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?”