While we know that retirement is inevitable, it can be hard to know when is the best time to make the final decision. It’s a big lifestyle change that will start an entirely new chapter in your life. Some people want to work for the rest of their lives but most people reach a point where retirement is the best option for their emotional and physical health. It can be hard to understand when the time has come for you to retire, though.  

Are you ready to retire? Let’s dive into 10 emotional signs that will help you make the best decision for yourself.  

How do you know it’s time to retire? 

Some people get a gut feeling that it’s time to call it quits with their careers and enter retirement. For others, it can be hard to know if you’re making the right decision. While finances and planning should play a crucial part in your decision to start a new chapter, there are also many emotional signs you are ready to retire.

Take a look at this list of emotional signs below. If you find yourself agreeing with the majority of them, retirement might be the best decision for your overall happiness and life satisfaction in the future.  

Sign 1: Feeling burnt out 

It’s no surprise that working for a lifetime can leave you feeling extremely exhausted and burnt out. If you find yourself constantly feeling lethargic and tired from your job, it may be time to slow down and consider retirement. Burnout is a serious issue that comes with being forced to work too much for too long. It can affect happiness and health in general, therefore it is an important thing to address.  

Sign 2: Experiencing increased stress, depression, or irritability

As we get older, our desire to relax and live life to the fullest gets a lot stronger. If you find yourself getting more stressed, depressed, or irritable, it’s a definitive sign that your current lifestyle isn’t working for you. Those are all unstable feelings that will negatively affect your happiness and well-being over time. If you find these feelings growing stronger as you near retirement age, it may be a sign you are emotionally ready to retire.  

Sign 3: Stress-related health issues 

Stress can be extremely dangerous to your health. Some health issues associated with elevated stress levels include high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Your health is incredibly important especially as you age. Reducing stressors like a demanding career will help ensure your retirement years will be healthy and happy.  

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Sign 4: Difficulty focusing and issues with productivity 

If you find it harder and harder to focus and just do your work, it could be a sign the time is coming to retire. As people get closer to retirement, they find themselves experiencing frequent issues with focus and overall productivity. 

Sign 5: Decreased interest in hobbies and activities outside of work 

As we age and near the average retirement age, many people experience lower energy levels. Sometimes this leads to work taking up most of our energy resulting in a decreased interest in hobbies and other non-work-related activities. It is very difficult to feel happy and fulfilled when your entire life is based on work. Retirement grants plenty of time to indulge in your favorite hobbies and activities you feel passionate about.  

Sign 6: Desire to make a major life change 

If you find yourself yearning to change things up and start a new routine outside of your career, retirement may be in your near future. Retirement is a major life change and it is not a decision to take lightly but if you find yourself with a growing and increasing desire to start a new chapter, you should consider taking the leap. 

Sign 7: Feelings of disconnect from colleagues 

As we near the typical age of retirement, we start to feel less connected to our job and colleagues. What once brought us drive and motivation, also helped us feel connected to those we work with. However, if you’re starting to feel a growing distance between you and your colleagues it could very well be because you are starting to focus on different desires outside of your career. Feeling disconnected from your colleagues and organization will likely continue to grow until you do decide to retire. 

Sign 8: Wanting to spend more time with loved ones

Many people around retirement age have children and grandchildren. It can be hard to focus on your career when you want to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones. Family and friends often take the backseat when your priority is your career. If you find yourself wanting to spend more time with family, friends, and loved ones, it’s a good sign to start considering and preparing for retirement.  

Sign 9: Lack of fulfillment from job and routine

At one point or another in your career, you likely experienced significant feelings of fulfillment and pride in your job. However, feeling unfulfilled in your job and routine is a good sign you need to make some changes. If you are nearing the normal age for retirement, it may be just the life change you need to start feeling excited about your life again.  

Sign 10: Losing passion and motivation for your job 

When we first start our careers, we tend to be filled with passion and motivation for the work we do and the organizations we work for. We’re excited to grow with the company and achieve great things in our careers. At a certain point, we often feel we’ve done all that we set out to do. This is a good sign that you may be ready to start a new chapter that’s more focused on things outside of work.  


Retirement is an exciting time to start spending more time with loved ones, relaxing at home, and pursuing passions and hobbies outside of work. Many people spend decades saving and preparing financially for retirement but it can be difficult to know if you are emotionally ready to retire. Think about the signs listed in this article to help you make the decision and feel confident in knowing you are doing it at the right time.