For many of us, a happy retirement is one of our top goals and something to look forward to. After decades in the workforce, and the retirement age becoming tantalizing closer when to retire may be on your mind. If you are nearing 65 or looking for an early retirement, consider these factors before making the leap. Retirement is something to look forward to, an opportunity, and an adventure, but it is also an important financial and social decision. If you find yourself nodding along with the following, it may be time to retire.
You are Debt Free and Financially Stable
Entering into retirement financially stable, and without any overhanging debts is one of the best ways to ensure your success. For example, if you own your home, aim to be mortgage-free before you retire. When you retire, you can continue to live at home or sell to release your equity. Establish a financial plan that will allow you to have the retirement you want. By prioritising your ideals and wishes, you can sacrifice on the things you care less about while continuing or starting the things that are important. If you need assistance prior, or during your retirement with financial planning, it is important to get in touch with a financial advisor.
You have a social network outside of work
Leaving work isn’t just about quitting the 9to5, or the morning commute, you also leave behind the positive aspects of the work environment. Friends, colleagues and other social connections from work become a big part of our lives and can become important social networks. Before you retire, try to diversify your circles, including those outside the office. Retiring is a big transition and can feel isolating if you journey alone. An alternative to consider is the social benefits of retirement village living. Without the convenience of workplace friendships, building new ones can feel like an insurmountable task – especially for the introvertedly inclined. Retirement villages combine easy socialisation with like-minded individuals with the privacy and peace of your own space. Retirement never needs to be lonely at a retirement village!
You have talked to your spouse/family about what retiring would mean
Over seven billion people on the planet and the people who know you best are the people closest to you. Before retiring, you need to talk to your spouse and/or family about what the coming years will look like. For example, if you are retiring before your spouse, discuss how that may change the dynamics, or how responsibilities may shift around the home. If you are wanting to downsize and sell your home, chat to your family about what that may look like, and the support you may need. To smoothen the transition, be open and honest about what you want this next chapter to look like.
You have things you want to do
Do you have big plans for retirement? Just want to get the garage cleared out and the garden sorted? Having goals and things to do makes the jump from full-time worker, to full-time retiree a little bit easier. While still at work, leisure time is mostly spent relaxing, catching up on rest and seeing your loved ones. However, when you have as much time as you want to perch in front of the TV, it quickly becomes boring. In fact, a recent survey found that retirees found their new lives boring after just one year. Have a few tasks, events or adventures you would like to accomplish in your retirement to keep the boredom blues at bay!
You Think You Are Ready
In the end, no amount of prepping or lists can tell you what you already know – whether you feel ready. Like all life changes, there is no set time where you are expected to be ready. If you feel ready and have your ducks in a row at 55, listen to yourself and take those next steps. If you are ‘logically’ ready, and are over 65 but still want to be working, keep working. Are you ready to retire?
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