How do I know if I’m ready to retire?

Retirement might seem like a long-awaited vacation, but it’s better to take some real vacation days for a test run first. 

Retirement Tip of the Week: After you’ve decided what to do with your retirement, live it for a week or two.  

For many workers, retirement is a dream. Leaving the daily grind, waking up late, focusing on a hobby or taking trips to the beach — these are all common goals for someone looking to move on from a career. But retirement can be a dangerous time if not approached properly. 

Beyond the proper financial planning that must go into retirement preparation, near-retirees should take time off from work to do a trial of their retirement plans. Looking to do nothing but cart around the golf course every day? Do it. Planning to sleep in late and go to bed early? Try that too. Thinking you’ll hang out with family and friends during your newfound freedom? Reach out and see who is free. 

Retirees don’t always expect to feel depressed or stressed in retirement, but it’s a strong possibility. Workers have spent so many years — decades — in their careers that it becomes a part of their identities, or their definition of purpose. Without a plan in place for retirement, the days could feel long and lonely, which is a recipe for health issues and emotional turmoil. 

Those who have the ability to take some vacation days before announcing retirement should take it and see what they think of their plans. This is especially important for people who are planning to move in retirement. Although many beach areas look postcard-perfect, it’s crucial to see what they’re like during off seasons, and to take a drive or bus ride around to necessary spots, such as the grocery store, hospital, veterinarian, doctor’s offices and so on. Here’s what else to consider when planning to retire abroad. 

This is also a good time to think up hobbies, passions and projects to pursue in retirement. Doing so can stave away boredom, and it gives you plenty to talk about at the dinner table with family and friends. 

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