There comes a time in every working professional's life when the idea of retirement becomes a reality, rather than just an abstract concept regarding permanent unemployment past the age of 65. For more people that consideration should come sooner in order to better plan for the future.
How much will I need?
There are a number of expenses and other factors you'll need to consider when determining just how much you should have in liquid assets and other investments. Inflation will take a toll on regular cost of living as well as medical and travel expenses.
EBRI's Retirement Confidence Survey found nearly 50 percent of respondents weren't confident they had enough money to retire, but putting an actual number on the necessary value can be difficult. The Central Intelligence Agency reported the average U.S. life expectancy is 78, and considering an annual expenditure of $40,000 per year for a person retiring at age 67, for example, that individual would need more than $4 million to get by.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been increasing the minimum retirement age for decades, so if you're looking to retire before 62, take a look at the calculation tables available through its official website to incorporate those funds into your figures.
When should I retire?
Using a financial calculator isn't the only thing that should weigh your decision on when to call it quits from the daily grind. Consider what you really want to do with your life, as well as how those in your life affect your regular routine.
Some people never retire, in fact, and not out of a want for funding. The Wisdom Journal points out that if you really love your job, you don't have to give it up just because you're becoming a septuagenarian.
Married couples also will have to discuss funding plans and options when one or both of them chooses to retire, which can cause friction at home or otherwise affect the final decision. A Fidelity study also found that couples faced a number of hurdles in determining retirement age that single individuals don't have to deal with.
"For me it would be annoying not to have someone pulling their weight," Deborah Ewing told The Wall Street Journal in an interview about her husband's and her own retirement plans. She said that she told her spouse he can't retire until their children have graduated from college and acknowledges that he's more than five years her senior, but Ewing said she doesn't think retirement will ever be an option for her. "I plan to work as long as I can."