Many factors go into retirement decisions.
Often, people are stressed over whether they’ll have enough money or other resources to retire. That’s certainly one factor in retirement. And, given the savings statistics, this might be a factor contributing to retirement stress. According to a survey done in 2013, the mean amount of retirement savings for a family between 56 and 61 years of age was only $17,000. But, many financial professionals would recommend far more in retirement savings.
Let’s say you’ve followed the advice of financial experts and you are financially ready to retire. That’s just a first step. There are other pieces of the puzzle for you to relax in your retirement.
You need to have your estate planning up-to-date so that you can rest easy when you’re traveling or when you’re at playing with your grandchildren, or spending time with your parents.
You need to decide what you’ll do in retirement.
- How will you spend your days?
- Do you have hobbies?
- Do you have activities which you enjoy?
- How will you get social interaction?
- Some retirees do this through religious groups
- Some go back to school
- Some join activity-based clubs, like golf, tennis, or swimming
- How will you feel productive?
- Some people work part-time
- Some people travel the world doing volunteer work
- Some people care for children, grandchildren, or parents
Financial issues are only one factor in choosing the timing of your retirement. Just because you have enough money in the bank or a pension does not mean that you’re ready to retire. You need to be psychologically and emotionally ready for the changes in retirement. It’s common for those in a workaday environment to think about what it would be like to be able to slow down. But, many people who have the opportunity to retire find that it is not what they expected. Some are unhappy and return to work for the interaction it provides.
Retirement, like anything else, requires a plan to get to your goal. It requires a goal and a plan for the financial aspects and it requires a goal and plan for the social and psychological aspects.
Regardless of your timing and your way of looking at retirement, you must have a plan. In that way, retirement is much like estate planning. If you want things to unfold the way you want, you need to have a plan and think it through. Retirement can be a special time in life, when you have more flexibility and freedom to do the things you want to do, if you plan for the financial, social, and psychological aspects of retirement.