1/18/2013 8:15 PM ET|
How to tell if it's time to retire
It's not always easy to figure out when to move on. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself or your family before you turn in your notice.
You're never supposed to quit your job without having another one lined up. But I have -- and the very next day I got an offer for a much better job.
Then again, at the time, I was in a relationship that was a good two years past its expiration date. I kept trying to make it work because I didn't want to be a quitter.
Knowing when to quit and when to hang in there is tricky business. Some people famously go on and on: Investor Warren Buffett (82), media magnates Rupert Murdoch (81) and Sumner Redstone (89), the Rolling Stones (who concluded their 50th anniversary tour last month) come to mind.
Others bail when they presumably could continue: Cabinet members Timothy Geithner and Hillary Clinton, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and the White Stripes, to name just a few.
Sometimes life doesn't give us much choice about when to quit. Health problems or a bad economy can make the decision for us. Bob Carstensen of Lexington, Ky., was laid off from his job at IBM one week before his 62nd birthday, after nearly 44 years on the job. (Carstensen said he is "loving every minute of retirement, but I miss the team I worked with.")
Merv Hanson of Seattle, an avionics technician, was forced out of the work world six years earlier than he had planned because of stage 4 pancreatic cancer. (For those not familiar with cancer stages: There is no stage 5.)
In 2011, Hanson changed his Facebook page to show he was "working at surviving cancer" and took the Alaskan cruise he and his wife had always wanted to take.
Others get a gentle shove from incentives to quit. Reggie Crowley, a mechanic for the New York State Parks system, was given an early retirement offer he couldn't refuse.
"If I didn't take the incentive, I would have had to work another seven years to make the same amount," Crowley wrote on my Facebook fan page. "No brainer."
For many, though, it isn't easy to decide whether or when to pull the plug on a job, a career or a working lifetime. (I won't even try to deal with pulling the plug on a relationship -- you'll have to visit Oprah's site for that.)
Financial planner Christine Fahlund has the same advice for the undecided, whether they're new mothers struggling with whether to stay home, people contemplating a career move or those trying to figure out when to retire: Don't quit until you have clarity.
"If you're on the fence, keep working," said Fahlund, a senior financial planner and vice president of T. Rowe Price Investment Services. "You might as well keep that salary and those benefits while you decide."
People need to be emotionally as well as financially ready to quit, Fahlund said. That often requires time for reflection -- and for saving up.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you give your notice:
Can I afford to quit? Here's where good saving habits come in handy. When I quit my feature-writing job at the Anchorage Daily News way back when, I had an emergency fund that could sustain me for several months. When my next job, covering politics for the Anchorage Times, ended two years later, I had enough savings to last a year without touching my retirement accounts. A fat emergency fund and careful spending habits can mean less panic when you're facing a gap between paychecks.
If you're going to be without a paycheck for years and potentially decades -- if you're thinking of retiring, in other words -- the stakes are a lot higher. So many variables are beyond your control. You don't know how long you'll live, how the markets will perform or what inflation will do to your spending power. You can take some of the guesswork out of the equation by using retirement calculators (find one on Bing)), that use probability analyses to determine your likelihood of success. Another good idea is to run your plan past a fee-only financial planner, who can make sure your assumptions aren't overly optimistic.
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You want to retire? There is one sure way to find out if you can...figure out how much money you will have coming in and try and live on it for 1-year, no cheating and no skimping. If you can live on what you can be sure of making then go ahead...I did 10 years ago. My wife and I go as we please; I play golf at least 3 times a week and I do not have another job. Whats the point of retiring if you have to work.
- You're over 70
- Your house value has recovered 25% from the Bush destruction
- Your company hasn't been bought and trashed by Romney yet
- Your Medicare and Social Security are locked in prior to the next "conservative" being elected
- You're finally too old to be drafted and sent to Syria by President Palin
- You were smart enough to bail from the stock market in January and lock in the recovery funds
2/7/2013 News Flash ! THERE IS LIFE AFTER EMPLOYMENT ! Your Life does NOT End when You Retire !
Cold hard Fact: The Majority of the people that You have worked with for generations & all sorts of promises to Stay Friends & Keep In Touch do NOT Keep that Promise. That's Life expect that to happen.
As My Brother Fred once said : You work to Live NOT Live to Work.
If You literately dread & Hate going to work ? then it's Time to Get the Hell outta there.It's NOT going to improve thru some Miracle. No One should have to Work until They Die !
& Yes everyone doubts their decision to Retire & sincerely worry that they have made a mistake.
Well that last about a Month & then that's History & never to be visited again.
I LOVE RETIREMENT as I'm watching it Snow AGAIN & Snow up to my Azz here in Alaska.
Retiree SPW in Alaska "Airborne"
I'm in that boat, 64, healthy and strong, and love my job of the last 10 yrs. I work for a small family trust and cannot see leaving. But I know I will have to, not in the far, but nearer future. My note to self that it's time is when I don't want to come to work any longer.
I fear not the fiscal side of it, but the side that says, "your're washed up", that in itself is a hard thing to overcome. You can only volunteer, do the yard, and travel only so much.
Poor used to mean unable to feed clothe and house your family and yourself.
Because of the need to BUY VOTES, that has changed to free anything they need to pick that will make those humans who will sell their integrity for a few shekels.
Since housing, food, healthcare, schooling, and 10's of thousands of charitable corporations handing out whatever while the taxpayer, NOT American citizens, pick up the tab by being forced pay taxes on that charity.
Man's nature is to WANT, it is the reason for man's success. The reason that Buddhism is so tough, since a true Buddhist attempts to purge all worldly desire while drawing toward only spirituality.
RETIREMENT can be as easy as living while employed, if only the need to WANT can be tempered to the reality that STUFF is STUFF and NOT HAPPINESS.
If you are able to exclude what you really do not NEED, transportation, not such a sweet vehicle that the cost is so high that you do that machine a disservice by not being able to maintain it, shelter, same story, why buy a home that is so much more than you can pay for or maintain, consumption of food has also turned into a sport of "how much can I taste in a day", with the result being a far diminished quality of life with which to retire as well as a far shortened retirement.
Finding that "sweet spot" of ability to provide yourself and yet still remain a proud person capable of actually surviving life by your own abilities and skills, which is maybe the most important quality that inner man's true must haves that living off of the stolen resources of others will rob you of!
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