17. When is The Right Time to Retire?

When is the right time to retire?

Answering that question isn’t as easy as just picking the year you turn 65 — there’s a lot more to consider, and a lot of questions you should ask yourself to determine what makes the most sense for you and your family.

So, today, I’m going to go over what these questions are, what you should consider before retirement, and how you can determine what the right time to retire is for you.



So how do I retire on my terms?

Before you go plan for your departure, amass all the money you can muster to stuff into a 401k plan. Be kind to your successor and work family by offloading all your work, wisdom whether it be tactical or strategic. Don’t be shy. Share your knowledge. Decide if you want to offer your services back to the company after you go as a Consultant.

And most importantly, really sit down and think about what you will do after you go. Make a plan that covers how you will spend your time, how you will finance your new life, with whom you will spend your new life. And most importantly, what shape is your health in and how can you improve it or keep it at an optimal level? Retirement only feels as good as you feel.

The key is to make a plan. Without a plan, retirees flounder and get stuck on what is life all about now? Don’t let that happen to you. Be wise and engage a Retirement Coach to help you plan out that retirement of yours in a way that is free of anxiety and full of ice cream and cake!


Where should I live after I retire?

Here are the big things to think about: 

  • The age of your current house. Will it need a new roof soon or is it time to modernize that kitchen or the master bathroom? All decent expenditures that you can afford in your mid-sixties but probably not in your mid-eighties.
  • Your social circles. Are you happy with your neighbors? Because you are about to spend a lot more time with them than you have previously. Do you see yourself making these neighbors part of your new intimate social circle? If you’re a golfer is the weekday crowd as good and fun as the weekend warriors you know so well? Or are they too old for you?
  • Your relationship with your spouse. Did you know that the fastest growing group of the population getting divorced is the newly retired? Yes, your new retirement lifestyle will also mean a change in the rules of engagement with your spouse. If you think it’s going to be lunch every afternoon and a roll in the hay at least three times a week, put that Men’s Health magazine down and start talking to your spouse about their expectations and how they want to spend their time with you daily. It might really shock you to find out their perspective.


Should my spouse and I retire at the same time?

There is no simple answer to this question. What are your ages? How close are both of you to qualifying for Medicare and Social Security? How well you have planned for your retirement years in terms of funds, location, and joint physical health? 

And most importantly, have both of you have talked through what the two of you will do with your time together or apart? Do you really like spending time together or does separation make the heart grow fonder?

Whatever way the two of you decide to reconstruct your lives for your next great adventure, listen to your inner voice of experience and set up that new life with the wisdom that the before life has given you — the rules, boundaries, and the flexibility to let each of you be you. 

Finally seek out a third party, like a Retirement Coach, to help facilitate your spousal discussions so that the both of you are open and honest with each other about your wants, needs, and desires. Once you go down that path, new opportunities you never imagined open up and as long as you are 100% honest with one another and your Coach.


Should we downsize and maybe relocate?

This is the question that inevitably comes up when you start looking at your personal finances and budgeting for your new life. All the images of retirement shows smiling people on sandy beaches, doing a lot of nothing. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

The day you step into retirement is just like the day before you made the plunge. Your kids still need you to help with your grandchildren, your same doctors are still in place and your friends still want you to go out on Friday nights. The best advice is to only make changes that will benefit your standard of living and make you feel happy about where and how you live. Make sure your choices come from a place of what is best for us and our circle of love.

Yes, downsize and relocate if you wish. You don’t need to hold open your children’s bedrooms – they left and so should you. Find a living situation that suits your new lifestyle. Think warm and efficient so your tax bill, HVAC bill, and your house cleaning bill all begin to tumble. Encourage your kids to visit, and to also use some of those travel points to expose their kids to a Marriott sleepover rather than a stay at Grandma’s Sardine Inn. Let’s all be comfortable. It’s a new day, and the faster your kids embrace it the faster you will get rid of your abandonment guilt.

Now with downsizing comes a great responsibility: throwing everything that doesn’t bring you joy away and donating as much of your furniture as possible. Don’t drag all your wall hangings with you from your first sixty years. Replace, renew, and refresh the look so that new dwelling sings to you each day as you rise and travel through it.

In the end, it’s all about Legacy and having a circle of love to share it with.