Retirement is a big decision, and it's never easy to make.
If you’ve felt inadequate at work, or no longer enjoy doing what you are skilled at, then you’ve probably wondered whether it’s time.
Could it be time to retire?
Emotional Signs You Need to Retire
Well, here are some emotional signs that may indicate it's time to hang up your work hat for good, this time.
1) Your physical and mental health is deteriorating because of work
If you're feeling the effects of prolonged stress at work, either physically or mentally, then it might be time to consider whether or not your current job is right for you.
Here are some signs that your work may be negatively impacting your physical and mental well-being:
- You're experiencing physical health problems as a result of stress at work (such as insomnia or chronic pain)
- You're suffering from anxiety or depression because of the negative impact on your mental health caused by working too much or in an environment that isn't conducive to good mental health.
As you age, your health becomes a more and more important aspect of your life, and it does make sense to take on retirement early enough.
2) You dread the thought of your annual review.
The annual review is a necessary evil. You know you need to have one, but the thought of it makes you cringe. When the time comes, there are a few key emotional signs that will tell you if it's time to rethink your job:
- You dread the thought of your annual review.
- You are afraid of what your boss will say about your performance
- You are tired of hearing the same old ‘put in more work’ talk that follows performance reviews
3) You dread going to work.
You feel like you're in a rut and that nothing ever changes, so why try?
You don’t want your boss to tell you what to do; you just want him or her to get out of the way so that you can make things happen.
Instead, you have to put up with being tossed around on things that don’t help you grow at the company and make a substantial impact in your department.
If all these build up to a point that you dread showing up for work, it’s time to consider early retirement.
4) Your boss doesn't support you.
Your productivity at a company, and hence your peace of mind, largely depend on the type of boss you have, your workplace camaraderie, and the facilitation provided.
If your boss no longer supports you in a way that helps you grow and be a more efficient employee, then this can quickly take a toll on you, and the people you work it, and may be time to move on from that employer.
5) You're no longer engaged with your work.
When we start our new job, the energy is apparent. We show up to work early, and we look forward to dressing up for work every day.
There’s a lot to learn, and our zeal for knowledge is apparent. We ask beginner questions, we do extra reading at night, and we even take on training classes at our own expense.
When it comes to working, we are genuinely invested in having the company, and the customers feel our presence. We’re super engaged. However, as time goes by, the things we loved doing default into monotonous routines, things to check off from our daily work calendars. We hit a plateau.
If you are at a point in life where you feel that you are no longer invested in your work, it might not make sense to continue holding on to a job where you no longer making a real difference, especially when you aren’t so bad financially.
6) You experience low morale or negative emotions at work.
If you experience low morale or consistent negative emotions, that can be a sign that you need to retire.
These may include:
- Disinterest in work
6) Feeling trapped at work
Feeling trapped is one of the most common signs that you need to retire, and can be a sign that you’re not happy in your current situation.
If you feel like you’re going through the motions at work, but your heart isn’t in it anymore, that could be a sign.
While feeling trapped is normal at some point in your career life, it shouldn’t progress into retirement.
Signs you’re trapped at work:
- You constantly tell yourself to wait and see
- You don’t know what else you want
- You believe everyone else is better than you
- You believe that you have to constantly prove yourself.
7) You no longer feel appreciated
Putting in lots of effort, especially at your retirement age, without being noticed can be quite discouraging.
If you’ve felt any of the following lately, then it might be time to consider retiring and channeling your energy into your passion:
- You feel undervalued at work.
- You feel like your bosses are just waiting for you to retire
- You no longer have an easy time getting through to your bosses or even coworkers
8) You don't like what you do on the job anymore.
When you reach a point where your work no longer brings fulfillment, it's time to move on.
For many people, this can be difficult to admit because they have become so accustomed to their daily routine and don't realize that it no longer satisfies them.
9) You have a hard time maintaining good relationships with coworkers.
One of the hardest things about retiring is leaving your coworkers behind. If you've ever worked somewhere where you didn't get along with people, then you know how it feels to walk into a hostile environment every day.
If your workplace relationships are strained or bitter, retirement may be just what you need to alleviate that stress. You may also benefit from having more time to spend with friends and family members who are important in your life.
10) You look forward to the company downsizing so you can be laid off.
If you've been looking forward to the possibility of a layoff, it's likely that you are not happy at work and want out.
This is especially true if it's been a long time since your last promotion or a raise.
11) Your family and friends tell you they think you should retire now.
If others are telling you it's time to retire, then they may be right. But, this is still only one piece of the puzzle. You need to take their opinions into account but also weigh all of your options carefully before making any decisions.
If they're convinced that you should retire now and have no plans on convincing them otherwise, ask them what they think would happen if you were forced into retirement at this point in time. They may provide insight into some risks or challenges that could occur if you were not financially prepared for an early exit from work.
This can help guide your decision-making process as well as give you peace of mind knowing that your family supports your early retirement plans.
12) Feeling like you're no longer needed
If you're feeling like the company no longer needs you, that's a sign that it's time to retire.
The reasons for this range from being replaced by a younger, cheaper employee to not being as efficient as you used to be. The company might have changed over the years and no longer fits who you are.
13) You feel like your skills are being underutilized
If you’re doing a job that doesn't require all of your skills, or if you feel like your skills are being underused, it could be time to retire.
One reason many people find themselves in this situation is that they haven’t become passionate about the work they're doing. Instead, they're just going through the motions — and hoping for something better down the road.
We have bills to pay, so we tend to hold on even when nothing promising seems forthcoming. If one day you wake up and feel like you could move on without hurting yourself financially, then just do it.
There are lots of opportunities after retirement where you can best use your skills, from starting your own ventures and offering consulting services to anything that best aligns with your passions and skills.
Preparing for Retirement
With the emotional signs you need to retire being apparent, you don’t just get to wake up one day, and decide enough is enough. You do need to strategically prepare for retirement, to ensure a smoother transition.
Retirement in itself can be quite challenging, especially if you’ve worked in corporate positions for so long. Here are a few steps to take:
- Consulting with your financial advisor: A shrewd advisor will help you determine if your nest egg is sufficient, and what you’d need to do to ensure financial stability after retirement.
- Inform your family members: Making sure that your partner and your children are in support, or at the very least aware of your early retirement plans will help give you peace of mind.
- Plan out reasonable activities after retirement: While you don’t have to have the entire plan figured out, having a glimpse of the things you want to do, the cost factor, and the risk factors will help you stay sane, and not carelessly run through your savings in no time.
Retirement is one of the most exciting times in your life. Make sure that it's a comfortable and secure experience by taking steps now to ensure that your finances are in order.