Is it Time to Retire?
There is no set formula for deciding when it is time to retire, but there are recognizable signs that indicate that the time is right. The challenge is to decide when you are ready psychologically and financially. Prospective retirees must feel confident that they have a plan to manage this life-changing transition without worrying about running out of money or feeling like they are ill-prepared to cope with all the free time at their disposal.
Below are some signs that indicate you are ready for retirement.
While many people focus almost exclusively on preparing financially for the big day when they can pack up their desk and leave the office behind, some people fail to realize how they will be affected by the lack of purpose that can follow for those without definite plans for the future. While the possibilities of a new life can be exhilarating, retirement for many can also be a bit daunting. Before moving forward with retirement, counselors recommend that prospective retirees do some research and make definite plans about goals and dreams they hope to pursue during their golden years.
- You spend a lot of time at work daydreaming about retirement. You do research while you are at work about where you will go and what you will do.
- You envy people who have retired and think about retirement a lot, secretly wishing you were the one checking out of work life.
- When you have a retirement countdown going and know the exact number of days and hours until your retirement, then there is no doubt that you are ready to move onto the next phase of life.
- Planners who have decided on all the details about their golden years including where they will live and how they will spend their days are ready to jump into the next retirement years.
- Employees ready to retire often check out mentally long before they officially leave. They don’t take work as seriously as they once did. Their priorities and mindset shift to the future, leaving the stress and corporate life behind in their hearts and minds.
- Prepared retirees are debt-free and ready to move forward knowing they have paid off bills to reduce their overhead and prepare for a fixed income lifestyle.
- Retirees who finally pay off their homes and cars are positioned to enjoy a more carefree retirement with minimal living expenses for basics such as food, utilities and clothing.
- Dependent expenses necessary for college-age children, parents, special needs’ children and other important family members are factored into the expense equation with a practical budget that allows for these types of family expenses.
- Adequate and reliable health insurance and disability coverage is in place so that health-related expenses are not a problem in the future. Supplemental insurance as necessary is also established to cover possible gaps in coverage.
- A workable retirement budget has been established and tested. This budget includes quarterly and monthly expenses. Surprise expenses and inflations are also factored in to the budget since these types of expenses can negatively impact any budget.
In a perfect world, retirement is a magical, carefree period of time where people who have worked hard all their life finally get to do exactly what they want. The challenge that many retirees face is that they are not psychologically ready for the actual day-to-day life of a retiree. Dreams about retirement and actual retirement can be quite different. People who have spent thirty or forty years living in a very structured way can find all of the time ahead of them a bit intimidating unless they have definite plans about how they will spend their days and nights.
When a retiree is prepared financially, then meeting the psychological challenges of adjusting to a major lifestyle change is much easier. For people who can relate to all of the signs above, taking a leap of faith is the only thing holding them back from finally embracing the freedom and adventure that retirement represents. Lucky retirees will spend as many years retired as they did working for a living.