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So - What are the Top Ten Reasons Most People Retire?

written by: Winston Smith•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 4/30/2011

Deciding when and how to retire is a challenge that most people face. If you're not sure when to call it quits, this top 10 list can help you decide.

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    Introduction

    Getting Social Security is one of the top ten reasons to retire (Image Credit: AARP.ORG) Planning for retirement is a decades long process of saving, investing and careful thought. Even those that have not given much thought to retirement will have to retire at 67 in most cases. Assuming you are not forced out of your job, downsized or injured, you get to choose when you want to retire. Some people might want to stay as long as possible to stay involved professionally, pay off debts or simply maximize retirement savings for living expenses. Thinking through retirement is a serious decision, but there are lighter reasons that can make this serious decision a bit easier to handle.

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    Top 10 Reasons To Retire

    Every person will have their own personal list of reasons to retire; which reasons make the most sense to you?

    1. Family: The opportunity to spend time with family and visit relatives can make retirement very attractive.
    2. Travel: Assuming you have enough savings, retirement travel can be a great pleasure. Many museums, railways and services offer discounts to senior citizens - it is always worth asking.
    3. Maxed Out Pension: Some pension plans limit the maximum pension that workers can receive - if you've met this limit and don't like your job, it makes sense to retire as soon as you hit this limit.
    4. Retirement Incentive: Some companies actively encourage their older staff to leave by offering retirement packages - these packages can sometimes equal a year's worth of salary!
    5. Retirement Goals: Maybe you've always wanted to write a novel or lead a non-profit organization - pursuing personal goals in retirement can be very attractive especially if the day to day stress of work becomes tiresome.
    6. Social Security: It might not be around forever, but if you retire now you can take advantage of it while it's still here!
    7. Spouse's Retirement: If your spouse is retired and you are not, the different schedules and lifestyles can create a great deal of tension. Who wants to go to a long day of meetings while your spouse is headed off for a cruise?
    8. Exhaustion: Some jobs like construction and the trades can become physically overwhelming for older workers.
    9. Company Policy: Partnerships and corporations often have standing policies that require staff in their 60s to go; if you don't do anything, your boss may be forced to show you the door.
    10. Professional Requirements: Some jurisdictions require dentists, doctors and other professionals to resign. While you could try to fight these laws, simply retiring is probably a better use of your time and money.
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    Further Reading

    To make an informed decision about when and how to retire, you need to consider a range of factors. For example, will you need extra health insurance beyond what the government provides? Do you want to move? If so, where and why? What are your plans for retirement? Sitting around your home may be relaxing for a few weeks or months, but boredom can quickly ruin your retirement.

    Estimate Your Retirement Benefits, http://www.ssa.gov/planners/calculators.htm

    AARP (provides benefits, discounts and advocacy for people over the age of 50), http://www.aarp.org/

    Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning, http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/nearretirement.html

    Image Credit: Social Security, AARP/Social Security