The most commonly stated reason to want to retire early is the desire to get more enjoyment out of life.
A survey published on Thursday has found that 43 percent of employees in Finland want to leave active working life well ahead of time.
Those surveyed who would like to retire early wanted, on average, to get out of the workforce 6.4 years before retirement age.
The poll was commissioned by Mehiläinen, a private provider of social and healthcare services.
Mehiläinen’s chief occupational health psychologist Suvi Suortamo considers the results to be a sign that working life is perceived as increasingly stressful and burdensome.
“Work has traditionally been seen as bringing comprehensive wellbeing to a person. This applies when the work and working conditions are favourable for it. The digitisation of jobs challenges mental capacity and many feel that they cannot keep up with the change. According to the 2022 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health’s work life survey, up to one quarter of Finns of working age are at risk of burnout. It is therefore no wonder that long working careers are not attractive,” Suortamo noted in a company press release.
The survey found that the number one reason (68%) people wanted to leave their jobs before retirement age was because they want to get more enjoyment out of life. Health issues were also high on the list among people who fear that they may be forced out of their jobs before retirement age.
Motivation to keep working
A majority of employees see meaningful work and work flexibility as the most important conditions for staying in working life until retirement age.
Many of the employees who responded to the survey feel that motivating salary development and an employer’s health initiatives are even more important prerequisites for a long career.
“It is often thought that an ageing employee is less productive, but ageing in itself does not affect work productivity. Prejudices and stereotypes become stronger when a certain age comes into play. It is assumed that the employee is no longer motivated or willing to change. In my own work, I have noticed that the dialogue between management and the employees is often either completely missing or insufficient. It is worrying that many older people feel that they are not supported in working life,” noted Mehiläinen occupational health psychologist Marja Vidgrén.
The survey, carried out in June by the pollster Taloustutkimus, gathered responses from more than 1,300 members of an panel between the ages of 18-65.