Here are the top five reasons why people retire according to a survey at Fidelity.com: Leisure, Stress at Work, Grandchildren, Hobbies and Travel.
But what about the when?
The “when” people retire is a different matter. That has more to do with money. As if we needed a survey for that! “Spend less, save more,” you know the song.
Here’s some advice you can use.
Get out of debt.
Pay off your mortgage.
It’s simple, yet effective. Stress is a killer. Trust me, I speak to retirees for a living. Getting out of debt creates a lot of peace of mind.
The less you have to worry about, the better off you’ll be in retirement.
And about the #1 reason why we retire: Leisure. Don’t believe it. You’ll never be busier.
Three phases of “pretirement”
The Fidelity research team found that there are three distinct phases of “pretirement” that many preretirees go through and assumes they will have some control over the actual timing of their retirement. The phases are not age-based, but rooted in life stage.
- In early pretirement(10 or more years out), the survey finds that most people still have significant debt, are not sure they can make their money last, and are likely to still have children and/or aging parents to support. People in this stage are generally in good health, happy with their job, and looking forward to new professional challenges.
- In mid-pretirement(two to nine years out), people are starting to reduce debt, are less responsible financially for their children, and are feeling as though they might be able to make their money last throughout retirement. Meanwhile, their professional drive may plateau. They may still like their job, but find themselves less interested in new opportunities—and more interested in free time for leisure and family.
- By late pretirement(less than two years out), people’s priorities have shifted. They feel more confident that they can make their money last through retirement. They often feel more job-related stress, and no longer look for new job-related opportunities—they’ve effectively put their resume to bed. Many feel that their physical stamina declines along with their mental sharpness. They really want more time for leisure and family.
The emotions connected to retirement shift along the way, too. In early pretirement, some people are stressed about their ability to live comfortably in retirement. But by the time they reach late pretirement, most feel more financially secure and excited about a new chapter. Among recent retirees, those who left their primary career in the past two years, almost 80% say it’s easier than they thought to live comfortably in retirement and 85% say it’s the most rewarding time of their lives. Only 10% say they are worried about being bored.
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