Retirement can feel like the crowning achievement of a long and prosperous career, but it’s also a significant life transition that can bring about a wide range of emotions – from excitement to anxiety and a sense of loss. This torrent of emotions and uncertainty often grows as retirement draws closer. Consequently, a common question many financial planners hear from their clients is: “Am I ready to retire?"
Financial planning is a crucial aspect of transitioning into retirement. However, determining if you're ready to retire should involve evaluating both financial and emotional aspects. Our financial planners in Appleton have put together a list of aspects to consider.
Savings and Investments
Determine if your retirement savings and investments are sufficient. This includes IRAs, 401(k)s, pension plans, etc. Compare your income from these accounts and assess if it comfortably covers your expenses.
Review any debts you have not paid off, like mortgages and credit card balances. It’s ideal to pay off any high-interest debt prior to retiring.
Assess your healthcare expenses, such as insurance deductibles, premiums, and potential long-term care costs. Determine if you are adequately covered by insurance, especially if you retire before you are eligible for Medicare (Medicare eligibility begins at age 65).
Develop a grasp on how Social Security benefits work. When deciding when to start taking benefits, ask yourself the following questions: When is the optimal age to start getting benefits? Should I delay my benefits to increase my monthly payments?
Identity and a Sense of Purpose
Many people equate a large portion of their identity and self-worth with their careers. As such, many retirees have a difficult time adjusting to their new roles, resulting in feelings of inadequacy and a loss of purpose. Before you decide to retire, make sure you are ready for the adjustment and have developed the interests, relationships, and new goals you need to derive purpose and meaning during this new life stage.
As many retirees no longer interact with colleagues on a daily basis, feelings of isolation may take root. Additionally, because family and friends may still work, social interactions may feel even more limited. To avoid feelings of loneliness, make certain you have a meaningful and reliable social network during retirement.
Reflect on the activities and hobbies you plan to pursue in retirement. Consider whether you have a fulfilling post-retirement plan. This can include things like volunteering, working part-time, traveling, and spending time with your friends and family.
Some people find it easier to gradually transition into retirement. If you think that such a radical shift in your routine may be difficult to process, consider slowly reducing your work hours or seeking a part-time job or consulting role before full retirement.
This blog is meant only to provide general guidance. If you would like personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and unique needs, contact us today - our financial planners would love to help.
The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.