What Is Retirement?

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on January 28, 2024

Are You Retirement Ready?

Retirement comes in many different shapes and forms.

People retire for different reasons, at different ages, and with varying amounts of savings.

A retired person is someone who has retired from the labor force.

They generally have enough money to take care of their expenses for a number of years.

Some retired people are retired due to old age, some retired because of poor health, and others retired because they were bored with the work.

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Why Do People Retire?

People retired for various reasons:

Old Age

If you are retired because of old age, it simply means that your retirement is brought about by the fact that you have reached a certain age.

Retirement due to old age is usually forced upon people without their control.

This type of person could still continue with the same job if they wanted to but chose not to do so mainly because they retired for personal reasons like wanting to enjoy life more than working.

Health Problems

If you retire because of health problems, it simply means that your retirement is brought about by the fact that you have a certain illness or ailment.

Boredom With Work

For people who have retired because of boredom, it simply means that your retirement is brought about by the fact that you are fed up or bored with your current job.

When Is the Right Time To Retire?

The answer to when the right time to retire depends on your budget, mentality, and current circumstances.

It also depends whether you retired because of old age or retired voluntarily because you were tired of work.

If you retire because of old age, you need to retire at the right time.

If you retire too early, you might suffer financially because your savings are not enough.

On the other hand, retiring too late means that you have not saved enough for retired life or cannot afford life anymore.

If you retired voluntarily because you were tired of work, retire when you want to.

However, retiring when not ready might lead to financial problems down the road if retired without enough planning and preparation.

But in normal circumstances, age 62 is considered to be the average age people retired in the US.

Is It Better to Work Until You’re 65 or 70 Years Old?

If you retire because of old age, retire at the right time so you don't have to work too long.

But if you retire voluntarily for whatever reasons, retire when you want to, even if that means working until 70 or 65 years old.

This is because retired life becomes more expensive with each passing day.

Benefits of Retirement

Retirement is all about being financially secure and comfortable so retired people can experience a number of benefits:


Financial Security

The most significant benefit is financial security. Once retired, you don't need to work anymore and you have retired pay from Social Security.

Comfortable Living

Retired people now have the time to do anything they want so they are work-free and they now have all their time for themselves.

This means they can now travel around the world or spend their life doing other things instead of working.

More Time for Family and Friends

Retired people have more free time so they have enough time to spend with their family, especially with their grandchildren.

Peace of Mind

Retired people get peace of mind knowing that they do not have to go to the daily grind anymore and work for someone else's dream or vision.

They get time to do things they wanted but never had the time for.

Types of Retirement Plans

Retirement plans vary from person to person. It all depends on what your needs are and how much money you will need in order to feel comfortable when you retire.

It is important to note that these plans are only effective if you have the right knowledge on how these retirement plans work.

This is why it's critical to gain as much knowledge as possible before investing in any plan.

IRA (Individual Retirement Arrangement)

One common retirement plan that many people use is the IRA retirement plan. This plan is an individual retirement account that allows you to save money tax-free.

To be able to qualify for the IRA retirement plan, you need to meet certain requirements that your fund must abide by.

Currently, the requirements imposed on retirement plans is that your income must be below $77,000 if you're single, $123,000 for married couples, and $10,000 for separated couples.

401(k) Retirement Plan

401(k) retirement plans are arrangements that are sponsored by an employer.

The employee contributes a percentage of their income throughout the year to receive matching contributions from the company.

If you work for a company that has retirement plans, it is important to participate as often as possible because the retirement plan offers tax benefits.

403(b) Retirement Plan

These retirement plans work very similarly to a 401(k) retirement plan. However, these arrangements are only offered by nonprofit organizations.

This plan can also be customized to match your retirement needs. You can contribute to your fund through a combination of pretax and after-tax dollars.

This is beneficial because you can save more money without worrying about taxes.

The retirement plan works in a way that you can make contributions from your paycheck and receive matching contributions from the employer.

Finally, the money is invested until retirement when it's time to use them.

Government Retirement Plans

Government retirement plans are arrangements that are sponsored by the government. But, they are only offered to federal employees.

There are certain retirement plans for different workers including the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), and the retirement program that is being used by members of Congress.

Tips for Living in Retirement

Once retired, you need to learn how to maintain a happy life.

One way of doing this is by having enough money that will last you for the rest of your life.

This means it's important to save as much money while working in order to know how much money you'll really need when you retire.

It is also important to have knowledge of how retirement plans work.

This is because it's necessary to be able to maintain a comfortable life.

It is also beneficial for people to learn more about financial planning so they can earn more money through investments so they won't run out of funds.

Final Thoughts

Retirement is one of the most important transitions in a person's life.

It can be highly beneficial if retired people make the right decisions regarding the new phase of their lives.

This way, people can enjoy their life without worrying about anything at all.

As long as the retired manage to stay healthy and have enough money to support themselves then they would be able to live comfortably.

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About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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