If you look at financial news, you’re going to see something related to retirement.
Retirement is something we talk about from time to time (for a good reason), and today we’re going to discuss nurse retirement age, specifically…
- “What is the best age to retire from nursing?”
- “How long do you have to work as a nurse before you can retire?”
- “Is there an age limit for nursing?”
So, what is the best age for a nurse to retire? The average retirement age is 62, but the best age for a nurse to retire depends on the individual nurse. There are 3 criteria you need to check to determine when you should retire. 1) When you want to retire. 2) When you have enough money saved. 3) When you can no longer do your job.
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Average Age of Retirement
According to Gallup, the average age of retirement in the United States is age 62. A number that continues to keep going up.
It’s been cited that one of the reasons the retirement age continues to keep going up is due to economic reasons and lack of retirement savings.
Factors that Affect Nurse Retirement Age
1. When You Want to Retire
As mentioned above, for nurses thinking about retirement, one of the first places to start is figuring out when you want to retire.
This question is essential because, in a way, asking and answering “when does a nurse want to retire” vs. “what is the best age for a nurse to retire” is dependent on when a nurse is ready to retire.
That might not make sense, so let me explain.
When asked, many Americans said they would like to retire by age 50-55. With the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement, many Americans want to retire even earlier.
If you look at the actual retirement data, Americans are retiring in their 60s primarily related to not having enough saved up.
So, what does this mean for nurses?
It means you need to know when you would like to retire because depending on how early you want to retire, it will determine how much you need to have saved up.
The last point I would like to add is that some nurses might not want to retire even if they have enough money saved.
The reason could be because they really enjoy their job, or they find a sense of identity with their job. Either way is fine. It’s just a matter of understanding what you want.
Top Jobs for Retired Nurses
If you’re close to retirement, make sure to check out our article talking about some of the best jobs for nurses in retirement.
2. When You Have Enough Money Saved for Retirement
Knowing when you want to retire is one thing but having enough money to retire is another.
Almost 50% of Americans are not saving for retirement.
Instead, many Americans are opting to depend on social security for their retirement needs. For many reasons, this is not a good strategy.
Now you might be wondering how much should a nurse have for retirement? You can do a quick internet search, and you’ll find all sorts of answers, but the truth is that it depends on a lot of factors. Every nurse has unique needs, wants, and goals with different family and lifestyle situations.
- A nurse who wants to retire in a major city or coastal area is going to have different financial obligations that will be vastly different from another nurse who wants to retire in the midwest or in a small rural town.
- A nurse who wants to retire and travel is going to have higher expenses than a nurse who doesn’t want to travel during retirement.
I’m using one variable to help highlight this point, but I hope you can see that it’s hard to give a cookie-cutter answer because many people in retirement live very different lives.
This is why I always recommend seeking out a personal finance advisor who can look at your unique situation with your individual goals and help you make a personalized plan. Go here to search for a personal finance advisor.
With that said, I do understand that a general rule of thumb can be good for just giving you an idea of what you need. Here’s a rule of thumb from The Motley Fool.
According to The Motley Fool, the average American worker will need about 80% of their income (before retirement) to live comfortably. If you’re wondering about social security, it will only replace about half of your income for the average worker.
Here’s an Example Based on The Motley Fool Guideline
Let’s run a scenario where you’re making about $100,000 a year pre-retirement.
That means you’ll need $80,000 of income per year for retirement. If you get about $40,000 a year from social security, that means you’ll need to save up enough to get the other $40,000 of income.
I included a calculator below you can use if you want a visual that’s more representative of your actual household income. (Remember the calculator is based on The Motley Fool principle stated above)
For the sake of simplicity, we took out a lot of variables. But once again, make sure to see a personal finance professional to dissect your financial situation properly.
Related: How to Save Money as a Nurse
3. When You Can No Longer Physically, Mentally or Emotionally Do Your Job
Nursing can be a very physically demanding job, especially if you work on a med-surg floor.
It’s so bad that the Washington Post has called nursing one of the most dangerous jobs in America.
Nurses are exposed to a hazardous work environment that ranges from hostile and combative patients to manual lifting and moving that no matter how good your body mechanic is, leaves you susceptible to injuries.
On top of the physical aspects of nursing, it can be a very emotionally and mentally draining job. There’s a reason nurse burnout is so rampant in the nursing profession.
For the reasons mentioned above, once you get to a certain point, you need to gauge your ability to keep doing your job.
If you want to keep working past retirement or you must keep working, there are some options.
For starters, your current nursing job is too physically demanding, look at other nursing specialties such as nurse case management. (You can go here to check out my list of the best jobs for nurses that are retired.)
If your job is too emotionally stressful, try switching departments or looking for a different nursing specialty that is less stressful. To a certain degree, all nursing jobs will have stress, but not all stress is the same…or the same to all nurses.
Make Sure You Can Retire When You Want, and With Dignity
Do you know the answer to this question? Am I going to have enough money to retire when I want? If you don’t know the answer to that question, you need to seek out the help of a financial planner?
You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t retire when you want because you can’t afford it.
The Right Age to Retire, Depends on the Nurse
To bring this all together to answer the question “When is the best age to retire from the nursing profession?” it depends on you. First, figure out when you want to retire from nursing.
After that, figure out how much money you’re going to need in your retirement “nest egg” to be able to do it.
If you must work later into retirement age or if something health-wise happens, try to find another nursing job that might not be as physically demanding.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you found this article helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform. Also, let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
These are some frequently asked questions related to the question “best age to retire from nursing.”