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When should a firefighter retire?

It is a very personal question with no easy answer, as our top responses show


For new recruits, the notion of retirement can seem an impossible distance. But understanding when it is time to go can offer perspective on a new career. To that end, we put the question of when should a firefighter retire to our readers. Here are 10 interesting responses to get the conversation started.

  1. “When you start getting in the way of new ideas and are not open to any new types of training because you think you have done it all.” — Jody Garrard
  2. “I’m so burnt out now. If it wasn’t for health insurance, I would have retired seven weeks ago.” — Theresa Kunerth Kudla Ikels
  3. “When you’re dead.” — Stephen Wilkinson
  4. “When PTSD takes hold and you feel sick and shake at the thought of turning up for your shift.” — Tina Webster
  5. “When the income from your ‘side’ business exceeds the income of your full-time job.” — Jeffrey S. Heckman
  6. “Just make sure you are really ready. I retired too soon, big mistake.” — Randy Meade
  7. “When it’s not fun anymore.” — Walter Jones
  8. “When you’re receiving monthly checks you can live off of so that someone else that needs a paying job can have yours.” — Goldie McQuillan
  9. “When my wife tells me I can, lol.” — Roberto Ignacio Campos Jr.
  10. “The job seems more difficult, your thinking becomes slower, decisions become more difficult to make, and you don’t get as excited as you once did. Then it’s time to walk out of that room, into the next, continue your life and look back on a good career.” — Ken Henke

This article, originally published in 2014, has been updated.

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