Retirement triggers

When people retire

What prompts one person to retire at 50 and another to work until they're 80? ASIC's 2010 research showed that it's more complicated than simply loving or hating your job. There are a number of retirement triggers that cause people to retire earlier than they expect.

Unhappy with work

Who hasn't thought about resigning after a stressful day at work? For people nearing retirement age, there comes a point when they feel they no longer want to - or have to - put up with work stresses.

Can't find a job

Retirement becomes an option when people have difficulty finding a job, usually after they have been retrenched or because of their age. Being forced to retire in this way is particularly difficult for those who have never before had trouble finding employment.

Kids have left home

Many people feel emotionally and financially committed to their children and only consider retiring when their kids have left home and are financially independent.

Health scare

Sometimes it takes a health scare to spur people into thinking about retirement. Many people choose to retire after a major illness so they can take it easy and enjoy the rest of their life. Others are forced to retire when they get too sick or incapacitated to work.

Unexpected windfall

Some people get lucky and inherit or win a sum of money, which gives them the financial means to retire. Even if they don't retire straight away, they now have the funds to start investing and building a large nest egg.

Influence of family and friends

People who see that a family member or friend has retired with minimum hassle may be inspired to do the same. The opposite also applies: if they see that others have made mistakes or left retirement planning till late in the game, they are less likely to make the same errors.

It's the right time

Finally, people retire simply because it's the right time: their finances are in good shape and they are emotionally ready for the changes that retirement will bring.

Find out if it's the right time for you with our retirement planner.

Retirement planner

You may end up retiring unexpectedly or earlier than you thought you would. If you start planning and saving now for your retirement, you'll be ready when a retirement trigger comes along.


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Last updated: 22 Aug 2013