There are many things to think about when planning to retire. You need money to retire, not age. That is one thing, but there are a few that aren’t totally concerned with money. Here is a list of 5 things you need to consider before you decide to retire, and if you should retire early.
1. Health Status
Being diagnosed with a chronic health problem or a debilitating illness should greatly influence your decision as to when to retire. If you are in excellent health, you may decide to retire in order to travel or pursue other interests before any health problems occur. On the other hand, if you have a chronic disease you may want to retire just to "enjoy" some of your remaining time. It can go both ways, a very individual decision.
2. Family Responsibilities
Sometimes the decision to retire will be based on the needs of your family members, for example, grandchildren or aging parents in need of care. Statistically speaking, it is much more likely that women will time their retirement according to family needs. Personally, I want to be able to pay off my kids college bills, before I retire. This will influence the "when" for me.
3. Spouse Retirement Date
When both people are working, the timing can be important concerning retirement dates. If you plan to travel the world with your spouse, it becomes important that your spouse retires when you do. This will usually impact the "when" for retirement. You have to ask yourself, will you be happy at home for a few years waiting for your spouse to retire? Or will this become a friction point in your relationship?. This is very important to consider.
4. Contact with Others
Having contact with others, be it family, friends, or co-workers can be an important consideration when you are deciding when you can retire. You may have many friends at work, that you will not see nearly as often. Are you ok with that? Have you developed friendships outside of work? If not, maybe you need to make that a priority now. Women, in particular, who have worked outside of the home, frequently report missing their work-related friends once they retire. Men probably just don’t "report it", but also likely miss the relationships that they had. As I talked about in It Takes Money to Retire Not Age, it may be important for your retirement years to develop a new hobby and a new group of friends as well.
5. Financial Resources
We have to admit the obvious here. It takes money to retire. Your financial status and security will significantly impact your enjoyment of those retirement years. First, those with more money will likely have more opportunities. Second, being financially "able" makes it likely that you will have a comfortable and safe place to live. Finally, quality healthcare will always cost more and be more accessible when you can afford it. As the Bible says, money is not the root of all evil. The Bible says, the Love of money, is the root of all evil. Money won’t make you happy in retirement, but the lack of it may make you unhappy.
You may notice I did not say anything about investing in a Roth IRA. Okay, now I did. Shameless, I know, but the Roth IRA is so important.
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