Retirement Planning

Answering the Biggest Retirement Question: When Can I Retire?

People are living longer and very few have a pension that can see them through retirement. So how do you estimate when you can retire? Read this article to get you started.

When Can I Retire?

Figuring out when to retire used to be less complicated. In the good old days you worked until you were age 65, diligently saved, and retired with a pension that would see you through your golden years.

Today, retirement is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition, and many Americans face financial challenges when deciding on the right time to retire. For example, your financial situation, job satisfaction, lifestyle preferences, and general health are all important factors to consider.

Whatever your feelings about how you’ll spend your time or where you’ll live, the first step to understanding when you can retire is to evaluate your financial situation and some of the factors that may influence it.

These include:

  • Longer life expectancies

    With many of us living longer, you may need fund a retirement that could last 20 or 30 years. This means you’ll need to last longer.

  • Rising health care costs

    The financial burden of health care keeps rising for retirees, even with Medicare. Today, preparing for health care costs has become an essential part of retirement planning. You should factor in costs, not only for insurance premiums but for out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays, and prescriptions.

  • Money management

    With 401(k) plans more prevalent as retirement savings vehicles, you’ll most likely manage your own retirement assets, unlike the days when company pension funds did the work for you. For this reason, you may want to consider consulting with a financial professional who can help you

Once you’ve considered these factors, you can begin to get an idea of where you stand financially by using a retirement calculator. There are many different calculators to select from that take into account your age, salary, current assets, and even estimated Social Security benefits. Forbes lists three of the top ranking retirement calculators but there are many available and it is important to understand how they are factoring the calculations to ensure they meet your needs..

The amount you have already saved and the amount you plan to save each year going forward will determine how much money you are likely to have when you retire and how many years it will take you to get there. If the numbers aren’t where you need them to be, then consult with a financial professional.

As you near retirement, you don’t have as much time to recover from market losses should they occur. For this reason, it is important to carefully reconsider your investment risk tolerance before making any investment decisions.

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When can I retire?

When can I retire? It is a question many start asking themselves as soon as they join the work force. With so many varying factors dependent on individual financial situations, answering the question of when to retire can be difficult. This article explores some of the considerations that may help you determine a goal retirement date that works best for you. For more information, visit our learning center.


All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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