I recently spent time with an old friend of mine—a teacher—who is literally counting the handful of years that remain before he can retire. Let’s just say he’s not the glide into retirement sort. He would rather be hiking or discovering a new hobby than grinding through an unrewarding job. I suspect that once my friend does retire, he will be one of those folks who never looks back, becoming fully engaged in many things.
Not everyone is built that way. Like my friend, plenty of folks count the years till retirement, yet once they finally get there, they often have a deer-in-the-headlights fear of what comes next. For many of us, the “What’s next?” query turns into prolonged internal debate, which is often followed by a half-hearted re-entrance into the work force.
With baby boomers flocking to retirement in record numbers, you would think that by now, someone would have fashioned a model for smoothly transitioning from work to retirement. But you would be wrong.
Few employers have innovated on this front—they simply don’t offer a structured pathway toward a phased retirement. Instead, pre-retirees are carving their own transition plans bit by bit. Doctors shift to three-day weeks. Executives negotiate increasingly lengthy vacations or take sabbaticals.
Until employers buy in, the most viable approach might be to downsize your work life on your own. Find a less demanding role that keeps you engaged and offers you a meaningful place to go each day. As a recent Morningstar article put it, you need to create your own alternative to “keeping your nose to the grindstone full-time—or even sticking to the same grindstone.”
Instead of trying to plan everything meticulously, be flexible and try a variety of new things to see what motivates you. To get a feel for what the retirement glide path might be like, investigate sites like FlexProfessionals, which connect businesses with part-time skilled workers.
Kiplinger article offers further details about transitioning gracefully into retirement.
And here are some additional resources suggested by Morningstar:
To find a create a custom plan to guide you into retirement, call an EP Wealth Advisor today.
The EP Wealth Advisors financial planning process starts with the relationship between you and your financial advisor. How do you value a financial coach? Developing a partnership that ensures we understand your goals lets us help you prioritize and organize your financial decisions—so you can achieve peace of mind and live your life.
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