‘NCIS’: How Gibbs Will Know It’s Time to Retire

Gibbs thought about retiring from NCIS a few years ago. How will he know when the time is right? Here’s what the experts told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

Gibbs will know it’s time to retire when he doesn’t want to work anymore

Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS |  Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

Right now, it seems like Gibbs still desires to work. At one point, he even hinted at working for NCIS until he dies. He takes his commitment to the agency seriously.

During a session with his therapist, Dr. Grace Confalone (Laura San Giacomo) in season 16, episode 23 (titled “Lost Time”), she asks him when he plans to retire, and he says he doesn’t have any plans. However, if he gets to the point where he feels like he’s done working, he’ll know it’s time, according to Alejandro “Alex” Masferrer, financial adviser for Persevere Planning Group.

“Some individuals feel they have accomplished everything they set out to do professionally and decide it’s time to retire,” says Masferrer. “I advised the patriarch of a family business who felt he had taken the company he started to where he could. His two children had been managing it effectively and he felt he was getting in the way of their growth. We did extensive planning and he was able to walk away fulfilled by his work.”

It’s time for Gibbs to go when he feels like there’s nothing left to accomplish

When Gibbs feels like his work is done, he’ll be ready to hang up his hat and leave NCIS. It’s possible he might be getting close to that stage. He says he’s not ready to go, but if there’s not much else to do and he’s gone as high as he wants to go in his career, he could say goodbye.

Alex Azoury, founder and CEO of Home Grounds, says when you feel like there’s nothing more to learn or do in your career, it might be time to move on. “The number one sign it is time to retire is when you feel like you have no more upward mobility, or no desire for it. You feel you have learned all you care to about your field, and that your best work is behind you.”

Things seem to have come full circle for Gibbs. Now that he has returned the favor to Ziva and he killed someone for her, could this be a sign his best work is behind him?

Gibbs will be ready when he has the money to retire

Mark Harmon and Wilmer Valderrama | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images
Mark Harmon and Wilmer Valderrama | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

We don’t know too much about Gibbs’ financial situation. However, there was a time he recently mentioned money during NCIS Season 17, Episode 19 (titled “Blarney”). This episode took place during St. Patrick’s Day, and when Bishop noticed he wasn’t wearing green, she says, “Hey Gibbs, where’s your green?” He responds by saying, “In my wallet.” So, at least we know he has a few bucks in his wallet.  

“Leave the workforce when you don’t need the income and/or you’re no longer reaping the rewards of purpose and passion that were in the job,” says Jerry Cahn, CEO and CLO of Age Brilliantly. “Then it’s time to pivot and use your time for the things you may have put off (e.g., travel) or new things you’ve discovered are of interest.” We’re guessing when Gibbs retires, he’ll be spending a lot of time working on his boat.

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