4 Things Motivating People to Retire — and 4 Reasons They Continue Working

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Older couple hiking
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Are you ready to retire? Or would you prefer to work for many years to come?

Each of us has our own answers to these questions. But what lies behind those responses?

Recently, The Harris Poll asked more than 1,000 adults to describe the factors that motivate them to retire — or that keep them working.

Here are the top factors that motivate people to quit working. We then follow up those reasons with factors that keep others on the job.

4. Change of pace

Senior woman playing golf in retirement at a golf course in Tucson, Arizona
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Workers who cited this as a reason they want to retire in the future: 28%

Retirees who cited this as a reason they chose to retire: 16%

After working in a job for most of our adult years, many of us want to try out a different type of life. In that sense, retiring can be the ultimate change of pace.

If you are thinking of retirement, make sure you answer the “7 Questions to Ask Before Retirement to Get the Life You Want.”

3. Desire

Retired friends
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Workers who cited this as a reason they want to retire in the future: 40%

Retirees who cited this as a reason they chose to retire: 40%

Some people who retire don’t have grand reasons for doing so. Instead, they have a desire to stop working, plain and simple.

Accumulating a large nest egg can turn your desire to retire into reality. For tips on building your savings, check out “7 Tips to Retire With a Million-Dollar Nest Egg.”

2. Pursuing other interests

Senior couple
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Workers who cited this as a reason they want to retire in the future: 50%

Retirees who cited this as a reason they chose to retire: 31%

When you are working, it’s more difficult to pursue your interests, such as travel or hobbies. But once you retire, you suddenly have a lot more free time to do the things you want to do.

Wondering how you will spend your golden years? Check out the “26 Big Ideas for What To Do in Retirement.”

1. Spending time with loved ones

Older women outdoors
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Workers who cited this as a reason they want to retire in the future: 58%

Retirees who cited this as a reason they chose to retire: 40%

As anyone approaching retirement age surely knows, our time on this earth is finite. Perhaps nothing brings as much happiness to our lives as spending time with loved ones.

Retirement gives us more of that most precious resource — time — to enjoy with family and friends.

Primary motivations to continue working

Relieved businessman or worker relaxed at a laptop not worried about work
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While some folks can’t wait to stop working, others prefer to remain on the job. Here are the primary motivations that keep people working if they are not yet fully retired:

  • Stimulation: 38%
  • Time occupation: 35%
  • Independence: 33%
  • Enjoyment or fulfillment: 32%

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