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The Real Reasons People Retire | RL360 Blog

28 March 2023

a couple laughing at each other wearing blue.


The thought of stepping away from work is strange. But if you’re like most people, you’re looking forward to the day where you can finally put your feet up for good. Retirement marks the end of an era and serves as a reward for all the hard work you’ve done over the years. It’s a time where you can truly enjoy yourself, and the thought of being able to do whatever you want, wherever you want, is appealing.

Here are the top 10 reasons people retire.

two people camping holding water bottles

1. To explore the world

There is no doubt that having a job significantly reduces your free time. For most of us, we dedicate at least 8 hours of our time each day to our jobs, 8 hours to sleep, leaving us with only 8 hours to spare. However, the opportunity of a lifetime is practically waiting for you in retirement. Unsurprisingly, travelling is one of the top things people want to do when they retire, whether it’s backpacking, camping, or exploring the globe.

a person laying on the beach looking at a laptop which is powered off.

2. They have zero debt

A major reason why people retire is simply because they can afford to. Not having any debt certainly gives a sense of freedom, as well as allowing you to do as you wish with your money. In an ideal world, we would love to live a debt-free life. A helpful tip to achieve this is to start saving as soon as you can, something that you probably hear all the time. It’s an infallible way to ensure that you have enough funds for retirement and is key to having financial stability.

a sepia toned image of a woman in beige from behind looking accross an office.

3. They are no longer satisfied with their career

When you’ve been working long enough to the point where you no longer feel challenged or learning anything new, it’s no surprise that people turn to retirement. Feeling dissatisfied with your job is pretty common and switching career paths can be difficult for those who recognise this too late. However, dissatisfaction doesn’t mean that you should treat retirement lightly. Retiring prematurely can lead to difficult financial situations so, if you’re not financially ready to call it quits, it’s worth exploring alternative solutions.

a person looking through a camera on a tri-pod

4. To learn new things

For those who have remained in the same field for the majority of their lives, they’re bound to reach a point where they feel they’ve learned all there is to know about their job. Many people then use the opportunity of retirement for picking up new skills, whether that be trying out new hobbies like gardening or taking on further education. It’s a time where you can focus on pursuing creative outlets without worrying about how many hours you have spare in the day.

A red cardboard house surrounded by white cardboard houses

5. To improve their health

As we grow older, we tend to become more conscious of our health, and rightfully so. A lifetime of built up stress, both mentally and physically, undoubtedly takes a massive toll on us. For the sake of looking after themselves, people choose to retire and finally enjoy some well-deserved rest.

two people in a hammock looking happy

6. They follow signals

It’s completely normal to feel drained after years of hard work. For most of us, when we encounter physical and emotional signals like lethargy, burn out, or discontent, the thought of retirement becomes ever more appealing. For those who find themselves daydreaming more often during work, or instead of counting down the days until the weekend, you start counting the hours, minutes and seconds until the end of the day, that’s the point when you know it’s time for a rest.

a woman in a wheelchair talking to a woman on a sofa

7. Caring for someone

Retirement isn’t always for yourself and some people have no choice but to retire unexpectedly to care for a dependent. This can bring uncertainty if you haven’t started planning for retirement early enough so it’s another reason to get started now, if you haven’t already.

a young woman packing belongings

8. No dependants

On the other hand, if you’ve only ever needed to provide for yourself, filling up your retirement pot becomes considerably easier. This applies in particular to couples with dual income but no kids (DINKs). Simply put, the fewer outgoings you have, the easier (and arguably faster) it will be to build up your savings!

man is laughing at a tablet with two children on either side

9. They reorganise their priorities

Many find themselves realising and prioritising the people, or goals, that are significant to them. In most cases, quality time with your loved ones becomes increasingly more important. The phrase “there’s no time like the present” begins to hit home, making retirement the ideal opportunity to live in the moment

two people in high-vis with volunteer name badges looking at a clipboard

10. They want to give back

It’s enormously rewarding to dedicate time towards making the world a better place. Those who are passionate about seeking a chance to do purposeful work find retirement to be the perfect occasion to volunteer at charitable organisations. Careers in the non-profit world bring likeminded people together, giving them a chance to share their skills and expertise while addressing social issues.