It’s the day you’ve dreamt of. The day that has caused your imagination to run like a stallion. You’ve watched others experience it many times over only wishing it was you in their place. This day, the day you’ve been working for is here.
So, you’re good financially? Great! But, what about psychologically? Asking the question, “Do I have enough?” is not the only question that you should be asking. Although it is important and can be liberating, having enough is just one of many steps along the path of a having a successful retirement.
Think back to the very first day you began your career. The excitement, the newness, the possibilities. Retirement is like that! Now think back to the day you began your seventh year. The normalcy, yet you're filled with questions and new roles. Retirement is also like that.
Change occurs early and often. Unfortunately, many retirees do not think practically past the first day of retirement or even the first year. The questions of worth, purpose and identity may creep in. What you must realize is that you are a creature of habit and when change occurs, you deal with it differently than someone else. Below are some questions/strategies to spur thought as you begin that transition into retirement and if you're already to that point - start where you are now.
- Do I have enough?
- Am I ready to retire or am I just retiring because that is the natural progression?
- Will I miss the relevancy that my job provided? If so, what can I get involved in to fill the void I may experience?
- What will I be leaving behind?
- What is my purpose in life? In what ways can I go about accomplishing that?
- Realistically, what will my lifestyle look like? Have I put off activities or interests that I want to pursue?
- Who has transitioned into retirement that I know? Call them and talk about the transition they had.
- What tasks will I implement to stay active, healthy and keep my mind sharp?
- Just like your career goals, formulate retirement goals. Set short-term, intermediate and long-term goals.
- After the bucket list items are checked off and the grandkids have been visited, what will my day-to-day look like?
- If I am social, what organizations or clubs are available for me to join?
- What type of legacy do I want to leave?
Final Thought: There is no one-size-fits-all solution to retirement. Everyone has different desires and different circumstances. What everyone can do is take those desires and circumstances into consideration before and during retirement and apply serious thought to them. Each decision creates complexities. Keep in mind that life happens, so remain adaptable just like you are in your career. Keep an open mind and surround yourself with people you trust and can have tough ongoing conversations with. This is where we want to end up: