Retirement is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.
An increasing number of individuals are choosing to put off this point of total retirement, by selecting to exist in the emerging state of pre-tirement.
Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when bodily conditions no longer allow the person to work any longer (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position. In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Previously, low life expectancy and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death. Germany was the first country to introduce retirement benefits in 1889.
In the United States, while the normal retirement age for Social Security, or Old Age Survivors Insurance (OASI), historically has been age 65 to receive unreduced benefits, it is gradually increasing to age 67. For those turning 65 in 2008, full benefits will be payable beginning at age 66. Public servants are often not covered by Social Security but have their own pension programs. Police officers in the United States are typically allowed to retire at half pay after only 20 years of service or three-quarter pay after 30 years, allowing people to retire in their early forties or fifties. Military members of the US Armed Forces may elect to retire after 20 years of active duty. Their retirement pay (not a pension since they can be involuntarily called back to active duty at any time) is calculated on total number of years on active duty, their final pay grade and the retirement system in place when they entered service. Allowances such as housing and subsistence are not used to calculate a member's retired pay. Members awarded the Medal of Honor qualify for a separate stipend, regardless of the years of service. Military members in the reserve and US National Guard have their retirement based on a point system.
Many factors affect people's retirement decisions. Retirement funding education is a big factor that affects the success of an individual’s retirement experience. Social Security clearly plays an important role because most individuals solely rely on Social Security as their only retirement option, when Social Security’s both trust funds are expected to be depleted by 2034. Knowledge affects an individual’s retirement decisions by simply finding more reliable retirement options such as, Individual Retirement Accounts or Employer-Sponsored Plans. In countries around the world, people are much more likely to retire at the early and normal retirement ages of the public pension system (e.g., ages 62 and 65 in the U.S.). This pattern cannot be explained by different financial incentives to retire at these ages since typically retirement benefits at these ages are approximately actuarially fair; that is, the present value of lifetime pension benefits (pension wealth) conditional on retiring at age a is approximately the same as pension wealth conditional on retiring one year later at age a+1. Nevertheless, a large literature has found that individuals respond significantly to financial incentives relating to retirement (e.g., to discontinuities stemming from the Social Security earnings test or the tax system).
Although the 4% initial portfolio withdrawal rate described above can be used as a rough gauge, it is often desirable to use a retirement planning tool that accepts detailed input and can render a result that has more precision. Some of these tools model only the retirement phase of the plan while others can model both the savings or accumulation phase as well as the retirement phase of the plan. For example, an analysis by Forbes reckoned that in 90% of historical markets, a 4% rate would have lasted for at least 30 years, while in 50% of the historical markets, a 4% rate would have been sustained for more than 40 years.