How do you know when you are ready to retire?

Have you reached retirement age and now you are wondering if you are ready to retire? Or maybe you have a few years still ahead of you, and you are pondering early retirement?

Of course, everybody is different – what looks great for one person doesn’t work for another, but there are definitely a few common themes to consider…

The big worry for everybody is always finances.

Do you have sufficient money to retire and be able to enjoy life? And that’s the life you really want to live, not a pared down version.

I have to confess – this is probably the part of my job that I love the most! Doing the projections and analysis and being able to tell clients that they can retire – sometimes much earlier than expected, is such a great feeling. Clients are genuinely delighted and often tell me it gives them a newfound freedom.

Knowing you have sufficient money to retire when you want to is very important but it doesn’t mean you have to do it. It just gives you more choices.

So, let’s assume we’ve done the money part. Now what?

You need to reflect on the life you want to live now. There is no doubt that the pandemic has caused many people to reflect. I have had several clients who have decided they no longer wish to work full time in pressured and stressful jobs. Sadly, I have also had some clients who have lost loved ones, and that too, has caused them to reconsider life.

I have a client who retired just last week. I had done the forecast, and he could have afforded to retire three years ago, but he wasn’t ready. He felt he had more in him to give, but last week he was excited about the next steps in his life.

I always recommend clients think about what they will do every day during retirement. I’ve touched on this before and shared the idea of writing a retirement diary – before you retire.

Just write the days of the week over say a one month period and think about what you will do each day. Add in everything – seeing friends and family, hobbies, holidays and so on. Forget any current challenges around what we might be allowed to do and assume everything is back to normal.

Some clients suddenly realise that they are going to be spending a lot of time on the golf course or by the riverbank! And whilst you might like to have more time for leisure pursuits, perhaps not quite as many days as you see in your diary!

It’s always a good idea to have plans rather than be in full time employment on Friday and suddenly a person of total leisure on Monday! I’ve shared some ideas before for you to consider, but you do need to make sure you choose what’s right for you.

One of the biggest challenges when considering retirement is a big step change in who you are.

For clients who have held very senior roles, it can be quite a culture shock to move from a respected and recognised Chief Executive to just John Smith. There’s nothing wrong with doing that – but you need to have got your head around that and made your peace with it.

So, how do you know if you’re ready to retire?

That’s far less about can you afford it, and far more about how excited are you about what is coming next? Can you imagine doing what you have planned for the next 10, 20, 30 or more years? If not, it’s time to make better plans while you are still working.

Retirement should be your ultimate reward for all the years you have been working hard. And, if you’d like some support with your LifePlan, I’d be delighted to help – 01344 875 310.

Start getting a return on your life…

First steps: Take your free Return on Life Index assessment

how do you know when you are ready to retire?
Start getting a return on your life…

First steps: Take your free Return on Life Index assessment