Retirement is a stage in life that we all look forward to. The idea of being able to use your time how you see fit is one that you have probably carried since you first entered the working world, even if you are lucky enough to enjoy your current job role. It is the ultimate vacation, but how do know whether you are ready?
Stopping a routine that you have performed for decades isn’t as easy as it may seem. However, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure that you are, in fact, ready to retire. Some of these steps may even prove that you still have some years of hard graft left in you. With that said, what steps should you be taking before deciding to retire? Read on to find out.
Weigh Up Your Finances
Sometimes, you can have a clear picture of what you want to do during your retirement; however, one element can hold you back- money. You should already have a good sense of how your finances are shaping up as you approach retirement, but have you included your new plans into your budget?
It is perfectly reasonable to retire with enough saved to keep yourself fed and warm throughout the next phase of your life, but there is more to retirement than going through the motions. You want to see and do as much as you can, but this does mean that you will need a bigger retirement budget than initially planned.
About two years before you plan to retire, take some time to list the things you want to do before leaving the office for good. Some of these new activities may break your initial retirement budget, and a few more years on the company payroll may be all it takes to ensure that your retirement years are as satisfying as you’d always dreamed.
Think About How You Want To Spend Your Time
Retirement gives you the chance to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and we all have different ideas on what this phase in our life looks like. However, retirement isn’t as easy for some, and it can be difficult to forge a new purpose once you have stopped working full-time. Therefore, it is wise to think about how you are going to use your time moving forward.
Some people choose to volunteer, some travel, and others are happy spending time at home with their friends and family. While these are all sensible ways to spend your free time, you will need to ensure that you are ready to commit to these actions on a full-time basis. If you cannot think of a way to spend most of your time in a way that you will enjoy, then perhaps it isn’t time to give up work just yet. The ideas will come eventually, so don’t rush into things.
Set Up A Side Hustle
The itch to leave behind the nine-to-five lifestyle can sometimes be too strong to overcome but leaving behind the safety blanket of a regular pay check can be stressful. There are some people that never truly retire, but their input in the working world isn’t as strong as it once was.
Setting up a side hustle is a great way to continue to earn money well into your retirement years, even if you aren’t putting in the hours or the effort that you once used to. This method of making more money can be as simple as investing money in a company to earn some passive income or involve teaching your peers some of the basic computer skills you picked up in your career, such as how to turn a JPEG into a PDF. Either way, laying out a safety net like this just a few years before you retire can make these days more comfortable, so take a step back to see what you can accomplish in your time off.
There are times when the decision to retire is out of your hands. Several decades of working can place a toll, and your body is not as equipped to recover from illness as it once was. Therefore, you may have to take voluntary redundancy or retire to stop an underlying condition from progressing further. Lots of people head into retirement with a health condition, and modern medicine can keep you going in a way that you will hardly notice the symptoms of your ailment. However, you will need to play your part too.
Healthcare can be a difficult process to understand, so it is worth doing your research into what care you can receive and whether it is financially viable. Speaking of finances, it is also worth researching health insurance policies to see if you can still get the cover that you need even if you are no longer employed. These aren’t fun topics to get to grips with, but you do not want a small health problem to excel and make your retirement years difficult. Make sure your health concerns are addressed before you leave work to ensure that you are fully equipped to enjoy your retirement to the best of your ability.
Look To Those Around You
Retirement is a chance to spend more time with your loved ones; however, they too will have schedules to adhere to. This is especially true of working spouses. While you may be ready to leave your job behind, your partner may want to keep on working. Leaving work without having someone else to spend your time with can be quite lonely, especially if your family isn’t around.
That is why it is important to look at who you can reliably spend your days with. This might mean that you hold off until your partner is ready to retire so that you can enjoy your golden years together, or that you move house to be closer to those you care about. These decisions can have an impact on your overall retirement plan, so make sure that you have thought about the people in your life before you take the next step. Your decision to retire is going to affect their lives too, after all.
Read Up On The Economy
The local economy is not something that everybody is familiar with. The changes that happen because of the financial reputation of a country are usually so minor that they go unnoticed by most full-time workers. However, the lack of a regular income can mean that these small changes could pose a serious threat to your retirement plan.
It is difficult for the average person to predict how the economy is likely to change, but luckily some experts can help you in this regard. A particular change to your local financial situation could affect how much money you can save, especially if the cost of living rises. Alternatively, a positive change could improve your chance of retiring early, so try to gain an understanding of your economy, and keep a finger on this pulse a few years before you retire to gain a better understanding of how these changes are likely to affect you.
Retirement should be the best years of your life, and they likely will be. Just make sure you address some of the issues above before taking the plunge and you will reap more rewards from your golden years than originally planned.