In Ms. Janochoski’s case, after months of working from home, retirement looked “good,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave until April when my stock options vested,” she added. “So I picked at the end of May and we went through the numbers. It made sense. “
Jesse Coffee, a wealth advisor at True Private Wealth Advisers, said it was generally clients around 62 years of age who had pre-retirement talks with him prior to the pandemic. Last year, that age dropped to 54 or 55, he said.
“People have realized what is really important,” he said. “If you just want to go out and hike it doesn’t cost a lot of money. If my lifestyle doesn’t require that much money, maybe I can move to a cheaper place, have some cheap hobbies, and retire early. That and, to be honest, the market has been great for the past 10 years. “
The job of a consultant is of course to calculate whether retirement is even possible and what it might look like. But especially for people who grew up in a company and do a job that they enjoy, it is not an easy decision to leave the job. Working from home during the pandemic gave some people a taste of what retirement might be like, something they would not have gotten if they had kept going to the office or traveling to work.
“They are allowed to sit back and take a step back,” said Mr. Leverty.
He said there was no question that early retirement would reduce wealth, but that is a tradeoff for what could be more time – spending time with family, exploring activities like community service, or pursuing new interests.
A life changing event four years ago made Mark Nagel consider retiring as soon as possible. When he slipped on the ice and pulled a muscle, what appeared to be a minor injury resulted in the amputation of one of his legs.
“There was compulsory early retirement,” says Nagel, 55. “You just never know when something will happen. So why wait until next year?