Have you been asking yourself, “When can I retire?”
If you are thinking about transitioning into semi-retirement but are holding back, take heart. It may be possible to achieve your goal and begin a new life in retirement sooner than you realize.
But, what matters do you need to consider first?
Take a Hard Look at Your Savings
One issue that needs to be addressed before you can answer, “When can I retire?”, is evaluating your savings. Assuming that you will be stepping away from your full-time position with its full-time salary, do you have enough to live off of?
Hopefully, you (and your partner if applicable) have savings spread across a 401k or Roth IRA and a savings account. You may also have other investments and certainly the equity in your home. There are online calculators available that can help you crunch the numbers to determine if you have enough saved.
Do You Have Any Outstanding Debts?
It may be that you still have outstanding debts that need to be addressed. For example:
- The mortgage
- Credit cards
- Car payments
If you still have debts, these need to be taken care of before transitioning into retirement. After all, when you’re retired you will want to focus more on living your life, not worrying about paying off debt.
If you are really in trouble, consider working with a financial expert who specializes in debt issues. You might be able to combine some debts and get matched with a repayment plan.
Consider Your Expenses
Of course, when thinking about, “When can I retire?”, you must be aware that you will still have expenses in retirement. And since you will be making less money than before, you need to know what your expenses will be.
Some common expenses may include:
If you haven’t already started doing it, begin tracking your expenses. Having an idea what you
spend now and where you spend your money will help you with predicting expenses in retirement. There are software programs and online tools that can help you with estimating.
One area of expense that you can begin working on today is your health. Medical bills are a major drain for anybody but can be especially so in retirement. Do your part by eating well, exercising, and managing stress.
What Do You Want to Do When Retired?
Semi-retirement assumes that you will still be working, just to a lesser degree than when you worked full-time. Many employers offer opportunities for older workers to cut back their hours while staying employed by their company. Check with your employer to see if they offer such a program.
Instead of continuing with their previous employer, though, many retirees prefer to pursue a passion that they have been cultivating for a while. This might be changing careers, turning a hobby into something more, or creating their own business.
Starting Your Own Online Business
Semi-retirement offers a unique opportunity for you to continue working while having more time to pursue what you enjoy. So, why not start an online business?
Yes, you need to be prepared and do your homework. However, if you go about it the right way, it doesn’t have to require a lot of excessive time or energy. That leaves more opportunities for pursuing your passions.
So, if you’re still wondering, “When can I retire?”, the answer is “Sooner than you think!”