As we approach the latter years of our career, thoughts of what retirement will look like can be a source of mixed emotions. For many, this will be a time to dream about doing those things on their bucket list they’ve been waiting to do. It could be traveling abroad, learning a fun hobby, making memories with grandchildren, or pursuing a new business venture. For others, this could also be a time of stress and uncertainly, given how much of our identity has been tied to our career success and advancement.
We have routines and structures that we have followed for years, and now we face the reality that is all about to change.SEE MORE How to Be Happy (Not Bored!) in Retirement – Starting Today
For most approaching this next phase of life, there are four questions that will keep people awake at night searching for answers. Over the years, I’ve found that these four questions can encompass what many pre-retirees feel the need to know and be prepared for. Knowing the answers to these questions can provide confidence that people are prepared to make this a good transition.Question No. 1: When Can I Retire?
This seems like one of the most universal questions everyone will ask themselves at some point, but how do we actually know when we should begin this next phase of life? Do we seek direction from friends, family and colleagues to help guide us? Maybe it’s our health that dictates our decision.
Back in our parents’ (or grandparents’) day, life seemed much simpler, and this question may have been easier to answer. Work for 40-50 years (many times for the same company), make a pension election when eligible, file for Social Security, and ride off into the sunset. However, with the traditional pension becoming more a thing of the past, the answer may not be so obvious today. In addition, don’t overlook the emotional piece of retirement. Studies show that the happiest people in retirement will be retiring “to” something vs. retiring “from” something. Having, on average, three to four pursuits in retirement can bring purpose and meaning to daily life. As your retirement window approaches, brainstorm each week about what pursuits you may enjoy and allow yourself to look forward to getting started. Let your mind dr