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Retire vs. Quit: Fun with Google Insights for Search

Last updated by on 4 Comments

If you haven’t played around with Google Trends at all, it’s a pretty fun and ‘insightful’ tool.

I did a search for ‘quit my job’ and one for ‘retire early’ to compare the trends against each other (not that I’m thinking of either, of course).

Insights for search measures relative search demand for a given search query over time. And you can compare it to others.

Well, take a look at the two terms. You’ll find ‘retire early‘ in blue and ‘quit my job‘ in red. Both over the time period of 2004 to present.



‘Quit my job’ searches were once half of ‘retire early’ searches. Now they are four times as frequent. This is very surprising, particularly in this economy. It goes to show that just ‘having’ a job is not as satisfying as one might expect. Hardship does not equate to job loyalty.

According to the job placement firm, Manpower, a startling 84% of employees plan to look for a new position in 2011 (up from 60% last year). That seems ridiculously high, but it’s consistent with the Google insights. Employers, what are you doing?! Pick up your game and start focusing on retention and treating your people well!

On the other hand the demise of ‘retire early’ interest is not surprising at all. With the baby boomer’s retirement savings all but disappearing, it’s no surprise that fewer people are having the thought.

At what point did relative interest in the two queries intersect? Just before the great recession in 2008. Coincidence? Doubtful. Insightful? Absolutely!

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I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You can also explore every post I have written, in order.

  • Chad says:

    10% unemployment means employers treat their employees like shit while working them twice as hard.

  • Brian Carl says:

    There’s an old saying that says, “Stats don’t lie, but statisticians do”

    When looking at a stat like this, it’s important to think about how much the internet has evolved and expanded since 2004. I’d be interested to see how the increasing amount of people from lower income brackets having reliable internet access is affecting these numbers.

    However, your statistics are very interesting. Great site, keep up the good work.

  • Mike In Claremore says:

    Hate your job? I do.

    Stressed till you can’t think straight! I am frequently.

    Got Debt? Used to, but not any more.

    Retirement Date: 2020

    Quiting Date: November 30, 2011

    My point is if you hate your job and you are stressed into a near-stroke, don’t take it anymore. But don’t just quit until you are ready.

    Figure out what you really need to live on, stop buying “stuff” and putting thing on credit. Use a debt stacking plan (see authors like Dave Ramsey for instructions) to get free of existing debt. And put money away until you have at lease a year’s worth of what it takes to live.

    Then start working on your new life work.

    When the debt is gone and you have the savings, give notice and say good-bye to your job.

    Today is October 13, 2011 and I have give notice that November 30, is my last day.

    You can do it too. Don’t die sitting at your desk.


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