Retiring Early? 8 Questions to Help Determine if You’re Ready

Retiring Early? 8 Questions to Help Determine if You’re Ready

Financial and emotional considerations should be addressed when considering when to retire.Cynthia Van Heyde

Retirement might be a phase in your life that you look forward to, but as that time gets nearer, there are emotional and financial readiness concerns that you should address first. Cynthia Van Heyde, vice president and Wealth Advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management in Ocala, Fla., offers these questions to ask yourself before you decide it’s time to retire.

1. What does retirement mean? Think of how you will recreate a structure of time in a positive, fulfilling way. Envision what you’ll be doing in retirement and how it will impact your income resources.

2. At what age do I wish to retire? Familiarize yourself with the framework of Social Security and pension benefits, and consider retiring at an age that will maximize those opportunities.

3. Have I calculated the amount I’ll need to retire comfortably — on my own terms? Use different lifestyle scenarios to calculate your desired goals, and make an additional accumulation plan if needed.

4. What sources of retirement income are available? Learn about benefits that will be available to you for a more accurate analysis of your future income and budget. These can include Social Security, pension funds, 401(k)s, and IRAs.

5. How likely is it that family members will depend on me? Consider the possibility of financially supporting loved ones and make adjustments to your future budget accordingly.

6. What do I want my legacy to be? Identify personal activities and passions that are important to you, and plan how to educate your family and loved ones about your legacy wishes.

7. Where do I want to live? The primary residence can be the largest valued asset you have. If you choose to sell or downsize instead, think about the type of housing and location you would want.

8. What resources will you use for health care expenses? Health care and long-term care can be significant expenses, especially for women since they often live longer.