Retirement is a big step. Some retirees transition to this season of life very well, while others struggle. If you are beginning your retirement phase or getting close, this episode will help you avoid some of the biggest mistakes so that your retirement is healthy and happy. The thought of retirement is a happy time, but fear and uncertainty are lurking in the background.
A little planning can help squelch that fear and uncertainty. I will talk about having balanced financial literacy so that both spouses can be on the same page regarding money. Being debt free is terrific, but there are pitfalls when it keeps you from retiring when it’s your time.
I’ll talk about having a purpose. Every day being Saturday is only fun for so long. It’s also wise to think about your health now. Don’t assume that retirement will magically make you healthy without a plan. Location is also a significant consideration. It’s also an excellent strategy to ease into the retirement transition so it’s not jarring to you and those around you.
[02:09] A lot of people left the workforce and stepped into retirement after the pandemic. The baby boomer wave of retirement is going to keep happening.
[03:11] The first mistake people make is walking into retirement with an imbalanced financial literacy. Most couples have a money person and a non-money person.
[05:43] The spending conversation used to be with an expectation of the money always coming in. Now there’s an extra layer of fear that the money isn’t going to be enough.
[06:13] If the money person gets scared, the non-money person gets terrified.
[07:00] When we transition to retirement, we need to walk in with a balanced understanding of what it all means and how it works. The non-money person needs to understand the cash flow and how the numbers work beforehand.
[08:24] Another mistake is being overly focused on being debt free before retirement.
[09:15] Having no debt is a great goal to have, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. Don’t make really bad math decisions in order to get out of debt.
[11:04] People will also delay retirement, because they want to walk into it debt free. We don’t want to assume that we’ll have nothing but a healthy life forever.
[12:04] The next one is people retiring without a purpose. People have an assumption that all of that free time is going to be great. They need something to retire to with a purpose and meaning.
[13:11] Another mistake is stepping into retirement from a place that is unhealthy. It’s important to prepare yourself physically. Health problems don’t get better stepping into retirement, especially if you don’t have a plan.
[14:49] Have a plan to maintain or regain your health.
[15:39] Making premature assumptions about location. People usually end up living where their family lives. You might move to where your grandkids are.
[17:47] Make intentional decisions about where you want to spend your time and how you want to spend your time.
[18:45] The last mistake I’ve seen is very abrupt exits. It can work, but your transition from work is a big change for everyone around you.
[19:44] If possible, create a longer transition and move towards part-time and start to shrink your role at work and grow your role with the other things you do.
[22:06] If you’re retiring in the next couple of years, this is the time for you and your spouse to think through everything and make sure you’re on the same page.