Working your whole life can be an exhausting exercise. You may be at your wits end, you may have felt like Michael Douglas in “Falling Down” at many points in your working career, you may have felt swept up in all the changes going on at your job which you’ve been doing in your way for so many years; any variety of things may have made you crazy about your job. But there are many things about working life which are good. There is structure, there is purpose, there is security, and maybe most important, there is that paycheck coming in every week. Still, all good things must come to an end one day; there is definitely a balancing out which goes on from working life to retirement. Here are a few things every working person should do just before and just after retirement to enjoy a happy and productive retired life.
Review Your Investments: You may have been contributing to your company retirement package for the last 30 years, but before you announce your retirement you should review your investment portfolio and make sure you’re not going to need to be begging for your job back in a couple of years. This means all your investments; stocks, bonds, property, valuables, and the rest of your working salary. That is if you’re going to work for another 3 years and you have paid off your home and you’re basically just swimming in cash, then you’ve got another 3 years of earning to calculate in your retirement picture. Maybe you’ll find you don’t even need to work that long!
Take Extended Vacation: Being retired is a crazy thing because where you once had this whole working life…now you don’t. You may go crazy tinkering around with old machinery in your garage. For many people, work defines who we are. Many people like to keep busy. Before you go retiring (especially if you’re considering an early retirement) you may wish to take some time off. A couple weeks may not be enough. If your employer and finances will allow it, why not take off a calendar quarter and see how it suits you. If you find you’re bored and have nothing to fill your days, then maybe retirement isn’t for you just yet.
Rein It In: If you find you have the wherewithal and you own your home and you’ve got money in the bank and you’re set with retirement funds, you may think there’s nothing more for you to do. Well that’s not entirely true. If you’re not working anymore, then you are working off a finite budget. You can’t go out to dinners every night and go on lavish vacations and live like Paris Hilton (unless of course you’re Paris Hilton). Retirement requires you do more with less; plus, unless you’re a 2012 Armageddon fan, you should plan on living a long time. So don’t waste that money and don’t waste your health!