When Are You Going To Retire?

retirementThe headline is a question I now have heard a few times. I guess it’s a fair question to ask anyone in their 60s or 70s. Many of us in our 60s (and 70s) are vital, strong, and even run for President. Others are burnt out and are looking for an end to their daily work grind.

On a personal basis I have no plan to retire, short or long term. This doesn’t mean I will work forever but I am fortunate to have created a consulting business 17 years ago and am blessed with a wonderful group of clients that I enjoy working with and helping their business. So I intend to “work” until either I chose not to, or my clients dry up. I work because I enjoy working and if at some future time I am unable or unwilling to do so, or I am adding no value to my clients, my point of view could change. Who knows what the future holds for any of us?

But many Baby Boomers are now facing the end of the line of their employment. For some it’s not of their choosing. For others it’s a winding down.

For my Boomer friends I suggest you consider the following issues:

1. Are you ready to retire financially?

The answer to this question is not a superficial one. It requires some financial modeling based on assets, pensions (if any), social security, RMDs etc. You’ll need to model how long the money lasts assuming an expense level (don’t underestimate health expenses).

2. Are you ready to retire emotionally?

No one really wants to golf everyday of one’s life. What activities are you involved in? How will you occupy your time?

3. Do you have options or is your company noodging you out of the door?

Often a graceful retirement is the best solution to the “end of the line” where the employees cost far exceeds their value to the company and the alternative to retirement is termination.

4. Do you have a “second career” ahead?

For many the next chapter is employment in a new field. Have you considered this?

5. Do you live where you want to? Or do you want to move?

Does the big multi-room house really fit your wants and needs any longer? Is your family in a different part of the country and do you wish to live near them? (Note : beware of following children only to be left in an unknown area if they leave)

From everything I’ve read, full-on retirement is not for everyone, whether you are well healed or not. The most important thing anyone needs to do is to do a real inventory of their life, financially and otherwise, and prepare for change ahead. Plan for a long life after retirement and think through how you’d like to the final chapters of your life to play out.

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