December 1, 2023

Finding the Right Time to Retire

Deciding when to retire is a pivotal moment in anyone’s life, filled with anticipation, planning, and a fair share of questions. As a Certified Financial Planner Professional™, I’ve guided many clients through this significant transition, and here’s what I’ve learned: the right time to retire truly “depends.” It’s a decision influenced by a myriad of personal and financial factors, each unique to the individual and their spouse if married.

Considerations for Timing Your Retirement

Retirement planning is not a one-size-fits-all process. It requires a deep dive into various aspects of your life:

  • Joint Decision-Making: If you have a spouse, retirement timing should make sense for both of you, whether retiring together or staggering retirements to maximize benefits.
  • In-Depth Analysis: Avoid retiring based solely on reaching a certain age or years of service. Consider your financial readiness, lifestyle goals, and other critical factors before making the leap.

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The Importance of Running the Numbers

Before pulling the retirement trigger, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial landscape:

  • Comprehensive Budgeting: Account for all expenses, from household necessities to hobbies and debts.
  • Income Streams and Savings: Align your expenses with incoming funds, retirement savings, and any outstanding debts. The numbers must make sense to ensure a financially secure retirement.

The Risk of Working Too Long

While financial readiness is a key factor, emotional and psychological readiness also plays a significant role:

  • Recognizing Burnout: Whether it’s a doctor, co-worker, or restaurant owner, we’ve all encountered individuals who seem to have lost their spark. If you find yourself in this position, it might be time to consider retirement or a career change.
  • Staying Engaged: For those who can’t imagine not working, finding new ways to feel relevant and fulfilled is essential. Retirement or semi-retirement doesn’t mean the end of productivity; it’s an opportunity to explore new ventures and passions.

Navigating Retirement with Professional Guidance

Retirement planning is a complex process that benefits greatly from professional advice and support:

  • Exploring Options: A Certified Financial Planner Professional™ can provide valuable insights, suggestions, and examples from others who’ve faced similar decisions.
  • Family Discussions: Armed with professional advice, you and your family can brainstorm, add new ideas, and perhaps even discover unique solutions tailored to your situation.

A Call to Action: Plan, Tweak, and Explore

Retirement should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision. It requires careful planning, flexibility, and sometimes, the courage to try something new:

  • Avoid Regrets: Don’t find yourself wishing you had taken a different path. It’s never too late to adjust your retirement plan or embark on a new adventure.
  • Finding Joy in Retirement: If retirement isn’t living up to your expectations, seek out activities or jobs that bring you happiness and fulfillment.

Deciding when to retire is a deeply personal decision that goes beyond financial readiness. It’s about ensuring that you’re both financially and emotionally prepared for this new chapter. Whether you’re contemplating retirement or seeking to redefine your post-retirement life, remember, professional guidance can make all the difference. I’m here to help you navigate these decisions, ensuring your retirement years are as rewarding as they can be.

Recipe of the Month

Sweet Potato Praline Bites

Get the taste of homemade sweet potato casserole in bite sized slices with a pecan praline topping. The perfect holiday appetizer or dessert!

  • 2 sweet potatoes (long and skinny are best)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (Kerrygold or your favorite) 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar (or regular sugar if preferred) 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil cooking spray

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and slice each one into round slices, approx 1/2 inch thick. Lay flat on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make sure they have space in between each one. Spray with coconut oil spray before adding praline topping.
  3. Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Add pecans, sugar and vanilla and stir well.
  4. Top praline mixture evenly among sweet potato slices.
  5. Bake for 30 min, or until sweet potatoes are soft when pressed with a fork,
    pomegranate, potatoes, radishes, sweet potatoes, but not over cooked.
  6. Serve warm or cold and enjoy

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