In a 2012 survey, 50 percent of current retirees said they retired earlier than they had planned, up from 45 percent in 2011.
Many retirees reported reasons that were beyond their control, such as health problems or disability, company downsizing or closure, changes in the skills required for their jobs, or having to care for a spouse or family member. Yet some said they retired early by choice – because they could afford to or because they wanted to do something different.
If you're nearing the end of your working years, you probably have a retirement timetable in mind. It may be as specific as a particular date or as general as a range of years. Regardless of your timetable, circumstances could change – as the experience of current retirees demonstrates – and retirement might come sooner than you think.
- Written by Charles Sims Jr.