How to Make a Smooth Transition into Retirement

Retirement is within your grasp. What seemed so distant during your early years of employment is now looming on your immediate horizon. For many, how you spend the five years prior to finishing work will play a significant role in how things go afterwards. To be sure of a smooth transition, do some planning in advance.

There are many aspects of your lifestyle to consider. Do you have family nearby who will be part of your retirement activities? Often, a real plus about being retired is having time to choose to spend time with those you love. However, if you have family members who may require your help either in time or money, this will impact your retirement. Are you part of the sandwich generation with adult children with family issues, or elderly parents with health issues. Will your family members require an inheritance or will they be self-sufficient? Are you comfortable with your financial situation, and will you be ten years into retirement?

Both health and money are of paramount importance when planning retirement. If you have problems with one, this often leads to problems with the other. It is your responsibility to take an active role in your health care. Be sure to have regular checkups. Pay attention to diet and exercise. You hear this advice everywhere, but that’s why you hear it. Changes you make can add so much enjoyment to your life as a retiree.

It is important to note whether your retirement is your idea or not. Some workers automatically feel that an arbitrary age is the signal that work is done, retirement is the next step. It often doesn’t have to be that way. If the choice is yours, you may expand that choice by considering a gradual move to retirement, perhaps by working part-time or by mentoring or consulting. This can be very fulfilling for any employee and helps with the transition to full retirement.

If you have been a highly focused employee, it will take a period of adjustment to become fully comfortable with this major lifestyle change. Do you have a welcoming partner at home, one who will share your new life with enthusiasm? Have you considered what your days will be like? Many retirees emphasize that having a full sheet of options every day is the single most valued aspect of this new life. Others consider this the greatest drawback.

Talk to other retirees, some you may know as former colleagues, others just acquaintances who seem to be coping well with their new life. Often these people will provide valued feedback on the positive and negative aspects of being retired.  

Doing some serious thinking about your future will provide a blueprint for a successful life in retirement.