Many Americans look forward to the day when they can walk away from the old "9-to-5" and pursue life at their own pace in retirement. Others, however, are so stimulated by their work and workplace associations that they dread the thought of retirement.

The American worker has a great deal of flexibility in choosing when to retire. Employer-sponsored retirement plans generally contain provisions that allow retirement at age 55. Social Security old-age benefits are available at age 62 but provide increased benefits for workers who delay receipt of benefits. Although mandatory retirement age is, for most, a thing of the past, some workers are offered early retirement packages that are often too good to refuse.

The right age to retire can differ for each of us, though, depending on our particular situation. Important considerations include financial readiness, tax considerations, and company retirement plan rules. One will also need to account for personal concerns such as longevity and health, lifestyle choices and goals, and the desire to leave a bequest. This module addresses these factors and how they affect those who retire early, those who retire late, and those who continue working after formal retirement.

Attention is also given to the corporate "window plans" that create incentives for employees to retire early. The typical features of these plans and a framework for analyzing them are examined.

About the Author

David Mannaioni, CFP®, MPASSM is a professor at the College for Financial Planning. Utilizing his 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry, David also maintains a financial planning practice where he works with his clients in all areas of financial planning. In addition to his certifications, David holds life and health insurance licenses in several states, as well as the Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 registrations with FINRA. You can contact David at

Complexity Level: Overview