Everyone wants a happiness in retirement. But sometimes when you plan to retire, your visions don’t fully match up with the realities of retirement life. And there’s value in testing them so you can make adjustments ahead of time.
There’s a lot of wisdom in the maxim Try Before You Buy. What about retirement though? Two of the most valuable assets in retirement and money and time. Happiness retirement is about more than financial security. But sometimes people who are very careful with their financial resources are surprisingly less thoughtful about their time. Some people will invest hours in researching the all of the options, features and cost comparisons on a car they’ll lease for 36 months, but then wing it when it comes to their plan to retire for the next 20 to 30 years of their their life .
Ironically, even people who plan meticulously for the financial side of retirement are more cavalier about planning for their life in retirement, taking a “we’ll figure it out as we go'” approach. The risk with that approach is that you could squander time – and that may turn out to be your most precious asset of all.
Alina Tugend examines the idea of testing life in retirement to become a more informed consumer in this Kiplinger article Test-Drive Your Retirement. Retirement Wisdom is quoted in the piece (along with Bev Bechel and Fritz Gilbert, who we consider to be friends of Retirement Wisdom). As you consider key questions like Where Will We Live; What Will I Do in Retirement?; and Who Will I Be in Retirement? taking a test-drive can inform your choices.
The article gives examples of how people have tested key parts of their financial plan and tried out various aspects of their desired lifestyle. A test drive can confirm and validate your assumptions, give you a grounding in the realities of your ideas and spur new ideas and avenues to investigate. If it leads you to make some course corrections, do further research, or even to go back to the drawing board, you’ll be doing so ahead of time so you’re protecting the time you’re working so hard to create for your retirement.
So, take it for a spin. You’ll learn a lot.
Chris Mamula shares his lessons learned in his transition to early retirement.
Michelle Pannor Silver, author of Retirement and It’s Discontents, discusses her research on the challenges faced in transitioning to retirement by people who love what they do and have their identity tied to their work.