The sustained rally in the stock market has some workers thinking about retirement again.
"I've had more people come to me lately and say, 'I'm serious about retirement now. Let me take a look. Would you run a projection for me?'" said financial planner Kelly Graves. "Two or three years ago, nobody was asking that."
Graves said most workers’ 401(k)s and other retirement accounts have regained big losses during the height of the recession and have now surpassed pre-recession levels. Those gains have now put people in a better position to consider retirement, especially those who put off planned retirements over the past few years.
"They're a lot closer to that point and they can start thinking about it," Graves said.
Sara Evans, a Charlotte woman in her early 60s, said she's been paying close attention to her retirement accounts.
"I find myself looking at it every day," she said. "Everybody I know is talking about it."
But Evans and Graves said even those who are now financially able to retire are still hesitant to pull the trigger. They say many workers still play a "what if” game, wondering if another stock market drop is around the corner.
"We're always wondering, ‘Have I recovered enough? Should we stay in, should we get out?’"