Retirement has become a much less fixed concept over the years. It used to be that 60-65 aged professionals start preparing to say goodbye to the working world, but as the boomer generation reaches that age, many of them seem as enthusiastic about staying in the workforce as ever. However, just because the concept is changing doesn’t mean that retirement doesn’t work for some people. There are those among us to whom leaving work behind is the best scenario, or perhaps transitioning into a ‘working retirement’. For these people, deciding the right time to retire can be tricky. Without a set age to dictate things, the decision is left to you to feel the time is right. If you’re unsure about your own decision, consider these signs that might be telling you you’re ready to walk away.
Financially, you’re in good shape.
This is a big one. If you find that you agree with every sign that comes after on this list but your financial situation is not sorted out, then you’re not ready for retirement. For many boomers, staying at work later in life is not a choice, it’s a necessity. Their retirement savings are inadequate to sustain a lengthy retirement and therefore they need to keep working. There is no sense in retiring if you can’t make it work financially. You might think you can cut expenses here or their and get by, but if you haven’t planned it out well then you are setting yourself up for a lot of trouble down the road. Speak to a professional about your retirement plan before making any major decisions about whether it’s time to retire.
You’re losing interest in your work.
The boomer generation has long held a certain approach to their work that suggests satisfaction comes secondary to having financial security. However, as boomers age they are beginning to place much more importance on their own happiness at work. We are seeing a lot of boomers leave their careers to start their own businesses based on their passions and interests. Likewise, when boomers start to lose a passion for their work or find it hard to inspire the same interest in it as before, it might be time to move on.
You aren’t being challenged or fulfilled at work.
Similar to the previous point, boomers seem to strive for stimulating experiences even later in life. For some, work still provides that and going into work everyday gives them a sense of purpose. For others, that purpose fades over time. And that’s fine, it just means that maybe you should seek a new purpose elsewhere. If you are financially secure and able to retire comfortably, you should ask yourself what work is providing you. You might be surprised by the answer, or by the lack of answer you can give yourself.
Your hobbies are starting to become more of a priority.
As previously mentioned, boomers seem to be embracing their own interests and passions at this stage of their lives which is causing some to make big career changes. They have stuck with their career and made their money, but now it’s time for them to focus on those areas they love. However, the desire to explore those passions is not always as apparent to some. You might think of your hobbies as something on the side and not something to be realistically pursued. But if you find yourself thinking more about those hobbies than your own career, maybe it’s time to focus more on those interests.
You and your spouse are on the same page.
It goes without saying that retirement is a massive, life-altering decision, and as with any similar type of decision, it should not be made alone. This is a family decision, specifically between yourself and your spouse. Yes, it will ultimately be you who is leaving work behind, but the decision affects both of you in big ways. Discuss the idea, the challenges and the opportunities surrounding the decision. Make sure you are both on the same page in ever step of the way. Retirement can be difficult when you haven’t properly prepared for it, and involving those in your life as much as possible can make the whole thing a lot smoother.