By Krista McBeath, McBeath Financial Group
It’s Monday morning. You want to call in sick… sick of your job. Maybe you’ve been working too long and it’s not the same anymore. You really just want out. But ,you tell yourself you can’t retire yet. Or maybe you can, but should you?
There’s nothing wrong with retiring, and if continuing to work isn’t adding to your quality of life, it may be a sign. However, there’s a huge difference between retiring and quitting. Retiring as a voluntary and planned event is a natural progression and can lead to one of the most rewarding phases of life. Making an emotional decision to quit before being financially or mentally ready can make the following years less than gratifying.
When to retire is often one of life’s biggest decisions. Some retirees succeed at realizing the life they want; others don’t. Fate aside, it isn’t merely a matter of stock market performance or investment selection that makes the difference. Here are a few considerations that many others wish they’d taken into account before pulling the trigger.
Retire financially literate. Some retirees don’t know how much they don’t know. They end their careers with inadequate financial knowledge, and yet, feel they can plan retirement on their own. They mistake retirement income planning for the whole of retirement planning, and gloss over longevity risk, risks to their estate, and potential health care expenses. The more you know, the more your retirement readiness improves. Naturally, I recommend seeking the help of a comprehensive financial planner.
Retire debt free — or close to debt free. Who wants to retire with 10 years of mortgage payments ahead or a couple of car loans to pay off? Even if your retirement savings are substantial, what will big debts do to your retirement morale and the possibilities on your retirement horizon? On that note, refrain from loaning money to family members and friends who seem quite capable of standing on their own two feet.
If you’re thinking about using some of your retirement money to pay outstanding debt, set that thought aside. You have dedicated that money to your future, not to bill paying. Often, in a comprehensive analysis, we find optimized strategies for handling debt payments.
Retire healthy. Smoking, drinking, overeating, a dearth of physical activity — all these can take a toll on your capacity to live life fully and enjoy retirement. It is never too late to quit smoking, stop drinking, or slim down.
Retire in a community where you feel at home. It could be where you live now; it could be a place that is hundreds or thousands of miles away, where the scenery and people are uplifting. It could be the place where your children live. If you find yourself lonely in retirement, then look for ways to connect with people who share your experiences, interests, and passions — those who encourage you and welcome you. This social interaction is one of the great, intangible retirement benefits.
Retire with purpose. There’s a difference between retiring and quitting. Some people can’t wait to quit their job at 62 or 65. If only they could escape and just relax and do nothing for a few years — wouldn’t that be a nice reward? Relaxation can lead to inertia, however — and inertia can lead to restlessness, even depression. You want to retire to a dream, not away from a problem.
A retirement dream can become even more captivating when it is shared. Spouses who retire with a shared dream or with the utmost respect for each other’s dreams are in a good place.
The bottom line? Retirees who know what they want to do — and go out and do it — are positively contributing to their mental health and possibly their physical health as well. If they do something that is not only vital to them, but important to others, their community can benefit as well.
I’m always excited to be a part of the planning process to help people in the retirement planning process. It’s rewarding when I help navigate people to a stage where they are financially and emotionally ready to move forward and put that retirement date on the calendar!
Krista McBeath is an Investment Advisor, Chartered Financial Consultant, a Licensed Insurance Advisor, a Fiduciary, and an experienced tax advisor who specializes in financial planning, investments, and insurance. Phone 309-808-2224 or email [email protected] for appointment information.
Advisory services are offered through Landmark Wealth Management Inc, dba McBeath Financial Group, an Illinois Registered Investment Advisor firm. Insurance products and services are offered through McBeath Tax and Financial Services, LLC. McBeath Financial Group and McBeath Tax and Financial Services, LLC. are affiliated.
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