Retirement is a transition into a new stage of life. Retirees get the freedom to choose how to spend their time, but they also walk away from the comfort of a steady paycheck and need to make important financial decisions. Here are some important retirement rites of passage.
1. Reaching Financial Freedom
You have achieved financial freedom when you no longer need to work to pay your bills for the rest of your life. “Once you reach that inflection point, you can leave this job or negotiate part-time work, and you know things are going to be OK,” says Maura Griffin, CEO and principal for Blue Spark Capital Advisors in New York. Griffin recommends doing an analysis of your finances, using conservative investment returns and factoring in inflation and taxes, to reassure yourself that you have enough money to retire.
2. Telling Your Boss
There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from being able to tell your boss that you’re simply not going to come into work anymore. “Some people just want to get away from a job that is killing them, and they want to get out of the rat race,” Griffin says. But other people find they miss some aspects of the job, especially the social life they had in the office. The transition is often easier if you have hobbies or travel plans to look forward to.
3. Shutting Down Your Work Computer
There will come a moment after your stuff is packed when you walk out of your office for the last time. You get to escape from boring meetings and tight deadlines, but you also won’t get another invite to a business lunch or holiday party.
4. Responding to “What Do You Do?”
Most people answer this question with their profession, but retirees need to think of a new answer. You may want to talk about your volunteer position or an important hobby, or have a quip ready about how you finally get to do whatever you want every day.
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