Half of Retirees Retire Earlier than Planned

Prudential’s recent research study found that about half (51%) of retirees retired earlier than planned. While early retirement may seem like welcome news, only 23% retired earlier than planned because they either had enough money to retire, wanted to retire, or were tired of working.

Forty-six percent of those who retired earlier than expected did so due to health problems, 30% were laid off from their jobs or offered an early retirement incentive package, and 11% left work to take care of a loved one. So, the vast majority of individuals who retired earlier than planned did so in response to factors that were partially or fully out of their control.

Not only did retirement occur earlier than planned for many, but the gap between average actual and expected retirement ages was significant. Of those who retired earlier than planned, half (50%) retired five or more years early.

This is especially important because the causes for early retirement, such as being laid off, often coincide with recessions and market dips. This further emphasizes the need for future retirees to protect against sequence of return risk as they enter the “Fragile Decade.”

Read the full report from Prudential.