Retirement is a goal for many people.
Some people count the days, months, YEARS until they are going to retire.
Yet for others, they will proudly say they NEVER plan to retire because they love what they do for a living. You can count me among these folks. (Although I also recognize as you change and evolve through life, how you feel can AND does change!)
On the other hand there are people who CANNOT retire because of financial reasons.
Others are forced into retirement because of factors outside of their control–health problems, downsizing, etc.
As you can see, retirement is a VERY personal experience.
One of life’s biggest decisions is whether to retire and if so, WHEN. Retirement is a huge milestone. There are many factors that must be considered before pulling the trigger.
Retirement should not create difficulty in life, but it often does. The sad fact is in America, the vast majority of people do not plan well enough for their retirement–financially or emotionally. Saving enough money to have a comfortable retirement is a difficult process for many. Perhaps even more important is planning what you’re going to do with your days in retirement. Or deciding if you even want to retire. Ever.
Do you believe you will happier retired or working? Do you enjoy your career and derive a sense of purpose from it? I know for myself my career provides much meaning for me both professionally AND personally. I love my field so much that writing a blog on different counseling related topics has become a fun pastime for me. Counseling and psychology are PASSIONS of mine. Thus I cannot imagine a day where I am not in the field of counseling and mental health in SOME capacity. But I am someone who feels my profession is a calling. I believe many people do NOT feel this way about their career. (Most even).
Is your job stressful? Do you find it fulfilling?
Do you look forward to going to work? Or is it something you dread come Sunday night?
When you think about retiring, do you believe you will you be physically healthier?
Do you believe you will be mentally and emotionally healthier when you retire?
What benefits does your career provide? Are their social benefits–colleagues who are friends? Book clubs? Social gatherings you love? Practical benefits like health insurance?
Are you psychologically prepared to retire? To give up your professional identity?
Do you think you will you live longer if you retire? Or do you fear soon after retirement will come declining health and loss of purpose?
What will you do in retirement? A good way to feel this out is reflecting on your life currently. Are you involved in volunteer work, hobbies, or a particular passion? If not, it may be unrealistic to believe that you will suddenly be a totally different person the day after you retire.
There is no right or wrong decision here. Deciding whether to retire is a life changing decision. Don’t rush it. Discuss your answers to these questions with people you love. Or a mental health professional (such as myself).
To schedule a counseling session with me (AND if you are a reader who lives in New Jersey):
Anew Counseling Services LLC
617 Oradell Avenue, Suite 3, Oradell, New Jersey, 07649