Are You Really Ready For Retirement?

Are You Really Ready For Retirement?

Retirement means many different things to many different people.  For some, it’s a physical necessity.  Your body can no longer withstand the day-to-day wear and tear that comes with your job.  For others it’s a long-awaited opportunity to do the things you didn’t have time for - traveling, spending time with your grandchildren, gardening, woodworking, and let’s not forget, sleeping in.  But be careful what you wish for.  Most of us have no idea what the realities of retirement are.  So a take a few minutes and consider the following:

  1.  Do you really have an agenda or do you just have a pipe dream?  Retirement without a concrete plan can sometimes lead to sleeping late and drinking early.  Not a good path to go down.  Really give some thought to how you’re going to fill your days (and nights!).  Most people can’t afford to endlessly travel the world and you can only play so much golf, pickleball, bridge, tennis, etc.   Also, as much as your children and grandchildren love you and want to see you, they have lives to lead that don’t necessarily include you on a daily basis.
  2. What about your wife/husband/partner?  How will they feel about having you around 24/7?  I’m sure you could charm the birds out of the trees, but everyone needs their own space.  Consider what the new logistics of your relationship might look like.
  3. What aspects of your former life will you miss?  The social facet?  The challenges and authority that came with your position?  The camaraderie of your team?  The friendships that can develop with co-workers can be missed as much as any familial relationship.
  4. What will make you want to get out of bed each day?  Everyone needs something to look forward to and be excited about.  What will it be for you?  There are countless ways to give back such as volunteering or mentoring but, quite frankly, not everyone is suited to those types of tasks.
  5. And finally, finances.  It always seems to come back to money.  Are you financially prepared to stop working?  Have you considered all of the implications of collecting  Social Security at 62 versus 70?  Do you have enough money put aside to last 10, 20, or even 30 years?  Having a sound financial plan prior to pulling the retirement trigger is imperative.

Retirement can be a rich and rewarding time in your life or it can be a nightmare.  When considering this stage make sure to do your homework.  Think through all aspects of how this might impact not only you but all of those people around you.

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