Are You Sure You’re Ready to Retire?

My stepmother has a favorite saying:  “Be careful what you wish for…you just might get it!”  These are wise words, especially when it comes to retirement. 

Why would I write such a thing?  After all, isn’t retirement supposed to be the ultimate goal…the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?  The short answer is ‘yes,’ but it’s important to remember that, like everything in life, retirement comes with a price. 

In our first edition of Wealth Matters Blog, we discussed what we lose upon retirement.  Here are the first four prices we pay: 

  • Money – Our weekly paycheck disappears.
  • Social Network – For many, colleagues are the primary source of non-family social interactions;  thus, retirement can severely disrupt this important dimension of life.
  • Station in Life – Not to be confused with status, work defines where we naturally fit in our daily lives…our station.
  • Structure – With work come certain duties and responsibilities that generally must be accomplished within a defined time framework.  Most of us benefit from such structure. 

But wait!  There’s more!  It’s called purpose!  Work is one of the things that give meaning to our lives.  A prospective retiree needs to be certain that he or she will still have purpose in retirement.  

It’s so important that Dr. Oz includes it as one of his “4 Pillars of Longevity.”  Here’s what he has to say: 

You have to have a meaningful reason for what you do in life.  Retirement can put this at risk.  If you have a hobby like wanting to cure hunger in Africa, I say yeah, retire fast.  But most people don’t have that.  Sitting around at home doing nothing is waiting for death.  Statistically, you’re most at risk from dying within six months of retiring.  If you give your heart a reason to keep beating, it will. 

Retirement can be a wonderful thing…a proper reward for hard work and time well spent.  Take more than a little time to evaluate the “prices” of retirement.  If you’re not sure, contact your Wealth Manager or Financial Advisor.


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