It seemed like you would be working a long, long time. Suddenly you are approaching “that” age. Where did the time go?
One day you are hot stuff and the next you start thinking about what you want to do when you retire. Travel? Spend time with family? Volunteer? Start a company? Write a blog?
Will I be better off if I wait a few more years?
Or should I go now?
Many of my friends who have not already retired are struggling with the timing. Working longer may give you better benefits.
Working longer gives you less time to do what you want to do.
Your days are numbered. We all have an expiration date on our heads. Working longer does not extend it. You will have less time in retirement.
Retirement should be fun. We’ve waited for it our whole life and now it’s here along with saggy skin and wrinkles!
Not too long ago, I was in this conversation at a party. The discussion was getting intense when I dropped my “your days are numbered” comment. Trust me I was the life of the party. I haven’t been invited back. (If you invite me I promise I won’t say it!)
Sometimes the decision isn’t hard. You know what you want to do and what you can afford to live on so it’s easy. Or maybe you won the lottery! That works just fine.
Then there are all the rest of us who wonder if we will outlive our money. Visions of those terrible nursing homes haunt our dreams. Could we really live in a car? (Note to self: Stop watching 60 Minutes!)
We don’t worry enough to stop buying shoes or having lunch with friends. It’s just a nagging in the back of our head that rears itself at ugly times. Like when we open up the tax bill.
There is nothing like a big tax bill to make you recalculate your needs. In my head I can hear the lady in my GPS saying, “Recalculating” in a very disapproving tone.
You may think about returning that last pair of shoes but don’t worry. Somehow you will justify the purchase and keep them.
At some point you make the decision. Sometimes you can feel when it’s right. For me it was easy. My company was going through some tough changes and I had to downsize my department so why not me? It worked out great for both me and one of my employees who was able to move up.
Sometimes the itch to do something else gets overwhelming. The job gets tedious or mundane or not interesting anymore. Those are all good signs.
Can’t stand the thought of being at home? You can work part-time or volunteer for a cause you believe in.
I am amazed at how little free time I have. There are many interesting things that I can participate in. I don’t know how I found the time to hold down a full-time job.
I have enjoyed my retirement and laugh when I think about how hard the decision was for me. That’s why I tell my friends, “Jump in! The water is warm!”
Besides $$, what else is affecting (or affected) your decision and what wonderful things are you doing?