Retirement can be surprisingly stressful. You're trading the familiarity and stimulation of a job for an unstructured life of redefinition. But the more you plan your transition, the easier it will be. So ask yourself these questions, based on ones that psychotherapist Tessa Albert Warschaw devised for us. They'll help you judge how prepared you are.
1. What will you miss from work? The challenges? The social life? Your authority?
2. Will not working make you feel less vital?
3. Do you have an agenda for filling your time with your choice of hobbies and interests?
4. What will make you rise each day as excited as you were at the high points of your career?
5. What ambitions are you waiting to fulfill?
6. How do you think your being around the home more will affect your partner, if you have one? What does your partner think?
7. To what extent will you be in service to other family members once you retire? How do you feel about?
If you have answers for all these questions, that's great. But if any stump you, start reflecting on them. They'll probably raise more questions for you (and, if applicable, your partner). And that's good. The more answers you have, the more ready you'll be to retire well.
Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners are coauthors of Don't Retire, Rewire! (Alpha Books), on which this article is based.