Deciding on when to retire is not only a financial question but it is important to think about the emotional side of retirement too! After all, in retirement, every day is a Saturday! Let’s put money aside and consider if you are emotionally ready to retire.
We are creatures of habit, most likely you’ve spent the past thirty years driving the same route to work, working at the same desk, doing similar tasks day in and day out, to return home to your family each night. Retirement will require a whole new set of habits. The transition from a structured to an unstructured lifestyle can be unnerving if you are not prepared. Typically, retirement sounds like one big dream or vacation and can be so for about a month, maybe two. I have experienced this with my clients after the first 60 days, the realization that they are not returning to work sets in and sometimes causes anxiety. If you establish a plan in advance, the transition can be much less stressful. Here are some key issues to consider:
Set lifestyle goals. Make a list of things you would love to do in retirement. Next, write down how much time you currently devote to these activities. If you are not currently devoting any time to the things you identified, consider how realistic your retirement pursuits are and just how much they mean to you. Typically, the things you do in retirement will be more of the activities you already do in your spare time.
Build a support system. Retirement could last 30 to 40 years, so it is vital that you have a good support system through this phase of life. Make time to socialize with your friends.
Consider your spouse’s feelings. This is often the most important consideration regarding retirement. Talk with your spouse candidly to see if their ideas of retirement match yours. The most common problem I see is when one spouse retires early and the other continues to work. Openly discuss the expectations of one another when it comes to household chores and additional activities or outings.
Ask yourself: Am I emotionally ready to retire? If not, consider personally what you need to do to prepare yourself now.
Information in this material is for general information only and not intended as investment, tax or legal advice. Please consult the appropriate professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation prior to making any financial decision.
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