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Here’s When You Can Expect to Retire, Based on Occupation

Retirement often doesn't play out the way we intended. There has been a standing trend of non-retirees planning on retiring earlier than they're actually able to in the end. The average age of retirement right now is 62, although the average age of expected retirement is 66. But, what causes some workers to retire earlier than others? In a perfect world, we would retire because we could afford to do so, but unfortunately, other factors like stress or physical or health limitations are more often the cause.

Retirement often doesn’t play out the way we intended. There has been a standing trend of non-retirees planning on retiring earlier than they’re actually able to in the end. The average age of retirement right now is 62, although the average age of expected retirement is 66. But, what causes some workers to retire earlier than others? In a perfect world, we would retire because we could afford to do so, but unfortunately, other factors like stress or physical or health limitations are more often the cause.

heavy machine operator

(Photo Credit: USFWS/Southeast/Flickr)

Now, a new study of around 37,000 people released by the Michigan Retirement Research Center sheds fresh light on the gap between our expectations for retirement and the reality. Let’s take a closer look at some of the professions that tend to have the earliest retirement ages, according to the data, and a few professions that often find folks continuing to work well past a typical retirement age. Here are a few jobs that stand out.

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First, here are three jobs titles that belong to workers who tend take an early retirement.

1. Registered Nurses.

Nurses work very hard, and their job is demanding on many levels. It’s physically exhausting, and nurses also work long hours and shoulder a great deal of stress. It’s no wonder many of them retire from the profession a little on the early side.

2. Heavy Machine Operators.

Machine operators retire early for several different reasons, mainly that the job is physically demanding. While experience goes a long way in this job, it’s also quite taxing and as a result, it simply isn’t an option for a lot of older workers.

3. Transportation Operators.

Like heavy machine operators, transportation operators are required to have quite a bit of skill in order to ensure the highest level of safety for themselves and others on the job. Efficient use of time and equipment is also a top priority for these workers, who retire earlier than most.

Next, here are three job titles belonging to workers who tend to retire later.

1. Lawyers and Judges.

Although lawyers and judges commonly earn a good enough living to retire earlier if they choose (if they’ve planned properly) according to this data, many often do not. Perhaps it’s because it often takes a while to work up to these job titles, especially in the case of judges. Folks may be reluctant to move along once they’ve finally secured their goal.

2. Writers.

According to the data, writers retire later than most other professionals. Perhaps this is partially because writing is sometimes a profession that people come to later in life, after working in another field first. Also, this line of work is not physically demanding, and age and experience will actually benefit writers in many ways.

3. Musicians and Composers.

As with other job titles on this side of the retirement picture, musicians and composers likely love what they do. When you’re passionate about your work (and that work isn’t too stressful or physically taxing) it’s easier to keep it up well past a typical retirement age.

For more information, be sure to check out the full report.

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When do you plan to retire? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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