African American couple with advisor

Retirement Is a Beginning

How do you know you are psychologically ready to retire? As a start, ask yourself four questions.

One, is your work meaningful? If it is emotionally and psychologically fulfilling, if it gives you a strong sense of purpose and identity, there may be a voice inside your head telling you not to retire yet. You may want to listen to it.

It can be tempting to see retirement as a “finish line”: no more long workdays, long commutes, or stressful deadlines. But it is really a starting line: the start of a new phase of life. Ideally, you cross the “finish line” knowing what comes next, what will be important to you in the future.

Two, do you value work or leisure more at this point in your life? If the answer is leisure, score one for retirement. If the answer is work, maybe you need a new job or a new way of working rather than an exit from your company or your profession.

An old saying says that retirement feels like “six Saturdays and a Sunday.” Fantastic, right? It is, as long you don’t miss Monday through Friday. Some people really enjoy their careers; you may be one of them.

Three, where do your friends come from? If very little of your social life involves the people you work with, then score another point for retirement. If your friends are mainly your coworkers, those friendships may be tested if you retire (and you may want to try to broaden your social circle for the future).

At a glance, it might seem that an enjoyable retirement requires just two things: sufficient income and sufficient return on your investments. These factors certainly promote a nice retirement, but there are also other important factors: your physical health, your mental health, your relationships with family and friends, your travels and adventures, and your outlets to express your creativity. Building a life away from work is a plus.

Four, what do you think your retirement will be like? If you think it will be spectacularly different from your current life, ask yourself if your expectations are realistic. If after further consideration they seem unrealistic, you may want to keep working for a while until you are in a better financial position to try and realize them or until your expectations shift.

Ideally, you retire when you are financially, emotionally, and psychologically ready. The era of the “organization man” retiring with a gold watch and a party at 65 is gone; the cultural forces that encouraged people to stop working at a certain age aren’t as strong as they once were.

Why you are retiring is as important as when you choose to retire. When you are motivated to retire, you see retirement as a beginning rather than an end.

 

 

Office Locations

Louisville

2201 High Wickham Place
Louisville, KY 40245
502.753.0609

Cincinnati

100 E-Business Way
Suite 110
Cincinnati, OH 45241
513.842.1700

Bowling Green

1048 Ashley Street
Suite 301
Bowling Green, KY 42103
270.843.4115

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Suite 170
Indianapolis, IN 46250
877.634.9757

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607 Cascade West Parkway
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
844.476.2744

Elizabethtown

2901 Ring Rd

Elizabethtown, KY 42701
SCA 270.769.6371

270.990.9000

Paducah

4730 Village Square Drive
Suite 100
Paducah, KY 42001
270.443.8711

Bardstown

713 McDowell Blvd
Bardstown, KY 40004
502.348.1433

Atlanta

3625 Cumberland Blvd., Suite 1485
Atlanta, GA 30339
678.681.9518

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