Last Updated Jun 1, 2010 6:17 PM EDT
- "I don't want to wake up to an alarm clock anymore."
- "I'm too old to work any longer."
- "I hate my job and just can't wait to be done with it."
- "I want to travel."
- "I want to spend time with my grandchildren."
- "I want to do whatever I want, and not what somebody else tells me to do!"
Let's start with the bad ones. These usually don't get expressed in public at my workshops, but they often bubble to the surface during subsequent private conversations.
- You're bored with or sick of work.
- You don't like your boss.
- Your friends are retiring.
- Retirement is what you're supposed to do at your age.
- Your parents retired at your age.
- You've reached an important milestone when you're supposed to retire, such as the normal retirement age in your employer's retirement plan.
- You got laid off.
- You think you have enough money, though you don't really know for sure.
Just don't make the mistake of retiring while you can still work and then depleting your financial resources at an age when returning to work isn't possible.
The list of good reasons to retire is much shorter.
- You know what you want to do, or you have a plan to find out.
- You've prepared a strong financial plan, and you have sufficient financial resources.
- You have affordable health insurance.
I strongly recommend that you reflect on your reasons for retiring before you make any permanent decisions. This is a great topic to discuss with your spouse, partner, close friends, and family. Talking through important issues with people who care about you is an excellent way to help you make difficult decisions. Having good reasons to retire and avoiding the bad reasons gets you off to a great start.
What are your reasons for wanting to retire?