Pamela Connellan

Retirement Income

How do you know when it’s time to retire?

How do you know when it’s time to retire?

If you’ve been working hard for many years and you’d like a bit more time to yourself so you can do some of those things you’ve always wanted to but never had the time, then this could be a sign that it’s getting close to the right time for you to retire.

Or you could be getting sick of constantly working on your family home and you’d like someone else to help with some maintenance for a change! If you’re thinking along these lines then that’s another sign it could be the right time to retire.

We all used to think we’d retire at 65 but that’s all changed and these days, many people prefer to retire earlier. Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the average retirement age of men and women is now 54.4 years old.

So, it’s really an individual choice but if you give this life-changing decision the time it deserves, you can retire in the best way for you and achieve the retirement of your choice.

To find out if it’s the right time for you to retire, here are some key things to consider:

Are you ready emotionally?

You need to feel emotionally ready if you’re going to retire. Take some time to think about how your life will change and how you can adjust to those changes.

Before you retire, you should ask yourself three key questions: What do I want to do? Where do I want to do it? Who do I want to do it with? When you know the answers to these questions, you’ll have a plan for your life in retirement.

You're ready to relax and already making plans

If you’ve found yourself dreaming of relaxing and unwinding as you take part in a whole range of leisure activities, this is a good indication you’re ready to relax – and retire.

As well, you could find yourself creating endless bucket lists of things you want to do and places you want to see. This is also a sign it could be a good time for you to retire. So, don’t ignore your wanderlust and your yearning to do some of those things you’ve always wanted to. As you plan for your retirement, write down a list of all the things you want to do with your time and this way, you’ll know what you want to do with your time as soon as you retire.

How’s your health?

If you’re in excellent health it’s still OK to retire because this will give you the time to enjoy those things you’ve always wanted to and you haven’t got round to them yet. But if you or your spouse are in poor health, then it’s important not to delay retirement because you don’t want to miss out on doing some of your exciting ‘bucket list’ items together.

The best idea is to take an honest look at your health – and those close to you - and weigh this in to your decision about when’s the best time for you to retire.

Check in With Your Spouse and Friends

It’s interesting but many couples have different ideas about how they want to retire so this is definitely something you should talk about. Often one partner wants to stay working and the other wants to retire earlier. There’s really no problem with this because you can still move to a retirement village if one of you is working and the other one has stopped.

But it’s a good idea to check in and see if you’re on the same page with your spouse. Make sure you do some planning together so you can work through any differences early and work it all out as a team.

It also helps to check in with your friends who you might play sports with or do various activities with such as fishing. Find out what your friends’ plans are for their retirement. You’ll find if your friends are retiring around the same time as you it can make everything a lot easier and this will lead to a long and healthy retirement.

Your children are financially independent

You may want to retire but you feel you can’t because you still have children living at home. You could be worried if you sell the family home, they won’t be able to find other accommodation.

The best thing to do is to sit down with your children and work out a plan where they can work towards becoming financially independent and you can work towards your retirement. It’s important to work on this together so in the end, everyone benefits.

Plan your retirement so it doesn’t take you by surprise!

Deciding when’s the best time to retire is all up to you but it’s a good idea to give this major decision the time and attention it deserves. Take some time out and consider all the factors we’ve listed and this way, you’ll set yourself up for a long and happy retirement.

Photo: Shutterstock

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