The Decision to Retire

Making the decision to retire is gut-wrenching for most folks.  Even though you may be “ready” physically, because you’re worn out from the job or tired of the sameness of work-life, you may not be mentally ready.

There are a whole host of questions you may have about the life you will live in retirement.  And even if you think you know what that life may be, you don’t know the unknown!  Taking the time to look at a variety of life changes before you turn in that “retirement date”, may make you change your mind.

There are many resources available today to help you make that important decision.  But when I started the retirement journey there were not as many.  I decided to document my feelings and actions during the weeks before I retired through a newspaper column on Planning for Retirement.  I read everything I could find and researched where I could.  I even interviewed folks who had retired to get their perspective on their choice.  One book that was particularly helpful was “Don’t Retire, Rewire” by Jeri Sadler and Rick Miners.  This was a gift from my son, who knew that his goal-oriented Mom would need structure and a plan after retirement.  It was a tremendous help.  The Atlanta Journal also printed an article on “The Five Phases of Retirement”.  In their findings they identified:  Phase 1:  Pre-retirement; Phase 2:  Honeymoon; Phase 3: Disenchantment; Phase 4:  Reorientation; Phase 5: Stability.

While I don’t disagree entirely with these “steps”, I have found that each of us approaches retirement from so many different backgrounds that some of us stay in Phase 2:  Honeymoon for years!

I’d like to share some of my stories with you in the coming weeks, if that’s okay with you!