." Asked to give a reason why, they may recount a relative or friend who retired early or give vague reasons. In short some people plan on retiring simply because they like the idea of retiring. It sounds like freedom, happiness, fulfillment, or reward. These retirees frequently return to the workforce either in part time or volunteer positions realizing that number 5 (different job) or number 7 (different boss) are the reasons they most relate to later on. It can be a painful and depressing first year of retirement for these retirees however if their identity was unknowingly wrapped up in work, and a purposeless existence begins to wear. 

9. You want to try it out. It's merely an experiment. You can always do what the number 8 folks do and jump back into working somewhere again, you reason. The reverse of this reason keeps many people from retiring or starting any kind of retirement planning whatsoever. Scared that retirement is the last waypoint before death a few try to avoid the inevitable. If it is simply an experiment, a test, a trial run it makes considering retirement planning and actual retirement much more palatable. Don't like it? Just go back to work. 

10. Unexpected windfall. This is the rarest of the top ten, but is the biggest reason for early retirement. A stock investment soars unexpectedly (think McDonald's in the eighties), a real estate deal falls in the lap, a book sells a million copies, or a business venture grows so rapidly millions are made in the sale. Of course you are saying "must be nice." Well it is, for those few who get the chance. Yet even many of these with an unexpected windfall learn the lesson Ted Leonsis now shares after his unexpected windfall, neither money nor early retirement a happy person make. It comes from something else. 

* See tips on successful retirement planning below or other useful resources around the page for more help with your retirement planning. 

Tips on Retirement Planning

  • Start retirement planning as soon as possible. Consider making an appointment with a financial planner today. 
  • Be sure to calculate cost of living increases and adjust your retirement planning accordingly. 
  • Remember the power of compounding interest and save monthly rather than waiting until the end. 
  • Consider using your retirement freedom to volunteer and give back to the community giving your life purpose and your rest deep satisfaction. 
  • Take time to listen to retirees and hear their feedback on retirement experiences. It may affect how you plan for your own retirement. 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • helpingfriends profile image


      8 years ago from Midwest

      Fantastic post on reasons to retire! One of the best articles I have read on the reasons people use for retirement planning. Thanks for sharing. I would add that many people retire simply because they become unemployed...but I guess that falls under "you have to." Health isn't the only reason. Thanks!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)