Whichever way you think of retirement you have to figure out exactly what it means to you. The difference could be whether or not you can transition into retirement smoothly or be bored out of your mind wondering “What was I thinking?”
Most people think of retirement as age 65. Anything before that is considered an early retirement. People do this regardless of whether or not they love their job and the satisfaction it gives them on a daily basis. What’s in a number anyway?
Over the years as much as retirement is discussed on a regular basis with our clients or at seminars, we can tell you with much certainty that people in general do not give enough thought as to why they are retiring. Money is certainly thought about a lot and how much is needed to retire comfortably (although not early enough in our experience). But if you don’t really think how you will fill up 24 hours in a day, seven days a week, 365 days in a year for maybe 30 years or more years you may find yourself getting a rude awakening.
We are currently going through the biggest transition in history with more people retiring than ever before. This in itself is not the problem. In the past you were lucky to live a couple of years after retirement so trying to fill up your time was not the issue. Trying to stay healthy and alive was more of a concern. Today it is common to hear of people living into their nineties and beyond. My own mother lives independently at 89 years young. Who knew? My maternal grandmother died in her fifties while my grandfather died in his seventies. Not a lot to think about back then especially since you really can’t stop working when you live on a farm.
So what is the rush in retiring? Isn’t the plan about being financially able to retire rather than actually stopping work? We have had a number of clients retiring over the last few years still trying to figure out what’s next. While retirement was what they thought they wanted, the novelty of it wears off pretty quickly for some and they find that staying home with no real purpose is quickly losing its appeal.
So while you ponder your reasons for retirement, think about transitioning your life into retirement as more of a journey. Leave out the age your career ends but rather the age you want your new life to begin. It all starts with a plan in mind.
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