Don’t Retire Yet – Start A Plan First!

What’s your plan when you achieve that magic number?  Do you have a magic number?  I’m talking about the amount of money needed for you to say good-bye to that thing called a job.  Have you even thought about planning for retirement?  I used to think this was only for those people in their 60’s.  Not anymore!

If you’re like me, you may be on a path for financial independence a few years before “normal” retirement age.  Have you actually thought about what you’re going to do once you finally walk out that door?  If you haven’t, you’ll most likely want to.  People that don’t plan are likely to find themselves in extreme boredom 6 months down the line.

Should you retire without a plan?

thinking about retiring

Unless you’re heavily stressed at work, why not have a plan first?  Why do you think you see many older department store ‘greeters’ that are still working?  I used to work at a grocery store and most of them didn’t need to work.  They actually wanted to work.  Why?  Because they were bored from sitting at home.

Retirement also doesn’t need to mean you completely stop working.  Maybe you’re tired of the career choice or the schedule that you’ve had for so many years.  Now you have the opportunity to change that.  So why not?  Consider that a part of your plan.

My grandfather is in his 80’s and he still works hard.  He could have retired years ago, but he doesn’t want to.  My point being, retirement isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t need to stop you from being financially independent.  Some people don’t have other hobbies or don’t want to move on and do other things.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Nobody bakes a cake the same way.

What am I planning for retirement?

For myself, it’s retirement from the traditional work schedules.  The great thing is, nothing is set in stone once I’m retired.  The world is my oyster and I have the freedom to now do whatever I wish without being tied to a schedule.  I really look forward to that day.  Nothing needs to be rushed.  I’m going to do a lot of things.  I’m still prioritizing them myself since I’m not quite there yet.

Here are some of the things I’ll be doing in no specific order:

  • Run a Triathlon – I accomplished my marathon dream a few years back.  This is another one on the bucket list.  This still might happen before financial freedom, but it sure would be easier if my schedule was a bit loosened up.
  • Continued hobbies with friends – Right now it’s volleyball and rock climbing.  I’ve slacked a bit on the bike riding, but I love that too.
  • Odd jobs – I still may do some consulting, but at this point I’m not swayed either way.  The beauty of it… there’s no pressure!  I definitely plan on doing odd jobs for fun.  Maybe from that I’ll find a new passion.
  • Travel more – More specifically, road trips.  There’s a lot of the U.S. landscape that I’d love to see at a leisurely pace.  Even driving into Canada would be lovely since Chicago isn’t too far from the borders.  I love traveling overseas too, but those probably won’t be as often as those bills can rack up a lot easier.  Those trips can take a lot more planning too.  But…I have time to plan that all out.
  • Learn new skills – I’d love to get some new skills and learn another language.  While I still work on those things now, freed up time will make those things easier.
  • Be present – I really just want to make more time for everyone important in my life.  People and relationships matter to me the most over any material possessions.

I’m sure my list will evolve as time goes on as I’m sure yours will too.  The general idea though is to make sure that there is a plan in place when you’re done.  Don’t get sucked into the television and lose yourself!

Make a list. Check it twice!

Be assured that you’re on the right track by making a quick list.  What kinds of things?

  • Plan out the first few months – Even if you don’t have a plan for the retirement checklistnext few years, at least start with something.  That way you can set the pace.
  • Refinance your mortgageThis might be something worth considering if you value your investments over your mortgage.  Lower that monthly payment if you can!  If you have your house paid off then this is of no concern to you!
  • Review your investment portfolio – Do your investments still make sense when going into retirement or do you need to adjust things?  After all, you might want to reconsider the way you’ve invested especially if you anticipate they could be more volatile.
  • Re-figure expenses You may be spending less money in general since you don’t have a job to commute to.  No more lunches and happy hours with your coworkers.  Plus, if your income is less you may qualify for different benefits.  Something worth looking into.  
  • Plan for fun – Plan out some fun activities and things so you can get excited about retirement!  After all, you’re finally free from those golden handcuffs!

Are you ready to retire?

I’m all for throwing caution to the wind when appropriate, but unless you’re on a path for fatFIRE, planning for retirement is probably your best bet.  After all, it’s your future and nobody else’s.  Make sure you are getting to do the things that you want to do!

2 thoughts on “Don’t Retire Yet – Start A Plan First!

  • June 14, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Awesome post! I agree with having a plan. But, don’t be surprised if your list changes a little once you actually ‘retire’. I feel like retirement changes you into a different person, and you may want different things on your list afterwards.
    I say this because I quit my job recently and had a big list of all the things I wanted to do. Reading it now only a few months later, about half of the items are actually relevant. The rest were just there because I thought I wanted them, not actually wanted them.

    Anyway, having a plan is a must. Boredom is real and it can actually kill you. Thanks for the list and ideas! Cheers.

    • June 15, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Thanks! I’m anticipating a morphing plan, but excited either way to see what it turns into.


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