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4 Ways to Know You’re Ready for Retirement

If you're nearing the age of 65, chances are that you are seriously considering retirement. However, according to a recent study, 40 percent of employees over the age of 65 who had previously retired decided to go back to work" for some reason. Maybe retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be, or perhaps the pandemic created unforeseen expenses that ate into retirement savings plans. Whatever the case, today we'll discuss 4 ways to know you're ready for retirement and how to appropriately plan for it.

1. You've Checked All the Boxes

Goals are important, especially when it comes to planning for retirement. It's important to put a target date on the calendar. It's also important to know how much needs to be saved, but there's really more to it than that. Even when you've met your financial goals, some people are wary about spending the rest of their days "at home."

As such, if you're starting to think about retirement, there are a few more things you may want to consider before taking that final leap.

  • When will your children graduate from college?
  • When will your spouse retire?
  • Will social security benefits be enough to accommodate your lifestyle?
  • Have you discussed a transition plan with your employer?
  • Have you written a will?
  • Have you created an estate plan? 
  • What will you do if you don't have to go to work every day?

Only after you've considered these things and be able to confidently "check the boxes" will you be able to successfully transition into a fulfilling retirement.

2. You're Prepared to Tackle a Little Separation Anxiety

We find that many people are ready to retire from their current career, but aren't always prepared for the separation anxiety that follows. In fact, this is one of the key reasons that so many retirees return back to the workplace as retirement can become "boring" to those who have spent the last 30-40 years waking up early and driving into the office.

As such, you're only truly ready for retirement when you have a plan for how you'll spend your days post-career. Whether you choose to travel, spend more time with the grandchildren, write a book or take on a new challenge, having a plan in place makes the transition to retirement much easier.

3. You're Comfortable with Ambiguity

We've heard a lot of people proudly proclaim that once they retire, they'll finally be in control, and we can't help but chuckle. Most people spend their entire working career being thrown into situations that make them uncomfortable or situations where they're not in control. You might think that by retiring, you will finally be in control of your life. However, we find that most people who go into retirement with this mindset quickly get bored with mundane routines and are ready to find another job.

With that said, we find that you're ready for retirement when you are finally comfortable with ambiguity - when you recognize that life is more interesting when you don't know what is coming at you next. When you take on life as if it's an adventure, not only will you enjoy retirement more, but you'll also be able to accomplish something you never thought possible.

4. You're Content Doing Your Own Thing

We find that when people enter retirement, that they are sometimes surprised at how lonely it can be, especially if you're the first of your social circle to take the leap. As such, you'll know you're ready for retirement when you're content in being alone and doing your own thing without anyone else to have your back. Whether you want to try a new hobby or explore a local event, be prepared to go solo. If someone wants to join you, awesome! But, we find that mentally preparing to continue life on your own is an important mental step when it comes to retirement.

At the end of the day, recognize that while money is important, it's not the only thing that will determine how you enjoy retirement. Financial readiness is only one step in becoming emotionally ready for retirement.

If you are starting to think about retirement, make sure that you've also started the estate planning process. Not sure where to get started? Contact one of our estate lawyers in Raleigh NC, at Eldreth Law Firm PC. We are estate planning lawyers that can aid in helping you and your family makes the right choices for your loved ones.


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