Ready For Retirement In 2014?

Ready For Retirement In 2014?

The Wall Street Journal did a feature recently asking that same question.  They even had a 20 question quiz that would test one’s readiness.  I didn’t take the quiz since I’m past retirement age, but as I read through the questions, every single question had to do with savings, income, and health.  What was missing was the question “What are you going to do when you retire?”

When I talk with couples as they think about retirement, or soon after, the concern doesn’t seem to be only income or savings as much as it is something like what’s he going to do to keep himself busy.  I hear comments like,“he’ll just be in my way!”  “I don’t have my own place anymore.”  or “I can’t imagine him just sitting around my house all day with nothing to do!  And he has no other interest except his job!”

In my own informal research over the years, I’ve found that many husbands don’t live to make it to the six month mark after retirement.  They died of boredom because they didn’t plan.  And it seems nobody is focusing on that important transition stage when a man retires from one thing and starts doing very little or nothing else.

One of the sections in the WSJ quiz addressed the question of working at something else after retirement.  They noted that 69% of men consider this as an option, but only 25% actually find a way to find work after retirement.  Again, it’s a question of planning prior to retirement

I wanted to write the WSJ and suggest they add about 10 questions to their quiz.  I would add questions like “What are your hobbies you have now that you look forward to enjoying more after retirement?”  or, “How will you fill your days after retirement?”  Or even better, “Why retire?”  Of course, if you hate your job, retirement is a way out of the rat-race.  But what if you love what you do, why then retire?  That’s what I’ve done.  I enjoy my work so I continue to work.  I just work a little less than I used to.  I think that’s that’s an ideal situation.  My oldest son has a side business–a model rocket company.  It’s a perfect retirement job that he has created long before retirement comes his way.

Question:  If you’re planning to retire soon, take some time to imagine what a day is going to be like about six months down the road.  What will you be doing besides “getting in your wife’s way?”

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2 Responses to Ready For Retirement In 2014?

  1. Hi Dr Stoop…I was one of your Fuller seminary students and also know Jan. We’re also Dave and Janet. I’m a Christian author and speaker and in my latest book Dear God, He’s Home! A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man, I address the same issues you spoke about here and I too stress planning ahead for retirement. Dave is now retired and I told him he needed a purposeful retirement so he helps me with my ministry About His Work Ministries. I enjoy your blog. Nice to stay in touch that way.

  2. Dorothy Di Santo says:

    Hi Dave,
    Enjoy listening to you on New Life Live each and every day. You Are What You Think is in my library and I’m working on completing it.
    What is your new book and how different is it from the other one?
    Your advise you share with callers sometimes amazes me. I do learn a lot from you all and being a Lay Counselor enriches my sharing my thoughts in reaching the people I see.
    Thank you for all you do,
    Dorothy Di Santo

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