Retirement is one of life’s significant transitions. During your career, you showed up and had a sense of purpose as you nurtured relationships with colleagues. You are energized by your accomplishments because you are good at what you do and others recognize it. You are comforted by a level of financial security from a regular paycheck and the predictable structure of your days, weeks, and years. Sure, it may not be perfect, but you are intellectually stimulated by ever-changing circumstances and challenges.
Then, because of a decision by your boss or “the firm” or by personal choice, you retire. You must now find your life’s meaning and basis of self-esteem elsewhere. The security of your paycheck must come from other sources and you need to find a way to rebuild a structure and intellectual stimulation. Although it can be an exciting new phase of life, it can also bring a healthy dose of anxiety. You may be unaware of the challenges you may face, and you may not be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that may come your way.
Unless you replace what your career provided, understand and address the challenges, and recognize the opportunities, you may not live the retirement you worked so hard to deserve. As is the case with most endeavors, the best way to prepare for the transition, tackle the challenges, and identify opportunities, is to develop a written retirement plan before you retire, practice that plan while you are still working, and begin the retirement planning conversations with those closest to you.
When Should I Retire?
Although retirement timing may be dictated by your employer, one of the choices you may have is deciding when to retire. Ask yourself the following four questions. When the answer to all four is “yes,” then it may be time to retire.
- Do I have enough? Will you have enough money to outlive you and provide financial security?
- Have I had enough? Despite having a successful career, it may no longer light your fire.
- Will I have enough to do? Do you have a written financial plan that promises to be fulfilling?
- Does my spouse want me home 24/7? Have you had the crucial conversations that align with your plan?
There is no right or wrong about if and when to retire. However, at Intelligent Investing, we can help you develop a written plan so you increase your odds you’ll be prepared to make the rest of your life the best of your life.