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5 signs you’re ready to retire

One definition of retirement is to withdraw from working life. While you may stop payed work, retirement isn’t about withdrawing. It’s a time to unleash the next exciting phase.

We get a lot from working:

  • sense of purpose
  • skill development
  • social interaction
  • income to maintain the standard of living we want

So how do you know you’re ready to take the next step? Here are five signs it’s time to leave the work life comfort zone and start the awesome years:

1) You’ve attended every preparation workshop offered

Employee pension plans and group benefit providers offer retirement planning workshops, which are often targeted at individuals as much as five to 10 years out from retirement. Are you attending these sessions subconsciously hoping for the extra push to help you make the decision? If you’re signing up for many retirement planning sessions, it could be a sign you’re ready.

2) You’re confident your finances will support your standard of living

If you’re approaching retirement, you’ve probably crunched the numbers using an online calculator and have maybe talked to a financial professional. A big part of this calculation is to consider your desired standard of living, which impacts expenses in retirement. You can also look at your dependents’ situations as they could affect your expenses. The living-standard replacement ratio or LSRR takes these factors into consideration.

3) You have a social plan and can’t wait to start implementing it

Perceived social isolation is a risk when we go through major transitions in our lives, including retirement. One way to prevent the perception of social isolation, and the loneliness it can cause, is to create a social plan. This can be as simple as planning a get together with friends every couple of weeks, finding new volunteer activities, or signing up for courses to help you delve into hobbies that interest you. You may even start a side business. If you’re already taken the proactive step of planning your retirement activities, you’re on your way to retirement success. We covered perceived social isolation in the summer 2018 issue of Renaissance Magazine.

4) You’re starting to feel envy watching your friends’ in retirement

Social comparison and fear of missing out (FOMO) can impact our decisions. If your desire to join your friends in their retirement activities is starting to take a toll on you, it could be a sign it’s time to make the switch. There’s a paradox to retirement FOMO. As you prepare to retire, you may also fear missing out on the benefits of working, including the feeling of being meaningfully involved in the world. This could be stopping you from making the move. Your social plan will help prevent this type of FOMO.

5) You realize the finite nature of life and want the chance to have more diverse experiences

A personal health scare or the loss of a friend or loved one can lead to greater awareness of how finite life is. Perhaps you’ve been saying “one day…” when talking about experiences you’d like to have, and now you know that one day will only come if you make it so. If this has been on your mind, it could be time to take action.

As you prepare to retire, know you’re not alone

There are organizations and groups that exist to support you as you retire. Often, these organizations will curate information that’s relevant to you and provide opportunities for social interaction. Finding an organization to become part of could provide you the last bit of security you need to follow through on your desire to retire.

At RTOERO, we provide much more than group benefits. Our supports help members prepare for retirement and live the awesome years. Our members are retired education sector workers across Canada and include individuals who have held various roles within public and private education organizations, including post-secondary.