For Some People, Working From Home Has Accelerated Their Decision To Retire


In Ms. Janochoski’s case, “retirement looked good,” she said after months of working from home. “I wasn’t going to go before April when I became eligible for my stock options,” he added. “So I chose the end of May and we reviewed the numbers. It made sense.”

Jesse Coffee, an asset advisor at True Private Wealth Advisers, said it was usually clients around the age of 62 who initiated pre-retirement talks with him before the pandemic. “Last year that age dropped to 54 or 55,” he said.

“People understood what was really important,” he said. “If you just want to go out and hike, it doesn’t cost a lot of money. If my lifestyle wouldn’t require that much money, maybe I could move somewhere cheaper, take up low-cost hobbies and retire early. That, and frankly, the market has been great over the last 10 years.”

A consultant’s job, of course, is to calculate whether retirement is possible and what it might look like. However, leaving a career is not an easy decision, especially for people who have risen to a company that does the job they enjoy. Working from home during the pandemic has given some people a sense of what retirement could be like, something they wouldn’t have gotten if they continued to go to the office or travel for work.

“They were allowed to reset and take a step back,” Mr. Leverty said.

There’s no doubt that retiring early will reduce wealth, but it’s a tradeoff for something that might be more time – spending it with family, exploring activities like charity work, or pursuing new interests.

A life-changing event four years ago made Mark Nagel consider retiring as soon as possible. When she slipped on the ice and pulled a muscle, what looked like a minor injury would have resulted in one of her legs being amputated.

“Early retirement has become a necessity at that point,” said Mr. Nagel, 55. “You never know when something will happen. So why wait until next year?


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