Kirkwood Community College
There are many questions that everyone should ask themselves in anticipating what lies ahead when considering retirement. Some of those might be how well you like what you are doing right now professionally, and if you are really ready to move on to an all new path in your life. If your answer to that is yes, then you must consider if you can maintain the same lifestyle you have become accustomed to with your present income.
If not, you need to seriously decide if you are willing to sacrifice your present life style. If you are married, this would be a good time to have a serious discussion with your spouse. You must also ask a working spouse if they are ready and willing to retire. Using a good financial adviser might be a good step at this time in your planning.
Health issues can also be a very important part of whether you need to seriously consider retirement, especially if it is difficult to continue your present employment.
Depending on the answer to this question, you might consider where you plan to live. Are you considering a retirement community or are you going to be perfectly happy living where you are now.
Lots of questions should be raised regarding this issue. What are your hobbies? What kind of climate are you planning to live in and if you want both a winter and a summer home, can you afford it? If your hobbies are some that require a certain type climate, that might be a determining factor in your decision.
Another question that always comes up in these discussions whether single or married, is do you want to live close to your children or grandchildren if you have a family. Many people decide their location on that basis, but then you have to decide who are you going to live close to if you have more than one child and they don't live close to one another, which is very likely in this day and age.
Leaving family for a moment you must also ask: Do I, or we, plan to do volunteer work or work part time? If so what that might that be and have you given any thought to that possibility? Do you think you would work well together or volunteer in similar duties? If so, do you think that would work if you have never worked together in the past?
If you are thinking that relocating to an all new place, you must give considerable thought to giving up friendships you have developed over the years where you are presently located, including your working colleagues.
Consider how active and involved you are in your present communities, churches, schools as well as your place of work. Giving all of that up could create loneliness or all of a sudden realizing that this is a total life change and might be a very difficult adjustment.
If you can afford to live in two locations, many people have discovered that is a great way to make the adjustment in to retirement. It gives you an opportunity to meet new people in a new environment and still come home for a good part of the year and rejoin old friends and colleagues.
If you are at this stage in your life, plan carefully and do not decide on age alone and think you should retire just because you have qualified for a retirement plan or that you are now eligible for social security benefits. Whatever you do, you must continue to have purpose in your life and not just spend all day in front of a TV or some other very passive activity. That will lead to boredom and you might lack any sense of accomplishment.
When the time comes, plan very carefully, so you make the right decision at the right time. Very thoughtful planning can lead to great enjoyment in your retirement years.