Do you want to know if you’re ready to retire? Of course you do. Do you want to spend the time figuring it out? Probably not. It’s hard, right? I might think “there’s your sign. . . . ” but instead I’m going to say THIS IS YOUR QUIZ!! Seriously, where else can you answer a few questions and figure out what you need to do for the rest of your life? (Oh, if only life were so simple!)
Read each question carefully and give yourself the allocated points for the answer that best fits your situation. Here goes!
Can you really leave the job you love? I’ve personally never understand the people who win big in the lottery and don’t want to quit work. I enjoyed my career but frankly, I worked because I needed the income. Maybe you really DO love your job too much to quit? Seriously, it could be a consideration. I guess. . . .
1 point: I’ve been told that a trained monkey can pretty much do what I do. I’m out of here.
2 points: I am not sure I can imagine myself not going to work every day. Who can do what I do? And do it as well as I do it?
3 points: I’ve had a long and fulfilling career. I’m ready to stop working and move into the next stage of my life.
Do you have a hobby? Something to keep you busy? My husband is newly retired and would not be satisfied to just sit under the tiki reminiscing about the fabulous Magnum mustache he rocked in the 1980’s. (It was awesome. ❤️) Luckily he has hobbies and non-work interests. Think about outside and inside activities. Surfing the internet and taking life-changing quizzes might just get old on rainy days,
1 point: I don’t need a hobby or any interests. I just want to chill.
2 points: I have a hobby but I don’t even know if I enjoy it because I haven’t done it for 20 years. (Have I told you about the unfinished baby quilt for my now 25-year-old son?)
3 points: I have hobbies that I love and just want to enjoy them more. Weekends just aren’t long enough!
There’s a lot to be said for having a bucket list, or any kind of list for that matter. Most people respond to retirement by saying that they want to do the things they never had time for when they worked. Okay. What are those “things” ? Are they places you want to visit? Do you just mean you want to sleep late and go to brunch? (By the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that). Or do you want to train to do the Iron Man Triathlon? (Dear God, I think I’d rather keep working). Why retire if there aren’t things other than work that you want to do?
1 point: I don’t need a list to tell me what to do.
2 points: I know a few things I’d like to do but I’m going to have to try to remember what they are. I think I might want to travel.
3 points: I have an actual bucket list and I know exactly what I want to do first!
Money, or lack thereof. You might have noticed this is not a financial page. We aren’t going to talk numbers or how much money you need to retire. That’s why you have a financial consultant or at least a link to a financial page that will go on and on about it. Our analysis is simple:
1 point: It’s none of your damn business how much money I have.
2 points: I save when I can, but it’s difficult to track existing and future expenses and I don’t know if I’ve saved enough. I might be okay.
3 points: I have worked my butt off and I have enough money to retire. I’ve done the math but am a little afraid to make the leap. I want to do this right.
I know where I want to retire. This was a big one for us. I think realizing that the answer is not necessarily permanent is important. Right now we are enjoying our tropical paradise. Later, we may prefer living closer to family – grandchildren – and maybe even to healthcare providers. For now, like Jimmy Buffett says, “I’m living on things that excite me, be they pastry, or lobster or love.” Or living on an island.
1 point: I am fine where I am. I don’t know why you think I should change anything.
2 points: I love where I live now but it’s changing and my family no longer lives here. I may want to move.
3 points: 1) There’s a beach with my name on it just waiting for me! 2) My mountain cabin awaits! 3) I love this house and community and want to continue to live here and travel. Okay, these are all great answers. You get three points for knowing what you want to do – at least for now.
How did you score?
Mostly 1 point answers:
Seriously, I am amazed you even have a job. Don’t quit unless the government can support you fully. (Unless you have your mattress stuffed with money. You are an enigma. Nothing would surprise me.)
Mostly 2 point answers:
You’re doing pretty well but you’re not ready. You aren’t sure you can retire, not really sure what you’d do and you’re definitely too wish-washy about such an important decision. Get your act together and put your pen to the paper if you’re serious. If you want to research privately, make google your best friend and do it. Otherwise, get a little professional financial help and study the specifics. Good Luck! I have a feeling you will be just fine.
Mostly 3 point answers:
I love and admire you. You’re ready to retire and to rock this phase of your life! Expect a few bumps along the way, because after all, it’s still life. But mostly – expect some fun, some relaxation and some excitement about retirement. You’ve earned it.