Take This Job, I'm Retiring

The pandemic and bull market have led to an increase in the number of workers who are retiring. You might call it the Gray Resignation.

worker pushing his chair away and running away with his box of belongings
(Image credit: Illustration by Iker Ayestaran)

Perhaps you have heard by now about the Great Resignation, the term coined to describe the mass exodus of workers who have left their jobs in recent months. Employers are scrambling to retain their employees or attract new ones, and in the service industry, “Help Wanted” signs, with promises of bonuses and other perks, are as ubiquitous as hand sanitizer.

Although many workers have switched to jobs offering better pay and benefits, some who have left a job may never return to work, thanks to a secondary trend that could be characterized as the Gray Resignation. In the third quarter of 2021, 50.3% of adults older than age 55 were retired, up from 48.1% in 2019, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. Nearly 67% of adults between age 65 and 74 were retired in the third quarter, up from 64% during the same period in 2019.

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Sandra Block
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.