road with hills

7 Reasons People Retire Earlier Than Planned

Loren Merkle, CFP®, RICP®, Certified Financial Fiduciary

For 32 years, the Employee Benefits Research Institute has been surveying Americans about retirement. Here are the top seven reasons people stopped working sooner than planned from the 2022 Retirement Confidence Survey.

#1 They could afford to
Thirty-eight percent said they retired early because they could afford to. This is the ideal reason to retire early. We find that people who retire early because they can afford to aren’t just guessing that they have enough saved for retirement. They’ve worked with a retirement planner to develop a customized, written retirement plan that shows them how they will pay for all of the things they want to do in retirement.

#2 Health problem or disability
Thirty-two percent said they retired early due to health problems or disability. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 40% of adults age 65 or older have at least one type of disability. The most common disabilities are mobility, cognition, hearing, and vision.

#3 Workplace changes
Workplace changes, unrelated to COVID-19, made 23% of survey respondents retire earlier than planned. Some people see workplace changes and exit to avoid them, while others may retire due to a company reorganization or downsizing.

#4 Workplace incentive
Sometimes your employer will make an offer you can’t refuse. A retirement incentive package is the reason 19% of survey respondents retired early.

#5 Desire to do something else
Some are ready for a second act in retirement. Whether pursuing a dream career or working a low-pressure gig, 15% of respondents said a desire to do something else is why they retired early.

#6 Caring for a spouse or other family member
Some retire early to care for aging parents or a spouse with a chronic condition. Thirteen percent of survey respondents retired early for this reason.

#7 COVID-19 workplace changes
The pandemic has changed the workplace. Working remotely, hopping on a Zoom call, and supply chain issues have all become part of our work world. For 10% of respondents, COVID-19 workplace changes made them retire sooner than expected.

Sources: 2022 Retirement Confidence, and

Elections and Your Retirement | Managing Market Uncertainty

May 19th, 2024

In this episode of Retiring Today, Elections and Your Retirement, we dive into […]

Read More

Early Retirement Strategies | 8 Reasons to Leave the Workforce Sooner

May 12th, 2024

In this episode, Retirement Planners Clint Huntrods and Loren Merkle delve into the […]

Read More

Simplifying Tax Strategies For Your Retirement

May 5th, 2024

Discover simple yet effective tax strategies for retirement.  – Understanding the massive scope […]

Read More

How to Combat Inflation for a Secure Retirement Lifestyle

April 28th, 2024

Facing the challenges of inflation can be daunting, especially as you plan for […]

Read More

Retirement Strategies | How to Stop Leaving Money on the Table

April 21st, 2024

Don’t leave retirement money on the table due to taxes! We’re diving deep […]

Read More

Maximizing Your Social Security | Strategies for a Smart Election

April 14th, 2024

Navigating Social Security benefits can be daunting, especially when you’re on the cusp […]

Read More

Navigating Retirement | A Couple’s $12 Million Lesson

April 7th, 2024

Discover how to navigate the complexities of retirement planning with Retirement Planners Loren […]

Read More

Retirement Planning | Why It’s Not an Easy Set It and Forget It Scenario

March 31st, 2024

We look at why you can’t simply “set it and forget it” when […]

Read More

Navigating Your Financial Future When Your Advisor Retires

March 24th, 2024

Navigating the transition when your financial advisor is heading into retirement can be […]

Read More

Essential Legacy Planning Documents for a Secure Retirement

March 17th, 2024

Retirement Planner Loren Merkle discusses the critical topic of legacy planning and retirement. […]

Read More

Ready to take your retirement to the next level?

Let's chat! Schedule a RetireReady Call to talk with a retirement planner about your retirement vision.

Ready to take your retirement to the next level?

Let's chat! Schedule a RetireReady Call to talk with a retirement planner about your retirement vision.

Call Now Button