Retirement is a big life transition that changes the way you and your family take on the world. But all too often people choose to retire without truly examining their motivations. Just because your age matches that arbitrary magic number that says you are allowed to withdraw retirement money without penalties, or that you can now start receiving Social Security, doesn’t mean you have to retire.
One of the top 10 reasons people flunk retirement, according to the book “Don’t Retire, REWIRE!” by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners, is they are overcome with boredom.
Prior to retirement, work can structure your time, be a source of intellectual stimulation, provide social contacts, contribute to an identity and build your self-esteem. In retirement you have to make your own schedule, your own goals and your own routines. Work also provides an outlet for the energy that drives you. People work for more than just money. You should have an understanding of what drives you.
Before retiring consider the following questions:
- How might you feel to not have a purpose for getting up each day?
- How might you or your spouse miss your title/perks?
- How might not having other people come to you asking for advice make you feel?
- How will the loss of structured time affect you?
- How will retirement affect friendships and connections you have made in the workplace?
As you begin to think about what work does for you, you can begin to understand why retiring can leave you unsettled. Leaving full or part-time work can be a major life transition. In our society, you are what you do. Stop doing it, and you may lose your sense of self.
Hopefully your retirement experience will be the one you’ve always dreamed of. If you are worried about whether you are ready to retire, or if retirement isn’t what you expected, consider contacting a Certified Financial Planner. They can help you evaluate all the aspects related to your retirement years and create a comprehensive and personalized plan especially for you.
Change – This is the last week that Social Security will send out paper checks to recipients. Beginning March 1, 2013, benefit checks will no longer be mailed. The first Social Security check was cut in 1937 (source: Social Security Administration, BTN Research).
Who Benefits? – Nineteen percent of Americans (60.4 million in total) receive a monthly benefit check from the Social Security Administration (source: Social Security Administration, BTN Research).
Paper Or Plastic? – Over the 25 years from Dec. 31, 1983, to Dec. 31, 2008, outstanding credit card balances in the U.S. grew by 10.7 percent per year, reaching $1.01 trillion. From the end of 2008 to the end of 2012, outstanding credit card balances fell by 4.2 percent per year to $850 billion (source: Federal Reserve, BTN Research).