Making the transition from paid work into what we traditionally call ‘retirement’ can happen all at once or gradually over time. Before making any decisions let’s think about this for a minute. Given the dramatic increases in life expectancy, many of us will have almost as many years post full-time employment as we spent in the workplace – decades! While there is no way of knowing how long we are going to live, most of us get to choose how we spend our time, including how much time we spend in the workplace, and how we can make a successful transition into retirement. This requires a positive mindset to wellbeing and proactive planning that should begin long before you plan your farewell function. Let’s consider some options before making the decision to quit work.
Option 1: Early retirement. The main reasons for choosing this option are ill-health – your own of that of a family member, structural changes in the workplace, unrewarding work, or an unpleasant working environment. You may have adequate financial plans in place to fun life after work, and plenty of friends, hobbies, and interests outside of the workplace.
Option 2: Retiring later. Is your role central to your identity? Is your job is rewarding? Do you enjoy good health? Is your commute manageable? Do you want more time to develop your retirement plan and/or build up your savings?
Option 3: Phased retirement. Negotiating a reduction in hours e.g., full-time to part-time work, a new schedule e.g., week on week off, or gradually scaling back your responsibilities over time and possibly grooming others to step up the career ladder. With a phased retirement plan, rather than walking away from your job and the benefits associated with it, you can work fewer hours, maintain familiar routines, and retain your connection with the workplace. This option frees up time for you to pursue new projects and goals and spend more time with family and friends.
Option 4: Another take on phased retirement is to change direction, e.g., get a part-time job closer to home, or start a new career doing something you’ve always wanted to do for example maybe you have always wanted to start a small business.
Everyone’s situation is different. Weighing up the pros and cons, what is the best option for you? To thrive in later life proactively plan your Roadmap to Retirement to prepare your mind – your perspective on ageing, how you’ll spend your time, how you’ll manage your health and wellbeing, and last be by no means least how you’ll manage your wallet.