The Top 4 Signs That You Need to Retire

older man stressed

It’s not always easy to know when it’s time to retire. 


For some people, the decision comes easily. They know they’re ready to take a step back from their career and enjoy their golden years. 


But for others, it can be more complicated. 


  • Are you feeling restless and itching to do something new? 
  • Do you dread going to work every day, yet you’re afraid to leave an accomplished position that you’ve worked hard to achieve? 
  • Or are you just not feeling as happy or fulfilled as you once did? 


If any of these sounds like you, it might be time to retire. 


Studies show that if you’re lucky enough to choose when you’ll leave the workforce, it can positively impact your well-being. So check out these four signs that indicate you need to retire and start planning for your next chapter. 


But do keep in mind that these are just guidelines — only you can decide when it’s the right time to retire.


4 Signs It’s Time to Retire

#1 You Are Emotionally Burnt Out

The first sign that it’s time to retire is when your work starts to drain energy and vitality.


Are you feeling exhausted and run down, like you can’t keep going, like you’re under constant, unrelenting stress? Are you not enjoying your work anymore and find yourself dreading going to the office each day?


It may be time to call it quits because you’re likely suffering from emotional burnout. And you’re not the only one. In fact, a significant 52% of the respondents in Indeed’s survey are feeling burned out:

52% of workers feel emotionally burned out from work


Emotional burnout is one of the biggest signs that it’s time for you to pack up your desk, say goodbye to your coworkers, and retire. 


Retirement is a wonderful time for some R&R and adventures, so even if you’re not completely burned out emotionally, don’t wait until rock bottom happens to make the decision to retire.


#2 Your Health is Declining 

No one wants to think about their health declining as they get older, but the normal aging process is a reality that we all have to face. And if you’re starting to see that your physical or emotional health is on the decline, that is a definite sign that it’s time for you to retire. 


Research indicates that if you retire due to poor health, you’ll feel substantially better. So if you’re starting to feel like retiring is the best decision your health, take the opportunity.


What’s key here is that, in addition to taking care of your physical health, you’re still engaging in activities that mentally and socially stimulate you — they are vital for a happy and healthy retirement.


#3 You Are Financially Prepared 

Retirement comes with a lot of financial unknowns. One question that often comes up is whether or not you’re actually ready for retirement financially. 


Here are a few signs that you’re financially not ready for retirement. You: 


  • Have a lot of debt
  • Don’t have enough saved up for retirement
  • Are not sure what your monthly expenses will be in retirement 
  • Struggle to stay financially afloat each month 


If any of these sound like you, it’s time to start thinking about improving your finances before you ditch your job for good. Consider consulting a fiduciary financial advisor from the national association of personal financial advisors and ask them to run a range of scenarios for you to avoid making one of the biggest (pre)retiree planning mistakes.


And if you think you’re financially stable to consider retirement, establish your budget and try following it for six months before you retire. Your spending might decrease in retirement, but maybe not as much as you’d think:


how spending changes before and after retirement


Which is why we suggest doing a trial run. If you can live for three months within your estimated retirement budget and not dip into your savings (or amass more credit card debt), you’re financially set.


Treating this trial run seriously and crafting a realistic budget before you retire will help ensure that your final decision about quitting work is based on financial reality, not assumptions or hope.


#4 You Don’t Identify With Your Job Anymore

While your identity is multifaceted and dynamic, your work tends to become an integral part of it. 


As you progress in your career, it’s natural to create a work identity that extends far beyond work. For example, if someone asked you who you are, you’d probably respond with your job title. 


No longer identifying with your job is one of the crucial signs that you need to retire. Although, admitting this can be a big challenge for some people, especially if you’ve climbed the ranks over the years and still enjoy receiving accolades at work. 


The true tell-tale sign is that you start to crave growth. Even if you’re not sure about what your new identity in retirement looks like, there’s something deep inside you that no longer resonates with your job role.


If that’s the case, then it’s time to rebuild your identity through a new purpose and new passions. And don’t worry if you’re not sure what they are, read this article on finding your passions.


How to Prepare for Retirement Emotionally

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, preparing for retirement should go beyond just finances. 


You need to have something to retire to, not just something to retire from.


So if you’re asking yourself, “Am I emotionally ready to retire?” — kudos to you. You’re already ahead of most pre-retirees. 


(P.S. this is just one of the seven key retirement questions you should ask yourself)


Here are a few tips that will ensure you’re emotionally prepared to retire:


  • Have a support network — emotional support is vital in your transition from work to retirement, so communicate your plans with your loved ones
  • Find clarity — without having a clear vision that excites you, retirement can cause anxiety  and even depression 
  • Set clear goals — make a plan, set goals, and break them down into micro-steps to get the most out of your retirement
  • Create a retirement routine — replace your work routines with new ones, and be sure they support your passions and post-career purpose
  • Redefine your identity — retirement isn’t just about going from one phase of life to another without a plan, it’s also an opportunity to redefine yourself, get in touch with your authentic self, and continue growing


So start your retirement planning with these tips and our Retirement Checklist.


how to emotionally prepare for retirement: have a support network, set clear goals, find clarity, create a routine, and redefine your identity


Time to Retire?

If you’ve recognized these four signs you need to retire in your life, it’s time. Don’t let your fears of retirement hold you back.


It isn’t an end destination; it’s the beginning of a whole new adventure. But it’s crucial to do some introspection work and carefully plan your next chapters.


If you are ready to retire and would like help planning for your future with clarity, or if you want to talk about the next steps in your journey, book a call with our team of experts today


You deserve all the joy, vitality, freedom, peace, and happiness as you transition into this important life phase of retirement.